Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Environmental Design

First Advisor

Emily Greenwood

Second Advisor

Georgia Lindsay

Third Advisor

Bruce Bergner


Most theme parks today have a ride component, whether it is a themed roller coaster or water park, but the entertainment design industry has not focused as much on designing interactive experiences without the need for thrill. Experience design and themed entertainment design focus on how thematic elements create a somatic and immersive environment. Design, like entertainment, is constantly transforming to fit the needs of its visitors. The design of entertainment spaces needs to be considered through multiple lenses and this project seeks to understand design elements that are necessary for a successful immersive design. The film Spirited Away, by acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki, is the ideal story and style to fit an alternative theme park design. The loose plot and detailed illustrations throughout the film provide rich visual experiences that can easily be translated into enticing three-dimensional spaces. This project focuses on the best tactics for developing immersive entertainment through the theme of Spirited Away. This paper defends the final design of an experiential theme park, without rides, centered on the film Spirited Away.