7 tips when creating a new theme park ride

Posted by Sean Brian

At Amusement Technical we not only manufacture new rides, but often we are asked to consult on the purchase of major thrill rides, or are brought in when a new installation goes wrong. Here are some key considerations for when you commission your next ride…

The Brief

Take time to come up with a comprehensive brief for the manufacturer. Include capacity requirements, plot and foundation information, and theming framework. Don’t forget timeframe and budget guidelines. For park rides, insist on scheduling a site visit where the vendors can see for themselves where the ride is going to be constructed and thereby pick up on any design and build constraints.


When you receive first line visuals be completely honest with the creative team. If you don’t like the character creative, say; if the car is too small or bulky, point that out. Be as finicky as you like as it’s important the finished product is what you had in mind.

Project Management

If the ride size justifies it, insist on a project manager who is your first point of contact for updates and queries. If there isn’t a project manager as such, ensure you still have a ‘go to’ person at the manufacturer and schedule regular project updates so you know where you are regarding timescales and budget.

Civil Works

Generally you will be responsible for any civil works such as foundations. Give yourself plenty of time to get these done. We’ve had a number of clients who don’t give themselves nearly enough time and opening is set back weeks, sometimes months because of foundation work.

Ride Inspection

Any new ride will be subject to a design review. Check with the vendor if they are organising this, or if it’s up to you. Ensure the Ride Inspector is aligned with the relevant Approved Inspection Body.

Load Testing

Load testing takes place to simulate part and full ride capacity – usually using weights such as sandbags. Some clients are keen to bypass this stage, but it’s critical to the efficient running of the ride.

Operator Training

Most manufacturers will train your operators as a matter of course. Staff should be instructed on the safe operation of the ride and any evacuation procedures. An operator manual should be provided.