Majaland at Kownaty Holiday Park
Embracing the world of Maya
Illuminating a self-contained space of 8000 sq meters
A team from Painting with Light led by Luc Peumans designed and specified lighting for the whole of the new Majaland theme park area at the Kownaty Holiday Park in Poland.
The attraction is another enterprise by the Plopsa Group, the theme park division of Belgian entertainment and children’s TV specialist Studio 100 and is a new joint venture with Netherlands-based Momentum Capital. Majaland is a self-contained space on the 205-hectare Kownaty site, located just off the A2 highway, the main artery connecting the two thriving metropolises of Berlin in Germany and Warsaw in Poland.
Painting with Light was asked onboard after their various work at Studio 100 theme Parks in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany and on other high-profile themed projects like Comics Station in Antwerp and the multi award-winning Basilyszek Dark Ride in the Legendia Park in Katowice.
The brief included illuminating all elements of Majaland, a self-contained space of around 8000 sq metres, including bumper cars, the Viking Roller Coaster and numerous other rides, together with restaurants, shops and retail spaces, a special theatre area and the cyc - a large painting circumnavigating the whole interior space. There is also an adjoining exterior garden including trees and foliage, and the lighting detail included safety lighting and assessing the amount of Lumens needed to meet all the health and safety stipulations.
“The idea was to bring colour, movement, fun, drama and action into the space with the lighting, and also make sure there was a noticeable difference in the different worlds of the characters” commented Luc, “with it all being in one space this was challenging”. The other challenge was to deliver a spec that would last, and be good value well into the future, using technologies that will still look good and be relevant in 5- and 10-years’ time.
The project involved over 400 lights – from classic LED globe lightsources to recessed celling lights, up and down lighters, etc. to more ‘traditional’ theatre lighting and some of the latest effects luminaires, carefully selected from over 20 manufacturers – including Iguzinni, Lux Lumen and Philips for the environmentals, to Chauvet and Highlite for the theatrical fixtures.
Majaland was an interesting and challenging space to light from many aspects explained Luc. It tells the story of four key Studio 100 characters, some of whom are already favourites in Poland.
Maya the joyful Bee whose film ‘The Honey Games’ has been a big hit on Polish TV this year is the main one, after whom the attraction is eponymously titled - and she’s joined by Plopsaland’s cutest, Heidi, a talkative 8 year old orphan who lives with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps who is also prominent in children’s hearts and minds, bringing the shimmering, snowy ambience of the Swiss mountains to the picture.
Wickie the Viking provides the third character – while he’s not yet so well known in Poland – his presence provides a big contrast and required a rockier background landscape filled with robust and harder rides based around the rough and tumble world of adventurous Vikings! With Vickie came his friend, Bumba, the Small Viking!
The overall space therefore had to be lit dynamically to evoke these contrasting ambiences, with the warmer glow of snow-capped mountains, chalets and ski runs on one side of the park to the forested hills and rocky terrain of Scandinavia on the other, highlighting the very different path of a Viking journey.
So a mix of colour temperatures ranges from the cosy tungsten glows of 2400 and 3200K to the crisp, starker daylight hues from 6000 - 8000K
While the brief included utilizing as many LED fixtures as possible for all the obvious reasons like longevity and low ongoing running costs, Painting with Light’s detailed pre-specification feasibility study revealed that the cost of utilizing premium LED sources – those offering the best and most reliable life cycles with a good, bright output - was still a very expensive option
The park is open for over 300 days a year and they calculated the amount of time the lights would be on versus how often discharge source bulbs would need to be replaced. While the LEDs initially have 20,000 hours plus life-time, when they reach the end of that, the whole fixture has to be replaced.
So, as it proved more cost efficient to replace selected bulbs at 20 Euros a pop rather than the whole fixture after 5 years, a mix of LEDs and discharge sources was chosen to deliver the client’s requirements in a budget-friendly but highly effective lighting package that combined style and practicality.
“While quality LED solutions are great for certain entertainment applications, they were not necessarily the ‘catch-all panacea’ for this one,” commented Luc, on the combined spec of LED and discharge sources.
One of the general fixtures chosen was Highlite’s Showtec Studio Beam CDM a 150-Watt CDM unit, of which around 200 are utilized, fitted with a selection of narrow, medium and wide lenses. Rosco Permacolor dichroic glass filters are used the create pure and long-lasting colours.
For the general areas including walkways a medium beam spread beam and a neutral warm colour is used, contrasted with various character statues dotted around the place that are accented and highlighted in wider beamed fixtures in different colours.
With the periphery cyc being such a strong visual feature of the space, how it was illuminated was critical to the overall design, and for this, Highlight Amaro 100 LED floods are deployed, 30 of the 6500K and 16 of the 3000K versions.
Luc has used these successful for another Studio 100 installation at Plopsaland in Belgium and for theme parks in Germany and the Netherlands.
Some specialty fixtures are used in certain areas like the bumper cars. First, they were generally lit – with Studio Beam CDMs - then accents were added to animate the space with Chauvet COLORdash AccentQuads – a palm-sized LED wash which can be tucked into virtually any place. Around 60 are used around the whole lighting scheme.
On the back sides of the rollercoaster rises are statues standing on small islands which are also highlighted with COLORdash AccentQuads as is the restaurant, set beneath a large scenic tree trunk which is base lit with very effective flourishes of COLORdash.
” It’s an extremely useful little fixture with compact dimensions and a great output for the size” commented Luc.
The theatre occupies one corner of the park and features an all LED rig, a practical option as it’s not in continuous operation so didn’t need the same lamp longevity calculations applied.
The LX bars are fitted up with Chauvet Ovation E-910 FC (full colour RGBA-Lime) LED Profiles for stage front lights, and a series of drawings down the side walls are highlighted with shuttered beams from six Ovation 260WW (warm whites) with lenses, rigged in the house.
Other lights in here include Chauvet COLORdash PARquad18s and STRIKE 4 LED blinders and there is a pair of confetti cannons.
Lighting for the 20-minute show staged in the theatre and starring the park characters was programmed on a grandMA onPC which is linked to the QLab PC running the show playback.
The general lighting across the Majaland site is activated via an on / off controller, and the COLORdashes were all originally programmed via a Chauvet R1 DMX-RT recorder. The complete park lighting automation is controlled through a Wago controller, a brand used throughout all the parks worldwide.
Painting with Light developed some bespoke LED fire torch fixtures for the Viking area which comprise a moving blade with a flickering light source.
Constructed by Decat in Belgium, these have a fabulous theatrical torch effect and also an efficiently calculated downlight which is integrated. Painting with Light originally developed this custom fixture with Decat and the Plopsa theming team for the Plopsaqua waterpark, and it is now used in almost all Wickie themed zones of their parks.
The overall challenges included ensuring that everything was installed correctly by the local contractors, after which Painting with Light went in and added the various dichroic glass filters which constituted a large custom order delivered by Rosco and undertook the programming and commissioning of the equipment.
The team was working on the project for around a year including on site for the final days of the installation some of which entailed working at heights in cherry pickers and other access plant.
Jochen Kerkhofs was the associate lighting designer and also oversaw the installation and commissioning on site together with Ivar van Dijk who co-ordinated all the local technicians. The theatre show was programmed by Jeroen Opsteyn and the project was also managed for Painting with Light by Wouter Verhulst.