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IAAPA Announces 2015 Brass Ring Awardees

ABOVE (L to R): Rich Hill, Donna Gentry, John Wood, and Lauren Wood Weaver with Brass Ring Impact Award for “Justice League: Battle for Metropolis.” Courtesy Sally Corporation.

Orlando, FL, USA (November 18, 2015) — 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.com;www.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/RocketBLAST, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; www.proslide.com
Family Entertainment Center Ride/Attraction: Walltopia, Rollglider, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States; http://walltopia.com
Technology Applied to Amusements: WhiteWater West Industries Ltd., Slideboarding, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada; www.whitewaterwest.com
Coin-Operated Arcade and Redemption Equipment: 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.

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