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When a theme park undergoes an expansion project, the sky should be the limit. Unfortunately, theme parks can quickly consume large parcels of land. This is especially true when a park starts to attract a loyal following. Unfortunately, few parks have access to unlimited acreage.
Understandably this creates a difficult situation as parks find themselves trying to grow in landlocked environments. Unfortunately, this all too common situation means that theme parks need to resort to creative approaches as they continue to evolve the park experience with exciting new opportunities for guests.
Especially when relying on traditional rides, theme parks need to make difficult decisions. One choice is to encroach on the leisure space that families associate with the overall experience. However, if parks want to continue providing a meaningful experience, they need to protect the comfort level. People are already waiting in lines. They do not want to visit parks where it’s difficult or worse completely uncomfortable to move around.
Another option is to start replacing older possibly tired rides with newer, faster rides that better appeal to guest demands. In some instances, rides run their course, and it is time for something new. However, regularly replacing rides can also alienate a guest population that has long exhibited loyalty to the park. Simply ask any guest, and most can quickly point to a ride they miss at their favorite park.
Perhaps the best option for land locked parks is to start embracing the dark ride trend. The reason why is quite clear. These attractions are indoor rides that consume far less space – often moderate sized facilities that can house the ride as well as a related shopping and/or dining experience.
By design, dark rides have the unique ability to leverage a mix of audiovisual (AV) technologies including projectors, interactive displays, augmented or mixed reality tools and sound systems to deliver truly immersive experiences. The type of experiences that can be difficult to achieve in any other environment.
Now is the time to pull the curtain back and discover the many opportunities that dark rides represent.
Interested in learning more about how you can build dark rides that will grab guest attention? Armed with over 55 years of experience creatively leveraging technology, Electrosonic has built a solid reputation with its ability to design and build award winning attractions for some of the most successful theme parks in the world. Click here to learn more.
Paul Kent, Electrosonic’s Regional Director MEA, is a respected industry leader. As a distinguished member of the Blooloop Top 50 Theme Park Influencers, board member of Experience UK and former president of the TEA European Board, Paul has made a great contribution to the development of the industry. With over 20 years in award-winning global themed entertainment projects, he’s a trusted writer on technology direction in the industry.