Friday, December 1, 2023

UPDATED: 2013 Thea Awards Recipients Announced

Announcement photos by Martin Palicki

Orlando, FL, USA (November 13, 2012) — The 19th Annual Thea Award recipients were announced today at the TEA booth at the IAAPA Attractions Expo 2012.    The Thea Awards, recognizing the best in themed entertainment design, will be awarded in Anaheim, CA, USA on April 6, 2013.  For more information, visit

Crowd gathers at the TEA booth for the Thea Awards announcement

The 2013 Thea Award recipients are:

Recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements (formerly the Thea Lifetime Achievement Award)

Frank Stanek

“Perhaps no one has had more impact on the two biggest players in our business – Disney and Universal – than Frank Stanek has had – especially in the growth and development of the industry in the international marketplace.” — Marty Sklar


Europa-Park, Rust, Germany
By alternating innovation and adaptation, applying the world’s best practices together with their own brand of creativity, the Mack family has grown Europa-Park into one of the most important theme parks in the world.


Radiator Springs Racers, Disney California Adventure Park – Anaheim, USA

A thrilling race through the world of the Disney∙Pixar film Cars. In bringing a well-known movie to life, the designers went the extra step in expanding it into a fully experiential world.

Transformers: The Ride 3D, Universal Studios Singapore & Hollywood

An immersive, next-generation thrill ride that blurs the line between fiction and reality. The seamless combination of show systems pushes the boundaries of 3D realism.

Cars Land photo courtesy Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
Cars Land, Disney California Adventure Park – Anaheim, USA
(New Theme Park Land)

The sensitive layout, sophisticated use of scale, character details and high-quality execution combine to make this an outstanding example of experiential design and a destination in its own right.

Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame – Calgary, Canada

Virtually every storytelling device is used in this massive, multi-level exhibition that is never repetitive or derivative. Visitors are immersed in a complete Canadian sports experience.

Aquanura at Efteling Park – Netherlands
(Event Spectacular)

Aquanura adapts available technology and puts it to use in ways that are uniquely evocative. Artistry and beauty prevail over spectacle, bringing emotionally engaging stories to life.

Big-O Experience, Yeosu 2012 International Expo – South Korea
(Event Spectacular)

This unique project has added a new dimension to the genre of the multimedia water spectacular and will remain as a permanent icon and legacy of the 2012 world’s fair.

Tait Pixel Tablets – London, England
(Outstanding Technology)

Combining readily available components with a unique LED tablet, this new technology transformed the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony into a huge video display mapped to the space inhabited by the audience.

Harry Potter Studio Tour photo courtesy Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter – London, England
(Studio Tour)

Everything that is done with the Harry Potter brand faces high expectations from fans all over the world. The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour has managed to more than fulfill those expectations.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa -Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii USA
Themed Hotel Resort

Aulani represents a major departure from traditional Disney resorts in that, rather than providing lodging in support of a theme park, the resort itself is the destination.

Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge, Disney California Adventure Park – Anaheim, USA
(Theme Park Restaurant)

The restaurant resides within a reproduction of the famous Carthay Circle Theatre, renowned in Disney history as the venue for the premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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