Video games and theme parks have quite a bit in common — they're both engineered areas that encourage people to explore, even while controlling the overall experience.
All the same, it's rare to see a veteran game-maker break down all the lessons he takes from Disneyland and applies to video games. This talk by Scott Rogers from the 2009 GDC does just that, and now it's free to watch. At the time, Rogers was making games at THQ, though fittingly, he's now a senior interactive producer at Disney imagineering.
From Main Street to Pirates of the Caribbean, Rogers talks about design, storytelling, waiting in line, and how it all comes together to let people tell their own exciting stories. If you're interested in how games are made, it's well worth checking out.
Everything I Learned About Level Design I Learned From Disneyland [GDC Vault via Frank Cifaldi]