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IAAPA Presents 2008 Souvenir Awards to Recognized Excellence in Attractions Industry Retail

For Immediate Release
November 21, 2008


Orlando, Florida (United States)
—The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) presented the 2008 Souvenir Awards at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008 on Wednesday, Nov. 19. The awards honor excellence in merchandising by recognizing the most creative and innovative items offered at an IAAPA member facility during the 2008 season.

Judging is based on creativity, memory, impact, and theme. The awards were presented in the categories of Best Hat, Best Shirt, Best Toy, Best Keychain, Best Gift, Best Drinkware, Best Visual—Overall Store Design, and Best Visual—Feature or Focal Display.

In the Best Hat category, Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, United States, won for its black hat with a silver “EP” logo and Elvis’ signature. The runner-up was Europa–Park in Rust, Germany, honored for its pink hat embellished with rhinestones.

In the Best Keychain category, Busch Gardens Europe’s Ireland keychain won first place for its inclusion of the Irish flag, a lucky clover, among others. Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, United States, was honored as runner-up for its keychain depiction of the park’s “Wildfire” ride.

In the Best Shirt category, Xcaret! Mexico in Cancun, Mexico won for its tan shirt with a humorous graphic representation of a prisoner escaping from jail. Busch Gardens Africa in Tampa, Florida, United States was honored as runner-up for its illustrated tiger shirt with faux bite marks on the neck and sleeves.

In the Best Drinkware category, Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States, won with its gold-rimmed Espresso mug, emblazoned with a classic iconic drawing of a Hershey Kiss. Shenzhen OCT Holding Company’s Happy Kingdom in Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China, took the runner-up position with drinkware featuring multiple caroon characters.

In the Best Toy category, Dutch Wonderland in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States with its personalized Dutch Wonderland children’s board game. Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States, was the runner up with its furry white “Alpengeist” plush animal with blue claws matching the park’s “Alpengeist” roller coaster.

In the Best Gift category, first place went to Shenzhen OCT Holding Company for its deep purple tea set including an elegant tea pot, four cups, and a presentation box. SEA LIFE Aquarium in Carlsbad, California, USA was the runner-up with its picture frame featuring the different fish highlighted at the attraction.

In the Best Visual—Overall Store Design category, Busch Gardens Africa won first place with its African-theme store, where guests enter through the trunk of a full-sized decorative tree.Busch Gardens Europe was the runner-up with its intricate floral arrangements.

In the Best Visual—Feature or Focal Display category, SeaWorld San Diego won with its pajama window display surrounded by feathers draped from the ceiling, along with pillows and sheets. The runner-up honor went to Elvis Presley’s Graceland for its full-size print of Elvis Presley playing live, surrounded by red and black merchandise.

About IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008
The IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008 is the largest conference and trade show for the amusement park and attractions industry in the world. With its theme “Success in Every Direction,” the show will draw an estimated 25,000 participants, representing amusement and theme parks, family entertainment centers, waterparks, zoos, aquariums, museums, casinos, resorts, developers, themed entertainment designers, consultants, manufacturers, and suppliers, to the Orange County Convention Center from Monday, Nov. 17, through Friday, Nov. 21. The trade show floor will be open Tuesday, Nov. 18 through Friday, Nov. 21.

IAAPA Attractions Expo 2008 offers a solid week of business and fun. More than 1,000 exhibitors will display their products and services in 1 million square feet of exhibit space. The event also includes educational sessions, behind-the-scenes tours, marquee social events, and networking opportunities. This is the marketplace where amusement and attraction industry leaders, decision makers, and visionaries gather to network, view the latest innovations, and plan for the future.

IAAPA, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded almost 90 years ago, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the amusement industry.  IAAPA represents more than 4,300 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries.


Contact Information
Press Office: +1 703/299-5127
David Mandt: dmandt@IAAPA.org
Marion Hixon: mhixon@IAAPA.org
Tiffany Fessler: tiffany.fessler@edelman.com
Nicholas Wolaver: nicholas.wolaver@edelman.com