The IAAPA Expo isn't happening in person in Orlando next week as scheduled, but the global amusement industry association is going ahead with a virtual education conference in its place. And to prepare for next week's online event, IAAPA today announced the class of 2020 for its IAAPA Hall of Fame.
The class of 2020 includes:
Tony Baxter — The long-time Walt Disney Imagineer was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2013, following a career that included lead design work on now-classic attractions including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Star Tours, Indiana Jones Adventure, and Splash Mountain. Theme Park Insider interview with Disney Legend and Imagineer Tony Baxter
Greg Hale — Disney's Chief Safety Officer in 2017 completed his one-year term as IAAPA's Chairman. An engineer by training, Greg has served on multiple industry safety boards and associations and holds dozens of U.S. patents, including one as the co-inventor of Disney's Fastpass.
Mats Wedin — The former former chairman of of Sweden's Liseberg, is also a former IAAPA Chairman.
IAAPA today also honored Mobaro's David Bromilow with the IAAPA Lifetime Service Award, Liseberg's Andreas Andersen with the IAAPA Outstanding Service Award, and SeaWorld's Corrine Brindley with the IAAPA Meritorious Service Award.
The 2020 IAAPA Expo/Virtual Education Conference runs November 16 - 18. Registration is $49 for members and $99 for non-members. Replays of the live presentations will be available on demand for registrants until the end of the year.
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@James Or to fix the Yeti.
But I'm happy to see Tony inducted (I used to work for Disney, and "first name basis" was part of our training).
But I'm also happy to see Greg on this list. Without people looking out for our safety, in a world where (as evidenced by the failure of so many to properly wear face coverings) people aren't looking out for their OWN safety, theme parks would be a mess of injuries and lawsuits. So Greg, props to you as well.
Fixing the yeti is not Baxter's decision. Unless Disney decides to close EE for six months or more, expect Disco Yeti as a permanent feature (unfortunately).
Kenny, Tony Baxter had nothing to do with the development of Expedition Everest. That's Joe Rohde's baby. Like Still a Fan, I don't think any of us will live to see the Yeti ever move again. Disney is slashing budgets everywhere because of all the COVID-related losses and they're not going to dump a bunch of money towards fixing a ride that's already popular to repair something that only a handful of their fans care about.
Oh, I agree with both Still a Fan and James Trexen. I get that Tony wasn't part of the EE team, and also that it's wishful thinking to have him team with Joe to fix the Yeti. You're both right, I think, that Disco Yeti is here to stay.
But a guy can dream.
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Congrats to Mr. Baxter!
Now we just need to nip COVID in the butt so that he'll come out of retirement to re-do Journey into Imagination.