UCF and Universal Creative join forces for new training course



University of Central Floridait is Program of thematic experiences and Universal Creationthe team that designs, develops and delivers attractions, shows, hotels, restaurants and resorts around the world for Universal Parks and Resortsannounce a unique and immersive learning experience available from the spring semester 2023.

Called “UCF/Universal Creative Lab,” the offering provides students with specially designed classes and on-site sessions at Universal Orlando Resort. Class members will also have the opportunity to interact with Universal producers, engineers, creative directors, executives, and other entertainment industry professionals in an effort to provide students with in-depth insight into the process. of design and development.

UCF continues its themed entertainment collaborations through its writers workshop with Meow Wolf members.

“People love the energy and thrill of epic stories and exhilarating adventures and Universal is an amazing place to build a career,” said Mike Hightower, president of Universal Creative. “The Creative Lab with UCF provides students with an immersive, hands-on real-world experience through instruction from our talented team. This kind of learning is great for UCF students, great for our theme parks and entertainment, and great for Universal Creative as we help grow and inspire the next generation of creators.

Additionally, the UCF/Universal Creative Lab will help aspiring theme park attraction designers and storytellers develop the skills and build the relationships needed to explore career opportunities while giving employers like Universal Parks & Resorts the opportunity to help shape real training programs that develop Talent prospects.

“Universal Parks & Resorts has worked closely with UCF for many years, providing learning opportunities for students and faculty,” said John Sprouls, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Universal Parks & Resorts. “The Creative Lab is a natural next step and we’re proud to support the next generation of themed entertainment innovators.”

The UCF Themed Experience program began in 2019 to meet the growing demand for creating experiences in the tourism, hospitality, and events industry in Orlando and beyond. Themed entertainment experiences extend beyond theme parks – to hotels, restaurants, retail establishments and even places like zoos and museums. The first cohort of UCF Thematic Experience graduates graduated this spring and quickly found themselves in an in-demand and rapidly growing industry in Central Florida before they even made it through the start-up phase.

“Orlando is the international hub of the themed entertainment industry,” says Peter Weishar, founding director of UCF’s Themed Experience program. “World-renowned organizations like Universal Creative are right here on our doorstep. We know our students need first-hand knowledge of cutting-edge innovation and industry best practices to become the next generation in themed entertainment. We are grateful to Universal Creative for sharing this vision. Weishar has over 20 years of experience leading academic programs and has held various positions within industry.

The first course will be offered to graduate students enrolled in UCF’s Thematic Experience program. A second course will take place in the summer of 2023 and will be open to graduate and upperclass students from any accredited college or university. Students will split their time between trips to Universal Orlando and on-campus workshops focused on developing original themed designs.

“This partnership will provide incredible opportunities for students,” said Jeff Moore, dean of the UCF College of Arts and Humanities. “Students in the university’s academic programs have benefited from interning or working at Universal over the years. This new collaboration ensures that these opportunities are open to a wide range of aspiring professionals in an in-demand industry.

UCF offers a Master of Fine Arts in Theater – Themed Experience and a Master of Science in Thematic Experience. This fall, 62 students are enrolled in the two programs.

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