IAAPA 2019 Most Exciting Bits

The floor at IAAPA 2019 is now closed, and once again our social media feeds are flooded with big announcements from some of the world's biggest theme park chains, polarising train designs and the latest in theme park technology that has us enthusiasts practically foaming at the mouth to try for ourselves. But let's be real, in preparation for writing this post I went back and read through a few of my IAAPA posts from previous years and in comparison 2019 doesn't seem to be the most exciting of years for the expo. Maybe it has to do with the fact that social media coverage often means we already know about a lot of the juiciest news nuggets already - unfortunately sometimes before the parks and manufacturers were quite ready to reveal them to the world. But with that said, this year wasn't without it's stand out moments of course, so let's take a look through the most exciting tidbits to come out of this year's IAAPA convention.

Probably the most talked about news from the event and something I'm still seeing plastered across my social media feeds days later are the RMC trains revealed for Iron Gwazi opening at Busch Gardens Tampa in 2020. And potentially all for the wrong reasons - most of these posts come accompanied with some pretty strong opinions - mostly along the lines of the thing being pretty damn hideous. Whilst I definitely think that, much like the Cu Chulainn trains o Steel Curtain monstrosities, this is something we'll quickly get over but I am certainly in the camp of those who did a sharp intake of breath when the beast graced my timeline! I guess they're just a bit...much? Usually the Busch trains are a lot more subtle than this - look at the gorgeous Cheetah Hunt trains for god's sake! Yh, not my favourite thing in the world but certainly a talking point for sure.

My brain practically melted when I saw this. Lotte World showcased their incredible miniature world train set complete with camera on the front of the train that guests could experience a POV of by sitting in a vehicle and shoving on a VR headset. This idea is so incredibly simple that I'm astounded it hasn't been done before (or if it has I certainly haven't seen it!) I absolutely love miniature worlds and dioramas so the idea that one could be digitally transported to explore the miniature lands themselves using VR technology is just such a wonderful proposition that fills me with extreme excitement!

Cred whores of the world wept as SBF Visa revealed a new torture device wherein riders spins in a giant hamster wheel type attraction WHILST THE COASTER TRAVERSES THE CIRCUIT. I mean, just all of the no! Joking aside, I do think this is a very cute and innovative way to give a fairly tame family style coaster an extra thrilling pop and provide a bit of variety in a sea of Wacky Worms and Figure-8 spinners. Still definitely firmly in the 'one and done' category for me though!

After what seems like years of hushed rumours that GCI were working on a product to give RMC a run for their money we finally got a first look at their hybrid track design. Strangely though the manufacturer chose not to showcase their new development on the convention floor but instead at an afterparty?! Random!! But yes, given I'm a pretty huge fan of GCI and have become a little disenchanted with RMC as of late I'm VERY interested to see what the company do with this product, the possibilities are endless and this innovation opens even more windows of opportunity as to where the future of coaster design will eventually lead us.

I'm sure we all watched the Coaster Studios coverage of the absolutely mental Axis Coaster concept from S&S last week so it was cool to get a little more info out of the company at IAAPA about their newest and potentially most insane design to date. It kind of looks like their 4D concept and a Zacspin had a baby and frankly I'm not sure whether to be excited or terrified of the thing? Something that pops to mind instantly though is how such a design could be integrated into a highly themed, narrative lead experience. The way the vehicles move using a controlled spin it's pretty easy to imagine how something like that could come to life which is VERY exciting indeed!

So yes, not as many gag-worthy, pearl-clutching announcements from IAAPA 2019 but it certainly wasn't without its moments! What was your favourite announcement?

Talk later xoxo,



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