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New concept, new direction

 
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admin
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Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Posts: 381

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2007 3:21 am    Post subject: New concept, new direction Reply with quote

Hello.

You might remember me as "KingdomOfWyndfaire". I'm working on an interesting new entertainment center concept: a medieval-themed entertainment center called Pizza Castle. It's similar to Chuck E. Cheese's in that it has an animatronic show, climbing tubes with a ball-pit, and customized redemption arcade games (following the medieval theme).

But Pizza Castle has different characters: a royal family (king, queen, prince, and princess), and a dragon named Drake. And the building will be much like a castle - inside and out (with walls of cemented stone, banners hanging from the ceilings with heraldic designs, "candlestick" lamps that realistically flicker, the whole nine yards).

Anyway, if you're interested, a website will be up soon, at www.thefuncastle.us. Please post any comments about this project here, or check out the Pizza Castle ezBoard.

chadlockwood
Member
Posts: 30
(9/7/05 8:36 pm)
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New Post some thoughts
Hey King!

It's good to hear you moving in a new direction, not getting bogged down by competitors' plans and some such. There's always going to be obstacles in the way, and it's important to work through or around them, otherwise you don't get anywhere.

Meanwhile, the Pizza Castle idea? I can't say I'm a huge fan of this particular direction. I think it would be a hard task to sell this idea to patrons: "It's like a medieval castle, but we serve pizza!" The two concepts are quite removed from each other, so putting them together into a realistic environment might be quite a task. That said, I've heard of the "Medieval Times" chain you have in the US, which seem to be succeeding. Unfortunately, I have no idea what happens there.

Can I suggest that you look at redeveloping one of the two concepts: either the castle idea, or the pizza idea. For example: go for an italian-style vista with the pizza/pasta angle, or meat and potatoes with the medieval theme. How about starting your patrons as workers in a medieval kitchen, peeling spuds, moving up the castle chain of command, into the corridors of power (including various shady figures who appear and disappear through their stay), having drinks with the chamberlains, or entrees with various castle folk overseeing a joust or something, finally culminating in an audience with the King and a sitdown meal of meats and vegetables (linking with the spuds you peeled at the beginning).

I realise that in terms of your initial concept, it CAN be done. Various restaurants at Disney parks etc combine disparate elements and still work, but visitors are already accepting the new reality of the environment before they enter the restaurant, which makes the story a lot easier to explain.

Just some thoughts.
Regards,

Chad


rudyValencia
Member
Posts: 2
(9/8/05 12:14 pm)
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New Post Re: some thoughts chadlockwood's post: ( Hey King! It's good to hear you moving in a new direction, not getting bogged down by competitors' plans and some such. There's always going to be obstacles in the way, and it's important to work through or around them, otherwise you don't get anywhere. )

Hey there Chad! It's been a while. Anyway, the previous idea I had for The Kingdom of Wyndfaire - the medieval theme park, was "boldly going nowhere", according to someone I know off-board. So I decided to shelve it until I could further develop it, and work on this project (the Pizza Castle family entertainment center), which will require less development (potentially as little as 12 months -- which in this industry is equal to 3 years), and definitely less capital than a whole theme park.

chadlockwood continues: ( Meanwhile, the Pizza Castle idea? I can't say I'm a huge fan of this particular direction. I think it would be a hard task to sell this idea to patrons: "It's like a medieval castle, but we serve pizza!" The two concepts are quite removed from each other, so putting them together into a realistic environment might be quite a task. That said, I've heard of the "Medieval Times" chain you have in the US, which seem to be succeeding. Unfortunately, I have no idea what happens there. )

As with The Kingdom of Wyndfaire, Pizza Castle is designed with some degree of anachronism: keep in mind the theming isn't necessarily full-on medieval; I can take some creative license if need be. Yeah, Medieval Times makes a whole boatload of money, but they only do one thing: a tournament dinner show. On the other hand, Pizza Ca has something for everyone: arcade & redemption games, a cabaret show, climbing tubes for the little folk, a ball pit, and live "walk-arounds" by Drake (the "mascot" dragon), the King, and the rest of the Royal Family.

More from chadlockwood: ( Can I suggest that you look at redeveloping one of the two concepts: either the castle idea, or the pizza idea. For example: go for an italian-style vista with the pizza/pasta angle, or meat and potatoes with the medieval theme. How about starting your patrons as workers in a medieval kitchen, peeling spuds, moving up the castle chain of command, into the corridors of power (including various shady figures who appear and disappear through their stay), having drinks with the chamberlains, or entrees with various castle folk overseeing a joust or something, finally culminating in an audience with the King and a sitdown meal of meats and vegetables (linking with the spuds you peeled at the beginning). )

I really don't want to split the two concepts - I'd like to keep them together, but Pizza Castle is much like Chuck E. Cheese's (the US name for what you in Australia call Charlie Cheese's): a place where you can go to give your kids a great time, and maybe even have fun yourself. (I've seen guys and girls from the university having fun there, and I'm part of the 'university' age bracket, so I should know. Razz )

chadlockwood concludes: ( I realise that in terms of your initial concept, it CAN be done. Various restaurants at Disney parks etc combine disparate elements and still work, but visitors are already accepting the new reality of the environment before they enter the restaurant, which makes the story a lot easier to explain. )

I agree - Pizza Castle can be done - and yeah, people's gears switch before they enter the place, which makes it easier - but nonetheless, it's possible if executed properly. That's why Greeley, Colorado (my hometown) will be the "new product development" location (if Pizza Castle becomes a chain).

Soon, www.thefuncastle.us will be up and development-related info, including SRP's (suggested retail prices), some prototype sketches, and more, will be posted as development proceeds.

tedward07
Member
Posts: 2
(9/9/05 1:26 pm)
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New Post Re: some thoughts Well, as a parent with small children who also is into medieval history I would love to take my family out to such a restaurant. If I want full-on authentic "medieval" atmosphee I will go to a Ren Faire or an SCA event. For a fun night out with the family Pizza Castle would be great!

As for the food, the comedy provided by obvious anachronisms can be part of the fun: "Ye Olde Pepperoni Pizza" seems amusing to me. I don't think the majority of people will care that is not "authentic" because (I would guess) the restaurant would never claim to be so.

rudyValencia
Member
Posts: 3
(9/9/05 5:31 pm)
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New Post Re: some thoughts tedward07 stepped up to the podium, tapped the mic for feedback, and began the spiel:

Quote:Well, as a parent with small children who also is into medieval history I would love to take my family out to such a restaurant. If I want full-on authentic "medieval" atmosphee I will go to a Ren Faire or an SCA event. For a fun night out with the family Pizza Castle would be great!


rudyValencia stood up and said the following, in a voice loud enough to rock the board to its foundations:

I agree with you, tedward07. "Authentic 'medieval'" only belongs at a renaissance faire or SCA event, not at a family entertainment center.

Then tedward07 continued, after clearing his throat:

Quote:As for the food, the comedy provided by obvious anachronisms can be part of the fun: "Ye Olde Pepperoni Pizza" seems amusing to me. I don't think the majority of people will care that is not "authentic" because (I would guess) the restaurant would never claim to be so.


rudyValencia boomed out with the following:

That sounds real funny - "Ye olde pepperoni pizza" (LOL). But yeah, Pizza Castle doesn't claim any authenticity whatsoever, and probably only the "diehard" medievalists (SCA members) would take offense.

ewc
Member
Posts: 464
(9/9/05 6:48 pm)
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New Post Round Table Pizza and some comments Glad to see you’ve scaled down your scope, but it never hurts to dream. Heads up on the medieval and pizza idea, while your idea is just a Chuck E. Cheese's (do they still have animatorincs, I know the one I grew up by used to) on medieval time there’s a pizza chain called Round Table Pizza.

From www.roundtablepizza.com

“What is the meaning of the "shields" in the Round Table Pizza logo?
Round Table Pizza was founded by Bill Larson in 1959…. As far as the shields go, the original concept of "Round Table" was to signify a gathering place - it had nothing to do with King Arthur or the Knights of the Round Table. One day, in about 1961, a friend of Mr. Larsons was eating pizza in the restaurant and started drawing the characters from King Arthur's court, all eating pizza. Mr. Larson was so excited he adopted the King Arthur Theme and started making the restaurants look like English castles.The shields were added to the logo (the name) about 1970. There are actually three shields and believe it or not, they symbolize the letters "F", "U", "N", spelling FUN! Most people don't see that when they look at the shields, but that's the true story!”


Today the themeing at a lot of these are minimal if any (the one I went to as a kid though was pretty cool, they had knight armor, shields, swords and stuff like that). The one I live by now kind of has a Chuck E. Cheese feel with a small entertainment area with ski ball and video games. But I would guess that there are some of the older ones that still look like an English castle.

Business wise, between Chuck E. Cheese, Round Table Pizza and countless other themed restaurants (i.e. Rain Forest Café) you have a business model to go off of when you create your business plan.

All that said… instead of recreating the past (or a variant of it) why don’t you do something small scale that still pushes the limits of theming. For inspiration check out:

www.giggleridge.com
www.5-wits.com/content.html


-Eric

Meloncov
Member
Posts: 52
(9/9/05 6:55 pm)
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New Post RE:Pizza Castle One sugestion: have you ever seen/been to the Hideaway play area at Legoland? Very good example of how a well themed play area can be done on a very small budjet. By putting out the basics and letting the kids create their own stories, it manages to be more effective then play areas that cost many times as much. Also, kids as old as early adolesents play their, something that could be said about very few theme park play areas. The nearby store selling foam swords and costumes helps as well: I recomend that each restuaraunt have a small gift shop.

rforkel
Member
Posts: 15
(9/12/05 3:46 pm)
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New Post What's the difference? As a parent who goes to Chuck E. Cheese's, I abhor the thought of another similar venue. Would there be anything that Pizza Castle would have to make it different than any other FEC? I mean they all have games, play tubes, prize redemption, etc. What would make me want to come to your place over anyone else?

Honestly, I detest CEC's pizza. It tastes like cardboard with tomato sauce on it and I would eat somewhere else before going there if I could help it. As far as games, it seems like the majority of thier games are games of chance (get the token in the slot for your chance to win 50 tickets, etc) rather than games of skill (i.e. skeeball, basketball, etc) I have seen some places incorporate mini golf, go-karts, batting cages, and even small carnival games into thier FEC's.

Well, enough of my ramblings--just thought I'd give you another perspective. FEC's may not be as prevalent in Colorado but I've had my fill in Central Florida.

Ryan

SPCcom
Member
Posts: 60
(9/14/05 10:09 am)
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New Post Ideas come and go Ideas are a dime a dozen.
And with that they come and go; are repeated; added onto, and sometimes can send the thought into an entirely new direction.

So what if its been done before, its all in the way and quality of the final execution of the product.
Theme to a medieval castle and make it a pizza joint!
Does someone own the right to the "medieval" style?
No.
Does someone own teh right to a "medieval style pizza joint"?
No.
Does the disconnect between a castle and pizza matter?
Not to me. In fact I like the disconnect.
Sounds like a fun children's book to me.
I bet if King Henry 8th, could have made pizza he would have
eaten a lot of it!

Best.
naw

SenoritaVelasco
Member
Posts: 28
(9/14/05 12:10 pm)
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New Post different Everyone has a good point. So there's a round table and a chuck e cheese, so what? Make yours different. Who's your audience. ***Make it fun for adults and children.*** I can tell you right now my mom was sooooo bored at Chuck E Cheese... I remember running up to our booth TOKENS TOKENS! and the look on her face as she just sat there! Make sure the kids have fun but remember mommy and daddy have the purses and wallets. And so what if round table has the bathrooms labled as knights and ladies it's not all that exciting, it's really just pizza. Now they have two random puppets promoting their food, if it weren't for those damn shields people woulnd't even remember the supposed "theme"

As far as the mixing pizza and medieval thing, look at little ceasers as an example... it's perfectly natural to me to see a man in a toga with olive branches in his hair eating a big floopy slice of pizza!

rudyValencia
Member
Posts: 3
(9/14/05 12:10 pm)
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New Post Playing catchup here... Hi everyone. I'm playing catchup here, so let's start with some news:

New Branding: I have found that there are already too many restaurants in the US (and abroad) that go by the name "Pizza Castle". So, I have decided on "Drake's Pizza Palace" as a replacement name.

Let's continue with the post by rforkel:

Quote:As a parent who goes to Chuck E. Cheese's, I abhor the thought of another similar venue. Would there be anything that Pizza Castle would have to make it different than any other FEC? I mean they all have games, play tubes, prize redemption, etc. What would make me want to come to your place over anyone else?



You probably won't abhor my concept after you see it. I plan to include a "TV room" where people can watch sports, news, soaps, Simpsons, movies, whatever. Also, I plan to have a better, higher quality animatronic show that entertains everyone - not just kids.

Quote:Honestly, I detest CEC's pizza. It tastes like cardboard with tomato sauce on it and I would eat somewhere else before going there if I could help it



They make their pizzas fresh from scratch (I should know, I've been a long-time customer). To me, they taste pretty good - but they're not as good as those of the local pizza joint I frequent.

My pizza is made like pizza should be: a crust that is crisp, a sauce that is not too spicy, lots of cheese and toppings - all you could want in a great pizza, and then some.

And I won't just offer pizza - burgers, sandwiches, and other things are available too.

Quote:As far as games, it seems like the majority of thier games are games of chance (get the token in the slot for your chance to win 50 tickets, etc) rather than games of skill (i.e. skeeball, basketball, etc)



It depends on the market - some markets prefer chance, some skill. At the CEC in Fort Collins (a good half-hour's drive from my hometown of Greeley), there's more "skill-oriented" games (like Skeeball, basketball, Whack-a-Mole) than "chance-oriented" ones (like Cyclone, Wheel 'em In, etc).

The mix I plan to offer of games is 25% chance, 50% skill, and 25% non-redemption.

Quote:FEC's may not be as prevalent in Colorado but I've had my fill in Central Florida.



My concept's going to be better. Perhaps if you have some ideas for my concept you might want to become a member of my ezBoard (opens in new window). It won't cost you a dime, and if you act quickly you could be part of it when I get around to incorporating.

Now, in reply to SPCcom:

Quote:Ideas are a dime a dozen.
And with that they come and go; are repeated; added onto, and sometimes can send the thought into an entirely new direction.



Yeah, ideas are a dime a dozen, but great ideas are worth millions, in the right hands. This one (I think) is a million dollar idea.

Quote:So what if its been done before, its all in the way and quality of the final execution of the product.
Theme to a medieval castle and make it a pizza joint!



CEC Entertainment is now trying to focus more on their star Chuck E. Cheese and less on their other characters - which to me is an outrage.

Remember "ShowBiz Pizza Place" and "The Rock-afire Explosion"? Now that was much better entertainment. They knew how to run a FEC right, but when they bought Pizza Time Theatre from Bushnell in the 80's, they started their downward spiral.

Quote:Does someone own the right to the "medieval" style? No.
Does someone own teh (sic) right to a "medieval style pizza joint"? No.
Does the disconnect between a castle and pizza matter?
Not to me. In fact I like the disconnect. Sounds like a fun children's book to me. I bet if King Henry 8th, could have made pizza he would have eaten a lot of it!



King Henry would have probably died of a heart attack sooner. :p But yeah, nobody else that I know of has a similar concept.

Thanks for posting replies to this thread. If you'd like to be a co-developer of this concept, visit my ezBoard. (opens in new window).

RudyValencia signing off.

Edited by: rudyValencia at: 9/14/05 12:54 pm
TheWithin
Member
Posts: 5
(9/15/05 11:34 am)
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New Post Good direction
I am glad to see that this new project is a little more doable. Being from Greeley, I understand that there realy is no place to take your kids. There is Pizza blast on 10th st which is super tacky, and I have seen that they just opened up a Chuk E Cheeze next to the mall. Realy I wouldn't want to go to either of these places more than once a year and my three kids ageing from 6 to 1 don't be me to go either. The place I love is Casa Bonita in Denver. The atmosphere is idealic and wonderful. The realy don't reinvest into the resteraunt like they should, but they are probly rolling in it.

I am excited for your project if you did it righr like Casa, but I might only go once a year if it is like chucky.

I do architectual sculpture on the side, and that is why I like Casa. I think that if you make it look perminent, it probably will be.

rudyValencia
Member
Posts: 3
(9/15/05 11:43 am)
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New Post Re: Good direction Yeah, I happen to agree with you, TheWithin - The Kingdom of Wyndfaire was too out of reach. I am working on this project with a few friends from another ezBoard, if you'd like to join my ezBoard you are certainly welcome.

Rudy Valencia
TSF Entertainment
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