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Global attractions recognised at Thea Awards

Global attractions recognised at Thea Awards
April 20, 2015

Recognising outstanding themed entertainment and experience design projects worldwide, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA)'s 21st Thea Awards have been presented at a glittering ceremony at Disneyland Resort in California.

Presented during the three-day TEA Summit in Anaheim, the previously-announced Awards rewarded excellence for the creation of compelling educational, historical and entertainment projects across 17 categories.

Notable among the awards was the presentation of the Thea Classic award for 2015 to Disney’s ‘It’s a Small World’, with original composer Richard Sherman giving a special performance of the children’s classic on stage.

Created for the 1964 New York World’s Fair as a benefit for UNICEF, ‘It’s a Small World’ entertained more than 10 million visitors before being moved to Disneyland two years later, where it has entertained hundreds of millions of visitors since. Versions of the themed boat ride now also appear at Disney parks in Orlando, Florida; Tokyo, Japan; Paris, France and Hong Kong, where they are consistently among most visited attractions.

Asian attractions including Singapore’s Sentosa Island, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom in China and the The StoryGarden at The Amorepacific Beauty Campus in South Korea and were recognised with Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement while the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida was a multiple award winner.

Creative artists from Disney, Universal, and other themed entertainment firms from around the world - large and small - came together for the three-day event, which wrapped up last with the presentation Thea Awards, honouring the best of the best in the themed entertainment industry.

Award winners (including their citations) were:

Thea Classic 
• ‘It’s a Small World’, Disneyland, California, USA
“50 years and 300 million visitors”

Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement (AOA)
• The Time Machine, Parc du Futuroscope (Poitiers, France) - AOA, Attraction Rehabilitation on a Limited Budget

• Chimelong Ocean Kingdom (Zhuhai, China) - AOA, Theme Park
"Chimelong Ocean Kingdom raises the bar for other Chinese park developers and demonstrates how much can be achieved with a combination of Western design and Chinese execution."

• Gratassland ‘The Land of the Little Grey Tractor’, Kongeparken (Stavanger, Norway) - AOA, New Park Land, Limited Budget

• Wilderness Explorers, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World (Orlando) - AOA, Attraction, Limited Budget

• National September 11 Memorial Museum (New York City, USA) - AOA, Extraordinary Cultural Achievement
"...conveys its important story with eloquence and emotional power while allowing for thoughtful reflection, learning and tribute by every visitor."

• Wonder Rooms at Gemeentemuseum (The Hague, Netherlands) - AOA, Museum Exhibit
"The blend of art, storytelling, themed environments and gaming elements makes Wonder Rooms unique within the world of art museums."

• Nature Lab, Natural History Museum (Los Angeles, USA) - AOA, Museum Exhibition, Limited Budget
"engages visitors in the scientific exploration of LA as a biodiversity hotspot"

• The Grand Hall Experience @ Saint Louis Union Station (Saint Louis MO, USA) - AOA, Live Show on a Limited Budget

• Wings of Time (Sentosa Island, Singapore) - AOA, Event Spectacular
"...visual and theatrical experience creation on a very high level"

• Bistrot Chez Remy, Walt Disney Studios Park (Disneyland Paris) - AOA, Themed Restaurant
"...a family restaurant built by Remy and his friends, so that guests are rat-sized when they enter and dine"

• The StoryGarden at The Amorepacific Beauty Campus (Gyeonggi-do, South Korea) - AOA, Corporate Brand-Land
"...delivers on the essence of Amorepacific’s brand while also delivering a distinctive experience"

• Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Florida (Orlando) - AOA, Paragon Award
" the themed entertainment industry, the yardstick by which all will now be measured"
• Diagon Alley
• Hogwarts Express
• Diagon Alley Retail/Dining

• Harry Potter & The Escape from Gringotts, Universal Studios Florida (Orlando) - AOA, Attraction

• Interactive Wands - Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios Florida (Orlando) - AOA, Technical Excellence

The Buzz Price Thea Award - Recognising a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements
• Ron Miziker 

The Thea Awards’ naming 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 ‘Theatre”, a word derived from the goddess Thea. The third word, links to the TEA, the host association for the awards.

Image shows Richard Sherman performing at the Thea Awards. Image courtesy of TEA.

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