Disney captures four Thea Awards for Avatar, Frozen and Guardians rides
ORLANDO — Disney Parks and Resorts led the winners of the Themed Entertainment Association's Thea Awards, announced today at the IAAPA Attractions Expo. Disney won a total of four Thea Awards for its Avatar
-themed land in Orlando and its Frozen
and Guardians of the Galaxy
Cedar Point won the group's Thea Classic Award this year, while Phil Hettema of The Hettema Group won the Buzz Price Award for lifetime achievement. A former executive with what is now Universal Creative, Hettema helped design Back to the Future: The Ride, The Cat in the Hat, and Men in Black: Alien Attack for Universal before starting his own firm in 2002.
This year's Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement among theme parks include:
- Pandora – The World of Avatar, Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Theme Park Area Development)
- DreamWorks Animation Zone, MOTIONGATE Dubai (Theme Park Land)
- Avatar Flight of Passage, Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Attraction)
- Symbolica: The Palace of Fantasy, Efteling (Attraction)
- Derren Brown’s Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon, Thorpe Park (Immersive Attraction)
- Frozen Ever After, Epcot (Attraction Reimagining)
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Disney California Adventure (Attraction Reimagining)
- Ghost Town Alive! Knott’s Berry Farm (Connected Immersion Theater, Limited Budget)
- Chimelong Ocean Kingdom’s Journey of Lights Parade, China (Live Show)
Other Thea Award winners included:
- “Sleep No More Shanghai,” McKinnon Hotel, Shanghai (Connected Immersion Theater)
- Les Carrières de Lumières, Les Baux de Provence, France (Immersive Event)
- “Aura,” Basilica Notre Dame, Montreal (Immersive Event, Limited Budget)
- Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC (Museum)
- Rainis’ Museum Tadenava, Riga, Latvia (Museum Rehab on a Limited Budget)
- Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War, Te Papa Museum, Wellington, NZ (Museum Exhibit, Limited Budget)
- Jameson Distillery Bow St., Dublin, Ireland (Brand Experience)
- Citadella Visitors Centre, Gozo Island, Malta (Heritage Visitor Center, Limited Budget)
- 3D Live – Holographic 3D LED Display (Innovative Technology)
The Thea Awards will be presented on April 7, 2018 during a ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. Please take a look at our in-depth coverage of several of the attractions that now have won this year's Thea Award winners — these include some of our strongest posts from the past year or so:
Robert, why are there two awards each for Attraction Reimagining and Attraction and just one award for most of the other awards?
The Thea Awards are not category-specific. Basically, TEA decides what among the various nominees are worthy of an achievement award, and they win. So there can be multiple winners in some categories and none in others that had winners in the past.
Are themed water parks included? If so, it's a kick in the teeth for Universal.