Excitement returns with IAAPA 2021

Excitement returns with IAAPA 2021

Orlando, Florida. From virtual balloon rides to audio animations, the entire theme park industry is on display at the Orange County Convention Center this week.

The International Amusement Parks Association, also known as the IAAPA, has returned to an in-person show after a virtual show last year due to the pandemic.

Over 800 exhibitors returned to the show floor, over 100 of them from Central Florida. These vendors offer the latest technology to theme park owners and operators from around the world.

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“We are thrilled to bring back together, in person, the global attraction community for the IAAPA Expo,” said Hal McEvoy, President and CEO, IAAPA. The attractions industry is working tirelessly to come back stronger than ever, and we’re excited to think about that and showcase it here. We have an outstanding range of special events, speakers and educational programs along with an amazing and diverse trade fair grounds. It’s going to be a great week.”

On Tuesday, Merlin Entertainment launched its new wheelchair-accessible Peppa Pig tour and announced that the all-new park will officially be an approved autism center.

In 2021 alone, 29 shows at the Orange County Convention Center were canceled for a total loss of $868 million. However, Mark Tester, the convention center’s executive director, says the IAAPA could recoup nearly $80 million in losses last year.


“We’re definitely on our way back,” Tester said. “In 2019, that was $79 million, but what’s even more exciting now is just seeing the crowds, seeing everyone again and getting involved. So, regardless of the number — it’s a huge boost to our economy.”

Throughout the week, the IAAPA Expo offers over 90 educational experiences tailored to attractions professionals as part of the event’s powerful educational conference. Attendees will learn from world-renowned industry experts, make new connections, and build their international networks.

The conference continues through Friday.

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