2017 IAAPA Attractions Expo Recap - IAAPA Hall of Fame

1801_EXPO_HOFIAAPA Hall of Fame Inducts Four Attractions Industry Legends

Continuing a 27-year tradition, IAAPA inducted four attractions industry legends—Philippe de Villiers, Henri and Pamela Landwirth, and Richard M. Sherman—into the IAAPA Hall of Fame during the Kickoff Event on Tuesday. The IAAPA Hall of Fame honors individuals whose work and accomplishments have made significant and lasting contributions to the global attractions industry. 

Writer and Park Founder: Philippe de Villiers, Puy du Fou, Les Epesses, France

De Villiers grew up in the French countryside and graduated from the prestigious National School of Administration (ENA). In 1978, inspired by the beauty of his homeland, he wrote the script for “La Cinéscénie,” an original nighttime show featuring music, lights, special effects, and hundreds of local volunteers. With an abandoned castle as the backdrop, he invented a new model for theme parks without rides. In 1989, de Villiers opened his own park to the public—the Grand Parc du Puy du Fou. 

Today, Puy du Fou features historical shows and performances, and is a  popular theme park in France, with more than 2 million visitors annually. The number of volunteers has grown into the thousands, and the park also provides more than 2,000 jobs each season. De Villiers’ vision helped redefine the entertainment experience for guests, and he continues to lend his creative expertise to educate, train, and inspire the next generation of artists and attraction operators.

Philanthropists and Industry Ambassadors: Henri and Pamela Landwirth, Give Kids The World, Kissimmee, Florida, United States

Henri Landwirth founded Give Kids The World (GKTW) in 1986, and since then, the nonprofit organization has grown to become an 84-acre, whimsical resort for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Wish children come to the Central Florida-based Give Kids The World Village from around the globe to experience a cost-free, weeklong dream vacation away from doctor visits and hospital stays. 

Pamela Landwirth has continued the legacy Henri began. For more than 20 years, she has worked to expand the Village’s reach and has partnered with IAAPA members globally to develop the World Passport for Kids program, which provides complimentary admission to member attractions and parks for guests of the Village. To date, more than 130,000 families have received a World Passport to again experience the same the magic felt at Central Florida’s most beloved attractions, this time at an attraction near their home. The Landwirths have shared their knowledge and experience with others who strive to create similar places for children and families. Their dedication to service and commitment to children inspire the industry.

Iconic Songwriter: Richard M. Sherman, California, United States

Richard M. Sherman’s contributions to the industry span more than 50 years. He wrote and composed countless beloved songs for Disney theme parks, resorts, and attractions around the world. His work represents an iconic and memorable achievement, combining the physical ride experience with music that elevates the impact and emotional connection of an attraction. Along with his brother Robert, he wrote the timeless lyrics for “it’s a small world” and wrote other classic songs such as “The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” and “The Winnie the Pooh Song,” to name a few. Throughout his career, Sherman has served as an influential mentor to many designers and creators at schools, universities, and workshops. His legendary work and talent for telling stories through lyrics and melodies has connected the globe and inspired millions.