With 7 of the top 25 most visited theme parks in the world housed right here in Orlando, it’s pretty clear they they are doing something right to keep people coming back. Those 7 parks include SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and at number 1 overall, Magic Kingdom park. So what factors contribute to the success of these Orlando theme parks?
Safety & Security
When theme park managers from parks around the world were asked to rank 15 success factors on a scale of 10 (very important) to 1 (very unimportant) in a study regarding success factors of theme parks, quality, and safety and security were rated the highest with an average value of 9 out of 10. The interviewees noted that ‘safety and security’ has to be considered as a basis factor of course, but users expect adventures and experiences in an artificial environment at a calculable risk.
A Wide Range of Attractions
The pinnacle of a theme parks’ success following the inherent need to make guests feel safe and secure is their rides and attractions. The idea behind a theme park is to offer an escape from reality and an immersive experience that takes them away from their everyday lives. Not only do the rides have to offer memorable experiences, but they must be successful in a way that makes guest want to return over and over again. Modern theme parks incorporate multi-sensory experiences that engage all the sense that offer unique experiences where the main goal is to provide unforgettable memories. Other attractions feature a personalized story fit for each guest; but all rides and attractions often base their success on whether people want to keep coming back.
Themes and Intellectual Property
The success of parks like Universal Studios hinges on their intellectual property, like Universal Orlando features Harry Potter or The Simpsons. Guests want to spend their time with their favorite characters, and attractions that focus on popular books, movies, TV shows. Intellectual property gives theme parks an upper hand in branding and bringing in people who want to keep coming back. Without a good IP, a park is just an amusement park, not a “theme” park. To immerse guests into the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for example touches on the emotions and connections of those who grew up with and are loyal to the franchise.
Capacity Control and Queue Management
Nobody likes to wait, especially while trying to enjoy their vacation. Yet, with the evolution of queue technology, time seems less wasted when we are being entertained in line while waiting to jump on our favorite roller coaster. As mentioned in our article about how theme parks manage queue lines, guest satisfaction at a theme park relies on the estimated wait time vs actual wait time, but more modern parks have incorporated a sense of suspended reality through design, from lights and sounds to architecture and props, which create excitement about what is happening around them, and stimulating the senses to feel like they are being occupied while waiting. With the right design principles, customer expectations and emotions can be managed.
Innovation and Redesign
Technological innovation keeps the wheels of a theme park rolling. Occurring continuously, the need for innovation and redesign doesn’t just increase competitive advantage, it helps improve processes, like managing queues for example, and it helps lure guests in by providing them with something new and exciting. Imagine if the majority of roller coasters we ride today were still the wooden coasters of the past… technological innovations have made roller coasters safer, smoother, and overall more fun with thrilling drops and exhilarating loops. According to the study about success factors of theme parks, “A continuing process of innovation and redesign hedges success against changing patterns of customer behavior and fading customer loyalty.”
All of these success factors and more are tied together to create and improve the most popular and beloved theme parks we continue to visit today. Check out what’s new and improved at Orlando’s top theme parks and shop discount Walt Disney World tickets, Universal Orlando tickets, and more!