What’s New and Next for Theme Parks Revealed at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013

I have never been to an IAAPA Attractions Expo before.  It simply didn’t sound appealing.  No, I simply would stay away from an IAAPA until I found out it meant International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.  It’s a place where buyers from the industry come to literally buy new attractions or seek out new concepts to build on their own ideas.  It’s also a place where a blogger, reporter or media person can have a load of fun.  I had no idea all this fun had been going on without me all these years.  How dare they?  Continue reading for a collection of videos direct from the IAAPA Attractions Expo show floor where you can get a sense of what could be coming to a theme park near you in the future.

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013

There were new food concept samples being given out at every turn, like new soda and new ice cream.  There were rides – indoor roller coasters, haunted mansions and simulator experiences.  Take a look…

Everything from interactive midway style games, to Stuffed Teddy Bear prizes to new drink cups – everything that a theme park might need to enhance the guest experience.  I felt like I walked into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

There was even a next-generation adrenaline junkie experience – who needs a bungee cord when you can just fall?!?

I was so incredibly stimulated by all the eye candy that I thought I really must get out more.  Next year, I won’t be spending just a few hours here – I will plan my week around this event.  In addition to all the new rides, games, and food, the IAAPA Attractions Expo is where the annual Thea Awards are announced.

The 20th annual Thea Awards, presented by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), honor creative excellence in theme parks, museums, heritage centers, botanical gardens, technological innovation, performance spectacle and more.  It is the “Academy Award” of the theme park industry, and the “best-of-the-best” is honored every year with the “Buzz Price Lifetime Achievement Award.”  Casual fans may not know the name of this year’s Buzz Price Award winner, but you certainly know his work.  Garner Holt, of Garner Holt Productions, is the world’s foremost creator of animatronics – creating classic theme park attraction figures for Disney Parks, Universal Studios, NASA, Cedar Fair, and more.  We were able to catch up with him on the show floor along with some of his famous work.

Videotaping was strictly only allowed with a handler.  This isn’t to say many people were not taking videos, but I also saw a lot of people being escorted out.  They explained that even though an exhibitor might allow you to take video, IAAPA had intellectual property they did not want infringed.  I respected this and included videos I was allowed to take thanks to Scott from IAAPA who escorted me through some of the IAAPA Attractions Expo show floor.

These videos represent what I felt would most likely translate to fun for viewers, and I hope you enjoyed them.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on Twitter and “like” our Facebook page, too.

About John Saccheri

John Saccheri has been rooted in the Disney culture from childhood. John only had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World once, at the age of 5. After returning home, he never stopped talking about it, yearning to return. His parents were worried about this “obsession,” but John began working at the age of 12 with a focus on saving up for the next Disney trip. He was able to visit Disney World at least once a year from 14 years old onward. Today, a successful entrepreneur, John was able to move from his hometown of Long Island, New York, to Central Florida to be close to the Mouse. Going to the parks still seems like a fantasy to him!