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Gazza

Bob Tan Article

5 posts in this topic

There was an article in todays Sunday Mail which I thought would be of interest to people here: post-88-1206264931_thumb.jpg It's nice to know they do a decent amount of research, but it is frustrating that this doesn't seem to translate into those killer rides we really want to see. At the same time I never realised that Mr Tan had been at Dreamworld for so long...Good choices seem to have been made by him in the past, but I think the limited capital budgets of recent years have put a dampener on the impressive stuff that has 'made' the park in the past.

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A good spot gazza. Let me first start out by saying more power to the guy. At 55 years old, riding some of the worlds craziest rides to see what to bring to the market here is awesome. But..... While I understand that a person with a degree in engineering is a necessity for a park when considering new rides etc, its dismaying to note that the decision is still made by a 55 year old engineer, rather than by the target demographic. His favourite ride is the big red car... no wonder we ended up with the Mediocre Designed Mild Coaster. Ok - given he did choose Claw\Drop\Tower etc... and naturally he would have guidance from the directors of macquarie leisure on where they are going to go... but a 55 year old man is in charge of what rides a theme park buys for its guests, a predominantly 7-40 year old rider demographic. I can't wait to see the discussions we have here...

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^To be fair though, a lot of Disneys Imagineers aren't exactly young (Well, the one I have spoken to wasn't), and they manage to turn out the best of the best (Though then again, Disney don't do many thrill rides)

Edited by Gazza

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Alex B - it's also dismaying to note your ignorance of Dreamworld's capital acquisition process. The decision to purchase a new ride does not come down to "a 55 year old engineer." The decision to purchase a new ride is an incredibly long, complex and drawn out processs. It involves many, many people at various levels of seniority within Dreamworld and Macquarie Leisure. Furthermore, the decision is primarily market driven towards meeting the needs / expectations of the very demographic you describe (ie, 7-40 years). A purely personal preference of one person plays no part in such a multi-million dollar decision. Sorry if I seem abrupt - I just can't let such inaccuracies fester on this thread.

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That's quite alright bikeman. It isn't ignorance in the slightest. I've worked in numerous industries where such processes exist, involving numerous discussions and market research. This was not what I was trying to say. The article itself trumpets one 55 year old man as being the vision behind the plan. I understand what goes on in the quest for the best ride. On the Disney note, yes, disney don't do "thrill", and I'm not talking thrills here much either, but quality of ride. In terms of a Disney Imagineer, a lot of the "old boys club" were part of Walt's original vision team, and some still work on it to this day. The fact is that an Imagineer is more around an immersive concept, than an off the shelf product. You send a 55 year old man to the supermarket to buy groceries for a family of 5, and chances are not everything he brings home is going to be to their liking. There have been many instances where the parks have put out questionnaires, surveys and the like to find out what the public wants, when they have narrowed their choices down. I thought that the Hippo option for seaworld was ridiculous, but I have since seen a hippo habitat elsewhere, and I know that SeaWorld has the responsibility and the vision to deliver on this exhibit with the right amount of finesse. The fact is that despite the article trumpeting one man, there are many behind the scenes of Macquarie Leisure that are responsible for bad decisions. The continued removal of rides, without suitable additions or replacements. The installation of rides that by all accounts were poor choices, biased choices, or just plain didn't live up to expectation. The spin that is put on their marketing to trumpet stuff that at best belongs in a sideshow, rather than as a flagship attraction is the problem here. I was not saying that it was a purely personal preference of one man, but this is the man that they fly around the world scouting out possible new attractions, so surely his input is valued and considered, and therefore his influence is a contributing factor. Cyclone was a good choice that was installed badly. The design of the queue system, and the layout of the ride did not allow for a flat open spread of land. If dreamworld did away with the crowd control system at the top of the queue, or better yet, put on enough staff to operate it efficiently, it would be a better ride. Wipeout has seen better days. It was a great installation and I remember when it first featured on Cartoon Connection in its hey day. But it is, afterall, only a flat ride. A good flat ride, but still a flat, and one that has also been very poorly maintained over the years. I have a feeling we will see wipeout go the way of Eureka in the not too distant future. Tower of Terror was also a good install, but for the capacity of the park it is a very low capacity ride, impacted further by the poorly designed and twice relocated queue system. Giant Drop is a good example of an impactive ride. It has reasonable capacity for a drop ride, if only they could keep both sides operating at all times. Maintenance issues have plagued this ride for a long time. MDMC is by all accounts a failure. It has increased attendance and overall the $$$ coming through the park, so it can be called a success financially. Unfortunately it has no staying power, and does not deliver on its promises. If you watch the advertisements of MDMC when it was first aired, the footage shown is actually played back at faster than normal speed. Many criticise theming aspects at dreamworld. Batwing is a perfect example of a park well known for its superb theming who skinted on the theming because it wasn't necessary, and the ride is still a good ride, with good impact. Its presence on the skyline is impressive, and the best thing about it is that you can see it as you approach the park, and not wonder whether it will be operating all gondolas when you walk in the gate. My last trip to Dreamworld was a first for a relative of mine who is absolutely petrified of heights, and we got her on Giant Drop. To remember her first time, we headed straight for the photo booth to buy the picture - except first thing in the morning, the morning sun shone straight into the camera lens and obscured the picture. We couldnt try to get one on the eastern side - because it was closed. I know after writing all of this that I have taken the discussion beyond the selection of rides and down the track of maintenance and ongoing repair work as well, but while this borders on discussions that have been had about dreamworld numerous times before, it continues to highlight dreamworld as a park that trumpets their failures and tries to spin them into a success. The figures reported from dreamworld since MDMC opened would suggest that it is a success. The question yet to be answered is whether it will stay it out in the long term. Heavy advertising, that can be at best called false advertising drew people from their homes to ride the newest thrill ride. Of course attendance will be up, expecially considering a lot of locals who aren't fanatics only visit the parks when there is something new. Attendance will always spike where a new addition is made. Whether or not they keep coming back for more is up to dreamworld. Bob Tan has been pushed out into the spotlight as the man with the vision. I for one am wondering if he needs to get new contact lenses. Macquarie Leisure are responsbile for the capex. I know they can't afford to add new thrills every year, but by god they have the money to take on WVTP, and they continuously fall behind.

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