Recap: IAAPA Orlando 2016

It’s true. I just spent the week at one of the largest carnivals in the country. Virtual Reality car racing. A bouncy area. Whack-a-mole. And even a modern-day carousel. Not to mention some of the “finest” carnival foods you will ever enjoy!

At times, it’s rough being the Big Cheese.

IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions), is a yearly convention and tradeshow in Orlando highlighting the best of theme parks and attractions around the world. This being my second year attending, here is what I’m seeing as “experience” trends moving into 2017 and beyond.

Single User Virtuality Reality Games It’s clear that the Amusement Park industry has taken notice of VR as I spotted numerous vendors displaying various “Themed Games” that were ready to be instantly deployed. Check Out

Realistic Multi-User VR Games Realistic simulation starts with accurate data – procured directly from manufacturers, collected through 3D laser scanning, or by disassembling cars to weigh and measure parts of the chassis, suspension, and driveline. However, An accurate simulation is not just an assembly of data thanks to a high-tech physics engine and tire modeling system, this data is transformed into feeling when you’re behind the wheel.

It’s all about competition and for those thrill seekers looking to race around the track but in the comfort their homes, CXC Simulations had a unique game setup that provided the ability to multiple users to participate at

A new twist on the Selfie  GeoSelfie offers The Word’s Largest Selfie Experience. They provide you with the unique opportunity to take a single photograph, which allows a zoom in-out from the close-up shot of the person to the entire surrounding landscape. With their system, the consumer’s smartphone becomes a camera shooter that drives the pre-installed remote cameras. The amazing results are immediately sent to the smartphone allowing the user to enjoy and share on social networks.

Immersive 360 Motion-Based Experience Think of the ultimate visual ride experience you can imagine! Complete with 16 channel audio playback. Essentially, it’s a stationary experience so you no longer need a big room to provide the thrill of a lifetime to a quest. Check out Oceaneering for more.

Ride Innovation We are all looking for the next big thrill and it’s interesting to see how the evolution of rides is progressing. Not just a thrill, but a great design to go along with it.

It’s all about theming “If disney can do it, so can we” seems to be the mentality of the industry. There were more theming companies on display this week to the likes of Theme Builders and The Weber Group, both of which designed some unique environments. There was also an emphasis on the design and authenticity of the world they wish for the quests to experience.

No longer is it about traditional queue lines or subtle fixtures. The future of the industry is about building amazing themed environments, developing rich characters, and telling stories that live with the guest.