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Best of IAAPA Expo 2013: Unique rides, games, and flavors fill Orlando attractions convention with new amusements

in Conventions, Entertainment, Events, International Drive, Theme Parks

The annual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo is taking place this week in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center bringing together many of the biggest names in themed entertainment and amusement park design.

The industry-only event is not a gathering of theme parks like Disney, Universal, or SeaWorld but instead the ultimate event for the companies and contractors that work with these iconic parks to show off their wares and do plenty of business.

IAAPA Expo 2013

It’s easy to only focus on the big roller coaster news that come out of the show, such as this week’s announcement that the 520-foot “world’s tallest” Polercoaster is supposedly coming to Florida (pending plenty of up-in-the-air details). But the IAAPA Expo features far more than just those big rides, debuting video games, interactive attractions, and new food creations.

Below is a look at some of the most unique and interesting new products and rides unveiled at the 2013 IAAPA Expo.

IAAPA Expo 2013

The most impressive of new products shown off at this year’s Expo is from the ride makers at Triotech. In recent years, Triotech has returned to the show each year with variations on 3D movies they like to call 5D, 6D, and so on, adding motion seats, fans, and other in-theater effects. But this year they’ve taken that concept to an exciting new level (12D perhaps?) with what amounts to a ride-in-a-box.

IAAPA Expo 2013

A vehicle strongly resembling that of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man and Transformers: The Ride 3D at Universal Orlando is set up on an oval-shaped track flanked by two 3D projection screens. Riders are armed with 3D glasses and guns to blast away at hoards of zombies attacking from both sides while the vehicle spins wildly between them.

IAAPA Expo 2013

IAAPA Expo 2013

IAAPA Expo 2013

IAAPA Expo 2013

IAAPA Expo 2013

It’s among the most impressive setups I’ve ever seen at this convention, a true ride in a small footprint. Triotech says it’s just a small demo of the potential of this system, able to be installed practically anywhere. Though this demo is the official premiere of the technology, they say there’s already one set up in Canada. It’s somewhere between a ride and a video game, much like Disney’s Toy Story Mania, impressive and a whole lot of fun.

While on the subject of big rides on the show floor, Zamberla also has set up a wild spinning attraction that twists riders around and upside down repeatedly while twirling around a central core. It’s not for anyone with a weak stomach.


  1. Eric B. Freeman

    Nice stuff.

    And speaking of attractions, what is your opinion if Universal would someday think of creating a new vacation destination somewhere in Canada? My personal opinion is it would be so interestingly cool that it would be included three theme parks (such as a Canadian version of Universal Studios theme park, an animal theme park, and The Wizarding world of Harry Potter theme park), themed hotels, resorts, and its own downtown district that it would be called “Centre-Ville” (a french word meaning “Downtown”).

    If possible, then Universal bring their future ideas, concept arts and models to the IAAPA Expo.

    1. Alain

      I doubt Universal or Disney will ever start a project here in Canada. Canada’s Wonderland (just north of Toronto), formerly owned by Paramount, is huge and grows every year with new rides. This park is actually where the Triotech innovative ride is going to launch in Spring 2014, and it will take place in the famous mountain at the heart of Wonderland. Can’t wait to ride it!!!

  2. We were an exhibitor at IAAPA and had an amazing experience! We sold more Mobile Game Theaters than we had hoped and also enjoyed checking out all the attractions at the show! We had our kids come meet us on the last day and they were blown away by everything they experienced. We will be back in 2014!

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