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There’s Something New for Thrill Seekers at U.S. Theme Parks and Water Parks in 2018

Record numbers of theme park visitors are preparing for thrilling and memorable new experiences as the unofficial theme park season opens Memorial Day Weekend.

According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ IAAPA Global Theme and Amusement Park Outlook Report (2017 to 2021), in 2018 the anticipated U.S. theme and amusement park attendance estimate is 398.5 million and guest spending will grow to an estimated $23.58 billion.

Roller coasters are a big part of new development across the country this season, and an abundance of new rides and experiences—more than 70 according to an early 2018 IAAPA compilation—include water slides, kiddie rides and new themed lands.

“There really is something new for everyone this season,” said Susan Storey, communications director, IAAPA. “The industry is innovative and dynamic, and this year many destinations are debuting their own ‘spin’ on amusement park favorites, infusing speed and height with twists and turns and even unexpected ‘surprise’ elements. The best part is many of these experiences were created for the entire family—kids and adults—to enjoy together.”

According to park guest surveys, roller coasters remain the top-rated ride of interest to park guests, and 2018 will see many new coasters deliver big thrills, added Storey.

With 12 roller coasters, four giant swings, four towering rides and, many more unique experiences to excite visitors, parks across the country are ready for a season filled with fun. Family entertainment centers are a segment of the attractions industry that continues to grow and expand, offering an array of experiences from golf and go-karting to ziplines and trampolines. These traditionally smaller destinations provide a mix of activities designed for parents and kids to experience together. Families can also soak up the fun at the nation’s water parks, with many new water slides and water attractions making a splash all season long.

The list of new attractions is available at http://bit.ly/2G7DCOd

“Summer is synonymous with the attractions industry and our member facilities continue to create new and memorable experiences for their guests,” said Storey. “This year is truly an exciting one for the business of fun.”


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