Frank Mezzatesta
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Thea Awards

What is a Thea Award?
The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) recognizes "Outstanding Themed Entertainment and Experience Design Projects Worldwide". I was lucky enough to participate at various levels on three projects that TEA judged as outstanding and awarded their Thea award.

Muppet Mobile Lab
The original idea for the Muppet Mobile Lab was actually conceived over lunch with the head of Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development VP Bruce Vaughn and me. I told him that after "The Big Dino" and "Lucky the Dinosaur" that I was tired of "walking". Walking referred to all the time, effort, and money we had spent on walking algorithms and that, as well as we had done, these figures didn't walk very fast. I wanted a character that could zip through the park and greet guests. By the end of lunch we agreed to attempt some kind of character that could move through the park on something fun to look at like a two-wheeled balancing device. We didn't realize it at the time but we had traded one challenge of walking for many other challenges of balancing and mobility. Oh well!

There were a number of contributors, many of whom worked for me like Holger, Dave, Todd, Bryan, Carl, Bill, Phil, Asa, Steve, Dean, and Lance. I'm very proud of everyone who worked on this project.

Kim Possible
The Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure or the Kim Possible Playtest as we called it internally was the culmination of many ideas over many years. Many of the people listed here worked for me including Alfredo, Steve, Lance, Lanny, Bryan, Gary, Peter, Asa, Phil, Dave, Bill, Dean, and Holger.

EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow was Walt's last idea for a theme park before his death. We all got to see many times a video of Walt himself explaining his vision. His vision was so large that the theme park EPCOT was later renamed as EPCOT Center and all of Walt Disney World was considered EPCOT. This was an enormous undertaking and opened on October 1st, 1982. I was there opening day and I still remember that day as clearly as if it were yesterday. Hundreds of people worked for many years on this project, including myself.