Standard Architect vs Theme Park Architect

September 08, 2020

February 2020

“ This will be my first approach to Theme Park Design Industry. I am appreciated that I am able to join this company and have the opportunity to have a short trip to Osaka, Japan. The mission of the trip is required us to explore and understand more about Theme Park Industry. So, we visited Universal Studio Japan. I was holding Bachelor Degree in Architecture before joining this industry. Theme Park Industry was not in my planning, but I do wonder sometimes, how and what it is. Is theme park same as architecture? Should I try Theme Park Architect or follow the standard becoming a Standard Architect? ”The answer will not come by itself, you have to keep walking to it. So, I joined Theme Park Industry since I have been through Architecture in my degree."

By: ShiChein Chan




I would like to interpret Ordinary Architecture as standard architect which are the standard position such as Residential Architect, Commercial Architect, Interior Designer, Landscape Architect and Industrial Architect. On the other hand, Theme Park Industry can be defined as a amusement park equipped with themed attraction, be it food, entertainment, retail shops and rides. Theme Park Industry consist more complex system than Standard Architecture. Both have the similarity of feasibility review and capacity analysis, program development, landscape planning, interior design, master planning, architectural design and design management. The differences will be ride selection and theming, storyline and thematic development, graphic design and attraction design.

These are only be found in Theme Park Industry and it is always more towards to larger scale. Theme park is more focusing on guest experience, enabling guest to escape from big burdens in their life. Theme park creates a good storyline and design with experiences started with a “setting”. Theme park combined with a lot of types and portray many aspect such as history, culture, excitement, science and technology, animals, floral, wildlife, animation, fairy tales and magic which ordinary architecture no need to come to this stage.



All is caused by my curiosity and vision of wonder. I heard one said “If you want to make the world happy, you can be an ice cream seller.” I always have a thought of creating a peaceful world which sound ridiculous but I always believe it. To be real, I know the world cannot be what I wanted it to be but at least I could create a world that allow people to experience what I wanted them to experience. Joy, excitement, fantasy and wonder can be created all in once in theme park or can be said as a fantasy world that allow the people to leave away all their burdens and enjoy the moment. A fictional world can be created for everyone regardless age, skin, culture, religious and hometown. People all around gather together for joy and fun. It will never be bored. It is always new with wonder.


It depends on individual. Everyone has different kind of taste and sense. To be more specific, there are many attributes and type. All of it gives different kind of experience such as sight, atmosphere, environment and thrill ride. I cannot deny that rides are excited, adventured and frightening but rides are really not what I am looking for in the theme park. It is because rides experience is always the same all around the world. Rides are just a side dish in a theme park. I personally prefer atmosphere and environment experience than thrill rides. It is the storytelling created the atmosphere and surrounding so that rides happened to be more exciting, surprising and interesting. Only the old tradition theme parks executing the method of rides collection, contemporary parks may now incorporate virtual environments and simulators, along with a host of high-tech attractions that are exciting and new. Universal Studio and Disney World can be standout among the rest that is due to their story concept. They able to create the atmosphere that is successfully bringing visitor to another place and time. This is the wonder of theme park, a time traveller and also a teleportation machine, enable us experiencing a whole new fantasy.






World always need entertainment, people always need to be entertained, people will not stop looking for joy and fun. Every story can be created in theme park. In general, theme park is an entertainment and this will be needed in all industries. Do you ever think of a library with giraffe, elephant or even lion sitting beside you and read together? Do you ever think of an ocean is just right at your garage? Do you ever wonder your home is no longer a house with bricks, it can be a entertainment park in it since Covid-19 Movement Control Order happened, people are forced to stay at home for safety, this is why we need this industry. CREATE THE WONDER ! TRAVEL THROUGH TIME AND PLACE !

This trip sparkled my passion and I wanted more. I see the wonder and I believe in it. Theme park allows me to explore more than an ordinary architecture. Creating my own master plan, storyline, characters, art and design. Theme park Industry is a storytelling. If you have a good story to tell, and theme park will be the way for you to present!