Happy New Year, readers! Even as January comes to a close, you can still find ways to celebrate 2020. Uniqlo is a popular clothing store that sells Japanese casual fashion worldwide. For the last week, they have been celebrating Lunar New Year with many activities in Disney Springs. Taiko drum performances were held on January 24-25, featuring members of Epcot’s Matsuriza. You can win prizes by spinning Gara Gara wheel or pulling paper from Kuji wall; I got a paper fan and candy when I tried. Calligraphy is offered on first floor where you can get your name written in Japanese. I asked them to write Alex’s name as a gift for him. These in store events like these are available January 24-February 2, so come in soon for new year fun!
Infinite Kingdoms, one of the most thematic businesses for entertainment, made their grand IAAPA announcement. They’re teaming up with Ancient Lore Village to create the first storytelling resort. Personalization and interactive play are the key elements in bringing families together to solve puzzles and explore wondrous lands. No two families will have the same journey, which will guarantee memories that will last a lifetime. The resort is expecting to open in Tennessee in 2022, but you can join their mailing list for updates and potential booking.
In addition to Ancient Lore Village, Infinite Kingdoms is developing a water park using wind, play, hydro, and solar power to keep it running year round. They call it solar hydro wind play. It will greatly reduce energy costs. There are no determined locations for this water park, but it’s sure to revolutionize the future of water parks. No surprise that this is coming from the company responsible for the dumping buckets.
MajorMega and Hersheypark announced and debuted their immersive VR attraction Hyperdeck. It will join Hershey’s Chocolatetown this coming summer and is already receiving praise. The main components of the experience are the motion floor, intense wind, instant heat, controllers that make boarding easy, and spectator play. The wind, heat, and motion make the experience feel more real for the players. Up to four players can participate at a time. Spectator play allows outsiders to interact with the players by adding bombs or crystals to the game. Hersheypark met MajorMega at IAAPA 2018 and loved the system they showed, which evolved into the Hyperdeck. It goes to show what can happen when you mingle with the right people in the right place.
At IAAPA this year, Katmandu and Falcon’s Creative Group announced their merger to create the first theme park in the Dominican Republic. Katmandu is very popular out in Spain, rated among the top three parks there. They wanted to make a new brand of theme park and succeeded with their focus on wonder, myth, and adventure. The new park will be using custom content and ride delivery systems with help from Falcon’s Creative Group. This includes Falcon’s suspended theater, which raises guests into the air during a spectacular show/ride.
Katmandu is thrilled to use the lore of their original park in their new attractions. They’re expecting more to open in multiple regions if this one is successful. Helping announce the park were two of their mascots, yeti siblings Maiya and Kumar. They’re very cuddly and children will love them. Press were given bags of promotional items, including headbands with yeti ears. I hope to visit Katmandu’s parks, wherever they spring up.
IAAPA has more offers than just attractions. It’s a great place to see new games coming to arcades of all kinds. Some you may recognize while others are welcome additions. These are a few that caught our attention.
Pump It Up reminds me of Dance Dance Revolution but with extra steps. There’s a center step in the middle of the arrows, which are in the corners this time. Japanese pop songs are your choices of dance music. As an amateur myself, I found it hard to keep up on even the beginner level. For a pro like Alex, this will keep you active and entertained.
Basketball Pro has a fun yet slightly painful gimmick. There’s a rubber basketball button you have to press to shoot as many baskets as you can. And by press, I really mean slam. The basket itself moves up and down during the game. Each shot is three points, doubling to six points in the last ten seconds. My hand hurt by the end, but it was still good fun.
Keep an eye out for these games and more new ones next time you go to the arcade. It’s great that they are found in resort hotels, fast food restaurants, and large chains of food and games.
November 20 was the formal second day of IAAPA. Since Alex and I were both available, it was the perfect day to team up and see the many press conferences. Infinite Kingdoms made an exciting announcement: they’re developing the Ancient Lore Village, the first storytelling resort. MajorMega and Hersheypark debuted their Hyperdeck virtual reality game, which has a lot of immersive features for everyone to get involved. Falcon’s Creative Group and Katmandu shared their news for their first park in the Dominican Republic, including some special appearances to get everyone excited.
In addition to the conferences, we took a look around other booth and exhibits for their attractions. Walltopia had many walls, courses, even a cave to explore. Talon Simulations had a few games to choose from in their VR chairs. Pump It Up proved to be like Dance Dance Revolution for advanced dancers. Lotte World’s VR attraction took storytelling to a new level with what you could see around you. There are many more things to see. Stay tuned for full stories and extra attractions.
MajorMega and Hersheypark are teaming up for the Hyperdeck, one of the newest forms of entertainment to come next year. This virtual reality experience will be presented November 20 at 12:00 pm at booth 4631. We currently know the Hyperdeck will join Hersheypark Chocolatetown in 2020. Today’s conference will go deeper into this exciting addition to the Pennsylvania park.