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St. Louis Aquarium entrance wins theme-park award

St. Louis Aquarium entrance wins theme-park award

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Despite opening shortly before a pandemic struck and shut business down for months, the St. Louis Aquarium still made a good impression around the world in the last year.

The newest attraction at Union Station, which opened on Christmas Day 2019, has been presented with a Thea Award from the Themed Entertainment Association.

The aquarium won the trophy for "outstanding achievement — entrance experience."

The aquarium's award description states that "this incredible new aquarium entrance experience crosses the threshold into entertainment design in new and unexpected ways."

The award goes on to praise the aquarium for representing "a new generation of aquarium design."

The entrance is the station's old Grand Lobby, which resembles a train-station flip board. It also displays changing scenery on LED ceilings and walls and colorful fish swimming inside a clock-faced tank.

Visitors then are taken on a simulated passenger train ride with STL's own actor extraordinaire John Goodman, who narrates a historical journey that begins in 1894, the year the landmark Union Station opened.

Our aquarium is in good company. Along with an airport in Singapore and a hotel in France, other U.S. attractions to win an award were "The Bourne Stuntacular" at Universal Studios in Florida, and "Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway" and "Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance," both at Disney's Hollywood Studios, also in Florida.

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