The Themed Entertainment Association has awarded Walt Disney Parks and Resorts four Thea Awards, honoring recent achievements at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. “Our teams continue to raise the bar offering new experiences and adventures leaving guests wondering, ‘how did Disney do that?’” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We do all of this for our guests, and we’re thrilled with what they’re telling us about our new lands and attractions. These awards are one more well-deserved recognition for our cast and Imagineers.”
Pandora – The World of Avatar, which opened at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in May, was recognized for excellence as a “Theme Park Area Development.” The innovative Avatar Flight of Passage was individually recognized with its own award as an outstanding attraction. Also at Walt Disney World Resort, Frozen Ever After, the first ride-through attraction at Disney Parks inspired by Frozen, received recognition in the “Attraction Reimagining” category. Top-rated attraction Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure park was honored in the same category.
“Disney Parks have a long legacy of innovation and storytelling, and our teams continue to push the boundaries from blue sky concept through opening day and beyond,” said Bob Weis, President, Walt Disney Imagineering. “I’m so proud of the Imagineers and Live Entertainment teams who are constantly working to redefine excellence and bring those next level experiences to our guests. It’s an enormous team effort.”
The 24th Annual Thea Awards were dedicated to the late Marty Sklar, Disney Legend and 1995 Thea Lifetime Achievement honoree.
Disney Legend Richard M. Sherman has been inducted into the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Hall of Fame. Mr. Sherman received the honor for his many memorable contributions to Disney parks around the world.
Here’s the IAAPA write-up which shares some of his accomplishments:
Richard M. Sherman’s contributions to the industry span more than 50 years, and he has written and composed countless beloved songs for Disney theme parks, resorts, and attractions around the world. His work represents the industry’s most iconic and memorable achievements, combining the physical ride experience with music that elevates the impact and emotional connection of an attraction — for children and adults alike. Along with his brother Robert, he wrote the timeless lyrics for “It’s a Small World,” celebrating global peace and our shared humanity. In addition, he wrote other classic songs such as “The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” and “The Winnie the Pooh Song,” to name a few. Throughout his career, Sherman has served as an influential mentor to many designers and creators at schools, universities, and workshops. His legendary work and talent for telling stories through lyrics and melodies has connected the globe, inspiring millions through the gift of music.”
Freeform, Disney’s young adult television and streaming network, today announced that “The Ellen Show”’s Stephen “tWitch” Boss and “Dancing with the Stars” pro Allison Holker will host the forthcoming unscripted series, “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings,” as well as the hour-long holiday special, “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings: Holiday Magic.” From executive producers Ann Lewis Roberts, Simon Lythgoe and Jenny Daly, in partnership with Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings, the winter special will premiere on December 11 at 8:00 p.m. EST. The series will launch summer 2018.
In the festive special edition hosted by “So You Think You Can Dance” all-star couple tWitch and Allison, the audience will go behind the scenes of some of the most spectacular weddings and engagements at Disney destinations around the globe during the holiday season. From a “Frozen”-inspired winter wonderland wedding fit for royalty at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida celebrating Dominique and Joseph, to an intimate exchange of vows between Greg and Melanie at Disneyland Resort in California, viewers will be guests to the most talked about nuptials of the year!
“Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings: Holiday Magic” will premiere during Freeform’s annual “25 Days of Christmas” event. The holiday programming extravaganza will be the home of all your favorite Christmas films with a robust library of holiday favorites including “Elf,” “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “The Santa Clause,” “The Polar Express” and many more.