My Trip to IAAPA What a Fantastic Trip!
I went to the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) Attractions Expo on November 16th and 17th. I had such a great time! I met a lot of people and major companies: Walter Bolliger and his daughter Sophie, a representative from Intamin Mike Graham from the Gravity Group Jeff Pike from Great Coasters International Paul Blick from ACE Rocky Mountain Construction.
At B&M's booth, they had some pictures on a wall and a car from Manta, the flying coaster I was on in March! In the station at Manta, the trains didn't look as big or as heavy as they did at the show! It must have taken a while to get it set up correctly on its stand. I got to speak with Walter Bolliger and his daughter there as well.
At the Gravity Group's booth, they had some pictures, post cards, and TIMBERLINERS!!!! I actually got to sit in it too! The restraints seemed a little weird, similar to S&S Power's Giant Swing restraints. The rest of the car was really comfy and looked awesome. While I was there, I got to talk to Mike Graham.
At GCI's booth, I got to speak with Jeff Pike, the Vice President of GCI. Anyways, they had the front two cars of Millennium Flyer's there. I got to get in it, but when I pulled down the lap bar, it clicked, and I got stuck. Some of the guys said, “Do you have the wrench to let him out?” and another responded, “No, do you?" They found it after a few minutes so it was okay.At Intamin’s booth, I asked the rep about Formula Rossa and its trims. He said that the coaster needs them because, after the hill, the coaster would be going so fast that they would run out of desert for the turn. They also had to keep it under 180 feet because of its proximity to an airport. I also asked about Intimidator 305, and he said that there would be no trims on I305 next year. I’m really excited about that!
At Rocky Mountain Construction, they had two sets of track and a bench that looked like their track topper product. The one set of tracks was at quarter scale, the other was at full scale, but the gauge wasn't wide enough due to the space of the booth. It would’ve been awesome if someone from Cedar Fair stopped by to see if they could use one of their products on Mean Streak or Son of Beast.
At ACE's booth, I spoke with Paul Blick, the events’ director. He said he knew what coasters he went on, but not the stats or anything. That's what his son did. They had some pictures, a slide show, and a free issue of Roller Coaster magazine and Ace News.
Another vendor had Xbox 360's and Kinect. I played Halo Reach for the first time, and I have to say, WHAT A GAME!!! It had great graphics, awesome storyline, and soundtrack. The cut scenes were very nice too. I played that for one and a half hours. I could have played it forever, but there was other stuff to see and, in this case, eat.
I tried pizza from different brands, hamburgers, Dippin’ Dots, Mini-Melts, and red velvet cake frozen yogurt. That was the best ice cream/frozen yogurt flavor I had ever tasted.
At Vekoma's booth, they had pictures, and a video. The pictures had their new four-seat inverted and sitting coasters. They look so cool!
At Martin and Vleminckx's booth, they had pictures and models of the coasters they designed for the Gravity Group. One coaster that stood out to me was the coaster that is going in at Happy Valley, Wuhan, Hubei, China. The first element after the drop on this racing coaster is a duel Stengel dive that the company calls a "high five." You would be inches away from touching your friends fingertips!
IAAPA was a great experience for me. I learneda lot of things and met a lot of roller coaster designers and representatives. In the future, I hope to return. If you are considering a career related to amusement parks, I definitely recommend this show to any roller coaster enthusiast.