IAAPA Round Up 2016

That's it, the floor has closed once again at IAAPA for the year. Although no major announcements seemed to have been made this year, the event wasn't without its highlights so let's take a moment to go through so of the most talked about news of this year's expo!

VR for Kraken
Not new news for those of us in the know, but day one saw Sea World CEO Joel Manby confirm that indeed the theme park fad would be making it's way to B&M Floorless coaster Kraken for the 2017 season. The addition will see on board audio designed specifically for the ride and take riders on a deep-sea mission to discover the Kraken's lair.

InvadR Trains Revealed
Over at the GCI booth train designs were finally revealed for family woodie InvadR heading to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for next year! The coaster will have a mythical warrior theme and the train designs feature a dragon (I definitely thought it was a horse but GCI confirmed it's meant to be a dragon. Horse.) and a grizzly bear.

I absolutely love the washed out colours and valiant almost Celtic style designs of the trains. I have to admit though the bear looks a little on the awkward side but I'm sure it'll work into the vision they have of it roaring around the track! Interestingly, GCI have chosen not to build brand new trains from scratch but instead refurbish the Gwazi trains instead of leaving them to rot. Fab to see the trains going to use, but still leaves a massive question mark over what the heck is going to become of Gwazi!

Gravity Group Concept Trains
Gone are the days of just jumping in a square box when it comes to coaster trains. Any self-respecting park wouldn't be caught dead without a snazzy train design and these incredible dragon Timberliners from Gravity Group/GravityKraft are absolutely KILLING it!

Look how ferocious it looks! Even the tamest woodie could be made to look completely intimidating with this beast thundering around the train. Another epic train design to add to the collection for GG!

Mack Xtreme Spinning Coaster
Probably the most talked about announcement of the show? A triple launching, inverting,spinning monstrosity that only the hot kids on the scene Mack could conceive. Admittedly to me this looks like a launched SkyLoop on acid and therefore not something I'm entirely mad about, but then I said the same about Lost Gravity and I ended up absolutely adoring it so I'll say for now that I'm intrigued to ride.

The concept is that it's kind of a customisable ride type. One track - two ride experiences as Mack themselves put it with different switch options and the ability to have a spinning and non-spinning version simultaneously. And this is the COMPACT layout, so I'm dying to see what a bigger design would look like! Come to think of it, as I'm writing this I've just realised that this is probably what that random spinning car on Blue Fire a few months back was all about...

Annd the SkyWarp from Skyline Attractions definitely gets the weird points this year! Kind of a coaster/flat ride hybrid, this to me seems to be a modern day take on a Larson Loop. I don't know, I'm not a massive fan of hangtime so the thought of riding this doesn't fill me with joy, but as a spectator I could sit and watch it all day, it's absolutely hypnotising to see it slither around the track.

Zac Spin Update
I'll admit that I'm a bit of a sadist and absolutely love me a good ZacSpin. They're just so forceful, ridiculous and disorientating, I always come off absolutely pissing myself laughing because they're such a stupid coaster type. So I'm thrilled to see they've been given a bit of an update!

As opposed to the current back-to-back seating arrangement, the redesign allows for backwards, forwards or facing each other seating arrangements so there's loads more variety there (not that you'll have a clue where you are whatever way you're facing once you're riding!) Operators can also select free-spinning or controlled spinning mode.

Other updates include (excitingly) a launched lift-hill system instead of the current chain lift hill to reduce operating noise. From the animation I can imagine that being launch forwards then pulled backwards feels amazing but then to me that's what Zac Spins are all about. Bring on the crazy!

That's it from me for this year's round up (told you there wasn't loads!) Seems that 2017 is going to be a bit of a quiet one but then I guess that'll make the ridiculousness that is 2018 have an even bigger impact!

Talk later xoxo

*all pics from CoasterForce unless stated otherwise