Six Flags America’s Superman: Ride of Steel to go Virtual Reality

SFAM VR Superman Key Art

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:SIX), and Samsung Electronics America, Inc., today announced a broad marketing partnership which appoints Samsung as the “Official Technology Partner” of the world’s largest regional theme park company. The partnership includes the debut of ground-breaking experiences coming to nine Six Flags parks – North America’s first Virtual Reality (VR) Roller Coasters, using Samsung Gear VR powered by Oculus.

In partnership with Samsung, Six Flags is taking its signature brand of thrills to the next level and beyond in fully immersive, virtual riding experiences using Samsung Gear VR. Some of Six Flags’ most popular coasters will be equipped to allow riders wearing Samsung Gear VR headsets to feel the heart-pumping adrenaline of steep drops, inverted loops and powerful twists and turns as gyros, accelerometers and proximity sensors synchronize all of the action in an incredibly realistic 360-degree virtual reality world.

“This remarkable technology is a definite game-changer for theme park rides and represents everything our brand stands for – delivering the most thrilling and innovative rides and attractions in the world,” said John Duffey, Six Flags President and CEO. “With the addition of these virtual reality coasters, Six Flags will be introducing more than double the number of new coasters and rides than we did in 2015, and more than any year in the last decade. Innovation is part of our DNA, and news in every park every year is driving higher guest satisfaction and building strong momentum for our company.”

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Carl Lum named Park President of SeaWorld San Antonio

SWE_Logo_Stack_P_CMYK_165606ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company, today announced changes in its operational management team at its corporate headquarters and its San Diego, San Antonio and Williamsburg locations. The company also announced the creation of its Resorts Development Group.
John Reilly, SeaWorld San Diego Park President, has been promoted to Chief Parks Operations Officer. Daniel B. Brown, current Chief Parks Operations Officer has announced his retirement. The change will be effective April 1.

Dr. Christopher (Chris) Dold, Vice President of Veterinary Services, has been promoted to Chief Zoological Officer. He succeeds Brad Andrews, who will continue to serve the company as Zoological Director Emeritus, helping to drive the company’s conservation efforts, support new product development, and assist during the transition. These changes are effective April 1.

“These leaders bring to their new roles an extraordinary depth of knowledge and talent and the right expertise to deliver on our strategic priorities,” said Joel Manby, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “John is a strong and experienced operator who has proven his leadership, both at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and amidst a challenging operating environment at our California location.”

As Chief Parks Operations Officer, Reilly will have operational oversight over all of the company’s theme parks. Reilly has led SeaWorld San Diego’s park operations since 2010 and has held a variety of leadership positions at other company parks and the corporate office.
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Mark Your Calendars, Events Are Coming!

If you read Regional Represenative Elizabeth Ringa’s From the Backseat about her goals and visions for the new year, you’ll know that we’re looking for this year to be the YEAR OF INSPIRE. And what better way to inspire than with a list of all our upcoming events for 2016. We have many of our favorites planned, as well as a few new surprises.

February 21st – Jeepers, It’s Winter at Central Park Fun-land

Our first event of the season will be our warming up after a brutal and cold January. Expect to experience their new laser tag and the best kiddie coaster the Fredericksburg area has to offer.

March 6th – ACE Day at Wisp Mountain Resort

In the outskirts of Maryland lies the only alpine coaster in the region. Experience the thrilling, cool rush of this unique ride.

April 2nd – Jeepers, It’s Spring at Six Flags America

We’ve moved our traditional winter event to the spring time. Many delighted in the date change last year as it allowed for warm weather rides and backstage tours of the coasters.

June 3rd – Twas the Night Before at Go Karts Plus in Williamsburg, Virginia

One of our new outings this year, we’ve planned a pre-event at this little, fun joint to coi Continue reading

From the Backseat…

elizabethHappy New Year!

Over the course of 2015, I have been asked many times why I love roller coasters so much. Have you ever given this much thought? After dwelling on it, I’ve came up with an answer.

Inspire – what a powerful word. Recently, someone told me that if she ever rode a roller coaster, it would be with me because of my passion. She really made me think about the love I have for the hobby and how that had inspired her to try something that she viewed as scary.

That conversation inspired me to really think about other people’s passion for roller coasters. I realized that my own love for it has evolved over the years. As I have aged, they now fulfill three things for me – a family activity that we can all share, friends who get my passion for riding, and something that seems daring and scary in my heart, except, logically I know it isn’t.

Once I had this realization, I found this new desire to inspire others to find their passion, to try a new hobby. So in my YEAR OF INSPIRE, I want to make 2016 about the year of inspiring new friendships, new adventures, and new memories by inviting guests to join us at our regional ACE events — this will be a year for the guest.

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Busch Gardens Announces New Additions Coming in 2016

bg40logoBusch Gardens today announced new guest experiences for the 2016 season including a new restaurant, craft beer room and show, in a special preview to pass members.

The current Italian restaurant (Ristorante della Piazza) in the park’s San Marco village is transforming into an international market-style restaurant next spring that will eliminate buffet lines for a more relaxing dining experience. The theme of the yet-to-be-named restaurant is based on the travels of Marco Polo and will feature classic Italian, Mediterranean and Asian entrée, salad and dessert stations. It also will include a new stone hearth oven for artisan flat breads.  Work on the new restaurant begins in early November.

 “We’re bringing the flavors of the world to the world’s most beautiful theme park,” said Busch Gardens Culinary Vice President Franz Kitenko. “And, we are excited to introduce a new open design that will enhance the dining experience for our guests with less wait and more options.”

Beer aficionados will delight in a new craft beer room inside Das Festhaus opening in the spring and will serve 30 local and regional craft beers along with a variety of snacks.

The park also teased a new evening show to debut next summer that will light up the night sky at the open-air Busch Gardens’ Royal Palace Theatre. The show is a contemporary spin on the classic French tale of the three musketeers, as audiences join the trio on a quest to save king and country. This live performance embraces new technology and takes advantage of the night sky to bring guests into the story.

“An evening performance opens up a world of possibilities for an open-air venue like the Royal Palace Theatre,” said the park’s Entertainment Director Peter Dunklee. “Playing with light and shadow in the night air lets us immerse the audience into the storyline like never before. It’s definitely something worth staying late for.”