‘Industry of fun:’ IAAPA expo opens in Orlando, showcases newest attractions

Nearly 1,100 attractions exhibitors from all over the world

Attendees test rides at IAAPA Expo in Orlando. (Landon McReynolds, Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – A deluge of colorful streamers, a world record. How else would you open the expo that celebrates all things attractions?

The annual IAAPA Expo opened Tuesday at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando to showcase the latest innovations in an industry that has to deliver on thrills, chills and spills.

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The trade show kicked off with a flood of 1,500 streamers, breaking a Guinness World Record for the most people shooting streamers simultaneously.

“We’re the industry of fun,” said Hal McEvoy, IAAPA president and CEO. “And you know, the products that our members have create memories for families and that’s really the focus of what the industry does.”

Every year attractions vendors bring their products — from full-on rides to carnival games to arcade games to fair food — hoping they’ll get picked up by buyers for amusement venues big and small.

The show, which is not open to the public, brings in nearly 1,100 exhibitors from all over the world, and 33,000 attendees.

Major players like SeaWorld debut new details for their parks. On Tuesday, SeaWorld unveiled the ride vehicle for the new Pipeline: The Surf Coaster, coming to SeaWorld Orlando next year.

More than 30 companies will be making announcements at IAAPA this year, an increase from 2021. Aside from SeaWorld, Cedar Point, Dollywood, Hersheypark, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! and ICON Park are some of the parks and rides companies that will also hold news conferences.

“The industry continues to evolve and innovate, and I think that’s one of the strengths of our industry,” said McEvoy, who is retiring next year.

“People ask me what is my favorite attraction, and I always say the next one because I am always surprised and amazed by the ingenuity of the great professionals in our industry,” he added.

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About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.