Each year, much like the Academy Awards, the themed entertainment industry hosts it own awards gala event, recognizing high achievement in a sector of the industry. TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) is “the international non-profit association representing the world’s leading creators, developers, designers and producers of compelling places and experiences – worldwide.”
What are the Thea Awards? The Thea Awards “were created to bring recognition to achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry.” The awards gala can be compared to other events, much like the Academy Awards.
You can read more about the Thea Awards here.
At the 2016 IAE (International Attractions Expo) in Orlando, FL, recipients of Thea awards were announced.
Universal Studios Hollywood has won two Thea awards, one for WaterWorld (Classic Award), and for Springfield (Themed Food and Beverage Experience).
Mainly we’re going to be highlighting WaterWorld.
WaterWorld has been selected for the Thea Classic Award, which is one of the highest honors in the industry. The award recognizes a long-running attraction with a legacy as being one of the most influential attractions in the industry. This is not WaterWorld’s first Thea award, as back in 1996, they were awarded for Outstanding Achievement, Live Show.
WaterWorld has been an attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood since October 21st, 1995. Over the course of its 21 year run, it continues to be an incredibly popular attraction among guests. Since its inception, the attraction has been watched by millions of guests, with over 10,000 live performances to date.
In early 2014, the attraction received a refurbishment aimed at bringing it to the 21st century, with a brand new audio system, updated set, new characters, and new stunts. The show also brought in a record guest satisfaction number, with a 93%, the highest number any attraction has gotten in the theme park’s 50+ year history.
Universal Studios Hollywood believes in this product they created and continues to reinvest in it, and at the moment, WaterWorld is getting yet another refurbishment, replacing set pieces that have been there since 1995, and should be noted that this refurbishment is the most expensive the theme park has spent on any attraction for a rehab period.
I’d personally like to thank Universal Studios Hollywood, the Entertainment Dept at USH, Action Horizons Stunts, and Water Ski Shows Inc. for being the forefront of what a live stunt show could do. I absolutely love this attraction, and I appreciate that the show continues to be reinvested to this date. WaterWorld has influenced guests, by some even wanting to become part of the stunt industry.
With WaterWorld receiving the Classic Award this Spring, this award recognizes all the hard work and dedication the performers and those involved have put out for the past 21 years. So congratulations to WaterWorld and Universal Studios Hollywood for the award, you absolutely deserve this. I am so proud of all the cast members for being so dedicated to what they do to make guests’ day at the park enjoyable!
Final two teams of cast before WaterWorld went on refurbishment January 3rd, 2017: