IAAPA Expo 2013 in Orlando – Day One Highlights

Posted by Rachel S on Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

IAAPA Expo 2013

Nowhere says entertainment more than Orlando and this year’s International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo, in full swing in the city known for its theme parks and amusements. This year’s theme, Imagine the Possibilities, was feted in fine form at the opening event sponsored by Wanda.

IAAPA 2013 Kickoff Event

A video presentation for Give Kids the World, the no-cost Orlando resort for families of critically and terminally ill children, showed us how meaningful theme park visits can be and got the event off to a great start. A look at theme park staffers reveling in their jobs and park highlights for 2013 from around the world showed us how far we’ve come over the year.

John Wood Receiving Hall of Fame Award from Outgoing Chairman Will Morey

IAAPA ushered in three amazing new members into its Hall of Fame – John Wood, the man who reinvigorated and modernized dark rides, was inducted into the IAPPA alongside Jim and John Huish – brothers and pioneers in the themed entertainment industry.

Sea World penguins pay a visit to IAAPA

As impressive as the other opening events were, Sea World scored oohs and awws galore when they brought a pair of their penguins onstage to toddle around adorably.

Hip Hopping Mickey at IAAPA

Disney World sent their own creature to entertain in the form of Hip Hop Mickey Mouse. It entertained but couldn’t touch the waddlers Sea World brought along…

IAAPA Expo floor officially opens after kickoff show

 One giant pair of scissors later and the 2013 IAAPA Expo was declared officially open!

Dollywood's Fire Chaser

Dollywood had a big first day announcement on the Expo floor when it revealed its new Firechaser Express coaster. This unique coaster will launch both forward and backward and  travel over 2,400 feet. Designed by German firm Gerstlauer, the ride tops out at 79 feet and offers six zero-gravity breathtaking moments. As an added bonus, the minimal 39″ height requirement allows the whole family to join in the fun.

TEA president Christine Kerr announces new COO of TEA Jennifer Nevin

There was a lot of action at TEA’s booth – TEA President Christine Kerr introduced new COO Jennifer Nevin who will take the place of Gene Jeffers. TEA also handed out their annual Thea Awards to the following recipients:

  • The Buzz Price Thea Award went to Garner Holt of Garner Holt Productions
  • The Thea Classic Award went to the Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland Anaheim
  • Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement went to:

Revolution Tru-trackless System (Oceaneering)

Marine Worlds Carousel (Les Machines de I’lle, Nantes, France)

Mystic Manor (Hong Kong Disneyland)

Enchanted Tales with Belle (Walt Disney World, Orlando)

De Vuurproef, Het Spoorwedmuseum (The Railway Museum, Utrecht, Netherlands)

Polynesian Cultural Center Revitalization (Oahu, Hawaii)

The Mind Museum (Taguig City, Philippines)

Titanic Belfast (Northern Ireland)

Gardens by the Bay (Singapore)

Michael Jackson: ONE (Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas)

The Song of an Angel (Universal Studios Japan)


Stay tuned for more highlights from IAAPA 2013 throughout the week!


image sources: IAAPA.org, EntertainmentDesigner.com

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