Theme Park Design

Learn how to become an Imagineer!
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  • Lectures 55
  • Length 20 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 4/2013 English

Course Description

If you want to design theme parks for a living, here's the class that shows you how! It's a fun class for everyone. You'll explore:

  • art direction
  • story writing
  • themed architecture
  • ride control
  • show control
  • audio and video
  • lighting
  • mechanics and hydraulics
  • animatronics

Steve Alcorn is the CEO of Alcorn McBride Inc., the company the engineers products for all of the world's major theme parks. Steve began his career by helping to design Epcot. Since then he has designed equipment for hundreds of rides and shows, and thousands of other attractions, all over the world.

In this course you'll lean first hand from him, what it takes to become an Imagineer, and what all the different specialties there are in the field of theme park design. (Steve also hosts a non-video workshop where you can design your own attraction with his guidance. Read more about it at

In Theme Park Design you'll learn:

  • "Blue Sky" Brainstorming
  • Conceptual Attraction Design
  • Project Management
  • Architecture and Structural Considerations
  • Mechanical Engineering for Rides
  • Safety and Monitoring Techniques
  • Ride Control Engineering
  • Show Systems Design
  • Audio Video Systems
  • Special Effects
  • Whole Park Infrastructure
  • Merchandise and Food Service Planning
  • Test and Adjust Processes
  • How to Find Theme Park Design Jobs

Enrolling in Theme Park Design is like signing up for the crazy roller coaster ride that every theme park project turns into. Along the way you'll experience all the thrills, spills and chills of creating a new attraction and opening it to your guests!

You'll also receive:

  • lists of companies that do theme park design
  • industry trade organizations
  • roller coaster, haunted houses and attraction links
  • tips on how to find jobs in the theme park industry

Theme Park Design is open to everyone with a sincere interest in theme parks and a desire to have fun. Enroll today, and let Steve Alcorn show you how to become an Imagineer!

What are the requirements?

  • A passion for theme parks!

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Learn how to become an Imagineer
  • Learn the secrets of great attraction design
  • Find the theme park job that's best for you
  • Peek behind the scenes at the world's theme parks
  • Experience the thrill of opening a new ride
  • Explore backstage theme park technology
  • Learns tips for finding a theme park design job

Who is the target audience?

  • Open to everyone interested in theme parks and how to create them

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: The World of Theme Parks
Welcome to Theme Park Design! Here's a quick overview of the thrill ride I have planned for you!
Who visits your theme park? This lesson looks at the demographics of theme park guests.
The people who operate your park aren't the ones who design it. Let's looks at the different operational responsibilities.
Imagineers are generally divided into Creative and Technical people. Here's an overview of what they do.
Let's explore the many, many types of different rides you'll find in theme parks.
There are four major show types you'll find in theme parks.
Here are some other types of attractions you might find at a theme park.
Section 2: The Creative Process
Discover how Epcot changed from its original concept to the theme park we know today.

All great attractions begin with an equally great story.

Themed attractions need to be designed to please their target audience, which may be quite specific.
Here are some of the real world factors we need to take into account when designing themed attractions.
Relive the amazing (and sadly defunct) Star Trek Experience.
Meet three of the world's greatest Art Directors.
Explore the magic that was The Adventurer's Club.
Artistry is everywhere in theme parks.

Take a peek at the process of producing media, from Circlevision to Imax to audio and sound effects.

Every creating begins with a clear blue sky where anything goes. But then it meets the reality of return on investment.
Section 3: Design
Site planning architecture are among the first stages of any new design project.
A behind the scenes look at the chaotic construction environment of Epcot Center.
An overview of the crunch time between construction and opening.
An introduction to the engineers who built Epcot.
Meet the engineers who work on big stuff and even bigger stuff.
This lecture gives us our first peek at the various electronic engineering disciplines.
A quick look at two other engineering disciplines.
Meet a show control engineer in the wild and learn what she does.
Learn the difference between real-time and scripted show control.
Show control engineers get asked to interface to a lot of different things.
Show control engineers are also responsible for monitoring nearly everything about an attraction.
Theme park engineers end up in lots of strange places in the middle of the night.
An introduction to the range of complexity that may face the ride control engineer.
A peek behind the scenes at several different ride systems, and then a look at block zone control.
A detailed look at single and multiple point failures, and how to deal with them.
Learn about ways to make it easy to maintain your ride.
Experience the Journey Into Imagination... as it used to be.
Here's an overview of the audio/video engineer's responsibilities.
Discover all the different types of equipment the audio engineer uses.
Discover all the different types of equipment the video engineer uses.
The progression of technology has greatly improved the reliability of audio and video sources.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame presented quite an audio puzzler.
The transformation of World of Motion into Test Track.
How do those ghosts in Haunted Mansion work? This lecture reveals all!
Two different technologies provide the same solution, but with different pros and cons.
Section 4: Opening
Learn how Gantt charts can help you schedule a project.
Epcot makes it to opening day!
Let's compare and contrast eight Central Florida theme parks.
Relive the opening of Disneyland.
Join me on a visit to Reedy Creek.
Here are all the things you need to do to build your own theme park.
Let's examine the world's top fifteen theme parks and see who owns them.
Explore the world of themed entertainment outside of theme parks.
Section 5: Becoming an Imagineer
Follows these rules to create great themed attractions.
Tips, techniques and links for finding theme park jobs.
Three wishes to improve the themed entertainment industry.
Additional resource links.
1 page

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Instructor Biography

Steve Alcorn, Published Author and Educator

Steve Alcorn is a theme park designer, author, teacher, and the founder of Writing Academy. His novels include mysteries, young adult stories, historic fiction and romance. His is also the author of How to Fix Your Novel.

Steve has helped more than 20,000 aspiring writers structure their novels, through the online learning programs of 1500 colleges and universities worldwide. Many of his students are now published authors, and you can be, too!

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