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Show Review

Roland Mack, surrounded by family members, collects his IAAPA Halll of Fame award Award winners at IAAPA B

usch Gardens Tampa is one of the world's most admired theme/amusement parks. You probably already know that; you may even have a soft spot for it yourself. But now it's officially been recognised as one of the best, picking up the Applause Award for 2016 during

IAAPA Attractions Expo. This prestigious award, handed out to one winner every two years by Liseberg, honours a park whose management, operations and creative accomplishments have inspired the industry with foresight, originality and sound business development. “With a unique mix of world-class attractions, outstanding animal exhibits and strong seasonal

events, Busch Gardens Tampa is not just one of the leading destination parks in North America, but also a favourite amongst Florida residents”, notes Andreas Andersen, CEO/president of Liseberg, chairman of The Applause Award board of governors and IAAPA vice-chairman. This year's new inductees into the IAAPA Hall of Fame are a park operator/engineer and, for the

first time ever, an amusement industry journalist (fancy that). “It is with great pleasure that we induct Roland Mack and Tim O’Brien into the IAAPA Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest individual honour,” announced Jack Morey, current chairman of the IAAPA Hall of Fame and Archives Committee and executive vice-president of Morey’s Piers. “Roland and Tim have dedicated their careers to the attractions industry. Whether innovating a new ride or attraction and creating memorable guest experiences or capturing those experiences in writing and photography and telling the industry’s story, Roland and Tim’s passion for the attractions industry will leave a lasting impression.”

Recognised with IAAPA Service Awards for their many years' dedication to the association were John Wood of Sally Corporation, Laura Woodburn of Hersheypark and Dorothy Lewis of Xpress Posts.

Also announced during the week in Orlando were the Thea

Awards from the TEA (see page 36) and the IAAPA Brass Ring Awards, recognising excellence in marketing, retail, live entertainment, human resources, food and beverage, family entertainment centres, new products and best exhibits IAAPA Attractions Expo. The latter are too numerous to include here, but you can see the full list at As a novel marketing tool, Expo exhibitor Alterface chose to honour some of its best clients and partners with its first ever Interactive Pioneer Awards during a cocktail reception on the show floor (Tuesday). Fun categories included “Serial Alterface Product Lover”, won by Futuroscope in France, and “Superhero Ride Addict”, awarded to Sally Corp's John Wood. Other winners were Maus au Chocolat at Phantasialand (Germany), Castle of Chaos at Hollywood Wax Museum (Branson, Missouri) and Plants vs Zombies at Carowinds (North Carolina).


ABOVE: Sally Corp’s John Wood (right) was one of several people and projects honoured by Alterface in its first Interactive Pioneer Awards. John is seen here with the Belgian interactive company’s Stéphane Battaille

same park. Alternative events that evening included the FEC Party at the Brickhouse Tavern on International Drive, where guests could participate in ice-breaker games over a few craft beers, and The Hettema Group reception at the Grand Hyatt. And for those that didn't know when to call it a night, there was always the Premier Rides and Ripley's party each night 'til late at the same hotel, where gifts and glamorous outfits were always on hand (but that's enough about the two Jims).

To 2017 and beyond! IAAPA Attractions Expo returns to Orlando from November 13 to 17, 2017, and then each year until 2030. With this year's gathering worth an estimated $51.3 million to the Orlando-area economy, it's no wonder the local authorities, Orange County Convention Center and local business are so keen to keep the event in town. For the IAAPA head office staff, set to make Orlando their new home in 2017, it should also make planning the Expo a little easier too. And for industry professionals like you, it will mean you never miss a beat at some of the world's leading theme park and attractions over the next 14 years!

Dick and John Chance, seen here with a nice tribute to their son/brother Mike, who so sadly left us in 2016


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