Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

18th Annual Thea Awards

Announced in November at IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando were the winners of the 18th Thea Awards from the TEA.

Winners were selected by a range of over 20 TEA members and officers in recognition of their excellence in the creation of extraordinary visitor experiences, attractions, exhibits and places. Here’s who and what caught the TEA’s attention:

Buzz Price Thea Award (lifetime achievement)

Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering. Joe Rohde is a 30-year veteran of The Walt Disney Company. Starting his career as a model designer on EPCOT, Joe led the team that conceptualised, designed and built Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Doing so involved years of research and negotiation with constituents from the scientific community, the world of zoos and representatives of indigenous communities involved in the stories created in the park. Joe continues to oversee new attractions for Animal Kingdom, in addition to the creative design and content of Disney’s Aulani resort in Hawaii.

Thea Classic Award

Puy du Fou, France. This impressive venue includes two independent attractions including spectacular live arena shows such as The Secret of the Lance, set in front of the battlements of medieval castle that moves, turns, spits fire and disappears into the ground, and The Vikings, set in a reconstructed 1,000 year old fortress attacked by a Viking. Complementing this is Le Grand Parc, an assembly of picturesque villages based on the history of the region, each with a 30-40 minute live story. Lve entertainment at its best, on a scale rarely seen in a theme park (or anywhere else)!

Thea Awards For Outstanding Achievement

Attractions – Space Fantasy The Ride at Universal Studios Japan; Barnas Brannstasjon at Kongeparken, Norway. Attraction on a limited budget – Arthur, L’Aventure 4D at Futuroscope, France; Attraction refresh – Star Tours The Adventures Continue at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, USA. Museum exhibits – NatureQuest at Fernbank Museum of Natural History, USA; YOU! The Experience at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. Science centre attraction on a limited budget – The Changing Climate Show at Science North, Canada. Cultural heritage attraction on a limited budget – Ghost of the Castle at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol, USA. Show spectaculars – Crane Dance at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore; The Magic, The Memories, and You! at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Florida. Live show spectacular – The House of Dancing Water at City of Dreams, Macau. Live show event spectacular – Yo México, Celebration of the Century of the Mexican Revolution, Mexico City. Themed restaurant experience – FoodLoop at Europa-Park, Germany. Ingenious use of technology – Animation Magic in the Animator’s Palate restaurant aboard Disney Cruise Line’s ship Disney Fantasy.

The awards, which will formally be presented at a gala ceremony on March 17 at Disneyland Resort in California, are widely recognised as the “Oscars” of the attractions industry. For more details of the winning projects, and why they were recognised, click here.



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