Inflatables continue to be a proven winner as a small-ticket item for the youngest customers, and there are new offerings beyond bouncy houses. Some are practically rides in themselves. One, “Meltdown,” looked familiar to anyone who has seen the show “Wipeout.” Want more fun for your inflatable attraction? Just add water, like the “Car Wash” does.
Another notable trend: theming. It was a major focus for many exhibitors and buyers alike. Resorts could easily adopt some of the ideas presented on the show floor to theme their summer adventure parks. Creating a “story” and/or unified look can set you apart from the competition and create an unforgettable experience for your summer customer.
A growing trend continues to be Halloween products. Flesh-eating zombies were a popular theme, from zombie laser tag and zombie paintball to Trapped In A Room With A Zombie, zombie birthdays, and good ol’ Zombie Runs, complete with software to register bites.
A final trend: zip coasters, a type of zip line that travels on a track and has all the ups, downs, curves, and thrills of a gravity-fed roller coaster. A whopping five manufacturers now offer a version. We tried a small demo at the show, and enjoyed it thoroughly. Few installations exist in the U.S., but we suspect they will be popping up soon.