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IAAPA Euro Attractions Show Report

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I've had the amazing opportunity to attend the IAAPA European Attractions Show in Amsterdam and it's been a great experience. Yesterday, we went on a tour of Efteling and I started meeting a lot of the people who make theme parks so cool!


The Key Keepers were our hosts for the day and these guys were awesome. Tomorrow: First day of trade show and serious industry schmoozefest!


Post-tour cocktail party. This is Bart de Boer, President and CEO of Efteling. Just in case you run into him on the street.


These fellows run a park that has a coaster called "Balder". That's your loyal correspondent in the middle.


Christine Ulaky, owner of Canobie Lake Park! She told me she had just come from riding a certain woodie at a certain park in Sevenum...hmmmmm


Fata Morgana is a dark boat ride with an Arabian Nights kind of theme. I got to ride it with...


We got a nice tour of the new Efteling Bosrijk bungalow/villa development. It's all themed in the Efteling style and will add 1000 beds for lodging accomodation.


Victor here was the project manager on Furius Baco. Now he works in Dubai.


No sign, but everyone knows it's Droomvlucht (Dreamflight), one of the coolest dark rides ever built in-house. First bonus: Our group cuts to the front of the queue. Mega bonus: I rode it with John Woods, CEO of Sally!


Efteling is one of the nicest parks in Europe, if you're not familiar with it. We were VIPs for the day, about 150 of us.


I went around the building looking for the bus to Efteling and saw this praying mantis trying to eat an Australopithecus. Amsterdam is pretty kinky.


Welcome to the RAI Convention Center in Amsterdam! Not much going on here today, just lots of set-up for the trade show.

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Okay, second day was the first real day of the show. I started on the floor of the RAI, attended an interesting panel, and the welcome reception followed.


The show broke its own records this year with approximately 8,000 visitors, 50% more than last year's show in Munich. There were 278 exhibitors and 1,000 people attended the related seminars.


Well, that's it for Day 2 of IAAPA EAS 2009. Tomorrow: The Heineken Experience!


Alan Ramsay gets credit for introducing me to these guys, and this was the highlight of my evening (not counting the ProSlide guys): On the left is Emmett Peter, Director of Worldwide Safety & Assurance for Disney Parks & Resorts, and on the right is Michael Withers, VP Show/Ride Engineering for Walt Disney Imagineering. Michael told me he would hook me up with hotel people (I'm a hotel management professor), and Emmett let me rant about Disneyland Resort Paris for 10 minutes while he took notes! He was headed there to do an audit. These guys were great.


Sponsored by Vekoma, which you know, and JLT, which sells insurance to amusement parks.


Lovely setting for a cocktail party...


These were some of the coolest people at the show! Maybe the coolest. They're smiling because they've just heard a Dutch-speaking American sing "O Canada". Did you know ProSlide is headquartered in Ottawa? I didn't. That's Rick Hunter, President & CEO on the right.


Let the schmoozing begin! On the left is Alan Ramsay, a ride safety expert and a real industry insider. He knew everyone! And he knew a lot about how to run a park. With Alan are the delightful Janice and Will Morey of Morey's Piers!


Recall that the Giant Boomerangs briefly drove Vekoma into bankruptcy. At that point, a group of employees jumped ship and started KumbaK Coasters. These are their new trains, which you can ride on Python at Efteling.


The guys at Sally were so cool. They were pretty pumped about a possible big order out of the blue. If you get a chance, their Challenge of Tutankhamun at Walibi Begium is pretty awesome.


I was surprised to see more than one vendor in this particular category.


The new Vekoma restraint system.


Damn! I'll drink to that!


Yummy goodness.


Cool model of Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at the Maurer Söhne booth.


I went to a great discussion session on the themed attraction industry. The guy on the left is Salvador Clave, author of The Global Theme Park Industry, then Bob Rogers of BRC, notable for a number of projects. The third guy is a designer for Europa Park (did the new Iceland section) and is up and coming.


Zorbing supplies!


You couldn't ride the mechanical dolphin but you could place an order.


Lotsa crazy stuff here at EAS! There were a lot of theming and design vendors.


That's right! And the park is Europa Park. With 9 credits, you don't want to miss Europa Park on next year's TPR Mainland Europe Tour! ;-)


This dapper gentleman is Roland, who's in an interesting place in the industry. He and his family are major ride manufacturers, and they also own one of Europe's biggest and best theme parks. Where better to showcase their products? Have you guessed Roland's last name?


This is a model of Typhoon, the 2nd Euro Fighter ever built (Bobbejaanland).


Many of your favorite ride builders and park suppliers are here to display their crazy wares.


It's a pretty gi-normous hall.

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I have to go to one of these shows! They are just awesome.


The big show is, of course, coming up in Vegas this November 16-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.


Next year's EAS in in Rome, October 6-8, 2010.




Will the show ever come to London 'cause if it does, i'm there!

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Awesome photos....


I was just wondering if you got the chance to visit Starplay / Imply tech booth?? Its a electronic games and bowling company. My boss and some of my coworkers were there!


Think the next couple of years for the amusement Ind. will be interesting, considering the attandence growth.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Okay, I'd better continue this because the BIG SHOW is coming up fast in Vegas next month.


School attacked me during the week of the Euro Attractions Show, so I couldn't get to the convention center during the day, but I did make it to The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam for the cool party!


Par-tay. Lots of cool industry people. I mingled with vendors, park mgmt, etc. A blast. Next, last day!


Will Morey of Morey's Piers, watching Heineken commercials.


The guys from Tripsdrill and Liseberg were singing some kind of Heineken Karaoke.


Tons and tons of other stuff, like bottle your own beer.


The meaning of it all, served after the ride.


...and you enjoy a 4-D experience of being brewed!


Here's the jiggling platform you stand on...


OMG, a beer ride!!! You get to be a bottle of Heineken!


I was shocked to come across this scene. It seems that A-B isn't the only company keeping its old draft (get it? yup, same word) horses from the days of yore. They're called Shire Horses, which apparently means draft horse, or trekpaarden in Dutch. Incidentally, you can get horse meat in the local supermarket. I know, disgusting, but I kid you not.


And the whole tour is in English. This college kid explaining the hops and barley and yeast was American! Can you imagine going to college in a city where pot and prostitution are legal, and working at Heineken? If I were still in college, I'd be transferring!


Big vats for brewing.


Yes, my TPR bretheren, it's what we live for: Coasters!!!!!!!


The Heineken Experience is a massive 4-story interactive museum. Here's the introductory video about the company's history, told from behind the bar.


From Holland to the World!


See amusement industry bigwigs go to drink some Dutch suds!


Free entry for IAAPA party guests! Regularly €15, which is like $22, thanks to the Incredible Shrinking Dollar!

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It was great to walk around on the EAS. Lots of information and inspiring ideas. I was there only for one day to get some new Ideas for the zoo I work for. Found a great company that builds wooden playgrounds. But really good ones. Nice report to read. Looks you done a lot of partying.

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Sounds like a great trip. Just curious, what did B&M have for display at their booth?


That's it...I gotta get myself to one of those IAAPA shows someday.


Good question! And the answer is, B&M did not have a booth at this show. Yes, this was surprising, as all the steel competition was there. I had been hoping to get an autograph on my Diamondback-themed KI park map, but it wasn't to be.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Just figured out that the guy seated on the right is Michel den Dulk. He's 30 years old, he's Dutch, and he worked as a designer at Efteling and then at Europa Park, and I just read that he's been hired by Disney! Here's the story:


Dutch attraction designer joins Disney

Tuesday 10 November 2009


A Dutch amusement park attraction designer has been offered the job of a lifetime at the Disney corporation in California, the Telegraaf reports on Tuesday.


Michel den Dulk, 30, was invited to join the team as senior concept designer by Tony Baxter, a legend in amusement parks, who is most famous for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction, the paper says.


Among den Dulk´s credits are the Blue Fire rollercoaster at the Europa Park in Germany and the Little Match Girl attraction at the Efteling amusement park in the Netherlands.


© DutchNews.nl


Michel den Dulk, new Imagineer, seated to the right.

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