IAAPA 2017 Round Up - Part 1

We're half way through what is arguably one of the most exciting events of the amusement industry calendar year - IAAPA! For those of you who don't know, the IAAPA expo is essentially a huge expo hall where theme park companies the world over gather together to show off their latest and greatest innovations. Everything from theme park food, to arcade games, to water parks and, you guess it, theme park rides!

So, here's a run down of my favourite bits so far. There's just an absolute TON of stuff going on at these expos that if I were to go through every announcement we'd probably be here forever, and let's face it it'd probably get super boring anyway. So let's just look at the fun stuff.

Probably my favourite reveal of IAAPA 2017 is the trains for Time Traveller at Silver Dollar City. This coaster had the whole enthusiast community collectively asking WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU MEAN IT SPINS AND LAUNCHES? Yep, Mack rides have delivered a spinning launch coaster through the woods at the fantastic Silver Dollar City. And what's more, it's only bloody steampunk themed. *Collective enthusiast squeal* Love me a bit of steampunk so I was gagged to see what the trains looked like.

And yh, they're pretty fucking cool. They've got that gorgeous brown/gold/bronze colour palette that one would associate with this kind of theme, complete with the Victoriana style cogs and embellishments. And then to top it all off it actually has a time travel light up panel with numbers and dates flashing across it. It's absolutely stunning!

A few weeks ago a flyer was floating around the internet detailing that S&S had bizarrely taken it upon themselves to bring the old Steeplechase coaster design into the 21st century. Nobody asked for it, nobody wanted it, but hell if it doesn't look bad ass! I'm secretly terrified of Steeplechase at Blackpool and was always sad that there weren't more of these around to try out.

The new S&S design also includes other flavours such as raptor, motorbike and DRAGON. Hell yeah.

Sesame Place in Pennsylvania has been without a coaster for 20 years, so the time is more than ripe for the family Gravity Group coaster coming to the park in 2018. The trend of increasingly elaborate coaster trains just gets weirder and weirder, but this Oscar the Grouch number takes the cake. It obviously scream Sesame Street with its lurid colour palette and wacky design, but somehow it's also beautifully sleek and modern too. And I feel like it's going to be bloody hilarious to watch this slithering around the track.

We all know Sea World needs to buck their ideas up and smash it with a bulletproof, ride lead game plan if they wish to continue operating as a theme park in the future. And that's exactly what they're doing - following the B&M hyper coaster Mako the park have also announced Infinity Falls, a thrilling rapids ride with an underlying current of conservation. In my opinion it's another fantastic move for the park, and this week at IAAPA they revealed the boats for the Intamin attraction.

The design is sleek and modern, which isn't my favourite in terms of personal taste but it definitely fits perfectly with Sea World's style and colour palette. I'm surprised at the 8 person capacity though - I'm used to the bigger rapids boats in Orlando so strange to me that they'd go for something smaller like this.

One of the most intriguing new attractions for me is the First Place Brass Ring Award Winner for Best New Product Concept - an all terrain trackless dark-ride from the innovative Dynamic Attractions. Usually known for their modern collaboration of high tech and immersive theme park attractions, this latest offering from the company is a trackless indoor/outdoor dark-ride vehicle that uses military grade technology.

Dynamic Attractions claim that no other ride in the world can do what this model can, with the model on display showing terrains including a rickety bridge, steps, sand and rockwork. As of yet it doesn't appear that any parks have snapped one of these up but I'm gagging for somebody to buy one as I'm so excited by this technology.

At the 2016 expo, Skyline Attractions caused a buzz with their SkyWarp model - a kind of perpetual motion inspired powered coaster-but-not kind of a thing. This year the company are introducing two new models to their line-up: the Eclipse, which is a larger, vertical looping style track and the Horizon, a flatter figure-8 style track featuring and inversion. I feel like this are a modern day cross between a Larson Loop and a Bayern Curve. They're weird, and different, but most importantly I think they definitely count as a cred so I need somebody to invest in one immediately.

That's what's gotten me excited so far - there's still a couple of days of the expo to go so hopefully more exciting announcements to be made! I'll get to the expo myself one day but until then scrolling through Twitter will have to do.

Talk later xoxo,