John Wardley is a retired consultant who specialised in concept design and development for the Theme Park and other mass tourism and leisure industries.
He was instrumental in the master planning and detailed design of Chessington World of Adventures in Surrey, the considerable success of which led to its owners, the Tussauds Group, subsequently acquiring Alton Towers in Staffordshire. He was then involved in the Group's major development program at this attraction which included concept work on the Runaway Train, Haunted House, and the world-renowned Nemesis Roller Coaster. As a result, Alton Towers became acknowledged as Britain's number one theme park.
He has subsequently created award-winning rides and attractions for theme parks around the world.
John Wardley's early background in the film industry (he created the special effects for five of the James Bond films) equips him with a deep understanding of what entertains the British public. His experience in constructing and performing stage illusions led to him to collaborate with the late Geoffrey Thompson at Blackpool Pleasure Beach to create the long-running magic spectacular "Mystique", which ran for nearly 20 years! As illusion consultant to the first production, he designed and created many of the illusions used throughout the entire run, including the incredible finale, where the entire cast of the show vanish onstage, and instantly re-appear amongst the audience.
He devised the "Magic Factory" concept, the first of which opened at Oakwood Park in Wales at Easter 2005 and has subsequently been rolled-out to theme parks around Europe. This interactive play/entertainment facility allows children to perform big magical illusions, and for their parents to photograph them doing it.
John acted as story and script adviser on the four-hour major BBC TV drama serial "Have Your Cake", in which the lead character's professional career is based on his own.
Recent projects include rides for Alton Towers, Heide Park, Gardaland and Thorpe Park, as well as acting as consultant to Merlin Entertainments for the development of their other attractions.
(To read a fuller biography, click on the link below to download an article in the magazine of the European Coaster Club "First Drop")
text © John Wardley