Around 60 members of the Europe & Middle East Division of the TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) gathered in London in December for the Association’s Festive London Day Out, an annual opportunity for informal networking and education.
Hosted by newly-elected TEA EME president Matt Barton of 7thSense Design, the 2017 edition of this featured a visit to the highly successful Crystal Maze LIVE Experience; a ride on the new Mail Rail train at the Postal Museum at Mount Pleasant, and finished off with a trip to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park.
The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience is based on the hit 90s TV show, and invites participants to take part in pulse-racing immersive and interactive challenges – proving an unbeatable ice breaker as the first activity of the day.
Operations manager Gareth Cole followed up the experience with an insight into the development of the attraction, from its inception and initially crowd-funded launch through to its current incarnation as a highly successful, multi-site operation.
Next up was a trip to The Postal Museum at Mount Pleasant, which recently updated its offering with the installation of a miniature train created by Severn Lamb to run the route of the original Mail Rail, the one hundred year old Post Office railway that travelled under the streets of London. Ideal for both train enthusiasts and a day out with the kids, the train takes riders on a 15-minute journey through the original tunnels and station platforms under Mount Pleasant, past dripping stalactites and atmospherically flickering lights. A 3D presentation halfway through brings the history of the Mail Rail to life.
The final stop for the TEA EME members was seasonal festival Winter Wonderland, which takes place in Hyde Park from late November until early January, and features an extravaganza of ice skating, shows, roller coaster rides, street food stalls, festive bars and live music. A particular highlight this year was the Deep Sea Adventure exhibit at the Magical Ice Kingdom, which surrounded visitors in a twinkling display of ice sculptures themed around mythical sea creatures.
Over mulled wine and mince pies, events director Suzy Griffiths of Winter Wonderland’s organiser IMG/PWR Events explained the mammoth amount of logistical planning that goes into the annual six week event, which has grown into a major money-maker for Royal Parks.
Visit teaconnect.org to find out more about the TEA’s upcoming events for 2018.
Click images in gallery below to enlarge.