Title:
Entertainment park with integrated storyline
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An entertainment park, having a plurality of sectors of activity, with at least one attraction in each sector of activity incorporating thematic elements representing an aspect of a single story having continuity throughout the park. In conjunction with the attraction, park visitors act-out, in a fantasy setting, a portion of the storyline. In accordance with one aspect of the invention, the attractions are based upon an adversarial theme of good vs. evil, which is acted out by park visitors in a realistic setting.



Inventors:
Kurzweil, Robert J. (Sandy, UT, US)
Application Number:
10/280475
Publication Date:
07/24/2003
Filing Date:
10/24/2002
Assignee:
KURZWEIL ROBERT J.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63G31/00; (IPC1-7): E04H3/14; A63G31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, KIEN T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THORPE NORTH & WESTERN, LLP. (P.O. Box 1219, SANDY, UT, 84091-1219, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An entertainment park comprising a plurality of sectors of entertainment activity, with at least one guest attraction in each sector of activity incorporating a thematic element representing an aspect of a single storyline having continuity throughout the entertainment park.

2. An entertainment park in accordance with claim 1, wherein the at least one guest attraction includes park visitors as participants in a fantasy setting depicting a portion of the single storyline.

3. An entertainment park in accordance with claim 2, wherein the fantasy setting further comprises a scripted portion which includes participation of one group of park visitors juxtaposed with another group of park visitors in a mock adversarial posture, in acting-out the scripted portion of the single storyline.

4. An entertainment park in accordance with claim 1, wherein the storyline represents a fictional story.

5. An entertainment park in accordance with claim 4, wherein the storyline is from the genre of medieval stories, fantasies, and legends.

6. An entertainment park in accordance with claim 1, wherein the plurality of sectors of activity include at least one of a medieval town, peaceful countryside, a forest, a pirate ship adventure, a medieval castle, a dragon's lair, an ancient temple, and a bandit's bazaar.

7. An entertainment park in accordance with claim 6, wherein the pirate ship adventure features a pirate ship and a non-pirate ship, traveling in opposing waterways, wherein visitors in the pirate ship lie-in-wait for a theatrical mock attack on the non-pirate ship carrying other visitors.

8. An entertainment park in accordance with claim 1, wherein the attractions include at least one of: a. a children's playground, featuring play apparatus configured as jumbo size natural objects to give the illusion that the children are very small; and b. a tornado-themed ride in which ride cars rise and spin around a central core, the central core having the appearance of a tornado, and the ride cars having the appearance of unusual objects which might be thrown about by a tornado.

9. An entertainment park, having a plurality of sectors of activity, with at least one attraction in each sector of activity, incorporating thematic elements representing an aspect of a single storyline, the at least one attraction configured to engage park visitors as participants in a fantasy setting, and wherein the attractions are based upon an adversarial theme of good vs. evil, which is played out by park visitors in a realistic setting.

10. An entertainment park in accordance with claim 9, further comprising a scripted portion providing an option for park visitors to choose to be on the side of good or evil, and participate in events which juxtapose them against other visitors in acting out the park theme.

11. A method of providing entertainment, comprising the steps of: a. providing an entertainment park area having a plurality of sectors of activity, each sector including at least one attraction providing visitor interaction; b. incorporating into each attraction a thematic element of a park theme, the thematic element representing an aspect of a single storyline extending in continuity throughout the entertainment park area; and c. suggesting the activity of visitors in each sector, to thereby cause visitors in the park to interact with each other in a fantasy setting, as participants in the storyline.

12. A method in accordance with claim 11, wherein at least some of the attractions present an adversarial theme of good vs. evil, with park visitors juxtaposed against each other in acting out the park theme.

13. A method in accordance with claim 12, wherein a majority of the attractions are based upon an adversarial theme of good vs. evil, and park visitors choose to be good or evil, and participate in events which juxtapose them against other visitors in acting out the park theme.

14. A method in accordance with claim 11, further comprising the step of scripting visitors to interact with each other as participants in the storyline.

15. A method in accordance with claim 14, wherein the step of scripting visitors to interact with each other includes placing visitors in a pirate ship or a non-pirate ship on a common waterway, and causing the visitors in the pirate ship to initiate a theatrical mock attack on the visitors in the non-pirate ship.

16. A method of entertaining visitors in an entertainment park formed by a plurality of sectors of activity, each sector including a primary attraction, comprising the steps of: a. incorporating into each primary attraction a thematic element representing an aspect of a single fantasy storyline common to each sector of the entertainment park; and b. allowing visitors in the park to interact with each other in connection with the primary attractions as participants in the fantasy storyline.

17. A method in accordance with claim 16, further comprising the step of incorporating into each primary attraction an adversarial theme of good vs. evil.

18. A method in accordance with claim 16, wherein the interaction of visitors in the park is scripted.

19. A method in accordance with claim 18, wherein the scripting further comprises the steps of: a. allowing park visitors choose to be part of the good theme or part of the evil theme; and b. causing the visitors to participate in events which juxtapose them against other visitors in acting out the park theme.

Description:

[0001] The present application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 06/352,079, filed on Jan. 24, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates generally to participatory entertainment areas such as theme parks and amusement parks. More particularly, the present invention relates to an entertainment park wherein a single storyline is integrated into the park attractions, and park visitors become participants in acting-out portions of the story.

[0004] 2. Related Art

[0005] There are currently two prevalent types of entertainment parks. The first is the “amusement park”, where a random collection of attractions are placed in a more or less landscaped setting, generally without any real theme or connection, one to another. The second type is the “theme park”, where sections of the park are themed, but the different sections have no necessary thematic connection or relationship with the others.

[0006] Theme parks and amusement parks trace their origins to traditional garden parks of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Once limited to the very wealthy, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, beautiful manicured gardens and parks began to be created and opened for the benefit of the general public. Some of these were privately owned, while others were created at public expense, such as New York's Central Park. These parks, with trees, gardens, ponds, and a generally peaceful atmosphere, became especially popular among city dwellers, whose population increased dramatically with the industrial revolution of the nineteenth century.

[0007] For the benefit of visitors, and as a means of generating revenue, park owners and others began adding various services and attractions, such as vendors of food, flowers, novelties, etc. Gradually, other more elaborate attractions were also added, such as games, and carnival-type rides, including carousels, and, eventually, roller coasters. By the early to mid-twentieth century, amusement parks began to shed their connection to traditional garden parks, and appeared as entertainment entities by themselves, incorporating elaborate and exciting rides and attractions.

[0008] A major milestone in this evolution was Walt Disney's creation of Disneyland in the 1950's. Disneyland was more than an amusement park. It was a theme park where the respective amusements and attractions related to multiple themes. In the case of Disneyland, most of the themes related to various Disney productions. Theme parks and amusement parks have proliferated since that time, in a variety of forms. However, they still generally follow the models of the past—presenting either a mere random collection of attractions, or a collection of attractions that may each relate to a theme by themselves, but are not thematically integrated or connected to each other and to the park as a whole.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] It would therefore be desirable to have an entertainment park wherein all of the attractions are thematically connected to each other.

[0010] It would also be desirable to have an entertainment park wherein park visitors can actually get involved in and act-out parts of the theme of the park.

[0011] The invention advantageously provides an entertainment park, having a plurality of sectors of activity, with at least one attraction in each sector of activity. Each of the attractions incorporate thematic elements representing an aspect of a single story, allowing park visitors to act-out or participate in a portion of the storyline.

[0012] In accordance with a more detailed aspect of the present invention, the attractions are based upon an adversarial theme of good vs. evil, which is played out by park visitors in a realistic setting.

[0013] In accordance with another aspect thereof, the invention provides a method of providing entertainment, including the steps of providing an entertainment park area having a plurality of sectors of activity, with at least one attraction in each sector providing visitor interaction, incorporating into each attraction a thematic element representing an aspect of a single storyline, and causing visitors in the park to interact with each other in a fantasy setting, as participants in the storyline.

[0014] Additional features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the detailed description which follows, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which together illustrate, by way of example, features of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] FIG. 1 is a plan view of a story park configured in accordance with the present invention.

[0016] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of part of the exterior of the Walled Town and its entrance portal.

[0017] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of part of the town inside the Wall, and the Town Hall.

[0018] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the Royal Castle, just outside the Walled Town.

[0019] FIG. 5 is a perspective view from above of the Terrible Twister attraction in the Peaceful Countryside.

[0020] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the Dragon's Lair.

[0021] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a running battle between a pirate ship and a “treasure ship” in the channel next to Skull Island.

[0022] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of Silly Slide Hill and the Kiddie Kars, in Wee World.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0023] Reference will now be made to the exemplary embodiments illustrated in the drawings, and specific language will be used herein to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended. Alterations and further modifications of the inventive features illustrated herein, and additional applications of the principles of the inventions as illustrated herein, which would occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the invention.

[0024] The present invention presents a novel type of entertainment park, which can be termed a “story park.” As used herein, the term “entertainment park” is intended to refer generally to all kinds of entertainment locations, including theme parks and amusement parks, as well as zoos, water parks, historical parks, etc. All of these can be termed entertainment parks. As noted above, “amusement parks”, typically present a random collection of attractions without any real theme or connection between them. Coney Island is a good example of a classic amusement park. In “theme parks,” on the other hand, sections of the park may be themed, but the different sections have no necessary thematic connection or relationship with the others. Disneyland is a good example of a theme park, including a number of different “lands,” such as “Fantasyland,” “Tomorrowland,” “Frontierland,” etc. Each “land” includes attractions that relate to a general theme, but the different “lands” are not thematically connected to each other.

[0025] The present invention provides a “story park,” in which the attractions, restaurants, shops, etc. are all themed according to the events, locations and characters that appear in a single story. One embodiment of the story park 10 is depicted in FIG. 1, and is called CastleRealm™. The park is a real place, but has all the characteristics of an imaginary place, which is part of a two-part story created by the inventor.

[0026] In CastleReal™ 10, all of the various areas or sectors of activity are connected to each other by the characters, places and events of Part I of the two-part story. The major sectors of activity include the Walled Town 12, the Royal Castle 14, the Peaceful Countryside 16, Narwood Forest 18, Zangara 20, Corsair Cove 22, Morgar 24, the Iron Fortress 26, Troll Town 28 and Wee World 30. All of the various areas of the park relate to each other and are connected by the events of the story. The park thus becomes an integrated experience, rather than a series of separate experiences.

[0027] The park is intended to be experienced as a “real place,” with regions where the “good guys” live, regions where the “bad guys” live, and neutral or buffer zones in between. Viewing FIG. 1, the Walled Town 12, the Peaceful Countryside 16 and Wee World 30, are all parts of the “good guys” region, protected by the Royal Castle 14. Corsair Cove 22, Troll Town 28, Morgar 24 and the Stockade 176, are all located in the “bad guy” region, dominated by the Iron Fortress 26. Narwood Forest 18, Zangara 20 and Taladar's Isle 58, are buffer or transition zones that separate these two general regions.

[0028] The two-part story that provides the thematic basis for this story park is entitled “The Atalan Saga.” Part I of “The Atalan Saga” is entitled “Crown of Iron,” is the foundation on which CastleRealm™ is designed. Part II of the story is entitled “Heart of Ice” and is the basis for a futuristic expansion area (not shown). A summary of the “Crown of Iron” story is provided below.

Crown of Iron

[0029] Once upon a time, there lived a dashing young pirate named Taran MacMar. He lived and raided from a remote area of the seacoast, which came to be known as Corsair Cove. This was a part of the Kingdom of Atalan, ruled by cruel King Harold, but Taran was not bothered so long as he raided foreign ships and ports and sent one-third to the king.

[0030] Taran cared only about himself. He knew his men would be loyal as long as he led them on successful raids. He and the king understood each other. He needed no one and was better off alone.

[0031] Then, one day, he captured a trading vessel that had as one of its passengers a beautiful princess named Alana. The fight had been short, but brutal and bloody, and Alana was shocked by Taran's ruthless ferocity. She resented being his prisoner but there was something about him that intrigued her.

[0032] Back at his stronghold in Corsair Cove, Taran learned that the princess was traveling to King Harold's Court, where they were to be married and she would be his queen. She didn't love Harold; in fact, she had never met him, but their union was important to her father's neighboring kingdom of Tamoor, and she would do her duty.

[0033] When King Harold heard what had happened, he flew into a violent rage. He wanted the princess back and he wanted Taran's head. Posters announcing a huge reward were put up throughout the kingdom of Atalan, and Harold's men went on the alert.

[0034] The reward came to the attention of one of Taran's men named Took. Took was like his leader in that he only cared about himself. He always wanted more and saw this as his chance. So he arranged to meet with one of Harold's men in a back room of the Three Oaks Tavern, where Took agreed to lead Harold's troops to Taran's hideout for the reward.

[0035] Harold's men strike at midnight, and outnumber Taran's by five to one. It is a complete rout. In the confusion, Princess Alana is released, all of Taran's men are killed or captured, and Taran is forced to run for his life. He finally takes refuge in the basement of an Old Mill. The mill has been abandoned for several years. The basement is dirty and damp and there is nothing to eat. Exhausted, he falls into a deep sleep in which he dreams about Alana.

[0036] Back at the royal castle, Took is presented to King Harold, who is told that Took was one of Taran's men. If there's one thing Harold cannot stand, it's a traitor, so he refuses to pay the reward and has Took thrown into his dungeon. Besides, Harold grumbles, Taran escaped.

[0037] The hunt continues and Taran is forced to stay where he is. He has water but no food and things are becoming desperate when he is surprised by a visitor. The short, stocky warrior calls himself Shortsword and he has been sent by Taran's Uncle Simon to take Taran home. The two men travel by night and eventually reach Taladar's Isle, where Taran's uncle, Simon Taladar, lives in Taladar's Tower.

[0038] After a hearty meal and a good night's sleep, Taran is taken into his uncle's library, where Simon tells his nephew why he was brought there. Harold has ruined the kingdom. He's a ruthless, selfish tyrant who is lining his own pockets with the people's money. His marriage to Alana will only make him stronger, for he then will have a powerful ally—Tamoor—to call upon. It is up to Taran to stop him.

[0039] But this is insane! Taran is only one man and a hated pirate at that! Simon, however, has a plan. By long tradition, those who would rule Atalan had to first take the Test of the Crown of Iron. If they wore it and survived, they were fit to rule. If they were not, they died. About a century before the present time, this test was judged to be “inconvenient” and the crown was sealed in the Chamber of the Crown, a subterranean cavern beneath the Iron Fortress. There the Crown of Iron remains. But, if Taran can go there and bring it back, he could force King Harold to either take the Test or abdicate.

[0040] Taran thinks this is crazy and refuses to even consider his uncle's wild scheme, but then he remembers Alana and decides to go. That night, Taran and Shortsword set out for the Walled Town, where they will get the supplies and weapons they need. As they leave the last shop, their attention is drawn to the torch-lit town square, where a noisy mob has gathered. It seems a young gypsy boy has been caught stealing food, and he's about to be publicly flogged for his crime. The boy reminds Taran of himself when he was younger, and Shortsword wants to intervene, but Taran hesitates, for he can't bring attention to himself.

[0041] Shortsword wants to test Taran, and keeps after him until he agrees to do it. It takes a while for both of them to make their way around the crowd to the platform where the boy is tied, and one lash of the whip has already streaked his back when Taran springs into action. After seeing the first blow, Taran goes nearly berserk and before they know it, both of Harold's thugs have been flung into the mob and the boy is free. When a third guard tries to interfere, Taran stops him with his sword and the crowd goes wild.

[0042] King Harold is with Princess Alana in the royal box. He can't believe what is happening, as the boy leads Taran and Shortsword into one of the side streets and the mob closes behind them. And Alana can't help but wonder if this isn't the same man who captured her.

[0043] A few hours later, the gypsy boy, whose name is Alphonso, leads Taran and Shortsword into the gypsy wagon camp where he lives. The camp is at the edge of Narwood Forest, but off the main road. As the three enter, a young dark-haired beauty approaches. She is Nina Zeralda, the leader of this band of gypsies. Nina finds Taran attractive and when she hears his story, she agrees to lead him and Shortsword to the Iron Fortress, for she is ambitious and wants to be the queen of more than a wandering band.

[0044] Along the way, Nina tries every trick she knows to get Taran to fall in love with her and is puzzled when none of it works. But Taran can only think of Alana and it's his thoughts of her that keep him going.

[0045] Eventually, they reach the Iron Fortress and the complete evil of the place stops Taran cold. He knows somehow that “Who He Is Now” will certainly die if he goes into that awful place. Shortsword nags him and Nina pleads. He can't stop now, but nothing works until Taran sees the disappointment in Alphonso's eyes. That is too much and Taran decides to continue.

[0046] Once inside, the Great Hall of the fortress seems to be deserted. The dim blue light within deepens as the light from outside fades. The walkway Taran is on beings to spiral downward. As he goes, tittering shapes and grotesque shadows begin to flit among the giant stone columns that support a roof hidden in the darkness above. Farther and farther down he goes.

[0047] As he proceeds, he begins to hear faint laughter. It seems to be mildly hysterical and grows louder as he descends. Then, on either side, he sees the huddled shapes of men, women and children, all gray, all chained, all cowering in fear.

[0048] Taran finally reaches the bottom of the ramp. He is now in the very depths of the cavern beneath the fortress. Dozens of the chained prisoners can now be seen. The laughter is much louder now and when Taran steps around the last great column, he sees its source.

[0049] There before him stands an eight foot giant. Its skin is a scaly, shiny blue. Its head is finely formed, with two long black horns that curve forward and red eyes that gleam with intelligence. Its upper body is very muscular, while its lower limbs are lost in a vague, blue mist. In its right hand it holds a long black whip, with which it occasionally lashes out at its huddled prisoners. It is the Laughing Jailer and, as its hysterical laughter builds, it looks directly at Taran.

[0050] The Jailer mocks Taran. How can he ever think of himself as anything but worthless? Does he dare believe that his life could ever be worthwhile? Greatness? The hysterical laughter increases. And as for the princess? It is too much for the giant and he has to hold his sides. Tears come to his eyes and roll down his cheeks as he is convulsed with the very thought of it.

[0051] Taran's anger has been slowly building and suddenly something snaps inside him. With a great sweep of his sword, he strikes the giant's head from its shoulders. The laughter stops as the head rolls to a stop in the dust. Then, the great body begins to fade away and there, behind it, stands an image of his long-dead father. Older now and frail, his father tells Taran that he “expects great things of him.” Then the image fades away.

[0052] Suddenly, off to Taran's right, a golden light grows in intensity. There, on its stone pedestal, rests the Crown of Iron! Taking it, he ties it to his belt and begins to strike the chains from the prisoners that surround him.

[0053] As he proceeds, a hellish howling begins to come from one of the side caves. Hurrying now, he continues to free prisoners until a howling horde of demons begins to pour from the opening. Goblins and trolls, with demons unnamed among them. He shall not have the Crown!

[0054] Taran seems to be everywhere, freeing prisoners, whom he herds up the ramp, then back among his pursuers, hacking and slashing with abandon. Somehow, they make it and pour out of the fortress, into the sunshine.

[0055] Nina, Shortsword and Alphonso watch in amazement as Taran and his strange horde pour out of the entrance to the fortress. Nina is particularly interested, for Taran has changed. He is older now, more serious, and carries himself with a sense of noble purpose.

[0056] As this unusual caravan starts back, word of what Taran has done begins to spread. Men impoverished or broken by Harold come out of the hills with hope once again in their hearts. As it proceeds, this rag-tag army continues to grow, and by the time it reaches the Great Meadow that stretches before the royal castle, Taran's forces outnumber Harold's by at least two to one.

[0057] Taran issues his challenge, that Harold should take the Test of the Crown, but Harold is defiant. He holds the castle and his trained troops can certainly handle Taran's undisciplined mob.

[0058] That night, Taran is in his tent with Nina, Shortsword and a few of his captains. They are planning their next move when Princess Alana comes in. She slipped out of the castle by a secret entrance after bribing one of Harold's men, and came to see if Taran is indeed the man who captured her. Alana is impressed with how much he has changed and Nina can see there is something special between them.

[0059] Convinced now that she will never be Taran's queen, Nina steals the Crown of Iron and sneaks off to make a deal with Harold. In exchange for the Crown, she will be Harold's queen instead. Harold agrees, for without the Crown, Taran has lost his most powerful weapon.

[0060] Taran is now at a loss about what he should do. Then he remembers the secret entrance that Alana used. If she will lead Taran and Shortsword to it, they will enter the castle while his captains lead his army in a frontal assault on the castle.

[0061] Alana agrees to do this, but when the three of them reach their goal, she refuses to be left behind. After they are inside the castle, Alana proves that she is not just a pretty face, for several times she gets Taran or Shortsword out of a tight spot and saves Taran's life at least once.

[0062] At one point, they agree to split up. Taran will search the upper levels of the castle, Shortsword the lower ones, and Alana will go after Nina.

[0063] Taran finally finds King Harold sitting morosely on his throne. The two begin a swordfight that takes them downward to the dungeon as Harold steadily retreats.

[0064] Shortsword, meanwhile, has come upon the cell where Took has been held. After Took convinces Shortsword that he, as one of Taran's men, should be freed, Shortsword finds the keys and lets the man out.

[0065] King Harold is finally cornered by Taran in the dungeon, when Alana arrives with Nina and the Crown. It seems that Harold will have to take the Test after all. But he knows what will happen if he does and makes one last desperate break for freedom.

[0066] This fails, too, when he dashes down a darkened corridor only to meet Took, who takes his revenge by driving a sword through Harold's body up to the hilt.

[0067] When Taran, Alana and Shortsword take Nina back to the throne room, they are surrounded by Taran's victorious captains, who want Taran to take the Test. When he wears the Crown and survives, he is proclaimed king with Alana as his queen.

[0068] There is one last thing to take care of—Nina. Taran's men want her killed, but he does not want his first act as king to be an execution. Instead, he sends Nina into exile in Narwood Forest, where she will spend the rest of her days, under pain of death.

[0069] The End of Part I

[0070] The elements of this story provide the basis for CastleRealm™. As stated above, CastleRealm™ 10 presents several primary neighborhoods or sectors of activity, each representing a different aspect or portion (e.g. time, environment, culture, character, event, etc.) of the story “Crown of Iron.” In each sector of activity are attractions which correspond to elements of the story, and are themed to fit into the setting of the story. The term “attractions” is intended to refer to any of the wide variety of individual features of the park which visitors may view, experience, or interact with, including rides (e.g. roller-coasters, water rides, spinning rides, etc.), to food and gift shops, passive entertainment sites (e.g. theaters and bandstands), dancefloors, exploratory attractions (e.g. a castle which the visitor explores on his own), and items which may be largely intended just for appearance (e.g. medieval buildings, a town square, etc.). Each sector of activity includes at least one primary attraction, which incorporates thematic elements representing an aspect of the story and providing continuity to the total entertainment experience.

[0071] Viewing FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, the first area of the park 10 encountered by visitors is the Walled Town 12, which is located on both sides of the main entrance 32 and its fortified medieval entrance portal 34.

[0072] Viewing FIG. 1, the Walled Town 12 incorporates several of the park's operational and convenience features, such as the Stroller and Locker Rentals 36 and the First Aid and Baby Care facility 38. The Walled Town also includes numerous shops 40, a large cafeteria-style restaurant 42 and the town square 44. This is the town where Taran lived with his father and later on saved the gypsy boy from a flogging.

[0073] Just beyond the entrance portal 34 is the Town Hall 46, which serves as an information center and a collection point for lost children. The Town Hall and part of the Walled Town are shown in FIG. 3.

[0074] Beyond the Town Hall 46, there is the Lakeside Carousel 48, which overlooks the Enchanted Lake 50. Moving counter-clockwise around the lake, one comes to the Old Mill, where Taran hid in the basement until he was found by Shortsword. Beyond that is the Swan Boat attraction 54, where visitors can sail under the Isle Bridge 56 and around Taladar's Isle 58. The island is the home of Taran's Uncle Simon who lives in Taladar's Tower 60 and puts on magic shows in the Crystal Cavern 62. At the far end of the island is Bonfire Point 64, where Simon could warn the townspeople of an impending raid.

[0075] Moving counter-clockwise from the Walled Town 12, one comes to the great rock on which the Royal Castle 14 stands, as seen in FIG. 4. This now peaceful edifice is where, long ago, Shortsword and Taran defeated King Harold after entering by way of the Secret Entrance 15. Below the castle, within the great rock, is the Grand Hall Restaurant 66. Across the road from the castle is the Great Meadow 68, where Taran gathered his army before the final assault.

[0076] The royal castle overlooks and protects the Walled Town and the Peaceful Countryside 16, where Taran lived with his grandmother for a few years after his father died. The central attraction in this area is the Terrible Twister 70, with its spinning cars that resemble frightened pigs 71, large baskets, 72, flying bathtubs 73 and startled cows 74. All of these move around the large spinning Tornado 76, as shown in FIG. 5.

[0077] Next to the Terrible Twister is the Pond 78, where visitors can sail miniature radio-controlled pirate ships and trading vessels to re-enact the battle in which Taran captured Princess Alana.

[0078] The Peaceful Countryside also includes the children's Puppet Theater 80, the Harvest Festival Theater 82, and the Hoedown Hayride 84. Visitors may shop at the Country Store 86 or enjoy an old-fashioned family supper at Grandma's Kitchen 88.

[0079] Moving on counter-clockwise, one next arrives at an area known as Narwood Forest 18. On the left edge of the forest is the Gypsy Camp 90, where Taran first met Nina Zeralda as a beautiful young woman. Narwood Forest is also the place where Nina lived out her years in exile until she became an old woman known as Nezeralda. Nezeralda's Hut 92 is now the entrance to a restaurant for children only.

[0080] Just beyond Nezeralda's Hut is the Magic Spell Frogs attraction 94, which seems to confirm the local suspicion that the old woman is indeed a witch. A wide pathway 96 is shown cutting through the middle of Narwood Forest 18. This pathway will lead to a futuristic expansion of the park, which is based on Part II of The Atalan Saga, entitled “Heart of Ice.”

[0081] Continuing counter-clockwise, one comes to the mysterious land of Zangara 20, where Taran and his crew often went to search for treasure. The center of Zangara is the Explorer's Village 98, where one can enjoy a meal and a Polynesian show at Club Tondelayo 100, shop for native trinkets at The Last Outpost 102, climb nets and cross treacherous suspension bridges on Tree House Island 104, or explore the dimly lit maze inside the Lost Temple 106.

[0082] The main attraction in Zangara, however, is the River of Doom 108, where explorers and treasure seekers of all ages can take a boat ride into the dim, mysterious past. All sorts of strange but humorous sights will be seen along the way, including the Dragon's Lair 110, where a Mother Dragon 112 is teaching her babies 114 how to fly, as shown in FIG. 6.

[0083] Beyond Zangara lies Corsair Cove 22, which one reaches by passing under the arch at Lookout Rock 116. In Corsair Cove, anyone may become one of Taran's Corsairs 188 by going aboard one of his pirate ships 120 and sail on Corsair Lake 122, to a hiding place 124, where the ship waits for one of the “treasure ships” 126 to come out of the River of Doom. Then the two ships race side-by-side 128 in a mock battle, as shown in FIG. 7. The pirate ship, however, must break off the chase because of cannon fire from Fort Defender 130. On its way back to port, the pirate ship will stop at Skull Island 132, where members of the crew may get off to explore the Pirate Fort 134, Taran's treasure cave 136, or look out the eyes of the giant hollow skull 138.

[0084] Back in Corsair Cove, one might buy some “pirate booty” at the III Gotten Goods shop 140, get a temporary tattoo at Peg Leg's Tattoo Parlor 142, have a sandwich and enjoy a slightly “racy” floor show at Dirty Dan's Dive 144, or practice one's skill with a rifle at One Eye's Shooting Gallery 146. Then, rather than walk all the way back, the Water Taxi 148 will take you to the opposite shore.

[0085] Between the Gypsy Camp 90 and Corsair Cove 22, lies a lonely, deserted hill on which stands the Haunted Ruins 150. Below it is the dismal Dungeon 152, where the royal family that preceded King Harold is said to have mysteriously perished, and which is still haunted by their ghosts.

[0086] Leaving Corsair Cove and continuing counter-clockwise, one comes to the entrance gateway 154 of the dreaded land of Morgar 24. This land is guarded first by the Gray Mountains 156, with their twin watch towers 158. In the center of Morgar stands the forbidding Iron Fortress 26, surrounded by its Jagged Rocks 160. The Iron Fortress is where Taran must descent to the depths and confront the Laughing Jailer to recover the Crown of Iron. The fortress is itself surrounded by three groups of defenders. The first are the trolls of Troll Town 28, with its high-speed Troll Mountain Railroad 162 and two thrill rides 164. In Troll Town, one may enjoy fast food in the Troll Cave 166, buy troll-made jewelry in the Stones and Bones shop 168, or dance to the Troll Band 170.

[0087] The second group of defenders are the goblins of Mount Morga 172, where visitors can explore the watery byways of Goblin Grotto 174 in their bumper boats. The third group of Iron Fortress defenders are the human guards of the Stockade 176, surrounded by its high wooden palisade 178 and guard towers 180.

[0088] Within the Stockade are four torturous thrill rides 182 and the Death Coaster 184, all guaranteed to make anyone tell everything he or she knows.

[0089] The Stockade Fast Food restaurant 186 shares a common kitchen 188 with the Three Oaks Tavern 190. This pleasant sit-down restaurant is where the spy who betrayed Taran met secretly with King Harold's man.

[0090] Completing the counter-clockwise journey brings us to Wee World 30, created by Taran in his imagination when he was very young. It's a delightful place, especially for young children, where one can believe he or she is suddenly only a few inches tall. Wee World is encircled by the Here to There Railroad 192, which along its route passes through a tunnel in Rock Candy Mountain 194.

[0091] The center piece of Wee World is the Bumblebee Airport 196, where one can fly around in giant bumblebees. Surrounding the airport are Wee World Snacks 198, Silly Slide Hill 200, a little kids' Ladybug Coaster 202, where all the cars look like giant ladybugs, and the Kiddie Kars 204, where small children “race” down a curving track, as shown in FIG. 8. Also shown in FIG. 8 are the various attractions of Silly Slide Hill. These include the Banana Slide 206, the Snake Slide 208, the Shoe Slide 210 and the Beanstalk Slide 212. There is also the Smiling Tree 214 with its many swings. Just outside the railroad berm, there is the Ice Cream Parlor 216 with its large patio.

[0092] The park 10 naturally includes additional features for its operation. These include the Souvenir Stand 218 outside the Main Entrance on the left and the building on the right that houses the Security, Cash Control and Guest Services offices 220 and the Party Rooms 222, which can be rented for special events. Various access roads 224 allow park personnel to service the shops and restaurants without intruding on the visitor's experience.

[0093] As noted earlier, the pathway 96 leads to a futuristic expansion area (not shown) that is based on Part II of The Atalan Saga. In Part II, which is called “Heart of Ice,” Nezeralda is now 80 years old and she redeems herself with the help of a futuristic warrior named Reef O'Donnell and two little bushy forest guards named Eeliwon and Eelitoo. The futuristic setting allows for a variety of very different activities, including attractions such as a space academy, a rocket ship ride, a ride-through laser tag battle with aliens, etc.

[0094] The ride-through laser tag attraction may be a ride where the participants ride a vehicle through an active battle scene and shoot at targets that are shooting back at them. In any event, the ride would re-enact a battle from Part II of the story.

[0095] One aspect of the CastleRealmSM concept is the theme of good vs. evil, which is played out throughout the park. The visitors may choose to be merely observers or they can take an active part in re-creating certain parts of the story.

[0096] The park is roughly divided into the front part, where the good guys live, and the back part, where the bad guys rule. For example, Morgar 24, with its Iron Fortress 26, Troll Town 28 and Stockade 176, all represent the forces of evil, while the Royal Castle 14, Walled Town 12 and the Peaceful Countryside 16, represent the forces of good. Taran's uncle, Simon Taladar, in his home on Taladar's Isle 58, represents Wisdom, a balancing factor between the two.

[0097] This division allows park visitors to choose which side they want to be on, and act out that part as they visit their desired attractions. In one embodiment of the invention, as visitors enter the park, they are asked to choose which side they want to be on, and are then given a piece of clothing, a hat, a dagger or sword, or some other item that makes their chosen side readily identifiable as they participate in park attractions. Visitors can freely switch sides whenever they desire.

[0098] The invention thus presents an entertainment park having two main elements: the structure of the park (i.e. the physical features and attractions), and the activities which occur at these physical locations (i.e. the places, events, etc. from the story). The visitor provides a key component of the invention by linking the structure with the activity. The visitor, in acting-out the story, provides the ongoing continuity between the locations in the park and the story. This is one feature of the present invention which distinguishes it from other parks, and which helps make the “story park” unique.

[0099] An example of the way in which the invention may work is as follows. Upon entering the park and selecting their character affiliation (good guy or bad guy) the visitor first enters Walled Town, where they become part of the crowd in the town square. There the visitor may purchase food or other items at shops in the town square, and perhaps watch a juggler or other street entertainer. The visitor may also take part in a “rescue” of the gypsy boy through participation in a carnival-type game where a gypsy doll is the prize, or watch such a rescue acted out by park employees in character.

[0100] Moving to the Royal Park, the visitor may enjoy the Royal Carousel, or some of the attractions in Wee World, while watching their children play as Taran did as a child. The visitor may then proceed to the Royal Castle on Castle Isle, and explore the castle, acting the part of Taran defeating Harold and taking his place on the throne. Or, the visitor may act the part of Harold or the Spy while exploring the Baron's Keep and its dungeon.

[0101] Moving to the Peaceful Countryside, the visitor can take part in the festivities at the Harvest Festival Theater or ride on the Terrible Twister ride, acting the part of Taran as a boy. Moving into Narwood Forest, the visitor can play the part of Taran meeting the gypsies in their camp, or take the role of the young and beautiful Nina Zeralda exploring the forest.

[0102] The visitor may then move on to the land of Morgar, and enter the Cavern of the Crown in Mount Morga searching for the Crown of Iron. The visitor may also visit the Iron Fortress, where he can prove himself with tests of skill. Before moving on, the visitor may experience the thrill rides in the Torture Zone, imagining that he is a prisoner in the Iron Fortress and being tortured on various diabolical torture apparatus. As noted, the Iron Fortress and Torture Zone relate to Part II of the story.

[0103] Moving to Corsair Cove, the visitor may take the role of Taran as a fierce pirate, and take to seas in Taran's Corsairs, lying in wait to attack a passing trading vessel. Following the sea battle, the visitor may change roles to that of Taran and his crew sailing down the River of Doom, in search of treasure at the Lost Temple. These are just a few examples of the many ways in which a visitor may participate in activities drawn from the story “Crown of Iron” and thus bridge the story and the physical features of the park as a participant in the story.

[0104] It will be apparent that the attractions need not be visited in any particular order, and that the visitor may change roles or “sides” whenever they choose. Additionally, the park may also be structured such that, rather than merely choosing to be a “good guy” or “bad guy,” the visitor chooses to be a particular character from the story, and is given some corresponding costume or other identifying item to wear or hold. The visitor may then enjoy the park attractions while acting in one particular role. It will be apparent that other variations are possible.

[0105] It is to be understood that the above-referenced arrangements are illustrative of the application for the principles of the present invention. Numerous modifications and alternative arrangements can be devised without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention while the present invention has been shown in the drawings and described above in connection with the exemplary embodiments(s) of the invention. It will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications can be made without departing from the principles and concepts of the invention as set forth in the claims.