The Reason Many Parks Lack A Balance

Many different amusement and theme parks across the globe are very good in the eyes of a specific judgement.

For some parks it is for their collection of roller coasters, their food quality, or the cleanliness of the park. It can be many different aspects or categories of what makes up the induvidual park.

But what most parks have a hard time doing is to capture a balance that attracts the diverse population of guests.

The majority of guests have wonderful experiences when visiting a park with the specific focus that meets their needs.

Others who desire a different specific focus find that the park is missing something and does not meeet their needs. Another reaction common among guests is being angry that the park has a bad (fill in the blank) type situation.

For example, if someone got motion sickness from rides, thus enjoying shows at parks a lot, they would have mixed experiences. At Kings Island, they will find that there is not enough to do for them and claim it is a “bad experience”. At Dollywood, the shows that they have provide a great experience for the guest. The specific focus variees between the parks which change the reaction among guests. A balance of both (which is what makes an amazing park) would satisfy the guest at both parks.

But, many wonder the real reason why parks lack a balance between all of the desirable categories that guests expect.

Parks lack a balance for a lot of reasons. But, by analyzing trends among common parks and tendencies, there is a main conclusion that can be drawn.

One of the main reasons park lack a balance is because they develop and grow their park and profit by focusing on a specific area. The specific areas normally are led into, meaning the park did not anticipate it.

For example, Cedar Point focused on thrill rides and roller coasters. They created the slogan “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World”. Have you noticed something?

They rarely use that slogan anymore. Why? Because they are trying to become a balanced destination with many things to do.

From this example, the park had many things to do 5 years ago. That was near the end of when the park branded for thrill seekers.

This is a prime example of a park focusing on a specific area, focusing on roller coasters and thrill rides. Since that was the demand for their park, that is what guests wanted. The guests coming every year to the park wanted new thrill rides and roller coasters. They did not care about the other areas. When a focus for a park develops it is because that is the demand of the guests and is the majority demand.

The difference that has to be recognized is that in an amusement and theme park business demands will ALWAYS remain. Demands for everything, even things people cannot imagine of. But, what matters if the majority of the consumers are interested in it.

Cedar Point focused on thrill-seeker attractions for a long span of time. While they added roller coasters from the 1960s to the late 1980s frequently, in 1989 it changed. The park started adding roller coasters more frequently.

The park still did make improvements and actively modify the other aspects of the park. Note that in any amusement or theme park with a focus: the other areas are NOT forgotten. They just are deprioritized with a central focus point.

Imagine it as a target for a bow-and-arrow. The target is the central focus point which is the majority of guests and each other area are the other aspects. The bow-and-arrow can land in the other areas, but the focus and target is for the focus area. This is in the management’s eye. From the guest perspective, they want the bow-and-arrow to land in their focus area that they have the most interest in.

Adding more roller coasters to Cedar Point’s lineup happened during the early 2000s until around 2014. With the park’s new General Manager Jason McClure, the park was and continues to attempt centralizing the focus to be a vacation destination with things to do for everyone.

They park is trying to balance with theming, food, cleaniness, rides, family activities, and other events. That is why they have a new slogan, “A Place Like No Other”, which has made its way across many park advertisements and other promotions for the park.

The reason they are trying to accomplish this balance (like many other parks) is because then almost all of the guests would be satisfied with a balance between the main categories (the park would analyze this with guest trends in their park). If all of them are met and every year or two, improvements are made, that accomplishes the contradicting balance.

The balanced amusement and theme parks are always working on different areas but highlighting the main specific area every year.

For example, Walt Disney World makes many improvements to remain a balanced park every year. But, that is because the park receives tons of profit and their guests EXPECT the balance. Concluding that point, remaining a balanced park depends on the consumers and profit.

For some parks there is not a high enough demand for a balance between categories because the main visitors are attracted to that area of interest. Or, that area of interest is overall common, specifically to a region or chain, etc.

In other words, if guests know that a park is well-balanced and it receives enough profit to contribute to each area, then it can and will improve.

Other parks are known for a specific thing, like roller coasters for Cedar Point. The park has to contribute to that specific area to keep people happy and coming to the park, to maintain the profit. That is why the park still attracted many people when focusing on the one area for years.

It is because that was the demand and needs for the park. Now with other parks shifting their focus year after year, people expect more. Especially considering that the park used to win Golden Ticket Awards for many different categories, they have lacked in those other areas.

Why did they still pay attention to the other aspects with their focus? It is because that is what they were doing in the past, focusing on a family destination that attracts people of all ages and interests in activities.

When many parks try to shift their balance, it normally is very hard due to the past focused area. Shifting the focus to a balanced park includes years of work. Not a few years, like 15-20 years.

A park can focus on a specific aspect like food for 3 years to improve the reputation and opinions of consumers, attracting more with a similar interest.

In conclusion, many parks lack a balance due to focusing on the needs of customers while overlooking other areas with people of other interests. A focus of a certain area for a park develops over time and the park focuses on it. Many parks try to alter their balance but it is hard because of past focus.

A future blog post (most likely the next one following this) will focus on what makes a perfect amusement park with a balance and how it was achieved.

Some main points and thoughts were lightly brushed on, but a more detailed description and explanation will be coming with the other post.

Thank you for reading and have a nice day!

Many different amusement and theme parks across the globe are very good in the eyes of a specific judgment.

For some parks, it is for their collection of roller coasters, their food quality, or the cleanliness of the park. It can be many different aspects or categories of what makes up the individual park.

But what most parks have a hard time doing is to capture a balance that attracts the diverse population of guests.

The majority of guests have wonderful experiences when visiting a park with a specific focus that meets their needs.

Others who desire a different specific focus find that the park is missing something and does not meet their needs. Another reaction common among guests is being angry that the park has a bad (fill in the blank) type situation.

For example, if someone got motion sickness from rides, thus enjoying shows at parks a lot, they would have mixed experiences. At Kings Island, they will find that there is not enough to do for them and claim it is a “bad experience”. At Dollywood, the shows that they have provided a great experience for the guest. The specific focus varies between the parks which change the reaction among guests. A balance of both (which is what makes an amazing park) would satisfy the guest at both parks.

But, many wonder the real reason why parks lack a balance between all of the desirable categories that guests expect.

Parks lack a balance for a lot of reasons. But, by analyzing trends among common parks and tendencies, there is the main conclusion that can be drawn.

One of the main reasons park lack a balance is because they develop and grow their park and profit by focusing on a specific area. The specific areas normally are led into, meaning the park did not anticipate it.

For example, Cedar Point focused on thrill rides and roller coasters. They created the slogan “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World”. Have you noticed something?

They rarely use that slogan anymore. Why? Because they are trying to become a balanced destination with many things to do.

From this example, the park had many things to do 5 years ago. That was near the end of when the park branded for thrill seekers.

This is a prime example of a park focusing on a specific area, focusing on roller coasters and thrill rides. Since that was the demand for their park, that is what guests wanted. The guests coming every year to the park wanted new thrill rides and roller coasters. They did not care about the other areas. When a focus for a park develops it is because that is the demand of the guests and is the majority demand.

The difference that has to be recognized is that in an amusement and theme park business demands will ALWAYS remain. Demands for everything, even things people cannot imagine. But, what matters if the majority of the consumers are interested in it.

Cedar Point focused on thrill-seeker attractions for a long span of time. While they added roller coasters from the 1960s to the late 1980s frequently, in 1989 it changed. The park started adding roller coasters more frequently.

The park still did make improvements and actively modify the other aspects of the park. Note that in any amusement or theme park with a focus: the other areas are NOT forgotten. They just are deprioritized with a central focus point.

Imagine it as a target for a bow-and-arrow. The target is the central focus point which is the majority of guests and each other area are the other aspects. The bow-and-arrow can land in the other areas, but the focus and target are for the focus area. This is in the management’s eye. From the guest perspective, they want the bow-and-arrow to land in their focus area that they have the most interest in.

Adding more roller coasters to Cedar Point’s lineup happened during the early 2000s until around 2014. With the park’s new General Manager Jason McClure, the park was and continues to attempt centralizing the focus to be a vacation destination with things to do for everyone.

The park is trying to balance with theming, food, cleanliness, rides, family activities, and other events. That is why they have a new slogan, “A Place Like No Other”, which has made its way across many park advertisements and other promotions for the park.

The reason they are trying to accomplish this balance (like many other parks) is that then almost all of the guests would be satisfied with a balance between the main categories (the park would analyze this with guest trends in their park). If all of them are met and every year or two, improvements are made, that accomplishes the contradicting balance.

The balanced amusement and theme parks are always working on different areas but highlighting the main specific area every year.

For example, Walt Disney World makes many improvements to remain a balanced park every year. But, that is because the park receives tons of profit and their guests EXPECT the balance. Concluding that point, remaining a balanced park depends on the consumers and profit.

For some parks, there is not a high enough demand for a balance between categories because the main visitors are attracted to that area of interest. Or, that area of interest is overall common, specifically to a region or chain, etc.

In other words, if guests know that a park is well-balanced and it receives enough profit to contribute to each area, then it can and will improve.

Other parks are known for a specific thing, like roller coasters for Cedar Point. The park has to contribute to that specific area to keep people happy and coming to the park, to maintain the profit. That is why the park still attracted many people when focusing on one area for years.

It is because that was the demand and needs for the park. Now with other parks shifting their focus year after year, people expect more. Especially considering that the park used to win Golden Ticket Awards for many different categories, they have lacked in those other areas.

Why did they still pay attention to the other aspects with their focus? It is because that is what they were doing in the past, focusing on a family destination that attracts people of all ages and interests in activities.

When many parks try to shift their balance, it normally is very hard due to the past focused area. Shifting the focus to a balanced park includes years of work. Not a few years, like 15-20 years.

A park can focus on a specific aspect like food for 3 years to improve the reputation and opinions of consumers, attracting more with a similar interest.

In conclusion, many parks lack a balance due to focusing on the needs of customers while overlooking other areas with people of other interests. A focus of a certain area for a park develops over time and the park focuses on it. Many parks try to alter their balance but it is hard because of past focus.

A future blog post (most likely the next one following this) will focus on what makes a perfect amusement park with a balance and how it was achieved.

Some main points and thoughts were lightly brushed on, but a more detailed description and explanation will be coming with the other post.

Thank you for reading and have a nice day!


-Brandon

7 thoughts on “The Reason Many Parks Lack A Balance

  1. I liked this topic. In my opinion, Dollywood offers the most variety of any park that I have been to simply because of all the shows. It was cool that you mentioned that. Dollywood also features different events and themes throughout the year, and they are all very well done. I also think Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando offer a lot of variety because of the animals. SeaWorld used to have a show with rescue cats and dogs (I think it was called Pets Ahoy, or something like that) and I loved it. Busch is really half zoo so just seeing the different animals can take most of the day if you want it too. I still love Carowinds and SFOG but they really focus on thrill rides. For me, the coasters and rides are the main draw when attending a park.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad you liked this topic. I thought it would be very interesting when I came up with it. Dollywood has a lot of variety because of their shows, food, events, rides, and other theming throughout the year. Other parks that I think have good variety include Universal, Disney, Busch Gardens, Sea World, and Silver Dollar City. Roller coasters and attractions are the main reason I visit most parks (like many coaster enthusiasts) but in the past 2 years I have started to appreciate the parks that are more well-balanced better than the ones that are not.

      Like

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