Archive for Large Park News

Special 2014 Large Parks Preview

March 1, 2014 No Comments

By Chad Emerson Over the last two decades, the domestic large park industry has largely stalled in terms of building new theme parks.  While there are several exceptions like the 1999 opening of Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando, domestic large park expansion has primarily been limited to mini-parks inside existing parks (think Universal’s Wizarding […]

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Special 2014 Large Parks Preview

January 1, 2014 No Comments

by Chad Emerson As every new year rolls in, that means an entire year’s worth of highly anticipated new attractions at the industry’s large parks and resorts.  This year is no different as several of the amusement industry’s big players are slated to debut major rides aimed at driving attendance to record levels. This issue, […]

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Special Technology Feature
The Dangers of Technology-First Ride Design
Second of Two Parts

November 1, 2013 No Comments

One of the most intriguing aspects to wandering the vast halls of the annual IAAPA Attractions Expo is finding the latest “hot” products and “it” technologies.  Almost invariably, you’ll find something unique and interesting each year (hint:  just follow the Imagineers or Universal Creative employees around to see what catches their attention.) Several years ago, […]

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How Technology Is Changing the In-Park Guest Experience – First of Two Parts

September 1, 2013 No Comments

Since the inception of theme parks, one of the most frustrating experiences for guests has been waiting in line to enjoy a ride or show.  During peak periods, this wait can quickly turn from merely frustrating to almost unbearable as individuals wait for hours to experience what might be a five minute ride at most.  […]

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Food for Thought
How Large Parks Are Meeting Guests’ Culinary Expectations

April 4, 2013 No Comments

Food and beverage has always been a significant part of the theme park business. But, today it seems to be bigger than ever, as we are seeing some interesting trends in the growth and expansion of food and beverage at large parks. These trends include more upscale restaurants, grander theming, an eye toward healthier offerings, […]

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Making Room for the Value Customer at Universal Orlando

February 10, 2013 No Comments

Since opening in 1990, Universal Orlando has largely been playing catch-up to its theme park neighbor just down Interstate 4.  Much of Disney World’s attendance lead has resulted from the fact that it had a nearly two decade head start in opening and many more acres available to develop. Indeed, for many amusement industry observers, […]

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Walt Disney World’s New Fantasyland
Two Operational Issues Worth Following

January 3, 2013 No Comments

On December 6, the Walt Disney World Resort debuted the long-awaited renovations and additions to its iconic Fantasyland area in the Magic Kingdom theme park.  Dubbed “New Fantasyland”, the premiere included a new attraction, revamped rides and new dining options.  In addition, over the next two years, even more New Fantasyland attractions will arrive including […]

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The Return of The Family Dark Ride

November 1, 2012 No Comments

New rides in the amusement industry often seem to follow a cyclical pattern.  Over the years, a wide variety of ride types have ebbed and flowed in popularity, including times when simulators or 3D or raft rides were the latest hot option.  Through it all though two ride types have seemed to endure longer than […]

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Surcharge Attractions: How Parks Are Adding Value to the Visit

September 11, 2012 No Comments

Ever since Disney’s parks evolved from a “pay as you ride” ticketing strategy to a single admission approach, other theme parks have, by and large, incorporated that same method.  The advantage is that a facility can project admission revenue with more certainty because all entering guests, whether they ride one ride or 20, pay the […]

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New Attractions: Creating an Experience Inside the Experience

August 1, 2012 No Comments

There once was a time when an amusement park visit focused on all guests sharing a common experience that involved the park’s rides, shows and fair-like food.  At the country’s larger parks and resorts, those days are increasingly giving way to an enticing (and expensive) new option known as “premium experiences.”  This issue, The Large […]

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