Amusement Business
The International Live Entertainment & Amusement Industry Newsweekly

Sixth Season Brings Changes For Mirabilandia
Parks & Attractions
By Tim O' Brien

Mirabilandia opened its sixth season March 22 with new owners, new rides and attractions, and a renewed optimism for the future.


The new ownership group consists of Gottlieb Loffelhardt, Robert Loffelhardt, Astrid Loffelhardt and Giancarlo Casoli. The Loffelhardts also own Phantasialand, Bruhl, Germany. The deal to purchase the Ravenna, Italy, theme park from the Italian holding company Finbrescia was finalized earlier this year.

Casoli told AB "the restructuringof the activities of the holding company" made the park available for purchase. Attendance in 1996 was in the 600,000 range. He would not comment on a purchase price.

Projections for 1997 attendance are 800,000, according to Casoli, and so far, the gate is running about 15% ahead of last year. "The weather has been very good so far, and [for that] we are very pleased because of all the work we had to do to revive the park" for this season.

He said the late purchase of the park did not give him and his partners time to buy and install as many new attractions for the 1997 season as they would have liked.

"We only installed two new kiddie rides and two major attractions," he said.

A new two-ride complex by S&S Sports, Logan, Utah, is set to premier June 20. One tower is the popular Space Shot; the other is the new Turbo Drop ride.

The other new major attraction is the Police School Stunt Show, written and created by Peter Alexander's Totally Fun Co., Clearwater, Fla. It opened May 24.

"The Italians love live entertainment and they love this show," said Totally Fun's Patricia Greenway. "Officials here told us a live show of this size will pull people into the park just as good as any new ride addition."

Greenwny said the show is "the largest stunt show now in Europe." There are a lot of pyrotechnics and car and motorcycle action with the new 2,200 seat stadium built just for this show. "It's a huge area. We have car ramps with cars jumping over each other, and one car does a wheelie the entire length of the stadium."

The 20-minute show, complete with a Beverly Hills, Calif-based set, will run twice a day into the summer and then up to four times a day depending on crowd size and demand. Casoli said several other shows are also popular. The Sipario Magico in the children's theater features clown acrobats, and the main theater Atlantide, features a circus oriented show with elephants, camels, horses and a magic show.

Other live performances include a high dive show; a BMX acrobatic biker show; street shows with clowns, costumed characters and bikers; live music in the main cafeteria; a 3-D movie; and, beginning June 20, a nightly laser show and fireworks spectacular.

The park has 40 rides, including Thundering Sierra, one of the tallest wooden coasters in Europe. There are 13 bars and restaurants, two indoor theaters with seating for 2,400, and three open-air entertainment venues.

Landscaping takes center stage with more than 40,000 types of plant life, 160,000 flowers, 14 waterfalls, and a large lake.