Craig Hanna, of Thinkwell Design & Production and President-Elect of the International Board of the TEA (formerly Themed Entertainment Association) announced the 12th annual Thea Awards for outstanding achievement in the creation of compelling places and experiences. “This year’s Awards recognize accomplishments in seven different nations, ranging from museums to zoos, from technological innovation to personal achievement,” comments Hanna. Presentation of the awards will be made at the Thea Awards and Gala, March 18, 2006, at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA.

12th Annual Thea Award Recipients

Thea Lifetime Achievement Award:
Yves Pépin, ECA2, France

Designer Yves Pépin To Receive THEA Lifetime Achievement Award

Thea Classic Award:
Disneyland, Anaheim, CA

The Thea Classic Award honors the park and the thousands of creative people who have conceived, designed and built the park for their leadership role in defining contemporary theme park design and continuing to expand the guest experience.

Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement

Attraction:
The Curse of DarKastle, The Ride,
Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA

The attention to detail from the exterior theming and exotic gardens through the eleven scenes that tell the story of King Ludwig of Bavaria is remarkable. The combination of smart ride vehicles, richly detailed scenery, 3-D imagery and special effects create an outstanding immersive experience.

Branded Visitor Center:
Olympic Spirit Toronto, Canada

The Olympic Spirit visitor center provides an engaging and participatory environment as well as an educational experience that captures the essences of the Olympic Games.

Reinvention of a Cultural Heritage Center:
Images of Singapore, Sentosa Island, Singapore

Tasked with refreshing and reinventing a classic, but somewhat stodgy, cultural center, the designers of this project combined state of the art technology with effective story-telling to create a sparkling new visitor experience which presents the history of Singapore and it’s unique blend of cultures, ethnicities and traditions.

Live Event Spectacular:
Athens 2004 Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies

A one-time live event with a cast of over 8,500 performers and crew, live audience of 70,000 and a worldwide broadcast audience of 4 billion

Show:
Remember… Dreams Come True,
Disneyland, Anaheim, CA

A new level of pyrotechnic art combined with visuals and lighting effects on the Disneyland castle centerpiece and a live performance in the sky dazzles guests nightly

Live Show:
Fear Factor Live,
Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA

Universal Studios Hollywood’s Fear Factor Live show involves a masterful combination of live guest involvement, carefully planned “controlled risk” stunts, state-of-the-art media enhancement blended together with clever stage direction and theatrics, and special effects.

Museum:
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum

The Museum effectively incorporates state-of-the-art entertainment and story telling technology to captivate audiences both intellectually and emotionally. The market response has been tremendous, with Lincoln shattering all other presidential library records within several months of opening.

Exhibit:
The Lifeline Table,
Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Room, London

The Churchill Museum’s “Lifeline Table” boldly reinvents one of the most common and tried methods used in museum interpretation, the historical timeline. The Lifeline Table provides a compelling anchor that engages the audience on individual, small group and gallery-wide levels.

Limited Budget/Refurbishment:
Ice Age Adventure! Movie Park, Bottrop, Germany

In less than six months, for a total budget of only US$3 million, Ice Age Adventure! Re-themes and re-purposes a pre-existing 43,000 square foot, 6.5 minute, indoor water dark ride.

Limited Budget:
Dodge’s Wild Earth at the Philadelphia Zoo, PA

Dodge’s Wild Earth is an all-ages experience that sends a driver and a photographer, in a truck-themed capsule, on a trek through the Serengeti in an exciting photo-safari. Unlike traditional motion simulator ride films, the Wild Earth experience is completely interactive, allowing each team to navigate their own adventure, experiencing the rich, environment and wildlife of Africa.

Development of Interactive Technology:
MagiQuest Technology

Each MagiQuest Wand can be customized by individual guests to reflect their own personal taste, and can interact with up to 250 “magic” effects within a given environment. The MagiQuest Technology is recognized for enhancing the guest experience, creative packaging, adaptability to individual players, and future potential for “in the home” use, thus extending the experience beyond a given venue.

The TEA nonprofit organization represents 6,500 creative specialists: architects, designers, technical specialists, master planners, scenic fabricators, artists, builders, and feasibility analysts. Its members work for more than 450 firms in 36 different countries and have conceived, designed, fabricated and produced highly successful experience-based museum exhibits, science center interactives, visitor and retail centers, live events and live performance venues, themed entertainment and restaurants, casinos and resorts, aquariums, zoos, theme parks and more. For more information, visit www.TEAConnect.org. .