Vortex International, a world leader in the manufacturer of waterpark attractions, has won a Leading Edge Award at the World Waterpark Association’s Annual Symposium and Trade Show.

The award ceremony took place at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. The award was presented to Vortex International for the company’s work on The Wave Coventry waterpark.

Vortex was part of a group that worked on the indoor waterpark, which opens in Coventry on October 21.

Vortex helped design an inclusive family waterpark attraction, which would cater for all ages and abilities, and for guests with physical challenges. The water attractions manufacturer created a wheelchair accessible Elevations system and Splashpad, which were exclusively configured to the waterpark space.

Virginie Guilbeault, executive vice president of Vortex Aquatic Structures International, said: “The Wave Coventry is an unbelievable aquatic facility. The architects had a bold, unique vision, which provided numerous design opportunities that Vortex was excited to undertake.

“The flexibility of our Elevations system allowed our team of creative designers to work with Neuman Aqua Ltd. and Water Technology, Inc. to create an interactive play experience that looks as though it grew out of the building structure itself. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind facility.

“Winning industry awards is gratifying because it validates our approach to design and recognizes our water attractions as those that delight children and their families,” Guilbeault added.

The award is Vortex’s second WWA Leading Edge Award. The company was awarded its first Leading Edge Award in 2015, for its work with Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark.



On November 6 and 7, 2019, the Family Attraction Expo returns to the Birmingham NEC.

One of the UK’s leading events in the leisure, tourism and attraction industry, the Family Attraction Expo is dedicated to providing theme parks, museums, zoos and other attraction sites across the country with advice, services and products designed to help them stand out to visitors, increase profits and become a more sought-after day-trip location.

Visitors to this year’s Family Attraction Expo will be joined by 4,000 like-minded individuals operating in the attractions sector. There will be the opportunity to network with attractions’ professionals and innovators, who will be promoting their products, services and ideas.

More than 400 exhibitors will be at the show, hand-picked by the organisers. 170 expert-led seminars will be taking place, enabling visitors to get free advice about different aspects of the industry.

More information about registration for Family Attraction Expo 2019 can be found here.



The much-loved illumination show ‘Dubai Garden Glow’, has re-opened for a fifth consecutive season at Zabeel Park in the Zabeel district of Dubai.

This annual light show showcases a glimmering array of optical illusions, sculptures and installations of dinosaurs, igloos, flowers and more than 100 other objects illuminated across the park.

Following the success of four previous seasons, this year’s Dubai Garden Glow will see the arrival of a new exhibition – the Magic Park, which is brimming with optical illusions.

The Magic Park features 27 different sets of illusions, encouraging visitors to take and share selfies with three-dimensions artwork as a background.

Each year, Dubai Garden Glow has a main theme. This year the event is focused on environmental sustainability, with a ‘Back to Nature’ theme.

In-keeping with the eco-friendly focus, the sculptures at Zabeel Park have been created using only recycled materials.

All the lights displayed to illuminate the park are equipped with energy-saving lightbulbs.

Dubai Garden Glow is open from Saturdays to Thursdays from 4pm to 11pm until the end of June 2020.



Universal Beijing Resort has shared details about what’s in store at its forthcoming theme park, Universal Studios Beijing. The park will be home to seven, story-based, themed lands, including a waterpark.

The new theme park is located in Beijing’s Tongzhou District, and will occupy approximately 420 acres of the 1,000-acre site.

The seven themed lands at Universal Studios Beijing comprise of Kung Fu Panda Land of Awesomeness, Transformers: Metrobase, Minion Land, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Jurassic World Isla Nublar, Hollywood Boulevard and WaterWorld.

WaterWorld will showcase a one-of-its-kind “battle on water,” a stunt show, designed to enthral guests.

As well as seven exciting themed lands, Universal Beijing Resort will be home to two resort hotels – the Universal Studios Grand Hotel and the NUO Resort Hotel.

Tom Mehrmann, president and general manager of Universal Beijing Resort, said: “We will immerse our guests in incredible experiences that bring their favourite stories and characters to life in entirely new ways.

“Our theme park will showcase the best Universal rides, as well as all-new, unique experiences created to reflect China’s rich cultural heritage.

“We are looking forward to sharing these exciting experiences with millions of visitors,” Mehrmann added.



Genting Cruise Lines’ Dream Cruises has announced it is to create the first ever theme park at sea, which will feature the world’s longest rollercoaster to be in operation on the ocean.

The ‘Dream Park at the Pier’ theme park is to be installed on Genting Cruise Lines’ Dream Cruises new global-class ship, which is currently being built inG Germany.

The ship has been named ‘Global Dream’ and is due to set sail in early 2021.

A key highlight of the theme park is the ‘Space Cruiser’ rollercoaster. Dream Cruises have been working alongside rollercoaster manufacturer Maurer Rides to develop the ride.

The rollercoaster is to be equipped with powerful electric motors and a positive-locking drive system. Riders will feel like they are flying out to sea, with interactive driving, an integrated throttle and inline seats.

Michael Goh, president of Dream Cruises, said the ship-based theme park will comprise of “cutting edge features and facilities,” to provide “innovative leisure, entertainment and recreation options.”

Marco Hartwig, Maurer Rides’ project manager described the Space Cruiser as defying “the physical limits experienced by conventional rollercoasters, thus allowing acceleration over 1g almost everywhere on the 300-metre track.”

“All this guarantees a spectacular and breathtaking ride at up to 60 km/h (37 mph) over the heads of fellow passengers,” Hartwig added.

Other attractions at Dream Park at the Pier include an inflatable park, a bungee trampoline, a trampoline park, a surf simulator, mini kart for kids Cosmic Chaos and Kranky Kraken.



A state of the art aquarium is to make its debut in early 2020, on Vietnam’s island resort destination of Phú Quốc.

This turtle-shaped aquarium named The Sea Shell has been developed by Vinpearl, the leisure division of Vietnam’s Vingroup real estate company. The pioneering attraction is part of an all-new theme park development on the island.

Vinpeal has been working alongside two world leaders in aquarium design – Legacy Entertainment and Advanced Aquariums Technologies, a collaboration which sees The Sea Shell promise to be a thoroughly unique and technologically advanced aquarium facility.

Hollywood-based Legacy Entertainment helped create the aquarium’s iconic turtle-inspired design.

Taylor Jeffs, Legacy Entertainment’s president and chief creative officer, commented on the aquarium: “With every project we take on, we like to be inspired by local stories.

“In Vietnam, even before working on this project, we had been fascinated by Vietnamese mythology relating to turtles. So, when this project began, it was one of the first ideas we honed in on,” said Jeffs.

Australia-based Advanced Aquariums Technologies (AAT) worked on ensuring The Sea Shell would be one of the most modern and humane aquarium facilities on the planet.

Jason Vanhinnisdael, AAT’s business development manager, commented: “From the ample tank design, to the state-of-the-art Life Support Systems, Vinpearl’s Sea Shell will be a model for all other aquarium developers moving forward.”

The Sea Shell is part of a wider proposal to greatly expand the range of tourism offerings on Phú Quốc Island, including the building of a theme park and waterpark.



Miral, the Abu Dhabi government-backed developer, has announced Yas Bay, a new waterfront development on Yas Island, is due to be completed in December 2019.

Miral has invested $1 billion into the 14 million sq. ft. project. It is developing the infrastructure and public realm of the development, alongside the Hilton Hotel and Yas Bay Arena. Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral, commented: “Our latest construction update highlights the significant progress we have achieved on our pioneering Yas Bay project.

“With key construction milestones being achieved, we look forward to working with investors and partners from across the world to further develop this unique destination that sets a new benchmark for Yas Island and the UAE,” Miral’s CEO added.

The waterfront leisure and entertainment destination will comprise of two hotels, Yas Bay Arena, a beach club, 37 restaurants and cafes, 19 retail outlets and a pier.

Yas Bay Arena will have a 18,000-people capacity and will host large-scale events, performances and sports tournaments.



Alarge solar energy plant is being installed at PortAventura World in Spain. The 100,000 sq.mt. project, which will supply energy to the whole of the theme park, will open in spring 2020.

The plant will comprise of 22,000 modules and will be Europe’s largest self-consumption photovoltaic plant. The project will cost $6 million and will have an installed capacity of 8.5 MWp.

As well as supplying the energy required for the theme park, the solar energy plant will power PortAventura World’s waterpark and leisure complex.

Occupying a site the size of 14 football pitches, the plant will prevent around 4,000 tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere every year.

Fernando Alcecoa, managing director at PortAventura World, said: “The solar park is a project that acts as a lever to promote change towards a more sustainable and responsible world.

“This vision allows us to remain at the forefront and continue to be leaders in sustainability amongst international tourist destinations.”

Earlier this year, the popular theme park in Salou opened its first carbon-neutral hotel. The 150 room Colorado Creek is part of the resort’s efforts to minimise its carbon footprint.



The installation of two large suspended rollercoasters is being carried out in Vietnam and Uzbekistan. Known as the XGC-20E, the rollercoasters are due to open to the public at the end of 2019.

The attractions boast a novel, advanced design, aimed at bringing a thrilling experience to amusement park visitors in Vietnamese and Uzbekistan.

Created by the Chinese rollercoaster and amusement ride manufacturer, Golden Horse, the suspended XGC-20E rollercoaster is a large attraction that occupies an area of 123m by 107m.

The themed train resembles a flying eagle and has a capacity of up to 20 passengers, whose legs hang beneath the track, providing a totally unique experience from riding a sit-on coaster.

Passengers are chain-lifted to a 34.8m high launch pad, where the journey of dips, dives, twists, rolls, inverses and spirals, reaching speeds of 86km/h, begins.

The suspended XGC-20E rollercoaster is able to entertain up to 500 visitors per hour.



Visual design and light technology specialists, Painting with Light, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Based in Belgium, the company was founded by Luc Peumans in 1999. Over the last two decades, Painting with Light has built up an impressive track record, creating innovative designs, dramatic immersive environments and utilising multi-media and luminescent content.

Due to Puemans’ imagination, vision, focus and sense of adventure, Painting with Light has emerged as a global technical pioneer and solutions provider. With a skilled team of passionate industry experts with diverse knowledge and skillsets, the company operates across multiple entertainment and leisure industry platforms.

In the early days, Painting with Light focused on designing lghting, video and scenic elements for music festivals and tours, TV productions, theatre productions and live events.

With Puemans’ drive to experiment and innovate, the company evolved into ‘crossover’ areas, such as the ‘architainment’ sector, centred on utilising different light and luminosity techniques.

Painting and Light now offers a diverse range of projects, in both its original capacity and in newer disciplines that involve the installation of lighting and multimedia to enhance the atmosphere and mood of a project.

Painting and Light’s work can be found in theme parks, museums, attractions, venues and buildings, including football arenas and offices.

Commenting on the achievements of his company over the last 20 years, Luc Peumans said: “We are proud to have contributed to the professionalism of the entertainment industry by elevating events and attractions with light design and technology.

“Our objective is to evoke emotions and create a more immersive experience by adding a strong visual dimension. This requires a deep understanding of each project’s dynamics and the client expectations.

“To achieve this, we have built a reliable multi-disciplinary team who combines technology with creativity, going the extra mile and enjoying the journey towards a quality end result,” Puemans added.