Episode 300 – Matt and Josh celebrate 300 episodes by being guests on their own podcast!


We have reached an incredible milestone, and we are celebrating in style!  For the 300th episode of the AttractionPros Podcast, Matt and Josh flew to Orlando and recorded this special episode in the lobby of IAAPA’s World Headquarters.  But wait!  Instead of interviewing an industry leader, the tables were turned as Scott Fais, Global Editorial Director for IAAPA, put Matt and Josh in the hot seats and interviewed them on their careers, the impact of AttractionPros on the industry and themselves, and a series of rapid-fire questions.  We’d like to thank Scott for opening the doors to IAAPA headquarters and hosting this special episode!

The impact of AttractionPros on the attractions industry

“It’s never a straight line from being a ride operator or a sweeper or scooping ice cream to being the CEO of a company.” –Matt

One of the biggest impacts AttractionPros has made on the industry is that the podcast has opened people’s eyes to various career paths.  Throughout the hundreds of interviews we’ve conducted, it’s clear that there is no one clear path from being a frontline employee to an executive leader.

“We saw an opportunity to create something for attractions industry professionals to learn from the best in the business.” –Josh

When we began the podcast in 2017, we identified a gap in educational content for those building a career in the industry.  With plenty of content available for enthusiasts and travel planning, we set out to make an impact on attractions industry professionals (also known as AttractionPros) to learn from the best of the best across all areas of the attractions industry.

How we look at the industry differently

“Sometimes, when you think about people in those positions and you don’t know them, it’s easy to dehumanize them.” –Matt

After 299 episodes, one of the biggest takeaways is that we’re all human.  Someone in an executive leadership role may come across as intimidating, and by conducting an interview that highlights their career path, their personal life, and mistakes they’ve made along the way, it shines a light on the person behind the title.

“I feel that the industry is even smaller after talking to so many people.” –Josh

It also makes the industry feel smaller.  In addition to identifying mutual connections and connecting the dots from a networking standpoint, hearing similar challenges and guidance across attractions and facility types that you may not associate with each other, it shows that the industry is largely on the same page and singing the same song.

Podcast guests who have made a large impact

Every guest on the podcast has had an incredible story to share and an incredible message for the industry, making it difficult for Matt and Josh to each pick one!  Nevertheless, Matt stated that when we interviewed Brian Knoebel, it was a last-minute scheduling based on a cancellation, meaning we had no questions prepared.  Despite the lack of preparation, his father’s birthday, and only a few days before opening the park for the season, Brian offered us his undivided attention and conducted an incredible interview.

Josh cited John Wood, President and Chairman of Sally Dark Rides, and the way in which he shared how rides like Sally – and the experience in a theme park in general – create a lasting impact on people’s lives that extends far beyond the duration of the ride or the visit to the park.  We often lose sight of why people visit attractions of any kind because it gets lost in the day-to-day minutiae, and listening to John’s view of the industry is a refreshing reminder.

What has the podcast done for us

“The podcast has given me another way to give back that I never would have thought of.” –Matt

The podcast has deepened Matt and Josh’s ability to network and make connections within the industry.  An invitation to come on a podcast is not a sales pitch, making it more likely for an executive to say yes to offering their time.  It also has been an excellent way to give back to the industry that we have gained so much from.

“I feel like I am continually gaining an advanced degree in the industry.” –Josh

Additionally, the amount of education and inspiration from the podcast makes it feels like one can gain an advanced degree in the attractions industry.  With hundreds of interviews across so many topics, the audience can learn about executive leadership, operations, hospitality, marketing, safety, animal care, DEI, and nearly every topic that you can think of that touches the attractions industry.


Scott also asked Matt and Josh about the impact that IAAPA has made on their career, the value of being an IAAPA show ambassador, how the AttractionPros Mentorship Internship came to be, common challenges that the industry is facing, advice for starting a podcast, and then a fast round of rapid-fire questions.

To learn more about IAAPA, who graciously hosted us for this special recording, visit www.iaapa.org.  To get in touch with us directly, contact attractionpros@gmail.com.

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