Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Where in the World is Waldameer?

As the snow began to fly, a few members of the Waldameer and Water World Team packed their bags and headed South. Where did they find themselves you may ask?  Representatives from Waldameer spent the past week in Orlando, Florida. You might be thinking to yourself, they must be there to play with Mickey Mouse or to journey through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but this was all for business. Their mission at hand for Waldameer is the annual conquering of the IAAPA Attractions Expo.
Goodbye Snow!
Hello Florida!
So what's an IAAPA? "IAAPA" stands for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. IAAPA is the world's largest trade association for amusement facilities. These facilities include amusement parks, water parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, and family entertainment centers. The goals of IAAPA include promoting safe operations, educating industry professionals, facilitating an environment for networking and consultation, and to bring the attractions industry together through conferences and trade shows.

Back to School for Waldameer
The annual IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando is one of the world's largest trade shows attended by over 30,000 industry professionals. The expo features education sessions, off-site facility tours, and a trade show floor that requires over 9 miles of walking to visit each booth. Before the trade show floor opened on Tuesday, Waldameer representatives went to school attending several education sessions. Topics included safety, guest service, leadership, and marketing among many others. Each session featured speakers representing other amusement parks as well as experts from consulting groups and other related fields who all work to share their knowledge and offer insight on how to make amusement facilities even more successful than they are now.

After a long Monday of education sessions, the real fun was about to begin. With over 500,000 square feet of booths and over 9 miles of walking to see each one of them, there is no time for doddling on the Trade Show Floor (except for the occasional pit stop for free Dippin Dots). Exhibits found on the floor include ride and water slide manufacturers, food and beverage suppliers, midway games suppliers, merchandise producers, and industry consulting groups.  Many of tomorrow's latest and greatest attractions start through meeting companies at IAAPA. You will even find Waldameer's attractions represented at several booths.

The latest and greatest starts with ProSlide who is working closely with Waldameer to create several new Water World attractions for the coming years. 
Gravity Group unveiled the first of it's kind, "Switchback" wooden coaster. And what is that we see at the top?
Ravine Flyer II continues to be a showcased attraction by it's designer, Gravity Group.
Speaking of showcasing, A.R.M. features XScream at their booth.
The Waldameer Team takes a photo at Philadelphia Toboggan Coasters exhibit.
PTC supplies parts for our Comet and Ravine Flyer II coaster trains. 
These are only just a few of the over 1,000 booths representing companies around the globe at the IAAPA Attractions Expo. From education sessions to interacting with vendors, Waldameer and Water World comes home with even more insight, knowledge, and new attraction ideas in order to keep the park growing and successful for generations to come.
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