Tuesday, November 28, 2023

18th annual Thea Awards recipients announced by Themed Entertainment Association

Joe Rohde

Annual awards for the themed entertainment industry seek, gauge and celebrate excellence in storytelling that supports the creation of compelling places and guest experiences

Orlando, USA — “The annual Thea Awards, presented by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), recognize and honor excellence in the creation of extraordinary visitor experiences, attractions, exhibits and places,” says TEA president Rick Rothschild of FAR Out! Creative Direction. “As this year we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of TEA, we can reflect on how much has changed: the tools and techniques our industry employs, the use of digital media and interactivity, the sophistication of themed environments and the international expansion of the business, especially into Asia. At the same time, storytelling and teamwork remain the bedrock of the Experience Design Industry and its projects.

“The Thea Awards honor teamwork at its very best – the creative handshake between the visionary project owner and the multidisciplinary collective of designers, artisans and technicians who realize the vision. TEA’s Thea Awards celebrate storytelling across the globe – educational and entertaining stories of heritage, history, fiction, fantasy, magic and even hard science – delivered with artistry and the appropriate use of technology at museums, theme parks, world expos, special events and other settings. TEA looks forward to the next 20 years of leading the visitor attractions industry.”

The Thea Awards Nominating Committee (listed below) recommended the current slate of 16 Thea recipients, with final approval by the TEA International Board of Directors. The Awards will be formally presented March 17, 2012 at the 18th Annual Thea Awards Gala, a black-tie dinner affair, open to the public, at the Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim Calif. USA. Tickets/more information: www.teaconnect.org.

18th Annual Thea Award Recipients – List
  • The Buzz Price Thea Award – Recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements (formerly the Thea Lifetime Achievement Award) – Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering 
  • Thea Classic Award Puy du Fou: Le Grand Parc and Cinéscénie, Vendée, France

Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement

  • Space Fantasy The Ride at Universal Studios Japan (Attraction)  
  • Barnas Brannstasjon (Children’s Fire Station) at Kongeparken, Norway (Attraction on a Limited Budget)
  • Arthur, L’Aventure 4D at Futuroscope (Attraction)
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World (Attraction Refresh)
  • NatureQuest at Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta (Museum Exhibit)
  • YOU! The Experience at Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (Museum Exhibit)
  • The Changing Climate Show at Science North (Science Center Attraction on a Limited Budget)
  • Ghost of the Castle at Louisiana’s Old State Capitol (Cultural Heritage Attraction on a Limited Budget)
  • Crane Dance at Resorts World Sentosa (Show Spectacular)
  • The Magic, The Memories, and You! at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom (Show Spectacular)
  • Yo México, Celebration of the Century of the Mexican Revolution, Mexico City (Live Show Event Spectacular)
  • The House of Dancing Water at City of Dreams, Macau (Live Show Spectacular)
  • FoodLoop at Europa-Park (Themed Restaurant Experience)
  • Animation Magic in the Animator’s Palate Restaurant aboard Disney Cruise Line’s Ship – Disney Fantasy (Ingenious use of Technology)

See details on all the Thea Awards recipients at this link.

Thea Awards Nominating Committee

Brad Merriman (Management Resources) Chair
John Robinett (Economics at AECOM) Vice-Chair
Steve Thorburn (Thorburn Associates) Board Liaison
Karen McGee (BRC Imagination Arts) Coordinator
Marty Sklar (Marty Sklar Creative Inc.)
Monty Lunde (Technifex)
Bob Gurr (GurrDesign)
Tony Baxter (Walt Disney Imagineering)
Don Iwerks (Iwerks Entertainment founder)
Barry Upson (Barry Upson Company)
Yves Pepin
Bob Rogers (BRC Imagination Arts)
Bob Ward (Strategic Insights & Creative Imagination)
Kim Irvine (Walt Disney Imagineering)
George Wiktor (The GW Group)
Jeremy Railton (Entertainment Design Corp.)
Steve McIntyre (Anitech Systems)
Phil Hettema (The Hettema Group)
Dawn Hollingsworth (Zuzink)
Patricia MacKay (Ones and Zeros)
Larry Wyatt (MSI Design)

About TEA
The TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) is an international nonprofit alliance founded in 1991 and based in Burbank, Calif. TEA represents some 7,000 creative specialists, from architects to designers, technical specialists to master planners, scenic fabricators to artists, and builders to feasibility analysts working in more than 650 firms in 30 US states and 40 different countries. TEA presents the annual Thea Awards and the TEA Summit and hosts the annual SATE Conference (Storytelling, Architecture, Technology, Experience). TEA also produces a variety of print and electronic publications, including the TEA/AECOM Theme Index, TEA Project Development Guidelines, TEA Annual & Directory and Thea Awards Program magazine.

About the Thea Awards
Like the TEA, the Thea Awards, sponsored by Economics at AECOM, were created to bring recognition to achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. From a modest beginning in 1994, the Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence. The public is welcome to attend the black-tie 18th Annual Thea Awards Gala, which will be held March 17, 2012 at the Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim Calif. USA. Tickets may be ordered online at teaconnect.org. The name of the award is a play on three words: the first is “Thea,” the Greek goddess from whom all light emanates. Thea was the mother of Helios (the sun), Eos (the dawn), and Selene (the moon). The second key word is “Theater,” a word derived from the goddess Thea. The third word, of course, is TEA, the name of the association.

A comprehensive listing of Thea Awards and project credits from 1994-2011 and instructions on how to submit a project for a Thea Award are on the TEA website.

About Economics at AECOM (Thea Awards Gala sponsor)
Economics at AECOM (formerly ERA/Economics Research Associates) is an international consulting firm focused on economic analysis for the entertainment and leisure industry, real estate development, public-policy analysis, tourism, and economic development. Since its founding in 1958, Economics at AECOM has completed over 15,000 assignments yielding unmatched experience in land use economics. In the process, the firm has made important contributions to some of the world’s most innovative and successful development projects. Their projects span the globe and range from repositioning single land uses to New Towns planned over 30 years. In broad terms, Economics at AECOM assists private developers and public agencies in assessing the future economics and outcomes of real estate projects and economic development plans. Economics at AECOM offers a diverse array of economic analysis and tools to answer complex problems.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She reports on design and technical design, production and project management, industry trends and company culture. From 2005-2020 she ran communications and publications for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA and publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association, and has contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a BFA from Pratt Institute. She has lived in Detroit, New York, Oakland, and now Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts community.

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