Get in touch with The Theme Park Guy.
Welcome to my good old retro-style desktop website. I'm glad you came here.
As you can see and sense, I've been around for quite some time already, since 2007 to be precise. And what was once a one-man-show is a very efficient business with a dozen fabulous team members today.
I have traveled more than your president and foreign minister combined, to 150+ countries, covering 380+ theme parks & attractions (see my travel map and passport), examining cultures & construction sites, successes & failures, and having met over a thousand park owners and industry professionals in person.
" The world's foremost authority on theme parks "
" Man Spends Life Traveling the World Visiting Parks "
This, coupled with tons of insights gathered through our well-known online portals themeparX, resortX & The Theme Park Guy – they are visited by millions of visitors annually as of 2019 – allows my team and myself to assist you on your journey in the theme park world, and do so very efficiently.
Please navigate through the menu links on the left to learn how we can help you. We also offer smart, tailor-made products for specific industry groups, such as suppliers & manufacturers (themeparX Supplier 100), owners & operators and job seekers.
I very much look forward to hearing from you!
Founder, Walalah LLC
LET'S GET STARTED.
Setting up a theme park is a challenging and risky undertaking. A flawed concept can ruin it right from the start, and you may never be able to fix the initial mess later on. Breaking even takes 7 years or longer.
There are plenty of theme and water park consultants, designers, ride suppliers and operators out there. Most of them I have met in real life. I know what they did, when they did it, and in the majority of instances I have witnessed on the ground how their product and/or work performed in the end.
" Stefan probably has more on-the-ground knowledge about the global theme park business than anyone in the world "
Having physically been to more theme parks in more countries than anybody else alive (here is my travel history), I can help you with:
1. Headhunting executives to build or run your park;
2. Exposure in the millions, whether you are a supplier or operator;
3. General consultations, such as whether no one has ever done before what you have in mind; or which pitfalls may be awaiting you!
In some instances I will not be the right person for your needs, but I'll perfectly be able to direct you to a company or individual who fits your vision, requirements and budget. I can get you in contact with the right people, for your specific circumstances, within hours. Contact me here.
INVESTORS & OWNERS
I'll be frank. Some theme and water parks generate a healthy long-term return on investment. Many do not.
Here's a common story: unwary & excited governors dance the tango with equally unwary & excited investors and decide to bring that leisurely missing something to their country or community. They haven't done this before. They know how it should look like (Disneyland) and that it shall create local jobs and attract international tourists. Since they associate Disney quality with a price tag too high, they will look for best value in negotiations. And they will find consultants, designers and suppliers who are happy to assist them within the budget constraints.
" Independent, cosmopolitan and visionary entrepreneur. Stefan is one of the few rainmakers you may meet in your life. "
They will then get a theme park, complete with Wild West Town, roller coaster, dolphin show and an oversized costumed yellow dragon to hug the kids. The whole thing will open. And yes, people will come.
They will only come once. With time I have come to understand that people don't fall for this, even if they live in an underdeveloped country and have never traveled. Everybody can sense the love in things. And there's no warmth in the eyes of that yellow dragon. Another lousy theme park is born.
If it was you who danced that tango, you will soon struggle to maintain the park, and after a couple of years misery either decide to abandon it or demolish it and sell the land to a juice factory warehouse. The tanned juice factory owner will shake your hand, and ask with a healthy smile if you have tried space tourism, too. No, you haven't. This experience will have made you look 30 years older. What you do instead »
INVESTORS & OWNERS (continued)
So, why not invest in a casino, mall or parking lot instead? Because if you get it right, a theme park crafted with passion can create an emotional attachment. Casinos, malls and parking lots don't have that privilege.
" We engaged Stefan on the spot, and his feedback was invaluable to us! "
The movie business is all about taking the risk of building emotional attachments – and they make money! The good news is that you are theoretically better off than them, because theme parks can't be fileshared. If you lay the right foundation, your investment will rock.
I can help you avoid grave mistakes right from the beginning; blunders that can cost you millions or even your entire investment. I'm someone with an affinity for taking risks myself – entrepreneur since age 19, hold German citizenship but haven't lived back home since 2005, spent a fortune visiting almost all theme parks worldwide. No one else ever did that. If you prefer consulting with somebody who has a wide angle on life, not a comfort zone guy, I'm the right man for you. And if I don't know something, I will point you to the person who does. Contact me here.
The Theme Park Guy in the press (last updated 2017):
The National Abu Dhabi
The Theme Park Guy in the press (2):
CBS News / Associated Press
Fox News / AOL Travel
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Investor's Business Daily
Yahoo Middle East
ABC Radio (Australia)
Radio Charivari (Germany)
The Unofficial Guides to Walt Disney World & British Best Days Out
Hong Kong Apple Next Media
...and many more, e.g. Deutschlandradio (Germany), Ekstra Bladet (Denmark), Focus (Italy), Foreign Policy Mag (USA), Khaleejesque (Kuwait), La Repubblica (Italy), View Magazin (Germany), etc.
HEADHUNTING THEME PARK EXECUTIVES FOR YOU.
" Stefan found us an excellent General Manager in 7 days.
Having come to know over a thousand theme park owners and professionals in person over the years, I can perfectly help you find executives for your project – CEOs, GMs or VPs.
(minimum salary: $120k/annum)
I have a professional attitude and results can be achieved fast, much faster than non-industry related headhunters can deliver. Since 2013, I have referred and placed many entertainment executives across all continents, incl. North America, the GCC, Asia and Africa. Testimonials & Contact Information here.
Please proceed here for more details.
OWNERS & OPERATORS
Safeguard Consulting (for fewer leaks):
Even the biggest theme park brands pay too little attention to safeguarding what is supposed to stay confidential. During my years of scrutinizing theme park construction sites, I found myself in situations where I could have picked up top-secret contracts and blueprints without even trespassing. Just a little unwary stupidity can leak ride systems, technology and storylines out of your control for good.
Being the guy on the other side, who appreciates seeing all these leaks on his website, I can discuss strategy with you on how to avoid this from happening.
Get A themeparX Supplier 100 ACCOUNT. READ 25 CLIENT TESTIMONIALS.
I can't help but mention it over and over again to my theme & water park supplier friends who aren't clients yet:
1. Don't rely on trade shows and word of mouth alone;
2. Yes, it is important to get found when people google what you do, every day;
3. And yes, we can deliver on that, instantaneously, in a way no SEO or internet marketing agency can do.
The sophisticated themeparX Supplier 100 is the only place in the world where you can finally get the credit and targeted traffic you deserve for the work you've done on the world's leading theme parks and resorts.
We welcome over one million unique visitors per year, including those top top decision makers everybody knows from TV, but who don't attend expos themselves.
Given my background as a filmmaker and cartoonist, ride design is my true delight in the theme park industry. This is what I really want to do: revolutionize the ride experience and bring it much closer to the adventure, dimension and depth of performing and visual arts, motion pictures, and real-life interaction.
The word immersive is overused in connection with every other new high-budget theme park ride. But the majority of dark rides are little more than a combination of predictable effects, stiff animatronics and raucous noise, lacking turning points and a comprehensible, captivating storyline. If you want me on board to create the cutting-edge experience of tomorrow, I'm all open. Take a look at my past here:
Media / Press
The Theme Park Guy® has been featured in countless publications such as AP, CNN, Fast Company, Focus, Foreign Policy, Frankfurter Allgemein Zeitung, Huffington Post, La Repubblica, LA Times, The Telegraph, The Unofficial Guide to Disney World, and The National, among others. If you are simply looking for a quote about a park opening, or an opinion, give me a call on +971 58 550 1226, I'm always happy to help!
Collaboration on theme park related stories is also possible, please send me an e-mail.
Use of Photos:
As you can imagine, I have spent a small fortune taking all these theme and water park photographs around the world. If you'd like to use up to three of them online keeping the watermark, you are invited to do it for free, as long as you place a visible link to my site. If you are looking for high-res versions without the watermark for your print publication, please get in touch with me for pricing. You will then receive written permission to use them in that specific edition and a proper invoice.