2020 IAAPA Hall of Fame Inductees: Tony Baxter, Greg Hale, Mats Wedin
The IAAPA Hall of Fame Awards were established to honor legends and pioneers from the global attractions industry. IAAPA Hall of Fame inductees are individuals whose work and accomplishments have made significant and lasting contributions to the industry.
The 2020 inductees are:
Walt Disney Imagineering, Anaheim, California, United States
Tony Baxter started working at Carnation Plaza Gardens in Disneyland as an ice cream scooper in 1965. Five years later, Baxter was hired as an Imagineer and sent to Orlando to serve as a field art director for “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” for the upcoming opening of Magic Kingdom. Baxter returned to California and throughout his career worked on developing several well-known attractions, including “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad,” Star Tours,” “Indiana Jones Adventure,” and “Splash Mountain.” After serving as executive producer of Disneyland Paris, Baxter returned to the United States and developed a redesign of Tomorrowland at Disneyland and a slate of projects for the park’s 50th anniversary and beyond. In 2013, Baxter announced he would be stepping down from his Imagineering role as senior vice president of creative development and was inducted as a Disney Legend.
Greg Hale, ICAE
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States
Greg Hale, ICAE, began his career with Walt Disney World in 1988 as manager of electrical and electronics engineering, and through the years, he was promoted to director of facilities and attractions regulatory compliance and then vice president of design, engineering, and regulatory compliance. In 2002, he was the first person promoted to vice president and chief safety officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and leads a global team of ride design, operations, and maintenance professionals that keep Disney on the leading edge of theme park safety, accessibility for guests with disabilities, and technology advancements. Hale has worked to standardize safety protocols around the world and has served on several IAAPA Committees. In 2017, he became chairman of the IAAPA Board of Directors.
Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden
After serving as Volvo’s director of marketing and 15 years with the company, Mats Wedin joined the theme park industry in 1988 in a management position at Liseberg. Wedin took over as the park’s CEO in 1993, following Bo Kinntorph’s retirement. Wedin and his team expanded the park significantly, adding many rides and creating new experiences. An advocate of IAAPA, Wedin worked to expand international membership and promote the association’s benefits among European members. He served as chair of a number of IAAPA Committees and became chairman of the board in 2007. Wedin retired from Liseberg in 2011 and continues to serve on the board of several attractions and entertainment businesses, including Astrid Lindgren’s World.