Most people never think about what a theme park looks like when it’s closed. Who cares? Hasn’t everyone gone home? Well, with more than 30 years in the theme park industry I’m here to say no. From my experience I learned that there would always be a slow day when one place or another is closed during the operating day. I knew that the Moose Juice, Goose Juice in Seuss Landing at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure was a prime target for such closings.
I decided that a simple curtain was the best way to close the stand down at night, to protect the counter equipment from the elements. This curtain should also be designed to be attractive in case the park is still open. The architects had a different idea. Everything at Islands of Adventure had to be designed to withstand 200 MPH hurricane winds. They decided that included the drink stand curtain.
They searched until they found a manufacturer with a side-rolling door that would meet the standard. Now, if this were something that was really required one would think it would be easy to find without an extensive search. Anyway, the bulletproof door was such a monster that it required both a top and bottom track to close, along with a huge motor. Again, my theme park experience told me what to expect from a bottom track, especially nearby food. If you guessed a constantly jammed track you’re ahead of the architects.
It was no surprise for me to see that just a few years after the park had been opened, the steel door was no more. In its place was (inspiration) a curtain. Who would have thought? Common sense could have saved us thousands and I’d have put a very interesting Seuss pattern on the curtain to boot.