25 July 2008
A revealing and personal article by a very creative person, Chuck Roberts, who is director of design for BRC Imagination Arts. -JR
'I have had the privilege to be involved in the design and production of more than twenty themed experience projects. Once you look at themed entertainment through the eyes of a designer, there is no going back to being a normal visitor. Going to a theme park or museum with family and friends becomes a study in how sensitive, clever and aware other designers have been. The family and friends become lab rats, observed covertly so as not to sway the findings.
At theme parks, I sometimes witness the emotional meltdowns that occur in visiting families. There comes a critical point where the desire to go on one more ride and the idea of waiting in one more line collide like a pair of freight trains. I’ve seen it happen almost anywhere in a park, but usually it occurs in the middle of a large crowded pathway, in the still hot, late afternoon sun. The spectacle slows the surrounding foot traffic like a fender bender on a Los Angeles freeway. People slow to gawk and see a child wailing and trembling, the parent trying to yell and whisper simultaneously, “We can just leave right now. Is that what you want?” I usually side with the kid....' click here to read the full article.