Monday, January 11, 2010

Musings on theme

I've been reading over the notes I've taken both from internet and book sources and from my own thinking over the last couple years as I've pipe-dreamed about developing a theme park.

Theme is one of the more difficult things to figure out as I try to come up with concepts for this facet of the park. On "Themed", one of the links shows the reader a letter from a young man to ex-Imagineer Eddie Sotto, where the writer describes his theme park as "The Secret World". Elsewhere, I found a blogger with a desire to develop his own theme park, one called "Alternate Realities". But what do these titles tell us about the theme ideas of their park designs?

Not much. The possibilities are, well, maybe not "endless", but pretty broad. As I opined in my last post, the theme needs to be focused enough to allow for a cohesiveness in the attractions of the park, but broad enough to allow the designer to come up with interesting attractions and to have room to change, grow, expand.

The previously mentioned site "Themed Attractions" had one post (I couldn't find it today upon quick perusal) that talked about developing theme by scripting the guest experience from the moment they exit their vehicle in the parking lot to when they enter the park. (And beyond that, of course, but I think this part goes a bit into giving you the designer an insight into how your theme would work practically.)

For example, were I talking about a park called "Alternate Realities", I might look at how I could integrate these various realities. One of the better books I've read on time travel and changing realities was Isaac Asimov's .The End Of Eternity . In this story "eternals" travel through a sort of temporal elevator, stopping at various centuries and making changes that they deem desirable to the "present" and observing how those changes play out. Maybe something like this could form the basis of this park. I would then "script" exactly what the guest would see as he/she approached the park from the parking lot. What sort of building? What do the doors look like? What's off to the right? Left? Where are the ticket booths? Entry gates? Once they go through the doors, what do these temporal elevators look like? How many are there? How does a guest choose which temporal elevator (as the themed portals to this concept) to use to enter the park? Then what? Etc., etc.

Is this idea broad enough to support an entire park? I think it might be; the possibilities for attractions in various realities are pretty vast. Is it focused enough? I think it is that, is pretty specific about how these realities come to exist, and how you get from one to another. This is someone else's concept, though, and that's about as far as I'd want to go with these thoughts...

I had an idea, that I've more or less dismissed (for now), for a similar theme - one where these time travelers, also called (by Asimov) "Eternals", collect by copying or by directly importing various important constructions and such throughout history, to their own futuristic "museum". Maybe the Taj Mahal is there, or something like it. Maybe the pyramids from Egypt are there, or maybe the Mayan structures. Perhaps a portion of the great wall of China is present. How do we get to this future? Well, we don't - it's come to us through some sort of accident, where instead of them grabbing structures from our past, present and future, they've managed to send one of their cities to our present time. One complete with this "museum" to our own architectural triumphs, but also with a large part of their futuristic metropolis intact.

(shrug) It's just off the top of the head sort of rambling. But I think it's sort of fun to muse about these sorts of ideas. Blue sky. Pipe dreaming

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