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The Art of Amusement Park Planning

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Hey everyone!


As some of you may know, I currently run two blogs: Thrills Await is focused on amusement parks such as trip reports and photography, and Urbanetics is more related to my academic interests (urban planning, architecture, aesthetics, etc). My most recent Urbanetics blog post actually incorporates the best of both worlds, looking at the planning and design that goes into creating our beloved amusement parks.


I figured I'd share it here, since I figured many of you might find it interesting. I talk about several urban planning and design concepts such as placemaking (essentially creating a sense of place, beauty, and welcoming in public spaces) and how they apply to amusement park planning and design. Hopefully it gives insight into both the urban planning and themed entertainment industries and how they are interconnected and that you enjoy it!




I figured it could also be fun to start a conversation, so feel free to share any relevant insight or opinions. This could be anything from your favorite midways, plazas, or design elements of your favorite amusement parks, as well as your own personal reasons why you like some areas better than others. Or if you have any fun memorizes associated with a specific location in a park, feel free to share that as well!

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You know, it's a pity that those behind the making of the movie "Action Point" didn't get a chance to read your post, or else they wouldn't have made the park look like it was constructed inside a junk yard. Shoot, forget the final act of "Zoombieland" being insulting to riders and amusement park flyers everywhere, "Action Point" just insults everyone!



This art of amusement park planning isn't something that should be ignored by the planning board; I mean, you can't just choose a plot of land and put a bunch of rides there. Traveling carnivals can get away with that; they're only there for just a few days. A major amusement park needs a concept, themes, type of rides, restaurants, shops, show venues, themed areas, and (the most important thing of all) the placement of the restrooms. It's also the same thing when the park decides to expand its park and add new rides or theme areas (when Busch Gardens Williamsburg decided to add Italy or when Holiday World added Thanksgiving ).


I believed that whenever one visits an amusement park, all the guests' senses should be pleased. The views of the clean and newly painted buildings, the smell of food and asphalt, the sounds of piped-in music and screams from riders on rides, the feeling of G-force on rides, and many other things that would make their visit to the park pleasant, happy, full of joy, and the yearning to return back to that park in the future. I could go on, but I think I made my point.

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