Rockit coaster could be data mine for Universal Studios Florida

Posted Wednesday, July 8, 2009 4:37 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Anonymous riders are choosing just one of 25 songs and little else on the forthcoming Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster. It's easy to see Universal Studios Florida eventually populating the selections with artists that it's thinking about inviting to play during the following summer's concert series. In that case, riders would be able to vote in their choices, and Universal would know that it has secured popular artists. The musical acts being considered will encourage fans to go to the park and ride. It's a viral "rider's choice" winner.

However, isn't this where the data mining starts? It won't be long before guests can swipe cards to identify who they are. The park can offer up benefits such as Web-based ride counts or in-park merchandise discounts, but this is also a loyalty program in disguise that will give the park a better grasp of park-goers' behavior.

Read more from Rick Munarriz at The Motley Fool.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009 4:39 PM

Actually, Disney sort of does some data collection, assuming that some significant percentage of people through the gates at Epcot ride Spaceship Earth. You input your language and location on touch screens there. Of course, ride it enough times, and you try out other languages for fun.

"Thank the Phoenicians!"

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 4:50 PM

Lets just concentrate on getting the ride up the lift hill first.. shall we ;)

While I see their point.. I think adding systems that note peoples ride position and choices they make on the ride for data mining will be a few years coming (if at all).

Talk about a way to slow the queue up.

Jeff slipped in one:

I mean individual aware type rides. We are just bodies to SE.

Last edited by ridemcoaster, Wednesday, July 8, 2009 4:51 PM
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 5:04 PM

I already mentioned the data mining possibilities the park have at their fingertips with my TR from Morey's over a year ago:

Lord Gonchar said:
- You do realize how much guest data can be scraped from those scans everytime someone rides, right? Triple brilliant.

The scannable wrist bands/cards they use for ride credits (no more tickets) could be used in so many ways that it's astounding if you think about it.

I don't doubt more and more parks are going to get into this data collection thing - especially the resort parks in Orlando.

(I now find it easier to link to relevant things I said in the past rather than just keep repeating myself ;) )

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 5:25 PM

Your posts will soon be one giant link.. With a Hansen Roll somewhere in the middle..

Nice.... :)

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 5:40 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
....rather than just keep repeating myself ;)

That's actually a sign you're getting old. Pretty soon you're going to start yelling at the neighbor kids to get off of your lawn. :)

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 5:48 PM

Yeah, but now I understand why old people repeat themselves - they've seen it all before.

In terms of the age of this site and how long I've been partaking, I'm an old, old man. Rather than keep repeating myself when topics come up again and again, I've discovered the conveniece of just linking to the first couple of times I said it. :)

Now get the hell off my lawn!

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 10:51 PM

If these parks are serious about data collection and analysis and fail to bring me in for an interview, they've already lost the battle...but I'd still recommend Freakonomics to them. Oh, and good data is absolutely delicious.... ;)

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 11:51 PM

He obviously hasn't done a close look at who actually plays at the park.

While we all agree that parks (and any large business) will continue to expand their data mining operations, to use the Rockit as a means to program concerts is really stretching things.

First of all, the concerts in the park (where no real significant venue exits), is usually relegated to what I would call the fair and festival set. That is, groups that are well past their prime, still have a following, but aren't exactly filling 18,000 seat venues across the country at full pop prices.

Here's the list from this year's Mardi Gras concert schedule.

KC & The Sunshine Band
Saturday, February 14 Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
Sunday, February 15 The Village People
Saturday, February 21 Ne-Yo
Saturday, February 28 Pat Benatar
Saturday, March 7 Barnaked Ladies
Saturday, March 14 Montgomery Gentry
Saturday, March 21 Collective Soul
Friday, March 27 Boys Like Girls
Saturday, March 28 Kelly Clarkson
Saturday, April 4 MC Hammer
Saturday, April 11 Trace Adkins
Saturday, April 18 Nelly

The park gets them because they are marketable, but CHEAP. Seriously, MC HAMMER!

I usually agree with Rick, as he normally he can get through his enthusiast mindset to see the financial side. However, he must have been under a deadline and just gave up on this one.

Yes, Universal Orlando does have the Hard Rock Live venue, but they don't program it, Hard Rock Cafe Int'l does (and to the best of my knowledge, they are no longer in any ownership relationship with Universal, once Rank got out).

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Thursday, July 9, 2009 1:47 AM

Aren't you reading into it a bit? I mean, he suggested it's the start of richer data mining efforts, not a slam dunk.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009 9:26 AM

So they can use this ride to show how much one kind of band or song people think would be fun to listen to on a coaster.... yay? Disney did this 20 years ago on Horizons and many parks still use something like this. Heck, your resort ID used for admission you can use for charging and the like can see what you do and stuff. They haven't used it for mining guest info yet, so why would they start on a music poll on a coaster? It just seems like Motley is just trying to find something here that just isn't.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009 9:34 AM

Waiting for Rick to chime in... :)

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Thursday, July 9, 2009 10:31 AM

I don't doubt more and more parks are going to get into this data collection thing - especially the resort parks in Orlando.

Not too long ago, there was some pretty rampant speculation that WDW was going to start incorporating RFID into the resort IDs. Stick that in your database and mine it!

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Thursday, July 9, 2009 11:45 AM

Back even before the fingerprinting they kept track of stuff on my visit in 1995 they were having trouble reading my hand stamp at Epcot. The attendant then just asked me where I was that morning, I then replied (Typhoon Lagoon) and asked if that info was really up there, she said yes and then proceeded to rattle off the rest of the parks I had already visited that trip and asked if I was enjoying Old Key West.

Big Mickey is always watching.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009 5:18 PM

I kind of agree with CreditWh0re. The sample is skewed. They would be better off randomly sampling guests as they enter they park. Granted this method provides easy data about the tastes of a good portion of the guests, let's say half of the riders are parents who wouldn't take their kids to a concert, because they like Metallica?

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Thursday, July 9, 2009 5:24 PM

Any good data collection analysis process resembles the ongoing continuous construction of a wooden coaster. Maintenance, tweaking, enhancements, recognition of problem areas/deficiencies, etc. "You never stop building a good data set." ;)

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