The Florida Region hosted two events to coincide with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) 2011 Expo that took place in Orlando the week of November 15 -18.
On Wednesday, November 16th, approximately sixty ACE members gathered for our annual IAAPA Meet & Greet at TGIFridays. This event provided an opportunity to come together and have a great meal and fellowship with other ACE Members, including some from out of the area that were in town for the convention. It is always a good time sharing stories and making future plans with our fellow ACErs. Many thanks to TGIFridays for allowing us use of the private dining room.
On November 19th, 109 ACE members from the Florida Region as well as members representing twenty other states and four countries sprinted to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. We started the morning with ERT on Busch Gardens’ newest roller coaster, Cheetah Hunt. A triple-launch coaster that made its debut earlier this year. What a way to start the day! Additionally, all participants were given a Quick Queue ticket. This allowed us to enjoy all the major rides at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay without having to wait in line. At 11:00 am we all gathered at the Gwazi Pavilion for a private luncheon. We feasted on a tasty all-u-can eat buffet. During the luncheon we hosted door prize giveaways. The park generously donated quite a few goodies, including several pieces of the former SheiKra floor and Cheetah Hunt items, which allowed many members to take home a Busch Gardens Tampa Bay prize. We were honored to have guest speakers, ACE President Dave Altman and Events Coordinator Paul Blick. Paul spoke to the group about upcoming events for 2012 and beyond. After Paul spoke we had the ultimate privilege of listening to Busch Gardens VP of Design and Engineering Mark Rose. He spoke of the history of the great coasters at Busch Gardens as well as provided great insight into the development and construction of Cheetah Hunt. At the conclusion of lunch members headed back out into the park to enjoy the rest of their day. The fabulous weather, the great member participation, and the awesome rides and attractions of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay made for a spectacular day.
Chris Kraftchick & Robin Wilson
Florida Regional Reps