Hey Thrill Seekers,
To make yourself stand out in the world of theme parks you’ve got to try and not only get onboard with the next big IP but also think outside the block. In 2014 we were spoilt with the amount of new and innovative attractions that the major theme parks dropped on us. Here are just a few of my favourites.
Whoever it was that sat in the Universal boardroom and said “ummm how about we link the two Wizarding Worlds with a train” is an absolute genius. Not only is it totally unique but it fits in to the whole look and feel of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.
If I had a pound every time we were asked if our tickets include the use of the Hogwarts Express I’d be a very rich man. Actually I could probably buy my own Hogwarts Express! (Just so you know our tickets do include use of the Hogwarts Express)
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the train is just to move people around the park but no, its also a theme park ride in itself. Depending upon which way you travel you’ll experience an adventure that pops you right in the middle of your own JK Rowling story.
I’ve been in conversations about this ride at Busch Gardens Tampa where the phrase “its a bit of a one trick pony” has been bandied around… To a certain point this is probably true, but what a trick it is!
Drop rides have been around for a long time, so to make them standout you have to come up with something pretty special. Yeah you can build it taller than anything else in the skyline, and Busch Gardens has done this but you need something else to make it stand out.
How about we drop you at a 90 degree angle so you’re facing the floor!? Yep that will do it!
Yep its back to Universal and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. When it was first revealed that Universal would be building Diagon Alley one of the things we took a stab in the dark predicting was interactive wands. Sometimes you chuck something out there and it comes true.
Through out Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade you’ll notice little symbols on the floor, these symbols tell the visitor that they can use their interactive wand here. The young Wizard follows the instructions on the symbol to cast the spell. More information can be found in our post – Yes interactive Wands at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter are cool
Disney’s My Magic+
When you spend a few billion dollars implementing something totally unique within the theme park world you pretty much deserve to be on this list.
Disney’s My Magic+, My Disney Experience or Disney’s FastPass Plus whichever you prefer allows customer to pre-reserve fastpass slots on their favourite rides and attraction even before they step in to the park. Not only this but in a genius piece of adding value customers can also attach their credit/debit card details to their account which is connected to their ticket so they can purchase additional bits within the parks.
The system has been mostly received as a positive and although its cost Disney a huge chunk of its profits this long term investment is sound. It also puts pressure on the other parks to come up with an alternative to the antiquated express pass system.
You can find out more about Disney’s My Magic Plus here.
I wonder what 2015 will bring. Hopefully some more exciting and innovative creations…we can only wait.