The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced the winners of the 28th annual Thea Awards, which have been presented since 1994. Officially, the awards will be presented during a celebratory awards gala on April 23, 2022, at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, following the TEA Summit.
The ”Buzz Price Thea Award”, recognizing a lifetime of distinguished achievements, will be given to Doris Hardoon. The creative director and producer began her career in 1975 as a graphic designer at Marine World Africa USA. Then she joined the creative team at WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering). Within a short time, she took on senior design and creative roles. Among her most extensive projects for Disney was the comprehensive design of the original Hong Kong Disneyland concept. For Shanghai Disney Resort, Hardoon was also responsible for overall creative direction and leadership of the team of designers, artists, writers, architects, operators and consulting partners. In addition to her work for Disney, she was also responsible for the implementation of other major facilities such as the Autry Museum of the American West and Port Discovery – The Baltimore Children’s Museum.
The “Thea Classic Award” goes to the Night Safari wildlife and safari park in Singapore this time (operated by Wildlife Reserves Singapore), which is one of the city-state’s most visited tourist attractions, attracting more than one million visitors a year. When Night Safari opened in 1994, the underlying concept – offering guests a night safari so they can observe animals in the dark and learn more about their nocturnal behavior – was considered groundbreaking and paved the way for a number of other international facilities with a similar concept. Over 900 animals from more than one hundred species can be observed during the 30-minute train ride, and walking trails make it possible for visitors to explore specific habitats on foot.
No fewer than three “Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement” go to Europe: the emotional production “The Roads to Freedom”, which commemorates a decisive Allied battle against German Nazi troops in Belgium, receives an Outstanding Achievement Award in the category “Live Show Spectacular on a Limited Budget”. The immersive music experience “Symphony: A Virtual Journey into the Heart of Music” in the halls of the CaixaForum in Barcelona is honored with an award in the category of “Immersive Experience, Limited Budget”. And an Outstanding Achievement Award for the realization of an “Attraction on a Limited Budget” goes to Norway’s Hunderfossen Park for the 4D simulator “Reodor Felgen's Hyperakselerator” (c.f. EAP 4/2021).
The newly established “Thea Catalyst Award” for individuals who have recently made an impact benefitting the industry honors the founder of Prime Access Consulting (PAC), Sina Bahram. With his company, Bahram is pursuing the development of a holistic approach that incorporates the principles of inclusive design, standards compliance, training and best practices. Another Catalyst Award will be presented to Carmen Smith, Senior Vice President, Creative Development, Product/Content & Exclusive Strategies at Disney Parks, Experiences & Products. Smith leads a holistic, global strategy to deliver inclusive products and experiences and expand Disney’s reach, relevance and impact around the world.
Find a complete overview of all “28th Thea Awards” winners here. (eap)