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Dark Ride Innovator John Wood and FEC Pioneers Jim and John Huish Inducted into IAAPA Hall of Fame

For Immediate Release

Dark Ride Innovator John Wood and Family Entertainment Center Pioneers Jim and John Huish Inducted into Attractions Industry’s Hall of Fame

(Nov. 19, 2013) – This morning the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) inducted dark ride developer John Wood and the forefathers of the family entertainment center industry (FEC) Jim and John Huish into the IAAPA Hall of Fame. The IAAPA Hall of Fame honors legends and pioneers for their significant and lasting contributions to the worldwide attractions industry. The awards were presented on Nov. 19 in Orlando, Florida, during the Kickoff Event at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013, the premier annual conference and trade show for the global attractions industry. 

“The 2013 IAAPA Hall of Fame inductees are an inspiration to the global attractions industry,” said Ron Gustafson, 2013, chairman of the IAAPA Hall of Fame and Archives Committee and director of marketing and public relations for Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Connecticut. “From reinvigorating family dark rides around the world by adding interactivity to expanding miniature golf courses with arcades and attractions, these three individuals revolutionized the attractions industry.”

Dark Ride Innovator: John Wood, Sally Corporation, Jacksonville, Fla., United States
As CEO of Sally Corporation, John Wood’s ideas and creativity revived dark ride attractions and filled a niche market around the world. During the 1980s when roller coasters were in high demand, Wood added the interactive element of a moving shooting gallery and modern technology to traditional dark rides. He also added music, sound effects, and modern scenic design. In 1986, when the first Sally Corporation ride opened at Alton Towers in Staffordshire, England, there were a limited number dark ride attractions functioning in the world. Today, there are 57 entertaining guests in 14 countries.

Modern-Day Family Entertainment Center Founders: John and Jim Huish, Huish Family Entertainment, Tukwila, Wash., United States
Twin brothers John and Jim Huish are considered to be forefathers of modern-day family entertainment centers. As freshman in college in 1957, the young entrepreneurs built and opened a small miniature golf course, using packed sawdust for the fairways and greens. John and Jim spent the next 20 years building and operating a series of miniature golf courses across Central and Southern California, which evolved into the influential chain of Huish Family Fun Centers. They added game rooms to the facilities in the mid-to-late 1960s and billiards tables shortly thereafter. By the mid 1970s the Huish brothers established J&J Amusements, a premier supplier of go-karts and bumper boats and they built a center that included miniature golf courses, batting cages, game rooms, and trampolines. In the early 1980s they added outdoor skate parks and go-kart tracks to the list of facilities they developed before Jim was killed in a construction accident in 1984. John forged ahead for the next 30 years, acquiring or building a nationwide chain of water parks and family entertainment centers as well as the Bullwinkle's Restaurant Franchise.  

Since that time, dozens of industry pioneers have been honored, including: Walt Disney (Walt Disney Company); Milton Hershey (Hersheypark); Bob Rogers (BRC Imagination Arts); Will Koch (Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari); Bo Kinntorph (Liseberg); Franz Mack (Mack Rides/Europa-Park); George Millay (Wet ‘n Wild); Jay Stein (Universal Studios Florida); Geoffrey Thompson (Blackpool Pleasure Beach); and Antonio Zamperla (Zamperla). A complete list of inductees and video tributes are available at www.IAAPA.org/about-iaapa/awards/hof-selection-criteria/hof.  

About IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013
IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 is the largest conference and trade show in the world for the attractions industry. With its theme “Imagine the Possibilities,” the show will take place in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., and 25,000 industry professionals from 100 countries are expected to participate in the event from Monday, Nov. 18, through Friday, Nov. 22. The trade show floor will be open Tuesday, Nov. 19, through Friday, Nov. 22. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 offers a full week of business opportunities, networking events and educational experiences, and features new ideas and products. Highlights of IAAPA Attractions Expo 2013 include a behind-the-scenes tour of Epcot at the Disney at Dawn event, the IAAPA Celebrates event at SeaWorld Orlando’s newest attraction “Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin,” and more. www.IAAPA.org/IAAPAAttractionsExpo.

Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and the industry’s suppliers, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States, and it maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong. www.IAAPA.org


Contact Information
pressoffice@IAAPA.org or +1 703/299-5127
Colleen Mangone: cmangone@IAAPA.org
David Mandt: dmandt@IAAPA.org