Show review – IAAPA Attractions Expo

Emphasising variety and highlighting the multiple billion individuals the business serves annually, the IAAPA Expo began off in earnest with its Kickoff Occasion – a celebration of the points of interest business and the folks that work in it.

Jonathan Lee Iverson – the final ringmaster the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus – performed host, introducing IAAPA’s president and CEO Hal McEvoy.

“You create recollections, you create magic, you stimulate economies, and also you present jobs,” mentioned McEvoy addressing the viewers. “We’re fortunate to work in a discipline that’s all about making individuals blissful and creating alternatives.”

The Kickoff additionally noticed Amanda Thompson formally take up her position as IAAPA chair for 2020, changing the outgoing David Rosenberg of Monterey Bay Aquarium.

“I’ve obtained plenty of plans for the yr,” she mentioned. “I’m going to make a distinction, and attempt to take heed to as many individuals as I presumably can. We’ve got a terrific future.”

Residing legends
Through the Kickoff, IAAPA added two legendary members of the points of interest business to its prestigious corridor of fame.

The primary was Frederick Langford, the daddy of the modern-day waterslide. Earlier than 1978, a waterslide was a concrete chute embedded right into a hillside, which needed to comply with the trail of the hill it had been dug into. In 1978, Langford launched a fibreglass different, that means these flumes may very well be lifted off the bottom and onto picket helps. Langford’s agency, Surf Coaster Company, would go on to design and construct water slides in additional than 50 parks around the globe.

“I’ve had a traditional share of accomplishments,” mentioned Langford. “However nothing compares with this honour.”

The second Corridor of Fame inductee is legendary around the globe for his rides and theme park points of interest. When he took over the Zamperla Firm in 1994, Alberto Zamperla helped his household enterprise develop from manufacturing 50 rides yearly to greater than 200. Alberto has additionally labored to help the worldwide points of interest business, serving because the founder and first chair of the European Suppliers Affiliation (EAASI), which later grew to become the Euro Sights Present, final yr rebranded as IAAPA Expo Europe.

“I’m honoured to obtain this award within the presence of so many leaders and colleagues,” mentioned Zamperla. “I’m additionally blissful to hitch previous recipients, for who I’ve a deep admiration and respect.”

Honouring service
The opening ceremony additionally recognised Hank Salemi, park president at Six Flags Nice America, with the Particular Service Award. For greater than 5 years, Salemi has served on the IAAPA board as its treasurer and chair of the Compensation Committee. The Service Award recognises his dedication and exemplary service to IAAPA, the place he was vital in guiding main initiatives for the organisation, together with the relocation of its headquarters to Orlando and the choice of Hal McEvoy as its new president and CEO.

A bunch of training classes happened via the week. Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy offered the keynote speech. Duffy shared how the cruise and points of interest industries go hand-in-hand, each sectors encapsulated inside the “expertise business”.

“Greater than ever at the moment, individuals worth experiences over issues,” she mentioned. “And we’re seeing this much more so with millennials, Era X and Gen Z.”

Three business specialists have been on-hand to share many years of expertise in the course of the ever-popular CEO Speaks panel.

Margo Manning, COO of Dave & Buster’s, thought individuals ought to take issues slower, saying “should you throw a bunch on the market and simply hope that it really works, it places a pressure in your workforce and results in inconsistency when it comes to the visitor expertise”.

Ryan Stana, founder and CEO of RWS Leisure Group mentioned that having a powerful imaginative and prescient was the important thing, permitting staff to maneuver on with their very own initiatives underneath a guideline. “In case you really feel uncomfortable with that, do particular check-ins,” he mentioned. “Possibly I’ll be there to information them, or perhaps they are going to be doing so wonderful, I’ll inform them to maintain going.”

Michael Browning, CEO of City Air Journey Parks, had the ultimate say: “Cared for workers care in your visitors,” he mentioned. “Yoga lessons and a ping pong table should not caring – these are perks. They’re going to see via that. Perceive what makes them tick and present you care.”

Bob Roger’s Legends Panel (see p58), noticed Disney Imagineers Scott Trowbridge, Margaret Kerrison, Chris Beatty and Anisha Deshmane communicate concerning the creation of Galaxy’s Edge, revealing how they created a brand new kind of storytelling never-before-seen in theme parks.

Present ground
The biggest present ground in IAAPA’s historical past – a lot of which spilled out into the automotive park underneath momentary housing because of its dimension – this yr’s occasion featured 1,146 exhibiting firms, with greater than 585,000sq ft (54,300sq m) of indoor and outdoor exhibition house. 42,600 attendees – 27,800 of them certified patrons – got here collectively in the course of the week.

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal was the large shock for the present, with Shaq helping within the reveal of Bolt, Maurer Rides’ new sea coaster. Set to debut in 2020 on Carnival’s Mardi Gras ship, the experience will supply 700ft (213m) of twists and turns in a car that may attain speeds of as much as 40mph. The electrical automotive accelerates quicker than a Porsche 9/11, with pace manually dictated by the rider.

Forward of the launch of Legoland New York on four July 2020, Holovis, ETF and Merlin unveiled the all-new Lego Manufacturing unit Trip. Utilizing a mix of applied sciences, the darkish experience will flip visitors into Lego mini-figures utilizing on-ride HoloTrac know-how.

“We’re going to be analysing visitor’s hair colors, their hairstyles, deciding whether or not they have glasses on and the color of their garments,” mentioned Holovis CEO Stuart Hetherington. “Then in real-time, they’re going to be remodeled right into a life-size Lego determine in a seamless expertise achieved as visitors move via the experience.”

Knott’s Berry Farm celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2020. As a part of this celebration, representatives of the historic theme park unveiled plans by Triotech to revive its iconic Bear-y Tales experience, which ran from 1975 to 1986.

A contemporary rethinking of the attraction, Bear-y Tales: Return to the honest, is Triotech’s “largest-ever venture”, based on its founder, president and CEO, Ernest Yale, “We can be taken via reimagined scenes paying homage to the unique experience,” mentioned Yale. “The aim for us is to seize the spirit, creativity and originality of Knott’s Bear-y Tales.”

IAAPA returns to the Orange County Conference Heart from 17-20 November. For extra data, go to