IAAPA 2010: Dark rides, flat rides, and wet rides


Everyone comes out to IAAPA to show off their newest product. You’ll find various foods, drinks, coaster manufactures, dark ride builders, flat rides, and even the guy who builds the turn stiles you go through to enter the parks. In this segment of our IAAPA coverage, we take a look at dark rides, flat rides, and wet rides.

Dark Rides

Sally Dark Rides
Probably one of the most reputable companies that builds dark rides had a pretty awesome booth set up this year. Sally Dark Rides had various characters set up that moved, talked, and made some jump out of their skin, but it’s nothing compared to their new product: Scream in the Dark.

Scream in the Dark is part of their rides that when someone screams, they get extra bonus points. The ride is filled with decibal meters, so the louder you scream, the more points you’ll get.

On a side note, in a conversation with Sally’s team, we asked about the fate of Nights in White Satin at the former theme park, Freestyle Music Park (formerly Hard Rock Park). The gentlemen informed us the ride has been dismantled for good. It’s sad to see such interesting attractions go to waste.

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Flat Rides

Amusement Gear and Bearing
These guys can take a carousel and do some pretty hardcore work to bring them back to their original glory. They had three different carousel horses on display: a before, during, and after the restoration process.

I gotta say I’m pretty impressed with the work they do. They also had some gears on display that a carousel uses.

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BoMar Soft Playgrounds
I stopped by this booth particularly because everything was so bright and colorful. These guys produce the items you see floating around in the water that kids can get on top of and walk across. They also make small slides for kids. The materials they use feel pretty solid, but they are soft enough where you won’t get hurt (compared to falling on pavement).

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Dynamic Structures
This company is the company that build Soarin’ Over California for Disney. After the ride was build for Disney, they obtained a copyright on the design, therefore prohibiting Dynamic Structures from using it elsewhere. Because of that, they produced what is referred to as a “reverse Soarin”. This concept is very similar to a movie theater giving no hints that it will tilt riders forward and turn into a ride. The only hint is you’re required to put a seat belt on. The gentlemen at the booth said scenes like a car driving off of a cliff are perfect for this concept as they can then tilt riders forward. Oh, the plastic thing you see.. That’s the screen.

They also had a model similar to Sum of all Thrills. Hm!

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Bumper car manufacture. Need I say more?

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Rope Courses
This company had an actual rope course set up and was letting people try them out. It was three levels tall. The first level was just stairs to get to the second level. The second level was a bunch of wood style things you could cross. The third level was nothing but ropes. It was the most intimidating level of all, even if you’re hanging by the rope. Standing down below, I can’t tell you how many people I saw freeze-up in the middle of making it halfway across a rope. I tried it out for myself and I gotta say, it was very scary, but worth a try.

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Rides 4U
This company had a swinging arm ride set up. My kid loved it, but I think they’re trying to become Zamperla ride wise. Their rides just seemed very similar.

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Last up is Zamperla. They had a couple rides set up, but it was nothing spectacular. I’ve heard years past were much better in comparison to this years.

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Wet Rides

WhiteWater West
We’ve previously had Jeff and Geoff on our show in the past to chat all about WhiteWater West. WWW brought some life size models of some of their newest attractions to the showfloor at IAAPA. One of their featured attractions was the Aqua Loop. Although this model wasn’t a full model, it had the scariest part: the part where you drop. Because there was no water running on the attraction, we got into a jump suit and went up through one of their water play areas. To board the attraction, you enter a box, put your feet all the way back against the back and they seal the box. 3-2-1, there goes the floor! The ride only lasted about 5 seconds, but it was thrilling and heart pounding. That was only part of it.


They also had a display of their Mega Tube attraction that is big enough for another attraction to go through part of it’s tubing.

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This booth was another flashy booth that drew my attention. The “FishPipe” was dubbed as the longest water ride in the world. The attraction is made up of a huge inflatable ball with another ball inside.. filled with water. Once you’re in, they send you rolling down hill! The water in the ball allows you to slide rather than tumble around. It looked rather interesting, but I couldn’t see it in a water park any time soon.

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I’m not sure whether or not they were a wet play area or dry play area, but they did have a really cool slide. The slide had a clear part in the center with running water in it to give the slide the appearance of it being wet. This playground in particular was very white, with a lot of pastel colors – fun looking, but something that would probably get dirty very easy and require a lot of cleaning to keep it looking fresh.

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Check out our other IAAPA Coverage:

  1. IAAPA 2010: Coaster manufactures display their latest and greatest
  2. IAAPA 2010: Delicious sweets & Nifty treats
  3. Industry optimism fuels success for 2010 IAAPA Expo