The annual IAAPA Expo seemed more fresh than usual. By and large the show is still mostly the same, but attendees seemed upbeat, exhibitors brought new ideas, designs and products, and the vendor parties were infused with energy.
A couple of weeks later, Walt Disney World reverberated with just as much (if not more) excitement. The long-awaited opening of New Fantasyland and other upgrades throughout the Disney resort seemed to indicate a renewed focus on the Florida parks. Without a doubt, it was a memorable week at the resort.
The other Orlando parks are also buzzing with new projects. The cranes and construction walls all over the Universal Orlando resort, while perhaps annoying to some, indicate the excitement and creativity that are coming soon. And SeaWorld continues to up its game with exciting details on Antarctica revealed during the IAAPA trade show.
After nearly a decade of languishing development following 9/11 (both at IAAPA and at the parks), the spark is back, and it’s one we hope continues to ignite growth around the industry in the US.
Overseas, growth continues to be strong, and perhaps in some sense the strong demand in Asia is helping to fuel the projects and excitement we are getting here at home.
Whatever the reason, we’re glad to see things turning around, and we’re happy to report on some of it here in this issue.
Best wishes for 2013 and beyond!