Magic Markers for Theme Park Designers

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? Magic Markers There are three brands of markers that seem to work the best for rendering, and each have their advantages. Prismacolors are nice because they are a dry marker. The dry marker allows you to get more detailed with your color. The triple tips allow you to work in detail or on larger surfaces. There are scores of colors in a variety of different sets. They work well for most applications....
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Walt Disney Imagineering Bio: Marc Fraser Davis

March 30 , 1913 – January 12 , 2000 ) was a prominent artist and animator for Walt Disney Studios. He was one of Disney’s Nine Old Men , the famed core animators of Disney animated films. Some of the animated characters Davis mainly designed and animated are Thumper from Bambi ( 1942 ), Brer Rabbit from Song of the South ( 1946 ), Cinderella ( 1950 ), Alice of Alice in Wonderland ( 1951 ), Tinker Bell in Peter Pan ( 1953 ), Maleficent and Aurora in Sleeping Beauty ( 1959 ) and Cruella De Vil of 101...
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Working on the Jungle Cruise in the 1970’s

Terry Speicher: Theme park designer with ITEC Productions and a former Walt Disney World Jungle Cruise Skipper from the opening days of Walt Disney World. Interviewer: Tell us about how you got started at Jungle, and how long you were there. TS: OK. It was a very cold winter in Indiana, around December, 1972. Eastern Airlines was advertising on the Larry Lujack Show out of Chicago, with the slogan, “If You Had Wings,” and all kinds of hype about Disney, ending with clips about Disney World, Mickey Mouse, and warm Florida. I couldn’t resist. I’d had enough of gray...
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Working on the Jungle Cruise in the 1990’s

JGR: Nathan, welcome! Thanks for being with us! NN: Thanks. JGR: The first thing I have to ask is how did you become one of the few skippers to work two Jungles? NN: Well, the hardest part was getting hired into the college program at Disneyland, where only about 10% of applicants made it in. Actually, I didn’t even make it at first. I got a rejection letter. But I started a letter writing campaign to my recruiter. They offered me the job the day after I gave up hope. And lo and behold, the offer was for what...
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The Disney Jungle Cruise Spiel

We have made this list in an effort to preserve the many hundreds of witty jokes that have been “spieled” on Disney’s Jungle Cruise for the last 45 years since Disneyland opened. Many of the very best lines are lost over time as even the official Disney scripts change every few years. We hope that this will be a permanent repository for some of the best (and worst) humor ever delivered in the “Tropical rivers of the world.” This is not an official script. While in line: Those of you adventurers entering the world-famous Jungle Cruise, please notice there...
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Walt Disney Imagineering Bio: John Lounsbery

John Lounsbery, one of Walt Disney’s legendary “Nine Old Men,” was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on March 9, 1911. He graduated from the Art Institute of Denver, in 1932. Moving to Los Angeles, he submitted his work to the Disney Studios and joined the animation team in 1935. His character animation work included Ben Ali of “Fantasia,” Honest John in “Pinocchio”, Timothy in “Dumbo” and Tony in “Lady and the Tramp.” Moving into the role of Animation Director, he worked on “Alice in Wonderland”, “Peter Pan”, “Sleeping Beauty” and ‘Winnie the Pooh” to name a few. His untimely death...
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Conversations with the experts

Dark ride inventor John Wood

John Wood is one of the driving forces of themed entertainment today.  Here’s our conversation with the President of “The Great American Dark Ride Company,” the Sally Corporation of Jacksonville, Florida. We have constantly been creating characters, shows and rides to satisfy our need to succeed and our customers hunger for entertainment. A company like ours has to reinvent itself to some degree regularly. — John Wood   Nate Naversen:  Hi John, thanks for agreeing to this interview. John Wood.  Thanks Nate.  It was my pleasure! NN: First off, how did you get your start in the amusement park...
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Walt Disney Imagineering Bio: John Hench

John Hench (June 29, 1908 – February 5, 2004) was an employee of The Walt Disney Company for more than sixty five years, an exceptionally long tenure which saw the rise of nearly every Disney animated feature and theme park.Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Hench attended numerous art and creative schools across the country, including the Art Students’ League in New York City, the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. Starting in 1939 as a story artist, he weaved his way through...
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Imagineering Bio: Joe Rohde

Joseph “Joe” Rohde is a veteran executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, the division of The Walt Disney Company that designs and builds Disney’s theme parks and resort hotels. Rohde’s formal title is executive designer and vice president, creative. He is the lead designer of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. He also is the principal creative force behind the park’s Expedition Everest thrill ride, which debuted in 2006. Rohde joined Imagineering in 1980 during the development of Epcot as a model designer and scenic painter for the...
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Jack Lindquist

Jack Lindquist (b. March 15, 1927 in Chicago) served as the president of the Disneyland amusement park in Anaheim, California from 1989 until he retired in 1993. He was a Disney employee from 1955 until his retirement, and was a marketing executive in the theme parks division for almost thirty years, including a stint as the first advertising manager for Disneyland. As a child actor, Lindquist appeared as an extra in several episodes of Our Gang, and appeared in the film Best Foot Forward with Lucille Ball. After Lindquist retired, he received a commemorative window on Main Street, U.S.A.,...
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The Waiting Game By Will Wiess

“We spent a whole afternoon and only rode two rides. I’m sure you can understand our disappointment.” “We paid close to $50 a person to wait in line for almost an hour…I plan to urge others to avoid it (the park) at all costs.” “I’m tired of waiting hours in line for just a 2 sec. ride.” If you’ve ever wondered how wait times are affecting the major theme parks, pay close attention to some of the complaints registered with PlanetFeedback.com. With no existing research able to accurately monitor the impact, it is an issue long ignored by many...
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An Introduction to Themed Attraction Design: Defining Terms

An Introduction to Themed Attraction Design: Defining Terms The following is a general overview of the terms and terminology you will encounter as a theme park designer. The terms are a combination of those you will see in theater, engineering, theme park operations, architecture and more. A theme park designer must know all of these terms to be able to communicate effectively with the various disciplines involved in the design of theme park attractions. This is not a comprehensive list, but it is useful nonetheless. “Ride Vehicle” – The vehicle that guests board to experience an attraction. “E-Ticket” –...
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How to develop a theme from scratch using an image board

Blue Sky Theme Park Attraction Design Developing the theme for a new theme park attraction may seem like a simple task. Begin with a ride, a restaurant, a retail location or space. Then select from a library of themes and apply it like a template to the space. This thinking may appear to work in some cases. A pirate theme, jungle theme or a space theme comes to mind. But what about when the answer is not so obvious? The question, “What should it really look like?” is a question that every themed attraction designer must be able to...
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How do I make my theme park idea a reality?

Eddie – My name is Anthony Preston I have been reading about Eddie and he sound’s just like me. When I was 5 years old I took my first trip to Disney World. I really liked the first thing I saw, which was the Indiana Jones epic stunt spectacular. It really impressed me. I grew up going to Disney world alot, and I wanted to be a theme park owner. I have been working on theme park ideas since I was six. And now have a great plan. I want to create a theme park called ‘The Secret World’....
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How do I put my ideas into tangible form?

Eddie – I have always had “ideas in my head” for themed attractions. But I have always struggled getting them out of my head and into a tangible form for others to see and evaluate. At 29, I am looking to totally change my career and pursue the themed industry. I have wanted to do this my whole life but I have always struggled to find the right approach to get into the business. With that said, I have a good friend who is a C.A.D drafter and he is willing to teach me the program. Do you think...
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How is math used in Disney Imagineering?

Dear Eddie, I’ve wanted to become an Imagineer for as long as I can remember. I am doing a report for algebra class. We have to pick a job that we would like to have when we grow older and explain how math is used in that job. Can you please tell me from your standpoint how it is used and what type of math is used most commonly. Thank you in advance, Brendan Generelli Brendan – Well, depending on where you land at imagineering, math plays a crucial role in each area. In the engineering realm, everything from...
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Hall of Presidents:

Script from the original show, which ran from 1971 to 1993. Group: We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Narrator: These immortal words when first they were written, proclaimed to the world an idea new among men. They expressed a shining wish for a better way of life. This was the American dream. But...
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Insights from Experts

The Coming Revolution in Themed Entertainment

A transcript of a speech by Bob Rogers at a forum on the future of themed entertainment From the IAAPA Tradeshow, Orlando, Florida 1997 Introduction Harrison “Buzz” Price Bob Rogers is a Renaissance man, a technology buff, and a great storyteller.  After leaving CalArts, he was an in-and-out man at Walt Disney Imagineering, working on Florida Disney attractions and Pavilions at EPCOT.   In 1981, looking for steadier employment, he founded BRC Imagination Arts; and his productions there have won him many prizes: Kennedy and Houston Space Centers, Spirit Lodge, Rainbow War, and Vancouver Expo where he stole the show. ...
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Walt Disney Imagineering Bio: Frank Thomas

Franklin Thomas (September 5, 1912, Fresno, California – September 8, 2004, Flintridge, California) was one of Walt Disney’s team of animators known as the Nine Old Men. He graduated from Stanford University, attended Chouinard Art Institute, then joined The Walt Disney Company on September 24, 1934 as employee number 224. There he animated dozens of feature films and shorts, and also was a member of the Dixieland band Firehouse Five Plus Two, playing the piano. His work in animated cartoon shorts included The Brave Little Tailor, in which he animated scenes of Mickey Mouse and the king; Mickey and...
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In-Pavement Fiber Optic Lighting

I am very interested in learning about the fiber-optic lighted pavement features at Epcot Center. Where can I get information about this type of light feature? I’d appreciate any help. Thanks – Joseph For any fiber optic application, there are basically three components: 1) The illuminator… this is the light source 2) The color wheel. This is a machine that rotates a colored gel in between the illuminator and the bundle of tubing. The color wheel is generally arranged so that two or possibly even three colors are lit at once. 3) The bundle of fiber optic tubing. The...
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