IAAPA welcomes three more theme park leaders to the Hall of Fame

June 6, 2018, 11:01 AM · Wait a minute... it can't be November already, right? No, it is not yet time for the annual IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando and its traditional enshrinement of a new class in the IAAPA Hall of Fame. But for its 100th anniversary this year, IAAPA is inducting members into the Hall during its Asian Attractions Expo and Euro Attractions Show, as well.

The IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo is welcoming industry operators and vendors from around the world to Hong Kong this week. More 8,000 professionals from more than 50 countries are expected at the event, which focuses on the rapidly growing Asian market for theme parks and themed attractions. But as the industry looks ahead at this week's expo, IAAPA also is taking a moment to look back and honor three pioneers who brought the themed entertainment industry to this point.

The new inductees to the IAAPA Hall of Fame this week are:

Masatomo Takahashi, Oriental Land Company: Already named an official Disney Legend by the Walt Disney Company, Masatomo pitched the idea for a Tokyo Disneyland to Disney executives in the late 1970s then ultimately oversaw the new park's expansion into a two-park resort. Today, the Tokyo Disney Resort is the second-most-visited theme park resort in the world, trailing only the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Masatomo passed away in 2000.

Bernard Harrison, Wildlife Reserves Singapore: The creator of the wildly influential Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo, Harrison served as the zoo's CEO for more than 20 years before heading Wildlife Reserves Singapore and consulting on zoo design and ecotourism around the world.

Kelly Tarlton, Underwater World: Ever walk through a clear, acrylic tube to see an aquarium from the inside? You can thank Tarlton for that innovation, which opened for the first time at Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World in Auckland, New Zealand in 1985, just weeks before his death. He was inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame in 2012.

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