Thinkwell Group

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Thinkwell Group logo
Thinkwell Group
Private company
Industry Experience design
Founded (2001)
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, USA
Key people
Joe Zenas, Partner, Chief Executive Officer;
Craig Hanna, Co-Founder and Partner, Chief Creative Officer;
Francois Bergeron, Co-Founder and Partner, Chief Operating Officer
Number of employees
Approx. 150 (2013)
Website thinkwellgroup.com

Thinkwell Group is an award-winning global experience design and production agency that was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.[1] Thinkwell specializes in the creation and master planning of theme parks, destination resorts, major branded and intellectual property attractions, events & spectaculars, museums & exhibits, expos, and live shows around the world. Since 2006, Thinkwell has gone from approximately 35 employees to more than 180, though the exact number fluctuates depending on the company's workload.[2][3] Thinkwell was named "Most Honored Theme Park Design Company" at the 2013 Theme Park and Attractions Summit & Awards in Beijing.[4]

Work[edit]

Thinkwell Group's clients include Warner Bros., Universal, Lionsgate, Paramount, Sesame Workshop, Ferrari World, House of Blues, The Pier Shops at Caesars and Cirque du Soleil, among others.[5]

Some of Thinkwell's noteworthy projects include Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter,[6] a behind-the-scenes tour of the sets where all eight Harry Potter films were made at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden; Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort in the Mall of the Emirates; NatureQuest, an immersive children's exhibit at Atlanta's Fernbank Museum of Natural History; the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Grand Opening Event for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Parks and Resorts' Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida;[7] and Jurassic Park Institute Tour, a 50,000-square-foot traveling educational attraction based on the movie Jurassic Park.[8]

In recent years, Thinkwell has been selected to design and produce various theme parks in China, which is experiencing a significant growth period in the themed entertainment industry.[9] Thinkwell's current projects in China that are in development include Monkey Kingdom (Beijing), based on the 16th century Journey to the West Chinese folk tale,[10][11] and Jurassic Dream, an indoor theme park in the Heilongjiang Province of China.[6][12] Recently opened projects include Eontime World, a massive indoor theme park, and SongSong Town, an "activity park" inside LeSong Plaza, both of which are located in Harbin, a province in northern China.[13] Warner Bros. Fun Zone, another Thinkwell-designed and produced project in Macau, opened in October 2015 in the newly opened hotel and casino mega-resort, Studio City.

Thinkwell also continues to expand their foothold in the Middle East with new projects. Announced as the official Content Masterplanners and Designers[14] for Expo 2020 Dubai, Thinkwell is responsible for translating the theme of “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” on the Expo site that spans over 1,000 acres just outside of Dubai. Thinkwell will also interpret the Expo’s sub-themes of Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability that will converge at the central Al Wasl Plaza, the iconic center point of the six-month international event space for live performances and international pageantry.

2015 marked a significant year for Thinkwell with the opening of 14 projects around the world, a record number of openings in a single year for the company. In addition to three openings in China, Eontime World, SongSong Town, and Warner Bros. Fun Zone, Thinkwell opened the first major expansion to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter, which includes a recreation of Platform 9 3/4 and the original Hogwarts Express train. Also for Warner Bros., Thinkwell designed and produced the interactive attraction, Stage 48: Script to Screen at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood, which offers guests a hands-on introduction to the television and filmmaking process. Thinkwell also opened two museum projects, Aquanaut Adventure: A Discovery Zone at the Georgia Aquarium and the Worlds of Puppetry Museum at the Center for Puppetry Arts, both in Atlanta, Georgia. The summer of 2015 also saw the opening of two projects for major entertainment studios; an exciting media event celebrating the opening of the Fast & Furious: Supercharged attraction at Universal Studios Hollywood and The Hunger Games: The Exhibition, a traveling exhibition created in partnership with Lionsgate and based on the blockbuster The Hunger Games movie and book franchise. During a teleconference call to discuss this exhibition, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said, "Thinkwell … is spearheading an initiative for line extensions of The Hunger Games and all of our other brands."[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "How do you create the unforgettable? Being able to direct an army of experts sure helps". Entrepreneur. 1 October 2007. 
  2. ^ "Playing With New Themes". Los Angeles Times. 12 April 2006. 
  3. ^ "An Interview with the Industry's Shapeshifters". Entertainment Designer. 29 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Thinkwell named "Most Honored Theme Park Design Company" at Beijing Summit". ThemeParkPost. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Thinkwell Clients". Thinkwell Group. Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b MacDonald, Brady (21 March 2012). "'Harry Potter' movie studio tour opens outside London". Los Angeles Times.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Los_Angeles_Times" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  7. ^ "Universal Orlando's celebrity opening ceremony for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter". Theme Park Insider. 16 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Designing theme park rides: An $8M business". Fortune. 18 May 2007. 
  9. ^ MacLeod, Calum (4 July 2012). "Disney inspires boom in China amusement parks". USA Today. 
  10. ^ MacDonald, Brady (7 July 2011). "Monkey Kingdom theme park set to open in China in 2014". Los Angeles Times. 
  11. ^ Pierson, David (19 June 2011). "Theme park designers draw steady work in Asia". Los Angeles Times. 
  12. ^ Ungerleider, Neal (12 July 2012). "Flames of Fury, Animatronic Raptors, and a Brachiosaurus Half-Pipe: Inside China's Massive Jurassic Dream Theme Park". Fast Company. 
  13. ^ admin. "SongSong Town – the FEC that made a shopping mall sing  : Park World Online – Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News". www.parkworld-online.com. Retrieved 2016-04-27. 
  14. ^ "Dubai awards 72 contracts for Expo 2020 | Gulf Business". Gulf Business. Retrieved 2016-04-27. 
  15. ^ Vlessing, Etan (2014-05-30). "Lionsgate Moving Ahead on 'Hunger Games' Theme Park Plans". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 

External reading[edit]