Fans of theme park attractions, and the talented artists who create them, will gather together for Robbiween 2018 on Feb. 3 at Winter Garden’s Garden Theatre to share stories, bid on collectibles, and raise money to support fellow designer Robbi Parsons Lepre.
For nearly a decade, theme park designer Kim Gromoll and friends have been helping to organize the annual Entertainment Designers Forums in Orlando, which combine Q&A sessions about attraction design with charity auctions of park memorabilia to benefit the American Cancer Society. This year, Gromoll and his colleagues are holding a similar event specifically to help Robbi Lepre, a longtime industry contributor and co-creator of Busch Gardens’ Howl-O-Scream, with her medical expenses.
Robbiween 2018 will be held from noon until 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 3 at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden. The event will consist of three panel discussion sessions. The first session will discuss Howl-o-Scream and feature Scott Swenson and Keith Kaminski; the second panel will be about “iron rides” with Brian Morrow, Jeff Hornick, and Ashley Edelbrock; and the final session will include Universal Orlando designers Kim Gromoll, David Hughes, Ray Kiem, TJ Mannarino, and others.
Tickets to Robbiween 2018 will only be sold at the door on the day of the event, not in advance. Admission will be $40 for all three panels and the silent auction. Cash will be preferred, but checks and credit cards will be accepted, and there will be a cash bar at the auction. If you can’t attend, a GoFundMe for Robbi has also been established.
Cindy White, a freelance artist who has designed parades for Disney, says she is helping organize Robbiween 2018 “to help Robbi Lepre, one of the industry’s own treasures.” White says the afternoon will be “a gathering of theme park and haunt event designers telling industry stories and an insider’s grab-bag of silent auction treasures,” and invites fans to join them “for an afternoon of insight, inspiration and love.”
Watch these videos for a taste of previous Entertainment Designers Forum events: