universal design studios

“Jurassic Park Helicoptours” 1990s

We’ve talked about projects that are built incredibly true to their concept art, but what about those that aren’t? Some pieces can be a treasure trove of changes and what-could-have-beens. Here we see a rendering of Jurassic Park at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure. The Discovery Center, the tall show building of the River Adventure, and the park lagoon are clearly visible. But, what’s that helicopter? Neither that building nor the helicopter have ever occupied that space. One of the early ideas thrown around for Jurassic Park, (along with a Jeep Ride) was Jurassic Park Helicoptours. This aerial simulator attraction would have allowed guests to “fly” high over the park, observing the myriad of dinosaur species in their “natural” habitats.

Art ©️Universal Creative

My Art Education Realisation

“I haven’t sat down and drawn in my own sketchbook in so long!”
“I really want to paint, but i have so much project work to do!”

Among art students you will very often find people saying things like this. My biggest realisation at college was when it clicked “Why am i not working the way i want to in my project work?”
During my first year of Foundation Art at college i had classes in various mediums from Glass to Photography, Life Drawing and Fashion. I was sitting in my Fashion class, the project brief was to design and make a pencil skirt based on Animals and Insects.
I started out looking at animal patterns, just blindly looking at things i thought would look nice on a skirt (Yeah, this was hard as a guy, but still fun).
A sudden rush went through my head, i looked down at my designs, they were boring, not very entertaining or captivating. This is when i realised i was being a sortof “robot” with my college work, just doing things to meet the brief and not things which i would love to create.
So i started researching things that i like. I looked for animals native to the UK. Then i had a thought to not link it directly to Animals or Insects. I drew out an idea for a teapot shaped skirt. My link with this idea to the orignal brief was that tea was transported on clipper ships which were often carrying animals like mice or rats.
With this change in my way of thinking, i achieved full marks in Fashion… something i had no interest in pursuing.
I started to change how i was looking at my projects in other classes.

Instead of using doing things in my own personal sketchbook, i did them in my project sketchbooks. I’d scribble on pages and write down lists of things i needed to buy. Carried them round in my bag and sat in town drawing people.
I was having fun again. Really enjoying what i was doing.

The end of the year came and i achieved 100% full marks overrall…

TL;DR: So, my advice to anyone studying art (or other creative subject):

  • Project briefs aren’t always set in stone. You can be as vague with it as you want, as long as you backup why with evidence.
  • Try and bend/break the rules. Go on, be a devil!
  • Have fun! If you’re not enjoying what you’ve chosen, THEN STOP what you’re doing and change. As long as you give evidence of your change it will give you more marks than handing in a half arsed piece of work that you don’t like.
  • Ditch your personal sketchbook, make your project book just as personal. Write/draw to your hearts content.
  • Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

For being a ride mostly based on screens I quite liked the new Kong ride - at least partially cause I really like these vehicles. Not only are the really pleasing to look at and move, but they’re a course in making massive vehicles to accommodate capacity and freaking tech marvel that they manage to drive without a track over uneven terrain.


So my second year architecture friend asked me to draw her something that more or less summarizes her experience in architecture school so far. I think most architecture or design students can relate.

Stickers, phone cases, notebooks, and studio pouches can be found on my Redbubble.

“Jurassic Park: The Ride” Eric Heschong, 1992

When Jurassic Park was released in 1993, it was only a matter of time before the film’s eponymous fictional theme park became part of a real one. In fact, director Steven Spielberg said a Jurassic Park attraction preceded the film’s release. This exciting water-based attraction takes guests to Isla Nublar, where they’re exposed to magnificent prehistoric beasts and sufficiently-saturated with water. This concept art by Eric Heschong shows off a scene featuring the massive brontosaurus. The ride culminates with a climactic confrontation with the T-Rex and an 85-foot drop. Spoiler alert: you will get wet.

Art ©️Universal Creative / The Goddard Group

“Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges”

Set in the fishing village of Sweet Haven, (the setting of the classic Popeye comics) Popeye and Bluto’s Bilge-Rat Barges sends guests on a tumultuous voyage through the seas around town, and straight into the epic rivalry of Popeye and Bluto. Built with the promise of soaking guests in the Orlando heat more than any other ride in town, this exciting and well-themed rapids attraction has been a staple since the opening of Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort in 1999. This concept art, which isn’t reflective of the final queue building, shows a more built-out incarnation of the fishing village, complete with nods to the comics everywhere you look. Initial plans also called for a Hoop-Dee-Doo-esque revue as part of the Sweet Haven land-within-a-land.

Art ©️Universal Creative / The Goddard Group

Rather than improving stats, gaining a level in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game expands a character’s repertoire of moves, providing more intricate and more punishing attacks the farther you go. Stats can be increased by buying certain items in shops, with new stats chosen by the player. This method of gaining moves and stats was included to allow a sense of progression throughout the game, without either A) stopping gameplay to allow the change in stats to be distributed, or B) allowing a player to statistically progress without ever having to actually complete a single level (as money is only kept if a level is completed, unless it is spent in that same level).