Vintage park maps: Kings Island

In the early years, regional theme parks offered souvenir maps for sale. These were beautifully illustrated works of art with lots of fun details to discover. One of the ideas for the park history book was to include excerpts from these opening/early season maps to help visualize the walk-through descriptions. That would have made the…

Themed Attraction’s First Pitchfest Elevates Collaboration & Community

Themed entertainment industry professionals from all backgrounds gathered May 29th on a public ZOOM call to listen as entrepreneurs, industry veterans and newcomers pitched their new concepts and ideas for potential investment. Organized by Cary Jardin and Lexington Blood, the event’s goal was to offer creatives and innovators an opportunity to present their ideas before…

Storytelling in the Details: Dollywood

Perhaps it’s largely personal bias. I’ve loved the mountains my whole life, and I’d give pretty much anything to move back someday. But Dollywood absolutely has to be one of the most authentically situated parks anywhere. Whereas many parks try to cater to a variety of interests, featuring wide-ranging themed lands and attractions, Dollywood is…

Imagineers React to Notre-Dame

When reports first started circulating in offices and classrooms that Notre-Dame de Paris was in flames, people around the world seemed to recognize together the sad significance of this calamity.   A lot of tragic news passes through the culture these days. Perhaps the overarching tragedy is that the disasters, death, and mayhem that make…

Theme Parkology – Backstory

As developers and designers of themed entertainment, it is our responsibility to author backstories so rich and believable that our guests never question the worlds we create for them to enjoy. back·​story \ˈbak-ˌstȯr-ē noun, plural back·sto·ries. a narrative providing a history or background context, especially for a character or situation in a literary work, film,…