Shanghai Disneyland Resort scored three big awards from the Themed Entertainment Association, but Central Florida’s theme parks were shut out of the Theas for 2016. The announcements were made Tuesday during the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, which is holding its annual gathering in Orlando this week.
Nabbing outstanding achievement recognition was the Chinese park itself, which opened this summer. Winning award for outstanding attractions were its Camp Discovery and Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure ride.
The Pirates attraction differs from the ones familiar to U.S. parkgoers, mixing a boat ride with animatronics and simulated big-screen battles.
Disney also won for “connected immersion” for Haunted Mansion: Ghost Post at Disneyland in California.
Universal Studios Hollywood was recognized for its themed food and beverage experience in its Springfield area, and it received the Thea Classic award for WaterWorld – A Live Sea-War Spectacular.
Other winning attractions were WhiteWater’s Slideboarding for technology on a limited budget; Mack Ride Systems’ Suspended Power Coaster (for innovation); the 5D Castle Theatre in China; House of Eternal Return by Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, N.M.; Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience, a touring exhibit; Transformations at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, Calif.; the Senate Immersion Module at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston; Le Dernier Panache, Puy du Fou, Les Epesses, France for live show; and Center Parcs Le Bois Aux Daims of Les Trois-Moutiers, France for eco-friendly destination.
Jerry Railton, founder and chairman of Entertainment Design Corp. won the Buzz Price Thea Award, a lifetime achievement honor. Peter Chernace of The Chermack Group won the distinguised service award, which was renamed the Peter Chernack Distinguished Service Award in his honor, posthumously.
IAAPA continues at the Orange County Convention Center through Friday.