Totally Fun Company

Theme Design vs Architecture

By Peter Alexander President Totally Fun Company So you want to design a theme entertainment project? Okay, so where do you start? You start by selecting an architect, right? Well, not necessarily! Asking an architect to create a theme project is like asking a multiplex theater designer to direct a movie: you’re putting the cart before the horse. In a theme resort, store, restaurant or any themed entertainment project you are creating a “show,” a three dimensional movie you can smell and feel. You are not creating a ‘place’ as architects do…you are creating sets, and populating them with...
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4. Theme Park Master Planning – The Attraction Mix

The Attraction Mix – by Peter Alexander This is your big decision: what kind of attractions are you going to offer, and at what level of quality and professionalism? Part of this depends on your competition, and just how good you need to make the park to be the best in its area. For example, today, Universal Studios and particularly in Florida, is known for it’s high tech, story oriented rides. But, if the Disney company hadn’t beaten Universal to the punch and opened their MGM Studio Tour before Universal’s in Orlando, none of those rides would have ever...
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3. Theme Park Master Planning – Park Layout

by Peter Alexander Park Layout When people think of Master Planning, a lot of them think of how the park is arranged, which is what we call “park layout.” There are as many ways to lay out a park as there are designers who do it, but a few have been used more often than not, so we’ll touch on those first. The Disney approach, seen in the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland, is what could be called the Icon Design Philosophy. The big Icon for Disney is the Castle at the end of Main Street, and that is also...
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2. Theme Park Master Planning – The Theme

The Theme A “Real Theme Park” needs a theme, which is a funny thing to say, but have you ever noticed that a lot of the places we call “theme parks” don’t have much of a theme at all? That’s because a lot of them are not really theme parks, they are just amusement or thrill ride parks with some pretty scenery stuck in between giant iron rides that look like Martian machines from The War of The Worlds. For this discussion, we are going to stick to “Real Theme Parks,” a term which describes Disney, Universal, many of...
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1. Theme Park Master Planning: So you want to build a theme park?

by Peter Alexander President; Totally Fun Company. So you want to build a theme park? What do you do? Where do you start? How about taking some cool rides, and putting them together with some good restaurants, fun stores and pretty landscaping? Well, you can do exactly that, and some people have, but if you want to make your theme park work you’d better do some master planning. The Numbers Game If you want to build a theme park, the safest place to start is by doing a feasibility study. This study will tell you what kind of market...
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