Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2013

Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement: Attraction

Radiator Springs Racers, Disney California Adventure Theme park

Image 1/4: Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement: Attraction: Radiator Springs Racers
Image 2/4: Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement: Attraction: Radiator Springs Racers
Image 3/4: Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement: Attraction: Radiator Springs Racers
Image 4/4: Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement: Attraction: Radiator Springs Racers

In one of the largest attractions ever built for a Disney theme park, the Radiator Springs Racers ride at Disney California Adventure Park puts visitors in the driver’s seat for a thrilling race through the world of the Disney·Pixar film Cars. This family-oriented, indoor/outdoor thrill ride incorporates fast moving, variable-speed, six-passenger vehicles that start their journey with a calm and scenic drive through the colorful landscape of Ornament Valley.

Traveling into an interior dark ride environment, guests find themselves face-to-face with Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater and all the other 4-wheeled personalities of Radiator Springs, personified via breakthrough figures that combine physical and projected animation to bring the characters to life. Variable track paths allow for changing and unpredictable scene experiences during the indoor portion of the ride.

The ride culminates in a high speed, side-by-side, outdoor race between two ride vehicles that careen neck-and-neck through the twisting Ornament Valley landscape. The winner isn’t decided until the cars reach the Finish Line at the end of the race!

This attraction demonstrates true excellence in design, technical innovation and in execution. In bringing a well-known movie to life, the designers went the extra step in expanding it into a fully experiential world, creating new details and gags throughout. 

The animated figures break new ground in creating the illusion of live animation, and the technical elements, including special effects, sophisticated, in-vehicle sound, and a sophisticated ride system, have all been transparently integrated into the highly enjoyable story and experience. In addition, the design team incorporated an extremely large attraction footprint into the plan of the overall Cars Land footprint in a way that creates multiple notable scenic vistas, and overlooks and seamlessly intertwines the environment and attraction into a total experience greater than the sum of its parts.


Find out more about TEA member Disney Parks Live Entertainment

Award Credits

Tim Nash, Designer, Leisure media