Theme Parks: A Model of Best Practice for Streetscape Design

Hughes, James
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University of Guelph

Internationally cities are acknowledging the importance of improving streetscape design in order to create a more positive pedestrian experience. Improved streetscape design contributes to the creation of a safe, efficient and financially prosperous landscape. This thesis analyzes how theme parks have successfully designed streetscapes, specifically Main Street U.S.A. at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. This theme park streetscape provides a positive experience while supporting, on average, twenty-one million visitors. This work illustrates streetscape techniques employed by theme parks while answering the question “Are Theme Parks examples of Streetscape design best practices?” This study evaluates streetscape elements found along Main Street U.S.A. and those used throughout the City of Toronto. These streetscape elements are evaluated against the criteria for successful streetscape designs outlined by Allan B. Jacobs in the book Great Streets. A streetscape design manual has been developed that consolidates the unique design techniques utilized by theme park streetscapes.

Landscape Architecture, Streetscape, Theme Park, Urban design, Streetscape Design, Streetscape Manual, Magic Kingdom, Theme Park History, Walt Disney World, Main Street U.S.A., City of Toronto