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Theme Park Design & the Art of Themed Entertainment

General Information:

Media Type: Book
Type: Other
Release Date: 2016-03-28

Geek's Thoughts: Theme Park Design & The Art of Themed Entertainment by David Younger takes a look at what goes into creating a theme park. The book defines and explores the key terms and concepts that are used to create the parks. These range from overall park design to land and attraction types. Broad concepts and small details are covered. The book explores the thought process to designing the parks, it is not a behind the scenes look at how your favorite attraction is made. It references specific attractions as examples of key concepts and there is a look behind the curtain at the business and design side but not revelations of how effects or attractions are made. Disney Parks around the world are used as the primary illustrations but other parks including Universal and Efteling.


The book layout and presentation lends itself more to being a reference than a traditional narrative. It leans more toward the academic side with its format. The author uses citations and notes to document the quotes and material used throughout. To illustrate the various concepts quotes/stories from Disney Imagineers are used spanning many decades from Disney Legends Marc Davis, Herb Ryman and Tony Baxter to future legends like Joe Rhode. Former Imagineers such as Eddie Sotto are cited numerous times too.

I really enjoyed reading through this book. Most of the concepts and terms I have become familiar with over the years and many of the stories shared by the Imagineers I have heard in one form or another too, but having a well written book with references is a nice addition to my library. Be warned this is a dense read. The book is over 500 pages long and that is fairly small print and larger page sizes. There are a few charts and illustrations but the book is almost entirely text. I would like to see an updated version, the book was published in 2016, the content holds up well but I think could be expanded upon with the changes in the industry since publication.

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