Out and About: IAAPA 2015 in Review

One of the biggest events I cover in Orlando every year is the IAAPA convention at the Orange County Convention Center, and this year was no exception.

IAAPA convention at the Orange County Convention Center

The first two days are heavy with press events, touting the latest rides and attractions. Then the last two days are just walking the floor finding things of interest, and trying all the great food offerings – think carnival food and quick eats.

Of note to you Central Florida readers was the Tuesday reveal of the mock up of Cobra’s Curse, the new coaster opening at Busch Gardens Tampa in 2016. The highlights of the presentation were that after the first climb, riders will come face to face with a giant cobra head, and the fact that the rider vehicles spin as they traverse the winding track. Here are some photos of the mock-up:

IAAPA mock-up of Cobra's Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa

IAAPA mock-up of Cobra's Curse at Busch Gardens Tampa

LEGOLAND also announced a cool new Ninjago The Ride attraction, but it won’t be coming to Florida anytime soon. It will open in California in spring 2016, to be followed by Legoland Billund in Denmark and Legoland Malaysia next November.

Manufactured by Canadian-based company Triotech, Ninjago will feature Maestro hand gesture technology, which enables guests to control the game with hand gestures without using a hand-held device.

IAAPA mock-up of Ninjago ride at LEGOLAND

Florida will be getting “The Lego Movie 4D A New Adventure” next year, however. That film attraction is scheduled to open Jan. 29.

Also coming to LEGOLAND Florida is a a more interactive photo experience, courtesy of PicSolve. Not only will you be able to pre-purchase photo packages prior to arrival, but it features an app that will allow you to share photos to your social media with one-click.

PicSolve at IAAPA

Sally Corp had a booth showcasing a new interactive dark ride based on The Walking Dead. The attraction, The Walking Dead: Battle For Survival, wasn’t picked up by anyone as of Wednesday, when I last checked, but it had a lot of interest from different park buyers at IAAPA. Unfortunately, it definitely won’t be going into an Orlando park, since Universal has a contract licensing The Walking Dead for Halloween Horror Nights.

One of the most popular rides set up to demo was the RoboCoaster by KUKA Robotics. It flipped its two-seat open capsule all over, as the arm spun around, and riders were lined up to give it a try. I opted to keep my lunch inside my body.

I also ran in to the Give Kids the World mascots Rugby and Reme, along with Mayor Clayton. They were taking donations for the charity from IAAPA attendees.

The food was what you would expect coming from a theme park & amusement convention. My favorites were the Beaver Tails, and Funnel Cake on a Stick with flavored syrups.

IAAPA is a great chance to see what’s hot and what’s about to be hot, and I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings us…and you know I’ll be right there reporting on it.

Disclaimer: I attended IAAPA 2015 as a media guest. As always my opinions are honest, and my own.

About Michelle Snow

Michelle is the owner and editor of CitySurfing Orlando. She also owns Zengrrl.com, is a freelance writer specializing in travel and entertainment, and has authored/co-authored four guidebooks on Orlando and Florida. She lives in Orlando near Disney, and hears Magic Kingdom fireworks every night.
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