January 7, 2013
Attractions Industry News Exclusively for IAAPA members
Translations and Archive:

  Amusement and Theme Parks 
  • Disney introduces bracelet technology to make parks even friendlier
    This spring, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., will launch a program that will allow participating customers to bypass entry turnstiles and use rubber bracelets encoded with credit card data to enter and buy items inside the park. Customers also would be alerted by smartphone when certain rides without lines become available. The bracelets are part of a vacation management system called MyMagic+, which is part of a larger effort to make the park easier for guests to navigate. "If we can enhance the experience, more people will spend more of their leisure time with us," said Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Thomas O. Staggs. The new technology also will allow Disney to track guest behavior, but observers say Disney is aware of potential privacy concerns. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/7)
  • U.K. theme park Lightwater Valley moves forward with expansion
    Lightwater Valley, the theme park and shopping village in North Yorkshire, will develop 106 chalets and new sports facilities. Park officials expect to complete the project, which will create job security for 243 people as well as 34 new positions, in spring 2014. Local authorities recently approved the project. BBC (1/4)
  • Knott's Berry Timber Mountain to close for updates
    Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Vista, Calif., will temporarily close its Timber Mountain Log Ride for a five-month upgrade. The eight-story ride, which opened in 1969, takes guests through a mountain range with a lumber-camp theme. Updates to the ride and its sets will remain true to the spirit of the ride, park officials said. Patch.com/Cerritos-Artesia, Calif. (1/4)
  • Other News
  Water Parks 
  • Omaha, Neb., hotel's makeover may help revive district
    The 50-year-old Ramada Plaza in Omaha, Neb., recently received a major facelift. "We stripped it down to the bone. It's all new. Plumbing, carpeting, electrical, everything. New. New. New," developer Don Wieseler said. The hotel and convention center is in one of the city's hotel districts. Dana Markel, head of the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the renovation may help the area recapture convention business. Guests have access to CoCo Key Water Resort, which also has seen some repairs with more to come. Omaha World-Herald (Neb.) (1/6)
  • Other News
  Family Entertainment Centers 
  • S.D.'s Storybook Land looking to upgrade
    South Dakota's Storybook Land and the Land of Oz may receive a major upgrade in the years ahead. The Sertoma Club and the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department have hired International Theme Park Services to update the park's master plan, which originally was done in the 1970s. Displays and new ride opportunities are a few of the options that International will consider. Aberdeen American News (S.D.) (1/3)
  Zoos, Aquariums, Science Centers, and Museums 
  • NASA pushes to sell, lease Florida facilities
    NASA hopes to lease or sell its Kennedy Space Center shuttle facilities that include a launchpad and structure used to assemble rockets. NASA is allowing bidders to make their offers in secret, and officials expect deals to start coming together in the next few months. "We have a lot of things in discussion, realizing that these major facilities have been funded by the space shuttle program. And the facilities out here can't be in an abandoned state for long before they become unusable. So we're in a big push over the next few months to either have agreements for these facilities or not," said Joyce Riquelme, NASA's director of planning and development at the space center. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (1/6)
  • Other News
  Related Industry News 
  • Mandatory sick-time proposal creates controversy in Fla.
    Two Florida lawmakers are taking steps to block proposed local measures that would make offering sick time mandatory, but supporters say the proposals would create stability for workers. The measures, now being considered in Orange and Miami-Dade counties, would require businesses with 15 or more employees to provide paid sick leave, but some business leaders oppose it, saying it would lead to higher costs. Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, and Rep. Steve Precourt, R-Orlando, also believe the sick-time proposals could hurt businesses. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (1/6)
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