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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 4:38 PM
IAAPA 2005

I just got back from an afternoon at the GWCC. I was a little disappointed in the show this year just because I was expecting that a return to Atlanta would mean the return of Magical Midway in the Georgia Dome. There were no rides in the dome. The rides that were offered outside the building were a sad display and a reminder that the amusement industry is still suffering from 9/11.

There were so few rides offered to test this year they didn’t even name the area “Magical Midway.” S&S did offer a chance to ride the four person version of Screaming Swing, which I must say kicks a big punch for such a little ride. It made me very excited about the HUGE versions opening in 2006. There were only 4 other attractions offered outside; a blow up haunted house, a 3-story carousel, a paintball trailer game, and children’s drop ride.

Inside the rides were limited to ones we got to experience in Orlando. I am not complaining because I always love a chance to ride Disk-o. Just as I expected there was no return of the giant Robo-coaster model and I believe they were not represented at all. Next to tell you about is NOTHING. There wasn't a really exciting new design concept, it was the first year I walked around and didn’t go “OMG that is going to be so cool.” Maybe it is because amusement information can be found all over the internet now and nothing is kept secret anymore. It really saddens me that I didn’t have a jaw dropping experience like I did when I saw Setpoints booth or rode Fly Away in 1999.

Coaster designers such as B&M gave us no glimpse into 2006 at their booth's. I guess when some designers become a house hold name they don’t need to do more then have a car from a coaster they opened in 2005. I give this years show a 2/5 just because it took no imagination when I was looking at displays. The new concepts were few and far between and the only thing that made the outside ride area tolerable was the Screaming Swing. I hope that one day IAAPA will return to the days where there were so many designs you just knew not all of them could be built.

I will try it again on Friday and see if I can see anything I might have skipped over. Good luck to all the venders this weekend especially Black Inc. who is at IAAPA for their first year.

-Bobby *** Edited 11/16/2005 9:40:06 PM UTC by Malibu***

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 8:16 PM
What REALLY happens at IAAPA is that the companies put on a really boring show while all the enthusiasts mosey around trying to get inside info. Then once they all leave, they bust out a gigantic partay with lots of big rides with no lines and sexy foreign girls. Free food too!
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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 9:10 PM
Gravy?

(Sorry... I couldn't resist.)

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 11:16 PM
I can't for the life of me understand why they'd have the show in Atlanta unless it's because they couldn't get the Orlando space. My first show was in 2000 in Atlanta, and while there seems to be massive consolidation in the industry (and a lot more scare vendors), the atmosphere is so much different in Orlando.

Granted, trade shows are rarely exciting. I've worked for two companies now that produced them. Still, I decided to miss the first show since I started going (I've been to five of them) because there's very little bona fide news at the show anymore. Until our economy improves and Six Flags (whatever form it exists in) gets it together, I suspect it will continue to be low on headline value.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005 11:56 PM
I went to the show from '00-'02 and in '04 (for work, not for enthusiast noseyness). It has basically been the same each year, with a few new products here and there. My park has started rotating different people through each year instead of sending one big group. I mostly enjoy going for the networking and visiting with vendors that I only get a chance to see once a year.
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Thursday, November 17, 2005 1:40 PM
The networking and the fact that it was Orlando were the only two reasons I went last year.
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Thursday, November 17, 2005 1:49 PM
Meh. I've yet to go, and don't plan on it any time soon. If you enjoy networking, go for it, but Trade Shows aren't supposed to be fun, it is a time for companies to show some of what they offer to those who may not already know. But, of course, most major companies in the industry already know what these companies offer (esp. the stuff we don't know about), so it hardly seems exciting to me.
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