Last week, I had the great opportunity to visit the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo in Orlando. It's not only a great place to see all the latest attractions available for our industry, but it's full of great learning sessions where industry professionals can find out more information on specific topics.
I was invited to take part in a session on new technology and how it enhances the guest experience. I was on a panel with two additional experts from Sea World and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and we all shared our experiences with attendees who wanted to know more.
Of course, I spoke about The Battle for Cedar Point augmented reality game, our virtual reality introduction of Valravn and our new mobile app.
I'm proud that Cedar Point is in great company, leading the way with new tech and enhancing how you enjoy the park. Every year, it gets better and better, and we've only scratched the surface. We're learning a lot about what guests like and don't like, how technology behaves in the park and what really works for our visitors. What we're doing is constantly evolving, and I think you'll like where we're headed.
This was my first experience at IAAPA, so it was a bit overwhelming. There are manufacturer booths everywhere - you can take a spin on the latest video game machines; sample the latest Coca-Cola freestyle flavors; purchase a water slide; open a new contract with a souvenir supplier; buy a roller coaster; eat Dippin' Dots and more. Remember - this is where industry professionals go to see the latest products available and to make those purchases for their attractions. It's not really a show for the public. There are representatives from bowling alleys, family fun centers, amusement parks, zoos, escape rooms, aquariums and so much more.
But the ride manufacturers are also there. They often display their newest ride vehicles and announce the latest designs. Our friends at Bolliger & Mabillard were showing off a little somethin' from America's Roller Coast...
B&M uses this train section to display it for potential dive coaster buyers. It also helps that Cedar Point was the first park to use this new seat design, so that's also "new tech" that they're showing off. (It made it back safely, by the way.)
Elsewhere, I had a chance to experience some new interactive gaming from Triotech, the team behind Canada's Wonderland's Wonder Mountain's Guardian and Knott's Berry Farm's Voyage to the Iron Reef.
There's way cool stuff going on in that box. Can't say what it is. But it's awesome.
Oh, and I tested out a few video games. Really. Big. Video. Games. If you're an 80's child like me, you would have freaked out over this one:
Did I buy anything? The better question is, did our Planning & Design team buy anything? All I can say is, "yes." #vague
Overall, it was a great experience and I'm blessed to have been able to attend. Maybe again next year?
Just a few other things. There's a new PointCast Minute available for viewing.
We're working on Winter Chill Out information. That tour comes in February. Stay tuned.
No, I cannot turn the webcam and zoom in on something in FrontierTown. The motor is broke. Yeah, that's it. The motor's broke!
Finally, from our family to yours, enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving filled with love, family, friendship and turkey!