There are tons of theme park awards out there, from the predictable Golden Tickets, to even our own wildly unpredictable, and fan based Thrill Weekly Awards. There are, however, those awards that are given by the theme park industry itself, and to win one of those is to truly be recognized by the Theme Park Industry. Recently at the IAAPA Expo, the prestigious Brass Ring Awards (named after the brass rings that were popular on victorian era carousels) , were awarded for “achievements of excellence throughout the global attractions industry”.
The awards were presented to amusement parks, water parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, family entertainment centers (FECs), and suppliers from around the world to honor excellence in food and beverage, games and retail, live entertainment,, new products, and family entertainment centers.
While the two industry giants here in Orlando (Universal Studios Resort and Walt Disney World) did not win any awards this year, their international parks did: The “Amazing Sesame Street,” in Universal Studios Japan won for “Best Atmosphere/Street Show Performance Act” and Tokyo Disneyland won “Best Multimedia Spectacular” for their “Once Upon A Time” show in Tokyo Disneyland.
Despite recent controversy, Seaworld Parks and Entertainment won several prestigious awards including “The Heart Beat Award” ( recognizes the show that demonstrates superior overall ability in reaching the hearts of its audience), for its “Angels of Peace” show at Busch Gardens, Best Sports Show for “Kinetix 2014”, Best Female Performer, Best Game Operator and Best Soft Toy,
Other Highlights include :
TOP FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT CENTER (FEC) OF THE WORLD AWARD
Winner, North America: Boondocks Food & Fun, Kaysville, Utah, United States; www.boondocks.com
Winner, International: TimeZone Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia;www.timezonegoldcoast.com.au
FOOD AND BEVERAGE EXCELLENCE
Best New Innovation in Food and Beverage: “Ferris Wheel Dining,” Luna Park Sydney, Sydney, Australia;www.lunaparksydney.com
Best New Menu Item: “Flavored Kettle Corn,” Silver Dollar City, Branson, Missouri, United States;www.silverdollarcity.com
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT EXCELLENCE
The Heart Beat Award recognizes the show that demonstrates superior overall ability in reaching the hearts of its audience.
Winner: “Angels of Peace,” Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida, United States;http://seaworldparks.com/en/buschgardens-tampa
Best Female Performer: Cassie Bowerman, SeaWorld San Diego, San Diego, California, United States
Best Male Performer: Ronald Buchanan, Six Flags America, Upper Marlboro, Maryland, United States
Best Atmosphere/Street Show Performance Act: “Amazing Sesame Street,” Universal Studios Japan, Osaka, Japan
Best Live Edutainment Show: “Animals on Safari,” Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Columbus, Ohio, United States
Best Sports Show: “Kinetix 2014,” Busch Gardens Tampa, Tampa, Florida, United States
Note: Awards categories are broken down by the size of the production budget for the show.
Best Multimedia Spectacular: “Once Upon A Time,” Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo, Japan; www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en
Best Overall Production, $25,000 or Less: “Samsara,” Ocean Park Corporation, Aberdeen, Hong Kong;www.oceanpark.com.hk
Best Overall Production, $25,001–$50,000: “Nick Norton – Phantasm,” Silverwood Theme Park – Boulder Beach Water Park, Athol, Idaho, United States; www.silverwoodthemepark.com
Best Overall Production, $50,001–$100,000: “Love at First Fright,” Six Flags Great America, Gurnee, Illinois, United States; www.sixflags.com/greatamerica
Best Overall Production, $100,001–$200,000: “Surpr’ice in the Jungle,” Europa-Park, Rust, Baden, Germany;www.europapark.de/en
Best Overall Production, $200,001–$400,000: “Sesame Street Saves Christmas,” Universal Studios Singapore, Singapore; www.rwsentosa.com/Homepage/Attractions/UniversalStudiosSingapore
Best Overall Production, $400,001–$700,000: “Dollywood’s A Christmas Carol,” Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, United States; www.dollywood.com
Best Overall Production, $700,001– $1 million: “One Piece Premier Show,” Universal Studios Japan, Osaka, Japan; www.usj.co.jp/e
Best Overall Production, Over $1 Million: “Ashley Wuhu,” Fantawild Dreamland Park, Fantawild International Limited, Shenzhen, China