Realistic services you wish theme parks would provide that have no chance of ever happening

Edited: October 9, 2017, 3:07 PM

Have you ever been at a theme park and thought of a service that would be great to have, but knew down deep it’s never going to happen?
Recently, some friends and I were walking past The World of Color viewing area. The show was starting in 15 minutes but we didn’t have reservations for any of the viewing areas. We asked a Cast Member named Dean to recommend a place to view the show under our circumstance. Dean did us a solid. He placed us in what I assume is an overflow standing area for companions of guests traveling in wheelchairs. I’d never been in such a fantastic place to see the show. There were fewer than a dozen people in the space that could have easily held another 20. As the lights went down all of people in our cozy little nook held up cellphones to record the show. One was even filming (I swear on my first edition copy of *Walt Disney's EPCOT Center: Creating the New World of Tomorrow* by Richard R. Beard) on a Motorola RAZR MAXX VE flip phone; our perfect view now blocked by bright LCD screens.
That really long set up is the basis for this post. I want to pose a question to you all. What REALISTIC (that’s the key word in all of this) service do you wish was offered in your favorite theme park? Here is mine:
How great would it be if during the preshow announcements the usual, “Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, in just 15 minutes… blah-blah-blah…” announcement they also stated the following – “For the enjoyment of everyone, the show you are about to see has been professionally filmed and is available for you to view for free on our website anytime you wish. So we now invite you to put your cameras away and simply enjoy experiencing [the name of show] with your friends and loved one.”
I know that is NEVER going to happen, but wouldn’t it be great? Wouldn’t it be amazing to see people in the moment enjoying the show and not worrying about getting the shot? Sure, parents will always want to film their kid’s reactions to the show, but there wouldn’t be a need to capture the entire performance –thus wrecking the view – If the park provided and promoted official and professionally filmed versions of the spectaculars and parades on-line.
So – the topic is realistic and no-chance-in-hell-it-is-ever-going-to-happen services you wish the parks offered. What’s on your wish list?

Replies (16)

Edited: October 9, 2017, 5:17 PM

Disney would charge you as part of PhotoPass, but having a free or paid professionally filmed version defeats the purpose of you coming to the show. Anyways, people will still film to document their own personal experiences. You can’t take that away from the guests.

What I would like is unicorns and a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

October 9, 2017, 6:06 PM

You say that it is not reasonable...but why would be super easy for them to do it...this seems to fall in the category of really good idea that I don't think they have thought through.

I would think that as an extension of the PhotoPass system, giving people their own ride through would be that extra special something that no other theme parks are currently offering.

Edited: October 9, 2017, 6:27 PM

As long as we are just theorizing cool services...what about a food/drink delivery service for people standing in line waiting for a ride. I have been in my fair share of hour+ waits and would have gladly paid a fee to get lunch or a snack delivered. Something like Uber Eats for the people queueing for a ride.

For that matter, let's get some bathroom facilities somewhere near the longest waits.

I know Disney has spent quite a bit of money making interactive queues, but one ride at Legoland knocked it completely out of the park by making the queue meander around a playground where the kids got to play and burn out their pent-up energy while the parents waited in line. This seems like a brilliant idea for other parks to emulate in their own special ways.

October 10, 2017, 7:11 AM

I want to see more mobile ordering. Six Flags is working on the infrastructure and WDW already has it. I used it at Salu Canteen and it worked perfectly!

Edited: October 10, 2017, 7:46 AM

"Disney would charge you as part of PhotoPass, but having a free or paid professionally filmed version defeats the purpose of you coming to the show."

I completely disagree Anton. Touring musical acts caught onto this years ago. Many bands offer concert goers either an opportunity to purchase an audio and/or video version of the concert they just attended or in some cases provide attendees with a code (only available to those who were at the concert) to download the show for free in the weeks following the performance. The ability to save, revisit, and re-live a show the audience just watched is a bankable product that sells pretty well. Disney could easily add recorded video to guests' PhotoPass accounts using their MagicBands in the show area, just like they do for ride videos and photos. Whether Disney wants to charge for this is another story though, and whether they want to give guests a copy of the specific show they attended (requiring additional production staff to film, direct, compose, and edit the videos, even more expensive if they wanted to parse different angles specific to where individual guests were seated in the show area), or just a generic canned video that is unlikely to capture nuances of the specific performance (volunteers, weather, modifications to the show over time) would affect the economics of such a venture. There are hundreds of well done, professional-quality videos out there of just about everything at WDW, and that has never stopped anyone from visiting the parks to see the spectacles live. Just like any other live performance, there's something to be said for seeing it in person versus from a recording.

Nonetheless, I doubt such an offering from Disney will change the use of mobile devices and other cameras during shows, since most recorders are not taping the show to necessarily watch it again (I do, but I recognize I'm not an average guest). Many guests are either doing a Facebook Live, recording to capture their kids' reactions to parts of the show, or some other motivation beyond saving for their own posterity. Honestly, I think many people record shows because they see other people doing it, and think they need to do the same.

October 10, 2017, 8:28 AM

You already contradicted yourself. Touring companies may have a “bankable” product if they sell it, not if they give it away for free even if part of the ticket price. PhotoPass is not free ever, yet if Disney wanted to sell you a copy, it would have done so. Why doesn’t Disney sell you the live streaming videos of its parades? They are perfectly filmed. Most Disney television specials only give brief exerpts.

You say there are hundreds of professional quality videos out there already. I watched many on YouTube. They aren’t that great. They are amateur with high end consumer quality equipment. Still falls short. The mystic remains and perhaps that’s why Disney doesn’t put them out.

October 10, 2017, 9:36 AM

How did I contradict myself? Some acts sell audio and/or video of live performance to the audience while others give it away for free. It's bankable in that they CAN sell it if they choose. Some artists give it away for free, but that doesn't necessarily keep it from being a bankable product. Not only that, but the websites you have to go to to retrieve the free copy of the concert is occasionally ad-sponsored or requires you to provide your personal information to download, acting as a money-making venture for the artist. The fact remains that this is something that has existed in the industry for nearly a decade now (even longer if you consider the Grateful Dead used to support and promote "bootlegging" of their concerts long ago).

You're right, PhotoPass is not free, but it's a 1-size fits all plan where there's no limit to the number of photos or videos you capture during a trip. So whether you get 4 show videos and 25 character photos it's the same price as a guest getting 1 video and 4 character photos. Disney would have to decide whether they wanted to make show videos an upcharge feature or integrated into the existing PhotoPass purchase. In either case, through MagicBand, Disney could easily control who gets these "professional" show videos by only pushing them to guests in the viewing area at the time of the show, just like concert goers are given download information during a concert (not public domain). So even if Disney were concerned about guests watching the videos at home instead of watching them in person, they have a built in mechanism to make sure these videos were "keepsakes" just for guests that were watching that specific show, and not simply available for public consumption - though I don't think it really matters since guests will still watch these shows live dozens and dozens of times. Also, the rotation and changing of shows will always keep people coming back even if they have multiple Disney-produced videos of the show in their PhotoPass account.

Disney has live streamed shows and parades, and have started doing more of it over the past year or 2 (broadcasted Rivers of Light multiple times), and they've routinely showed their Holiday parades live to tape on ABC, often in their entirety with alternating segments between DL and WDW.

You must not go on YouTube very often Anton, because there are literally hundreds of videos of the various Disney shows and parades. No, none of them are made with true professional video equipment, but there are some high quality versions out there, even some multi-angle productions. there are some folks out there that put a lot of time and effort into capturing really good Disney show videos.

I think the only reason Disney doesn't integrate these into PhotoPass, is that the quality from Disney would have to exceed that of what a guest could get on their own, and the cost to produce those videos would have to be offset either by overall PhotoPass revenue or supported by a show-video upcharge. People buy PhotoPass because it gives them something they can't necessarily get on their own with their personal equipment. Magic shots, integrated lighting, and ride photos are the key aspects of PhotoPass, and offering a generic show video (not specific to the performance viewed) that plays more like a commercial than an "I was there" moment, would not necessarily offer guests something they would be willing to pay extra for. On the other hand, specifically produced videos may be too labor intensive for Disney to produce, and may ultimately lack the quality Disney would want to put out there unless it were very expensive. You'd have to examine whether guests would want to pay an up-charge to the standard PhotoPass cost to add this feature, which again I think is a limited market, and has little to do with affecting guests wanting to see the shows in person.

October 10, 2017, 10:19 AM

Just to clarify - my original intent was that the video available on-line would be a generic recording of the show. A professionally edited, multi camera, high quality sound capture of the entire show from start to finish. Not the specific show the guest is viewing at that moment, but the best possible version of it. It would be FREE to all. Not linked to PhotoPass. I frequently watch recorded versions of Disney show and even rides on YouTube. The availability of these has allowed me to not worry about filming on ride video or recording parades/shows/spectaculars. Why would I miss the "in the moment" experience when there are so many great recordings already available on YouTube. I get to focus completely on the show in front of me, and see a usually good version anytime I want on-line.
I agree and stated so in the original post that people will always want to capture reactions of those they are with during the show. I just think it is a huge waste of time to hold up a cell phone to record Illuminations or Wishes.

Let's go for brainstorming with "Yes, and" and less "Yeah, but".

October 10, 2017, 11:00 AM

1. Run 3D rides and shows in 2D at scheduled times during the day. (Yes, parks can do this. I've walked through the Transformers ride in 2D during a Universal photo op for the press.)

2. Publish on their websites the nutrition facts for all food and drinks sold in the park.

3. Limited edition souvenir sales are limited to one item per admission ticket. Ticket holders must be present to buy.

4. Along the lines of Rob's screen-free show viewing, optional all-sitting and all-standing areas for fireworks, parades and area shows.

Edited: October 10, 2017, 11:21 AM

“You must not go on YouTube very often Anton, because there are literally hundreds of videos of the various Disney shows and parades.”

Who are you to say I haven’t seen YouTube. There are HUNDREDS, but mostly amateur quality productions. It’s a minefield of crap.

There’s another contradiction. So such crap exists and you think it’s fine stuff so the guests should be able to watch it for free without any concern about getting an official copy from Disney. Except it really doesn’t do much for most people because it’s crap. Disney could sell an official better quality product, but it won’t because they actually want people to visit the parks.

“they've routinely showed their Holiday parades live to tape on ABC, often in their entirety with alternating segments between DL and WDW.”

You haven’t kept up. Disney no longer has the Holiday parade show on ABC. They have the Disney Holidays spectacular shows that de emphasize the parades. They only show brief segments. They fill the show with crap teen musical talent from the Disney Channel shows that most people never heard about.

October 10, 2017, 11:28 AM

"I think the only reason Disney doesn't integrate these into PhotoPass, is that the quality from Disney would have to exceed that of what a guest could get on their own, and the cost to produce those videos would have to be offset either by overall PhotoPass revenue or supported by a show-video upcharge."

Exactly. That's partially why. They also want guests to actually visit the park too.

October 10, 2017, 2:04 PM

Reasonable parking prices. Except maybe Disneyland, the cost and demand for parking does not justify the price. $5 is plenty for regional parks, $10 is enough for most the major theme parks. At they very least, stop raising prices for a few years. Keep raising prices on everything else, but stop trying to make a profit from people before they even get out of their car!

Edited: October 10, 2017, 5:31 PM

1) Single rider lines at Seaworld for the 3 coasters ....
2) Walk on for Kraken during quiet times .... and no surprise it was not working again today !!
3) Cheaper close-up encounters ... $75 for the Orca encounter is way too expensive. Definitely worth about $50 at most.
4) Better (fairer) allocation of Disney fast passes for those of us not staying at resort hotels.
5) Cheaper fast passes at parks that charge you extra ...
6) Free parking ?? It’s $110 for a day ticket these days at the Orlando parks. And then they have the nerve to charge an extra $10 if you want premium parking.
7) ..... and finally ..... A Cedar Point style theme park in, or around, Orlando. We don’t really have any “wow” factor coasters. Mako being the best of a so-so bunch.

October 11, 2017, 5:51 AM

- Keeping guests informed when an attraction eStops. Rather than 30 minutes of "Sorry folks, it appears there are some critters causing a little commotion up ahead..."

October 19, 2017, 7:14 PM

Now that paying to skip the line is pretty much everywhere, how about designing new rides with queues that work more like Disney's Fastpass lines, where you actually go to the front of the line instead of up the exit ramp. Just using the exit creates two-way traffic in an area designed to be one-way, causing a lot of congestion and a backed-up queue to exit the ride which slows down loading, restraint-checking and dispatch.

November 1, 2017, 8:17 PM

I live in the south so nice powerful fans in queues would be nice. For some reason no parks have them.

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