Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2017

2017 Thea Classic Award

WaterWorld: A Live Sea War Spectacular, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal City, CA USA

When it opened in 1995, WaterWorld set a new standard for live stunt shows, notable for its design, scale, staging and showmanship. The following year, TEA recognized WaterWorld with a Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement. For the next 22 years, WaterWorld: A Live Sea War Spectacular has stood the test of time at Universal Studios Hollywood - entertaining many millions of guests, at tens of thousands of performances, and now merits a Thea Classic designation.

WaterWorld: A Live Sea War Spectacular opened at Universal Studios Hollywood the same year as the feature film WaterWorld directed by Kevin Reynolds. Since then, the show has consistently been a guest favorite, inspiring later incarnations at Universal Studios Japan and Universal Studios Singapore. This high-energy, water-based show engages and entertains park visitors up to 10 times a day with 22 minutes of land and water stunts, complete with pyro and flame effects, state-of-the-art sound, jet ski launches, multiple high-falls and the dramatic crash landing and explosion of a full-sized seaplane.

The immersive, themed environment of WaterWorld reintroduces guests to the setting, characters and mythology of the original feature film - melting polar ice caps have raised sea levels, leaving post apocalypse survivors clinging to a floating island world known as the Atoll. The audience follows the saga of the Mariner, Helen, the villainous Deacon and his Smoker henchmen in their battle for fresh water and the search for Dryland – all told in abbreviated form with dramatic flair (and occasional tongue-in-cheek humor).

Through dramatic storytelling, large-scale special effects, and impressive aquatic and land-based stunts, including a dramatic 50’ flaming high-fall, and the crashing seaplane – which surely ranks as one of the most audacious effects ever conceived for a live show - the audience is taken on an unforgettable journey of imagination, adventure and excitement.


Find out more about TEA member Universal Studios Hollywood Entertainment Department

Award Credits