The big IAAPA convention is kicking off soon. This yearly conference for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Aquarium is a colossal expo where industry professionals are on hand to buy or sell the latest theme park rides and technology, and many parks make announcements about their new additions. Basically, IAAPA is like Christmas for roller coaster enthusiasts and theme park fans!
There are a few things we know we’re going to see at this year’s expo, like Dollywood unveiling the trains for their new FireChaser Express coaster. Below is our list of the top ten things we’d like to see at IAAPA, from most likely to happen to only in our dreams.
Top Ten Things We’re Hoping to See at IAAPA
(Listed from most realistic to unrealistic)
1. B&M displaying one of Banshee’s cars. This new coaster opening at Kings Island in 2014 will feature the next evolution in the inverted coaster train design. The restraints are a new iteration of the ones seen on the wing coasters and the park promised us the vest won’t get progressively tighter throughout the ride.
2. We would love to see more details on the Guardian on Wonder Mountain (Wonder Mountain’s Guardian?) a hybrid coaster/ interactive dark ride going into Canada’s Wonderland. We know the attraction will have the world’s longest video screen but that’s about it. What are the vehicles going to look like? How will the riders interact with the screen?
3. All remaining rides at the former Hard Rock Park / Freestyle Music Park are now up for sale. It’d be great to know for sure who buys each ride. Hopefully they don’t all end up in China.
4. Kentucky Kingdom announced earlier they would be installing a steel roller coaster for the upcoming season. What ride is it going to be? Is it a brand new coaster or a relocated ride? Perhaps it’s a coaster from Freestyle? Hopefully we find out.
5. We love to see a hint or clue to the long rumored Busch Gardens Tampa B&M coaster project that may be the first in Florida to pass the 300-foot mark.
6. A company unveils a new generation of virtual queuing that eliminates waiting in line, is fair to everyone, and is free to use. Most of the current systems only encompass one or two of those features but not all three.
7. Lagoon Park to reveal the layout and more details about their new steel coaster project, rumored to be called Cannibal. If the park is truly designing this ride in-house like we suspect then they probably have little incentive to talk about it but we’d still love to hear more about it. Rumors say the cars will reach the 200+ foot height by way of an elevator lift.
8. To learn more about the secret Gringotts Bank indoor coaster under construction at Universal Studio Florida’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley. Very little is known about this attraction but is sure to be one of the best in Orlando.
9. Disney drops more details about Pandora at Animal Kingdom. What kind of ride systems can we expect? Just give us anything to make us think this isn’t a bad idea!
10. A park in the US announces they are building an Intamin mega-lite coaster. Totally not going to happen but we can dream, right? Mega-lites are airtime filled machines and some of the most talked about coasters by those few who have been able to ride them. Some parks we believe are great candidates for an Intamin Mega-Lite:
– Knoebels. An earthy-toned Mega-Lite would look great rising above the Knoebels treeline. Think Piraten at Djurs Sommerland.
– Kentucky Kingdom. The park is rumored to build a new steel coaster. Although details are sketchy, a Mega-Lite would fit well with the park’s current selection of coasters.
– California’s Great America. A Mega-Lite would fit well into this space-constrained park. Of course, it would also give residents of Southern California a new reason to travel north.
What’s on your 2013 IAAPA wishlist?