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IAAPA announces Brass Ring Awards 2021 winners

Coveted accolades recognise achievements of excellence in the amusement industry

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IAAPA Brass Ring Awards Stage 2019

IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, has announced the winners of a prestigious range of awards, to be celebrated at the upcoming IAAPA Expo 2021.

The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards are amongst the most anticipated professional honours awarded to the industry, recognising attractions such as amusement parks, water parks, zoos, aquariums, museums and family entertainment centres (FECs) around the world. Categories this year include food and beverage, games and retail, human resources, live entertainment and marketing.

IAAPA Brass Ring Awards 2019
Previous winners of the IAAPA Brass Ring Awards in 2019

The brass ring has been a tradition dating back to the 1800s when park guests were challenged to reach for a ring while riding a carousel. Most rings were iron, however grabbing the single brass ring was a celebrated accomplishment, and rewarded (often with a free ride).

The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards honour this tradition and each year venues around the world submit their most impressive and creative work for IAAPA’s consideration. Here’s a rundown of award-winning projects and operators for this year.

Top Family Entertainment Center (FEC) of the World

Awarded to Scene75 Entertainment Center Columbus, Dublin, Ohio, United States.

Food and Beverage Excellence

Best New Menu Item: Reese’s Stuff Your Cup, Hershey’s Chocolate World, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States.

Best New Food and Beverage Festival or Special Event: Dollywood‘s Flower and Food Festival, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States.

Games and Retail Excellence

meow wolf omega mart area15
Omega Mart, Meow Wolf, Inc.

Best Plush: Remy Feature Plus, Disney Global Product Creation, Lake Buena Vista, Florida United States.

Best Apparel: Omega Mart Tattoo Chicken Ringer T-Shirt, Meow Wolf, Inc., Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States.

Best Hard Good Item: Candy Land Hershey Edition, Hershey’s Chocolate World, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States.

Best Visual Merchandising: “Omega Mart Plenty Valley Produce Department”, Meow Wolf, Inc., Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Best Midway Game Operation: Canobie Lake Park, Salem, New Hampshire, United States.

Judges Award: Coca-Cola Sponsored Games, Lagoon Amusement Park, Farmington, Utah, United States

Human Resources Excellence

Best Employee Reward and Recognition Program – Annual Attendance More than 1 Million: Knoebels Park and Resort, Elysburg, Pennsylvania, United States.

Best Employee Engagement Initiative –

  • Annual Attendance Less than 1 Million: Enchanted Kingdom, Laguna, Philippines.
  • Annual Attendance More than 1 Million: Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania, United States.

Best Innovation in a Training Program:

  • Annual Attendance Less than 1 Million: Meow Wolf, Inc., Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States.
  • Annual Attendance More than 1 Million: LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Winter Haven, Florida.

Live Entertainment Excellence

Best Atmosphere/Street Show Performance/Act: Magic Happens Parade, Disneyland Resort, Disney Parks Live Entertainment, Anaheim, California, United States.

Best Performer: Caleb Brown, Dollywood Parks and Resorts, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States.

Best Live “Edutainment” Show: Orca Encounter, SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Florida.

Best Theatrical Production –

  • Annual Attendance Less than 1 Million: EL ÚLTIMO CANTAR – The Last Song, Puy du Fou España SA, Toledo, Spain.
  • Annual Attendance More than 1 Million: Xcaret México Spectacular, Grupo Xcaret, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
magic happens disneyland
Magic Happens Parade, Disneyland Resort

Most Creative Christmas Show: The Crystal Promise, Universal Studios Japan, Osaka, Japan.

Most Creative Halloween Haunt, Show, or Experience: Oogie Boogie Bash- A Halloween Party, Disneyland Resort, Disney Parks Live Entertainment, Anaheim, California, United States.

Most Creative Multimedia Spectacular: La Clé des Songes, FUTUROSCOPE, Vienne, France.

Most Creative Sports/Stunt Show: Winter Wonderland on Ice, SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Florida, United States.

Most Creative Property-wide Event –

  • Annual Attendance Less than 1 Million: For The Love Event, Surfing & Lifestyle Series, URBNSURF Group, New South Wales, Australia.

Annual Attendance More than 1 Million: Gala of Lights, Ocean Park Corporation, Hong Kong, China.

Excellence in Marketing

Best Digital Marketing Campaign: “Monster – King of Roller Coasters”, Gröna Lund, Stockholm, Sweden.

Best Integrated Marketing Campaign: Spider, Fantasilandia, Santiago, Chile.

Best Outdoor Advertisement – Dual winners: “Explore Wonder!” Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, SC, United States, and “Grandes Sonrisas” (Bigger Smiles), Grupo Xcaret, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Best Public Relations Campaign – Dual winners: Dr. Diabolical’s Cliffhanger Tease and Announcement, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio, Texas, United States, and “360˚ Xafety,” Grupo Xcaret, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

six flags fiesta texas dr diabolicals cliffhanger roller coaster
Dr. Diabolical’s Cliffhanger, Six Flags Fiesta Texas

Best Radio or Streaming Audio Commercial: Sharks Exhibit Advertising Campaign, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California, United States.

Best Social Media Campaign: “Sleep with the Sharks” Influencer Campaign, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, United States.

Best Television or Digital Video Commercial –

  • Annual Attendance Less than 1 Million: “To Travel is To Live,” Lakewood Camping Resort, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, United States.
  • Annual Attendance More than 1 Million: “Vitamina X,” Grupo Xcaret, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

IAAPA Expo

All this year’s award winners and entries will be honoured in Orlando, Florida during IAAPA Expo’s Opening Reception and IAAPA Award Winners Celebration.

IAAPA also recently announced a raft of winners for its other awards including the IAAPA Service Award, IAAPA Young Professional of the Year Award and inductees to the IAAPA Hall of Fame.

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Adam Whittaker blooloop

Adam Whittaker

Adam is Marketing Manager and looks after blooloop’s communications. He studied Marketing and Advertising Management at Leeds Beckett University. An adrenaline junkie, you can usually find him appreciating architecture design, or relaxing at a theme park.

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