TEA Connect Blog

16 May 2017

Thea Awards Brunch in Shanghai mirrors 2017 Thea Awards Gala in Anaheim

While the 2017 TEA Thea Awards Gala took place the evening of April 22 at Disneyland Resort in California - with some 800 members of the attractions industry attending the black-tie dinner affair, about 100 members of the industry were brunching on the morning of April 23 at a simultaneous, official celebration across the Pacific Ocean.

Ron Merriman

Article by Ron Merriman, MR ProFun China Co. Ltd., TEA Asia Pacific Board member

The TEA Thea Awards Celebration Brunch in Shanghai, organized by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Asia Pacific Division, enabled industry professionals to attend the Thea Awards Gala in a virtual sense. 

This year, four Asian projects received 2017 TEA Thea Awards:

  • 5D Castle Theater, Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, Zhuhai
  • Camp Discovery, Shanghai Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland Resort
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure, Shanghai Disneyland, Shanghai Disneyland Resort
  • Shanghai Disneyland park

Click here for more information about the TEA Thea Awards and the 2017 recipients.

Having four Thea Award recipients based in mainland China represents a new record for the country. The Brunch program included in-depth highlights on the four projects, including an audio-call greeting from Chimelong Group’s Chris Ho and presentations from key members of the Shanghai Disneyland team.

Kicking off the Brunch was Thomas Megna of Megna Entertainment Group, President of the TEA Asia Pacific Division, who surprised the crowd with a live video greeting from David Willrich, TEA International Board President, who was presiding at the Gala in Anaheim. “This was a landmark event for TEA in Asia and a big step forward toward our goals for growing the TEA Asia Pacific Division,” said Megna.

The event was a true showcase of the East-meets-West hallmark culture of the TEA Asia Pacific Division. Jeffrey Woo, Managing Director of Sanderson Group International Pty. Ltd., the event’s Presenting Sponsor, said, “This event really demonstrated the power of the TEA in Asia and Sanderson was proud to help make it happen.” Sanderson was joined by other participating sponsors Silkroading Ltd., Forrec Ltd., Thinkwell Group, and MR ProFun.

The event was an excellent platform for the local Shanghai Disneyland team to take a well-deserved bow for their achievements. “It’s such an honor to be recognized by our industry peers with TEA. Shanghai Disney Resort has exceeded all our expectations and made us more excited than ever about our future in Asia,” said Keith Gallo, Creative Development Executive at Shanghai Disney Resort and one of the event presenters. “We look forward to staying connected with our friends from TEA and can’t wait to share more about the amazing projects coming together at Shanghai Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Resort.”

For my own part as organizer, participant and sponsor, it was truly an honor to be a part of this first-ever event. Our hosts, Bryce Hampton and Youjia Wang, were engaging and lively. The support of the entire global TEA organization was inspiring and encouraging. And the response from the local industry community that TEA serves in China has all of us eager to think about and plan our next event.

Photo at top: Clockwise from top left, event organizers and TEA Asia Pacific Board members Ron Merriman and Thomas Megna; Shanghai Disneyland presenters Andrew Bolstein and Keith Gallo share insights on what it took to bring the park to life; the crowd looks on as TEA International President David Willrich wishes them well from Anaheim; official event flyer; an insider’s look at the Chimelong Ocean Kingdom 5D Castle Theater; Disney’s Geralt Zhu thrills the audience with a behind-the-scenes look at Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure; and attendees pose for a commemorative photo as the event concludes

Posted by Judy Rubin

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