Once an attraction is opened, who is responsible for the upkeep when problems arise?

Eddie –

Once an attraction is opened, who is responsible for the upkeep when problems arise? I would imagine (pardon the pun) that the Imagineers are not responsible for this and that there is a group of maintenance personnel on site for such occurrences as ride malfunctions or routine maintenance. What qualifications might these cast members have? I’m curious if maintenance of the attractions would require similar qualifications to those of an Imagineer. I’m sure there is a need for plumbers, electricians, mechanics. But what about programmers and engineers?

– Russell


This is a big issue for the folks who operate a park maintain it. The key is to recognize this and design with the ultimate maintenance in mind. Create things that can withstand the normal maintenance. Don’t force things into your show that are so intensive, you will be disappointed when they become exasperated and shut the effect that made your show cool…..off. The maintenance crews have to know how to maintain lights, effects, mechanical, animation, etc… It is a tough but rewarding job.

There are needs for all the disciplines you mentioned at most parks, they not Imagineers but you want them to take ownership in your vision, so their understanding of the vision is crucial.

– Eddie Sotto


The Blue Pencil

Design Tools: What tools are used? One subject that themedattraction.com has not addressed yet is the question of design tools: That is, what tools are used by designers to create theme park attractions?

Blue Pencil

Especially when in the blue-sky phase, one medium relied upon heavily is the blue pencil. Theme park attraction designers rely upon blue pencil in order to quickly flesh out ideas on paper.

Rich West is an experienced professional theme park attraction designer and illustrator. He explains why there is such a heavy reliance on blue pencils for early concept sketches. He explains, “Blue pencil is a great way to express ideas because it is fast and easy to lay down values. And because the scene is completely rendered in blue, your mind tends not to try to assign a color to it that isn’t there. Therefore, your mind tends to believe the character of the rendering itself.”

This is a beautiful rendering by theme park consultant Charles Wissig.

You can find non-photo blue or other blue pencils available for purchase at your local art store. Generally, along with some tracing paper or some 11″x17″ bond, the blue pencil is a great tool in the arsenal of the theme park attraction designer.

Pencil is being replaced by Photoshop and tools like the Wacom Tablet, but for many, the blue pencil is still an essential part of any designer’s tool chest


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