Press Release

Storyland Studios, a storytelling and experience design firm with offices in California and London, announced the $20,000 grand prize winner and top three finalists of its international Storyland Design Challenge at the Blooloop V-Expo on Oct. 4-6.  

The winning entry was Taste of Europe: The Tasteful Travels of Olivier Flambé by Netherlands-based team Nicky De Waal, Wim Strijbosch, Tim Beeren, Mark Van Rooij and Vincent Keuchen. Taste of Europe is an attraction that sends guests on a flavour-collecting journey across scenes from turn-of-the-century Europe.

“We are extremely proud of this result,” said De Waal. “We all knew each other before partaking in the challenge, but we had never really worked together as a team. It is so cool to see what has come out of this first-time cooperation and to see it rewarded with first place in an international contest with 79 other entries.” 

Taste of Europe features two ride systems, which include a new and unique side-rail concept, connected with a walk-through attraction. The design concept also boasts an on-site restaurant where guests can taste the flavours they collected on their adventures. 

“[This was] a great team effort to develop a classic theme park experience with every single detail needed for an extraordinary adventure,” said panel judge Michael Mack. “[Taste of Europe is] a well-developed combination of every aspect of a theme park ride, [and] a great idea for a new ride system.” 

In addition to the grand prize winner, three finalists were selected. Each will present their attraction concepts during the Storyland Innovation Webinar. 

The three finalists selected from the entrants were: 

  • Blue Oceans Park by Nicklas Farrantello, a sustainable, travelling eco-park that takes entertainment to host cities via green technologies
  • Chaos Institute by Jakob Fagerstrom and Anders Liljegren, an immersive thrill ride attraction with an innovative ride system that incorporates a roller coaster, drop tower, and a dark ride mini game 
  • L’Opera de L’Opere by Jessica Piatti and Gerben Pasjes, a tribute to the opera in the form of an interactive targeting ride for a contemporary audience


The Storyland Design Challenge: A Resounding Success

The Storyland Design Challenge, the firm’s first-ever design competition, was widely successful, garnering a wide variety of entries from a number of creative minds across the industry. Entrants vied for the chance to get their concepts in front of a judging panel of top names in the themed entertainment world. 

Freelance designers and creatives across the industry were invited to participate in the design challenge. Their entries were featured in an online gallery and judged based on a strict set of criteria, which included: 

  • Depth and Richness of Storytelling: Does it entertain, thrill, and excite? 
  • Emotional Resonance: Does it move people to act? 
  • Design Innovation: Does it push the boundaries of what’s been done before? 
  • Creative Use of Materials: Does it find new ways to use old tools and design methods? 
  • Executability: Is it doable? 
  • Ecological Compatibility: What’s the impact on the area where the project would be installed? 

The judges for the 2021 Storyland Design Competition were: 

  • Michael Mack, CEO, Europa Park and Mack NeXT
  • Andreas Andersen, CEO and President, Liseberg Group, Sweden, and Board Member at LEGO®️ House Denmark
  • Doris Hardoon, Executive Creative Director and veteran Disney Imagineer
  • Laurence Beckers, Creative Director, Alterface and Board Member of l’Institut des Arts et Diffusion, Louvain-La-Neuve 
  • Rachel Read, Founder and co-CEO, Blooloop
  • Mel McGowan, CCO, Storyland Studios and veteran Disney Imagineer

Partners of the challenge included Blooloop, Mack NeXT, Alterface, and

“The sheer talent among creatives in our space is staggering,” said Ben Thompson, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Clients at Storyland Studios. “We were thrilled with the astounding response to the challenge, and excited to present the winner and finalists with their well-deserved awards.”

Storyland Studios imagines, designs and creates immersive experiences and environments that lift the Spirit. They specialise in themed entertainment, experiential retail, museums and cultural attractions, expos, temporary exhibits and branded experiences. The company recently announced a partnership with gaming giant Ubisoft to develop the next generation of themed entertainment. For more information, visit

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