Best Theme Park Design Books

We’ve selected some of the best theme park design books an enthusiast or a young budding theme park designer should consider reading!

Recommended reading about theme park design and history.

Five of our favorite theme park design books by subject matter:

Theme Park and Amusement Park History

The Amusement Park: 900 Years of Thrills and Spills, and the Dreamers and Schemers Who Built Them by Stephen M. Silverman. I personally have never seen a more extensive history of both amusement parks and theme parks in one book. This book provides a budding, future theme park designer a great historical timeline of amusement parks and theme parks with a lot of backstory on how they came to fruition.

Walt Disney World History and Design

Vinyl Leaves: Walt Disney World and America by Stephen M. Fjellman. Vinyl Leaves has been around for quite some time. I read this book when I was younger and aspiring to become to a Disney Imagineer and Theme Park Architect. This book gives a unique view of how Walt Disney World’s design affects the Central Florida landscape and provides unique insider-like details about specific attractions and shows.

Theme Park Project Management and Design

Theme Park Project Management by Val Usle. Val and I both are former Walt Disney Imagineers. Val’s book focuses on the operational and economic considerations it takes to bring big ideas on paper to fruition and the multiple efforts it takes to keep theme park’s functioning on a daily basis.

Theme Park Design Guidebook

Theme Park Design & The Art of Themed Entertainment by David Younger. If you are a budding young theme park designer or a theme park design enthusiast, then you will love this handbook describing theme park design elements and characteristics.

Disney Legend on Theme Park Design

Marc Davis In His Own Words: Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks by Pete Docter and Christopher Merritt. Learn about the early years of Disney’s theme park design as seen through the eyes of the legendary Walt Disney Imagineer Marc Davis. This book focuses on both theme park design that came to fruition and ideas and concepts that have never seen the light of day.

Recommended reading if you want to learn more about:
❇️ How to become a Theme Park Architect
❇️ How to become a Walt Disney Imagineer

Theme Park Design Books Pin
About the Author J. Daniel Jenkins, AIA, NCARB is a licensed Architect, Theme Park Design Consultant, and former Senior Project Design Manager at Walt Disney Imagineering with over twenty years of subject matter expertise and design team leadership experience. Jenkins is the creator of themeparkarchitect.com who's goal is to teach individuals about theme park architecture and design, how to become theme park architects and designers, and discuss themed entertainment industry related topics. For nearly a decade, Mr. Jenkins has worked in the themed entertainment industry on new themed entertainment attractions, theme park lands, and new theme parks. Upon leaving Walt Disney Imagineering, Jenkins started his own Design Management Consulting company where he has consulted with and provided subject matter expertise and project leadership for new, confidential projects for several themed entertainment companies. Mr. Jenkins holds a five-year Master of Architecture degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a Virtual Design and Construction Certificate from Stanford University.
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