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…

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…

SplashBotix SplashValve Proportional Flow Control Diverter Valve Receives UL Listing

SplashBotix, a leading supplier of aquatic controls and submersible mechatronics to the show fountain, aquatic play and themed entertainment industries, today announced that its SplashValve, the fountain industry’s first diverter valve flow control device, has been UL listed for use with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, spas, and interactive fountains.

An illustration of a brain underwater

The Fallacy of Immersion

Immersion has been the buzzword of the themed entertainment industry for a little over a decade or so. We’re in an arms race where every new project attempts to one-up the last by increasing the ‘immersiveness’ by another factor. Bigger, more enveloping, more detailed, and especially: more real. While some of the projects this has…

Generation Z in Themed Entertainment

The themed entertainment industry has made itself more accessible than ever for members of
Generation Z, born approximately 1997-2012. Whether it be through theme park strategy games, vocational courses, workshops, panels, or documentaries, a vast well of knowledge serves to nourish our interests. Continue reading for an overview of how Gen Z’s theme park strengths can benefit the future of storytelling.

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…

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…

Storyteller: Bridging Cultural Differences Through Shared Experiences (A Digital, Audio and Visual, Travel Companion Experience Platform)

This is my MFA thesis. In it, I address the initial opportunity and preliminary concept for a global- scale, geolocation capable, storytelling application that will be an individualised, themed, Augmented Reality experience, incorporating the Oral Traditions, stories, and music from Indigenous Cultures and local peoples in their own source languages and translating them into the guest’s language of choice as they are walking, riding, or otherwise moving throughout the environment. This application will also double as a travel tool, allowing the content user to select from items in an informational mode, incorporating different icons, attractions, food and beverage offerings, hotels, festivals, events, etc. Finally, the guest will be able navigate through the application remotely and hear all of the curated stories and music from the comfort of their own home or classroom, with gamification that allows the guest to better understand and connect with the global community during times where travel isn’t an option.

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.…

Show writing for attractions: The secret of being audience-centric.

“If your team of experience designers is without a writer—a storyteller who braids the threads of the design into a golden cord that captures not just your guest’s imagination, but their hearts—you risk missing the emotional connection that drives success. Content, technology, spectacle, even story—without connection—will not be remembered or returned to.” ~ Stacy Barton