Thea Awards Les Amoureux de Verdun du Puy du Fou, meilleure attraction au monde

Puy du Fou Thea Awards Les Amoureux de Verdun

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View all eventsTEA Connect Blog17 November 2015TEA names 22nd annual Thea Awards recipients; Gala to be held in Anaheim in 2016

BURBANK, California USA, Nov 17, 2015 -- "This year's international slate of projects named for TEA Thea Awards reflects the delivery of story, media, content and experience with ever more sophisticated technology and tools," said Steve Birket (Birket Engineering), president of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). "It's a safari or parade of the exotic and the familiar - characters, creatures, cultures, themes - conveying the power of the moment, of story and of place. From Disney's re-imagined Electric Light Parade (Paint the Night) to Wuyishan's transformation of a natural water feature into a multimedia spectacle, to places where nature and environment are foremost such as the San Diego Zoo and Rory Meyers Children's Garden... to placemaking that roots you in history such as One World Observatory and Les Amoureux de Verdun... With the annual Thea Awards, TEA lauds the visionary project owner and the team that helped create something never done before. The Thea Awards are when we take a moment to review where the attractions industry has come in the past year or two, and to appreciate who and what got us there, including people such as Keith James (JRA) and John Robinett (AECOM), both honored this year, and the tech breakthroughs that enhance both the project process and the guest experience. We invite everyone to discover these great achievements and join us in Anaheim on April 2, 2015 for the formal presentation of the Thea Awards."

Tickets/more information: Follow the official Thea Awards blog.TEA International President
Steve Birket, Birket EngineeringThe prestigious TEA Thea Award is considered one of the attractions industry's greatest honors. The 22nd Annual Thea Awards Gala presented by Chimelong Group and set for April 2, 2016, is a ticketed, black-tie dinner affair at the Disneyland Resort, Anaheim USA. Tickets go on sale in December 2015, and are available to the general public as well as to the industry. The 2016 Thea Awards Gala is produced by The Hettema Group (Producer). AECOM is the Theme Index Partner.

Prior to the Thea Awards Gala, full case studies of the Thea awardees will be presented by the award recipients at the TEA Summit, a 2-day conference. Summit dates are March 31-April 1, 2016.

The Thea Awards Nominating Committee recommended the current slate of Thea Award recipients, with final approval by the TEA International Board of Directors. For more information on the Thea Awards, including past awardees, click here.The 2016 Thea Awards Gala
is presented by Chimelong GroupHashtag: #TEAtheas  

About TEA  
About the Thea Awards  
Media Contacts  
Image Resources



 One World Observatory, New York City
TEA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Attraction22nd ANNUAL TEA THEA AWARDS RECIPIENTS

(Each short description below links to a longer description)


 Les Amoreaux de Verdun, Puy du Fou, France
TEA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - 
Attraction, Limited BudgetThe Buzz Price Thea Award – Recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements

Keith James, Owner/CEO, Jack Rouse Associates -- "One of the themed entertainment industry’s most respected and trusted leaders."

Thea Classic               

San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park (San Diego, CA, USA) -- "Marking their 100th anniversary, the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Safari Park have consistently been on the forefront of innovations in contemporary zoo keeping and most active in conservation and preservation efforts." 

Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement (AOA)

Fountain of Dreams, Wuyishan, China
TEA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Event Spectacular
©Show: ECA2 / Photo: Julien PANIE
One World Observatory (New York, NY, USA) - AOA, Attraction -- "...arrestingly unique and unexpected, and overcoming the challenges presented by an emotionally charged location."
SpongeBob SubPants Adventure, Moody Gardens (Galveston, TX, USA) - AOA, Attraction -- "The different elements (stereoscopic 3D film, 4D in-theater effects, real-time animation and multiple story paths) are all used to evoke the world of Nickelodeon's SpongeBob Square Pants to quirky
San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park
TEA Thea Classic Award
and comical effect, all in perfect sync with the characters and sensibility of the franchise."
Les Amoureux de Verdun, Puy du Fou (Les Espesses, France) - AOA, Attraction, Limited Budget -- "Puy du Fou’s creative team blend historical accuracy with theatrical intensity in this moving, poetic walk-through historical journey through one of the most poignant moments of World War I." 
Foresta Lumina, Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook (Coaticook, QC, Canada) -- AOA, Interactive Attraction, Limited Budget -- "...the unique forest setting and local folklore combined with the subtle adaptation of multimedia makes Foresta Lumina stand out."  
Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden (Dallas, TX, USA) - AOA, Science/Discovery Garden -- "This museum without walls, with 17 themed outdoor galleries over 8 acres, is a simply irresistible banquet of exciting play and discovery, with exciting surprises around every corner!"
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK) - AOA, Museum Exhibit -- "From McQueen’s famous Kate Moss 'hologram' to the presentational wow of the 'Cabinet of Curiosities,' the exhibit was an astonishing display of one person's work presented in an artfully restrained immersive environment. It was reported to be the V&A's most visited exhibition with 493,043 attendance."
Inspector Training Course, Discovery Cube LA (Sylmar, CA, USA) - AOA, Science/Discovery Experience, Limited Budget -- "This technologically advanced scavenger hunt teaches kids about conservation and sustainability, furthers the museum’s overall STEM education goals, and hides a whole lot of learning behind a whole lot of fun."
Foresta Lumina, Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook, Quebec
TEA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - 
Interactive Attraction, Limited Budget
Fountain of Dreams (Wuyishan, China) - AOA, Event Spectacular -- "In this unique nighttime spectacular, technology innovation meets ancient storytelling, and breaks the barrier between audience and performance."
Disney Paint the Night, Hong Kong Disneyland & Disneyland (Hong Kong & Anaheim) - AOA, Parade Spectacular -- "...a marvel of lighting technology, creative artistry, storytelling, showmanship, live performance, and interactivity centered around beloved Disney characters."
Disney Paint the Night, Hong Kong Disneyland & Disneyland
TEA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Parade Spectacular
Gantom Torch Technology - AOA, Technology, Limited Budget -- "Gantom's fully show-controllable flashlight-type device makes a show experience very personal for each guest, and adds another programmable element to the creative toolbox."
Geppetto Animation Control System - AOA, Technology Breakthrough -- "Super 78's comprehensive 3D character, environment, and 4D effects show control system to advance guest experiences, easily programmed and unbelievably fast and simple for a single, offstage operator."
Manufacturing Innovation, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, The Henry Ford (Dearborn, MI, USA) - AOA, Brand Experience, Limited Budget -- "...a corporate media presentation becomes a multimedia spectacular that leaves guests excited about manufacturing innovation; great music, theatrical lighting, carefully choreographed projection and robotics."
Moments of Happiness at World of Coca-Cola (Atlanta, GA, USA) - AOA,Corporate Visitor Center Rehab, Limited Budget -- "This 6-minute film provides a new and memorable preshow experience to a leading corporate visitor attraction in the US receiving more than 1 million visits annually."
Integrated Environmental Media System at Tom Bradley International Terminal, LAX (Los Angeles, CA, USA) - AOA, Environmental Media Experience -- "...has received global attention as the most provocative example of a fully integrated, intelligent media environment, executed with such creative and technical excellence that it has redefined the field."

TEA Distinguished Service Award

John Robinett, Senior Vice President - Economics, AECOM

TEA Media Contacts: Savage Beauty: Alexander McQueen, V&A, London
TEA Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Museum ExhibitJudith Rubin Public Relations,
Jennifer Nevin, TEA COO,

Image Resources:

Keith James
San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park
One World Observatory (Username: ONEWORLDOBS; Password: press)
SpongeBob SubPants
Les Amoureux de Verdun
Foresta Lumina
Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
Inspector Training Course
Fountain of Dreams
Disney Paint the Night
Gantom Torch Technology
Geppetto Animation Control System
Manufacturing Innovation, Ford Rouge Factory Tour
Moments of Happiness, World of Coca-Cola
IEMS at Tom Bradley International Terminal, LAX
John Robinett (TEA Distinguished Service Award recipient)
Steve Birket (TEA International President)
Phil Hettema (Thea Awards Gala Producer)
Logo art: TEA, Thea Awards, Chimelong Group and other sponsors

 Keith James, JRAKeith James, JRA

2016 recipient of the Buzz Price Thea Award for a Lifetime of Outstanding Achievements

Keith James has become one of the themed entertainment industry’s most respected and trusted leaders. His entire professional career has been in themed entertainment. “I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to do something I love for over 40 years," he said. "In addition to being involved with some great projects, I’ve had the chance to meet some wonderful people along the way.”

His areas of expertise include strategic development and business planning, project management, business operations, show and attraction development and implementation. Graduating from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music in 1974, Keith first teamed with Jack Rouse to found and develop Kings Productions, the entertainment production and facility design division of the Taft Broadcasting Company’s amusement park group. 

In 1979, he became Director of Planning and Development for Canada’s Wonderland. He became the park’s Director of Operations in 1981. In 1983, he took the post of Vice President, Operations for Vancouver Expo 86, later rejoining Taft as Managing Director of Australia’s Wonderland in Sydney, then returning to the US in 1987 to join the newly formed Universal Studios Florida planning and design team as Vice President, Show and Ride Production. After the park opened he rejoined JRA in 1992.

Since that time, Keith has managed JRA’s design and production work for clients including The LEGO Group; Warner Bros.; Universal Studios Florida; Six Flags Theme Parks; Volkswagen Autostadt; Ocean Park Hong Kong; Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and numerous other destinations including museums, science centers and branded experiences. 

Keith is dedicated to the attractions industry and has been instrumental in helping develop emerging markets in India, the Pacific Rim and Eastern Europe. He has been involved with the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) since 1993; he served as President from 2000-2002, and helped form TEA’s European & Middle East Division. Keith has also served on the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) Board of Directors, Manufacturers & Suppliers and Nominating Committees. In November 2011, he was honored with IAAPA’s 2011 Outstanding Service Award.

He and his wife Patti have two daughters, Alexis and Chloe, two son-in-laws, Emmett and Eric, and two grandsons, Emmett and August. 


2016 Thea Classic

San Diego Zoo & San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Shortly following the close of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in San Diego’s Balboa Park, and upon hearing the roar of the lions that had been abandoned in the Park after the Expo, Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth founded the Zoological Society of San Diego, and started the San Diego Zoo a century ago, in 1916.

What began in a moment of inspiration has resulted in a century of amazing animals and extraordinary people coming together to pursue a dedicated vision. The 100-acre San Diego Zoo is primarily a cage-less facility for more than 3,700 rare and endangered animals and a renowned botanical collection. Annual attendance: 3.75 million. Sister facility San Diego Zoo Safari Park opened May 10, 1972 and receives some 2 million annual visits. Its 1,800 acres are home to more than 2,600 animals and 1.5 million botanical specimens.San Diego Zoo Safari ParkConsistently, both have been on the forefront of innovations in contemporary zoo keeping and most active in conservation and preservation efforts. San Diego Zoo Global is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving species from extinction. Over the last century conservationists with San Diego Zoo Global have worked to preserve and reintroduce more than 30 endangered species to managed habitats in their natural habitat. Looking towards the next 100 years, the well-known conservation organization is looking to new technologies and community supported efforts to turn the tide of extinction and create a world zoo where all species are protected in their native habitats as they are in accredited zoos.

In July 2015, Travelers’ Choice Awards recognized The San Diego Zoo as the best in the US and best in the world. 


One World ObservatoryCity Pulse at One World ObservatoryOne World Observatory, operated by Legends and built on the site of the former World Trade Center, is a collection of experiences that celebrate the dynamics of Manhattan, its surroundings, and the resilient vitality of New York City.

The attraction begins at ground level, where a series of preshow queues focus first on the people who constructed the new building, seen in the multi-screen “Voices.” This is followed by an informative themed re-creation of the bedrock beneath the structure in an area called “Foundations.”Visual cityscape timeline on the way to "see forever"
at One World ObservatoryVisitors then ascend to the top in a 47-second elevator ride that includes an ascending panorama of Manhattan, covering more than 500 years of geographic and architectural change during the trip to the 102nd floor, where a row of kaleidoscopic screens and theatrics prepare visitors to “see forever.”

This is followed by a dramatic reveal of the city itself through expansive glass walls, and unique exhibits and interactive attractions such as “City Pulse” and “Sky Portal.” The return elevator trip to the ground floor uses the on board screens in a very different manner, virtually transporting riders out of the elevator shaft for a helicopter-like flight around neighboring structures.

One World Observatory had to find a comfort zone within a location inevitably tied to devastating recent history. The creators have succeeded in bringing this experience to life by contrasting the solemn nature of the memorial (the adjacent 911 Memorial & Museum) with a celebration of the rebirth of physical space. The design uses familiar and state-of-the-art tools to weave together what are usually the “blank spaces” of rooftop vistas (queuing, elevators, gift shops and viewing decks). The result is something arrestingly unique and unexpected and overcoming the challenges presented by an emotionally charged location.


SpongeBob SubPants Adventure

The SpongeBob SubPants Adventure at Moody Gardens combines 3D film, 4D effects, a live performer, and a real-time animated character who interacts with guests - all in an attraction which allows the audience to choose their destination on a delightful undersea journey.

Beginning with a preshow which features touch tanks and educational interactive exhibits, guests soon enter "Le Plunger,” the submarine (4D theater) to experience a simulated descent to Bikini Bottom, where an animated Patrick Starr from the SpongeBob Square Pants series helps them decide where they want to travel.

The different elements combine to evoke the world of SpongeBob Square Pants to quirky and comical effect, all in perfect sync with the characters and sensibility of the franchise. The attraction uses the new Geppetto Animation programming system to achieve the seamless integration of the real time animated character in the show. 


Les Amoureux de VerdunLes Amoureux de Verdun, Puy du FouPuy du Fou, France’s beloved historical theme park, has taken a daring subject and turned it into a beautiful study in love and sorrow. Focusing their unique artistic vision for the first time on events of the twentieth century, Les Amoureux de Verdun takes visitors into the terrifying battlefields of winter 1916. We follow the love letters between a soldier and his fiancée, as they endure the pains of war; and we witness the miraculous Christmas Truce between the French and German soldiers.

It’s not a ride… it’s not a stage show… it’s not a haunted maze, but incorporates elements of each. Visitors are surrounded by the sights and sounds of the snowy trenches of Verdun, snaking through trenches and foxholes, as cannon fire shakes the earth. Theatrical sets and lighting, live actors, animated props and projected media integrate perfectly to capture the atmosphere and draw us into the story.

Puy du Fou’s creative team achieved a rare blend of historical accuracy and theatrical intensity. The team compiled over 7500 authentic world WWI artifacts, which serve as scenic dressing and props in the attraction. Fifteen live actors blend seamlessly with 80 animatronics and static figures to populate the story, while multiple projection screens enlarge the canvas. 

This is the second Thea Award for Puy du Fou - the entire park was honored in 2012 with the Thea Classic award.