Once a design is approved, the fabrication process begins, just beyond Karges’ office space. The full-service manufacturing wing includes a machine shop, welding stations, computer numerical control routers and paint booths.
“If I have a problem or I need to know something, I walk through one door and ask the right people, and it’s taken care of almost immediately, which is cool,” Karges said. “And it’s always a chance to learn something.
“This is a team-oriented place. We all work on everything together. We’re all going to make sure each of us succeeds here, which is way better than feeling like you’re the only one responsible for something.”
One of Karges’ recent projects at Universal was the aluminum marquee for The Bourne Stuntacular, a new show based on the “Jason Bourne” film franchise. Karges called the design – featuring the attraction’s title in three shades of blue and varying amounts of raised lettering – both “fun and challenging.”
So was keeping the work a secret. Theme parks keep a lid on coming attractions until an official announcement is strategically scheduled.
“You’re working on stuff that you can’t talk about, which sometimes is the hardest part of the job,” Karges said. “The new Harry Potter ride was hush-hush for two years when we were working on it.”
To prove his point, Karges cheerfully preempted any discussion of future projects.
“There is a lot of cool stuff coming up. That’s all I can say.”
But Karges revealed his favorite experience related to the job.
“When you go into the park and you’re standing next to something that you’ve made, and a family comes up and takes a picture of it, you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s cool!’ The thing that I made that nobody thinks about is probably in hundreds, thousands of pictures on Facebook and Instagram.”
For Cory Karges, it’s another timeless memory. Only this time, it’s shared.