How New Rides Fared in 2021
2021 saw the return of new rides at amusement parks and attractions, as operators resumed the business of thrilling their customers. Funworld checked in on five of the new ride openings covered in the September/October 2021 issue to find out how they went.
Gröna Lund’s “Monster” Delivers Mega-Results
“Monster” is the appropriate name for the new Bolliger & Mabillard inverted coaster at Gröna Lund in Stockholm, Sweden—and it’s been delivering mega-results for the park since opening this year.
“The opening of ‘Monster’ exceeded all of our expectations,” says Annika Troselius, Gröna Lund’s public relations manager. “The ride has been a huge success, both within the family segment, as well as with teenagers and roller coaster fans. It appeals to a broad range of riders amongst our visitors, and everyone who has tried it seems to love it.”
Opening “Monster” wasn’t easy for Gröna Lund, given the challenges of doing business during COVID-19.
“We chose to divide our days into two separate passes—one morning pass and one afternoon pass—which allowed us to welcome approximately 9,000 guests per day, but still in a safe way since only 4,500 were allowed during each pass,” Troselius says. “We also had to staff up to be able to accommodate all the riders of ‘Monster.’ However, this was expected and was already planned for.”
Trident Tower Spearheads Atlantis Dubai’s Major Expansion
Atlantis Dubai water park in the United Arab Emirates had a lot riding on 2021, with the park’s multi-water slide “Trident Tower” leading a host of new ProSlide water ride and attraction openings during its Phase 3 expansion.
“Catering for all kinds of Aquaventure, the park offers every experience from the lazy river, to the gravity defying cliff jump attraction, ensuring every guest has a day to remember,” says Sascha Triemer, Atlantis Dubai’s vice president of marine and water park. “We are grateful for a very positive response since opening, with daily guest numbers consistently exceeding our expectations.”
Since COVID-19 began, Atlantis Dubai has taken stringent measures to ensure guest and staff safety.
“Fortunately, we were able to incorporate some of these measures at the point of design and construction, such as separated queues for the rides,” Triemer says. “Our plans for the next year and beyond include further improvements to the Neptune tower and an immersive Aquaventure journey.”
Aquadiver’s New Kids Pool Attracts Families
The Aquadiver water park in Castell-Platja d’Aro, Spain, celebrated 2021 by opening a brand new “Family Bay” pool with five ProSlide water slides in 2021.
According to Aquadiver Co-Owner Joan Cama, this opening, along with pent-up consumer demand, drove attendance close to 2019 levels.
“People wanted to go out, and this helped us to grow,” he says.
Having adjusted to cope with COVID-19 during 2020, Aquadiver didn’t have to make many changes during 2021. The biggest challenge it faced was staffing, as young staff members getting ill from the virus and taking sick time off from work.
Despite the challenges, however, the popularity of Aquadiver’s “Family Bay” during 2021 is motivating the park to consider future expansions.
Tidal Twist Stirs Things Up at Columbus Zoo
2021 was a milestone year for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. This is when the Powell, Ohio-based attraction launched “Tidal Twist,” a Zamperla-built Wild Mouse Twister Coaster whose cars unlock and spin during the second half of their run.
Despite COVID-19, Aaron “AJ” Harper, rides and attractions manager at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, feels the new ride opening went very well overall.
“We did have our share of delays due to supply chain issues like the rest of the world or from other external factors,” Harper says. “And with this being the first multicar coaster at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, we have adapted, learned about, and followed appropriate laws with our new ride to ensure that safety standards are met. After all was said and done, our opening went smoothly, and rider reception has been very positive.”
Multilane Water Slide Pumps Up Nocatee Spray Waterpark
This year, a WhiteWater Parallel Pursuit multilane water slide opened at the Nocatee Spray Waterpark, which is owned and operated by the Nocatee planned community in Florida.
According to Nocatee Operations Manager Lee Hovis, the new water slide has been a hit.
“Our expansion exceeded all expectations,” he says. “It was the major factor for increased attendance, revenue, and resident satisfaction.”
Like other water parks, Nocatee was able to rely on its 2020 COVID-19 protocols to protect guests and staff during the 2021 season.
“Labor shortages did hamper recruiting efforts, and we found our organization’s average age dropped from 17 to 16.1 for seasonal staff,” Hovis explains. Meanwhile, the positive response to the new water slide is motivating the facility to design a new pool facility going forward.