Thea Classic: Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, TN, USA
Since 1986, Dollywood has been Owned and guided by country musician Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment since 1986, Dollywood is a 150-acre theme park featuring 10 themed areas and more than 40 attractions within the park, accompanied by entertainment, dining, and retail options. According to the TEA Thea Awards Committee, guests never fail to "encounter employees with a genuine interest in the guest’s experience, delivering what is arguably the highest level of authentic human care and heart of any park in the world."
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: Bazyliszek (Attraction, Limited Budget) in Park Legendia, Chorzow, Poland
An interactive, dark-ride, Bazyliszek uses modern storytelling tools and immersive environments to explore the myth of the Basilisk, a part serpent/part rooster monster with magical powers and deadly eyes. Media screens and black lighted sets add to the adventure as guests are enlisted to journey to the village of Kurkowo where they ultimately battle the Basilisk and free the village. The TEA Thea Awards Committee compliments Bazyliszek as "well-executed, elegant, engaging, colorful, fun and fresh."
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: Be Washington: It’s Your Turn to Lead (Museum Experience, Limited Budget) in Mount Vernon, VA, USA
In a period-looking space equipped with state-of-the-art gaming kiosks, actor, guests experience one of four possible scenarios depicting crises Washington faced during his presidency. In a room inspired by the Congress Hall in Philadelphia with theatrical windows that change color to suit the mood, guests listen to advisors, make decisions against the clock, and learn how Washington himself responded. "'Be Washington' is an excellent example of bringing historical education to life in a present-time environment," says the TEA Thea Awards Committee.
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: MORI Building Digital Art Museum - teamLab Borderless (Connected Immersion - Digital Art) in Tokyo, Japan
In collaboration with local urban landscape developer MORI Building Co. Ltd., art collective teamLab created this permanent experience that showcases more than 50 interactive digital artworks in five different zones over 100,0000 square feet. Designed for people of ages and cultures, the digital art museum creates interactions between guests in a fully immersive experience that does not require complex instructions or wearable technology. The TEA Thea Awards Committee states, "The simple, yet innovative combination of analog interactive installations and advanced projection mapping visuals equals a world-class, non-linear entertainment experience that allows visitors to explore, wander and discover at their own pace...The level of technical complexity (520 computers / 470 video projectors / interactive sensors / etc.) and the overall quality of the experience, makes ‘Borderless’ a new reference point and potentially a game-changer in the industry."
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: The Evel Knievel Museum (Museum, Limited Budget) in Topeka, KS, USA
A two-story building, the museum depicts the historic timeline and collection of motorcycles, leathers, and more from Evel Knievel's career on the first floor; on the next level, a virtual reality stunt-jump of over 15 police cars as well as interactive displays and a movie theater. The TEA Thea Awards Committee acknowledges the "creative staging and production, unique storytelling and great guest experience for all ages."
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: Fantastic Journey, Majestic Princess (Live Show Spectacular, Limited Budget) - Princess Cruises, Valencia CA, USA
The TEA Thea Awards Committee says "Fantastic Journey sets a new standard in cruise ship entertainment by the creation of an epic concert of exceptional proportions and production values aboard the Majestic Princess." The high-tech show features LED and projection mapping, programmable costumes and scenery, immersive audio and lighting design, and a unique, autonomous indoor drone show, which must be monitored and adjusted each show against the ever-changeable ocean.
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: Fantawild Oriental Heritage (Theme Park) in Xiamen, China
With a special mix of traditional Chinese culture and technology, Xiamen Fantawild Oriental Heritage features nine thematic areas, a cultural heritage town, and 12 major attractions, developed primarily by Fantawild animation and special effects units. A domed theater, a dark ride with 3D animation, a holographic theater, and a 4D multi-screen dark ride are just a few of the engaging and impressive attractions. Oriental Heritage "successfully couples technology-based immersive experience with the rich folklore and culture of China, to deliver a truly unique and compelling family destination," according to the TEA Thea Awards Committee.
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: Legend of Camel Bells (Live Show Spectacular) in Huaxia Cultural Tourism Resort, Xi’an, Shanxi Province, China
Stage effects, massive props, extreme scenery, a huge cast, animal actors, a 15-meter-tall volcano and snow mountain, 18-meter-high Buddha, and 20-meter-high by 40-meter-wide waterfall all make an appearance in Legend of Camel Bells, which features a large, oval-shaped stage and a 4,000 square meter LED screen. The 3,000-person, raked audience platform rotates from scene to scene as well as tracks back and forth from the action. The TEA Thea Awards Committee states that "Legend of Camel Bells represents the highest level of visual imagination and design in its execution."
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: ILLUMINATIONS: human/nature (Connected Immersion – Digital Overlay Experience, Limited Budget)
Moment Factory collaborated with Canadian artist Sarah Fuller to create a nighttime, digital discovery experience of two different national parks: Banff National Park in Alberta Canada and Rouge Urban National Park in Toronto, Canada. Guests are equipped with multimedia tools disguised as camping gear that illustrate the geological and ecological story of the parks, triggering video, special effects, music, and voiceover. The team respected the "leave no trace" rule and employed completely battery-powered and portable equipment. The TEA Thea Awards Committee notes, "Illuminations: human/nature leverages the magic and storytelling impact of the digital tools of our industry while being respectful and aware that the majesty of our national parks and environment must be preserved."
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: JUSTICE LEAGUE™: Battle for Metropolis (Attraction) at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, California, USA
Dimensional and animated sets, animatronics, 3D video, special effects, projection mapping, laser stun-blasters, interactive targets, a scoring system, a musical score, and custom motion vehicles bring this story-driven adventure to life. The JUSTICE LEAGUE™ attraction has been installed in seven parks since 2015 and has continuously improved, both artistically and technically, all within the park's appropriate business model and cost structure. As the Committee relates, "This is the TEA’s opportunity to reward what we would like to see at every economic level of our industry."
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: LEGO® House A/S (Brand Center) in Billund, Denmark
Equipped with customized RFID wristbands that allows guests to interact with digital touchpoints, guests can explore the LEGO House where everything from the architecture to furnishings emulate the LEGO brick system. The TEA Thea Awards Committee recognizes that "at LEGO House, children play with a system that combines structure, logic and creativity where all bricks can be combined in countless ways allowing them to be endlessly creative in expressing their imagination."
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: SlideWheel (Attraction) at Chimelong Water Park in Guangzhou, China
More than 700 LED interior and exterior lights illuminate the 24-meter-tall SlideWheel, which rotates during the immersive water ride, complete with swinging motions and zero gravity. "SlideWheel is a highly engineered and innovative achievement that provides guests both visual and physical sensations that are unique to the waterpark industry," says the TEA Thea Awards Committee.
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: Intel® Shooting Star™ Drone System (Outstanding Technical Innovation)
Developed by Intel’s Drone Group, the Shooting Star Drone System allows for indoor and outdoor aerial drone light shows to be controlled by one computer and one operator. Each Shooting Star Drone weighs only 300 grams with the capability of 4 billion color combinations from built-in LEDs. These drones set a Guinness World Record for most drones flown simultaneously for an aerial show of 1,218 drones at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremony