Florida Attractions News

Here you can find the latest stories and announcements from the Florida Attractions Association.

  • April 17, 2024 4:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Doug Lansky wowed attendees at our 2016 Annual Conference in West Palm Beach and will be making an encore appearance for this year’s conference traveling all the way from Stockholm Sweden.

    Doug Lansky has been living abroad and traveling for the last nearly 20 years in over 120 countries. He is the author of 10 books, including 2 for Lonely Planet and 3 for Rough Guides, had a weekly syndicated travel column in over 40 newspapers for five years, hosted a Travel Channel show, served as a correspondent for Public Radio’s Savvy Traveler show, served as travel editor for Scandinavian Airlines inflight magazine for three years and contributed to publications such as National Geographic Traveler, Reader’s Digest, Esquire, Men’s Journal, The Guardian, National Geographic Adventure, Huffington Post and Skift.

    On the speaking circuit, Doug has given acclaimed lectures at nearly 100 universities, spoken to a sold-out audience at National Geographic Headquarters, for the United Nations World’s Tourism Organization, as an after-dinner speaker at corporate events and at both public and industry travel/tourism conferences, at TEDx Stockholm, and set the attendance record for keynote lectures at the 2012 and 2013 ITB Berlin conferences.

    His next stop – The World Equestrian Center for the FAA’s big 75th Annual Conference!

  • April 15, 2024 4:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Following the passing of the historic FAA gavel from now Chair Cindy Stavely (St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum) to our new Chairman Dan Donovan (Universal Orlando Resort), we’ll gather at one of our association’s founding members, Florida’s Silver Springs for an enchanting evening at this Florida legacy attraction.

    Silver Springs was one of Florida’s original tourist attractions (if not THE original). After the American Civil War, the springs began to attract tourists from the North via steamboats up the Silver River. Silver Springs gained national attention through journals and guidebooks and became a mandatory stop on the "grand tour" of Florida.

    In the late 1870s, the glass-bottom boat and the glass-bottom rowboat were introduced to take visitors on the river to give them a unique view of the springs. In the 1890s, commercial-sized glass-bottom boats were developed and placed in operation.

    We’ll gather at this historic place and enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner and drinks, surrounded by the natural beauty of Florida, serenaded by music and venture into the river on one of the world-famous glass-bottom boats. We’ll honor Florida’s rich attraction history as we brave the new frontier as leaders of Florida’s attraction community.

  • April 10, 2024 3:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It's Time to Register!

    It's time to register for the biggest attractions event of the year! Industry professionals from across the broad spectrum of attractions and experiences offered to millions of visitors annually will gather on June 9-12, 2024 at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala to commemorate the extraordinary growth of Florida's attractions industry. This event will mark our rise to prominence within the global attractions community, reaffirming our heritage as Past Pioneers blazing a trail to Future Frontiers of our industry.

    Join your industry colleagues for 6 General Sessions, 15 Breakouts, and a dozen Roundtables. All Meals included throughout your stay!

    Details and Registration

    Register by April 30 to get the Early Bird Rate!

    Who Should Attend?

    We welcome employees and representatives and industry leaders from Florida’s finest family attractions, as well as industry suppliers from across the country that are eager to do business with Florida-based attractions. Professionals in sales, marketing, public relations, social media, operations, guest experience, safety, legal, communications, human resources, and retail will benefit from the vast array of educational content at the conference. 

    Thank You to Our 2024 Annual Conference Sponsors!

    Are you a FAA Associate Member and would like to

    join these companies as a conference sponsor? Please click here for details.

    Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin  
  • April 05, 2024 5:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The FAA is pleased to announce the extension of our secret shopper program contract with Amusement Advantage of Arvada, Colorado.  Amusement Advantage has been providing the FAA with our Code of Practices compliance checks since 2016.  We look forward to continuing our work with Scot Carson and his team to ensure the FAA’s Code of Practices distinguishes our members as Florida’s Finest Family Attractions.

    Amusement Advantage is a premier mystery shopping company based in Arvada, Colorado. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, they

    have established themselves as a trusted partner for

    businesses looking to improve their customer experience. One of the main advantages of working with Amusement Advantage is their team of highly trained mystery shoppers who provide valuable insights and feedback on a business's operations. These mystery shoppers are skilled at evaluating various aspects of a business, such as customer service, cleanliness, and overall atmosphere, providing businesses with a comprehensive view of their strengths and areas for improvement.

  • April 05, 2024 4:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We’re just days away from launching registration for our 75th Anniversary Annual Conference.  I’m excited about the lineup this year – the largest variety of breakout sessions, roundtables, and general session speakers in FAA history.  

    For our conference theme, I’ve chosen “Past Pioneers, Future Frontiers”.   Since the FAA’s founding, we’ve all been pioneers, building on the work of those who preceded us as we move into the unknown of cultural and technological evolution. 

    Our Education Committee has been working hard to piece our education programming together and they’ve done a remarkable job.  Mary Altman, Chair – Wounded Warrior Project (formerly World Golf Hall of Fame); Keith Clark – Flamingo Gardens; Felicia Cook – Marineland Dolphin Adventure; Kelli King – IMAG History & Science Center; and Samantha Palmer – Historic Tours of Flagler College have served you very well. 

    Our three General Session will tackle issues such as managing change with a sense of humor, the future of Florida’s transportation infrastructure, and world-renowned travel expert Doug Lansky who was a hit at our 2016 Annual Conference will be joining us from his home in Stockholm, Sweden.

    Add the evening networking events, and a special farewell event at one of our founding members in 1949, Silver Springs State Park and we’ll have a conference to remember.  In fact, 98% of last year’s Annual Conference attendees indicate they are “likely” or “very likely” to attend this year conference!

    I look forward to seeing you all at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, June 9-12!


    Cindy Stavely
    Chairman, Florida Attractions Association
    Executive Director, St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum

  • March 27, 2024 9:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    (as of 03/26/24)

    By: Kristina E. Wilson, Esq of KEW Legal, P.A.

    The Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) went into effect on January 1, 2024Kristina Wilson, KEW Legal to prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The CTA requires businesses to disclose specific ownership information to the federal government, specifically the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN"). If the entity was formed before January 01, 2024, the Beneficial Ownership Information Report ("BOIR”) must be submitted before December 31, 2024. If the entity was formed on or after January 01, 2024, business owners have only 90 days to file the BOIR. Additionally, there is also a strict requirement to update BOIRs promptly to reflect any changes to original filings.

    Under the CTA, beneficial owners are individuals that have direct or indirect ownership stake in an entity. This means any individual that owns at least 25% of the entity, has control over the equity, or is in a position to have major influence on the entity’s operations or reporting decisions. Specifically, some the information that must be disclosed for each beneficial owner includes the owners’ names, addresses, dates of birth, identification number, as well as entity information filed in the state in which the entity operates.

    Unless exempt under the CTA, all types of entities operating or doing business in the United States, big or small, are impacted and failure to timely comply can lead to penalties such as fines of $500 per day or criminal penalties up to $10,000 and/or two years in prison.

    It is important to note that the recent launch of the CTA has resulted in significant uproar in the business and legal community and the law itself has been challenged. Although there are ongoing challenges to this law working their way through the court system, there is still an obligation for compliance for the majority of business owners. It is vital for all business owners to take the CTA seriously and make sure they have properly filed the required information prior to the applicable deadline. Navigating the nuisances of the CTA can be tricky and overwhelming and it is advisable to contact an attorney to minimize reporting errors that could create legal exposure.

    For more information about the CTA or assistance in filing your entity’s BOIR, please contact our office at (305) 990-2300 or info@kewlegal.com to schedule a free consultation.

    KEW Legal (www.kewlegal.com) is a law firm based in Sunny Isles Beach, FL focused on the areas of corporate law, real estate, and general counsel services. KEW Legal strives to provide efficient legal counsel and personalized services aimed at streamlining operations and maximizing profitability for our clients.

  • March 26, 2024 12:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The earliest document the FAA possess in its archives relates to an “organizational meeting” held three years before the associate was formally incorporated. A group of attraction industry leaders met at Marineland. This organizational meeting involved the creation of a new alliance. Dick Pope, Sr. (Cypress Garden) suggested the name of this group should be the Florida Attractions Association. The group

    addresses a number of steps to be completed in the creation of the FAA - the creation of a “constitution” and bylaws, establishment of committees, election of officers, and a code of ethics.Marineland Dolphin Tavern & Upper Deck

    Previously, this group of attraction leaders met as a committee under the auspices of the FPPRA – known today as the FPRA or the Florida Public Relations Association. The group discussed the potential of membership of the Okefenokee Swamp, which straddled the Florida-George line, but determined the swap was primarily a Georgia attraction.

    There was conversation about the State Advertising Commission – the predecessor to today’s VISIT FLORIDA – but even in 1946, it was a target to be eliminated from the state’s budget! Some things never change.


  • March 18, 2024 12:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    How long have you been in the attractions industry?

    I started working in hospitality in college as a Campus Sales Representative for Eastern Airlines. I then worked in several positions within an Orlando-based Receptive Tour Operator before joining Universal Orlando in 1997.

    What is your favorite job you’ve had in the industry and why?

    I am a proponent of “job crafting” and helping people navigate to the intersection of their role (what they do) and their soul (their natural talents). My current role leading Talent Orchestration is now my favorite, as I get to do what I do best and help others do the same.

    What is the most rewarding aspect of working in/for the attraction industry?

    I was in a bank recently and thought “How boring would this be?!”. The best part of being in our industry is that we help bring families closer together through shared experiences that they will remember for a lifetime. Additionally, it is fun!

    What do you enjoy doing in your leisure time?

    I am currently pursuing a graduate degree and enjoy learning. When not working on projects for my job or school, I enjoy long walks listening to podcasts and we love traveling as a family to Europe once every year. I am also enjoying being a “Granddad” to my daughter’s adorable dachshund Avon Barksdale.

    Aside from Florida, what is your dream vacation destination and why?

    As a family we have traveled to Europe on several occasions. Our favorite spot so far has been Paris. Future destinations include the South of France and Northern Italy. I’d also like to go to Austria and Switzerland around Christmas and visit the markets.

  • March 13, 2024 9:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A team of your fellow members have been working over the last several weeks to develop the Breakout Sessions and Roundtable topics education content for our 2024 Annual Conference, June 9-12 at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala.

    In January, FAA members were invited to submit their ideas and suggestions for consideration. Since then, the Education Committee has evaluated these submissions, reviewed survey results from last year’s Annual Conference and discussed current challenges facing our industry.

    The Committee’s charge is to present relevant and actionable content that will provide value to our members attending the conference.

    Thank you to our 2024 Education Committee

    • Mary Altman, Chair – Wounded Warrior Project (formerly World Golf Hall of Fame)
    • Keith Clark – Flamingo Gardens
    • Felicia Cook – Marineland Dolphin Adventure
    • Kelli King – IMAG History & Science Center
    • Samantha Palmer – Historic Tours of Flagler College

  • February 15, 2024 12:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We're excited to welcome these Attractions and Associate businesses who have recently joined the Florida Attractions Association:



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