A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts for the first time. I had heard a lot about the incredible details and effects, as well as the shortcomings, of this attraction for a year, and I was ready to judge for myself. I came away feeling that if I had never experienced anything like Gringotts, I would have been incredibly impressed. But after riding Spiderman, Transformers, Mummy, and Forbidden Journey on that same day, I felt pretty fatigued from screen-based attractions.
This raised an interesting question for me. What is going to be the future of theme park attractions as technology gets better and better? Just as with Hollywood, audiences are growing wary of CGI effects and crave at least a partial return to practical sets and effects. I believe the same thing is happening in the them park industry. The implementation of screens has most definitely added to the theme park attraction experience, but how much is too much? I believe that many would say that Gringotts has provided an answer, as the roller coaster-based attraction could have very easily used the same ride model as Spiderman or Transformers and relied on screens even more than those attractions. Universal seems to be responding with a King Kong attraction that incorporates more old-school animatronics and effects, but is this the answer in our increasingly tech-powered world? Are practical effects enough to get riders excited any more?
So, I want to know what others think. What is going to be the next big thing, even beyond ever-improving giant 360-degree screens? Is it going to be:
-A swing back on the pendulum to a more balanced screen and practical sets give-and-take?
-An increasing use of interaction/engagement to find ways to make each ride unique to the rider, i.e. Toy Story Mania or Men in Black: Alien Attack?
-A more modern take on practical effects, i.e. Seven Dwarves and their articulate faces?
-All of the above?
-Something I haven't listed or thought of?
I'm thinking beyond recent development like trackless rides or 3D vs regular; what is the next big revolution in them park attractions going to be??Tweet
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