Richard Sherman leads the year's inductees to the IAAPA Hall of Fame

November 14, 2017, 4:43 PM · ORLANDO — The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions honored Disney Legend Richard Sherman this morning by naming him to the IAAPA Hall of Fame. Sherman was one of four new inductees into the hall at this morning's kick-off ceremony for the 2017 IAAPA Attractions Expo.

Sherman's contribution to the theme park industry includes some of the most famous songs in the history of the business, including "In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room" and "It's a Small World (After All)." He most recently wrote the song "A Kiss Goodnight," for Disneyland's Diamond Anniversary celebration. Along with his brother Robert, Sherman was inducted into the National Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006. The Sherman Brothers were named Disney Legends in 1990. (Robert passed away in 2012.)

In addition to writing song for the Disney theme parks, the Sherman Brothers also wrote the songs for Mary Poppins, for which they won two Academy Awards. The duo also wrote songs for The Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh for Disney, as well as for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Snoopy, Come Home.

IAAPA today also honored Henri and Pamela Landwirth with Hall of Fame enshrinement for creating the Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee. Founded to provide a vacation destination for terminally-ill children, the 84-acre Give Kids the World resort provides a "home away from home" base for thousands of children and their families every year, who spend their time at the village and visiting Central Florida's theme parks. The organization also promotes the World Passport for Kids program, which free admission to theme parks and attractions around the world for guests of the Village.

This year's other IAAPA Hall of Fame inductee created some controversy, however. IAAPA honored the founder of France's Puy du Fou, Philippe de Villiers. While Puy du Fou is an exemplary themed attraction, specializing in large-scale historical pageants and outdoor shows instead of rides, and attracts more than two million visitors a year, de Villiers has become a divisive figure in French and European politics, having campaigned against the Maastricht Treaty, which established the European Union, then failing in bids for the French presidency in 1995 and 2007. More recently, he has drawn rebukes for his criticism of Islam and of the migration of Eastern Europeans into France. Nevertheless, Puy du Fou remains a creative influence within the industry and a training ground for show production in Europe and beyond.

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