Creating a Themed Environment for Halloween or Year-Round Thrills

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It’s that time of the year again, when theme parks create haunted houses and families transform their yards into graveyards, all designed to send tingles up your spine.
Even though they vary in their level of sophistication, both strive to accomplish the same thing – a themed environment that spirits its audience into another world, be it one full of goblins and witches.

For the average homeowner, creating a themed environment means a quick trip to a retail center to pick up a few Halloween decorations, then placing them in the yard.
But for a themed construction company, creating a themed environment takes a great deal of strategic planning, whether the company is creating a scary environment at a theme park for Halloween or a heart-pounding show of an erupting volcano that can be enjoyed year-round.

Themed construction companies use their experience and skills to make sure every element, from a mysterious low-lying fog to the sounds of chains rattling in the distance, come together to transport the audience.


Theme contractors combine a variety of mechanisms to create an affective themed environment. It can take a mixture of scent cannons, lighting, pyrotechnics, audio and water features to create the perfect brew. A successful themed environment takes the skills of a multitude of disciplines and a strong marriage of art and technology.

For this effort to succeed, every technological wonder and medium must be carefully choreographed to work together; one illusion simply can’t work without the other.
When it all comes together, the real magic begins. Guests enter a state of suspended disbelief – a state of mind where they suspend judgment and the implausible becomes plausible. It’s the time when guests sacrifice realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment.

You’ve created the perfect camouflage when a grown man screams when he’s attacked by a monster while walking through a maze, or when a young woman shivers in fear when lights flash off artificial cavern walls.

If you’re in the business of creating themed attractions, you know you don’t have to limit themed environments to Halloween and other special occasions. Guests go batty over themed environments year-round, no matter what the theme.

Best of all, a themed environment can be built just about anywhere. It can be constructed in the middle of a desert or in a bustling city, but when guests step inside, they’re transported somewhere else entirely. Skilled artisans can create a variety of themed environments, ranging from a natural setting with waterfalls and streams or to a more surreal environment in the most challenging landscapes.

At a California theme ride, guests enter a “dangerous” lost temple, only to discover hand-carved skulls and bones, hieroglyphics on statues and other artifacts.

At a California theme park, guests float into the past as they travel by boat through a jungle paradise. Outside the Lines completed the rockwork for a dramatic waterfall, temple ruins, facades and several iconic pieces, including a hand-carved 20-foot-tall head covered in thick, tangled vines at the park.

On the other coast, guests enter a giant tree crafted from a positive carved process to enter a restaurant at a Florida theme attraction. Once inside, they enjoy fine food under the eyes of gods that were hand-carved out of artificial rockwork.

When creating a themed environment, it’s important to work with an experienced team that specializes in special effects. Choose an industry leader that is skilled in multiple disciplines, such as pyrotechnics, underwater lighting effects, 3D projections, music, fog systems, lighting and dynamic water effects.

Your job will become even easier when you partner with a company whose expertise reaches beyond special effects. OTL can also craft unforgettable rockwork and water features to enhance and enrich your themed environment. OTL can also become a valued member of your team with its design, preconstruction and construction services.

With the expert design and craftsmanship of highly skilled architects and artisans, theme parks and other attractions can recreate any environment, making what might seem impossible, possible.

Whatever environment you experience or create, with the right combination of skills and expertise, you’ll have a fang-tastic adventure.

If you would like more information about creating a themed environment with rockwork, water features and special effects, please contact Hugh F. Hughes at Outside the Lines at (714) 637-4747, extension 151, or email OTL at