Friday, September 3, 2010

The Chaos Plan

It is an oxymoron to call The Chaos Plan a plan.  This is what happens without master planning.  The illustration plan on the right is of Disney’s Hollywood Studios on opening day.  The park was small and the circulation plan was basically The Star Plan, where the rays of the star work as walkways, all leading back to the same hub.

The park was designed as a half-day park, where visitors might spend only a morning, or an afternoon.  The Disney water parks had worked well as half-day parks; perhaps this idea could be applied to a theme park?  The idea might have worked, had it not been for the fact that the admission price was equal to the other all-day parks.  Not surprisingly, visitors expected more.

Much of the acreage had been developed as movie studio production space.  But movie companies weren’t attracted to the studio.  So the studio space was opened to theme park expansion.  That’s when the chaos began.  This is the sort of development that Walt Disney had seen in his early exploration of amusement parks.  The parks had grown haphazardly, solving only immediate needs, and paying little attention to planning and guest flow.  The result is the Chaos plan illustrated on the left.

The visitor circulation is poor.  It is easy to get lost and frustrated.  Visitors spend much of their day just trying to figure out where they are.  There are many bottlenecks and dead end walkways, further slowing the progress of visitors.  There is no simple, intuitive way to plan one’s day.

This plan illustrates the importance of master planning for good circulation and for future expansion. 

The theme park basics discussed here are extremely general.  Always consult with experts, regarding your specific needs, before making any significant investment into land and/or design.  Feel free to contact me.  I’ll be happy to assist you in your efforts.

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