During the TEA summit in the Disneylandhotel in Anaheim, California, Efteling executive chairman Ronald van der Zijl received the THEA Classic Award. All twenty jurors visited the Dutch themepark and were charmed by its authenticity and unique rides in the natural environment, but also found that visitors of all ages are still enchanted by the earliest attractions such as the Fairy Tale Forest. This prestigious prize is a source of great satisfaction to the Efteling management. ‘We are only the second park in the world to receive a prize like this for our entire oeuvre, the first being the well-known Danish municipal park Tivoli. This Classic Award is the ultimate token of recognition for an amusement park, because it is awarded by our professional colleagues who know exactly what goes on in our industry. It confirms that we are still heading in the right direction. What is even more exciting is that we know who nominated us as a candidate.’ It was clear when the announcement was made that two respected figures from within the branch were responsible for the Efteling nomination. These were Tony Baxter, vice president of the Disney design department (Disney Imagineering) and Bob Rogers of BRC Imagination Arts, a company that designs and builds attractions and amusement parks. Their nomination was prompted by ‘more than 50 years of inspiration, quality, creativity and entertainment for what is now a total of almost 90 million visitors.’


The name of the award has three meanings. "Thea" is the Greek goddess who radiates light. The second meaning comes from "theatre." The third word is TEA, the name of the organisation: Themed Entertainment Association.

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