Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2016

Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement: Event Spectacular

Disney Paint the Night, Hong Kong Disneyland Park & Disneyland Park

This is an electrical parade lit entirely of LED lights (a first of its kind) …except these LED lights are really Pixie dust from Tinker Bell and Mickey Mouse’s magic paintbrush, pulsing with colors and sparkle. Tinker Bell’s Fiber Fairies wear costumes adorned with fiberoptic strands that can be touched by guests with special interactive wands that change their color. Pixar properties brought to life include Monsters, Inc., Cars and Toy Story.  The Monsters, Inc. float features Sulley and Mike and a series of spinning peek-a-boo doors with hidden video screens that reveal scary monsters. Lightning McQueen leads the Cars contingent with the 25,000-light Mack truck followed by the glow-in-the-dark Cars Crew dancers. The Toy Story float, dubbed Electric Rodeo, features a 20-foot-long Slinky Dog with Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear sitting precariously atop the illuminated coils. The Lasso Dancers, each spinning a lighted ball on a string designed to look like a neon lasso, are joined by Jessie the cowgirl.

No Disney parade would be complete without a procession of princesses. Belle from Beauty and the Beast commands the lead float dominated by a massive red rose with Cinderella and Rapunzel on trailing candelabra mini-floats. The Court Dancer performers wear color-changing costumes while the Dove Dancers look like winged ballerinas. The 25-foot-tall Little Mermaid float features a massive King Triton figure with a rear-projection face. A large troupe of performers tags behind, including the electroluminescent coral fish as well as the Nemo and Marlin characters.

The finale is truly spectacular, with Mickey Mouse wielding a giant paint brush to control a wild kinetic sculpture that creates an optical illusion with an array of disco balls. As the lights and geometry move, the optical illusion is truly magical to see. Technology advancement is a good thing, especially when it comes to re-imagining the Main Street Electrical Parade.  The new Disney Paint the Night is a marvel of lighting technology, creative artistry, storytelling, showmanship, live performance, and interactivity centered around beloved Disney characters, both recent and classic. The parade opened at Hong Kong Disneyland in October 2014 and opened at Disneyland with several added elements in May 2015 as part of the park’s 60th Diamond Celebration – a show of massive scale, mounted twice within 12 months on two different continents. The parade has over 1.5 million lights on floats, costumes and video screens.  Special guest merchandise was developed that synchronizes to the parade as it moves down the street. Along the way, homage is paid to the original Electric Light Parade – including a drum float and some of the original music score.

Award Credits