Theme Park

1 introduction 3
> Discover NHTV
> Imagineering
> Internationalization
2 Why theme Park management? 5
> Developments and Trends
> Vision and Mission
3 Program & literature 10
> Curriculum Year 1
> Disney International Programs
> 1st Year Program
> Curriculum Year 2
> Thesis at a Theme Park
> 2nd Year Program
4 lecturers & their expertise 17
5 students & lecturers Working for you
(internships, projects, graduation assignments,
consultancy) 19
6 leisure management 21
> Academy for Leisure
> Industry
> Functions and Tasks
> Specializations
7 Partners & colophon 23
In this brochure you will find detailed information regarding the new Theme Park
Management specialization that is offered within the NHTV’s Leisure Management
program from - onwards. The Theme Park Management specialization is a
two year English taught specialization program that students can follow in their rd
and th years of study.
Over the past 40 years, the NHTV has established a broad network of partners within the
leisure industry. The NHTV maintains close ties with companies within the leisure sector
to identify industry trends and developments and to determine how these new develop-
ments can be incorporated in the educational curriculum. The Theme Park Management
specialization is an initiative that stems from specific demands from the theme park in-
dustry. Industry representatives have indicated that the theme park sector would benefit
from young professionals with specialized knowledge in keeping with the specific require-
ments of the industry.
 introduction
ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009 3
With 6,500 Dutch and International students, the NHTV is a medium sized university
with themed courses for the tourism and leisure industry. The five Academies of the
NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences offer a total of eleven Bachelor programs
and three programs at Master level in the fields of Digital Entertainment (Academy for
Digital Entertainment), Hotel & Facility Management (Academy of Facility Management),
Urban Planning, Logistics and Mobility (Academy for Urban Planning, Logistics and Mo-
bility), Tourism (Academy for Tourism), and Leisure Management (Academy for Leisure).
all of the nhtv’s courses share two special characteristics; internationalization and
imagineering. these themes form an interconnecting thread between the five aca-
Imagineering is a theme that aims to transcend traditional boundaries. In a world that
is materially satisfied, consumers are increasingly driven by meaning and experience.
In addition to ‘material production’ (engineering), ‘cultural production’ is gaining im-
portance. This trend demands a new type of company logic. How can companies and
organizations maintain a competitive market position from an experiential perspec-
tive? How do these dynamics affect their operations? The NHTV is focused on finding
creative solutions that are aimed at the experience economy.
Since its foundation in 1966, the NHTV has grown from a university offering educa-
tion in the field of tourism to an Internationally renowned ‘themed’ university. Cur-
rently, approximately 10% of the student body come from foreign countries. The NHTV
is also successful in recruiting professionals from overseas and is actively engaged in
numerous joint ventures with partner institutes across the globe. The core of our in-
ternationalization activities occurs within the curriculum itself; students are prepared
for careers in an international context. The curriculum is mostly provided in English
and assignments have an international orientation; additionally, students and staff
can gain experience abroad.
this combination of factors has allowed the academy for leisure to offer its students
a specialized program in theme Park management; a result of close cooperation with
industry partners that makes the most of nhtv’s international network.
The core of our
activities occurs within the
curriculum itself; students
are prepared for careers in
an international context.
4 ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009
The leisure industry is a dynamic industry that cannot afford to merely maintain the
status quo. In our daily lives, our level of involvement in the culture of animation,
stories and enjoyment is rapidly increasing. The industry itself is confronted with
fast-paced developments that require intelligent responses to change. The importance
that the contemporary consumer attaches to leisure pursuits is reflected by an incre-
ased dialogue between the industry and society as a whole.
The current forces within the leisure sector can be described as an increase in education,
prosperity and digital technologies on the side of the consumer and an increase in the sup-
ply of leisure products from the industry. The consumer has become more mobile and is
able to cross greater distances with increased speed. From the social-cultural perspective,
the consumer is less connected to the traditional pillarization of [Dutch] society. Escapism,
thrill-seeking and an increased sensitivity towards hypes and trends are common compo-
nents of leisure behaviour. For the theme park industry this presents the problem of balan-
cing the demands of irreversible changes and developments amongst consumers with the
need to maintain a traditional base of authentic values.
The importance that the
contemporary consumer
attaches to leisure pursuits
is reflected by an increased
dialogue between the
industry and society as a
ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009 5
 whytheeprkngeent
develoPments & trends
di scover nhtv…
i magi neeri ng
i nternati onali zati on
On the supply side we see a proliferation of choice in the leisure market. Through the
integration of culture, the arts, entertainment and retail, theme parks are competing
on a generic level with other suppliers of experiences. In choosing a leisure product,
the consumer has access to many alternatives that would not have been considered
before – a day out to the Efteling will be compared to a range of other recreational acti-
vities that are on offer. Such hyper-competition puts pressure on parks to differentiate
themselves. Over the last few years we have seen a spectacular reaction to this pres-
sure; attractions are becoming larger, more extreme and wilder; the themes on which
the attractions are based are achieving an incredible level of perfection.
Despite these developments, the industry is slowly approaching its limits. The demand
for the spectacular requires equally spectacular investments. The ever-shortening pay
back periods mean that big ideas are rarely economically viable. The upward spiral of
consumer expectations and the reaction from the leisure industry to consumer de-
mands would suggest that everything is becoming an experience. Theme park mana-
gers are concerned about the consequences of this commoditization process. To coun-
ter this negative upward spiral, broad scale innovation is seen as the remedy. More
than ever, theme parks will be dependant on the imaginations of those working in their
If we consider the demographic of an ageing population and a changing family con-
figuration, then we can predict that the profile of a typical visitor is gradually set to
change. This will require versatility from the market as a whole. From a social / cultural
perspective, society is also undergoing change. The influx of non-Western immigrants
has increased significantly over the last decennia and will continue to be a positive
influence in the years to come. Increasingly, these immigrant populations are adopting
a similar pattern of consumption to their indigenous neighbours. It remains a chal-
lenge for the industry to rightly cater for the diversity of tastes amongst these new
More than ever,
theme parks will be
dependant on the
imaginations of those
working in their
Proli ferati on of choi ce
need for i magi nati on
demograPhi c develoPments
6 ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009
Technological developments in information, communication and transport systems
increase our awareness of the global economic, political and cultural space that we
find ourselves operating in. The media brings us into contact with a broader, global
market of leisure experiences. Programs on The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon show
us what kind of leisure facilities we can expect in the years ahead. The worldwide sup-
ply of symbolic products is interwoven with the local space that we inhabit in our daily
lives. As the world première of Walt Disney’s Wall-E is shown in far away New York, the
merchandise can be bought locally in Loon op Zand.
Though technological advancement creates enormous possibilities for the theme park
industry, it also has a homogenizing effect on the supply of leisure facilities. Global
operators are quick to occupy a cultural space and exert pressure on the local supply
of facilities. The main shopping street of Amsterdam could be replaced by a multitude
of similar streets in Copenhagen or London. It is a challenge for the leisure industry to
react against this homogenizing global tendency; to create and maintain plurality in
the supply of leisure experiences. Through choice and composition, it is the consumer
who will compose a personal repertoire of leisure activities to match a unique identity
and an individual means of expression - uniformity is not the goal.
More than ever, the industry will be driven by a need to supply consumers with unique,
differentiated worlds of experiences in which the visitor can retreat for a period of time
from the confrontational demands of the outside world. This requires the free, creative
spirit of the imagineer and the drive to convince and persuade by communicating the
visions that such a spirit can summon. To quote Walt Disney; “If you can dream it, you
can do it”.
technologi cal develoPments
homogeni zati on
i f you can dream i t…
ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009 7
The Theme Park Management specialization has been developed in response to these
industry trends and developments. Although the theme park market has reached ma-
turity, the scientific knowledge of the industry is in its infancy. As yet, there are no
university courses in Europe that specialize in the dynamics of attractions and theme
One of the critical success factors of the market is the establishment and maintenance
of an innovative capacity. This requires managers who understand company processes
and who are able to tackle problems from new perspectives. The paradox is that the
expansion, interconnectedness and homogenization of the leisure industry increases
the demand for generalist managers who operate within their specialized domain. Ma-
nagers will have to fully comprehend the market in which theme parks operate in order
to understand how content should be developed for these businesses.
8 ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009
vi si on

One of the critical success
factors of the market
is the establishment
and maintenance of an
innovative capacity.
Due to the fact that
academic interest in this
subject is in its infancy,
the Academy sees a long
term strategic interest in
the specialization of Theme
Park Management.
The Academy for Leisure, specifically the department of Leisure Project Management,
aims to construct a bridge between practice and theory in the management of theme
parks. Both the Academy as well as experts from within the industry have identified a
gap between theoretical knowledge and the application of knowledge within the pro-
fessional field. By providing domain specific knowledge and skills, the Academy aims
to prepare students for management positions within (international) theme parks.
By design, the curriculum that has been developed for this purpose has an interna-
tional orientation. Global trends will impact future policy in places such as Aarhus
(Denmark), Sevenum (The Netherlands) and Rust (Germany), to name but a few local
Due to the fact that academic interest in this subject is in its infancy, the Academy
sees a long term strategic interest in the specialization of Theme Park Management.
Not only will this specialization be the first publicly accessible course in Theme Park
Management in Europe, the research programs of the Academy will also lead to addi-
tional market differentiation. The PhD research initiative of Pieter Cornelis, regarding
the impact of new attractions on the performance of European theme parks, will form
the basis for knowledge development and distribution. This research program will also
introduce students to academic research applied to their chosen domain. The produc-
tivity program, developed by Sandra van Lohuizen, will be featured prominently within
the educational and research activities.
The aim is to accept fifteen to twenty students onto the Theme Park Management pro-
gram annually; there are ambitions for growth with an emphasis on quality rather than
quantity. Admission to the specialization in Theme Park Management will be subject
to some critical entry requirements that aim to admit the best students only. This will
guarantee that Theme Park Management students possess a healthy level of ambition
so that they can enjoy the best that our education has to offer. Their input will contri-
bute to the (academic) ambitions of the Academy for Leisure.
ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009 9
mi ssi on
 progr&literture
10 ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009
Participants explore networking opportunities with Dis-
ney leaders; and earn real-world experience with one of
the most admired companies in the world.
This program is more than a work opportunity! The pro-
gram offers many learning opportunities including Colle-
giate Courses, Professional Development Studies and Dis-
ney Exploration Series. Each of the Disney College Program
Collegiate courses is focused around an area of Walt Disney
World Resort expertise and is designed to give participants
a comprehensive experiential-learning opportunity that
will provide them an unparalleled enhancement to their
academic and professional career. All of these collegiate
offerings are recommended for credit by the American
Council on Education (ACE).
In addition to the ACE-accredited courses, participants
may have the option to participate in Professional Deve-
lopment Studies, Disney Exploration Series, and/or a num-
ber of additional learning activities. Participants also may
utilize resources in one of the Disney Learning Centers at
the Walt Disney World Resort, which contain books, videos
and computer-led learning activities that could enhance
their educational experience.
For more information about Disney International Pro-
grams, visit
Internship Assignment
In addition to the courses taken through the Disney Educa-
tion Program, students choose an internship assignment
that is offered by the NHTV. The assignments are related
to the knowledge domains within the Academy for Leisure
- these being storytelling, productivity and (the influence
of) new attractions. In order to complete these assign-
ments, students will conduct field research within one of
the theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort.
ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009 11
the Program ( 2009-201 0)
The third and fourth study year (the first and second
year of the Theme Park Management specialization) are
divided into four terms of five weeks. During the first
three terms, the students are offered study modules.
During the fourth term, students have the opportunity
to apply for an internship experience at the Walt Disney
World Resort*. The fourth term of the fourth year is a
preparation period for the graduation placement.
* Students must apply
curri culum year 1
> A1 (5 weeks): Context, Introduction to Attraction and
Theme Park Management
• Introduction
• The role of visitor attractions in tourism
• The visitor attraction product
• The visitor attraction market
• The business environment and visitor attractions
> A2 (5 weeks) Development
• The development process and the role of feasibility
• Factors influencing the success of visitor attracti-
• Financing visitor projects
• Designing visitor attractions
• Project management
Storytelling (capita selecta Hench, Jeffers, Mikunda, Wright)
> B1 (5 weeks): Management
• Human resource management and management
• Strategic marketing and implementation of marke-
ting strategies
• Financial and operational management
• Managing quality
• Managing change and planning for the future
> B2 (5 weeks) Internship Preparation
internship / working & studying
at the Walt Disney World Resort
(near Orlando, FL)
This Disney-designed, work-integrated learning opportu-
nity allows students who are sponsored by U.S. colleges or
universities on a J-1 Academic Exchange visa to participate
in an internship at the Walt Disney World Resort. Students
spend five to seven months working at the Walt Disney
World Resort while taking coursework through the Disney
Education Program and/or distance-learning classes from
their sponsoring university.
During their internship, participants will work in front-
line roles such as hospitality, full-service food and be-
verage, merchandise and operations. This allows them to
build transferable skills that include relationship building,
problem solving and written and verbal communication.
curri culum year 2
> C1 (5 weeks): Marketing & Branding
• Interpreting the development of the visitor attrac-
tion product
• Developing marketing strategies and plans for
theme parks
• Strategic brand management
• Marketing visitor attractions: a collaborative ap-
• Theme park pricing in a new century: the Central
Florida market revisited
> C2 (5 weeks): Customer Service
• Customer expectations and perceptions in services
• Managing visitor impact
• Managing temporal variation in visitor attractions
• Service recovery
• F&B / show management at theme parks
> D1 (5 weeks): Research
• Interpretation and attractions
• Rediscovering the imagination: meeting the needs
of the ‘new’ visitor
• Starting out: research plans and proposals
• Forecasting and measuring demand for theme
• The range of research methods
> D2 (5 weeks): Preparation for Thesis (Individual
Research Proposal)
The final component of the Theme Park Management
specialization involves a 20 week placement period at an
(inter)national theme park. The student will graduate by
completing a research assignment that will lead to the
submission of a written thesis.
Lesson Formats
The Theme Park Management specialization includes the
following lesson formats:
> Classes; each week the students attend a two hour class.
> Projects; during the first year of the program the stu-
dents are given an intensive integrated project in each
block. In the second year the intensity of the projects
are reduced because the students will be working
simultaneously on an extensive practical assignment
for a European theme park.
> Cases; (one per block, a two hour discussion that
stems from a prepared case); connected to the block
theme, each block includes a discussion around
a case. These cases are prepared at home and are
(mostly) discussed by visiting lecturers.
> Assignments; in the first year of the program the as-
signments are short and the students work in pairs. In
the second year the projects are integrated practical
> Workshops; a workshop is made up of one or two half
day sessions and allows students to work on material
independently. Workshops take place under the super-
vision of a (guest)lecturer. Workshops are compact,
intensive submersions in subjects connected to the
block theme.
ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009 13
Blocka1 Blocka2 BlockB1 BlockB2
Classes Context Imagineering management

DisneyLanguage Charrette


assignments Paper mcDisneyization
Storytelling&Theming rollerCoastermath

Workshops DefiningThemeParks


Guestexperience& Safety
Fieldtrip Park1+2 Park3 Park4



Internship Preparation
Writtenexam Writtenexam Writtenexam Portfolio&
Project Project Project assessment
:s1 vvzv vvocvzmtheeprkngeent
12 ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009
BlockC1 BlockC2 BlockD1 BlockD2
Classes Marketing & Branding Customer Service Research
Marketing & Branding
Delight Our Customers
(Re)discovering Integrated Case /
a Theme Park the Visitor Charrette

Cases Why Content is King

assignments Various Commissioners Various Commissioners Various Commissioners
Blue Ocean Strategy
Food & Beverage

Writing Your Research


Workshops Theme Park Pricing
Show & Entertainment Guest Satisfaction

Management Research
Joint Promotions Managing Visitor Impact Functional SPSS

Fieldtrip Park 1 + 2 Park 3 Park 4

EAS Amsterdam / Rome
IAAPA Las Vegas

(Emerging Leaders)

Thesis Theoretical Paper
Individual Research

Written Exam Written Exam Written Exam Portfolio &
Project Project Project Assessment
ixn vvzv vvocvzm theeprkngeent
ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009 15
> Field trips; every year, the students visit at least four
European parks. The theme parks that will be visited
depend on changing circumstances. To date, the follo-
wing theme parks have been visited during field trips;
Movie Park Germany, Bobbejaanland, Toverland and
the Efteling.
> Building your network; in the first year of the program
students visit the European Attraction Show (EAS; in
2009 the event takes place in Amsterdam, in 2010 it
will take place in Rome) and take part in the Ambas-
sador program. This program offers the opportunity to
establish contacts in the industry allowing students
to build and expend their industry network. In the
second year of the program, students visit the same
trade fair but participate in the Emerging Leaders
program, a unique educational program for industry
experts. All students visit the IAAPA Expo in Las Vegas
(2009; the location for 2010 is yet to be announced).
> Internship; in the first year of the program students fol-
low on orientation internship at Walt Disney World Resort
near Orlando, FL. Alternative destinations include Ferrari
World Abu Dhabi, a number of enterprises located in vari-
ous Asian countries, or a European theme park of choice.
If the student’s internship is purely operational, the
students will also follow classes at a university which
is affiliated to their internship company. For stu-
dents that are not working in an entry level position
this condition does not apply. In the final year of the
program, students graduate at an attraction or theme
park in Europe or elsewhere. The NHTV acts as an
agent to find suitable internships for students. Work
placements are supervised intensively from the NHTV
by internship supervisors (orientation internships) and
graduation supervisors (graduation internships).
> Testing; during their studies, students create and
maintain a portfolio. Assessment conversations are
conducted in block B2 and block D2. Each block ter-
minates in a round of written examinations and the
results of all projects are assessed.
14 ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009
ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009 17
reinoud van assendelft de coningh has a broad range of industry experience on
which to draw. After a series of director positions in the theatre world, Reinoud
switched to the theme park industry as head of commercial affairs at the Efteling. In
this function Reinoud managed marketing, sales, public relations, corporate identity
and events to name but a few of his many responsibilities. After a two year position
as commercial director of holiday on ice, he established his consultancy bureau in
1996. This bureau is active in the leisure industry and Van Assendleft & Partners
have an extensive base of clients that include Ouwehands Dierenpark, Madurodam,
Phantasialand and the American Six Flags. Currently Reinoud is an associate professor
in Creative Leisure Networks and an active member of the Education Committee
of EAS, the European arm of IAAPA. What’s more, Reinoud was chairman of IAAPA’s
Marketing Committee from 1995 to 1997.
Phone: +31-765332095
16 ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009
li terature
Anton Clavé, S.A. (2007). The Global Theme Park Industry. London:
Cooper, C., Fletcher, J., Fyall, A., Gilbert, D. & Wanhill, S. (2005).
Tourism: Principles and Practice. Harlow: Pearson Education.
Fyall, A., Garrod, B., Leask, A. & Wanhill, S. (2008). Managing
Visitor Attractions, New Directions. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Hench, J. (2009). Designing Disney. New York: Disney Editions.
Jeffers, C. S. (2004). In a Cultural Vortex: Theme Parks, Experience,
and Opportunities for Art Education, Studies in Art Education,
45(3), pp. 221-233.
Kotler & Keller (2008). Marketing Management (13th Edition). New
York: Prentice Hall.
Mikunda, C. (2004). Brand Lands, Hot Spots and Cool
Spaces: Welcome to the Third Place and the Total Marketing
Experience. London: Kogan Page.
Price, H. (2005). Walt’s Revolution! By the Numbers. Orlando: Ripley
Swarbrooke, J. (2002). The Development and Management of Visitor
Attractions. Second Edition. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Veal, A.J. (2006). Research Methods for Leisure and Tourism, a
Practical Guide. Harlow: Prentice Hall
Wright, A. (2009). The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s
Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World; An Imagineer’s-Eye Tour.
New York: Disney Editions.
Wright, A. (2007). The Imagineering Field Guide to Disney’s Animal
Kingdom at Walt Disney World; An Imagineer’s-Eye Tour. New York:
Disney Editions.
Wright, A. (2006). The Imagineering Field Guide to Epcot at Walt
Disney World; An Imagineer’s-Eye Tour. New York: Disney Editions.
Wright, A. (2005). The Imagineering Field Guide to Magic Kingdom
at Walt Disney World; An Imagineer’s-Eye Tour. New York: Disney
4 lecturers&theirexpertise
All lecturers and members of staff within the Theme Park Management
specialization have a broad experience of working with and within the industry;
they are enthusiastic and have a natural affinity with attractions and theme parks.
It is this love of and passion for the theme park industry that sets the tone for the
Theme Park Management specialization. Apart from the core staff members, who
will be presented below, several workshops and cases will be facilitated by various
industry veterans.
The core staff members of the Theme Park Management specialization are:
hubert-Jan Janssen is a senior lecturer at NHTV, he has developed the minor program
in Retail and Merchandise Management which he currently manages. Core subjects
of this minor are the development of retail within the leisure industry and the
development of leisure experiences within traditional retail industries. Hubert-Jan is a
member of the Leisure Project team and one of the members of the Leisure Research
team at the Academy for Leisure. His research activities and interests pertain to retail
and merchandising within the leisure market in general and within theme parks in
Phone: +31-765332814
ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009 19
sandra van lohuizen is the general manager of the Leisure Project Management
specialization of the Academy for Leisure. She is the contact person and coordinator
of the Theme Park Management program. Sandra provides lectures in project
development for theme parks, leisure areas and multi-functional accommodations.
She is researching the theme of productivity in theme parks because, in addition to
creativity, productivity is a key success factor for theme parks. A component of this
research is the development of a benchmarking tool that will facilitate comparisons
between parks. The goal of this initiative is not only to identify best practices in
terms of productivity, but also to gain knowledge of how to strike the right balance
between the dynamics of creative innovation and the financial stability of theme
Phone: +31-765332811
18 ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009
frank cornelissen has gained experience from a number of functions and projects
conducted for the theme park industry. He has worked on projects for the Efteling
and Movie Park Germany and has conducted research into the effects of intellectual
properties, theming and storytelling on theme park visitors for StarParks Europe.
Currently Frank is working as a tutor in marketing and entrepreneurial skills and
he is responsible for the consultancy activities of the Theme Park Management
department. An important component of his current function involves critical
appraisals of attraction concepts and the assessment of their (financial / commercial)
feasibility. Frank is also the project leader for, a young digital
information platform that spans the broad field of leisure and leisure project
Phone: +31-765332680
Pieter cornelis has worked at the Efteling as research director from 2003 until 2007.
In this capacity, he has been closely involved in Efteling’s diversification strategy for
media, accommodation and theatre. In 2007, Pieter initiated a PhD research program
to identify the influence of new attractions on the performance of European theme
parks. He has developed a research matrix that is currently being tested by a number
of medium-sized theme parks in the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany,
England and Spain.
Phone: +31-765332971
5 students&lecturersworking


NHTV can provide a helping hand by carrying out assignments or answering specific
questions for companies within the industry. This assistance can be in the form of
practical assignments, an internship, a graduation assignment, a fourth year project
or a consultancy task. The students are eager to gain valuable practical experience in
the industry and have up-to-date knowledge which is relevant for completing as-
signments and conducting research. Our students are appreciated for their flexibility,
creativity and their problem solving mindset.
Our Theme Park Management lecturers are also available to apply their expertise on an
assignment or question from the industry. They can provide intensive supervision and
coaching for students, they can continue the development of existing concepts (from
students or other parties), and they can implement entire feasibility studies or market
research initiatives.
In addition to the compulsory elements of the study curriculum, the program includes
a flexible study element called “Leisure for Life”. This gives the student the freedom to
select specific tasks that connect to the development of a range of competencies that the
student wishes to acquire or sharpen.
Practical Internships involve the assistance of a manager in a company. The student also
works independently on a pre-defined internship assignment. The internship can be
conducted from a number of departments within an organization but must involve an ap-
propriate level of difficulty – a level that is suited to an HBO / university education (back
office level).
During a graduation internship the student works on a company assignment or an on-
going management project within the organization. The student is completely responsible
for the realization of this assignment or management project. A graduation internship will
Our Theme Park
Management lecturers
are also available to apply
their expertise on an
assignment or question
from the industry.
Practi cal assi gnments ( rangi ng from a number of hour s to a number of weeks)
Practi cal i nternshi P ( mi ni mum of 20 weeks)
graduati on i nternshi P – thesi s ( a mi ni mum of 1 8; a maxi mum of 26 weeks)
20 ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009
This involves answering a
question from the industry,
solving a problem within
the industry, or working out
a concept for a company in
the leisure sector.
also involve operational tasks at junior management level.
For the written thesis, students work independently on a project for the company.
This will involve the preparation and implementation of research or the writing of
a policy document. The student may have a work place in the company from which
to conduct research or may arrange regular meetings with the client to discuss the
progress of the research task.
In the fourth and final year of their study, students work for 15 weeks in a project
team on a practical case. This involves answering a question from the industry,
solving a problem within the industry, or working out a concept for a company in the
leisure sector. In the fourth year students operate as independent consultants; the
results of their work are reports that can be applied in practice. Fourth year projects
are conducted from the NHTV, the only requirements from the client is the delivery
of the project brief in which the practical problem is defined and to conduct (interim
and final) performance assessments with the project group.
In addition to our students, our lecturers are also willing to share their knowledge
with the industry. Generally speaking, consultancy tasks go hand in hand with pro-
jects that are implemented by students. Nevertheless, depending on the relevance
of the assignment, lecturers can also provide consultancy services autonomously.
Often supported by talented students, our experts have completed feasibility studies,
organised and participated in brainstorming sessions, and developed concepts and
marketing strategies.
The practical assignments, practical internships, graduation internships, fourth year
projects and consultancy for the specific field of Theme Park Management is coor-
dinated by Sandra van Lohuizen. For more information you can contact Sandra by
telephone: + 31 (0)76 533 2811 or by e-mail at:
fourth year ProJ ect
ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009 21
 leisurengeent
academy for lei sure
The Academy for Leisure has a student body of ap-
proximately 1800 students. This makes it one of the
largest academies within the NHTV. Recently the Aca-
demy for Leisure has been awarded the Special Quality
Mark for Imagineering by the NVAO (Dutch Flemish
Accreditation Organisation). Our academy aims to be
the centre of expertise and excellence in the field of
Imagineering, which we define as “value creation and
value innovation from the experience perspective”.
This stands for the creation of meaningful experiences,
based on underlying values and aimed at transforma-
tion. Within this process, we strongly focus on stimula-
ting the development of competencies such as imagina-
tion, creativity, leadership and vision.
i ndustry
There are large sums of capital in circulation within the
leisure industry. In the Netherlands consumers spend
approximately one quarter of their purchasing power on
leisure products. To address the increasing demand for
quality products that fill our precious free time, leisure
providers are broadening the scope of their developments.
In this way theme parks are becoming much more than
parks with attractions. They are the stage for famous
musicians and they are the host of a range of public
and commercial venues. Leisure Management is a broad
management program that offers courses in English and
Dutch. Even outside the leisure industry, companies are
discovering the competencies of our graduates; creative,
professional imagineers.
functi ons
The program of study prepares students for a number of
professional roles within the leisure industry. These func-
tions range from project managers, marketeers and entre-
preneurs to imagineers, researchers and trend setters.
sPeci ali zati ons
A student can develop competencies within the following
> Event Management; a student can specialize in the
organization of public events, corporate events, con-
gresses, trade fairs, exhibitions and charity events.
> Sports Management; a student can specialize in the
sports industry to become an organizer, manager and
marketer of sporting events, sport complexes and
sporting experiences.
> Leisure Project Management; a student can specialize
in the development, realization and management of
(inter)national multi-functional centres of areas with
a broad supply of leisure products.
> Management of Creative Industries; a student can
specialize in the development, realization and ma-
nagement of (inter)national multi-functional centres
of areas with a broad supply of leisure products.
The Theme Park Management specialization is offered ex-
clusively to students who have chosen for the Leisure Pro-
ject Management track for their post-foundation studies.
Even outside the leisure industry, companies are
discovering the competencies of our graduates;
creative, professional imagineers.
22 ThemeParkmanagement| Leisure Project Management 2009

to ensure the quality of education and to
maintain a secure connection to current industry
practice, the nhtv’s academy for leisure works
closely with a number of renowned educational
institutions and leading companies from the
industry. the theme Park management program
has close ties with the following organizations:

This brochure has been produced with
the utmost care. The information
contained in this brochure is based
on the academic year 2008-2009.
The NHTV does not accept liability
for any errors in this brochure and
maintains the right to make changes
and adjustments to the Theme Park
Management program. The contents
of this brochure remain the property
of NHTV and may not be duplicated or
made publicly available through print,
photocopy, microfilm, audiotape,
electronic media or any other method
of duplication without prior written
consent from the publisher.
nhtv Breda university
of applied sciences
Academy for Leisure
Pieter Cornelis
Frank Cornelissen
Sandra van Lohuizen
Sandra Reusen
Oscar de Souza
graphic design
Emma van Lohuizen
Frank Cornelissen
The Walt Disney Company
March 2009
Academy for Leisure - NHTV Breda
Archimedesstraat 17
4816 BA Breda
The Netherlands
Phone: +31 76 533 22 03
Fax: +31 76 530 22 47
Opening hours:
Monday to Thursday 07:45am - 07:30pm
Friday 07:45am - 05:30pm