Odds are, if you are in the attractions or entertainment business, you’ve found yourself with loads more time on your hands than you ever dreamed of having. Fortunately, there are loads of podcasts, videos and articles for you to binge during this time. If you’ve ever wanted to take a deep dive into “how the sausage is made” or learn stories you never knew existed, let me provide you with a few resources that can keep you occupied for days.
Men In Black 20th Anniversary
This month marks the 20th anniversary of Men In Black: Alien Attack at Universal Studios Florida. Not only is it one-of-a-kind, but it’s become a fan favorite amongst theme park fans. The story behind how this came together is fascinating. Originally this space was earmarked for a Florida version of Jurassic Park, as plans evolved for Islands of Adventure, that attraction ended up being built in the new park.
Recently Dave Cobb did a fantastic look at the making of the ride along with the attraction designers. During the nearly two hour discussion, he and his colleagues shared all kinds of behind-the-scenes stories, easter eggs and fascinating insight into how this iconic attraction came together. It’s absolutely worth your time to take a look.
Franz Harary’s “Quarantine Talk“
As many of you know, we are huge fans of magic here at Theme Park University. Franz Harary has been a long time friend, especially considering he is an attraction designer himself. Recently, Franz has started interviewing the biggest names in magic every night on his “quarantine talks” live on Facebook.
He’s got over a dozen interviews in the can so far with many more to go. My favorite so far has been two-time champion of America’s Got Talent: Shin Lim. You may recall, Franz opened an attraction in Macau called “The House of Magic”, which we covered several times here at TPU. Oddly enough, Shin was a featured performer at that attraction before he became the success he is today. You can hear him and Franz talk about working together and even how Shin met his wife. Click this link to visit Franz’s Facebook page and see the archived shows he has done so far as well as his upcoming guests.
The Season Pass Podcast
Without question, the best “how the sausage is made” attractions podcast on the planet is still The Season Pass. The interviews Doug Barnes and his co-hosts have amassed over the years is nothing shy of incredible. I’ve devoured every episode, several of them more than once.
All you have to do is literally think of a name in the attractions business and most likely, they have done an interview with The Season Pass. You can listen to dozens of interviews on iTunes and I promise you, you will not be disappointed.
Rob Plays on YouTube
While there is a ton of great work going on via YouTube, the clear standout for original Disney content that is not only entertaining but informative goes to Rob Plays. Most of the topics he covers haven’t been covered on the internet at all.
As a Disney fan, to be able to hear some of these stories for the first time is like finding a gold nugget in a river of vlogs that cover the same info. You can spend hours watching his videos.
TPU’s Extinct Attractions
Finally, we will toot our own horn here. One of the things we are most proud of here at Theme Park University is our extensive coverage of attractions and theme parks that are no longer around. We cover their origin stories to the attractions that were opened to why the park closed.
One of the things we make sure readers are aware of: just because a park closes, doesn’t mean it was a terrible product. To the contrary, there were some ground-breaking ride systems, concepts and themes that had a ripple effect throughout the entire industry from these closed parks. We’ve covered Hard Rock Park, MGM Grand Adventures and Six Flags Power Plant to name a few. If you want to see all the extinct attractions we have covered over the years, just click that link at the top of the page!
What am I missing? What are your favorite attractions videos, blogs or podcasts worth binging? Let me know in the comments below!
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