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Wisdom Rides of America Addresses Production Delays; Company to Introduce 4 new Rides this Fall

Wisdom Rides of America Music Express in Production
One of the new rides that is near completion is a Music Express (one trailer Himalaya) for Talley Amusements.

Rides 4U - New & Used Rides
The post-Pandemic years have been tough for manufacturers and suppliers the world over, and Wisdom Rides of America, in the middle of pre-Pandemic expansion into global markets and the amusement park industry, was especially hard hit.  While there were plenty of companies placing orders for equipment, fulfilling those orders in a timely manner posed a challenge in terms of both labor shortages and supply chain interruptions, said Jared Davis of Wisdom.

“We can get parts pretty easily for 98% of the jobs but its the last 2% that has posed a challenge for us.  We wind up having projects on the floor that are just about completed but waiting on that one final item”, he said.  Davis said the main culprits were gear boxes, electronics and hydraulics as well as matching issues with parts that have been slightly altered over the past couple of years.  “We fully assemble and test every ride before it leaves the shop” said Davis.  When a ride is waiting on one last item, it can really affect the production schedule.

Davis said he currently has 7 pieces on the shop floor that he is hoping to ship soon. During his interview with Carnival Warehouse, Davis was happy to hear a missing component for one of his rides had been received after months of waiting.  When they tested the part however, they found the manufacturer had changed the dimensional specs on the same model number and now Wisdom has to rebuild the connecting components, causing a further delay.  “It's a perfect example of what has been going on”, said Davis.

Despite the delays, the company has redoubled efforts to catch up with its backlog and is hoping to ship 5 completed rides in the next six weeks, if all goes as planned.  Deliveries include a Himalaya to Talley Amusements, a Genesis to a park, a Ferris Wheel, a Sizzler and one other piece.   

The equipment going out the door will open up more space on the floor for further deliveries and with supply chain issues easing, Davis is hoping to catch back up.  “It's not so much that manufacturers can deliver parts on time, but there has recently been some companies that are providing alternatives for us”, added Davis.

With the company facing a backlog of equipment and the IISA and OABA events running on different weeks this year, Davis made the difficult decision to not exhibit at the trade show this year.  “We just didn't want to dedicate staff to going to Florida for two weeks when we are working so hard to erase our backlog here at the shop”, said Davis.  “”I made the decision to focus on the factory and getting this equipment delivered”, he added.

But not going to the show and exhibiting can lead to some unanticipated consequences, not the least of which are rumors, often coming from competitors and detractors.  “I got a call just the other day asking if it was true we were going out of business.  Then I got a call that said we had sold our patents and parts.  We own all the Intellectual Property for our rides and that will continue”, said Davis.

It is true however that nuggets of information can get turned and twisted into rumors and speculation.  Wisdom, over the last several years, has developed strategic partnerships with ride manufacturers throughout the whole world.  This has given them a larger product line to sell to its US customers and it has opened markets for Wisdom rides in foreign markets both mobile and stationary.  

One fruit of these labors has been its Giant Wheel business.  They currently have several wheels in production right now, including two 53-meter wheels with one going to Brazil.  They recently completed a project for a 129m wheel that was delivered and installed in Asia.

On the parts side of the business, Davis is working on an exciting announcement he hopes to make later this Spring.  The new arrangement will make for a more streamlined parts business for Wisdom rides and Davis thinks his customers will be very pleased with the results.  “Stay Tuned!, said Davis.

In other news, Davis said the company has been working hard on ride designs for 4 new attractions they will debut at the IAAPA convention in Orlando.  Pressed for details, Davis said the rides  are teen/adult attractions  that fall below the spectacular category but still give the rider a thrill.  

Davis said he believes this segment of the business is underserved and there has not been many new entries in the recent past.  “These rides will not be a redesign of an existing major, but all new concepts”, said Davis.  

Thinking back to the company's history, Davis remembers the success of the Tornado ride, which has had tremendous sales throughout the world.   “There has been a lack of new, unique attractions in that product class”, Davis pointed out.

While they won't be taking orders on these newest attractions until the fall/winter of 2024, Davis is taking orders for rides now that the backlog is clearing. In the factory.  Lead times for smaller rides are running 1 - 1.5 years while bigger rides are closer to 2 years, for a 2026 delivery.

The Pandemic was not an easy time for any company and for one in the middle of a global expansion, it has posed some challenges, but Davis is confident Wisdom Rides of America will weather the storm with new attractions, quality equipment and new customer conveniences.
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