1. First, Funtraptions will talk directly to an attraction owner. Sometimes this can take time and might mean working through other consultants on the project.
2. Then, Funtraptions will help the client articulate the attractions' storyline. The client may want to replicate a town’s history or take on a Polynesian theme. “This helps us fully integrate the theme with the environment,” Weston says.
3. Next, with thumbnail sketches and drawings, Funtraptions helps operators visualize the reality of the attraction. Weston stresses the importance of the theme’s enduring appeal for a broad audience. “If it’s a fad, you’re going to invest a lot of money in something that won’t be popular over time,” he says. An early sketch of the Shipwreck Cove WetScape at Dial Family Resorts in Rhode Island is pictured above left.
4. Finally, Funtraptions will show facility operators what the attraction will look like incorporated onto the play structure and the interactive area surrounding it. “There are two factors: the setting and the play equipment,” Weston says. “The latter can bring the place to life with people in it.”
“After that process, we don’t have to worry that we’ll miss the mark,” he says. "We're also savvy to the fact that most developers have a budget—so we work very hard to translate the story and theme into an achievable scenic package—even the parts we have nothing to do with." Weston gives the example of collaborating with a client's rock work company to fill unplanned areas of the attraction. "It's all about how you get the most out of the money," he explains. "We give suggestions and approaches on how to do things with blank space so the whole thing comes together in an integrated package—from the hallway leading up to the attraction—pre-show—to the gift shop afterwards—the post-show." The "Beach Hog" at the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, North Carolina, is one of Funtraptions' most intricate projects, and is shown at left.
1. Madame Tussauds – multiple worldwide
2. Universal CityWalk –
3. Broadway at the Beach –
4. Science Museums – “Museums do a very good job of immersive theming,” he says.
5. Any downtown or city center with symbols of the town’s historic roots, culture, or current personality.