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IAAPA announces new Hall of Fame pioneers and Chairman for 2020

Amanda Thompson headshot

At the IAAPA Expo 2019 in Orlando, IAAPA announced that two new pioneers have been inducted into its Hall of Fame awFred Langford headshotards.

Two new global attractions industry legends, Frederick Langford and Alberto Zamperla, have been inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame. Established in 1990, this award honours those who have made a significant and long-lasting contribution to the industry through their work and achievements.

Frederick Langford is thought of by many as the creator of the modern water slide. He was the first person to use fibreglass in water slides rather than concrete. His innovative designs have led to the elevated water slides we see in so many water parks around the world. His invention of self-supporting beams allows slides to be longer and therefore give the guests a more enjoyable experience on water slides.

Alberto Zamperla took over the Zamperla Alberto Zamperla headshotCompany in 1994 and grew the company from producing 50 rides a year to 200. Zamperla helped to bring international safety manufacturing standards to the company’s production facility in China. Under his leadership, the company has improved rider accessibility. ‘Lori’s Magical Ride’, an attraction Zamperla donated to Give Kids the World in 2014 in Kissimmee, Florida, was the resort’s first attraction that allowed children with disabilities to experience a ride fully.

A new Chairman of the Board of Directors

It was also announced at the Expo that Amanda Thompson OBE (pictured, top) will be IAAPA’s 2020 Chairman of the Board of Directors. Thompson is the first female Chair from Europe, and the third woman to hold the position in IAAPA’s history. She has been an involved member of IAAPA for many years, chairing the IAAPA EMEA Regional Advisory Committee.

As Managing Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the UK, Thompson has a lifetime of experience of the industry. Both Thompson’s grandfather and father were in the industry after her grandfather took over leadership of Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 1931.

Thompson’s own career has been varied and very successful. She founded Stageworld Worldwide Productions in 1982, a company that produces shows around the world. She also helped create Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Big Blue and Boulevard Hotels. She was awarded the Michael Elliot Award for Director of the Year, having produced and directed several shows such as ‘Eclipse’, ‘Mystique’ and the Hot Ice Show in Blackpool.

The IAAPA officers for 2020 also include Ken Whiting as First Vice Chairman, Jim Pattison as Second Vice Chairman and Curt Caffey as Treasurer.

Both Amanda Thompson OBE and Alberto Zamperla were in the Blooloop 50 Theme Park Influencer list in 2019.

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Alice Sarsfield-Hall

Alice is Sales and Events Manager and looks after Blooloop’s clients, new business and events. She studied English Literature and French at the University of Leeds. A Disney and Harry Potter geek, you can usually find her reading, baking or at a museum.

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