amusement park

An Initial Look at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008

The IAAPA Attractions Expo opened on Monday. But the show doesn’t really get going until the “What’s New” presentation which was yesterday morning. This year the kickoff session featured performances from Universal and The Blues Brothers, dancers from Busch Gardens, and a new song from beautifully performed by a singer from Walt Disney World Resort. All in all a great showcase for central Florida.

Three new IAAPA members were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Arto Monaco (Land of Make Believe) and Edgard “Eddy” Meeus (Walibi Parks)  both played key roles in the early days of theme park development and were awarded posthumously. Larry B. Cochran helped open Six Flags over Texas and rose to the top of the company during his 41 years of service and team building. He gave a wonderful speech with a tribute to his family and team members.

The bi-annual Applause Award went to Xetulul a theme park in Retalhuleu, Guatemala. I’ve never heard of this park, but it looked like a lot of fun. San Diego SeaWorld cam in a close second.

After the morning performance everyone heads down to the show floor to make some deals and see what’s hot from vendors old and new. I only managed to cover about 20% of the show floor yesterday but click through the cut to read a few things that caught my eye.

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A Cypress Garden Rumor

The experiment that turned the beautiful, but dying, Cypress Gardens into an amusement park may be nearing an end. It pains me to write this rumor, but I completely understand the reasoning behind it. Winter Haven is just too far off the beaten path to… Read More »A Cypress Garden Rumor

Cypress Gardens to open on Fridays for just $10 in October

By cutting prices for admission on Fridays in September Cypress Gardens actually improved attendance to the point where they had the most successful weekend in a long time. So they’re going to do it again in October. “We realize that times are tough for people… Read More »Cypress Gardens to open on Fridays for just $10 in October

Cypress Gardens to switch to weekends only

This weekend the Orlando Sentinel ran a long piece on experts opining about potential softness in the tourism market for central Florida. In short, things are softening, but so far, it’s not as bad as some thought. Major players like Walt Disney World, Universal, and… Read More »Cypress Gardens to switch to weekends only

Recent Photos from inside Neverland Ranch

Jonathan Haeber was able to get inside Neverland Ranch earlier this month and take some beautiful night time photos. Pop Star Michael Jackson’s tribute to Disneyland is rumored to be on the auction block (there are conflicting news stories on its status). Here’s Haeber’s article… Read More »Recent Photos from inside Neverland Ranch