What is a Mock-up?

A mock-up, with regard to theme park design, is a partial full-sized building or site design feature component used for a variety of reasons by the theme park design team. Mock-ups are extensively used in the theme park design effort to demonstrate unique construction techniques, they can be used as a selective use of themed material samples, and they can assist in demonstrating specific construction techniques that are atypical in nature

Due to the unique building types and construction techniques that are specific to creating themed and immersive environments, the use of mock-ups – on medium or large projects – can often be a smaller project within the larger project. Early in the design phases and project estimating phases of a project, the design team along with the project’s functional leadership will strive to determine the quantity, types, and level of detail of each mock-up they believe will be required to assist in a variety of decision making efforts later in the project.

  • Mock-ups can be used as a confirmation tool by the owner to prove a vendor or contractor can actually create a unique design element.
  • Mock-up programs a line-item effort captured in the overall design cost of a project.
  • Mock-ups can be used as a Creative and project Stakeholder approval device.
  • Mock-ups are costly to construct so the early determination of what mock-ups are truly required is important.

Understanding a Mock-up

Mock-ups provide a tangible, visual confirmation a vendor, a contractor, or a specific trade partner can actually achieve the creative look and feel for a specific portion of a building, unique themed rock work component, specific exterior or interior theme concrete paving feature, a specific building system such as a unique, non-standard window and/or roof building system, etc.

Theme park design mock-ups are a powerful tool in which one mock-up if creatively designed and constructed can serve multiple functions. This type of mock-up not only saves time and dollars from the project budget, but they can demonstrate to the owner and design team what the final design will look like often years before the full completion of the project.

If mock-ups are completed early in the design of a theme park project they may inform the design team that design modifications or enhancements may be required. Changing the design early in the project is less costly than during construction or in the late design phases.

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Theme park design mock-ups are a powerful and often essential tool utilized by the theme park design teams. Since mock-ups are constructed to be a temporary element – often used and modified over the course of a year or two – they are typically demolished at the end of the construction phase of a project.

Related Terms

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J. Daniel Jenkins GLOSSARY OF TERMS
About the Author J. Daniel Jenkins, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP is a licensed Architect and a former Walt Disney Imagineer with over twenty four years of Commercial + Themed Entertainment design, design mangement, and A&E subject matter expertise. Jenkins, President | Owner of Holihoon Media LLC, is also the Founder | Chief Editor of themeparkarchitect.com who's goal is to teach individuals about theme park architecture, engineering, and design, how to become theme park architects and designers, and discuss themed entertainment centric topics and travel.