We’ve interviewed Jon from our creative team to find out a little more about the magic behind our brand NEW theme world, Underwater Kingdom…
What involvement have you had in the development of our new theme word Underwater Kingdom?
Underwater Kingdom was the vision of our managing director Alexander Dabell. He had a dream of creating a magical theme world where you could breathe underwater and immerse yourself into a colourful and stylized world under the surface of the sea.
Part of my role has been to help Alec and the team visualise his dream, and over the past year I’ve been working hard to bring to life the characters within the story. Our craftsmen are now working hard to help our characters take up residence in our new magical theme world.
Where has the inspiration come from for each of the unique characters?
The characters were an initial concept and from there we have applied the personality or a place for them to sit within the new world we are creating. We have a lot of creative people who work here at Blackgang and often discussions or meetings have inspired a new character. Other times I’ve gone away to sketch in our ‘Tech den’ and some of the characters are loosely based on members of staff here at Blackgang Chine, but I’ll keep it to speculation as to who’s who.
Without revealing too much, who is your favourite character?
My personal favourite characters are our two Piranhas who will be our guard dogs for a specific part of Underwater Kingdom. I’ve always been drawn to characters that are essentially cute monsters. It’s just far more interesting for a designer to take a creature that is in real life, normally deemed ugly or grotesque, and create a charismatic character from their unique appearance.
Why should visitors come and see this magical new theme world?
I think it’s exciting to see how the park is developing, seeing the breadth of history to the park, and previous iconic characters, I’ve often found myself looking through the original designer’s sketchbooks. I feel they have helped to inspire the new projects. We want to keep the unique and somewhat quirky charm to our new characters whilst bringing new technology, lighting and interactivity to the attractions. When the project has come together it will be a very vibrant and immersive addition to the park! We’re all excited, so we hope our visitors will be too.