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IAAPA Brass Ring Awards presented at 2011 Attractions Expo in Orlando

Photo: Action Innovators

Laughter, cheers, and applause filled the Peabody Orlando Windermere ballroom for the prestigious international awards ceremony of the IAAPA Brass Ring Awards on 16 November. Hundreds of finalists from amusement parks, waterparks, zoos, aquariums, museums, and family entertainment centers around the world packed the audience to hear the 2011 winners announced. The top honors are given to companies and individuals for excellence in: marketing, live entertainment, human resources, retail, family entertainment centers, new product development, and trade show exhibits at IAAPA Attractions Expo. More than 600 entries were submitted for this year’s competition.

The tradition of the brass ring in the attractions industry dates back to the carousels of the late 1800s when rings were suspended above riders; low enough to reach, but high enough to pose a challenge. Most rings were made of iron, so grabbing the brass ring was the rare and cherished prize. Skilled riders who grabbed a brass ring earned a second ride on the carousel. Today, the term ‘brass ring’ is synonymous with high achievement in the attractions industry.

The 2011 IAAPA Brass Ring Award winners are:

*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 waterparks—with annual attendance of 250,001-1 million
Class 4: Amusement parks and attractions—including waterparks—with annual attendance of more than 1 million

Television Commercial
Class 1: Selvatica, Cancun, Mexico;
Class 2: Detroit Zoological Society, Royal Oak, Michigan, United States;
Class 3: Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada;
Class 4: Nickelodeon Universe, Bloomington, Minnesota;

Radio Commercial
Class 1: Quassy Amusement Park, Middlebury, Connecticut, United States;
Class 2: Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley, Minnesota, United States; Class 3: Wet ‘n Wild- Emerald Pointe, Greensboro, North Carolina, United States;
Class 4: Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden;

Print Advertising
Class 1: White Water, Branson, Missouri, United States;
Class 2: Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley, Minnesota, United States; Class 3: Evergreen Wings and Waves, McMinnville, Oregon, United States;
Class 4: Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool, Lancashire, United Kingdom;

Outdoor Advertising
The Florida Aquarium, Tampa, Florida;

Integrated Marketing
Kidzania de México SA de CV, México City, México;

Digital Marketing
Luna Park Sydney, Milsons Point, Australia;


Heartbeat Award

The Heartbeat Award recognizes the show that demonstrates superior overall ability in reaching the hearts of its audience.

Tala Takenya & The Legend of the Holy Forest, Fort Fun Abenteurland, Campagnie des Alpes;

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

Kristine Morgan, Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida;

Atmosphere/Street Show
“The Gem Tones,” Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States;

“Mad Marty,” Legoland California, Carlsbad, California, United States;

Female Performer
Lindsay Karchawer, Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States;

Male Performer
Law Ho Tim, Ocean Park, Hong Kong, China;

Sports Show
“African Acrobats of Kenya,” Fantawild, Orlando, Florida, United States;

Production Less Than $25,000
“The Enchanted Treasure,” Legoland California, Carlsbad, California, United States;

Production $25,000-$50,000
“Dr. Fright’s CarnEvil,” Six Flags Over Georgia, Austell, Georgia, United States;

Production $50,000-$100,000
“Vintervirvlar” Liseberg, Gothenburg, Sweden;

Production $100,000-$200,000
“The Majesty of Christmas,” Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio, Texas, United States;

Production $200,000-$400,000
“Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy,” Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida, United States;

Production $400,000-$700,000
“Sha-Kon-O-Hey! Land of Blue Smoke,” Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States;

Production $700,000-$1 Million
“Rockstars- The Battle,” Walibi Rhone-Alpes, Les Avenieres, France;

Production $1 Million-plus
“The Magic, the Memories, and You!” Walt Disney World / Disneyland ;


Innovative Training Program (More Than 1 Million in Attendance)
Europa-Park GmbH & Co., Rust, Germany; Europa-Park GmbH & Co., Rust, Germany;

Innovative Training Program (Less Than 1 Million in Attendance)
Farah Leisure Excellence Academy, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates;

Reward and Recognition Program (More Than 1 Million Annual Attendance)
Whiting’s Foods, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, California, United States;

Reward and Recognition Program (Less Than 1 Million Annual Attendance)
Happylon, Saint-Petersburg, Russia;


Hard Good (Over 1 Million Annual Attendance)
Xcaret, Cancún, México;

Hard Good (Under 1 Million Annual Attendance)
Luna Park Sydney, Milsons Point, Australia;

Soft Good (Over 1 Million Annual Attendance)
Millions of Memories/Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, California, United States;

Soft Good (Under 1 Million Annual Attendance)
The London Dungeon, London, United Kingdom;

Visual Display
Sea Life, Poole Dorset, United Kingdom;

Judge’s Choice
Morey’s Piers & Beachfront Waterpark, Wildwood, New Jersey, United States;


North America
The Funplex Mount Laurel, Mount Laurel, NJ, USA;

Infunity, Freeze Club & Bowl Room, Hawalli, Kuwait;

The Following are announced at the show:


Impact Award
The Impact Award recognizes the company for its product’s lasting impact in the industry.

Empex Watertoys, Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada;

Major Theme/Amusement Park Ride/Attraction
Rocky Mountain Construction Group, Hayden, Idaho, USA;

Kiddie Ride/Attraction
Spectrum Sports International, Hyde Park, Utah, USA;

Waterpark Ride/Attraction
Empex Watertoys, Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada;

Family Entertainment Center Ride/Attraction
Art Attack, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada;

Coin-Operated Kiddie Ride
Falgas Industries Castelló d’Empúries (Girona), Spain;

Technology Applied to Amusement
accesso, LLC, Lake Mary, Florida, USA;

Coin-Operated Arcade and Redemption Equipment
Laser Star Amusements, Inc., Davie, Florida, USA;

Services/Equipment and Supplies
Darklight: Precision Lighting System, Santa Clarita, California, USA;

Games and Merchandise
Bob’s Space Racers, Inc., Daytona Beach, Florida, USA;

Food Services
State Fair Mini Donuts, Inc., Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA;

Show Production & Entertainment/Displays
Jack Rouse Associates, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA;


The Image Award is given for most attractive trade show booth at IAAPA Attractions Expo.

Whitewater West Industries Ltd., Richmond, British Columbia, Canada;

100 – 200 square feet
Action Innovators, Heemstede, The Netherlands;

300 – 500 square feet
American Locker Security Systems, Inc., Coppell, Texas, USA;

600 – 1,000 square feet
Theming and Animatronics Industries S.A., Madrid, Spain;

1,001+ square feet
Bob’s Space Racers, Inc., Daytona Beach, Florida, USA;

The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards are presented annually during IAAPA Attractions Expo, the largest worldwide gathering of amusement park and attractions industry professionals. The conference and trade show is produced by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA). The Silver sponsor for this year’s event is OmniTicket Network/ Best Union Company Spa, and supporting organizations are Matt Davenport Productions, Inc., RWS and Associates Entertainment, Inc., and Heartbeat Productions, Inc.

Images from the 2011 IAAPA Brass Ring Awards ceremony are available at,

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. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States and it maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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