Profile

Patsy Tillisch is an experienced leader in the areas of design conception and development, production, field art direction, and operations for theme park attractions, animal exhibits, themed retail and food facilities, and performance venues. With her depth of experience for the past thirty years, she has become a specialist in the area of themed animal habitats and zoo themed resorts. Ms. Tillisch is the owner and co-founder of Total Park Projects, a design and project management company which has been profitable for all its years since inception. In her role at Total Park Projects she has led many design teams and produced projects for zoos and theme parks across the US and in Hong Kong, Singapore and the UAE, including US-based projects such as the Houston Zoo, Phoenix Zoo, Jacksonville Zoo, Nashville Zoo and Ocean Park Hong Kong, where she managed the overall design for their US$750 million redevelopment project. In her role at EDG, Ms. Tillisch directs design development, project programming, and production of themed projects of all sizes for zoos and theme parks around the world. Recent work has included:

  • ZN Animation Destination Resort and Theme Parks -concept design and theming of four parks in separate regions across China,
  • Huang Guo Shu Falls Tourism Development – project design plan and story development,
  • Xi'an Entertainment City, China – re-design for a one-time use exhibition into a branded, mixed-use development and entertainment district,
  • Mirador Pacifico Visitor Center - operational advisement on the layout and design of the new visitor center for the Panama Canal,
  • Sanya Water Park - guided the AECOM Beijing team on the development of a new water park resort,
  • Scenic World, Australia - study of the feasibility of expanding their park and providing design development for the expansion that incorporated an environmentally sensitive yet exciting plan,
  • Wild Animal Sanctuary, UAE – design development and operational programming of new animal park and resort

Prior to starting her own company, Ms. Tillisch joined the Walt Disney Imagineering team where she worked on Disney's Animal Kingdom from the blue-sky concept phase through the park's construction and opening. As the Associate Producer for the overall park, she was responsible for establishing and managing the schedule and budget for the park's entire creative team. In addition to providing day-to-day direction during design, Ms. Tillisch also organized and led safaris across Africa and Asia, researching unique habitats and meeting with world-renowned conservationists. Active in the field during construction of the park, she was responsible for field art direction, and she produced Camp Minnie-Mickey, a land designed for children. Throughout the project, she managed the multi-disciplined interface of design between the creative, architecture, ride, and show teams, providing day-to-day leadership and motivation to keep the project moving forward.

Ms. Tillisch' experience and career in theme parks began back in 1976 with Six Flags, Inc. where she was an operator, supervisor, and show producer for Astroworld in Houston, Texas and later with Magic Mountain in Valencia, California where she relocated in 1984. During her tenure at Six Flags, she was responsible for managing large operating teams in various departments of the parks. She also led the research and industrial engineering team in park efficiency analyses to maximize the capacities achieved throughout the park annually.

Ms. Tillisch' diverse experience, from concept design leadership to direction in the field, contributes to her resourceful and enterprising way of doing business. As an energetic and passionate team leader and an effective communicator with artists, owners, and construction contractors alike, she has proven herself to be a creative troubleshooter and problem solver. She is dedicated to producing imaginative and entertaining projects, on time and on budget. Partnering with all key stakeholders, her personable and broad-minded approach to targeted problem solving ensures the successful completion of any project.