Vote of the week: What would convince you to visit more in 2012?
This week's chaos in the stock market illustrates how unsure even the rich folks in America feel about the economy. That's troubling news for anyone who runs a business, including the people running the nation's theme parks. When incomes get lean, vacations are among the first expenses cut from and the last restored to family budgets.
But... for the right experience at the right price, theme park fans will continue to find ways to afford visits to their favorite parks. What would it take for your favorite theme or amusement park to convince you to make a visit (or to visit more often) in 2012?
The new Star Tours drew visitors to Disneyland this summer, and won the Theme Park Insider Award for Best New Attraction.
That's our vote of the week. I'm giving you three options. They boil down to quantity, quality and price. Which of the three is the single most important factor that drives you to make a theme park visit, even when a family vacation's a stretch for you?
Theme Park Insider readers collectively spend about $3 billion a year on theme park visits, according to a survey I did a year or so ago. So you've got buying power, and you've got the ear of major park executives. Tell them what you want to see in 2012 and the future to win your business, even in a tough economy.
Do you want to see more attractions in their parks? Or are you okay with the number of options in the park, but want to see the parks eliminate some of the weaken alternatives in favor of new or improved attractions of higher quality? Or are you okay with the number and quality of attractions in the parks, you just need a better break on the price?
Then let's get specific in the comments. Address your comment to your favorite park, and tell us what you'd like the management do to win more of your business.
And, on behalf of the management around here (okay, that's me), thanks again for reading Theme Park Insider!
I picked more attractions mostly because it helps with the line lengths. Glad they added Little Mermaid and openned Goofy's Sky School so hopefully people will get out of my way so I can go on Toy Story Mania faster!
Bigger, faster coasters!!!
For me, it's 2 things that make me want to attend a park - new offerings (however small as long as they are of good quality) AND maintaining/refreshing the existing attractions.
Were already getting a crap load of rides next year, so lets just hope they are quality. For Universal and Disney (both FL and CA resorts), we are getting a total of 10 (5 at each state) new rides and attractions.
I say quality even though that can be a little treacherous since it's so subjective. We've had execs mistake "new" with "quality" at the expense of some great rides. But all in all, I would rather have a few awesome rides than a ton of mediocre ones. WWHOP is a great example of that. Forbidden is so awesome, Dragon and Hippo aren't even on my radar. It, along with Spidey, are enough to keep me coming back every year.
I voted for better attractions, but my feelings are actually a combination of better and more attractions. I feel like I can always find ways to stretch the dollar by dining and hotel choices, but there's not much you can do if parks aren't offering exciting new attractions. I feel that Disney World in particular has rested on its laurels too much in the past 3-5 years assuming people will go anyway. They're getting their act together now, but it's been too long.
Our family, with two elementary-age children, likes to visit local theme parks in Southern California. New attractions are nice, but I'd say the biggest factor is the visitor's experience. Being able to spend a pleasant day at the park without massive crowds and long waits is most important. Paradoxically, having new attractions with huge media and marketing hype (the new Star Tours, Little Mermaid ride) makes us less likely to visit more.
T-minus 61 hours and my 12yo grandson Zachary & I will be headed down to Disney World & Universal. The cost of driving the 2500 mile round trip will be $500 if I'm lucky. Add in 10 day theme park/water park Disney tickets and 2 day Universal tickets, and the cost is now in the OUCH range. Add in 6 days at Pop Century & 5 days at Caribbean Beach and the cost is now in the BOING range. Add in food, other entertainment, gifts and other expenses and I'm now in the DON'T ASK range. So people, give me a little help with cost, will you PLEASE.
Disneyland Resorts maybe great for the kids but at $80 a pop, I don't think so. I could feed my family on that for a week eating at Subway alone. I am not shelling that much times 5 just to get in and pay $15 a head to feed them. Also, there are not that many rides for me to enjoy there. I'm either too tall or too old.
find a way for members of the current and retired military visitors to eat at a discounted rate; while it is true we can purchase Disney tickets for a GREAT value we are NOT able to do the Disney Dining Plan with these tickets :(
My biggest gripe with theme parks these days has always been the price....
I go now because I love the theme parks in Florida. I would go MORE if I got a break in the price. It's that simple.
It would have to be discounting. Since I live in Southern California and Disneyland is only 15 minutes away, I decided to skip it this year. Why go this year when Carsland will open next year? Instead, I will visit San Diego and they offer lots of discounts to the Zoo, SeaWorld, and Legoland. Its a much better value to visit anything but Disney, although I do think the $139 special is a great deal. Maybe next year for Disney.
I feel like next year is going to be the year of the "Other Parks." Look at all the attractions going in next year. Hershey Park with a new coaster, Dollywood with a new coaster, Busch Gardens Williamsburg with a new coaster, Holiday world with a new water coaster, Sea World San Diego with a new coaster, Canada's Wonderland also getting a new coaster. There should be a lot to keep people out of Orlando. I imagine Disney/Universal will have to do some sort of promotion to bring those people in.
I'm all for quality over quantity. Discounting? Fortunately I get a little bit of a discount from work, but I feel for anyone with a family of 4... heck, anyone with a tight budget!
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