#IfIRanAThemePark - Fans share their top ideas for making theme parks better
Yesterday on Twitter, we had a little fun with other theme park fans imagining what we'd do if we had the opportunity to run a theme park.
Using the #IfIRanAThemePark hashtag, I offered a few ideas of mine, and then many of you responded with ideas of your own. Here are our Twitter followers' top 15 ideas from our @ThemePark feed, ranked by the number of retweets and favorites each idea elicited:
#IfIRanAThemePark I'd want my park to look like this.
#IfIRanAThemePark My in-park app would tell you the name of the song playing on the speakers nearest you. And let you buy it.
#IfIRanAThemePark Free WiFi throughout the park. Seriously, people, it's 2014 now.
#IfIRanAThemePark Christmas decorations would go up the day after Thanksgiving. No earlier.
#IfIRanAThemePark We'd never buy or install a spinner ride.
#IfIRanAThemePark Kids who meet the height requirement *exactly* go to the front of the line.
#IfIRanAThemePark All dark rides would include an original song.
#IfIRanAThemePark All food would be themed to its location in the park.
#IfIRanAThemePark Our employees never would have to take home or clean their own costumes.
#IfIRanAThemePark We'd create a custom ice cream flavor, available only in the park.
#IfIRanAThemePark We'll have plenty of benches throughout the park, and something interesting to see from every one.
#IfIRanAThemePark After-hours, hard-ticket event where everyone is *required* to come in costume and portray some character.
#IfIRanAThemePark It'd have a richly-landscaped, themed play area.
#IfIRanAThemePark All meals would be served on real plates, with real tableware.
#IfIRanAThemePark I would need to do a "research" trip to Tokyo Disney every year.
#IfIRanAThemePark It'd probably go bankrupt in a year, but it'd be a spectacular year.
Here are some our readers' top responses, again, ranked by retweets and favorites:
@futureprobe1982 — #IfIRanAThemePark No FastPass, no ExpressPass, no virtual queuing systems, period. Just lots of high-capacity rides to handle the crowds.
@Majrhavoc — #IfIRanAThemePark My Yeti animatronic would animate.
@futureprobe1982 — #IfIRanAThemePark It would be EPCOT Center, and I never would’ve ruined it in the 90s.
@Ademir818 — #IfIRanAThemePark I would not charge an arm and a leg for admission
@Jackintosh35 — #IfIRanAThemePark My annual pass would give me unlimited front of the line passes
@n8creative — #IfIRanAThemePark there would be only darkrides.
@JoeDrews — no lines. Only interactive waiting areas immersing you in the theme of the ride before you are called. #IfIRanAThemePark
@brettkyle — #IfIRanAThemePark Animatronics would take precedence over screens
@A_Coaster_Story — #IfIRanAThemePark I would never run a coaster with only 1 train.
@IndyMuttMom — Complimentary foot massages #IfIRanAThemePark
@thrillseekertx — #IfIRanAThemePark All my rides would have unique names, no exceptions. #whichViper #whichGoliath #whichSuperman
@SpaceScreamJohn — #IfIRanAThemePark every roller coaster would have on-board music
@urzishra — #IfIRanAThemePark make sure you can't see the parking lot from any of the rides.
@Majrhavoc — #IfIRanAThemePark I would not buy a Vekoma Boomerang.
@Stormin1977 — #IfIRanAThemePark I'd put full time restroom cleaners in each restroom.
What do you think about these suggestion? What would you do (or not do) if you ran a theme park? Let's keep the conversation going, in the comments, or on Twitter using the #IfIRanAThemePark hashtag.
And, by the way, if you actually do run a theme park, allow me to remind you that for any theme park improvement idea you see here on Theme Park Insider, you're free to take and implement it at your park.
#IfIRanAThemePark All the coins dropped in the park's fountains would be donated to local charities monthly.
Wow some many of these would not be cost effective and If you ran the Theme Park – you would be broke and losing monies… Just Sayin….
I like the ideas of not ruining EPCOT Center and having more animatronics.
If I ran a theme park I would have cast members help the disabled with their trays at the counter service restaurants.
if i ran a theme park i would listen to guest criticism seriously and act upon it
#IfIRanAThemePark I would quit.
If I ran a theme park it would be Universal Orlando after the construction of WWOHP
#IfIRaThemePark there would be no dark ride clones or any clones for that matter.
If I ran a theme park I would make a video game theme park and have dark rides that have screen and automactronics in one and a thrilling roller coaster with a great story and theme
I like the fourth one, "we'd never buy or install a spinner ride".
These are great ideas; wish I'd thought of some of them BEFORE taking a Six Flags survey asking what management could do to improve the park. I agree with the person who said s/he wouldn't buy a Vekoma boomerang. That's probably next on the list for Six Flags Great Adventure. After all, they have everything else; why not that - and why not name it Goliath despite the fact that there's already a giant inverted Vekoma boomerang by that name at Six Flags New England? After all, SFGA has rides with Batman, Superman and Bizarro in the title; to expect them to come up with something original is too much to expect. Oh, and if I were running a theme park, I wouldn't hire food servers whose command of English is so poor that they can't understand or answer basic questions about what's in a particular offering. As one with dietary restrictions, I find that unacceptable.
This isn't exactly related to the #, but my theme park wish is that a deal can be worked out between Disney, Universal, and Six Flags with their comic book rights.
"#IfIRanAThemePark All dark rides would include an original song." Amen to that!
If I ran Disney and Universal, I would open additional parks to relieve overcrowding and eliminate the 2 hour wait times for the most popular rides. I would open these parks in Dallas, TX because 50 million people live within a 10 hour drive of Dallas, and Dallas has a warm climate for most of the year. It costs $2,000 to fly a family of four from the midwest to Anaheim or Orlando. Many families skip Disney/Universal vacations or don't take them as often as they would like because the airfare is too high and the drive is over 20 hours each way.
IfIRanAThemePark I would optimize entertainment for my guests instead of making the guests work to optimize everything out of me.
Since I don't have a Twitter, I guess I'll have to post here.
Since I don't use twitter I'll play along here. If I ran a theme park...
If I ran a theme park, I would take 1/4 (25%) of the annual profits and put it in a special capital account and every two years I'd take that money and spend it on a new attraction that would either add capacity to the park or replace an older attraction that was no longer popular.
If I ran a Theme Park it would be in Colorado or Washington where people really wouldn't care about waiting in lines.
I would structure my admission around people's physical ability/desire to experience attractions. It's ridiculous that a little person or child who are not allowed to ride big thrill rides are forced to pay full admission. If someone is willing to come into my park and not ride anything, I'd be more than happy to sell them a discounted admission to do that.
You know what? I actually wish the old ticket books still existed…and people got a certain number of rides on things, and could buy more if they liked.
If I Ran A ThemePark -
-No exits that force you through merchandising shops or sponsor exhibits. No sponsors, especially not ones that buy bad stories.
If I ran a theme park, I would model future park concepts on Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure Resort in Orlando and Disneyland/California Adventure Resort in Anaheim: walkable resorts, high density concentrations of quality attractions, less filler, less waiting in line, less time lost hopping from park to park, more energy, more excitement. A better experience all around for theme park guests will make them more eager to come back and spend their hard earned money.
If I ran a theme park I would design one half similar to EPCOT crossed with City Walk. Each area would be themed to a period of time. the 1920-1930's, 1940's to 1950's, 1960 to 1970, 1980 to 1990 and so on. Each area would include pop culture from that era. Popular foods and beverages with themed places to eat. Shows based on each time period imagine the flapper girls from the 20's!
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