Miziker’s Parkwide Entertainment Planning approach
by Gene Jeffers
The emotional connection that live entertainment offers is one of the principal reasons guests love immersive, location-based entertainment. From parades to atmospheric shows to spectaculars, live shows provide an unrivaled experience that can linger in the minds and imaginations of park guests forever. Yet, despite this, live shows are often overlooked during the design of a theme park.
Parkwide Entertainment Planning (PWEP), Miziker Entertainment’s innovative approach to leisure destination design, addresses the need for live shows, signature events and spectaculars at leisure based venues around the world. No matter how large or small the area, Miziker applies the PWEP strategy to every part of a park to match each narrative moment as viewed from the eyes of the guest.
“PWEP has the power to transform a theme park, amusement park, or resort destination into an engaging, living experience,” says Ryan Miziker, CCO of Miziker Entertainment. It may sound obvious that planning live entertainment in the early design phases can increase the chances of success, yet Miziker Entertainment has discovered that, time after time, park developers and designers often put off show infrastructure planning, rather than looking holistically at the park and planning for live entertainment from the start. “When we begin Parkwide Entertainment Planning early in the design process,” Ryan says, “the results are more exciting and immersive shows, streamlined operations, and of course, cost savings.” And breathing life into a park through signature shows such as a parade or nighttime spectacular is what Miziker Entertainment does best.
By taking this holistic approach to entertainment planning, the benefits are two-fold: First, if the show technological infrastructure is put in place, live shows can be deployed in any area. Second, costly retrofitting exercises are avoided, which creates more adaptable locations to provide engaging live experiences. “Our goal is to help clients find solutions and reduce costs with our Parkwide Entertainment Planning process,” says Charlotte Huggins, CEO and Executive Producer of Miziker Entertainment.
The legendary Ron Miziker led the planning of live shows, parades and spectaculars at Disney parks for many years before founding Miziker Entertainment in 1984. Often imitated and impossible to duplicate, his shows have been viewed by more than a billion people. To this day, his passion for creating exceptional and engaging entertainment drives Miziker Entertainment’s commitment to excellence.
So how does Miziker Entertainment apply the PWEP approach across the entire tableau of a theme park or within a single area?
PWEP is broken down into three phases – Entertainment Development, Lighting Design & Soundscaping, and Technical Design & Documentation. Each phase is scalable and adaptable to meet any client’s specific needs. This incredibly flexible process – whether for a new or existing leisure destination – follows one rule: every design decision reinforces the overarching story being told and the world where that story takes place.
Whether working with existing IP or creating new story worlds, the first phase of Miziker’s PWEP process is to identify the characters and story moments to bring to life in the park. This is admittedly Ryan’s favorite part of every project, explaining, “This is where guests come face to face with the characters they know and love. Finding ways to immerse guests in each story is incredibly satisfying.”
Once the creative approach to these experiences is approved, the Miziker team can specify and design the entire technical infrastructure. “Fully integrated, scalable, and cohesive all-digital designs ensure full sound, lighting, and special effects control for each show or event,” explains Sean Chung, President of Miziker Entertainment. This forethought averts issues related to having separate and often mismatched systems that cannot communicate with each other. In avoiding those critical issues, the system has a longer and more reliable life cycle that equates to cost-savings and enhanced guest experiences.
Compelling live entertainment that engages guests for hours is a challenging task requiring an experienced, multi-disciplined team of artists and technicians. The PWEP process ensures that ideas for live entertainment on paper can be realized in the magic that is seen in the park. Miziker Entertainment continues to rely on decades of experience designing, planning, and specifying live entertainment for parks, resorts, casinos, televised events, parades, as they refine the PWEP process for destinations around the world.
“In the end, we know we’ve succeeded when a client tells us, as one recently did, ‘You’ve made us love our park again!’” Ryan says, “Can it get any better than that?”