Two Walt Disney World attractions, an upcoming Disney Cruise Line feature and a longtime Imagineer were honored with Thea Awards, announced by the Themed Entertainment Association on Tuesday.

  • Star Tours, which reopened in May after a thorough retheming including the addition of a new 3-D film at Disney's Hollywood Studios, received notice for outstanding achievement in the "attraction refresh" category. The attraction shared the award with the similar Star Tours at Disneyland.


  • "The Magic, the Memories, and You," the elaborate nightly projection shown on the walls of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, received an award for outstanding achievement in the "show spectacular" category. It debuted at Disney World in January.


  • The technology for the Animator's Palate Restaurant aboard the under-construction Disney Fantasy cruise ship earned honors for "ingenious use of technology." Guests will draw characters on placemats, and, after dinner, later see their drawings animated alongside Disney characters in Disney movies. Although the ship begins sailing next year, the technology made its debut during a media event in May, according to a posting on the Disney Parks Blog.


  • Joe Rohde, a vice president with Walt Disney Imagineering, received the Buzz Price Thea Award for "a lifetime of distinguished achievements." Rohde's career began as a model builder for Epcot, and it later included the development of Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park and the new Aulani resort, which debuted in Hawaii in August. He has working with Imagineering for 30 years.


Winners will be honored at a dinner at Disneyland Hotel in March.


source orland sentinel