The future of fun convention opens Friday at the Orange County Convention Center as more than 1,000 exhibitors mix with more than 50,000 others at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions annual attractions expo at the Orange County Convention Center.

This is where the innovators of everything from amusement park food to the latest concepts in rides get together with buyers from theme parks, water parks, family entertainment centers, stand-alone attractions, carnivals, fairs and other amusements to deal with the next big things in entertainment.

Participants are expected from more than 100 countries.

More than 1,000 exhibitors are setting up in the convention center’s North/South Hall, and in the parking lot behind the center. The IAAPA international conference begins Monday and the trade show begins Tuesday, with both running through next Friday. The events are not open to the public.

IAAPA, which promotes the $39.5 billion attractions industry, moved its world headquarters this past summer to Orlando, from Alexandria, Va.

About The Author

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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