Special Feature

IAC Jungle Challenge, Scruffy Dog Creative Group

Thinking about theming and making it happen

Park World editor, Becci Knowles talks to six key players in the industry about what it takes to create a fully immersive experience.


nlimited Snow is a leisure development company specialised in snow and ice environments. Commenting on current trends in theming within this context, CEO Kees Albers says: ““For snow parks, we see the considerable change from industrial types of building interiors to highly themed and IP/story- based environments whereby the theming is an important part of the WOW factor.”

Nigoland, P&P Projects 24

Kees also notes “increased use of show lighting as well as digital projection on 2D and projection mapping on 3D surfaces as technology keeps improving and is increasingly affordable. It’s an economic way of staying fl exible and providing new experiences every time, including interactive play and games,” he says. “One of the major trends we see is the need to evolve the already existing seasons in amusement parks, so guests come back several times during the same season,” says Lars Nielsen, themed attractions manager, MK Themed Attractions. “More specifi cally we saw it with the Flower Festival that we helped create for Tivoli Friheden in Denmark during the summer of 2020. The amusement park had a 45% increase in the number of guests compared to the same period in 2019, where they did not have a Flower Festival pop-up event. Hence, we have expanded our portfolio of pop-up-events to include

a variety of different themes and concepts and we are looking forward to explore this exciting new trend.” Walltopia is a company that delivers complete active entertainment solutions, many of which are also themed. Refl ecting on current trends in this sector, architect and product manager Konstantin Karamfi lov says it’s all about immersion. “It has been and will always be the ongoing trend in theming. Disconnecting from reality in order to escape the boring daily routine, has been part of our culture long before the creation of theme parks, hence the phrase “getting lost in a book”. I think that it has merely evolved because of the new technology that enables designers and architects to create better themed environments. We can now achieve amazing things and bring stories to life like never before. Think about Disney’s Galaxy Edge and the Galactic Starcruiser hotel – the illusion is set in a way that it enchants you even before you step at the check in or ticket desk. Or think about Universal’s Hogsmeade where you can actually taste the illusion through simply getting a butterbeer or a pastry. “All in all, I wouldn’t say that there are any particularly new trends – the trends are the same as before. The difference is that people are more demanding than before and not that easily fooled. They are constantly searching for a more authentic and realistic experience.


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