Themed Experience at UCF prepares creative minds to be the next generation of leaders in the themed experience industry.
Pulling from the strength and diversity of UCF’s College of Arts and Humanities, established programs in the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management and College of Engineering and Computer Sciences, and from the direct connection to leaders in the field, this unique program takes advantage of the university’s ideal location in Orlando, the international hub of the themed entertainment industry.
UCF’s Themed Experience graduate programs are designed to teach the unique creative skills, processes and concepts utilized to design and produce themed environments such as theme parks, zoos, aquariums, themed retail, dining, museums, virtual worlds and exhibitions. Throughout their coursework, students gain first-hand experience in creating a space where guests interact with an environment designed to convey a narrative. Students of themed experience work on projects running from single kiosks to complex, multi-narrative theme parks where they develop an understanding of planning, production, story, design and concept development.
Themed Experience track graduates will be qualified to work as an art director, show producer, designer, production artist, or creative executive for the production of themed experiences. Many graduates may work directly for theme parks, but others will find employment in exciting and innovative specialty firms producing industry-related items like custom rides, exhibitions, retail, theatrical experiences, effects, events and museum exhibits, as well as for companies that provide support and services for the themed experience industry.
UCF’s master’s of science degree in themed experience is the first and only stand-alone degree program of its kind at a public university. As a two-year, 33-credit graduate degree, this program is designed for working professionals, returning students, artists, producers, designers and writers looking to build a strong themed experience creative portfolio.
The MFA Theatre track in Themed Experience is a three-year, 61-credit program that focuses both on theatrical design as well as the creation of narrative environments. The program culminates in a thesis project where candidates will express their own, unique artistic and academic voice. There are also extensive internship credit opportunities that will help students connect with the themed entertainment industry.
Themed Experience Advisory Council
Students at UCF gain first-hand experience with leaders from the Walt Disney Company, Universal, Falcon’s Creative Group, Orlando Magic, Herschend Family Entertainment, Feld Entertainment and others
View the Themed Experience Advisory Council
Themed Experience students create concepts for Alterface’s The Wander
September 13, 2023 Five students in UCF’s Themed Experience program gained hands-on industry experience by collaborating with Alterface’s new interactive technology, The Wander.
The Art of Attractions
March 30, 2023 UCF’s themed experience students are learning the methods behind entertainment magic.
Professor and Director on Themed Experience Program at UCF
March 21, 2023 Peter Weishar, professor and director of the Themed Experience programs at UCF, spoke with InPark Magazine about the strides he is making in bringing formal education in themed experience to students at UCF.
Former Disney Imagineer Patrick Brennan Joins UCF Themed Experience Program Faculty
January 10, 2023 UCF welcomes creative powerhouse Patrick Brennan as a visiting instructor, to inspire innovation and imagination in the next generation of themed experience creators. He joins founding program director of Themed Experience Peter Weishar on the faculty.
Director of UCF’s Themed Experience Programs Wins a 2022 TEA Award
November 21, 2022 Peter Weishar received a Peter Chernak Distinguished Service Award from the Themed Entertainment Association, considered to be one of the greatest honors in the themed experience industry.
UCF, Universal Creative’s Collaboration in the News
October 25, 2022 UCF’s Themed Experience Program recently unveiled their collaboration with Universal Creative to bring a hands-on, immersive learning environment to its students. This collaboration will allow students at UCF to learn from Universal show producers, engineers, creative directors and more. The collaboration has been well-received by students, faculty and fans alike....