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  • Writer's pictureSteve Baker

The Art of Creating Magical Amusement Parks (The Complete Guide)

Amusement parks and themed environments offer a sense of magic and otherworldly experiences. They create a space that transcends what we know as possible and transports you to a world of wonder and excitement. 


However, all that doesn’t happen out of nowhere. There are a variety of details that need to be considered, and everything requires a true artistic touch to bring the magic we all know and love to life. 


Artists consider various aspects when creating an amusement park project. They use their artistic vision to bring themed environment ideas into reality, both functionally and with a sense of wonder.


Let's dive in to learn more about how an amusement park is created.


1: Designing a Central Theme


The most important aspect of creating an amusement park is its theme. The theme ties all the features of the park together and creates a coherent experience.


Theme park design is one of the most important aspects because it significantly contributes to immersing guests in the experience.


The theme of the park will generally be provided by the project’s owner. The person who will own the park when it’s completed.


There aren’t any limits to what the theme can be, but from a business standpoint, it needs to be something that attracts an audience. It also has to be something that can be done within the project’s budget. 


If you look at any good theme park you’ve visited, or any type of themed environment in general, you’ll notice that the overarching theme is present in every single aspect of it and largely guides the design structure of the park in its entirety.


2: Using Color to Escape Reality


Another thing that helps elevate themed environments in comparison to your average commercial area is color. You’ve likely noticed this.


You go to the amusement park, and everything is covered in bright colors that capture your eye and put a visual twist on everything around you.

Using color to create a vibrant amusement park.

Even in more serious themed environments such as Halloween-themed amusement parks, things might be darker and drearier, but the color is leveraged artistically to trick your brain into feeling like you’ve just stepped out of reality and into the theme of the park. 


This requires an extensive understanding of art and how the human mind interacts with color to be done correctly.


A professional doesn’t just choose colors that seem like they match the theme. They choose colors that elicit emotion, encourage certain behaviors such as spending more money or being more stressed or relaxed, and of course, make sense within the overall theme itself.


Color is worked into every aspect of the park, as well. From the way buildings and features are painted, to the exact color of costumes and staff attire.


3: Using Space and Placement Effectively


This is an aspect of amusement park creation that involves both technical prowess and art skills. 


From an artistic perspective, the way everything is laid out needs to create an experience


There needs to be an initial experience that draws guests in, and the layout should push each guest through an overall “story” where they experience an increasingly more exciting activity with each feature before reaching the main attraction or group of attractions for a killer climax.


Think about when you go to a certain famous mouse’s amusement park and first enter.


You see a massive landscape before you that makes you want to explore it all, you move into smaller attractions and commercial opportunities, and right in the middle, you have the most exciting rides highlighted by a famous castle from everyone’s childhood.



From a functional point of view, the artist must consider how many people are predicted to be in the park at once, and how necessary features such as bathrooms and eateries will be implemented in a way that is convenient and boosts the financial success of the park.


The artist must also consider how walkways will work whether they’ll be convenient for guests, and whether or not their designs will reasonably accommodate guests with limitations.


Another functional aspect to consider is how the land is being used. The amusement park can’t be cramped, or it becomes inconvenient on busy days and might even be a safety issue.


It also can’t be too spread out, or it can drag the experience with long walks between features and lots of empty, boring, space. You also don’t want to buy plenty of land just for half of it to be left empty. 


It’s not enough for one side of this to take precedence over the other, either. Without plenty of artistic creativity, the park will be boring or provide a lackluster experience. Without any concern for function, it can turn guests off or exclude would-be guests entirely


Striking the right balance is crucial for creating a successful amusement park. 


4: Lighting


Lighting is often a subtle part of theme parks, but it has a massive impact on the sense of immersion that guests develop while at the park.


Lighting isn’t just there to ensure guests can see everything in the park. It’s also there to change a guest’s mood depending on what a certain feature is meant to achieve, highlight key features and make them stand out from their surroundings, and generally draw the attention of the guest to whatever they’re supposed to be engaging with. 


This can be a difficult thing to get right, but a professional theme park designer works extensively with lighting to create the right effect.


5: Sound


Finally, sound is another part of the artistic vision of the park. Like lighting, it’s often subtle, but it can have a profound impact on guests.

Using sound to create an atmosphere in an amusement park.

Whether that includes music that puts guests in a certain mood, or if it’s something subtle such as birds chirping in a nature-themed pathway, many different sounds need to be worked into the artistic vision to bring it all to life.


Bring Your Artistic Environment Vision to Life with Baker Studios


Now that you understand how an amusement park is created, you should partner with reliable professionals, such as the designers from Baker Studios.


These are all concepts that require years of training and experience to implement properly in a themed environment. 


Our team of trained, seasoned, designers can bring your project to life.


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