IAAPA Honors Attractions Industry’s Best with IAAPA Brass Ring Awards

IAAPA Honors Attractions Industry’s Best with IAAPA Brass Ring Awards Presented at IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015

(Orlando, Florida, US) – The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) presented the IAAPA Brass Ring Awards on November 18 during IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015 in Orlando, Florida. The awards were presented to amusement parks, water parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, family entertainment centers (FECs), and suppliers from around the world to honor excellence in food and beverage, games and retail, human resources, live entertainment, marketing, new products, and family entertainment centers. 

This year, IAAPA presented two new awards. The first award recognizes team member incentives in the Human Resources Excellence category with the “Best Employee Engagement” award. Two parks were recognized with this award: a park with overall guest attendance of more than 1 million in the previous year and one with overall attendance under 1 million. IAAPA also presented a “New Concept” award to an exhibitor at the Orlando, Florida, trade show.

The tradition of the brass ring, a term now synonymous with spectacular achievement, dates back to the 1800s. Rings were suspended above carousel riders; low enough for them to grasp, but high enough to pose a challenge. Most rings were made of iron, but a few were made of brass, so grabbing the brass ring was a valuable treat. Skilled riders who grabbed a brass ring often earned prizes, including a free ride on the carousel.

The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards are similarly prestigious, marking achievements of excellence throughout the global attractions industry. 

The winners of the 2015 IAAPA Brass Ring Awards are:

TOP FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTER (FEC) OF THE WORLD AWARD
Winner, North America: HeyDay Entertainment, Norman, Oklahoma, United States; www.heydayfun.com

Winner, International: Kidz Kingdom FEC at Rainbow’s End Theme Park, Auckland, New Zealand; rainbowsend.co.nz/rides/kidz-kingdom

FOOD AND BEVERAGE EXCELLENCE
Best New Innovation in Food and Beverage: “Fresh Made Churros,” Whiting’s Food, Santa Cruz, California, United States; www.whitingsfoods.com

Best New Menu Item: “Makin’ Whoopie Pies,” Hershey Park, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States; www.hersheypark.com

GAMES AND RETAIL EXCELLENCE
Best Game Experience: “Kentucky Derby,” Gröna Lund Tivoli, Stockholm, Sweden; www.gronalund.com

Best Game Operator: Bashar Haj Basan, Skara Sommarland, Axvall, Sweden; www.sommarland.se

Hard Good More than 1 Million Attendance: “Harley Quinn 3-D Ceramic Mug,” Warner Bros. Movie World, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia; movieworld.com.au

Hard Good Under 1 Million Attendance: Noah’s Ark Plush with Removable Animals, The Holy Land Experience, Orlando, Florida, United States; www.holylandexperience.com

Merchandise Display More than 1 Million Attendance: “Lucky’s Toys,” Silver Dollar City, Branson, Missouri, United States; www.silverdollarcity.com

Merchandise Display Under 1 Million Attendance: “Redemption Center,” Kalahari Poconos Mountain Resort, Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania, United States; www.kalahariresorts.com/pennsylvania

Soft Good More than 1 Million Attendance: “Batman vs. Villains” Reversible Jacket, Warner Bros. Movie World, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia; movieworld.com.au

Soft Good Under 1 Million Attendance: “Bag to Life” Tote Bag, Africam Safari, Puebla, Mexico; www.africamsafari.com

HUMAN RESOURCES EXCELLENCE
NEW AWARD - Best Employee Engagement Initiative Program More than 1 Million Attendance: Ocean Park, Hong Kong SAR, China; www.oceanpark.com.hk

NEW AWARD - Best Employee Engagement Initiative Program Under 1 Million Attendance: Hurricane Alley Waterpark, Corpus Christi, Texas, United States; www.hurricanealleycc.com

Best Employee Reward and Recognition Program More than 1 Million Attendance: Lagoon Amusement Park, Farmington, Utah, United States; www.lagoonpark.com

Best Employee Reward & Recognition Program Under 1 Million Attendance: Africam Safari, Puebla, Mexico; www.africamsafari.com

Best Innovation in a Training Program More than 1 Million Attendance: N Kid Corporation, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; nkidcorp.com

Best Innovation in a Training Program Under 1 Million Attendance: Africam Safari, Puebla, Mexico; www.africamsafari.com

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT EXCELLENCE
The Spirit Award recognizes IAAPA members committed to excellence in training and professional development in the area of entertainment.

Winner: Maggie Lattrell, Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States; www.hersheypark.com

Best Female Performer: Samantha Eberhardt, Six Flags America, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, United States; www.sixflags.com/america

Best Male Performer: Jesse Brown, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio, Texas, United States;  www.sixflags.com/fiestatexas

Best Atmospheric/Street Show Performance Act: “Cocoa Rhythm Factory,” Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States; http://www.hersheypark.com

Best Edutainment Performance Act: “Opening Night Critters,” Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida, United States; seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-tampa

Best Sports Show Performance Act: “Mission Ferrari,” FLPM/ Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com

Best Multimedia Spectacular: “Paint the Night,” Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland, Anaheim, California, United States; Hong Kong SAR, China; disneyland.disney.go.comwww.hongkongdisneyland.com

Note: The following awards categories are broken down by the size of the production budget for the show.

Best Overall Production, $25,000 or Less: “Humanimal,” Africam Safari, Puebla, Mexico; www.africamsafari.com

Best Overall Production, $25,001–$50,000: “Dr. Fright’s Dead Man Party,” Six Flags Over Georgia, Austell, Georgia, United States; www.sixflags.com/overgeorgia

Best Overall Production, $50,001–$100,000: “Flash Band Beat,” Universal Studios Japan, Osaka, Japan; www.usj.co.jp

Best Overall Production, $100,001–$200,000: “Surpr'ice with the Gods of Greece,” Europa-Park, Rust, Baden, Germany; www.europapark.de

Best Overall Production, $200,001–$400,000: “Spook Me! The Europa-Park Musical,” Europa-Park, Rust, Baden, Germany; www.europapark.de

Best Overall Production, $400,001–$700,000: “Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol,” Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States; www.dollywood.com
Best Overall Production, $700,001– $1 million: “Life,” Kolmården Wildlife Park, Kolmården, Sweden; www.kolmarden.com/sprak/

Best Overall Production, More than $1 Million: “King Triton’s Concert,” Tokyo DisneySea, Chiba Prefecture, Japan; www.tokyodisneyresort.jp

MARKETING EXCELLENCE
Digital Marketing Campaign: Wuhu Fantawild Resort, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China; www.fantawild.com

Integrated Marketing Campaign: Gröna Lund Tivoli, Stockholm, Sweden; www.gronalund.com

Outdoor Advertisement: Xcaret, Cancún, Mexico; www.xcaret.com.mx

Best Social Media Campaign: Heineken Experience, Amsterdam, Netherlands; www.heineken.com

Some marketing awards are divided into the following class distinctions: Class 1: Family Entertainment Centers (FECs) and attractions with annual attendance less than 250,000, Class 2: Zoos and Aquariums, Class 3: Amusement Parks and Attractions—including Water Parks—with annual attendance of 250,001-1 million, Class 4: Amusement Parks and Attractions—including Water Parks—with annual attendance of more than 1 million.

Public Relations Program Class 1: Reunion Tower, Dallas, Texas, United States; www.reuniontower.com

Public Relations Program Class 2: Dolphin Discovery, Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico; www.dolphindiscovery.com

Public Relations Program Class 3: Elitch Gardens Theme and Water Park, Denver, Colorado, United States; www.elitchgardens.com

Public Relations Program Class 4: Gröna Lund Tivoli, Stockholm, Sweden; www.gronalund.com

Audio Commercial Class 1: Cliff’s Amusement Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States; www.cliffsamusementpark.com

Audio Commercial Class 2: California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California, United States; www.calacademy.org

Audio Commercial Class 3: White Water Bay, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States; www.whitewaterbay.com

Audio Commercial Class 4: Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, Texas, United States; www.sixflags.com/overtexas

Digital Video Commercial Class 1: Luna Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, United States; lunaparknyc.com

Digital Video Commercial Class 2: West Midland Safari Park, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom; www.wmsp.co.uk

Digital Video Commercial Class 3: Silverwood Theme Park, Athol, Idaho, United States; www.silverwoodthemepark.com

Digital Video Commercial Class 4: Europa-Park, Rust, Baden, Germany; www.europapark.de

BEST NEW PRODUCT
Impact Award recognizes the best new product or service in the amusement parks and attractions industry.

Winner: Sally Corporation, Jacksonville, Florida, United States; www.sallycorp.com  

Major Theme/Amusement Park Ride/Attraction: Sally Corporation, Justice League: Battle for Metropolis 4D, Jacksonville, Florida, United States; www.sallycorp.com

Water Park Ride/Attraction: ProSlide Technology, FlyingSAUCER/RicketBLAST, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; www.proslide.com

Family Entertainment Center Ride/Attraction: Walltopia, Rollglider, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States; http://walltopia.com

Technology Applied to Amusements: WhiteWhater West Industries Ltd., Slideboarding, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada; www.whitewaterwest.com

Coin-Operated Arcade and Redemption Game: Innovative Concepts in Entertainment, Inc., Angry Birds Arcade, Clarence, New York, United States; http://icegame.com

Revenue and Admission Control/Wristbands/RFID Technology: Embed, Carrollton, Texas, United States; www.embedcard.com

Services, Equipment, and Supplies: Water Safety Products Inc., The Big Easy Rescue Breathing Mask, Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, United States; www.watersafety.com

Food Services: Syrup Systems, Inc., Roto-Molded Create-A-Cone Concept, Maurice, Louisiana, United States; http://www.syrupsystems.com/   

NEW AWARD - BEST NEW CONCEPT
The New Concept award is given to a new product that has yet to be installed at a facility and is debuting at IAAPA Attractions Expo.

Winner: Mack Ride GmbH & Co. KG, Power Splash, Waldkirch, Germany; www.mack-rides.com

BEST EXHIBIT AT IAAPA ATTRACTIONS EXPO 2015
The Image Award is given to the best exhibit based on booth design, branding, staffing, and overall appeal at IAAPA Attractions Expo.

Winner: Daniels Wood Land, Inc., Paso Robles, California, United States; www.danielwoodland.com

100 – 199 square feet: TIE: Honolulu Hot Dogs, Hegins, Pennsylvania, United States; www.honoluluhotdog.com and Chalk Twins, Lake Mary, Florida, United States; www.chalktwins.com    

200-399 square feet: Eleventh Hour, Marina Del Ray, California, United States; www.hotfreshtalent.com

400 – 499 square feet: Monster City Studios, Fresno, California, United States; www.monstercitystudios.com

500 – 899 square feet: Dippin’ Dots, LLC, Paducah, Kentucky, United States; www.dippindots.com

900 – 1,200 square feet: WhiteWater Attractions, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada; www.whitewaterattractions.com

1,201 + square feet: Extreme Engineering, Penryn, California, United States; www.extremeengineering.com  

The 2015 IAAPA Brass Ring Awards ceremony was sponsored by The Holy Land Experience and Ocean Park Hong Kong.

About IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015
IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015 is the premier conference and trade show for the $39.5 billion global amusement park and attractions industry. With its theme “NEW. NOW. NEXT!,” the show takes place in Orlando, Florida, and draws more than 28,000 industry professionals from more than 100 countries to the Orange County Convention Center from Monday, Nov. 16, through Friday, Nov. 20. The 525,000-net-square-foot trade show floor will be open Tuesday, Nov. 17, through Friday, Nov. 20. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2015 is the global gathering place for attraction industry leaders, decision makers, and visionaries. They come together to view the latest innovations, learn from each other, network, and plan for the future. Additional information is available at www.IAAPA.org/IAAPAAttractionsExpo. @IAAPAHQ #IAE15

About IAAPA
The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 4,800 facility, supplier, and individual members from more than 90 countries. Member facilities include amusement/theme parks, water parks, attractions, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, museums, science centers, and resorts. IAAPA is a nonprofit organization. Revenue generated for the association by its involvement in trade shows and other activities are returned to the association to fund services for its members and the industry. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States. The association has regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, Hong Kong, and Orlando.  www.IAAPA.org

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