June 30, 2014
The Angry Birds are landing in Dubai next month.
Travelling exhibit for all ages to kick-off global tour in UAE
Dubai Summer Surprises, the leading summer festival in the region, is proud to host the world premiere of the travelling exhibition “Angry Birds Universe: The Art and Science Behind a Global Phenomenon.”
Dubai Summer Surprises, organised by Dubai Festivals & Retail Establishment (DFRE), runs from 2 August to 5 September and promises a month-long festival of great shopping deals and fun-filled, family-oriented entertainment throughout the city.
Imagine Exhibitions, Inc., in partnership with Rovio Entertainment Ltd., and Jack Rouse Associates (JRA), developed this unique exhibition to present, in partnership with Live Nation Middle East, an educational and highly interactive attraction unlike any other on the market.
Angry Birds Universe will open on 28 July at Modhesh World, one of the region’s most popular indoor family edutainment destinations, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Based on the popular Angry Birds games, fans of all ages will have fun learning a wide variety of educational concepts in an extremely hands-on environment. Fans will also have the chance to “be the bird” in a unique, full-body demonstration of Angry Birds physics!
H.E. Laila Mohd Suhail, DFRE CEO, said: “We are extremely pleased to offer our Dubai visitors and residents a unique entertainment experience that would take them to a whole new level of interactive fun. Furthermore, this step comes in line with DFRE’s endeavour to create strategic partnerships with leading global entertainment entities, which has resulted in bringing a world premiere of a game concept that has millions of fans across the world. This will surely cement Dubai’s position as a leading hub for world class events.”
Throughout the immersive experience, families will be introduced to the beloved Angry Birds characters like never before in an interactive adventure with approximately 30 hands-on activities including 10 simple machine bird launching stations, 4 full body experiences, 6 map stamping stations, 20 iPad gaming stations, and 12 opportunities for personal creativity and hands-on creation! These hands-on activities seamlessly teach STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) concepts and will delight guests of all ages!
The exhibition’s most thrilling attraction is a one-of-a-kind “be the bird” experience: safely propelling guests on zip lines to knock over enormous foam structures, just like the Angry Birds! In addition, other full-body attractions include a Laser Maze, Climbing Wall, Planetarium, and oversized Sling Shot activity.
Angry Birds Universe features numerous opportunities for families to work together, building creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills. For example, parents and children are able to build and test a variety of structures against the impact of Angry Birds launched by other guests. Additionally, guests of all ages can utilize a state-of-the-art design studio to explore their creative side through experiments with character design, animation and sound production related to the Angry Birds games. These exhibits give young visitors an idea of what it’s like to pursue careers in science and technology – all while having fun!
Tom Zaller, President & CEO of Imagine Exhibitions, Inc. commented: “The Angry Birds games and characters are both recognized and loved throughout the world. Combining this worldwide passion for the games with hands on discovery in a 3 dimensional setting allows our visitors to truly engage with the Angry Birds characters like never before.”
"The Rovio team is very excited to have our Angry Birds Universe exhibition premiere at Modhesh World in the United Arab Emirates," said Jukka Koivu, Head of Location Based Entertainment for Rovio Entertainment. "The Dubai World Trade Center has an excellent reputation for hosting world class events, which makes it the perfect venue to bring our games, characters, and STEAM educational elements to life for the very first time in the UAE."
For more details please visit www.imagineexhibitions.com.
Angry Birds Universe: The Art and Science Behind a Global Phenomenon will be open daily to the public at Modhesh World in Dubai World Trade Centre. Visit www.modheshworld.com.
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About Imagine Exhibitions, Inc.
Imagine Exhibitions, Inc. is the global resource for all aspects of exhibitions and attractions. From design to creation, placement to presentation, marketing and operations, Imagine has the experience and inspiration to bring the best possible experience to any venue. Imagine is currently producing and touring 25 exhibitions in museums, science centers, aquariums, integrated resort properties and non traditional venues throughout the world. For more information, visit www.imagineexhibitions.com or visit the Facebook page.
About Rovio Entertainment
Rovio Entertainment Ltd, the creator of Angry Birds™ is a global industry-changing entertainment media company headquartered in Finland that creatively combines digital with physical, breaking the boundaries of traditional content delivery. What started as a casual game in 2009 became an international phenomenon within a few months of its release. Today Angry Birds is not only the most downloaded game of all time, it is a worldwide known entertainment brand reaching out into publishing, licensing, animations, books and location based entertainment. Rovio's animated Angry Birds feature film is slated for July, 2016. www.rovio.com
About JRA (Jack Rouse Associates)
JRA plans, designs and realizes exceptional visitor experiences for museums, theme parks cultural, sport and corporate clients around the world. JRA has provided design and project management services for a variety of high-profile branded projects including The Crayola Experience, World of Coca-Cola and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. Visit www.jackrouse.com.
About Live Nation Entertainment
Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE: LYV) is the world's leading live entertainment company comprised of global market leaders: Ticketmaster, Live Nation & House of Blues Concerts, LN Media and Artist Nation Management. For additional information, visit: www.livenationentertainment.com.
About DSS organiser, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE)
DFRE is an agency of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and, as the pioneer organiser of events and festivals, is responsible for positioning Dubai as a world-class shopping and tourism destination. Each year it works with its retail and leisure partners to organise the internationally renowned Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises, as well as annual events such as Ramadan in Dubai, Eid in Dubai, Modhesh World, Dubai Motor Festival and Dubai Food Festival.
June 27, 2014
For our final Friday Fives of the summer, we're asking five questions of JRA co-op, recent Savannah College of Art and Design graduate, and rock 'n' roller, Josh Schwartz.
My favorite part of the design process is …
To me, the most exciting moment of the design process is when a team's brainstorming and research finally come together into a great new story or idea that everyone is pumped about. At this moment, everything seems to “click”, and it often feels as if that perfect design solution had been present all along. I have experienced this incredible “click” many times while working on projects with my classmates, and cannot wait to begin taking part in real world projects in the themed entertainment industry.
Best advice anyone ever gave me …
When it comes to making art, never be afraid to think too big (or too crazy). When recording a song, play around with as many new, strange, and funky sounds and techniques as possible. If you're planning to draw a spaceship, start with the biggest, baddest, mother ship you can possibly imagine. If you draw a monster the size of a house, next try drawing one the size of a skyscraper… with fire breath, supersonic roar, and a laser beam attached to each of its three heads. Whittling down a grand idea is far simpler than attempting to spice up a puny one.
To get inspired, I go …
To my favorite films and music. Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, or James Cameron films, I like to keep copies of my favorites close for when Iím in need of a boost in creativity or a spark of imagination. I love epic stories that leave me in thought, as they provide me with the most substance, or inspiration, to draw from.
My hidden talent is…
Jamming out! I have been playing guitar for over six years, and play around on keyboards and drums as well. I appreciate most genres of music, but am most drawn to progressive, classic rock, and the blues. My all time favorite group is Pink Floyd, and its guitarist David Gilmour has been an idol of mine since high school. I won't have trouble joining into a rock jam session, and if you ever need someone to play any of Gilmour's many guitar solos note for note, I'm your guy.
Best thing about the industry...
...is that at the end of the day, knowing the work you do will teach, inspire, and in many cases make people smile. I am ecstatic to be stepping into an industry where we get to immerse ourselves in creating fantastic experiences that will bring joy and knowledge to people around the globe.
For more about Josh, be sure to check out his design portfolio. Next week, we're recapping the IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo and Post-Expo Tour. Have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading!
Tags: JRA Team
June 25, 2014
The CNCC team visits JRA's offices. From left, Heather Witt, Mike Meyer, Keith James, Ms. Ni Zhang, Mr. Xuecheng Zhou, Mrs. Loretta Luke Yajima, David Ferguson and Ms. Hongxiao Li
While the IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo in Beijing may be over, construction on our latest Beijing project, the Lao Niu Children’s Discovery Museum of the CNCC, is in full swing. Recently, members from the China National Children's Center (CNCC), the team from the Children’s Museum Research Center (CMRC), a consultant organization on the project, and Ms. Loretta Luke Yajima, Chair of the Board of Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center, visited the United States to visit the shops of the various fabricators working on the Center as well as JRA’s offices.
The genesis of the Lao Niu Children’s Discovery Museum was sparked by Mr. Gensheng Niu, founder of the Lao Niu Foundation. After visiting Hawaii Children’s Discovery Center while on a business trip, Niu decided he wanted to create a similar museum in his home country of China. He appreciated HCDC’s child-centric approach that emphasized imagination and growth through play. Niu’s Hawaiian visit inspired him to invite members of the CNCC on a guided tour of United States children’s museums, and the tour and eventually led to the creation of the Lao Niu Children’s Discovery Museum of the CNCC. The educational philosophy of CNCC and the Discovery Museum is to respect children, to value the moment when parents and their children interact, and to improve cooperation, attentiveness and perseverance.
From left, Mrs. Loretta Luke Yajima, Mike Meyer, Ms. Ni Zhang, Mr. Xuecheng Zhou and Ms. Hongxiao Li
JRA is providing complete planning, design and project management for Lao Niu Children’s Discovery Museum of the CNCC in close collaboration with the Lao Niu Foundation, the CNCC and CMRC. The 1,800-square-meter, Chinese zodiac-themed museum is being re-built on the site of the former CNCC Science Palace and contains five exhibit halls and fourteen galleries. Combining traditional Chinese culture with a Western design aesthetic and emphasizing learning through play, the Museum will provide children from infancy through age seven the opportunity to enjoy an interactive experience of discovery. In addition to consulting with JRA on exhibit design and fabrication, the CMRC and will provide ongoing operations management for the museum, which is scheduled to open in 2015.
“We have greatly enjoyed working with the Lao Niu Foundation, the CNCC and CMRC on the Lao Niu Children’s Discovery Museum of the CNCC,” said Heather Witt, JRA Senior Project Manager. “We look forward to moving this project to completion, and we can’t wait to see how the Museum will engage, educate and inspire children in Beijing and across China.”
June 20, 2014
As we shared yesterday, one of the highlights of the JRA-designed KidsSTOP™ children's science museum at Science Centre Singapore is the Giant J-slide, which requires children to don safety gear before being slowly lifted up the slide to a maximum of seven meters. On the way down, they experience a brief moment of weightlessness before they are met at the bottom by an educator who explains the scientific principles behind the slide.
Proving that kids at heart come in all sizes, our VP of Marketing and Business Development, Shawn McCoy, decided to give it a test drive (or slide) during a recent visit. From the looks of it, he had a great time! After leaving Singapore, Shawn headed off to the IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo. Be sure to check out more pics on our Facebook page and in our Twitter feed!
June 16, 2014
Just in time for the IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo, JRA is pleased to announce its latest project in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region. Science Centre Singapore’s KidsSTOP™, an interactive children’s science centre, is now open to the public. Catering to children aged 18 months to 8 years, KidsSTOP™ is the first children’s science centre in Singapore. With themed exhibition zones, hands-on activities and exciting enrichment programs, KidsSTOP™ is a facility where young children can learn about science and the world around them through play and exploration. JRA (Jack Rouse Associates) provided master planning, concept design and schematic design for this groundbreaking project.
The 2,500-square-meter KidsSTOP™ comprises 17 zones and feature areas designed around four themes – Imagine, Experience, Discover and Dream – that encourage learning through activity, play and exploration. Imagine uses the concept of innovative role-play to get children to practise creative and communication skills at specially designed but familiar places, thereby boosting self-confidence, intellectual growth and social skills. In the Experience area, the Centre will encourage young children to appreciate art and nature through interactions with live animals, stop motion animation and more. They will also get a chance to discover various aspects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) during their visit. One of the most prominent features of KidsSTOP™ is The Big Dream Climber, a lofty 9-metre climbing structure that allows children to climb and explore different unique zones, incorporating hanging leaves, fanciful doors and gears.
This unique children’s science centre is the latest addition to Science Centre Singapore, which is one of the world’s premier institutions of science learning. Science Centre Singapore is a non-formal educational institution and a leading regional science centre. A custodian of creativity and innovation, the Centre has captured the evolution of scientific developments through unique and relevant exhibitions and shows. ning, and reinforces the Centre’s ability to achieve its objective of igniting and sustaining the love and interest in science. The Centre houses 14 exhibition galleries with more than 1,000 exhibits, another 30,000 square metres of outdoor exhibition space showcasing the Waterworks exhibition, Eco Garden and Kinetic Garden as well as the Omni-Theatre — Singapore’s only dome-shaped, 5-storey high IMAX theatre. The Centre and its partners have played a pivotal role in transforming the way students and the public interact with and learn about science & technology. Together with the Omni-Theatre and Snow City, it has engaged and enriched more than 29.5 million students and visitors since 1977. This year, the Centre launched an “I Love SCS” campaign to share our love for science with everyone and demonstrate the many things to love about the Science Centre. The Science Centre, Omni-Theatre and Snow City received 1.26 million visitors for FY2012/2013.
Associate Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive of Science Centre Singapore, said, “Working with JRA on KidsSTOP™ was a natural choice, as the company has designed many renowned children’s facilities in the world. With their support, we have been able to create a children’s science centre that young ones from Singapore and beyond will certainly fall in love with.”
June 12, 2014
Last week, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and economic feasibility company AECOM released their annual Theme Index and Museum Index report. This report ranks the top theme parks, water parks – and for the second year, museums – both globally and by region based on the year’s attendance.
Globally, the picture looks increasingly rosy, as the world gradually recovers from the Great Recession of the previous five years. The top ten theme park operators combined for 377.1 million in attendance in 2013, an increase of 5.4% over 2012. Expanding to the top 25, the increase was 4.3% worldwide, a figure that John Robinett, AECOM Senior Vice President, Economics, called “exceptional performance, particularly in view of the modest growth of major North American and European markets.” The top five theme park players remained constant, with Walt Disney Attractions, Merlin Entertainments, Universal Parks and Resorts, OCT Parks China and Six Flags leading the theme park pack.
Robinett attributed this global attendance uptick to five trends. Over the past few years, leisure has become an economic driver in culture and economic development. This trend was reflected at this year’s Thea Awards, in which a number of the award recipients were recognized as bringing great financial gains and breaking cultural ground in their surrounding communities. Secondly, the growth of leisure is spreading to more parts of the world as the middle class expands. Middle class expansion equals an increase in disposable income, sending more families to museums and attractions for enjoyment and leisure. Conversely, in the face of political unrest and societal strife, destination-based entertainment has become a welcome refuge for those looking to escape instability.
Strategically and operationally, parks are increasingly incorporating international brands and IP into new parks, with a certain boy wizard flying onto the scene at Universal parks all over the world. But perhaps one of the most profound catalysts for growth and change among theme parks, water parks and museums has been reinvestment – either in the form of entirely new parks, new exhibits, rides or shows at existing parks and museums, or in the transformation of parks into full-scale resorts, incorporating themed hotels, restaurants and retail. Reinvestment is the perpetual mantra of the TEA/AECOM Theme Index, and it is consistently borne out in the annual results. Below, we follow the various ways in which parks and operators are spending money to make money.
Highly Anticipated New Parks Take Shape in Asia and the Middle East
To those who follow the industry, the fact that the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions are leading the way in new park development is not surprising. After nearly a decade of stops and starts due to the economic downturn, projects in the United Arab Emirates have begun to reemerge, most notably with Warner Brothers Dubai Land and Six Flags Dubai Land in Dubai and the development of a museum cluster on Saadiyat Island. In Asia, China’s Fantawild Group has burst onto the Theme Index top ten operators list for the first time, enjoying a staggering 42.7% attendance increase in 2013 due to its investment in smaller parks in mid-tier Chinese cities. The Chimelong Group recently opened a new theme park and Ocean Kingdom resort in Zhuhai, China, along with an 1,888-room hotel. And Twentieth Century Fox is overhauling a theme park in Malaysia to the tune of $300 million. This renovated park will reportedly include rides based on such popular Fox films as Ice Age and Alien v. Predator and will provide yet another entertainment anchor for a country that is becoming a rapidly growing tourist destination.
But the most anticipated project in Asia over the next 18 months is undoubtedly Shanghai Disney Resort. Developers of the resort have already increased the budget in anticipation of greater capacity needs than originally predicted and with full awareness that the eyes of the industry will be fixed upon them when the resort opens in late 2015. According to Chris Yoshii, AECOM Vice President Economics, Asia-Pacific, Shanghai Disney Resort will have effects beyond mere economics: “within the industry, the expectation is that these high-end major parks and attractions will raise market expectations and result in quality standards for this type of facility across the region."
Established Parks Re-invest for Success
In addition to new developments, several of the established major theme and water parks are going “all in” with capital reinvestments over the coming years. Universal Resorts is moments away from unleashing its two-park Harry Potter expansion in Orlando and will soon be adding Wizarding Worlds to its Hollywood and Tokyo parks. In addition to the unveiling of its groundbreaking MyMagic+ technology, Walt Disney Attractions celebrated the opening of its Fantasyland expansion in its North American parks, a new Mystic Point zone at Hong Kong Disneyland and a new attraction and parade at Tokyo Disneyland. But Disney’s reinvestment plans are far from complete. The company’s struggling Disneyland Paris hopes to reverse its attendance losses with the addition of a Ratatouille-based ride this summer, and in the coming years, Disney will welcome a new Avatar-inspired land at Animal Kingdom as well as the highly speculated Star Wars attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Beyond Disney and Universal, Korea’s Lotte World added six new attractions in 2013 and will be adding two more in 2014, along with a renovation of its nighttime parade. Water parks are also getting in on the expansion trend. Australia’s Wet ‘n’ Wild Gold Coast posted an attendance increase of 17.4% due in part to its new Constrictor water slide.
A look at the Magic Kingdom's new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Video courtesy Theme Park Review.
But reinvestment doesn’t always have to be in the form of large-scale rides and lands. European parks, which are seeing more sluggish growth than their counterparts in North American and Asia-Pacific, are investing in shows, celebrations and smaller attractions to lure “staycation” visitors and reduce downtime in their parks. Thorpe Park Resort in the United Kingdom added “clubbing nights” and a nighttime show to its offerings to increase length of stay and also invested in digital ticketing and social media initiatives. Europa Park in Germany welcomed an additional 500,000 visitors by introducing a winter opening season and continues to expand its offerings with new hotels, restaurants and entertainment. Merlin Entertainments, which offers a diverse portfolio of attractions around the world, has employed pre-booking and targeted promotions to mitigate the effects of poor weather on attendance.
Culture’s Role in the Innovation Game
The Museum Index’s top 20 included a preponderance of national museums, the majority located in the United States and Europe. Despite their non-profit status, the cache and coffers of museums such as the Vatican Museum, the British Museum and the National Museum of Natural History can often enable these storied institutions to raise their profiles and attendance with new wings, blockbuster exhibits, and technology overhauls. But as we discussed in our analysis of the American Alliance of Museums’ Trendswatch 2014 report, while these investments are great when funds are available, even museums without Louvre-sized budgets can take measures to increase attendance and revenue. By creating more event-based programming, partnering with other institutions to maximize resources, or finding ways to monetize ancillary operations, museums of all sizes can begin to raise the funds needed for capital expansions and enhance their reputations in the eyes of potential donors.
According to AECOM Vice President, Linda Cheu, museums can better plan for the future and apply more focused attendance-generating strategies by incorporating performance metrics in their operational and marketing plans. Such metrics involve tracking not only the number of people through the door, but also the origin of their guests, their traffic patterns throughout the museum, their per capita spending, and their average actual ticket spend (less discounts or promotions). Incorporating these metrics will help museums better target their promotions, address customer needs and demands and identify new opportunities for audience outreach.
The Winning Formula
Either by creating new parks, expanding existing properties, diversifying attraction offerings or otherwise enhancing the guest experience, organizations large and small, profit and non-profit are using this time of gradual economic recovery to re-think and refresh. All over the globe, theme parks, water parks and museums are re-investing in the hopes of seeing extended guest stays, higher repeat visitation, stronger per caps, and, most likely, their institution farther up the ladder on the TEA/AECOM Theme and Museum Index. And by the looks of projects either recently opened, currently in construction or just lines on a plan, the physical growth and financial success of these types of attractions – and the leisure industry as a whole – only stand to improve in the coming years. And that means more culture, more fun and more memories for all of us to enjoy.
June 06, 2014
Welcome to the second of our three Friday Fives, where we meet the design leaders of the future who are creating fantastic work as JRA co-ops today. This week, we meet Rachel Daheim, who just graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with an MFA in Production Design and a minor in Themed Entertainment Design.
Best thing about the industry:
When I went to college, I went looking for an adventure, for an industry where I could grow and be inspired. I wanted a place that always had a new challenge and something interesting to learn. In this industry you can do a bit of everything and work a little with every design discipline; architect, set designer, industrial, interior design, illustration, storytelling, interactive design and the list goes on. I love how the design process not only combines artistry and design but brings out all the “ologys” of science and theory. From psychology, sociology, narratology, tele-ology, semiology, storiology, somatology, etc. THE BEST THING ABOUT THIS INDUSTRY IS ONCE DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU’LL FIND!
Favorite entertainment experience:
Call me old fashioned, but my favorite entertainment experience is the classical carousel, and my favorite carousel was the Silver Star at Six Flags Over Texas. I still remember trying to name each horse as they went around. There was something fantastical about the way each horse had a unique story that could transform a rider for a few sort turns. I consider carousels to be one of the most artful forms of story telling to-date. I only hope I get the opportunity to work on and design a carousel as captivating as William Dentzel’s Silver Star.
Best advice anyone ever gave me:
I had a sequential design professor, who was a Marvel enthusiast, say once… “Be ready for opportunity, even if it presents itself in a crappy way. Who knows? Maybe the best thing that will ever happen to you is a bit by the meanest mother-*#!* radioactive spider there is… be ready to accept responsibility and embrace the changes demanded by these monumental moments.”
Biggest challenge facing the industry:
I think a growing challenge in this industry will be to continue finding new ways of using technology that are not easily deduced by the viewer. “Keeping the rabbit in the hat” will become harder and harder as this new technically versed generation continues to grow and learn. I think even some of the most complex technical illusions and effects in our industry loss their due impact because they are simply written off by the guest as “just some projector.” The challenge will be impressing this new generation that has grown up with 3D TV, HD full body interactive games, and touch screen tablets in their own living rooms. How do you show someone who believes they have seen it all something new?
My favorite part of the design process is …
Brain Storming/Blue Sky design is a time to defy gravity and foil reality. Imagining possibilities and looking for opportunities to educate and inspire people is not only rewarding, but fun. Blue Sky is a fascinating process to take part in, seeing how people’s minds invent and explore the realm of the unknown and impossible. This process of collaboration and idea searching, aimed at creating memorable experiences, where story, creative design, imagination, and emerging technologies are mix, jumbled, and combined in order to inform, entertain, and captivate, by far is my favorite phase of the design process.
To check out Rachel's portfolio and resume, check out http://www.radaheimdesign.com/.
We could not be more excited to have this group of creative young minds at JRA, and we look forward to learning as much from them as they'll hopefully learn from us! Next week, we'll wrap up our set of Friday Fives with Josh Shwartz, another SCAD student that we are lucky enough to have on our team.
Tags: JRA Team