JRA and Cortina Productions Team Up on Design of TheZone

Located within the Northwest Arena in Jamestown, New York, TheZone will be an interactive play space for children ages 2 through 12 that builds upon the Arena’s 20 years of successful stewardship of youth recreation and athletics.

Designed by Jack Rouse Associates and Cortina Productions, both world-renowned firms who design displays for museum, sport, and entertainment venues including the National Comedy Center, TheZone will be colorful, fun, and inviting, from the LED marquee that welcomes you in, to the five zones of diverse, dynamic activities inside.

TheZone features a fully ADA-compliant design! All kids can expect to experience play in a way meaningful to them, from designing a sports uniform to testing their speed against real and simulated rivals, climbing, throwing balls, jumping, and simply having fun creating their own play in an enriching, age-appropriate space.

With support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and public resources, TheZone expects to be welcoming guests during summer 2022. For more information, visit https://funatthezone.org

The test seats for Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Orlando are restrictive and very public

The Big FAT Problem in the Attractions Industry

Featured Photo Credit: https://orlandoinformer.com/blog/rides-at-universal-for-larger-guests/ This essay contains mentions of weight numbers, percentiles, and size-related traumatic experiences and may be triggering to those with such experiences or eating disorders.  You’re 12. You’re excited. You’ve waited all year for the summer to come and school is finally out! You and your friends are headed down on a…

TA Podcast E34: Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson is a global themed entertainment and marketing strategist who spent the last 20 years in leadership roles at global monoliths like Mars Inc., The Walt Disney Company, and the Merlin Group, where he was responsible for opening 4 LEGOLAND®️ Parks and 40 location-based entertainment sites worldwide. Ben is now the Chief Strategy Officer…

TA Podcast E33: Doris Hardoon

Our guest is Walt Disney Imagineering designer and art producer, Doris Hardoon. Doris joined the company for the Epcot project in 1979 helping to develop the China Pavilion. She lent her unique cultural perspective to international projects with Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. Her crowning glory is found at Shanghai Disneyland, where she developed the…

TA Podcast E32: Jason Surrell

Jason Surrell is the Executive Creative Director at Storyland Studios. He was previously the Senior Creative Director on Universal’s newest theme park projects, Universal Studios Beijing and Epic Universe, as well as a creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering. Jason is an amazing storyteller, whether it be in the shows, attractions, or books he’s written.…

TA Podcast E30: Joe Pine

In this episode, Joe Pine is going to help us trace the history and evolution of the world’s economies to what the themed entertainment industry currently knows as the “Experience Economy.” Besides being one of Mel’s thought leadership heroes, Joe Pine’s work has influenced much of his design philosophy and consequently many of the experiences…

TA Podcast E28: Don & Doug Stewart

Our guests are two of the industry’s leading feasibility experts, the father/son duo Don and Doug Stewart of Economic Consulting Services. In the themed entertainment world, we like to think we build the impossible. But the impossible is not always feasible. The “Walt Disneys” of the world rely on experts like Don and Doug who…

TA Podcast E27: Joe Lanzisero

Joe Lanzisero is a 30-year Disney veteran who began his career in Disney animation and made the switch to Imagineering where he eventually became known as the theme park land expansion guy—think Critter Country & ToonTown in Anaheim, and Toy StoryLand, Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point in Tokyo. Today, Joe is Executive Vice President at Zeitgeist…

TA Podcast E26: Eddie Sotto

Eddie Sotto is a fixture in the themed entertainment industry best known for his contributions at Walt Disney Imagineering. He creative directed dozens of attractions at Disney Parks, including Main Street USA at Disneyland Paris, Mission: Space at Epcot, and the first ever trackless dark ride, “Pooh’s Hunny Hunt” at Tokyo Disneyland. Eddie’s work extends…

TA Podcast E21: Anthony Esparza

Our guest this episode is the Chief of Guest Experiences at Carnival Cruise Line, Anthony Esparza. At Carnival, Anthony navigates the fun on the surface of the ocean, and before that he took guests deeper as the Chief Creative Officer for SeaWorld Parks. Anthony is as comfortable on land as he is at sea having…

Evermore Park

TA Podcast E20: Mike West

Mike West is Senior Director and Executive Producer for Universal Parks and resorts around the world. With the first 25 years of his career spent at WDI, and a second half underway at Universal, Mike is one of those guys you can’t help but geek out over. All the while he hasn’t lost his joy…

Evermore Park

TA Podcast E18: Sean Chung

Our guest this episode is Senior Project Director for Miziker Entertainment, Sean Chung. Sean is part of a new generation of brilliant creatives making waves in themed entertainment these days. Sean has an amazing story that runs parallel to the story of modern China’s own transformation into the world’s fastest growing theme park and tourism…

Evermore Park

TA Podcast E14: Rick Bastrup

Howdy! This episode features show designer, writer, and music director for themed attractions from sea to shining sea, Mr. Rick Bastrup. Rick made his mark in regional theme parks and family fun centers for the past 30+ years. His time in the industry allowed him opportunities to work with legends like Ira West and Technifex…