What is the 'pecking order' of excitement for new theme park attractions?

March 17, 2023, 9:19 AM

Inspired by all the talk about what Disney will or will not do about Universal's Epic Universe in 2025 - plus what Universal is or is not doing at its other Orlando parks - I would like to ask...

What type of new attraction has the biggest pull with the public? How do attraction types rank in generating excitement?

Do dark rides outrank roller coasters? What about theater shows versus nighttime spectaculars? Where do meet and greets rank versus walk-throughs?

Are family coasters a bigger draw than record setters? And how much of a factor is IP in all of this?

Rather than just putting up a poll on this question, I would like to get a conversation going on what you see as the pecking order for desirability among theme park attraction types.

Fire away!

Replies (2)

Edited: March 17, 2023, 10:33 AM

I think this is an interesting question. I tend to get more excited for roller coaster additions, because it's more likely that I'll visit those parks in the near term - I don't get to the destination parks, which tend to open more dark rides, quite as frequently as coaster parks.

However, I think all things being equal, it's the IP that really creates the excitement along with any attraction that promises a unique experience and/or ride system/element. I'm not talking about the "biggest/fastest/most this or that" kind of claims, but a ride like Pipeline: The Surf Coaster looks incredibly intriguing. I do think combining popular IP with an interesting ride concept is also really interesting, like the rumored elevator-style ride system being rumored for the WWoHP attraction at Epic Universe or the rumored FoP ride system for a Wakanda-based attraction for Avengers CAMPUS. Attractions that combine a unique or interesting ride platform with a compelling story/theme are becoming many of the modern landmark theme park attractions, and I see that trend continuing.

Nighttime spectaculars and most shows offer little to me in driving me to visit a specific theme park, but are a nice add-on if there's something else new to experience.

Meet and greet are by far at the bottom of the list for me. I don't think I would ever go out of my way to visit a theme park because of a meet and greet. In fact, I find it absurd that people pay hundreds of dollars for special events just to take photos with rare characters (yes, we stood in a nearly 2-hour line at MNSSHP just to do a meet and greet with Jack Skellington and Sally - it was cool, but definitely worth the wait and missing out on exclusive park/ride time).

March 17, 2023, 12:37 PM

My personal preference are the dark rides. Roller coasters I can go to any Six Flags park and have a great time but themed dark rides get me super excited.

Universal Orlando is our preferred vacation destination for theme parks and we haven't looked at Disney in years. The biggest draw I guess would be IP / ride for us. Were not huge Star Wars fans but if we were Rise of the Resistance would definitely have made us go to that park. Similarly Avatar I couldn't care less and I'm sure both of those rides are amazing but I simply don't care enough about the IP to suffer to headache of a Disney park.

The biggest things I'm looking forward too now is the new Harry Potter ride at Epic and the monsters dark ride. If Disney ever builds a Rise style dark ride based on something more adult themed like Marvel then we probably would go to check it out. Guardians coaster is not enough and similarly the Tron coaster isn't enough to get me through the door. We find similar rides at Universal that are just as good if not better.

Not really on topic but my biggest wish would be that IOA would get the Jurassic World ride from Beijing. That looks absolutely amazing!

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