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Industry Awards

Thea Awards 2017 A

As is customary each November at IAAPA

Attractions Expo, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced the winners recently of its latest Thea

Awards – but they'l have to wait until April to get their hands on the trophies. Here, right now, we reveal the winning projects and the Thea Awards committee's reasons for choosing them

s TEA heads into its 25th anniversary year, our annual Thea Awards reflect an industry that is increasingly global and technically sophisticated,” notes TEA

international board president Steve Birket of Birket Engineering. “Entertainment is ever more immersive and interactive and audiences place ever more value on storytelling and the quality of the guest experience..”


The Buzz Price Thea Award (lifetime achievement): Jeremy Railton, founder/chairman, Entertainment Design Corp. Jeremy is one of the most versatile and prolific designers in entertainment, working in multiple industries including themed entertainment, immersive experience, gaming, television and stage shows. His credits include the 2002 Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies in Salt Lake City, Motiongate and Bollywood Parks Dubai, Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Crane Dance at Resorts World Sentosa Singapore), Fortune Diamond at Galaxy Macau and the Barbra Streisand World Tour

Thea Classic Award: WaterWorld: A Live Sea War Spectacular, Universal Studios Hollywood, California. When it opened in 1995, WaterWorld set a new standard for live stunt shows. In the ensuing 21 years, Universal Studios has continually kept the show up to date with changes in production technology.

TEA Distinguished Service Award: Peter Chernack. A past president of TEA, Peter passed away on April 3 this year. Instrumental in the founding of the association, he was a strong proponent in creating the TEA NextGen Initiative. Most recently he headed The Chernack Group. In previous years his company was Metavision. From the Space Quest Casino and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to retail space and public space, he was a pioneer in experiential design.


BELOW: Mack’s Suspended Power Coaster as seen on Arthur the ride at Europa-Park

Technology on a Limited Budget: Slideboarding by WhiteWater. This pioneering adaptation of video gaming for waterparks amps up audience engagement, bringing in-park interactivity together with an extended-experience app that remembers guests’ in-home practice sessions and drives repeat park visitation.

23rd annual industry 'Oscars' recognise 'ever more immersive' projects

5D Castle Theatre at Chimelong Ocean Kingdom

Innovative Ride System: Suspended Power Coaster by Mack Rides. First tested and installed at the Mack family's Europa-Park (Germany) as part of the attraction Arthur in the Kingdom of the Minimoys, this transport system combines dark-ride, 360° spins, variable speeds with gravity, plus power-fed coaster sections and on-board audio. It offers attraction designers unprecedented flexibility to create new types of experiences.

Attraction Outstanding Achievement: 5D Castle Theatre, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Zuhai, China. High-quality, high- capacity, high-impact! The scale of this attraction is huge, its ambitions audacious. Media, theatre planning and construction, motion seats, and in-theatre effects are all excellent and expertly integrated and, together with a local story, all add up to a truly world class attraction.

Live Event Spectacular on a Limited Budget: Décrocher la Lune, La Louviere, Belgium. This large-scale, city-wide theatrical celebration was conceived as a thank-you to the community of La Louviere, where Franco Dragone is based. It is urban opera and immersive storytelling on a grand scale, for one-night only every three years.

Connected Immersion on a Limited Budget: Ghost Post (Disney Parks & Resorts). Bringing a new dimension to a classic Disney attraction, this retail service used an augmented reality game as a clever storytelling mechanism. Puzzles, audio plays and clues led to a scavenger hunt at Disneyland, California. The pay-off was a ride in the Doom Buggy at the Haunted Mansion ...with a customised soundtrack!

Connected Immersion on a Limited Budget: House of Eternal Return by Meow Wolf, Santa Fe, New Mexico. A combination of jungle gym, haunted house, children’s museum and immersive art exhibit, House of Eternal Return is a fusion of art, 21st century technology and themed entertainment that reinvents location- based attractions through non-linear storytelling.

Immersive Museum Exhibit, Touring: Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience. Developed by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam as a response to many of the Van Gogh's works being too delicate to travel, as well as the desire to introduce Van Gogh to a new audience, the exhibit elevates the museum

36 JANUARY 2017

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