Many companies have had a hand in designing famous amusement park rides. But among the most famous through history have been Arrow Dynamics, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Universal Creative.

At Galaxy Multi Rides, we have a deep appreciation for the history of amusement park rides and the companies that have made some of the best rides ever. Their accomplishments serve as an inspiration for top ride manufacturers. Galaxy strives to bring the same creativity and professionalism to the creation of amusement rides and inflatable theme parks for entertainment venues around the world.

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Famous Designers Through History

Here are more details on three of the most famous amusement park ride designers. Arrow Dynamics is considered a pioneer in the amusement park ride design business. Both Disney and Universal design shops have pioneered many breakthrough rides and continue to operate to this day.

Many of the best amusement rides come from a spirit of competition among different companies to provide customers with the latest and greatest amusement park rides and experiences.

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Arrow Dynamics

This former Utah-based company first got into designing roller coasters with the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland in California. The company went on to participate in the design of such iconic rides as Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and the Corkscrew at Knott’s Berry Farm, the first modern inverted roller coaster. The company also developed the Anaconda at Kings Dominion, the first looping roller coaster that also featured an underwater tunnel. The company built 102 roller coasters around the world, according to the Roller Coaster Database. Arrow Dynamics, which changed hands four times between 1945 and 2002, also worked with Walt Disney Imagineering on Space Mountain.

Walt Disney Imagineering

Known as Disney Imagineering or WED, this is the research and development arm of the Walt Disney Company. WED designs everything that customers experience at Disney theme parks and was originally created to oversee the development of Disneyland. WED is credited with developing the audio-animatronics that feature on many Disney rides, as well as overseeing the development of 12 theme parks.

In a famous workshop in 1991, “10 commandments” for WED  were issued and credited to then WED vice president Mickey Steinberg. They are of interest to anyone in the amusement and entertainment business.

  1. Know your audience
  2. Wear your guest’s shoes (try to experience the parks from the guests’ point of view)
  3. Organize the flow of people and ideas (tell a story that is organized and logically laid out)
  4. Create a “Wienie” (Walt Disney’s term for a “visual magnet”)
  5. Communicate with visual literacy (use a dominant color or shape or building to reinforce a theme)
  6. Avoid overload (do not offer too much detailed information)
  7. Tell one story at a time (put one “big idea” in each show so guests leave with a clear understanding of the theme)
  8. Avoid contradictions – maintain identity
  9. For every ounce of treatment, provide a ton of treat (take advantage of the distinction of theme parks, which is that it encourages active participation, compared to passive entertainment)
  10. Keep it up (don’t become complacent or allow things to run down)

Universal Creative

This company was known as MCA Planning and Development from 1968 to 1997. The name then changed to Universal Creative. Like Disney, this is another big design company with engineers, architects, artists, writers, designers and builders. Some of the most famous attractions built by Universal Creative include Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando; The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, also at Islands of Adventure; and film rides such as “Jaws: The Ride” and “E.T. Adventure.”

Galaxy Multi Rides

At Galaxy, this attention to detail and sense of fun is brought to the creation of every ride the company makes. Some of the standouts include the dozens of options for mechanical bulls, the massive amounts of entertainment contained in an InflataPark and, interactive action games.

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For 28 years, Galaxy has provided amusement park rides to companies in more than 45 countries. Headquartered in Great Britain and Florida, the company continues to offer some of the most innovative amusement park rides for businesses that want to stay ahead of the competition.