Attractions Industry Legends Inducted into IAAPA Hall of Fame

2017 Inductees Include Philippe de Villiers, Henri and Pamela Landwirth, and Richard M. Sherman 

ORLANDO, Fla., US (Nov. 14, 2017) – The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) today announced the induction of several attractions industry legends — Philippe de Villiers, Henri and Pamela Landwirth, and Richard M. Sherman — into the IAAPA Hall of Fame.  The inductions were announced during the Kickoff Event for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 in Orlando, Florida. The IAAPA Hall of Fame honors individuals whose work and accomplishments have made significant and lasting contributions to the worldwide attractions industry. 

“We are honored to welcome this esteemed group of industry leaders into the IAAPA Hall of Fame,” said Jack Morey, 2017 chairman of the IAAPA Hall of Fame and Archives Committee and executive vice president of Morey’s Piers. “These individuals truly embody everything our industry stands for, bringing innovation, creativity, and philanthropy to the world. Throughout their notable careers, Philippe de Villiers, Henri and Pamela Landwirth, and Richard M. Sherman have positively shaped the global attractions industry; leading by example and inspiring generations to continually strive for excellence.” 

Writer and Park Founder: Philippe de Villiers, Puy du Fou, Les Epesses, France Philippe de Villiers grew up in the French countryside of the Vendée region of Western France and graduated from the prestigious ENA (National School of Administration). In 1978, inspired by the beauty of his homeland, he wrote the script for “La Cinéscénie,” an original nighttime show featuring music, lights, special effects, and hundreds of local volunteers. With an abandoned castle as the backdrop, he invented a new model for theme parks without rides for guests. Following the success of the show, in 1989, de Villiers opened his own park to the public — the Grand Parc of the Puy du Fou. Featuring unique historical shows and performances, today the number of volunteers has grown into the thousands, and the park also provides more than 2,000 jobs each season. People throughout the industry travel to see and find inspiration from Puy du Fou, which has more than two million visitors annually and is one of the most popular theme parks in France. De Villiers’ vision helped redefine the entertainment experience for guests at attractions worldwide, and he continues to lend his creative expertise to educate, train, and inspire the next generation of artists and attractions operators.

Philanthropists and Industry Ambassadors: Henri and Pamela Landwirth Give Kids The World, Kissimmee, Florida, United States Henri Landwirth founded Give Kids The World (GKTW) in 1986. Since that time the nonprofit organization has grown to become an 84-acre, whimsical resort for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. Based in Central Florida, families come to GKTW Village from all over the world to experience a cost-free, week-long dream vacation away from doctor visits and hospital stays.

Pamela Landwirth has continued the legacy Henri began. For more than 20 years she has worked to expand the Village’s reach to children to who need it most. Pamela has partnered with IAAPA members globally to develop the World Passport for Kids program, which provides complimentary admission to member attractions and parks around the world for guests of the Village. To date, more than 130,000 families have received a Passport from Give Kids The World. The Landwirths’ have openly shared their knowledge and experience with others around the world who strive to create similar places for children and families. Their dedication to service and commitment to children have inspired the global attractions industry and left an immeasurable mark on millions of people. Iconic Songwriter: Richard M. Sherman, California, United States Richard M. Sherman’s contributions to the industry span more than 50 years, and he has written and composed countless beloved songs for Disney theme parks, resorts, and attractions around the world. His work represents the industry’s most iconic and memorable achievements, combining the physical ride experience with music that elevates the impact and emotional connection of an attraction — for children and adults alike. Along with his brother Robert, he wrote the timeless lyrics for “It’s a Small World,” celebrating global peace and our shared humanity. In addition, he wrote other classic songs such as “The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” and “The Winnie the Pooh Song,” to name a few. Throughout his career, Sherman has served as an influential mentor to many designers and creators at schools, universities, and workshops. His legendary work and talent for telling stories through lyrics and melodies has connected the globe, inspiring millions through the gift of music.  

IAAPA Hall of Fame Honors Those Who Have Made Lasting Contributions to the Global Industry The IAAPA Hall of Fame was established in 1990 to honor legends and pioneers for their significant and lasting contributions to the growth and development of the attractions industry. Over the past 27 years, dozens of industry pioneers from around the world have been inducted to the IAAPA Hall of Fame including Walt Disney (The Walt Disney Company); Milton Hershey (Hersheypark); Dick Knoebel (Knoebels Amusement Resort); Bo Kinntorph (Liseberg); Will Koch (Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari); Jack Lindquist (Disneyland), Franz Mack (Mack Rides/Europa-Park); Bob Rogers (BRC Imagination Arts); Jay Stein (Universal Studios Florida); Geoffrey Thompson (Blackpool Pleasure Beach); Tom Williams (Universal Parks & Resorts), and Antonio Zamperla (Zamperla).

About IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 is the premier conference and trade show for the $39.5 billion global amusement park and attractions industry. With its theme “Join the Creation Nation” the show provides attractions industry leaders, decision-makers, and visionaries with everything needed to take every guest experience to the next level, whether through the thousands of innovations, the hundreds of expert-led educational opportunities, or the engaging networking opportunities. IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017 will draw more than 32,000 industry professionals, including more than 21,000 decisions- makers and buyers from more than 100 countries to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Monday, Nov. 13, through Friday, Nov. 17. The more than 560,000-net-square-foot trade show floor will be open Tuesday, Nov. 14, through Friday, Nov. 17. Additional information is available at #IAE17

About IAAPA The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently located amusement facilities and attractions and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. IAAPA represents more than 5,300 attraction, supplier, and individual members from more than 100 countries with member facilities including amusement and theme parks, water parks, family entertainment centers, zoos, aquariums, science centers, and museums. IAAPA hosts three annual trade shows including IAAPA Attractions Expo, Euro Attractions Show, and Asian Attractions Expo. The association’s global headquarters is in Orlando, Florida, United States. The nonprofit organization maintains offices in Brussels, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Alexandria, Virginia. To learn more, visit or connect with us: @IAAPAHQ  #IAAPA 

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