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Storyland Studios celebrates success of Storyland Design Challenge

79 innovative entries received as competition moves into judging phase

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Storyland Design Challenge

Storyland Studios, the three-dimensional storytelling firm, has now moved to the judging phase of its inaugural international Storyland Design Challenge, having received a total of 79 entries in the open entry period from 5 April to 4 June 2021, with more than 50 arriving less than 24 hours before the deadline.

A wide variety of different concepts were submitted, from a theme park and resort on Mars to time-travel adventures and immersive story experiences. Many also dealt with key issues such as climate change and sustainability, and 21 entries were from women-led teams.

Showcasing talent and ideas

“On every level, the concepts submitted to the Storyland Design Competition are unbelievably imaginative,” says Ben Thompson, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Global Clients at Storyland Studios.

“We’re thrilled to have been able to provide freelance designers and aspiring creatives with an opportunity to showcase their incredible ideas and we have loved interacting with the entrants on social media, where we have really enjoyed the collaborative, positive spirit of everyone who got involved.” 

The competition encouraged freelance designers and creatives in the themed entertainment industry to come up with ideas for immersive, story-based experiences that could be designed three-dimensionally and placed in a physical location. The grand prize is $20,000.

In August, the top 10 entries will be announced and then three finalists will present their concepts during this year’s Storyland Innovation Webinar. In October, the grand prize winner will be invited to pitch their concept in a spotlight session at blooloopLIVE, in front of an audience of attractions industry professionals from around the world.

Expert judges

Currently, a panel of industry experts is judging the entries. The judges are: 

  • Michael Mack, CEO, Europa Park and Mack NeXT
  • Andreas Andersen, CEO and President, Liseberg Group, Sweden, and Board Member at LEGO House Denmark
  • Doris Hardoon, Executive Creative Director and veteran Disney Imagineer
  • Laurence Beckers, Creative Director, Alterface and Board Member of l’Institut des Arts et Diffusion, Louvain-La-Neuve 
  • Rachel Read, Founder and co-CEO, blooloop
  • Mel McGowan, CCO, Storyland Studios and veteran Disney Imagineer

Partners of the Storyland Studios Design Challenge include Blooloop, Mack NeXT, Alterface, and ThemedAttraction.com. 

“This has been an excellent opportunity for designers to showcase their creative concepts in a forum where they will be exposed to some of the greatest minds in the themed entertainment industry,” says Mel McGowan, veteran Disney Imagineer and Chief Creative Officer at Storyland Studios.

“This has been an unprecedented time in our world, so this competition has given designers a place to hone and develop their craft.” 

The entries are available to view here.

Last month, Storyland Studios appointed Jim Clark, a veteran Disney Imagineer, as its newest Executive Director. 

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charlotte coates

Charlotte Coates

Charlotte Coates is Features Editor at Blooloop. She is from Brighton, UK and previously worked as a librarian. She has a strong interest in arts, culture and information and graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature. Charlotte can usually be found either with her head in a book or planning her next travel adventure.

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