TA Podcast E44: Jeff Damron, Architect and Theme Park Master Planner

Our guest is Architect and Theme Park Master Planner, Jeff Damron. Jeff is a 30+ year veteran of themed entertainment and destination design providing his expertise as an architect, designer and master planner in theme park projects, hotels, resorts, casinos, and many other mixed-use projects where people can live, work and play. Most recently he…

book by theme park designer on the various attractions he's created over the years

Theme Park Designer Rick Bastrup shares stories behind beloved attractions in new book

What’s behind your favorite regional park attractions? Rick Bastrup, forty-year veteran of the theme park industry, reveals all in his new book Adventures of a Theme Park Designer. Very few park-goers realize how their favorite rides and attractions actually got there—they just know they love ’em and miss them terribly when they’re gone. So how…

TA Podcast E42: Daniel Kerscher

Our guest today is Theme Park Art Director, Daniel Kerscher. Daniel Kerscher is an Art Director for theme park projects worldwide with decades of experience ranging from Landmark Entertainment and the TAA Group. Most recently, he spent 6 years guiding the art direction at Europa-park and Mack Rides contributing his brilliant creativity in one of…

TA Podcast E41: Adam Bezark

Our guest is TEA Master and founder of The Bezark Company, Adam Bezark. His storied career from WDI to Landmark Entertainment Group allowed him opportunities to conceive and design monstrous IP attractions such as Jurassic Park: The Ride, the JAWS ride, and Terminator 2:3D for Universal. For WDI, he co-directed the beloved IllumiNations nighttime spectacular…

TA Podcast E36: Christian Hope

Our guest is Christian Hope, Vice President of Paramount Studios Theme Parks & Resorts. Christian has contributed concept designs in development of world-class attractions here in the US and around the world. His concepts have resulted in some of the most visited location-based entertainment sites around including Disneyland Paris, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and The…

Stephen Sondheim in his 40s. Black and White

What Sondheim Can Teach Us About Experience Design

Photo Credit: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/26/theater/stephen-sondheim-dead.html Stephen Sondheim, famed musical theatre composer, lyricist, genius, and a personal idol of mine recently passed away. His death has recently caused me to reexamine a thought I’ve had from time to time: that rides are akin to songs. It might sound a bit strange at first to suggest that rides and…

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 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…

Lighting the Way: The Time is Now

How the Location-Based Entertainment Industry Can—and Should—Do More to Ensure a Brighter and More Prosperous Future We live in an age of unprecedented change. A host of converging forces—technological, social, cultural, environmental, economic—are transforming the world around us at a pace never before seen in human history. The world is getting smaller and more interconnected.…

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…

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…

TA Podcast E19: Kevin Sherbrooke

Kevin Sherbrooke is an AIA Licensed architect and show set designer who lives at the intersection of creative, blue sky concepts and the rigid structure of architectural design. Kevin’s background gives him a unique perspective on the ins and outs of an industry on the move. You can see his work in familiar environments and…

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,…

The Blue Pencil

Design Tools: What tools are used for concept artwork? 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? Blue Pencil Especially when in the blue-sky phase, one medium relied upon heavily is the blue pencil. Theme park…