ParkChat Live VRTP Interview

53 posts in this topic

You have to remember that even though the CEO and COO revealed some changes, they clearly made it obviously that they have more plans that are still confidential. These are just small 'teasers'. Just like the future movie exhibit, the CEO made it clear his intention was to re-incorporate 'movie magic' back into MW and this was just the first step.

In regards to that future movie exhibit, the CEO mentioned exhibits will be at MW "on a regular/almost rotational basis", which would indicate to me that this is more of an exhibition space for temporary exhibitions. I wouldn't be surprised if @Brad2912 is correct in that Aquaman or the DC Extended Universe will be the first of these temporary exhibitions. It could be one mega exhibition for the DC Extended Universe or maybe separate annual exhibitions for each DC Comics character. For example, Aquaman then Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman 1984 is scheduled for release in December 2019).

These temporary exhibitions, if done well, can cost a lot and fit perfectly into a movie-themed park. Take Harry Potter: The Exhibition (a mega version of MW's former Harry Potter Movie Magic Experience) - that was held only in Australia at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum. It increased visitation at the Museum by about 60% (and it was an upcharge exhibition too! - an extra $20) with 40% of visitors to the exhibition from outside of NSW. There was also a $30.91 spend per capita just for the exhibition. Just check out the gallery on the exhibition's website to see how even a well-themed temporary exhibition is perfect for MW. That exhibition was also about 30% bigger than MW's 2002-2003 attraction, taking an hour or two to travel through.

However, the Harry Potter film (and especially, the book) franchise was iconic and at the time, the film series was just concluding. As a temporary exhibition,  I doubt the current DC Extended Universe film franchise can be as successful compared to say The Dark Knight Trilogy. A temporary exhibition will only work if the franchise is chosen because the franchise was iconic & still current/relevant and not just great at the box office.

Anyway, I thought the interview was great until the end, when the CEO said:


...but I do want theme parks to be, more than ever, ingrained in our locals, at the local psyche and when they first think about goin-, going out and doing things - not just have once a year or 'I have got to go and do the new ride'. I want it to be much more of a place where people choose to come and hang out.

He then mentioned that this is emphasised through their event calendar (such as Fright Nights, White Christmas and Carnivale) and that they shouldn't have to rely on massive capital expenditure to ensure the attendance doesn't drop. Now I agree with the latter - the parks can make the overall experience better without massive capital expenditure and this would increase loyalty and ensure regular visitation particularly from the local market if it gains good publicity.

However, I disagree with the other 2 points (events & increased local visitation). Now, I don't mind if events are held outside of normal operating hours (This suits the local market) but if it effects the operation of the parks during normal operating hours, then I do mind as out-of-town visitors travel hundreds or thousands of kilometres to see the traditional MW (that park just chosen as an example)– not one with unused Christmas lights dangling everywhere or a giant Christmas tree placed over the iconic Fountain Of Fame or a Fright Nights sign taking over the iconic Grand Archway etc. They should design events that have no effect on the park's normal operation.

Taking the events aspect out of the picture, if every Gold Coast local could just decide 'Let's go have lunch at SW' or 'Let's hang out at MW today', it would reduce the theme park's quality to out-of-town visitors.

Car parking spaces would become harder to find (assuming lots of locals arrived before 10am), park capacity could be reached faster or more often & queues would become longer for rides. Now, imagine spending all morning at MW and then heading to have lunch to find long queues because lots of locals decide the food is so good they will just park their car, run in the park for half an hour for lunch (due to their season pass and associated benefits) and leave. It essentially becomes a shopping centre. Souviner shops though may suffer, thus reducing revenue, as locals have less reason to purchase souvenirs unless, of course, there is a new type of ride-on photo to purchase. The parks could also end up being taken for granted by the locals. We’ve already seen the effect season pass discounting has on local markets. Complaints could also increase about insignificant things (for theme parks) because they visit so often. An example of such a complaint - 'Change the film in the Roxy Theatre already'. Theme park theatres are not mutliplexes - those have a new film every Thursday whilst theme park theatres are meant to have a new exclusive film every 5+ years.

If out-of-town visitors have to encounter scenarios such as those above despite pre-purchasing tickets, word of mouth would spread that the theme parks aren't worth going to (let alone purchasing tickets for) because there is a very good chance you would either not find a parking space, enter the park or reach the end of the queue.

Correct me if I'm wrong but any solutions to these problems will be complicated or controversial. There is also the long-term potential of the strategy completely backfiring - locals visiting so often that they stop visiting as the parks lose their entertainment value (A similar effect happens to theme park shows). If out-of-town visitation has already dropped, you've then lost all your attendance as a result. Theme park quality problems caused by focusing on the local market will effect out-of-town visitation and thus, the future of the parks. 

I understand the CEO's imagined future of the theme parks but visiting a theme park should be kept as rare and special as possible regardless of how important the theme park is to locals. If you want locals to visit a theme park more regularly, build an entertainment/retail precinct outside the park – not inside the park. TopGolf should be the start of such a strategy and for the people who really like the parks (i.e. theme park enthusiasts), season passes mean more to them so prices for them should reflect that (that is, expensive).

On 06/09/2018 at 7:52 PM, pushbutton said:

...Hollywood Stunt driver show. What an embarrassment. Not a stunt in sight, or even anything that sort of looks like one.

Driving stunts are still stunts. Nevertheless, I agree that Hollywood Stunt Driver 2 is not an entertaining show.

Edited by Jamberoo Fan
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BAHAHA! touche!

even on an ipad i find it difficult to navigate. i like to access unread content, open every topic in a new tab and then read through, closing as I go. It's not convenient to do that on an iPad. I do have my phone to access if i desperately need to, but usually will wait until I can access a desktop.

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On 12/09/2018 at 11:56 AM, pushbutton said:

In the original version of the show they used to do some driving stunts. 

I haven't seen Hollywood Stunt Driver 2 (but I have seen Hollywood Stunt Driver so I knew the sequel was also not an entertaining show) but are you saying for a show that has the words 'stunt driver' in it's title, they have removed the driving stunts since the sequel started in 2014?

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5 hours ago, pin142 said:

A show that has "stunt driver" in the name where there really isn't any stunts in a park that has "movie world" in the name that doesn't really have any movie based attractions.

The Hollywood Stunt Driver show was a way of demonstrating one type of movie magic, and before that the Police Academy show was a sample of similar from a specific movie.

In view of the recent statement about bringing back the movie magic, I really hope that's going to include reinstating something good in this location. 

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1 hour ago, joel said:

Just thought that one of the 3 new characters could be Yogi Bear??

That’s random - Based on what?

Why would they all of a sudden start picking up other Hanna-Barbera properties? 

Yes they have Scooby Doo, but they’ve never toyed with any more of them previously. 


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