Main Street Electrical Parade and Starcruiser to Receive Top Industry Awards!

Disney awards

This week, at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced that Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products will be presented with three prestigious Thea Awards in 2023.

What’s a Thea award? Good question. Think of it like an Oscar for theme parks. Each year the Themed Entertainment Association presents Thea Awards to theme parks that achieve genuinely incredible things (be it entertainment or innovation or any other aspect that can truly wow in a theme park). It’s one of the most prestigious awards in the theme park industry and the aspiration of anyone in the business. According to TEA’S website, “TEA’s Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence.” So just what awards has Disney been selected for?

Galactic Starcruiser

Credit: Disney

The Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement will go to Disney World’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. The award is being given to the immersive hotel for its ability to create a one-of-a-kind, exciting experience that blends “physical, digital, and live entertainment elements into one cohesive story that plays out over the course of multiple days and nights.”

Main Street Electrical parade Disneyland

Credit: Disney

The Thea Classic Award will go to the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade. This award is presented to an attraction that has stood the test of time and remains relevant and loved by guests. When it opened in 1972, the Parade was the first of its kind, with 600,000 electronically controlled lights and a synchronized soundtrack triggered by radio control along key areas of the parade route.

Josh D'Amaro

Credit: Disney

Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, said, “I’m so proud of our teams who continue to delight our guests and consumers by pushing industry boundaries. These accolades illustrate our legacy of innovation, as evidenced by projects that opened 50 years apart being awarded together.”

In addition to these prestigious awards, the IAAPA announced that Disney Parks would receive nine Brass Ring Awards for Live Entertainment Excellence, Games and Merchandise Excellence, and Food & Beverage Excellence. The Brass Ring Awards recognize global innovation and the unwavering spirit of the industry.


About Jill Bivins

Jill Bivins has been visiting Disney Parks since she was 2 years old and loves sharing her Disney adventures with the world. She likes to say Disney is in her blood and writing is in her bones — so any time she has the opportunity to combine these loves she is one happy camper! She has a deep abiding love for Epcot and as a die hard Star Wars fan has a serious love for Hollywood Studios as well. When she isn't exploring or writing about Disney Parks, Jill is homeschooling her 8 year old son, playing with her brand new baby son, or pretending to be a farmer on her family homestead (despite being unable to keep even a cactus alive). Find Jill on Instagram @minnieonmain.