IAAPA showcases latest, greatest in amusement attractions

Expo expected to have $51.3 million economic impact

ORLANDO, Fla. – More than 30,000 people from around the world are in Central Florida this week for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions annual conference.

This is the place where the business of fun is done.

"It's fantastic, it's truly great," IAAPA attendee Justin Jolley said. "I absolutely love it here." 

The IAAPA Attractions Expo is at the Orange County Convention Center until Friday. The expo showcases the latest and greatest in fun, including the world's first touch-screen pinball machine.

"The idea is that the customer when they buy the machine, they can download a number of different games," Steve Josifovski with Arcooda said.

Orlando-based company Skyline Attractions showed off its new coaster, "Skywarp." Attendees took a virtual ride on the small coaster that packs a big punch.

The company tells News 6 it moved to Central Florida because of this convention held in Orlando every year. 

"It gave us the opportunity to be in the mecca of the world of amusements. This is where you come," Bill Wydra with Skyline Attractions said.

The four-day expo is expected to have a $51.3 million economic impact. It is also bringing in companies from near and far, like the Lake Mary-based Be the Hamster Wheel Co. It uses a life-size hamster wheel to make your own snow cone.

"It's unbelievable the amount of exposure that this event has given us cause we're just a small mom-and-pop thing going on here in Orlando, and it's amazing that we can be a part of this international community," Cody Anderson with Be the Hamster said.