Winter Garden company creates cutting-edge steam machine for theme parks

Theme parks use steam for all sorts of purposes, such as thrilling special effects on a ride or show or setting a creepy or mysterious ambiance in an area. One surprisingly small machine can make that happen. 

"The big leap here is that there's no steam boiler. We just take water, introduce heat, get water vapor, combine it with compressed air and ambient air to produce this great stem effect with a much smaller facility footprint," said Steve Birket, President of Winter Garden-based Birket Engineering.

Birket said their Aerodymatic Steam Unit creates the same amount of steam as traditional theme park steam systems but makes it safer and in a smaller space. Conventional steam systems require rooms full of special equipment. 

"Traditionally, steam effects need a steam boiler. High pressure, high heat, something you need to be concerned about. Usually, a boiler is in its own room. There's boiler technicians, boiler certifications, boiler maintenance," Birket said.

The aerodynamic systems need none of that, and the steam that comes out won't scald you. Birket said they could custom-build it into new construction or fit it into an existing ride. It will soon be in place at a Florida theme park, though Birket couldn’t say which one. Their largest system is already installed at a theme park in Hong Kong.

"It's been very well received; it operates ten hours a day, and we haven't had any issues with it. I think they're really happy, and they're talking with us about providing some more."


Jason Diffendal, a theme park expert with, said a system like this would be very popular in Florida’s theme parks. 

"Once it gets out there in the wild and Imagineers start playing with it and see what it can do, they'll come up with additional ideas for where they can integrate it into the designs of new attractions."

Birket said they were set to install their Aerodymatic Steam system at a Central Florida theme park before the end of this year. Tharin White, a theme park expert with, said it would have clear uses in some Florida parks' upcoming plans. 

"Disney's D23 Expo is going to happen at the beginning of August. They're going to be announcing a ton of new rides and shows for the parks in Florida and California. I could absolutely see it showing up there, especially with the renovated new area that's supposed to be coming to Animal Kingdom, which is going to be themed supposedly to Indiana Jones."