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.
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.
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.
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.
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.