The Themed Entertainment Association’s 2002 Thea Awards Gala, which recognizes excellence in the themed entertainment industry, will take place on Saturday, September 28, 2002 at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA. This is the ninth consecutive year for the black-tie event.

Seventeen honorees were selected by the TEA Awards Nominating Committee; each will be presented with a crystal award featuring the etched image of Thea, the Greek goddess of light. Awards will be presented to theme parks, attractions, museums, water parks, touring exhibits, visitor centers, and civic projects with opening dates between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2001.

The theme of the 2002 awards presentation is "The Art of Storytelling" — celebrating how a "story" differentiates a successful themed experience from traditional architecture and other location-based entertainment. Following that theme, the evening’s awards are broken down into four chapters: Culture, Adventure, Discovery, and Fantasy– each hosted by a different "storyteller" played by a recognized industry personality. This year’s honorees include:

CULTURE
  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: CREATING AN ICON--British Airways London Eye, London, England
  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: MUSEUM ATTRACTION--The Star of Destiny, Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, Austin, TX
  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: TOURING EXHIBIT--
  • Chicano Now: American Expressions, Clear Channel Entertainment/Exhibitions

  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGY-- Media Pro 4000‘, Anitech Systems, Inc.
ADVENTURE
  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: ATTRACTION--Soarin’ Over California, Disney’s California Adventure, Anaheim, CA
  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: RETHEMING TO CREATE A NEW LAND--Ireland, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, VA
  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: WATER PARK--

    Schlitterbahn Beach Water Park, South Padre Island, TX

  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: THEMED HOTEL

    --Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Orlando, FL

  • THEA LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD-- Jon Jerde, The Jerde Partnership, Venice Beach, CA
DISCOVERY
  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: AQUARIUM--Les Mysteres de la Mer, St. Malo, France
  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: ZOO--Fort Worth Zoo’s Texas Wild!, Fort Worth, TX
  • THEA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE ON A LIMITED BUDGET--FDNY Fire Zone, New York, NY
  • THEA CLASSIC AWARD-- Studio Tour, Universal Studios Hollywood, Hollywood, CA
FANTASY
  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: ATTRACTION--Disney Animation, Disney’s California Adventure, Anaheim, CA
  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: ATTRACTION--Animation Celebration, Universal Studios Japan, Osaka, Japan
  • THEA AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT: THEME PARK AND ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM--Tokyo DisneySea, Tokyo, Japan
  • THEA SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD--Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, Songwriters

For further information about the Themed Entertainment Association, visit their website, www.themeit.com.