amusement park

Theme park attendance numbers for 2015 released by TEA

Thanks to the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) we have our 10th year of accurate theme park growth trends and analysis. The latest report covers the theme park industry in 2015 including estimated attendance figures for the top parks. Estimated since most theme parks don’t report… Read More »Theme park attendance numbers for 2015 released by TEA

IAAPA Expo – An Amusement Park Fan Favorite

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IAAPA, the international organization for amusement parks and theme parks, held its annual convention last week in Orlando. Always a glitzy affair the IAAPA Expo is actually open to the public, but admission costs are steep (well over $100/person) and it’s primarily a trade show, not a traveling carnival. That said, there ARE some rides to sample here (think spinner ride, several simulators, and an odd carousel or two), as well as giant inflatable bounce houses and other amusements.

This being a trade show, you’ll find vendors here displaying new technologies such as debit card readers, or the latest in automated cotton-candy vending machines (a neat trick, actually). They are hoping to talk to buyers from theme parks, regional parks, and even family fun centers, all of whom are looking for a way to make their attraction memorable and unique (and profitable). A lot of business gets done at IAAPA in this fashion.

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But it’s not all work; there is always a chance to play. One corner of the cavernous convention center is given over to the latest in ticket-spitting games of chance (and skill?), and there are many video games and pinball machines here too. The new Star Trek pinball machine is a clear winner, but I’m less certain we’ll see the standup arcade game for Plants versus Zombies everywhere (you play as the pea shooter). Namco had a nifty wraparound dome screen in a cockpit; it’s like being on Soarin, but the screen is sized just for one person and you’re right next to it.
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A Hair Raising Analogy

Imagine you’re going out to your favorite Italian restaurant where you got engaged, had your wedding reception, and now eat every Sunday with friends and family for a lovely Prix-fix meal. There’s the roving accordion player, the bottles of imported Chianti on every table, and… Read More »A Hair Raising Analogy

Wonderland – China’s Magic Kingdom Ghost Park

If Disney has any concerns about the viability of its theme parks in China, you need look no further than Wonderland. Construction on Wonderland, located outside of Beijing, started in 1998 but was never finished. Instead all that’s left is a shell of a Magic… Read More »Wonderland – China’s Magic Kingdom Ghost Park

Some Insight into Themepark Ticketing

While we all wait for official news of Blackstone’s purchase of Busch Entertainment’s parks, including Sea World and Busch Gardens, here’s a fascinating bit of insight into how big theme parks do their ticketing from someone who has helped Disney manage its strategy. If an… Read More »Some Insight into Themepark Ticketing