What is the first thought that enters your head when you hear theming? Maybe it is a Disney “Theme Park”, a “themed” party, or event. Did you know that theming can also be utilized within your aquatic facility as well? One of the hottest trends currently is utilizing a theme or a brand throughout, to create a cohesive space, and give guests an extra perk to visit your facility. To give you a little background on what a theme or a brand is, we will take a step back in time to see how it has evolved over the years.
The use of theming has a long history that dates all the way back to the early 15th century. European aristocrats would often incorporate a “theme” within their gardens. Jump forward to the early 1800’s, and we find a similar use as to what we now think of as “theming” in fairs, carnivals, circuses, restaurants. However, how we see theming was forever changed by a forward thinking cartoonist, and his infamous mouse. Walt Disney created something that the world had never seen before, by creating a brand. He also was able to make you a part of the story, with one of his greatest creations, Disneyland. He used choice architecture which ultimately chooses the journey for the user before they have even had the opportunity to make decisions. In doing so he revolutionized the way we see theming and branding today.
Fast forward to the current trends, and many aquatic parks are utilizing theming and branding to make a splash. Often times the story is told through a series of decisions made within the park design, landscaping, wayfinding, and features. Other times it is much bolder with high impact features, colors, graphics and structures. However, the best part of utilizing a theme and a brand is telling your story. Everyone and everything has a story to tell, getting to be a part of that story is all the fun.