The winners of the Thea Awards of 2021 were annoucned today at the IAAPA Expo in Orlando. Among the winners are two dark rides and show ride, but also a complete themed area that includes a dark ride. The Thea Awards are an initiative of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and were presented for the 28th time this year.
The Secret Life of Pets: Off the Leash won the award for “Outstanding Achievement – Attraction”. This dark ride in Universal Studios Hollywood (Universal City – U.S.A.) is based on the film franchise of the same name. The ride, that was originally scheduled to open in 2020, was designed by Universal Creative and features an omnimover ride system by Sansei Technologies.
Another Universal park, Universal Studios Japan (Konohana – Japan), won an award for Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge. The park’s newest dark ride has won an award for “Outstanding Achievement – Technical Innovation” for its augmented reality feature. During the ride, two cars will race each other and are able to pull Mario Kart-like tricks on each other. These are shown to the riders through the augmented reality feature. Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challange is located in Universal’s new themed zone “Super Nintendo World” that won the award for “Outstanding Achievement – Theme Park Land”, complimenting the ride a second time.
The award for “Outstanding Achievement – Attraction with a Limted Budget” was awarded to Reodor Felgen’s Hyperakselerator in Hunderfossen Eventyrpark (Fåberg – Norway). The new simulator is based on the stories of Norwegian author and illustrator Kjel Aukrust. The ride was designed by Farmer Attraction Development Ltd. and features four 8-seater simulator vehicles by Simworx. The ride film was produced by Qvisten Animation.
“This is just fantastic!” says Hogne Høstmælingen, CEO of Hunderfossen Eventyrpark in a press release. “We’re always having a goal of being extraordinary when developing new attractions. Storytelling, theming and play & learn are important aspects for us. When we realized how funny and engaging the Hyperakselerator would be, we actually put on even more “extra fuel” to compete for the prestigious Thea Award. More than 150.000 guests this summer has been overwhelmed of our new attraction. The Thea award is an enormous motivation for all of us, and it inspires us to develop even better attractions in the future!”
You can read about all winners of the Thea Awards on the website of the Themed Entertainment Association.