Happy New Year! (Again, I think – I need to log on to this site more). Today I come with a new, more detailed site plan for Jolly Holiday. This is probably the closest I’ve gotten to something that could actually be built, and also stays relatively compact. I’m really happy with it. The only thing I would change is that currently there are two maintenance areas – one for vehicles, and one for the horses – and I think there’s enough room that they could just be combined into one.
While I’d be happy to see it anywhere, the design has always been geared towards Epcot and the UK pavilion – so as I’ve refined it I’ve definitely kept that in mind. As you can see it fits very nicely there (obviously getting rid of Millenium village is necessary )and leaves plenty of room next door for a new pavilion.
Okay, since I constantly seem to get sidetracked by this issue any time I try to write anything about theme parks, I might as well talk about it now.
First some quick definitions. David Younger in his fantastic book aptly titled “Theme Park Design” (add link) outlines a few different design styles that have been applied to theme parks in their relatively short history. Here they are along with their (paraphrased) definitions.
Traditional: the classic form of design that originated with Disneyland that seeks to immerse you in environments. Characteristics include almagations of different kinds of spatial entertainment (not just rides), a trend towards experiential vs explicit story, loose theming. Pirates of the Caribbean or The Haunted Mansion.
I was recently watching the Robert Zemeckis version of A Christmas Carol (the motion capture one with Jim Carrey) and it really struck me again just how well suited to a theme park or theatre experience it would be. I particularly love this version because of just how dark it is, to me really illustrating the vision of what A Christmas Carol should be. Aka a nightmare. (A happy dream isn’t going to change your bad ways is it?)
Also I probably should have cropped some of these images. You live and learn I guess starting off a new blog. LOL.
Anyway, I had a series of images mostly just pop into my head and I decided to try and put them down. So here’s an idea for a theme park show or immersiveish experience (at least one scene would make it impossible for normal theatre).
So the movie begins and ends with an illustrated book fading into the actual action of the movie. I’ve always loved this kind of effect, especially when done live (the Jungle Book show at Animal Kingdom used to do this). So the opening curtain is styled in the same way, like an illustration out of a book with a scene of Scrooge going about town. When the music starts the lights fade and it would line up perfectly with the real set and actors. Continue reading “A Christmas Carol!”
Today here’s an image from the climax of the ride where you join the horse race and the jockeys ride alongside you accompanied by a rousing score. The scene takes place in a series of 3 speed tunnels laid out in the shape of a horse track. The backgrounds are project but the jockeys are animatronics that ride along side you, neck and neck. Eventually Mary Poppins sends the wind to help you along and you’re lifted above the riders to the finish line.
For the full rundown of the Jolly Holiday attraction please check out the page. What do you think?
I’ve started working on some story boards for Jolly Holiday. They’re kind of crap but it’s nice to have something. I’ve gotten up to the carousel scene. (You can see how the quality drops as I got tired and started to speed up lol). Let me know what you think!
For more information on this attraction check out this page.
Quick update. I’ve now added some of my work to the site. So you can now view my Mary Poppins ride concept, Jolly Holiday, here and just some general art here.
In the future, when there’s new content to add I’ll either be making individual progress posts and updating the pages themselves. Not entirely sure how I’m gonna manage the organization of that, but that’s not your problem. 🙂
Alrighty, a big topic to start off with lol. Just as a warning, this post doesn’t exactly have a thesis – there’s a lot of ground to cover, more it’s a bunch of half developed observations. Take it as fair warning that my biggest flaw as a writer is keeping myself focused.
Has anyone else noticed just how prevalent the terms “immersive” or “immersion” have become in the themed entertainment world? It seems I can’t even read a press release for a new merry-go-round without coming across a sentence like,
“this ground-breaking new attraction featuring a brand new type of rotating mechanism immerses the rider into the world of wooden horses and carousels of old like never before.”
Hyperbole and the focus on ride system aside (topics for another day) there’s that damn word again: a concept encompassing perhaps the absolute pinnacle of themed design being reduced to a buzzword completely devoid of any of it’s original meaning. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is immersive. Radiator Springs is immersive. The Rivers of America is immersive (I can hear some shouts about that last one coming my way already – I’ll get to it). The Simpsons land at Universal Orlando is not immersive. Nor is the despicable me attraction. Nor is a lot of the theme park world. But that’s not a bad thing, especially when the focus on immersion in the modern era seems ever so more emphasized not on the concept of immersion itself, but on a particular subtype of it. Continue reading “The Trend Towards (new) Immersion”
This is the beginning I guess of a more complete website for me and my never-ending interest in theme park and themed entertainment design and also will function as a online repository for my growing amount of work related to it. I’ve been slowly trying to acquire skills necessary to change careers to do design full time, and I intend on posting that progress here. I also have often wanted to just write my views on various topics in the themed entertainment world forever now, and it’ll be nice to finally have a place to put that that’s a little (or a lot) less toxic than many of the fan forums – and hopefully discussion that’s a bit more theoretical and deep in nature.
I’m basically planning on it being a more organized and expanded version of my tumblr blog Theme Park Concepts (go follow that if you haven’t already lol). And so yeah…we’ll see how much I keep this updated and what happens from here on out.