Published: August 26, 2011 at 12:21 PMPersonally, I think knowing the secrets and tricks of attractions and areas, makes me MORE impressed, because it gives me an idea of the kind of work put into the project by so many people. But I can understand why they'd hesitate to inform people about most of the bigger stuff.
It's easy to ask this question to theme park aficionados like ourselves, but ask someone who likes theme parks but isn't so crazy on details and you'll get a whole 'nother answer.
Published: August 26, 2011 at 12:27 PMI also love finding out how they created the attractions. I was amazed, when watching a documentary on the Travel Channel on Disney, about how an imagineer used his son's building toys to create a model for Soarin during a Thanksgiving holiday. I mean...wow. To hear how they make the magic come to life is just as interesting to me as riding the ride itself.
Published: August 26, 2011 at 12:43 PMIt makes me have a more personal connection to the ride and to look for little things I might not have noticed before.
Published: August 26, 2011 at 1:13 PMApart from certain technological elements (new ride systems, the occasional new effects technology), there's no "big secret" to creative development of attractions beyond the obvious: it's about the process. There's no magic widget or technique that will make an attraction good, it's about the collaborative development process, and how that can bring a story or experience to life through the cause-and-effect, checks-and-balances of the *process* of design.
Which is a hard thing to summarize to someone :)
It's like when people ask me: "what software do you use to design theme parks?" -- the same software that every other design industry uses. It's not some "secret software" or magic elixer that solves problems -- it's the collaboration of numerous talented people in multiple disciplines, focused on the same goal, that solves problems and creates magic.
The most pertinent "secret" I've ever discovered about attraction design are Mickey's Ten Commandments -- which aren't a secret, and apply to EVERY project we do EVERY DAY, no matter what park or attraction or part of the world we're working in.
Published: August 26, 2011 at 1:23 PMI've got a Haunted Mansion blueprint at home, and it's still my all-time favorite.
Published: August 26, 2011 at 1:50 PMI feel that I am MORE likely to enjoy an attraction based on technical detail. Take Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey as an example. I've rated it my worst ride at IOA due to severe motion sickness I, and the rest of my family, received on the ride. However, I still admire and respect the attraction to a great extent because of the technology. Yes that is the principal reason why I was ill but I was able to get a glimpse at how the ride was meant to work and operate - giving guests the experience to fly.
Published: August 26, 2011 at 2:13 PMI really like knowing how it was put together... this is something Walt understood and used to great effect for both his movies and his parks. Watch those old Walt segments of his TV show where you see him parading around models and sketches.
That said, what I don't want to know is the plot. So, I avoid "spoilers" until after I've experienced an attraction (or a movie, for that matter). Nor do I want to know every single effect. I want to say, "how'd they do that?," at least some of the time. For instance, I avoided recaps/previews of what was exactly on HP & the Forbidden Journey until I rode it. I knew some things, including that it uses a Kuka arm, but knew neither the plot nor exactly how the arm would be used (brilliantly, I might add). Basically, I like knowing how it's done, but just tease me at the beginning. I can always learn more after I've tried it.
Published: August 26, 2011 at 3:13 PMwhy are you asking this question on a site about theme parks and how they work?
Published: August 26, 2011 at 4:10 PMI like to learn more about a ride before I ride it, so I can know what to expect. Besides, sometimes you cant see anything on certain ride videos.
Published: August 27, 2011 at 4:07 PMI personally love knowing any and all details about theme parks. It doesn't ruin the magic for me - it makes it more magical because I know the how behind the result. It also keeps well-loved attractions fresh, because you'll never know everything there is to know about an attraction. Spoilers don't bother me at all (even in movies!). Nothing beats the actual experience of the attraction, so no matter how much you read about it, you'll still have the emotional experience of being there when you see the real thing.
Published: August 29, 2011 at 12:50 PMKnowing the secrets of how an attraction works doesn't ruin the ride for me, but having a moment of wondering how they pulled something off and not knowing certainly makes me appreciate an attraction more.
Published: August 30, 2011 at 7:23 AM"I can't get these pros to give up their secrets"
Why do you need to know? It is the same thing with magicians in that once you know, the trick is ruined. I really don't need to know how the trick works. You probably already know the tricks for the smaller or older attractions. The newer attractions are a mystery, but probably not that hard to crack. This is an issue of money and how much a company is willing to pay to make it work.
The secret that even Disney seems to not figure out is how to make a better park than Disneyland. They keep missing the mark with the exception of DisneySeas. Every other park is a disappointment.
Published: August 31, 2011 at 8:33 AMTrying to figure it out is one of my favorite activities when in an attraction. I can't really sit back and enjoy it until I have it pegged.