IAAPA 2017: Disney Parks, Knott’s Berry Farm, immersive experiences announced as recipients of Themed Entertainment Awards

in Disneyland Resort, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Today at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Expo (IAAPA 2017) in Orlando, the Themed Entertainment Association (or TEA) announced the recipients of its annual Thea Awards, honoring excellence in the attractions industry, specifically focused on themed experiences.

Among the 2017 honorees are Walt Disney World’s Pandora – The World of Avatar and Frozen Ever After, Disneyland Resort’s Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, and Knott’s Berry Farm’s Ghost Town Alive! Interestingly, the latter falls into the “Connected Immersion Theater” category (which we’ve been calling simply immersive theater) alongside “Sleep No More,” which recently expanded its production to Shanghai.


The full list of TEA Thea Award recipients is as follows:

The Buzz Price Thea Award – Recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements
• Phil Hettema, President and Creative Executive, The Hettema Group
Thea Classic
• Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH, USA
Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement (AOA)
• “Sleep No More Shanghai,” McKinnon Hotel, Shanghai, China (Connected Immersion Theater)
• Ghost Town Alive! Knott’s Berry Farm, Buena Park, CA, USA (Connected Immersion Theater, Limited
• Pandora – The World of Avatar, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, USA (Theme Park Area Development)
• Avatar Flight of Passage, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, USA (Attraction)
• Derren Brown’s Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon, Thorpe Park Resort, England (Immersive Attraction)
• Jameson Distillery Bow St., Dublin, Ireland (Brand Experience)
• Chimelong Ocean Kingdom’s Journey of Lights Parade, Zhuhai City, China (Live Show)
• Frozen Ever After, Norway Pavilion, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, USA (Attraction Reimagining)
• Symbolica: The Palace of Fantasy, de Efteling, Netherlands (Attraction)
• Citadella Visitors Centre, Gozo Island, Malta (Heritage Visitor Center, Limited Budget)
• Les Carrières de Lumières, Les Baux de Provence, France (Immersive Event)
• “Aura,” Basilica Notre Dame, Montreal, Canada (Immersive Event, Limited Budget)
• Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Disney’s California Adventure, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim,
CA, USA (Attraction Reimagining)
• DreamWorks Animation Zone, MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, UAE (Theme Park Land)
• Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC, USA (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)
• 3D Live – Holographic 3D LED Display (Innovative Technology)
TEA Peter Chernack Distinguished Service Award (recognizing exceptional volunteer service to the Association)
• Joe Fox, Birket Engineering
• Annika Oetken, Freelance Project Manager

Also of note is that “The 24th Annual Thea Awards are dedicated to the late Marty Sklar – Disney Legend and recipient of Thea lifetime
achievement honors (1995) who remained closely involved with TEA and the Thea Awards until his passing.”

This batch of awards will be formally distributed at the 24th annual Thea Awards Gala in Anaheim, California on April 7th, 2018.

Comments Off on IAAPA 2017: Disney Parks, Knott’s Berry Farm, immersive experiences announced as recipients of Themed Entertainment Awards