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From one family, for families


The beginnings

1952 - 1999

It was back in 1952 that Italo Frison founded his company, SBF SRL, in Casale di Scodosia, a rural area in the province of Padua, Italy. It was a small shop, sort of a workshop where mini-cars were built from sheet metal. Italo’s skills led the workshop to grow, building more elaborate attractions and involving other neighboring activities in the production chain. In the 1980s, SBF became a prominent player among manufacturers of rides for children and trains on rails.

After 1990, the company moved to conquer the European market by welcoming the second generation of the Frison family. The business partnership between the two cousins, Vittorio and Sandro, was sealed with the establishment of VISA INTERNATIONAL SRL, which joined SBF in the production and design of amusement rides. Sandro was a skilled builder and a brilliant innovator in terms of materials and production processes, while Vittorio brought to the table his innate creativity, strong communication and relational skills, and extensive knowledge of the sales business.

Working side by side, the two companies designed new models of children rides of various types and sizes, achieving immediate success, particularly abroad. By the mid-1990s, production was already well established, churning out ride models such as the Convoy, Merry-Go-Round, Flying Bus, and Mini Jet, with their colorful figures, as well as the Miniscooters (junior bumper cars), Kiddie Swing, Kiddie Wheel, Mini Pirate Ship, and Tea Cup rides, with consistently creative and innovative designs.

It is precisely the originality of their products and the attention to detail that enabled Vittorio and Sandro to surpass their competition. Their attractions met at the same time the needs and desires of customers and the tastes of families, they were easy to operate, and the company offered a reliable after-sales assistance.

By the end of the 1990s, production regularly included larger ride models such as Flume Rides in various sizes, Double Decker Merry-Go-Rounds, Family Swings, Giant Wheels reaching heights of up to 55 meters, Drop Towers, Space Guns, Dance Parties, Sliders, and many others.

Vittorio Frison in Rimini, Italy 1992


The strength of the group

2000 - 2010

The year 2000 marked another significant turning point as the two companies, SBF and VISA, officially merged to form SBF-VISA Group. The once small workshop was now a giant in the global market, selling rides – and even building complete amusement parks – on all five continents. The Family Entertainment Center (FEC) market was thriving, and SBF-VISA Group was one of its key players. From this point on, success was nothing short of remarkable. The group became a prominent presence at international trade shows in the entertainment sector, showcasing innovative rides. It developed a spacious 15,000-square-meter area within its production plants to host a permanent showroom with ready-to-deliver attractions. Finally, it successfully ventured into complex foreign markets, including Russia and the United States. In 1998, Rides4U was established in New Jersey, serving as the representative of SBF-VISA Group throughout North America. Similarly, in 2002, Italpark was founded in Moscow, acting as the group’s representative in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Within a span of approximately ten years, SBF-VISA Group’s catalog of amusement rides became one of the most comprehensive and extensive among manufacturers. Production started on new products that always anticipated market trends, such as the Mini/Midi/Maxi Dance Party 360°, Tower Planes, Airborne Shot, Reverse Time, and also on interactive rides like Enjoy The Flight and Sky Glider. New versions of tower rides, including the Tower Swing, Panoramic Tower, and a 73-meter Drop Tower were also added to the catalog. The classic Family Coaster, known worldwide as Brucomela (Caterpillar), had been in production for several years and it was expanded, by and by, with different variations in size and portability (with the fixed and mobile versions) and a wider range of cars, from the traditional caterpillar to the shark, dog, and plane. In 2002, the group unveiled its first ambitious and innovative Coaster project ­­- the Tower Coaster – which combined a vertical lift followed by a free fall drop with the classic rail track. The track length and height of the drop could be customized according to the customer’s preferences. 2003 saw the launch of Magic Mouse, featuring large spinning cars. Within five years, the sale of Family Coasters exceeded 150 units, each with distinct sizes and themes.

Work in progress at VISA headquarters in Montagnana, Italy


Third generation and consolidation

2010 - 2020

By 2010, SBF-VISA Group established itself as Europe’s largest manufacturer of family rides. It supplied indoor FEC chains, created entire leisure areas within shopping centers, and also designed and manufactured complete outdoor parks. Three highly successful amusement rides contributed to the group’s ever-increasing popularity: Drop ‘n Twist Tower, Dance Party, and Compact Spinning Coaster. Though these were relatively recent additions (2001, 2009, and 2013 respectively), they swiftly climbed to the top of the bestseller list. In particular, the Drop ‘n Twist Tower reached 200 installations in less than 10 years, the Dance Party achieved 120 installations within the same timeframe, and the Compact Spinning Coaster reached 50 installations in just the first two years, totaling today almost 400 units.
A winning feature of these models was the high level of customization in terms of size and theming. The following years were also characterized by important results with other attractions, in particular the year 2013, with some emblematic product launches. These included: the Giant Slide, an 8-lane slide set up amidst the skyscrapers of Manhattan for the Super Bowl final (commissioned by the NFL); the 20-meter Ferris Wheel installed on the hill of the Spanish Tibidabo park in Barcelona, offering breathtaking views from an altitude of 500 meters; and the colossal 12-meter Swing Ride for the Colorado Glenwood park in the Grand Canyon, overlooking the edge of the canyon and giving riders the thrill of being suspended in the void at a height of 1,400 meters.

During the same decade, the third generation of the Frison family also came on board. Michele and Tommaso, after a few years of experience in customer support, joined the sales force and quickly rose to the positions of Sales Managers. At their side, Elena and Caterina, daughters of Vittorio and sisters of Michele, and Daniela, daughter of Sandro and sister of Tommaso, also arrived: they became responsible for logistics, spare parts, and after-sales assistance. Their presence has been of utmost importance for the group’s growth. Team members Daniele and Augusto, who also work in the sales department, have played a vital role in the company’s growth as well.

The product catalog continued to expand during this period with the launch of new models: Compact Moonraker, Monorail Coaster, Look Out, Mini Break Dance, and interactive rides such as Drift Race. The decade ended on a high note: the collaboration with Christoph Wunderlich, who was pivotal in enabling SBF-VISA Group to definitively conquer the German market and strengthen its presence all across Europe.

The Giant Slide in Manhattan for the Super Bowl final, 2013
Ferris Wheel on the hill of Tibidabo park in Barcelona
The colossal Swing Ride at Colorado Glenwood park
A Compact Spinning Coaster model by VISA International, 2013


Impressive production capacity in response to market demands


Today, SBF-VISA Group stands as a benchmark of organizational and production capacity. It operates seven plants located between the provinces of Padua and Rovigo, each focused on a specific area such as design, carpentry, fiberglass working, electrical systems, and assembly. This comprehensive setup allows for meticulous oversight of all production stages, from inception to completion.

In a fast-paced market, the challenge lies in maintaining competitiveness. Therefore, the group has chosen to invest constantly in innovation and talent, often with the result of creating new markets. The group is quick in meeting customer needs, anticipates new trends and captures the market’s heart with its products. SBF-VISA projects introduce innovations in domains that seemed to be impervious to anything new.

Despite the passing of time and increasing commitments, the group continues to provide customers with the same level of service that led to its success. Customers have the opportunity to choose the ride they prefer from a wide variety of models, see them firsthand, customize every detail, receive their orders promptly, and benefit from timely assistance and after-sales services. The presence of a permanent showroom further enhances the group’s ability to meet these needs.

Presently, the group employs over 150 staff members and provides work to about the same number of expert contractors, reaching an average output of 250 amusement rides per year. The friendly and welcoming atmosphere that permeates the plants is another winning aspect of the group’s operations. Each worker is regarded as a fundamental and deserving member of the SBF-VISA family. Numerous international inspection bodies, including TÜV, LGA, LTC, Bureau Veritas, the Israel Institute, and NJ, have certified the safety and quality of SBF-VISA products.


The success of Family Coasters and the new division

2023 - ∞

Family Coasters have been playing a leading role in the group’s production for several years now, becoming one of the most popular attractions. They are so beloved that VISA has decided to create a department dedicated solely to the development and production of these rides. With constant demand, they deliver an average of a new rollercoaster every 15-20 days. The explanation is simple: a Family Coaster is an attraction that provides the thrill of speed without being too intimidating for riders. Moreover, VISA has designed models with solutions that meet the needs of operators in terms of footprint, track layout, ease of assembly and transport. Another key factor contributing to their success is that all these rollercoasters have a self-stabilizing base and, therefore, do not require foundations. Even in terms of cost, they are more competitive than classic rides, especially when considering hourly capacity and the fact that they are suitable for a wide range of passengers. Another aspect to emphasize is that VISA offers a wide variety of models: the tracks can be simple or “8”-shaped, they come in variable sizes, and can be customized upon request. As for the rollercoaster cars, they feature themes ranging from the classics to suspended, spinning, and Hamster Wheel versions (patented in 2019).

In particular, the Compact Spinning Coaster model has been a resounding success in all markets. First launched in 2013, 300 units had already been delivered by 2021, because this coaster’s small dimensions make it suitable for any location. Furthermore, its design is continuously evolving, and it comes in very original variants, such as the Hamster Wheel Coaster. This variant consists of a train featuring three spinning cars, plus one or two rotating ‘cage’ front cars, with a total capacity of 14 riders per cycle.

In 2023, VISA reached a milestone with the delivery of its 700th Family Coaster and decided to establish a dedicated division exclusively for this type of attraction, thanks to a synergy between Michele Frison and Christoph Wunderlich.

This division is called VISACOASTERS, and it specializes in designing and manufacturing customized and innovative rollercoasters. These rides incorporate hybrid technical features that combine reduced speeds with drops and launches, as well as spinning cars and boomerang tracks. Customers have the opportunity to fully customize the track layout and the theme of the cars.

What do all of these rollercoasters have in common?  The goal of providing fun for families!