November 3, 2022

Can Upgrading Your Attractions Technology Now Save You Money in 2023?

The furious pace of attractions technology enables you to do so many new things. Upgrading your theme park experiences with the latest audiovisual (AV) innovations and technology could save you money in many ways. It could also boost your revenue, as visitors, new and previous, will be eager to see what’s next.

The reality is that today’s guest has high expectations about entertainment outside of what they can access at home. The good news is that more people feel comfortable visiting theme parks. The industry's 2021 numbers rebounded considerably over 2019 for the top parks in the world. Additionally, a review of 2022 summer visitors at North American parks trended up by 7.8% over 2021 numbers

For attractions to continue on this trajectory, they’ll need new ways to wow visitors, and those kinds of experiences are prime for AV upgrades. 

Learn how to create award-winning technology experiences




What Do Attraction Visitors Expect from Theme Parks?

People are excited to be traveling and visiting attractions again. However, these guests have new expectations. Those new perceptions are the result of a few things. 

First, technology integration is part of almost everyone’s daily life. It’s not a question of whether they interact with it but how much and what kind. With a library of apps that virtualize anything and include entertainment features like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), out-of-home technology experiences have to be bigger and bolder.

Second, any consumer understands the ease of using technology to do just about anything—getting e-commerce items delivered in hours, using it to make a high-quality video or interacting with people all over the world in real-time. The ease of digital consumerism is a key driver in expectations. In a visitor’s mind, a park must modernize its framework with digital ticketing, virtual queueing, cashless systems and touch-free interactivity. Anything less would be a letdown for them.

Third, guests demand that they be able to use their technology within the parks. For operators, that means reliable and accessible Wi-Fi and opportunities to engage with exhibits through their phones for interactivity. They’d feel the experience was lackluster if they couldn’t take that perfect selfie (and tag your park) or engage with exhibits with their mobile devices as controllers. 

So, what can attractions do today to meet these expectations? What investments might save money long-term and drive revenue, too?


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Theme Park Technology Solutions

Investing in technologies to create a digitally integrated journey and engage visitors throughout their experience can convert capital dollars into tremendous return on investment (ROI). This ROI may come back sooner than you’d expect. 

The projections for what the market could look like in 2023 are somewhat uncertain. Revenue could slip if economic forces reduce discretionary income. The estimate for the next few years is a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.10% from 2023 to 2030. Visitors may still come but may spend less, or those that do may be the bigger spenders. As a result, parks will need to increase profit margins on per capita visits. 

To capture these audiences and boost the value of the entertainment and experience, consider these new technology solutions for theme parks or leisure venues.

  • Immersive experiences: Invite guests to be part of the attraction when you weave in immersive elements. The Marvel Experiencetakes visitors on a personal adventure with all their favorite superheroes. Visitors design their own stories using touchscreens. Interactive displays and motion-tracking technology enable visitors to play with Spider-Man and the rest of the Marvel characters. 

  • Going cashless: Making it easy for guests to make purchases enables greater ROI. Touchless payments are now a preferred transaction. Upgrading technology around this capability delivers convenience. 

  • Queue management systems:Those waiting in long lines aren’t spending. They also can lose some of their excitement. Queuing systems make their time more enjoyable. Avoiding long queue lines lets people spend “waiting” time together in shops, restaurants and more. They arrive at their scheduled time, leading to a better experience and the likelihood they’ll visit again. 

  • Mobile apps: Guests can begin planning their visit on your app in advance. The more engaging you make this, the more likely they’ll spend more during their day. Promoting exclusive dining options or other premium experiences like “skip the line” lets guests feel prepared and excited. Once they arrive, they can continue to use the app to queue, make reservations, book tickets and find information. It’s another reason you need strong Wi-Fi at your park. 

  • High-capacity security screening: Avoid bottlenecks at your entrances by upgrading your security systems. A fluent security and bag check process demonstrate that your park operates smoothly and eliminates guest frustrations.
  • Combining classic ride elements and advanced AV: If you want to modernize an existing attraction or require a mix of components, you can combine them to deliver a magical experience for guests. When you refresh existing rides, it drives new anticipation, which could bring back visitors who haven’t been to your park lately. The Snorri Touren Dark Sideprecisely blends animatronics, dome projection, integrated media, waterfall projection and projection mapping. It’s a great example of all the possibilities. 



Technology Powers Greater Theme Park Insights and Longevity

Innovation and imagination working together have been the heart of attractions and why guests love these experiences. The new theme park landscape can leverage an array of technology to enhance guest experiences, from immersive rides to digital tools to manage their time at the park. 

You’ll drive increased ROI and guest satisfaction by implementing innovative technology solutions. You can also learn a lot about your guests and use that knowledge to propel even more growth. You have an opportunity to gain data about visitors and enable them to share the day’s highlights on social media. If they use your app, it’s a goldmine to continue engaging long after their visit. The next horizon for theme parks will keep raising the bar. Computer vision extended reality, AI, interactive displays and more help operators, designers, integrators and AV experts develop the most engaging experiences. Electrosonic is glad to be a partner in the industry and all the possibilities ahead. 

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Maurizio Capuzzo

Maurizio Capuzzo, Electrosonic’s Chief Marketing Officer, fuses the science of data with the art of visual and verbal communication to explain how technology adds value and helps foster innovation. Maurizio writes from a wealth of experience, holding leadership roles in global technology companies as well as possessing a deep understanding of how technology contributes to business growth.