Star Wars attractions among the year's best in theme park experiences
Attractions like Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, the first Warner Bros. World-branded theme park in Abu Dhabi and the Star Wars galaxies at Disneyland in California have been named among the best theme park attractions of the year.
The Themed Entertainment Association (THEA) announced the award winners for outstanding achievement this week, which represent "excellence, innovation and leadership in the creation of compelling places and experiences."
Here are some of the winners:
Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, Universal Orlando, USA
During a bewitched ride on Hagrid's motorbike, guests are taken through the Forbidden Forest of the wizarding world, an actual woodland of more than 1,200 live trees.
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, UAE
The first-ever Warner Bros. branded indoor theme park brings DC Super Heroes and Looney Tunes characters to life in six lands with 29 rides and interactive attractions.
Wonderbox at Paradise City, Incheon, South Korea
The indoor fantasy theme park spans 3,900 square meters and features carnival skill games, live performances, rides, adventure play and interactive media. The highlight of the park is "Luna Carnival," cinema-quality digital media art that plays several times a day.
Le Premier Royaume, Grand Parc du Puy du Fou, France
Le Premier Royaume, the newest attraction at Grand Parc du Puy du Fou in France, is an 18-minute walk-through that takes guests through fifth-century France, during the reign of the Frankish king Clovis.
The Legends of the Gods, Huaxiacheng Tourism Scenic Area, Weihai Huaxia City, Shandong, China
This one-hour, interactive, multimedia spectacle features 200 performers, animatronic figures, live horses, pyrotechnics, fountains, a 5,000-ton waterfall and an erupting volcano. The attraction also starts with a walk across a gangplank to enter a 2,100-seat boat, which travels along a track through an artificial lagoon. Guests visit seven distinct scenes, some on land, some on water.
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Disneyland Resort, CA, USA
THEA lauds the life-like, story-driven experience aboard the Millennium Falcon, one of the most iconic spaceships in pop culture history. From in-cabin lighting effects and interactive controls to spatial audio features and cinema-quality visuals, the attraction is described as screen-accurate in every way.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Disneyland, CA, USA
THEA calls Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, a game-changer, in lavish praise: "We've never seen a theme park land like this before and it just might change how we create them in the future. Introducing an entirely new planet within the Star Wars canon, this multifaceted experience combines epic and detailed placemaking, themed retail and dining, immersive theatrical techniques and interactive attractions into an audacious, genre-redefining, 14-acre adventure that lets park guests live their own Star Wars story in ways never before possible within the boundaries of a conventional theme park."