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The Decline Of Movie World


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8 hours ago, Luke said:

That whole area is a masterclass of how NOT to design a theme park land.

I completely DISAGREE, I think Doomsdays seclusion from midway adds to the theme and experience. I feel like I'm in a mini land, although another DC land 🤣😂

I do agree the upcharges were probably a bad call. I did enjoy when they had the RF cards attached to the interactive elements. It's a shame they are no longer available. 

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Was at Wet n Wild yesterday and looking over at MW the carpark looked pretty healthy despite the very obvious issues discussed in this thread. 
 

A few years ago MW was the undisputed king of Australian theme parks, but I will also chime in and say the last few times we have visited MW late 2021 early 2022 we have been left feeling considerably underwhelmed and can resonate perfectly with most of the complaints in this thread. 
 

I am taking my son to Seaworld tomorrow, he chose SW over MW despite all of his favourite rides being at MW and we did SW just as recently as well. It wasn’t even a difficult decision for him. This speaks volumes to me. MW are losing touch with their key audience, it may not be immediate, but every day the parks crowded and every day there are a few more disgruntled guests feeling like they wasted the day and people will stop coming. MW needs to turn this around and go back to their roots of creating a good overall customer experience. Rivals alone is not enough to carry the park through poor operations, faulty effects and an underwhealming customer experience, especially now Steel Taipan is just down the road in a park that is just putting in a little more effort. 
 

To finish on a positive note, we had a fantastic day at WnW despite the chilly temps. The new precinct is really good and Kaboom is an amazing ride. The park looks great staff and operations were awesome so I can speak for at least one VRTP park doing everything right. 

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The biggest problem for Movie World right now - beyond everything else mentioned in this thread (or even on this site in other threads and articles), is this:

On 02/05/2022 at 3:27 AM, Coasterjoe said:

every day the parks crowded

As long as those turnstiles keep spinning, bean counters don't think there is a problem. Experience based managers who walk the park and talk to guests, who view the park through the eyes of a guest and say 'this won't do at all' are going to see the unhappy faces and do something early.

Folks who look at attendance charts in a boardroom don't know how pissed off they're making people until they stop coming.

...and then they stand there and wonder why.

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2 hours ago, DaptoFunlandGuy said:

As long as those turnstiles keep spinning, bean counters don't think there is a problem.

F A C T S 👏. If passes, merch, F&B sales are ≥ last quarter or financial year, there will be no major change to product. 

2 hours ago, DaptoFunlandGuy said:

Experience based managers who walk the park and talk to guests, who view the park through the eyes of a guest and say 'this won't do at all' are going to see the unhappy faces and do something early.

I have never seen a manager on Village property that "walks the park and talks to guests - viewing the park through the eyes of the guest".

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5 hours ago, DaptoFunlandGuy said:

The biggest problem for Movie World right now - beyond everything else mentioned in this thread (or even on this site in other threads and articles), is this:

As long as those turnstiles keep spinning, bean counters don't think there is a problem. Experience based managers who walk the park and talk to guests, who view the park through the eyes of a guest and say 'this won't do at all' are going to see the unhappy faces and do something early.

Folks who look at attendance charts in a boardroom don't know how pissed off they're making people until they stop coming.

...and then they stand there and wonder why.

They need to open their eyes and ears to the droves of complaints coming through their socials. If attendance charts are the only thing they are looking at to gauge the parks performance, this is largely ignorant, especially since attendance numbers have boomed since the opening of borders and lifting of restrictions. 

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What's interesting is people just come up with a narrative that they don't care about the guest experience and run with it despite evidence. There's really not much they can do to fix things like crowding, but they have done things; changing downtime to get rides open, plan to extend trade in future holidays and stopped selling fast track to make it a bit less unbearable.

 

The idea they don't care or are unresponsive to problems is demonstrably not true. I'm not going to piss in their pocket and say how wonderful they are, because clearly they could be doing shit better, but that has ALWAYS been the case. There has NEVER been a time in all my years going to the park when everything has been running perfectly. It's not new or exclusive.

 

They'll fix some of this shit at some point, and new shit will break. That's the cycle of things. It'll happen at all the parks forever. I think pointing to today's things in isolation and saying 'decline! Grrr MW!' is kinda dumb.

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8 hours ago, aussienetman said:

Any official word from Movieworld to the hundreds of disappointed / pissed off commenters on their socials? Or is it still just the 'don't come in the holdiays' reply?

From what I have seen they have not really been publicly engaging with the complaints. I know in the past when I have messaged MW feedback they have almost always responded. In a ‘copy paste arse covering’ kind of way ofc. I think the majority of the complaints that are not sent to MW in a private message or email are just largely ignored, the comment section on Facebook is toxic at the best of times and its likely that MW is not taking any of those comments seriously. Its a shame MW is not taking more steps to hear what customers think of their experience, sending a post visit survey for example could be a very useful tool for them to see the areas that need improvement. But I think as said earlier people coming=profit=no problem and I highly doubt MW will start to take on customer feedback seriously until the numbers start reducing. 

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I think it’s a pretty common trend in many (please note I did not say all so there is no need for a response with graphs and statistics to show otherwise)  businesses to pretty much ignore general ranting on Facebook and no engage publicly. It’s a no win situation. 
The comments you want to engage with and take seriously are those that take the time to properly engage with the business directly with concerns. 
 

I’ve found this time and time again to be true. The thing with Facebook is you will always have a vocal minority running their keyboards, and it’s just not worth it. 
 

And as for managers not getting out there and walking the park, we constantly see them all the time. So thats an incorrect assumption. 
Disney is actually probably the worst at this as its been demonstrated their senior management just get VIP treatment when they show up. 

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13 hours ago, joz said:

What's interesting is people just come up with a narrative that they don't care about the guest experience and run with it despite evidence.

With little word from the park beyond some social replies, of course people are going to come to their own conclusion. What one may see as proactive solutions to resolve park issues, others could interpret as knee jerk reactions to poor critical response. Either way, it's impossible to know what the park is actually doing if we don't hear from them regarding the matter, and sadly their only public response has been "Don't come on school holidays" which is hardly a sympathetic response to disgruntled guests. 

14 hours ago, joz said:

There has NEVER been a time in all my years going to the park when everything has been running perfectly. It's not new or exclusive.

Nobody is asking for what they're providing to be perfect, but I think it should still be serviceable. Two to three hour waits is acceptable for parks like Disney where you've got plenty to do and can miss the new hotness whilst still having a great day, but for a theme park that only has under ten major attractions with one major show and a simple parade, you should NOT be required to go for more than one day to experience all of it. For comparison sake, Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World opened with a comparable number of attractions in 1998 and that was considered a half-day park. It was and still is a gigantic park, had more shows, larger-scale attractions, and a whole bunch of zoo elements, so what's Movie World's excuse for making people come back for several days during the school holidays so that they can experience everything at least once?

Remember, not everybody out there is an informed theme park insider or has a season pass. If you're going to the Gold Coast for a holiday, you're probably dedicating a single day for Movie World with your three day pass, and they don't have the luxury of going "Oh dang, it's busy. I'll come back when it's quieter." The public response has been lukewarm at best, which is less than ideal for Australia's premier theme park. 

14 hours ago, joz said:

They'll fix some of this shit at some point, and new shit will break. That's the cycle of things. It'll happen at all the parks forever. I think pointing to today's things in isolation and saying 'decline! Grrr MW!' is kinda dumb.

Despite all the money they've sunk into the park in recent years which has improved their demand, their attraction throughput and capacity has dropped to woefully low levels compared to yesteryear. Yes, these things do cycle, but the problems they have are not simple things to fix. You can't simply revert Wild West Falls to the crowd gobbler it was before, you can't speed up Superman Escape any further before it's aging systems hit problems, you can't add more trains to Rivals or Scooby, you can't reopen Arkham, you can't reduce ride outages on unpredictable systems with notoriously bad track records, and you simply can't add more attractions to pick up the slack when these attractions go down. Movie World over the school holidays is theoretically at it's peak capacity give or take Doomsday being open and Rivals having an additional train, and both of those things are NOT going to reduce the crowds by any measurable amount. The fact that changing ride down time, removing virtual queue and fast track barely made a dint should be terrifying for the operational team.

Also Hooray for Hollywood is just around the corner, and with New Atlantis expected to open in September, I won't be surprised if we see this event slated for the September school holidays to pick up some slack for Sea World. The increased demand for Village properties plus a special event at an already very popular theme park is going to draw some crazy crowds, and I'll be surprised if an additional hour of operational time will compensate for this. 

The park desperately needs at least two high capacity attractions, and from what we've seen this is not on the cards for their next expansion. If they decide to go ahead with those plans, than it'll be 5-7 years at best before the park has the CapEx for future endeavors, or they can scrap their current plans but that still leaves us several years off as they go through the process of finding vendors, getting approval, and all the other fun stuff that comes with building attractions. 

This is not Movie World having a bad couple weeks; this is Movie World for the foreseeable future thanks to pent-up post-COVID demand. 

3 minutes ago, rappa said:

The comments you want to engage with and take seriously are those that take the time to properly engage with the business directly with concerns. 

I’ve found this time and time again to be true. The thing with Facebook is you will always have a vocal minority running their keyboards, and it’s just not worth it. 

Take this with a grain salt because I'm one person, but as somebody who has tried to engage with the business directly, I've had a historically difficult time opening up any sort of communication channels with them. In fairness I have been publicly critical of the business since their reopening in mid-2020 so I don't expect a red carpet, but if you're only willing to engage with individuals and groups that toot your horn then you're never going to get the feedback you need to hear, just the feedback you want to hear. 

Also in my day job I'm required to monitor socials and reviews, and I can tell you that the eventual vocal bad review isn't surprising. I've had people complain and leave bad reviews about things that are ridiculous and you can spot these idiots from a mile away, but you can also identify when you're doing stuff wrong. We're a smaller business, so reviews matter for us, and when you start to notice an influx of bad reviews than its a clear indication that you're doing something wrong.

And the reviews aren't just bad on Facebook, but also Google and Trip Advisor. Yes, they are known cesspits for common whiners, but historically it's never been this bad and you can't ignore that. Below are reviews from 2019 and they're glowing. People love the place and there is the eventual bad review, but if you scroll through the reviews in either direction you see nothing but praise towards the park. 

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g658988-d273704-Reviews-or590-Warner_Bros_Movie_World-Oxenford_Gold_Coast_Queensland.html

Compare that to the most recent reviews where it's pages upon pages of negative reviews.

https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g658988-d273704-Reviews-Warner_Bros_Movie_World-Oxenford_Gold_Coast_Queensland.html

Could it just be a cesspool of whiners? Possibly. But scroll all the way back to page 30 and you'll notice that the sentiment towards the park only becomes majority positive pre-COVID. You can palm off these reviews, but you can't argue that peoples opinions were far more favorable before the pandemic and whatever they're doing after reopening just must not be working. People haven't changed that dramatically in their views and opinions over the past 2 years despite the media cycle making us believe that every other person is an insane lunatic with outlandish views. If anything you'd think that people would be more forgiving considering that they've been waiting this long for some entertainment, but if we continue to just regard any bad feedback as whiners then you'll only pay attention to what you want to hear, not what you need to hear. 

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36 minutes ago, Dom said:

Nobody is asking for what they're providing to be perfect, but I think it should still be serviceable. Two to three hour waits is acceptable for parks like Disney where you've got plenty to do and can miss the new hotness whilst still having a great day, but for a theme park that only has under ten major attractions with one major show and a simple parade, you should NOT be required to go for more than one day to experience all of it.

I don't know what you want? Are you complaining that management is unresponsive (they arent perfect, but they are clearly and demonstrably responsive), that it's in an usually poor state (there is broken stuff, but there has always been broken stuff), or just that the place is just too popular? (if that's the argument then you really have no argument).

 

You'd expect to see post covid demand settle soon and the problem will largely take care of itself. Hopefully that will also mean fewer issues around supply chains/ sourcing parts and labour but we'll see.

 

Yes they need some additional capacity because despite being a near perfect storm, Easter was an extreme example of something that has been an issue for years. Yes they need to get a bunch of stuff working but I'm genuinely not aware of any point in the last 20 years when that hasn't been the case - the only thing that ever changes is the specific thing that needs fixing.

 

I don't think they think the holidays went well. In some areas things conspired against them, in some they weren't as ready as you would reasonably expect them to be, and the attendance was way higher than what you could reasonably expect them to be ready for. It seems like there has been some recognition of that in things that have happened since.

 

Really, the 'Decline of MW' and 'Holiday attendance was too Damn high' are conversations that should be split into different threads rather than the usual mob combining unrelated issues into an anti MW narrative. Can't wait for people to jump down my throats for pointing that out though.

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19 minutes ago, joz said:

Are you complaining that management is unresponsive (they arent perfect, but they are clearly and demonstrably responsive)

No, sorry, they aren't. They have access to more information than we do, and I'm sure they saw a massive uptick in ticket sales before the holidays, yet provided little information about best practice when it comes to crowds. Then once people arrived and it was crowded, they told people not to come which is hilarious considering this is the same business that jumped on national news and criticized the border closures because the Gold Coast needs tourists to survive, but are now telling people to go away? If they genuinely thought this was an important message than I'd expect to see warnings when purchasing my tickets, a notice on the website about crowds and how you can best enjoy your day in such conditions, etc. But no, they told people who already paid to be there not to have come in the first place. They may as well say "Screw you, got mine." 

Similarly, what communication did they provide regarding Leviathan changing from Easter holidays? The enthusiast community broke that news because they simply changed the dates. The same thing has happened with the new opening hours, changes to fast track, virtual queue, and the rest? None of this has been announced by the park for the general population to consume, it's just information deduced by this community. 

Village does their best to ensure that bad news is delivered AFTER you purchase your ticket. They're reactive in nature, and perhaps that makes them responsive, but they're nowhere near as proactive with communications as they need to be to mitigate guest frustration.

33 minutes ago, joz said:

that it's in an usually poor state (there is broken stuff, but there has always been broken stuff)

I have said my piece on this already, and broken stuff is expected for theme parks, but at some point people are going to stop betting on your horse if it continues to race with a broken leg. The park should be able to operate comfortably with a couple broken things, but as we've seen over the past few weeks, a couple broken things is detrimental for wait times and attraction throughput. 

37 minutes ago, joz said:

or just that the place is just too popular? (if that's the argument then you really have no argument).

Nobody is arguing that Movie World being popular is a bad thing, but you can argue that the parks response to this popularity is a bad thing. Again, I've said my piece on this. 

Don't rest on demand falling either. International tourism demand is rising for Australians, but the supply of flights and other amenities is not yet there to handle millions of Australian's sitting on huge piles of savings. These people still need things to do if they can't get overseas, and the Gold Coast looks like a pretty tempting holiday destination for those who have been cooped up.

45 minutes ago, joz said:

I don't think they think the holidays went well. In some areas things conspired against them, in some they weren't as ready as you would reasonably expect them to be, and the attendance was way higher than what you could reasonably expect them to be ready for. It seems like there has been some recognition of that in things that have happened since.

We don't know what their measurement of success is. If it's financial then I sure as hell guarantee that their team is cheering.

But again, they have access to metrics and insight that we don't. Somehow they knew it was busy enough to staff every store, restaurant, kitchen, and game, to the point that they even outsourced some of that demand to external vendors like Boost and that Licorice Lolly Company. 

Heading to Sea World and standing out the front briefly a vast majority of guests were taking the right hand entrance compared to the ticket gates, which suggests that they have bought their tickets online. Their teams would have seen this, and if they didn't then I wonder what they are monitoring.

58 minutes ago, joz said:

Really, the 'Decline of MW' and 'Holiday attendance was too Damn high' are conversations that should be split into different threads rather than the usual mob combining unrelated issues into an anti MW narrative. Can't wait for people to jump down my throats for pointing that out though.

I agree, but they're not mutually exclusive. The problems regarding Movie World were drastically inflated with the crowds and I think that should send alarm bells to anybody in charge. If those people are happy to sit on their hands and hope that things will just improve by themselves, then I wish them all the best in that endeavor and hope that it goes their way! But for the love of god, if they ever tell their paying guests not to come again then I hope they get all the criticism they deserve for such an stupid action. 

I don't want Movie World to fail. I'm passionate because I care about this park and I hold it in high regard which is why I want to see improvements. I'm not jumping on here and trolling with some low brow 'movie world sucks lol', I'm providing my critical thoughts on the subject in the aim that hopefully somebody can address the parks shortcomings that I've noticed. 

Will that happen? I have no idea, but I hope it does because doing the same thing and expecting different outcomes is simply insanity. 

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Please don't think I am clueless as to how social media works in regards to trolls and complainers. As above, one the only official words Ive seen from Movieworld that has been made publicly was basically 'dont like lines? Don't come' 

I also want to reiterate that I only wish the best for all the parks. The worst outcome to any of this situation would be the closure of Dreamworld or VRTP as their would be no drive from the parks to continue to make changes for success. 

Movieworld was my first employer out of school and my go-to park because of the 'escape from the everyday' that it offered. Perhaps I hold them to a higher level of professionalism and conduct as I still see it through the eyes of a wide-eyed kid on the gremlins ride, or walking into the batcave for the first time. What's on offer now? Half-assed theming, a stunt show I can see at the showgrounds on a Saturday night and rides which are shells of their former glory. 

There has always been a slight (possible unconcious) bias towards VRTP on these forums and in some of the reporting in news items. I will be the first to put my hand up and say MW deserves my money again - but at the moment I can get a better experience elsewhere for less.

Has Movieworld lost the mantle as best theme park on the coast? IMO, yes. Therefore in my eyes, yes... Movieworld has declined. 

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Just on the subject of ticket sales and expected attendance, they really don't have a guaranteed way of knowing this based only on ticket sales alone. When I bought tickets, I was not expected to tell them what day(s) I was planning on attending, I just had 12 months to use them.

My tickets were originally purchased as a Christmas gift for 2021. We ended up getting a credit and re-buying them shortly before our Easter trip. Now, we would be on the 'expected attendance' list with our purchase, but there would have been a cohort of people with passes purchased sometime in the last 12 months that were waiting for their right time to attend, along with people like me that bought them just before, or at the gate.

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56 minutes ago, Dom said:

In saying that, add to the discussion, or move on. 

I'd already given you the information you asked for. You just flat out refused to let it in. I can't be bothered wasting my time with you when the first sentence in your former post confirms you were never really engaged in a discussion. The irony is my first post wasn't even in response to you, but you've come in and done exactly what I was saying other people are doing. Thank you for making my point for me far better than I ever could. Have a wonderful day!

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