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#143-The Daily Show – From Amusement Operator to Press Insider, Mattel’s Theme Park Twofold, and Star Wars Soars at the Empire States

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Ever wondered what it’s like to switch from being an amusement operator to a member of the press at one of the industry’s most vibrant expos? That’s exactly the transformation we experienced at the Amusement Expo International, and we’re here to share how this fresh perspective has opened up a world of deeper conversations and networking opportunities. Our episode is sprinkled with tales of our social adventures, including a serendipitous meet up with Josh Liebman from the Attractions Pros podcast. Plus, we’ll let you in on our encounter with Innowize Qbix immersive game room — just imagine gaming on a vibrating floor that ups the ante on excitement (but we’ll keep mum on that secret beta game we tried).

Imagine a place where Mattel’s iconic toys come to life — not once, but twice. We’re diving into the strategy behind Mattel’s replication of their Adventure Park, set to open a new location in Kansas City. As we unveil plans for the Hot Wheels roller coaster and Barbie Beach House, join us in pondering the potential impacts of duplicating theme parks in different markets. What does this mean for local tourism, brand identity, and that special sense of uniqueness? Listen as we analyze the boldness of this move and its possible ripple effects within the industry.

The Force was strong with the Empire State Building as it recently hosted a spectacle that would make any Star Wars fan’s heart race. We recount the galactic transformation of this iconic landmark, complete with actor Hayden Christensen’s appearance and a treasure trove of exclusive product reveals. And as if that weren’t enough, we’ll discuss the buzz around the new series “The Acolyte” and what’s in store for the 25th anniversary of the Star Wars franchise. Switching from intergalactic exploits to terrestrial thrills, we also shine a spotlight on the rise of immersive Family Entertainment Centers, where venues like Slime Time and Space Race Adventures are offering out-of-this-world fun for families. Strap in and prepare for a podcast journey that’s as exhilarating as a hyperspace leap!

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The brainchild of two location-based experience enthusiasts, Christine Buhr and Brandon Willey, the LBX Collective aims to inform and educate, create opportunities to connect with industry peers, and to spur collaboration, discourse, and cross-pollination of ideas.

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