Thea Awards

Recognizing Outstanding Themed Entertainment and Experience Design Projects Worldwide

The Thea Awards were created by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) in 1994 to help realize a key mission of the association: bringing recognition to achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. TEA’s Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence.

Rewarding excellence for the creation of compelling educational, historical and entertainment projects, the TEA’s prestigious Thea Awards reinforce the value of experience design and themed entertainment approaches to engaging people worldwide.

To receive a Thea Award, the owner of the achievement must publish credits. In this way, the Thea Awards established the very first standards and requirements for credits in our industry.

The name of the award is a play on three words: the first is "Thea," the Greek goddess from whom all light emanates. Thea was the mother of Helios (the sun), Eos (the dawn), and Selene (the moon). The second key word is "Theater," a word derived from the goddess Thea. The third word, of course, is TEA, for the Association.


Awards cycle

The annual awards cycle is as follows: After the submission period closes in August, the Thea Awards Judging Committee spends several weeks reviewing the submissions, and then recommends a slate of approximately 15-18 recipients that are subject to final approval by the TEA International Board of Directors. Those recipients are officially announced by TEA in November, and the awards are formally presented at the Thea Awards Gala held in Los Angeles the following spring (usually in April), and the cycle begins again.


Thea Awards Judging Committee

Volunteers from within the TEA membership serve terms on the Thea Awards Judging Committee. They are joined by all past recipients of the Buzz Price Thea Award for a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements, who automatically become lifetime members of the Committee.

Each year the Committee considers between 100 and 200 nominations, applying the highest standards of excellence and achievement with respect to the arts and sciences of themed entertainment.


Thea Awards Gala & TEA Summit

The annual Thea Awards Gala, an elegant, black-tie dinner affair held in Los Angeles every spring, is the culminating occasion of TEA’s biggest weekend of events which starts with the 2-day TEA Summit conference. These vital business networking gatherings bring the international leisure attractions community together to celebrate and learn about top projects, people, events, technologies, markets and trends. All are ticketed events.


Thea Awards Program

This annual print magazine is released in the spring and first distributed at the Thea Awards Gala. It contains the comprehensive credits lists for each Thea Award recipient, articles profiling each recipient, and a program for the Awards Gala. Copies of the program are distributed throughout the year at a variety of trade events.


Learn more:


Video archives on TEA TV

Did you work on a project that has received a Thea Award? Click here to order your own AOA Trophy

More information, updated regularly: Official blog