Class project to design a theme park attraction based on a given intellectual property (IP)
ACME Factory Frenzy is an attraction concept I developed for the Planning in Themed Attraction Design course at IUPUI. For the assignment, we were given a list of intellectual properties (IPs) that we could choose from the design an attraction around. I chose to design my attraction around the classic Looney Tunes characters. To make the project as realistic as possible, we were also required to choose a location for our attraction from a list of pre-selected locations.
Thinking through the Looney Tunes universe, I pretty quickly focused in on my favorite duo, Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. As a child, I was always entertained by what creative contraption the Coyote would think up to trap the Roadrunner next. In the context of what would make an intriguing attraction, I started to wonder what it would be like if we could actually step into the famed ACME factory. I then summed up the experience with my high concept:
Tour the famed ACME Corporation and see where the best-selling products are made.
Here was my original concept submission:
The IP I have selected is the classic Looney Tunes characters from Warner Brothers. The attraction, tentatively titled “ACME Factory Frenzy,” will be a trackless dark ride themed as a tour of the ACME factory where you can see all the great products ACME offers and how they are developed and made. We may even catch a glimpse of Wile E. Coyote on the tour as he plots his next trap for the Roadrunner. Wile E. Coyote can’t resist remaining seated in his tour vehicle, as he wants to get his hands on some of the products showcased right away. So, of course, things get out of control quickly as he inadvertently creates a frenzy throughout the factory tour.
I selected this IP and story, as it would appeal to a wide audience. Older generations remember the classic Looney Tunes characters with fondness, while the younger generation is being re-introduced to these characters through newer movies, such as Space Jam: A New Legacy. The story of the ACME factory tour has a lot of possibilities, and using a trackless ride system adds to the fun as rides can be different each time and you may never know what is going to happen next.
In the alternate universe where this ride is being developed, I imagine that The London Resort has acquired the theme park rights for the classic Looney Tunes characters from Warner Brothers. The London Resort is currently under development in Kent, just a 17 minute train ride from central London, with a proposed opening date of 2024. The land in the map below that is currently designated as “The Studio” would become “Warner Brothers Studios” and the massive and imposing ACME factory would sit at the end of the main thoroughfare, acting as the weenie drawing guests further into the land.
According to a report released by the planners of The London Resort, they anticipate 6.5 million visitors annually during the first full year of operation in 2025. This means the park would expect approximately 33,000 guests per day on average, with a peak day of around 41,000 guests. The attraction will be designed with an hourly ride capacity of around 2,000 guests. With over 100 days of rain annually and temperatures that can range from lows around 3°C (37°F) to highs around 22°C (72°F), ACME Factory Frenzy is being designed as a fully indoor experience to enable year-round operation.
The experience would begin as guests enter the main entrance to the factory and pass by the reception area. Phones will literally be ringing off the hooks at a desk with no one there to answer. In the background, you will see and hear the ACME Automated Phone Messaging System playing recorded messages to incoming calls. The queue will continue through various offices and rooms of the administrative areas of ACME Corporation, all of which show various ACME products in use. This may include passing through the mail room, the receiving dock, a maze of seemingly endless cubicles, a break room, the product development office and the president’s office before making your way into the factory tour guide’s office. Here, guests will receive a briefing on some of ACME’s most successful past products as well as catch a glimpse of some of their newest products under development. Guests will then proceed to board their ACME 5000 Automated Tour Vehicles to begin their tour of the factory floor, joined by Wile E. Coyote (an ACME Corporation VIP customer) in his own, special VIP vehicle. Wile E. Coyote zips off ahead of everyone else while the very important safety instructions are given and final safety checks are made. During the course of the ride, Wile E. Coyote leaves his vehicle numerous times in an effort to get his hands on the latest and greatest new ACME products. In the process, he is subjected to numerous unsafe events that unleash chaos throughout the remainder of the factory tour. After an explosive finale, guests find themselves at the end of the tour and, of course, exit through the gift shop where they can purchase a variety of ACME gags and products.
As I continued to develop this attraction throughout the semester, I began the blue sky process with virtual sticky notes of all the ideas I could think of. From that, I refined the ideas and generated mood boards, story boards, a full script and even a ride layout:
After five weeks of class, our instructors threw us a curve ball. While each student had been developing their own individual ride concept, we were now being asked to pitch our concept to the entire class. Our professors were acting as the clients and would choose the concept they felt would be the most successful for the class to then work on together for the remainder of the semester. After all the pitches were made and the votes were in, ACME Factory Frenzy was selected to advance as the singular project that the entire class would now work on for the remainder of the semester!