Thursday, July 7, 2011
I recently went to our state's (current) foremost theme park, Lagoon. On this trip, I went "Wicked" and the "Catapult" for the first time. The rides were short but a lot of fun.
The Catapult was expensive. The wait for Wicked was short for an amusement park, but still long next to the length of the actual ride...about ten minutes of waiting for about 30 seconds of motion. That's the element of theme parks I think is such an untapped resource~ waiting time. Every ride at an amusement park has a theme. It has its own logo, its own colors, perhaps a character icon, but that's it. What a waste! Why not take one more step and design a story? Make use of those long waits with screens placed throughout the snaking metal pathways under the pavilion. Disneyland comes close to this with things like Splash Mountain. You have audio and video clips within the ride that make an adventure of the roller coaster, limited though it is. Not much of a story can be told in 30 seconds, but 10 minutes?... You can get something. And then if the stories of different rides interlink with one another, you could really make something of that.
A lot of the fun in going to amusement parks comes from making fun of things while in line, but even the funniest people run out of steam or get annoying after about 3 minutes or so. Long uninterrupted waits can dampen the experience and sprucing them up with narrative would be just the thing to keep the excitement alive.
Next time I will discuss...
"The Man Scream"