effreyyapp from Imagination Portal
Next Trends? Posted 11-14-2002 14:46
I was re-reading one of the articles about the future of theme park design and I started to wonder about what the next trends in the industry would be. Here are a few off-hand thoughts, and I'd like to know what the rest of you see coming in the next decade or so:
First of all, I think we'll see a great step back toward the storytelling aspect. When Disney first started developing story rides like PIRATES and PETER PAN and the like- the story came first, and the technology was "fitted" to tell that story. The last few years, it seems the aim is to develop the "next best thing" in technology, and a story is kind of just tacked on. I think a much greater emphasis will be placed back onto the story.
Secondly, I think non-liner storylines will be coming quite soon. The stories for these rides will read more like those "choose-your-own-adventure" books that were so popular when I was in grade school. Certainly the technology already exists to give the guests a chance to "vote" on which door to go through, which tunnel to explore, etc. This will 1)increase the ride capacity per hour (1000 guests all going the same direction will take longer than 1000 guests in different places in the ride.) As well as the longevity of interest. You could ride it 12 times before you saw the same story twice, for instance. Parks wouldnt have to spend as much money updating the ride as often.
Fastpass (and its non-disney "cousins",) as many gripes as we hear about it, was really a great a idea. Guests have the option of getting onto the ride faster, which means they get more for their money since they can get onto another ride faster. So far, the majority of the rides had fastpass tacked on later, not incorporated into the design of the attraction. As they continue to develop the concept into the ride, i think it will be much more successful.
I think info kiosks are going to be huge. HUGE. I think that as A.I. is developed even further, "I.R.I.S." (intelligent responsive interactive secretary) will be our new best friend. We'll ask her what the wait time is for that great new ride, what restuaraunt in the park is the cheapest, where i can buy that stuffed animal i keep seeing, etc etc etc. We'll make a reservation to board that great new E-ticket ride at 4:30 so we can ride it right before we eat dinner at that cheap resturaunt instead of waiting 2 hours to board.
I think we'll see some great new parks that will rival the Disney and Universal parks. *GASP* Did I say that out loud?!?! Coming from someone who has dreamed of working for WDI since he was 11 years old (Im now almost 30) that says a lot. Here's why I say that: Disney re-invents the wheel for nearly every attraction these days. It takes years to develop the technology for the rides, and by the time they open, there's not as much emphasis on the story as there used to be. Now you have several other design companies, all trying to make their mark on the scene. They know they have to be incredible, phenomenal experiences with great stories...as well as being REALLY inexpensive. So, a lot more work will be spent on the Size, number of attractions, details like only Disney used to do, to make up for the fact that they can't spend Millions on the technology.
OK, as usual I've babbled way too much longer than I should have. As an aspiring show writer/director, I tend to dream away quite a bit of my life....
but then again- that IS the idea, isn't it? 🙂