|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.