Two new, yet instantly iconic Disney attractions have received Outstanding Achievement awards from the Themed Entertainment Association for their development and use of immersive technology and storytelling. And any guest who’s had the pleasure to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway knows this recognition is well deserved.

What’s Happening:

  • The Disney Parks Blog is pleased to announce that two Disney Parks attractions have earned Outstanding Achievement awards from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA).
  • The award winning attractions are:
    • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World 
    • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Walt Disney World Resort
  • The Parks Blog notes that the Thea Awards are “regarded by many as one of the top awards given in the themed entertainment industry.”

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

  • The galactic adventure took off in December at Hollywood Studios and in January at Disneyland.
  • From the moment the pre-show starts, Rise is one of the most unique and immersive experiences guests will have at a theme park.
  • The attraction utilizes several ride systems, incredible Audio-Animatronics technology and visual effects to give guests the feel of being on a First Order Star Destroyer—in a galaxy far, far away.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

  • The magical train landed on the rails at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in March.
  • Here, guests stop by the home of the former Great Movie Ride to watch a Mickey and Minnie cartoon and then the magic happens. They actually become part of the animated story!
  • From a quick moving tornado and the busy city streets, to a mad race down a waterfall, this train ride provides guests with a zany experience like they’ve never had before!

Buzz Price Thea Award

  • Walt Disney Imagineering President, Bob Weis was honored with the Buzz Price Thea Award, Recognizing a Lifetime of Distinguished Achievements.
  • Weis oversees the talented Disney Imagineers and projects being developed around the world. From theme parks and resorts to cruise ships, Weis and his teams focus on quality, storytelling and collaboration to create magical and unforgettable experiences and live entertainment.
  • Bob started his career at Walt Disney Imagineering working on Disney’s first international theme park, Tokyo Disneyland Park.
  • His senior creative roles included:
    • Designing Disney-MGM Studios (now called Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
    • Tokyo DisneySea
    • The multiyear transformation of Disney California Adventure including Buena Vista Street and Cars Land
    • Top creative executive for Shanghai Disney Resort
  • Weis was named president of Walt Disney Imagineering in 2016.

What They’re Saying:

  • Themed Entertainment Association about Rise of the Resistance: “the most technologically advanced theme park attraction in existence today… The entire attraction, from front to back, is one massive magic trick that leaves riders gobsmacked and represents the absolute pinnacle of how our industry can entertain an audience at a theme park.”
  • TEA on Runaway Railway: “With a combination of physical sets, Audio-Animatronics figures, animated media and projection-mapping techniques, all syncing in time with trackless vehicles and a catchy original song and musical score, it turns a two-dimensional cartoon world into an immersive, eye-popping experience. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway raises the bar for all dark rides to come.”
  • Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: “Congratulations to Bob Weis and to the entire team at Walt Disney Imagineering for these incredible achievements. Over the past several years, Imagineers have taken creativity and storytelling to an entirely new level, and I’m proud to see that the experiences they have created are being celebrated by our Guests around the world and our peers throughout the industry. I look forward to sharing even more great stories with our guests as we continue to complete new experiences at our sites around the world.”
Laughing Place recommends for all your Disney travel planning