Theme Park of the Day: Knott's Berry Farm

Universal's Nintendo, Pets Lead 2022 Thea Award Winners

November 16, 2021, 1:28 PM · Universal's Super Nintendo World and Secret Life of Pets ride led the winners of the 28th annual Thea Awards, announced today at the IAAPA Expo in Orlando.

The Themed Entertainment Association presents the awards, which honor excellence in the themed entertainment design industry, including theme parks, attractions, zoos, and museums. Universal Studios Japan's Super Nintendo World was honored with a Thea Award for Theme Park Land, while Universal Studios Hollywood's The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash! won a Thea Award for Outstanding Attraction.

Universal Creative
Universal Creative Thierry Coup, center, with the team behind Super Nintendo World

The Thea Classic Award went to the Singapore Zoo's Night Safari, while Walt Disney Imagineering's Doris Hardoon was honored with the Buzz Price Thea Award for lifetime achievement.

The TEA also honored Super Nintendo World's Mario Kart for Technical Innovation. The TEA also honored Disney's Stuntronics with another Technical Innovation award, for the flying Spider-Man at Disney California Adventure's Avengers Campus.

Gideon's Bakehouse at Walt Disney World's Disney Springs was honored with a Thea Award for Themed Retail, Limited Budget.

The TEA this year introduced a new Thea Catalyst Award, which it presented to Sina Bahram, the founder of Prime Access Consulting, and Carmen Smith, the Vice President of Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Other winners were:
Indigenous Peoples Experience, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (Heritage Center)
The Roads to Freedom, Bastogne, Belgium (Live Show Spectacular on a Limited Budget)
Elephant Springs, Fort Worth Zoo, Texas, USA (Zoo Expansion)
Symphony: A Virtual Journey Into The Heart Of Music, Barcelona, Spain (Immersive Experience, Limited Budget)
AniMakerspace, USA (Inspirational Learning Experience, Limited Budget)
BOOM! Britannia Mine Museum, Britannia Beach, British Columbia, Canada (Museum Experience, Limited Budget)
Weta Workshop Unleashed, Auckland, New Zealand (Brand Experience)
Level99, Natick, Massachusetts, USA (Attraction)
Reodor Felgen's Hyperakselerator, Hunderfossen Adventure Park, Faberg, Norway (Attraction on a Limited Budget)
Lynn Allmandinger (Distinguished Service Award)

To learn more about the Thea Awards, Luc Mayrand from Walt Disney Imagineering and experience designer Dave Cobb joined me earlier this year to talk about the selection process.

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Replies (2)

November 16, 2021 at 4:10 PM

Man, does anyone out there have any word on an estimation to when Japan will reopen to foreign tourists/journalists? Super Nintendo World y'know.

November 16, 2021 at 9:01 PM

Let's hope that Universal sees all the positive reception that Secret Life of Pets received and continues building dark rides in that mold.

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