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Wizarding World of Harry Potter to receive four Thea Awards March 12

Hogwarts Castle at night at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction, Universal Orlando Resort. Photo: Universal Studios.
The Themed Entertainment Association holds its 17th Annual Thea Awards Gala in Los Angeles on March 12. Among the projects being honored for excellence is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort, which is receiving four Awards for Outstanding Achievement, in the following categories:
  • New Theme Park Land
  • Technical Achievement
  • Feature Attraction
  • Thematic Integration of Retail, Food & Beverage
From TEA’s Thea Awards Committee:
“Everyone from J K Rowling on down was intent to deliver a world that could hold up to intense scrutiny of rabid Potter fans. From the minute detail of windows displaying chocolate frogs – pulled from Rowling’s writings, to larger spaces detailing the likes of the Hog’s Head Pub, Ollivanders Wand Shop, or the Owl Post. At the other extreme is the jaw dropping grand overview of Hogsmeade Village and the imposing edifice of Hogwarts Castle draped in a mantle of winter white. Somehow, it has all been magically transported to steamy Central Florida. These environments on their own have achieved a level of believability that moves fans emotionally. It is not so much replicative architecture as it is the storytelling of magical places, times and feelings, made real by “inhabitants” sharing their magical trappings, habits and foods. Suspension of disbelief in the film version requires massive doses of celluloid trickery to complete the illusion. Come to Orlando and inhabit for a time, a real magical world, just an exit removed from Interstate 4.” 

TEA will spotlight a number of this year’s Thea Awards recipients – including Beyond All Boundaries (National World War II Museum), Flynn Lives and Disney’s World of Color –  at the annual TEA Summit, Day Two, in Los Angeles. Registration is $85 for this full day of industry project profiles with the people from behind the scenes.


Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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