TEA Press Releases

20 February 2020

TEA Thea Case Studies Day July 10 at Disneyland Resort - a big part of TEA's big weekend


Every year, hundreds of themed entertainment professionals come from around the world to be part of the annual TEA Summit and TEA Thea Awards Gala at Disneyland Hotel - three days of professional development, networking, education and celebration, organized by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), the global nonprofit membership association for the creators of compelling places and experiences.

"Industry members won't want to miss this year's lineup, representing the best and brightest in theme parks, attractions, museums and live event spectaculars from California to Belgium, from Incheon to Abu Dhabi, including such names as Disney, Universal, Puy du Fou, Warner Bros., Christie and even Google," said TEA Chief Operating Officer Jennie Nevin. The 2020 events take place July 9-10 (TEA Summit) and July 11 (Thea Awards Gala). #TEAsummit #TEAtheas

Thierry Coup and team members from Universal Creative pose for a group shot following the
Nov 19 announcement that Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure
(Universal Studios Orlando) will receive a TEA Thea Award

TEA Theas Case Studies Day (April 17 - Day Two of the 2-day TEA Summit presented by Barco) is a revelatory, behind-the-scenes peer discussion and showcase of the current slate of TEA Thea Awards recipients. The awards are formalized the following day (April 18) at the prestigious 26th annual TEA Thea Awards Gala presented by Chimelong, an elegant, black-tie dinner affair. Participants in Thea Case Studies Day are inspired and educated as project owners and creatives discuss and answer questions on the challenges of bringing a project from vision to reality, the collaborative team process, breakthrough solutions and the success of the project after opening day, sometimes making a significant difference to the region or city or property.


In themed entertainment, continual reinvestment is a necessity, and as a result many projects are unique, innovative, influential one-off endeavors. TEA celebrates and helps preserve the legacy of these achievements and events by sharing the Thea Case Studies Day sessions on TEA TV, and by publishing the annual Thea Awards Program which includes descriptions of each award recipient and official credits lists.

"Their names might not show up on the door, but theme park fans around the world owe these artists their thanks anyway," wrote industry influencer Robert Niles in the Orange County Register after attending TEA Thea Case Studies Day and the TEA Thea Awards Gala in April 2019. "A top theme park attraction can require as many different people to design, develop and build it as some movies use on their crews....the effortless 'magic' you love actually represents the work of countless engineers, architects, builders, decorators and cinematic artists."

TEA International Board President Michael Blau of Adirondack Studios (left) poses for a celebratory picture
with Larry Howard, Bryan Boehme and Larry Paul of Christie at the Nov 19, 2019 announcement that the
Christie Eclipse 4K RGB Pure Laser Projector would receive a TEA Thea Award for Technical Innovation.

“At Thea Case Studies Day, representatives of both the owner/client side and the creative team talk about the project from their individual perspectives,” said event co-chair Pat MacKay of Ones&ZerosMedia. “This usually results in some of the most interesting discussion about the project taking place anywhere. We all have something to learn from each and every project. For our global business community, it is truly inspirational:  A room full of creative people who are learning from their peers. Nothing beats the chance to be there. Ask questions. Meet people. Explore the ideas presented with colleagues."

TEA Thea Awards Case Studies Day drew more than 600 people in 2019

"The process of diplomatic negotiation, the push-pull of creative/concept/financial/political requirements … these constitute the lifeblood of getting the vision and the reality to opening day. There are wise and important takeaways from each presentation that apply even beyond our industry,” said Roberta Perry, SVP of Edwards Technologies Inc. and a past president of TEA, who co-chairs the event with MacKay. "Thea Case Studies Day has helped our industry worldwide offer more creative, immersive, and engaging guest experiences no matter what industry vertical. This helps fulfill one of the founding visions for the TEA: to educate our members and clients in project creation and execution."

TEA leaders active on the TEA Thea Awards Nominating Committee are a who's who of the industry and
put in hundreds of volunteer hours each year. Pictured here at a TEA Summit session are
Lisa Passamonte Green (Visual Terrain), Phil Hettema (The Hettema Group), 
TEA founder Monty Lunde (Technifex), 2019 committee chair Susan Bonds (42 Entertainment) and
incoming 2020 chair David Cobb (Thinkwell Group).

The TEA Thea Awards Case Studies format encourages discussion between the award recipients and the audience members. "In a nutshell it is TED Talks meets Q&A," says Perry. Moderated presentations are in grouped by award category (theme parks, museums, connected immersion, attractions and live shows) sharing the unique project experience, breakthroughs and lessons learned.

"There’s no better place to rub shoulders, and no better way to keep your mind open and stay current on your craft," wrote legendary designer Jeremy Railton of RED Entertainment, a member of the TEA Thea Awards Nominating Committee, in an article for Live Design. "Rather than an atmosphere of competition, there’s the feeling of collaboration that is so characteristic of how themed entertainment projects and project teams come together. As themed entertainment has infused so many aspects of our culture, our provenance has expanded from theme parks into other venues, and we now consider categories in technical achievement, themed hotels, restaurants, and retail as well as museums, zoos, and waterparks. Every year the Thea Awards become more fascinating, more instructive, and more exciting."

Roberta Perry and Pat MacKay co-chair TEA Thea Awards Case Studies Day

The TEA Thea Awards and TEA Summit are two of the ways that TEA has brought international attention to a unique industry and how it operates, along with other TEA products such as the SATE conference and the TEA/AECOM Theme Index. TEA also operates on the regional level via its four Divisions: Eastern North America, Western North America, Europe & Middle East, and Asia Pacific. More info: teaconnect.org

Purchase TEA Summit 2020 tickets here


Many thanks to the sponsors of TEA Summit 2020!




Posted by Judy Rubin



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More TEA Press Releases

12 June 2020.
TEA opens submissions for 27th Annual Thea Awards - deadline July 31, 2020

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10 June 2020.
New dates and plans for TEA Thea Awards & TEA Summit in 2020 and 2021 include digital Thea Case Studies

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