|Founder||Don Iwerks and Stan Kinsey|
|Ub Iwerks, Don Iwerks, and Stan Kinsey|
|Products||Special venue and virtual reality theatres, 2-D, 3-D, and 4-D films|
Simex-Iwerks (formerly Iwerks Entertainment) was founded in 1985 in Burbank, California, by Oscar winner and Disney Legend Don Iwerks and Stan Kinsey, two former Disney Executives. The company was named to honor Don's father, Ub Iwerks, who was Walt Disney's first business partner and creator of Mickey Mouse.
The company specializes in high-tech entertainment systems, films, film technologies, film-based software, and services. Today the company has 300 attractions in 40 countries worldwide. They are a leading innovator of immersive 3-D and 4-D attractions, special effects, and cinematic experiences; they are also an exclusive distributor of over 130 proprietary 2-D, 3-D, and 4-D films.
In late 1999, Iwerks Entertainment acquired the assets of Santa Fe Springs-based McFadden Systems, Inc. following the company's bankruptcy. McFadden Systems was founded in 1963, manufacturing motion simulators for use in military training. In early 1992, Warner Bros. Movie World approached McFadden Systems to develop a motion simulator for Batman Adventure – The Ride. By expanding their business into the amusement industry, McFadden Systems' annual sales quadrupled to $10 million in 1997. Further motion simulator systems were developed for the Star Trek: The Experience, London Trocadero and Palace Park, Irvine, along with preliminary design work for Walt Disney Imagineering on DisneyQuest. While other companies were producing motion bases with six degrees of freedom for approximately $1 million, McFadden Systems was able to produce them at a fraction of the cost.
In 2002, Iwerks Entertainment merged with SimEX and began trading under the name SimEx-Iwerks.
By 2000, Iwerks had over 250 installations in 38 countries worldwide, including Giant Screen (Iwerks Extreme Screen) ride simulation attractions (Iwerks TurboRide), 3D/4D theatres (Iwerks 3D/4D FX Theatre Systems), and 360 Theatres.
By 2011, SimEx-Iwerks had 300 attractions in 40 countries worldwide.
The first occurred in 1998 at the 70th Academy Awards show, where founder Don Iwerks was awarded the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, given each year to "an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry."
SimEx-Iwerks has a film library of over 132 films including:
- A Turtle's Adventure (aka "TurtleTrek") (2006)
- Across The Sea of Time (1995)
- Aliens: Ride at the Speed of Fright
- Alien Adventure (and in separate segments) (1999)
- Bamboo Express (2010)
- Comet Impact
- Corkscrew Hill (2001)
- Canyon Rapids
- Deep Sea 4-D
- Dinky The Dinosaur
- Dino Island (1995)
- Dino Island II 3D - Escape from Dino Island (1998)
- Dora & Diego's 4-D Adventure (2010)
- Encounter in the 3rd Dimension
- Extreme Log Ride
- Fun House Express (1995) (acquired in 2002)
- Happy Feet 4-D Experience! (2007)
- Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - The 4-D Experience (2012)
- Journey of Man
- Journey to the Center of the Earth 4-D Adventure (2008)
- Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - The 4-D Experience (2013)
- Life 4-D (2011)
- Marvin the Martian in the Third Dimension (1996)
- Mission Mars
- Nick Jr. at the Movies (2-D with 4-D effects)
- Pirates 4-D
- Planet Earth
- Planet Earth: From Pole to Pole (2006)
- Planet Earth: Ice Worlds (2010)
- Planet Earth: Shallow Seas (2007)
- Pokemon: Pikachu's Ocean Adventure
- Reboot 1: The Ride (1997)
- Rio: The 4-D Experience
- Sky Dog
- S.O.S (Sub-Oceanic Shuttle) (1991)
- Speed Racer 4-D
- SpongeBob SquarePants 4-D (2002)
- SpongeBob SquarePants 4D: The Great Jelly Rescue (2013)
- The Haunted Lighthouse
- The Ultimate Roller Coaster
- The Polar Express: The Ride
- The Wizard of Oz: 4-D Experience (2009)
- Wild World Africa
- Wings of Courage
- SimEx-Iwerks Inc. Company Profile
- Pollack, Andrew (10 October 1997). "From Science to Fiction; Military and Entertainment Industries Swap Expertise". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- "SimEx.". Amusement Business 111 (49). 6 December 1999.
- Huffstutter, P.J. (4 August 1997). "Virtual Rides Take Off". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- Ray, Susan (21–27 February 1994). "Showscan Corp. to build theater no. 2 in London". Amusement Business 106 (8): 18.
- Splits, Jill Jorden (3 November 1997). "Futuristic Fun Defies Definition At Disney". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- Murray, Charles J. (23 June 1997). "Fluid power adds high-tech thrills in amusement rides". Design News. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- Brian, Demkowicz. "For Immediate Release". 1570 Communications Center.
- Home Services. "Services". SimEx-Iwerks.
- NNDB. "Oscar, Gordon E. Sawyer Award". Soylent Communications.
- Fact for the Day. "This Day in Disney History". The Walt Disney Company.