Hi guys. I know that the topic title is slightly weird and long-winded, but basically, what I'm trying to ask with this thread is; of all the things that are in theme parks, which ones do you really like and want to see more of and which ones are you not overly a fan of and want to see less of? To get the ball rolling, I'll start with some of my personal choices:
Things I'd like to see more of:
Things I'd like to see more of:
- Roller coasters over entrance areas - I am a real sucker for themed parks and themed park entrances on the whole, but I must admit that there's something that I really love about what Cedar Fair has recently been doing with some of its parks' entrances. Even though they're not really themed, there's something about seeing photos of GateKeeper swoop above Cedar Point's entrance or watching Fury 325 curve its way above Carowinds' entrance that I find utterly beautiful. I've never visited either of these parks, but there's something about seeing those coasters in their respective entrance areas that I absolutely adore, and I would really like to see more parks do this. I feel like it would give an entrance a little more life and it would offer more of a reason to stay in a park's entrance area (even though the entrance area is a theme park staple, they are often devoid of attractions). It would seem that my wish is coming true with this one, though, what with ChocolateTown at Hersheypark and SeaWorld Orlando's planned 2021 coaster both heavily straddling their entrance areas.
- Novelty food/drink items - Whether it's Mickey cookies, cinnamon bread or butterbeer, I feel like having some sort of food or drink item unique to your park on sale adds a sense of personality to a park. I feel like it can make what is often one of the more routine aspects of a day at a theme park a little more interesting. As much as I have a very simple taste in food & drink, I feel like a park putting their own unique spin on food or drink does give guests an interesting experience when they're not riding rides, and it's a little magical detail that really makes a park day unique.
- Experience-based roller coasters - I know that the primary kick people get out of riding roller coasters is through the g-forces they provide, but sometimes, I think that immersive theming & storylines can really add something to a roller coaster. Whether it's large theming structures on an outdoor roller coaster like Wicker Man at Alton Towers or a coaster with dark ride sections like Revenge of the Mummy at Universal Orlando, a cohesive theme and story can really make a rollercoaster experience special, in my opinion. However, I don't think theming is necessarily essential to a coaster; I think a hyper coaster would be quite hard to theme effectively, for example.
- Forced participation - Now, I know that I just talked about immersive experiences above, but one of the things that I personally like about a theme park is that you can sit back and be immersed in an attraction; whether you're enjoying an immersive story on a dark ride, getting soaked on a water ride, or getting tumbled head-over-heels on a roller coaster, you can sit back and let the attraction take you in its grasp. For me, I feel like forced participation almost removes an element of that; I personally often find it quite uncomfortable, and it can sometimes inhibit an experience if it does not go as intended.
- Kids' areas - I know that kids' areas are a common staple in theme parks, but I must admit that they're one I've never really understood. I know that it's nice for the younger guests to have their own area to play in, and I completely understand why they're so commonplace, but if you have a family with a wide range of ages, then it can often split the family up, which in my eyes kind of defeats the object of a theme park. If I was designing a theme park, I'd personally integrate smaller attractions in amongst the larger attractions in different areas of the park, so that the whole family can adventure around the entire park together. For example, if you had an area with a roller coaster called Goliath for the thrillseekers, I personally think it would be nice for the younger guests or those fancying something a little gentler to be able to experience Goliath Jr within the same area as opposed to having to venture to a different area.