TJ Mannarino, Director of Art & Design, Universal Orlando, has been an active part of the entertainment community for over 25 years. He is responsible for the design development of all live shows and marquee events for Universal’s two world-class theme parks; three award-winning Loews Hotel resorts, and the CityWalk nighttime entertainment complex.
TJ came to Universal Orlando in August 1996. Among his many credits are the opening of Islands of Adventure and all CityWalk venues, working with Universal Motion Picture Group in the concept, development and opening of Grinchmas, spearheading the creative development of motion picture property attractions such as Hellboy 2, Van Helsing, Mummy, and Lost World, collaborating with the Macy’s team in New York to create and develop The Macy’s Holiday Parade for Universal Studios, and working with the Kern Company of New Orleans to design UO’s yearly Mardi Gras extravaganza.
TJ and his design team are most noted for their continued successes in the uniquely innovative design and development of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights. This month-long annual event has been scaring guests for over 20 years and features newly designed haunted mazes each year. The growth and success of this event has led to the recognition of TJ’s creative expertise featured in Travel Channel’s The Art of the Scare, and media publications such as Haunted Attraction Magazine, Fangoria, and Entertainment Design.
In the ten years prior to his arrival at Universal Orlando, TJ enjoyed a successful and diversified career designing for film, television, and live shows. Among the scores of projects he worked on were The Mickey Mouse Club for the Disney Channel, and Double Dare, Guts, and The Legends of the Hidden Temple for Nickelodeon.