Friday, January 4, 2013

19th annual Thea Awards recipients announced by Themed Entertainment Association (TEA)

Twelve beacons of excellence in the design of compelling places and experiences
"The annual Thea Awards, presented by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), recognize and honor excellence and breakthrough innovation within our industry, wherever it is to be found,” says TEA president Christine Kerr of BaAM Productions. “From Harry Potter to Cars Land, from Transformers to Canadian sports, from the brief run of a world expo to the sustained success of a classic theme park, this year's Thea Awards are helping define the next generation of Experience Design while staying firmly rooted in the core tradition of storytelling."

The awards will be formally presented on 6 April 2013 at the 19th Annual Thea Awards Gala, a ticketed, black-tie dinner affair, open to the public, at the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim USA. Title sponsor of the 19th Thea Awards Gala is AECOM. The Gala producer is Patrick Roberge Productions. TEA events producer is Kathy Oliver. Tickets on sale now at the TEA Box Office.

The Thea Awards Nominating Committee recommended the current slate of 12 Thea recipients, with final approval by the TEA International Board of Directors. Scroll down to see the full list of projects, names, descriptions and pictures. 

Christine Kerr
"A Thea Award is recognized as one of the industry's greatest honors," says Kerr. "This year, there are visible trends toward strong cultural components, IP licensing and transmedia. There are ever more astounding and seamless blends of technology, media, theater and interactivity. And there is recognition of the people and contributions that laid the foundations of this next evolution of experience. We encourage the media, the industry and the public to learn more about the 12 honorees, and to make plans to join us at the Thea Awards Gala on 6 April in Anaheim."

Kerr adds, “Created by TEA in 1994, the influential and prestigious Thea Awards have dramatically expanded awareness and appreciation of our industry, its place in the entertainment universe, its most resounding accomplishments and its many talented people. Behind each project is a multidisciplinary creative team that strove to realize a vision for the project owner. We document and celebrate that process, crediting those who make it happen through their dedicated work and investment."

Media Contacts
Judith Rubin Public Relations,
Gene Jeffers, TEA executive director,
Kathy Oliver, TEA events producer, 

The Buzz Price Award – Recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements
Frank Stanek

Thea Classic
Europa-Park Theme Park and Resort, Rust, Germany

Big-O Experience
Awards for Outstanding Achievement
  • Radiator Springs Racers, Disney California Adventure Park – Anaheim, USA
  • Transformers: The Ride 3D, Universal Studios Singapore & Hollywood
  • Cars Land, Disney California Adventure Park – Anaheim, USA
  • Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame – Calgary, Canada
  • Aquanura at Efteling Park - Netherlands
  • Big-O Experience, Yeosu 2012 International Expo - South Korea
  • Tait Pixel Tablets – London, England
  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour - The Making of Harry Potter - London, England
  • Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa - Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii USA
  • Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge, Disney California Adventure Park – Anaheim, USA
Profiles & commentary from the Thea Awards Nominating Committee

Frank Stanek, Stanek Global Advisors

Frank Stanek bio and commentary by his former Disney colleague, Thea Lifetime Achievement honoree, Marty Sklar - additional bio of Frank Stanek available at this link.
Frank is one of those “unsung talents” who make our projects happen – much as Buzz Price did from the beginning of the industry. Perhaps no one has had more impact on the two biggest players in our business – Disney and Universal – than Frank Stanek has had – especially in the growth and development of the industry in the international marketplace.

He spent 25 years at Disney as Director and then Corporate Vice-President of Research and Planning, providing background and analysis for Walt Disney’s Epcot vision, the original development of Walt Disney World, expansion of Disneyland and the birth of Epcot.

TEA president Christine Kerr of BaAM Productions announces the 2013 Thea Awards recipients at the TEA booth on Nov 13, 2012 during the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando. Photo by Philip Hartley of Philip Hartley Associates Ltd.
In the 1970s, Frank was assigned by Disney management to analyze whether the first international park should be in Europe or Japan. He recommended Japan and then became “the dealmaker” between Disney and OLC (Oriental Land Company). He then headed the Imagineering team that developed Tokyo Disneyland and handed it over to OLC and Disney Operating teams. Next corporate assignment: Where in Europe should the first Disney Park be built? Some argued in favor of the coast of Spain; others for the south of France. Stanek recommended Marne La Vallée to take advantage of French “new town” incentives.

When Frank left Disney in the mid-1980s, he became the strategic planning advisor to the City of Osaka, Japan Harbor Authority in the business/marketing and planning for the world renown Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan with its “Ring of Fire” theme. Joining Universal, Stanek became President of International Business development for Vivendi-Universal. His success with the aquarium project opened the doors to making Universal Studios Osaka happen. He also recommended and made the joint venture deal for Universal Mediterranea near Barcelona, Spain.

Frank Stanek is one of the best known executives in the amusement/entertainment world in Asia as the result of his work for Universal in exploring projects in Singapore, China, Malaysia and Korea, as well as Osaka and (for Disney) the Tokyo Disney Resort. He continues to play an active role in the industry today through his consulting company, Stanek Global Advisors.

Frank Stanek was a key to creating the background, research and analysis that we all used at Disney to make all kinds of development decisions: planning, show, capacities, cultural nuances, etc. His Universal colleagues Bob Ward and Barry Upson also have praise for Frank. Upson spoke of Frank as “a great mentor and collaborator who masterfully explored and created the business opportunities that have had such impact for Universal and Disney.” Ward described Frank as “always suited up with the team, never giving commands from behind the lines, rather bringing his strategic thinking directly to the field of play.”

Frank Stanek embodies the core attributes of our Lifetime Achievement definition that, in many ways, reflect the contributions and qualities of Harrison “Buzz” Price, whose name is on the award.

Europa-Park Theme Park and Resort - Rust, Germany
They began as a fabricator of vehicles in 1780, entering show business in 1880 with circus wagons, graduating to roller coasters in 1921. But it was in 1975 that the Mack family fully entered themed entertainment with the opening of Europa-Park. Initially, Europa-Park was a showcase for Mack's various mechanical rides. But over the decades, by alternating innovation and adaptation, applying the world’s best practices together with their own brand of creativity, Europa-Park has grown into one of the most important theme parks in the world. The Europa-Park Resort is also brilliantly themed with world class thematic detailing extended deeply into common areas and hotel rooms, a Tipi Village and campsite, the campsite bathrooms and more.

Europa-Park has continuously improved its offerings, always striving to deliver more than guests expect. Its thematic treatment ranges from simple, understated pleasures such as areas of open grass where young guests can run and play, to highly-themed, highly detailed rides, attractions, theatrical experiences and even themed bathrooms, surrounded by innovative and spectacular resort hotels, themed hotel room interiors, themed camp grounds and restaurants, all thematically detailed inside and out.

Europa-Park has become one of the leading themed destinations of the world, and consistently at the top of European parks, exceeded in attendance in Europe only by Disney. Whether you mark its beginning from 1780, 1880, 1921 or 1975, Europa-Park has stood the test of time while setting ever-higher standards exemplifying the highest standards of excellence in the creation and production of compelling places and experiences.

Radiator Springs Racers at Cars Land, Disney California Adventure Park
Radiator Springs Racers, Disney California Adventure Park
Category: Attraction
In one of the largest attractions ever built for a Disney theme park, the Radiator Springs Racers ride at Disney California Adventure Park puts visitors in the driver’s seat for a thrilling race through the world of the Disney∙Pixar film Cars. This family-oriented, indoor/outdoor thrill ride incorporates fast moving, variable-speed, six-passenger vehicles that start their journey with a calm and scenic drive through the colorful landscape of Ornament Valley. Traveling into an interior dark ride environment, guests find themselves face-to-face with Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and all the other 4-wheeled personalities of Radiator Springs, personified via breakthrough figures that combine physical and projected animation to bring the characters to life. Variable track paths allow for changing and unpredictable scene experiences during the indoor portion of the ride. The ride culminates in a high speed, side-by-side, outdoor race between two ride vehicles that careen neck-and-neck through the twisting Ornament Valley landscape. The winner isn't decided until the cars reach the Finish Line at the end of the race!

This attraction demonstrates true excellence in design, technical innovation and in execution. In bringing a well-known movie to life, the designers went the extra step in expanding it into a fully experiential world, creating new details and gags throughout. The animated figures break new ground in creating the illusion of live animation, and the technical elements, including special effects, sophisticated, in-vehicle sound, and a sophisticated ride system, have all been transparently integrated into the highly enjoyable story and experience. In addition, the design team incorporated an extremely large attraction footprint into the plan of the overall Cars Land footprint in a way that creates multiple notable scenic vistas, and overlooks and seamlessly intertwines the environment and attraction into a total experience greater than the sum of its parts.

Transformers: The Ride - 3D
Universal Studios Hollywood
Category: Attraction
Based on the popular movie franchise, Transformers: The Ride - 3D is an immersive, next-generation thrill ride that blurs the line between fiction and reality, and puts guests in the middle of the ultimate war zone. Fusing HD 3D media, elaborate flight simulation technology and cutting edge special effects, this epic ride immerses guests into the action-packed world of Transformers as they fight alongside Optimus. Together, they protect the AllSpark from Decepticons that stand over four stories tall.

Guests enter the attraction via a Non-biological Extraterrestrial Species Treaty (NEST) base. Ride vehicles are modeled after an Autobot named Evac. Once on the ride, guests are propelled along 2,000 feet of ride track and surrounded by 14 gigantic screens, some as tall as 60 feet high. Each ride vehicle has on-board audio and is capable of moving 360 degrees, at various angles, utilizing a yaw function and a 6-DOF motion base. The vehicles move in perfect unison with the HD 3D imagery and show action equipment within each scene.

The seamless combination of show systems pushes the boundaries of 3D realism to a higher level than that achieved by any other attraction (including Spider-Man) within the themed entertainment industry. The scale and quality of the HD 3D imagery, sophisticated ride vehicle programming, blended with “4D” special effects and real scenic elements, all serve to completely immerse guests within each dramatic scene. This attraction truly transports guests into the world of Transformers.

Click here for photo library.
Cars Land, Disney California Adventure Park
Category: New Theme Park Land
Guests visiting Cars Land often remark that, “It looks like they took the plans for the Disney∙Pixar movie and just pushed 'Print!'” Cars Land is indeed a startlingly accurate realization of the town of Radiator Springs and surrounding Ornament Valley, but the reality is not nearly that simple. Walking down the main drag of Radiator Springs, all of the storefronts and businesses which appeared in the Cars films have been brought to life in careful and delightful detail. From Flo's V8 Café, Fillmore’s Taste-In and the Cozy Cone Motel to Sarge's Surplus Hut, Radiator Springs Curios and Ramone's House of Body Art, each has been created as its own distinct experience, drawn from the films and further inspired by the lore and legend of Route 66. In addition to the big “E-Ticket” ride, Radiator Springs Racers, two other attractions, Luigi's Flying Tires and, in particular, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree are cleverly conceived reinventions of classic rides, each with a new twist.

Cars Land's 12 acres are particularly notable for the overwhelming scale of the rockwork panorama that frames the land, providing spectacular vistas and a sense of scale and perspective that make the significantly large footprint of the development even larger, seeming to extend for miles. At night, spectacular lighting takes the entire land to a new level of immersion as the colorful neon lights of downtown Radiator Springs come to life against the glowing palate of the Ornament Valley landscape beyond.

The sensitive layout, sophisticated use of scale, extension of character details and the high quality of execution combine to make this an outstanding example of experiential design. Far beyond being a supporting element of the Radiator Springs Racers attraction, Cars Land is a destination attraction in and of itself.

Retail, food and beverage programming begins with inspiration from the films, but Imagineers have added humor, story and surprise extra touches throughout. Every element has been thoughtfully considered to maximize its character and story content, while simultaneously providing optimal (but often invisible) operational function and capacity.

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame - Calgary, Canada
Category: Museum
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame is a new, dynamic, 40,000 square-foot facility that celebrates Canada’s sport heroes and legends at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, Alberta. It stands as an example of excellence in exhibition design, rich storytelling, media production and interactive technology.

The Hall offers unique multi-sensory experiences that immerse visitors in Canada’s sport story.

Eleven themed galleries (Blade, Glide, Contact, Hockey, Media, Olympic and Paralympic Games, Locker Room, Bounce, Motion, Ride and Splash) and the Changing Gallery showcase the achievements of athletes through compelling media and displays. With 529 inducted athletes and sport builders, representing 60 sports, the design transforms seamlessly from contemporary artifact displays juxtaposed to sensational large-scale media of athletes in action; crisp unified graphic treatments; life-like casts of Honoured Members; and over 50 unique immersive sport challenges.

The exhibits beckon visitors to engage in the triumphant story of Canada’s sport history from the moment they enter the museum. A multi-screen video ring suspended from the ceiling in the Grand Hall offers emotionally charged imagery of both athletic triumphs and challenges. The scale of grand media projections throughout the museum combined with smaller contemplative informational kiosks on all the inductees is very inviting and inspiring.

For guests, the most compelling feature is the ability to go head-to-head with famous Honoured Members and sport celebrities through state-of-the-art virtual interactive game technologies. These exhibits provide rare opportunities for visitors to shadow-box with Lennox Lewis; interact one-on-one with Kerrin Lee- Gartner asshe coaches them through a virtual downhill race; sit in a racing wheelchair and race against Chantal Petitclerc; and join a Formula 1 race with Jacques Villeneuve.

Two of the museum's immersive 3D exhibits, “Be a Goalie” and “Be a Catcher,” offer visitors a unique opportunity to put on a mask and block shots from the Calgary Flames or experience the physical impact of various pitches striking a catcher’s mitt. Throughout Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, “Ask the Athlete” interactive experiences allow visitors to learn the science behind a sport, and test their knowledge and skill against the clock or virtual opponents. In every case, the interactive sport experiences presented at the Hall are A+ in their poignant delivery, messaging and audience feedback.

Virtually every storytelling device is used in this massive, multi-level experience, and the experience never becomes repetitive or timeline derivative. Visitors are immersed in a complete Canadian sport experience. Stunning environments combined with unified graphic treatments, spectacular photography, life-size cast sports statues, custom–programmed interactives, multi- media delivery systems, and one-of-a-kind artifacts make this a must-see for all Canadians and sport enthusiasts.

Aquanura – Efteling, Netherlands
Category: Event Spectacular
Aquanura treats guests of Efteling to a beautiful and spectacular water-and-light extravaganza on the large lake between the park's main entrance and its Fata Morgana ride. 

With Aquanura, Efteling expands on its fairytale and storytelling traditions that have been part of the park’s thematic foundation for some 60 years. Four giant frogs, based on a historic fountain feature (the Frog Prince) in the park’s Fairytale Forest, mark the corners of the lake. The Frogs serenely open the show as they shoot jumping water sprays to the center of the performing area. At this point, larger fountains begin to take over. Aquanura celebrates Efteling's rich mix of attractions, visualizing them during the show through water, light and fire, all performed against a beautifully orchestrated score. Specially arranged versions of the attractions' musical themes tell a story uniquely “Efteling.”

Aquanura excels through its emotional content and storytelling that are linked to the guest’s nostalgic experience of Efteling’s other rides and shows over the years. Efteling has achieved with Aquanura an adaption of available technology put to use in ways that are uniquely evocative. Artistry and beauty prevail over spectacle. The often serene pace of the show conjures the feeling of watching a water ballet. This approach fits the park remarkably well, and, combined with excellent execution, furthers the tradition of bringing stories to life in ways both unique and engaging.

Big-O Show” - Yeosu 2012 International Expo, Korea
Category: Event Spectacular
The Big-O is the latest breathtaking multimedia installation to fuse a breakthrough concept and cutting-edge technology with show creation, whilst leaving an iconic structure that, after closing day, permanently towers over the 2012 Yeosu World Expo site.

Technical design features include:
  • Water systems (24 moving, 360-degree water cannons rotate create haunting, sacred geometry patterns and shapes, while at 45-meters high, the biggest and tallest water curtain in the world boasts hundreds of sea water jets.
  • Special effects (24 flame generators; hundreds of mist nozzles; 5 lasers)
  • Lighting and images (58 moving lights, 1500 watts each in weatherproof casing; 6 video projectors of 35,000 lumens)
This project, the result of Yeosu Expo 2012's challenge to create a unique event with a new approach to technology that would remain as an icon and a legacy, has added a new dimension to the genre of the multimedia water spectacular.

The Big-O show had an impressive attendance throughout the run of the Expo of over 100,000 people weekly, from all walks of life and age group demographics. It transports the audience through an innovative and breathtaking visual journey. With its sea water curtain, the largest ever realized in a multimedia show, its “O” structure truss system has introduced vertical waterscreen orientation and thus a whole new range of fountain and screen image possibilities. A testament to its success is that although originally intended to be a temporary structure that would not outlast the 3-month run of Yeosu Expo 2012, it will instead remain as a permanent attraction, symbolic landmark and nighttime show.

Tait Pixel Tablets
Tait Pixel Tablets
Category: Outstanding Technology
A simple graphic display system, The Card Trick, has been in use over countless decades virtually unchanged. In popular use at large, mostly outdoor events, such as football and soccer games, the card trick typically uses a series of handheld, graphically printed cardboard panels, which when correctly displayed, create a large billboard-like sign. The essence of these card tricks is that multiple changing sign displays are created when event guests hold them in a certain order in response to commands.

It has not always been possible to have every card trick appear exactly as intended by the graphic designer due to variables of human activity. And until the creation of the Tait Pixel Tablet, no improvements had occurred in the long life of the basic card trick system. But now, a technical giant step has made it possible to create this type of event display in a precisely programmed method reflecting the designer's intent. These new displays are lit so as to be more visible in darkened venues compared to the cardboard panels that rely on ambient light for visibility.

Click here for more Thea Awards photos
The Tait Pixel Tablet is a small, 5" square device containing nine LEDs, individually color programmed, that can be temporarily attached to stadium seating, or hand-held by both audience members and performers. The tablets are programmed and controlled using existing entertainment equipment without requiring any custom proprietary inventions. These striking displays are achieved primarily by an intelligent combination of readily available components with the unique new LED tablet.

As seen at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Tait Pixel Tablet transformed the main Olympic stadium into a huge array of LED video pixels mapped to the space inhabited by the entire audience. The London display used over 70,000 individual tablets, which converted the entire audience with 634,600 pixels into the world's largest 3D video screen.

The designers of future events now have a versatile new system of video displays that can be arranged with endless possibilities into their venues using stationary or moving, fixed or portable formats, integrated into their attraction elements. Large venue events that desire to use the old card trick methods now have the option to use the cutting edge new Tait Pixel Tablet to enhance their live events.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter
London, England
Category: Studio Tour
The Harry Potter film series have brought J.K. Rowling’s books to the screen and captivated fans from all over the world for more than a decade. The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour celebrates the craftsmanship that went into the film productions in an extraordinary way. A new building was constructed on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Leavesden, where visitors can experience the fascinating process used to convincingly create the extraordinary characters, worlds and events of the books. The tour starts off in a theater setting and after a brief introduction by the film's young stars, the visitors are invited to explore the exhibition consisting of beautifully staged actual artifacts, models and set pieces. These are interpreted by interactive displays that give a broad perspective of the efforts that went into the productions. Eye candy provided by the actual flying brooms used to levitate Harry and Mad Eye Moody is viewed against a brilliantly lit green backing. This arresting set-up draws the audience into a demonstration of the special effects created with this process. Rooms wallpapered with a myriad of drafted design details provide a reflection of the minutiae necessary in creating a fantasy world and serve as a gateway to the final exhibit. Here the importance of detail is driven home by a breathtaking model of Hogwarts Castle, a veteran of all 8 films.

Everything that is done with the Harry Potter brand faces high expectations from fans all over the world. The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour has managed to more than fulfill those expectations. In contrast to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Island of Adventure, where visitors are immersed into fantasy environments, the Studio Tour focuses specifically on the “making of” part of the Harry Potter films. The presentation varies from simple information to very detailed settings used in the films, and never loses sight of the filmmaking process. Because of how deeply generations of fans have bonded with the Harry Potter stories and films, highly complicated aspects of filmmaking are readily communicated and absorbed by eager audiences.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
Ko Olina, Oahu, Hawaii
Category: Themed Hotel Resort
Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, is a unique resort destination that celebrates Hawaiian culture, history and traditions. From the State’s largest collection of contemporary Hawaiian art to the 7-acre Waikolohe Valley water recreation facility, to the 5,200 square foot Aunty’s Beach House Kids Club, Aulani is an exceptionally cohesive, immersive and entertaining resort experience. Interlaced throughout the entire resort are many layers and references to native Hawaiian culture, both traditional and contemporary, including murals and music commissioned for the resort that successfully unites families in a shared experience of pure Hawaii. Mickey himself is seen on site as only another of many tourists enjoying the educational and entertaining offerings at Aulani.

Some of the many entertaining features of Aulani include: Aunty’s Beach House, a kids club unlike any other in which local Hawaiian culture and activities share equal billing with Disney characters; Waikolohe Valley, a 7-acre water utopia featuring a lazy river, snorkeling lagoon, Menehune-themed play structure, and a variety of pools, waterfalls, and waterslides; The Menehune Adventure Trail, an interactive adventure game where kids can experience first-hand the mischievousness of the mythical Menehune; native Hawaiian craftsmaking and storytelling; and Disney character breakfasts at Makahiki restaurant.

The Aulani represents a major departure from traditional Disney resorts in that, rather than providing lodging in support of a theme park, the resort itself is the destination. Imagineers collaborated closely with local and native Hawaiian cultural consultants and experts to create an experience that is truly reflective of real Hawaiian culture… not just traditional and historical, but contemporary, as well.

The native Hawaiian aspect of the experience is presented in countless layers, enabling guests to indulge in as little, or as much, of native Hawaiian culture, traditions and entertainment as they like. With only few exceptions for activities centered around young children, Disney stories and characters are noticeably absent. However, in many ways - attention to detail, storytelling, guest service - Aulani is truly Disney. The Aulani resort experience is one-of-a-kind.

Carthay Circle Restaurant and Lounge, Disney California Adventure Park
Category: Theme Park Restaurant
The Carthay Circle Restaurant resides within a reproduction of the famous Carthay Circle Theatre, renowned in Disney history for having been the venue for the premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. The Restaurant and Lounge are keystones in the storytelling of Buena Vista Street, a newly added area to the park. (Buena Vista Street is a new retail and entertainment entry to California Adventure and showcases Los Angeles as it may have looked to Walt upon his arrival in 1923).

This opulent dining experience would be transportive in any locale - its interior representing the refined and retro stylings of the Golden Age of Hollywood, complete with beautiful historic photographs and archival memorabilia. But this restaurant is in a theme park. From the lounge on the ground floor that serves vintage cocktails to the restaurant lobby and the dining rooms upstairs, the striking period décor is befitting of such a theatrical setting.

The reservations-recommended restaurant offers seating on the second floor in an intimate main dining room, exclusive, themed, single-table dining alcoves, private dining rooms, and two sunny open-air terraces. The food is also exemplary for a theme park setting. Award-winning chef Andrew Sutton (from Napa Rose Restaurant at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa) created the menu to feature the bold and diverse flavors of Southern California. The high quality service, distinctive setting and cuisine in an exclusive-feeling environment make Carthay Circle Restaurant a truly outstanding achievement in a theme park.

Thea Awards Nominating Committee
John Robinett (Economics at AECOM), Chair
Phil Hettema (The Hettema Group), Vice-Chair
Steve Thorburn (Thorburn Associates), Board Liaison
Karen McGee (BRC Imagination Arts), Coordinator

Buzz Price Lifetime Achievement Recipients
Marty Sklar (Marty Sklar Creative Inc.)
Monty Lunde (Technifex)
Bob Gurr (GurrDesign)
Tony Baxter (Walt Disney Imagineering)
Barry Upson (Barry Upson Company)
Yves Pépin
Bob Rogers (BRC Imagination Arts)
Bob Ward (Strategic Insights & Creative Imagination)
Kim Irvine (Walt Disney Imagineering)
Mark Fuller (WET)
Jon Jerde (The Jerde Partnership)
Don Iwerks
Jack Rouse (Jack Rouse Associates)

Committee Members
Jeremy Railton (Entertainment Design Corp.)
Steve McIntyre (Anitech Systems)
Patricia MacKay (Ones and Zeros)
Patti Drum (Lexington)
Michel den Dulk (Europa-Park)
Craig Hanna (Thinkwell Group)
Brad Merriman (Management Resources)

About TEA
The TEA (
Themed Entertainment Association) is an international nonprofit alliance founded in 1991 and based in Burbank, Calif. Some 850 TEA members represent roughly 7,500 creative specialists, from architects to designers, technical specialists to master planners, scenic fabricators to artists, and builders to feasibility analysts working in 30 US states and 40 different countries. TEA presents the annual Thea Awards and the TEA Summit and hosts the annual SATE Conference (Storytelling, Architecture, Technology, Experience). TEA also produces a variety of print and electronic publications, including the TEA/AECOM Theme Index, TEA Project Development Guidelines, TEA Annual & Directory and Thea Awards Program magazine.

Visit TEA on
Facebook and LinkedIn.

About the Thea Awards
Like the TEA, the Thea Awards, sponsored by Economics at AECOM, were created to bring recognition to achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. From a modest beginning in 1994, the Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence. The public is welcome to attend the black-tie 19th Annual Thea Awards Gala, which will be held April 6, 2013 at the Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim Calif. USA. Tickets may be ordered online at The name of the award is a play on three words: the first is "Thea," the Greek goddess from whom all light emanates. Thea was the mother of Helios (the sun), Eos (the dawn), and Selene (the moon). The second key word is "Theater," a word derived from the goddess Thea. The third word, of course, is TEA, the name of our association.

About Economics at AECOM (Thea Awards Gala sponsor)
Economics at AECOM (formerly ERA/Economics Research Associates) is an international consulting firm focused on economic analysis for the entertainment and leisure industry, real estate development, public-policy analysis, tourism, and economic development. Since its founding in 1958, Economics at AECOM has completed over 15,000 assignments yielding unmatched experience in land use economics. In the process, the firm has made important contributions to some of the world's most innovative and successful development projects. Their projects span the globe and range from repositioning single land uses to New Towns planned over 30 years. In broad terms, Economics at AECOM assists private developers and public agencies in assessing the future economics and outcomes of real estate projects and economic development plans. Economics at AECOM offers a diverse array of economic analysis and tools to answer complex problems. Website:

About Patrick Roberge Productions (Thea Awards Gala producer)
PRP is an award winning consulting and full turnkey production company that produces creative shows and events. Our experienced team of entertainment professionals specializes in event planning and show production. From vision to reality, we work with you to achieve your goal and make your event memorable. Through our four divisions (Creative Sports, Creative Events, Corporate Productions, Creative Entertainment) we specialize in achieving objectives through innovative and creative entertainment. Visit