Sep 10, 2019 Joe Kleiman #79 Europe and Waterparks, 2019, Attractions, Business, Features, IPM Interviews, Museums, People, Technology & Media, Theme Parks, Themed Dining/Retail, Themed Resorts/Hotels, Water Parks Comments Off on Transitions: Leaps and bounds
Netherlands-based Romee Popelier has helped design some of Europe’s most enjoyable roller coasters through her own business, RPRides. Recently, Romee joined Replay Profs in Playgrounds to expand her design horizions. We asked her about her new job and other changes in her life.
I’ve always dreamed about working on the development of roller coasters. After finishing my internship at JN Entertainment & Leisure Consultancy, which represents German ride manufacturer Zierer, I got the chance to start my own company. My main business is designing roller coaster layouts.
To be honest, I love them all. Every ride that I worked on means something for me. But I think my favorite designs are the ones that have not yet been built.
Replay Profs in Playgrounds is a company very close to my hometown, where they design, manufacture and install playgrounds for schools, municipalities, and private play areas. My main job is to make sure that every playground is certified. Just as with theme parks rides, every piece of playground equipment from small swings to big climbing devices has to be certified by an inspection body. Along with the certification part I am also doing some engineering work. When our creative team designs a new playground it’s my job to make technical drawings for the workshop.
There are many similarities to the themed entertainment industry when looking into safety standards. Some rules for attractions are almost the same as for playgrounds. For example, when designing a simple slide you have to think about the minimum clearance envelope, just as with a roller coaster.
When I design a coaster or a playground in AutoCAD or Inventor it feels all the same, and all the experience that I gained from my other work helps me at Replay.
I think current Western public playgrounds are fine. But if you look at privately owned indoor or outdoor playgrounds I definitely see some opportunity. Frequently they can use some theming to differentiate some of the standardized playground equipment.
Replay isn’t active in the themed entertainment industry at this moment. I would love to directly connect them with the themed entertainment industry and see where this can bring the company.
Yes, that’s true. I was born as a boy, but four years ago I realized that there was something wrong. I’ve been going through the wildest roller coaster ride of my life the past couple of years to find out who I really am. It wasn’t easy to accept that I am transgender male-to-female but since I started with the medical transition I am way happier than I ever was. Everything fell into place and challenges from my past became clear to me.
Actually, they already do! They just accept me for who I am and still see what my innate qualities are.
My biggest fear of coming out was always being afraid for the reactions from the people in the themed entertainment industry. I was already working in the roller coaster business and I thought that I could never be a woman in this “man’s world.” But since I came out to the industry last year during IAAPA Expo in Orlando, all the reactions and support I received from my industry friends, colleagues and clients were so wonderful. I could never have dreamed how supportive people have been and I am truly appreciative. • -M.P.
“There’s beauty and magnificence in every aspect of the seas,” says Anthony Esparza, who recently became Chief of Guest Experiences/Vice President at Carnival Cruise Line. Anthony has focused on creating great guest experiences and using storytelling to touch hearts throughout his career. His previous roles include nearly three years as Chief Creative Officer at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and more than 11 years as SVP, Guest Experiences at Herschend Family Entertainment.
Our group will be conceptualizing experiences for new ships, ports, and private island destinations. My mission is to supercharge our ability to create fun, memorable, and safe experiences for our guests. It’s all about creating the right systems and atmosphere for our talented teams, advisors, and partners to focus on the best ideas for our future.
As part of the turn-around team at SeaWorld, I learned that there’s nuance in the language of the oceans. There’s beauty, magnificence, power, and awe in every aspect of the seas. That’s why the ocean is the number one vacation destination. It’s the source of smiles, laughter, romance, and curiosity. And it’s why I love encouraging people to see our world and to inspire them to not only enjoy it, but to care for it. There’s so much out there to explore and do together, and I think what we’re doing at Carnival is many times the starting gateway for many people to begin a lifetime exploring our world with their family and friends.
I’ve learned that a good leader should serve their teams – To be supportive, have their backs and help clear the path for them to excel. It’s tough enough to do our day-to-day jobs, and if we’re truly focused on creating fun, I need to help create an atmosphere that’s inspiring and “creatively safe” to pursue new and innovative ideas.
Bringing clarity is also important. The definition of “being creative” is more than having your pulse on the latest trends or having a great team. These are important, but nine times out of ten, the best way to innovate is to really understand the mission, stay focused, and describe all the DNA of an experience in advance of launching a new product.
It absolutely is. We’re in the business of creating compelling experiences for our guests, and we have many of the same challenges as operators of theme parks and attractions. We need to stay fresh and relevant, while maintaining a safe environment.
But the best experiences are not only those that market well, but that can also hit an emotional chord with our guests in some way. That’s the power of storytelling. We can’t just provide nicely designed environments, but must create settings to have fun, touch your heart, be charming, silly, or filled with awe. It’s very competitive and we know we need to innovate appealing experiences non-stop. So we’re constantly seeking new ideas and partners that can help us do this.
The cruise business offers a myriad of opportunities. A cruise ship is a blend of a theme park and a resort destination in one. Sometimes the experiences we create are understated and meant to bring serenity or frame a destination, and at other times, they are the center of attention. But in all cases, they require the same business strategy, master planning, conceptual development, design, production, and operational skills of individuals and companies that are able to align with our company mission and brand. Carnival Corporation is the world’s largest leisure travel company with a portfolio of global cruise lines including Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, and several others. There’s 102 ships visiting more than 700 ports around the world. So you can imagine, we need just about every kind of talent there is.
Thinking about how to enable a guest to have fun is the chief business of Carnival. We live it and breathe it as much as or more than any other entertainment operator on the planet. The heritage of focusing on fun has been strong here for decades. It’s deeply rooted. We’re the Fun Ships and we Choose Fun every day. That alignment behind our mission and vision will serve us well into the future. We have many groups here that focus on all the dimensions of how a guest can have fun. I work with Entertainment, Culinary, Retail, Shore Excursion, Operations, and Maritime experts every day. And yes, we have meetings on the ships and in exotic locations. It’s tough work. I mean…fun! • -J.R.
Throughout his career, John Miceli has worked in feature film, special venue, music production, visual arts, technology development and IP development. He founded and ran two highly successful businesses that sold to public companies. He recently founded a new company, DE-ŹYN Studios, after departing Technomedia. We asked him about his transition and plans for the future.
Early on in life I realized I had a creative side and an entrepreneurial mind. That inspired me to launch Technomedia and co-found Soundelux before that. I’ve worked with the world’s best clients for three decades while leading these two successful companies. Through it all nothing beats the joy you feel being part of a great team that truly shares the same vision. Both companies were acquired by public corporations and six years after Technomedia was acquired by Mood Media, the time came for me to step down and hand the reins over to the very competent team we had assembled there. Mood was a great parent company and supported my launching DE-ŹYN Studios to continue on my journey. I’m doing the things I really want to do… there’s a sort of freedom that comes at a certain point in your career, I’m lucky to be enjoying all of that now.
I come from a traditional Italian family from Brooklyn, NY and for us, family is precious. In business, I’ve always felt the same way and my bond with the people at Technomedia will never be compromised. I believe I will always have a collaborative relationship with Technomedia. Much like family, your decisions are always made for the best interest of all involved – clients, company and employees. The relentless drive and dedication to clients and their projects, a true sense of urgency, transparency and honesty and most of all respecting family were the foundation for our company culture. I’m proud of Technomedia and confident the company will continue forward, holding true to the vision that led us through 17 successful years.
In 1989 when it was not popular to deliver both media and technology under one roof we built our existence on that foundation. I’ve had the good fortune to develop projects like Carnival Dreamscape, Primark Madrid, On Air at NBC, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, many Universal Studios attractions, The Museum of the Bible, San Manuel Casino, Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs, Hard Rock Cafe (Atlantic City being the latest) and of course St. Louis Union Station’s The Grand Hall Experience, among others. These projects all share the same idea that “art and experience… immersive physical experience” drive our very best work.
I always want to keep learning and challenging myself to become better at creating and delivering unique experiences for clients and their guests. If you go in with the goal of loving what you do and continually learning and growing, you’re living the perfect career.
The DE-ŹYN Studios team embraces a strong vision and a relentless desire to evolve, grow, change the way things are done and bust through limits. For our clients, we continue to be the innovation lab they depend on for delivering way out of the box ideas. You will see our work in casinos, theme parks, entertainment precincts, immersive/interactives, AR/VR, visitor centers/tours, museums, retail and sculptural art.
We are currently working with Lodging Hospitality Management and PGAV Destinations creating two attractions for the new St. Louis Aquarium project at Union Station. We are also project managing the media and technology scopes of the other attractions in development there. We have teamed up with longtime partner Falcon’s Creative on several large scale immersive projects in Saudi Arabia. We are developing the immersive AV/ media experiences for a theme park in South America. We are very excited to announce some very innovative developments and we are thrilled to be launching our website soon.
We are always looking for the best talent to be a part of the DEŹYN companies. Our website (currently in production) will be the best place to stay up to date on what we are up to. And please feel free to contact me on LinkedIn or at firstname.lastname@example.org. • • • -M.P.
Comments Off on Construction continues on Carnival’s Mardi Gras
Comments Off on EXCLUSIVE: InPark tours the St Louis Aquarium at Union Station with DE-ZYN’s John Miceli
Comments Off on Carnival showcases details on BOLT coaster at sea during IAAPA Expo 2019
Comments Off on John Miceli and the new DE-ŹYN Studios
Aug 11, 2020 Comments Off on Smart Monkeys ISAAC at Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi: Cartoon Tech
Aug 10, 2020 Comments Off on Ben Thompson selected to lead new Storyland Studios office in London
Aug 10, 2020 Comments Off on Four leading ride manufacturers release open letter announcing decision to not exhibit at 2020 IAAPA Expo
Aug 10, 2020 Comments Off on New exhibition featuring rare Hypercars opens at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Jun 30, 2020 Comments Off on Right place, write timeHollywood screenwriter Bennett Yellin authors a new future...
May 18, 2020 Comments Off on Eleventh Hour: The rise of consultants since COVID-19 affords a vision of leadership for the Location Based and Themed Entertainment Industry.To help companies respond to industry-specific challenges,...
May 05, 2020 Comments Off on Inside the time machineCreative Principals’ Geoff Thatcher says now is the...
Apr 22, 2020 Comments Off on InPark exclusive: International participants in Dubai Expo 2020 share thoughts on the likely one-year postponement and the status of their pavilionsLeaders of several national pavilions being developed for...
Apr 03, 2020 Comments Off on Bingo Tso, ACE International, on the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on Asian companies and the attractions marketBingo Tso of ACE International shares his perspective from...
Mar 17, 2020 Comments Off on COVID-19: Reassurances from Beijing and Kelly Ryner (Thinkwell)"As for business here in China, there is a lot of positive...
Dec 25, 2019 Comments Off on California’s Great America WinterFest: Transforming a theme park into a holiday wonderland.With millions of lights and thousands of decorations, the...
Nov 16, 2019 Comments Off on #80 – IAAPA 2019Table of contents
Nov 15, 2019 Comments Off on Meet Amanda ThompsonIAAPA’s incoming chair has deep roots in the attractions...
Nov 15, 2019 Comments Off on TEA 2020A chat with Michael Blau - incoming TEA International Board...
Nov 14, 2019 Comments Off on IAAPA 2019 Chair David Rosenberg: The aqua-manRosenberg serves as the 2019 Chair of the IAAPA Board of...
Nov 14, 2019 Comments Off on CircusTrix CEO Fernando Eiroa: Leaps and boundsInPark spoke with Eiroa about the unique business of...
Nov 09, 2019 Comments Off on InPark exclusive: Interviews with Jeremy Railton and Scott Ault on the launch of their new company, Railton Entertainment Design (RED)Themed entertainment design veterans Jeremy Railton and...
Oct 22, 2019 Comments Off on ISE 2020The annual Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) trade show for...
Oct 21, 2019 Comments Off on IAAPA: “Wear comfortable shoes!”"If this is your first Expo, attend the First Time...
Sep 11, 2019 Comments Off on Netflix and thrill: Greg Lombardo joins the content streaming powerhouse as Head of ExperiencesLombardo brings with him more than a decade experience in...
Sep 10, 2019 Comments Off on Transitions: Leaps and boundsIndustry professionals are making moves and creating waves
Sep 09, 2019 Comments Off on Exploring IAAPA EuropeMeet recent additions to IAAPA’s European team
Aug 08, 2019 Comments Off on IPM Interview: Jennifer Lee Hackett, Sinking Ship EntertainmentGiant screen veteran Jennifer Lee Hackett has joined...
Jun 28, 2019 Comments Off on John Miceli and the new DE-ŹYN StudiosThroughout his career, John Miceli has worked in feature...
Jun 26, 2019 Comments Off on Meet Lionsgate Entertainment World’s new general manager: Selena MagillMeet the new GM of Lionsgate Entertainment World, scheduled...
May 08, 2019 Comments Off on ECA2: All eyes on LanzhouECA2's latest spectacle, a permanent installation in a...
May 06, 2019 Comments Off on IAAPA Expo Asia"Establishing a presence in both Hong Kong and Shanghai...
Apr 29, 2019 Comments Off on Vekoma: Coasting around AsiaInPark spoke to Jason Pan, Vekoma’s regional director of...
Mar 21, 2019 Comments Off on Lisa Passamonte GreenThe Thea Awards Nominating Committee annually reviews and...
Jun 11, 2020 Comments Off on #81 – COVID-19 and beyond
Jun 11, 2020 Comments Off on Editorial: Finding paths forward during uncertain times
Jun 11, 2020 Comments Off on Editorial: Appreciation for Alf Heller, to whom I owe my career
Jun 11, 2020 Comments Off on Mack Rides: Through the generations
Jun 11, 2020 Comments Off on Connect&GO: Removing barriers
Jun 10, 2020 Comments Off on CAVU Designwerks: Self-Driving Vehicle
Jun 10, 2020 Comments Off on DreamCraft Attractions: Reality, but better
Jun 10, 2020 Comments Off on Around Disney’s Galaxy in 25 minutes
Jun 10, 2020 Comments Off on Inside the mouse house
May 19, 2020 Comments Off on Touch-free and other options for a new world of interactive exhibits
May 05, 2020 Comments Off on Inside the time machine
Apr 22, 2020 Comments Off on InPark exclusive: International participants in Dubai Expo 2020 share thoughts on the likely one-year postponement and the status of their pavilions
Apr 13, 2020 Comments Off on What should Themed Experience graduates know, say and do?
Apr 10, 2020 Comments Off on What will it mean to postpone Expo 2020 Dubai until 2021?
Apr 09, 2020 Comments Off on Sustaining the mission: Zoos and aquariums in the age of COVID-19