|Born||John Richard Wardley
Harrow, Middlesex, England
|Known for||The Haunted House, Nemesis, Oblivion, Air, Prof. Burp's Bubble Works, The Vampire|
John Wardley (born June 1956 in Harrow, Middlesex) is a British award-winning[specify] concept designer and developer for theme parks; an innovator of special effects, dark rides and roller coasters in the UK attraction industry.
Wardley started his career as a stage manager at Windsor's Theatre Royal, then moved on to the film industry creating special effects. This included effect designs for five of the James Bond movies. He was later hired by the Tussauds Group due to his experience in designing animated figures and rides for amusement parks. His first project was the creation of the animated show "60 Glorious Years" for Tussauds Royalty and Empire exhibition at Windsor. This led him to meet Elizabeth II.
After this he was employed by the Tussauds Group to transform the declining Chessington Zoo in London to become the Chessington World of Adventures theme park. There, Wardley oversaw the production of attractions including The Vampire suspended coaster, constructed by Arrow Dynamics and Dragon River (now Dragon Falls) log flume. In 1990, he produced the world-renowned Prof. Burp's Bubble Works dark ride at Chessington World of Adventures with influential attraction designer Keith Sparks.
Working for the Tussauds Group, John went on to produce famous attractions such as Nemesis, Oblivion and Air roller coasters. He also produced several of the developments at Thorpe Park from its acquisition by Tussauds in 1998.
One of his other accomplishments was that he, along with the late businessman Geoffrey Thompson, created a magic show called Mystique at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The show ran successfully for nearly 20 years.
Wardley also worked with Chris Sawyer and Frontier Developments for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, a game about amusement park management. His name is also a secret cheat code in the game - when visitor's title is named after him all height restrictions are removed, alluding to the severe height restrictions that his most well-known work at Alton Towers was required to comply with.
From 2000 to 2007, when the Tussauds Group was owned by Charterhouse and DIC, Wardley went into semi-retirement. However, in May 2007 Merlin Entertainments took over the company and he was asked to become actively involved in the group's theme park developments. He was employed as a technical design consultant for rollercoaster projects, such as SAW - The Ride at Thorpe Park, TH13TEEN at Alton Towers, Raptor at Gardaland, The Swarm at Thorpe Park and The Smiler at Alton Towers.
On 22 January 2013 John announced his retirement. In April 2013 he published an autobiography entitled Creating My Own Nemesis.
- RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 - consultation
- Creating My Own Nemesis (April 2013) - author
Attractions Designed with John Wardley
|c.1977||Uncle Frankenstein's Scream Machine (Barry Island)||Production & build||Dark ride|
|c.1978||Wacky Gold Mine (Barry Island)||Production & build||Dark ride|
|1984||Royalty & Empire||Animatronics & consultancy||Exhibition|
|1987||Dragon River||Concept & production||Log flume|
|1987||Runaway Train||Concept & production||Roller coaster|
|1987||The 5th Dimension||Ride type||Dark Ride|
|1990||Prof. Burp's Bubble Works||Concept & production||Water dark ride|
|1990||The Vampire||Concept & production||Roller coaster|
|1992||Runaway Mine Train||Concept & production||Roller coaster|
|1992||The Haunted House||Concept & production||Dark ride|
|1993||The Spirit of London||Ride type & consultancy||Dark ride|
|1994||Nemesis||Concept & production||Roller coaster|
|1994||Toyland Tours||Consultancy||Water dark ride|
|1995||Dragon Khan||Production||Roller coaster|
|1998||Oblivion||Ride type & consultancy||Roller coaster|
|2000||Hex – The Legend of the Towers||Ride type & consultancy||Dark ride|
|2002||Air||Ride type & consultancy||Roller coaster|
|2009||Saw - The Ride||Consultancy||Roller coaster|
|2012||The Swarm||Consultancy||Roller coaster|
|2013||The Smiler||Consultancy||Roller coaster|
- Interview with John Wardley ahead of his retirement
- Interview with John Wardley in Park World magazine
- Article by John Wardley in First Drop magazine
||This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (June 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|