The future of theme park tickets?

Friday, July 6, 2007 11:20 AM
I ran across this interesting concept today. It basically sounds like a next generation concept from what Disney already does. They link room keys, credit card and ticket information to a plastic card already.

But, using RFID and GPS technology could be really cool. Like the blog says, you could put the park map on here, have your own "turn by turn guidance" to each attraction, link it to Fast Pass, restaurant info, etc...

Seems like a cool concept.

Thoughts?

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Friday, July 6, 2007 11:30 AM
You know, All this add on stuff is up to the visitor if they want it or not.

I still say if you have to pay more than a Pay one price addmission to have a good time at a park, Either theres something wrong with YOU or THE PARK your visiting.

In Disney and Universal's cases it's kind of a exception as they are massive resorts with multi million visitors but for any SF, CF Park if they don't have enough rides to keep lines reasonable on a weekday. The park has a problem.

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Friday, July 6, 2007 1:28 PM
It's just like anything else in this world. Some people think technological advances could only help the experiences at amusement parks, and others think that nothing should ever change, and Cedar Point should be the Cedar Point of old, or any other park for that matter.

However, I ask this: Why is it that the traditionalists want everything to stay the same at amusement parks, yet they want the most technologically advanced rides on the planet?

Seems hypocritical to me.

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Friday, July 6, 2007 1:52 PM
What's "next generation" about combining one card for your room key, ID, charging privileges? Disney and Universal have been doing it for years.

The linked device is a solution in search of a problem.

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Friday, July 6, 2007 1:56 PM
I know you love to mock my threads all the time, Jeff. But, seriously, it's getting old.

The link talks about the "ticket" having an LED map, directions, information about attractions, finding your friends in the park, etc... That's "next generation" from what Disney and Universal have been doing for years. Again, I even stated that in my first post. :rolleyes:

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Friday, July 6, 2007 2:03 PM
I have to agree with Jeff. It's a solution looking for a problem. People get around Disney and Universal just fine as it is. A paper park map is sufficient for most people to figure out where they are and how to get to where they are going.
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Friday, July 6, 2007 2:32 PM

Jeff Young said:
It's just like anything else in this world. Some people think technological advances could only help the experiences at amusement parks, and others think that nothing should ever change, and Cedar Point should be the Cedar Point of old, or any other park for that matter.

However, I ask this: Why is it that the traditionalists want everything to stay the same at amusement parks, yet they want the most technologically advanced rides on the planet?

Seems hypocritical to me.


Not saying you are but your certainly not talking about me :) I'll take a park with lots to do and only one great coaster over 17 coasters and huge crowds anyday

Chuck, who never was a biggest, fastest highest person. I just like em to be good.

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Friday, July 6, 2007 2:37 PM
I guess Im the only one thinking Technology isn't the greatest thing on the planet.

Quite honestly, The more tech stuff gets, The more problems, stresses ect things become.

No I don't have a 700 I Phone, A 300 dollar GPS and all the monthly charges that come with em.

I DO JUST FINE thank you very much. If I need directions, I have a map or ask someone. If I break down. I call my family or friends.

Why do people feel they need help with everything? What happened to helping yourself?

Chuck, who bets some people don't even have a candle or flashlight in the house and some canned food in case electric goes out for any amount of time

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Friday, July 6, 2007 2:41 PM
Oh no! Jeff's picking on Tim again! Let the crying begin!

Over the years I've seen all kinds of vendors come and go trying to sell some kind of technical marvel that will make a theme park better. Very few of them ever deliver. If you walk the floor at IAAPA, the only real new developments appear to be haunted stuff (and God help us, inflatables).

People just want to show up, eat hot dogs, ride and enjoy their day. Useless tech like this does not facilitate that. You don't need GPS tracking to find your friends. Call them on your cell phone and tell them you're in line for Tower of Terror.

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Friday, July 6, 2007 3:14 PM
"Useless tech like this" can facilitate having a good time at a park. How many people benefit from the Q-bot? How many people benefit from using their park ticket to charge with? How many people benefit by having their hotel key being their park ticket? That's all "useless tech" too.

Although I would agree that finding your friends with GPS is quite pointless, there are other benefits that could be helpful. I think having a ride's real-time queue length accessible in your hand would be VERY helpful. I also think items like menus at different places in the park would be good. I know I've thought about this many times. Like, if someone in my group wants a cheese on a stick, who sells that? Let's ask the ticket.

Besides benefiting the guests, it could also benefit parks. If they did have GPS in them, the park could literally see how every guest moves around the park. They could tell how people move through the park, which shops they go to, what rides they get on, in what order they ride things, what areas of the park are "dead zones", and which parts of the midway experience lots of congestion.

I can think of a countless number of ways this isn't "useless". You've always been a proponent of the "park/room key/charging" card. That was an advance in technology. Why is that not useless?

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Friday, July 6, 2007 5:42 PM
Magnetic striped cards have been around for, what, 30 or 40 years? That hardly seems like an advance in technology to me. For Disney, or whoever figured it out first, to finally realize they could use the same card for those things, probably took longer than it should have.

The tech described isn't even useful to the parks. They know exactly how many people ride the attractions and what time of day they do it. They already are tracking it, today, with inexpensive devices like turnstiles and wrist watches. Every park knows the number of people in their queue by the length of the line too. That's why they post the time at the entrance. Some of them lie a little, but so what? That's queue management, and it works.

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Friday, July 6, 2007 6:20 PM

halltd said:
They could tell how people move through the park, which shops they go to, what rides they get on, in what order they ride things, what areas of the park are "dead zones", and which parts of the midway experience lots of congestion.

Methinks whoever came up with this has played way too much Roller Coaster Tycoon.

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Friday, July 6, 2007 6:24 PM
Jeff - - - > Can I ask what you mean by inflatables?
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Friday, July 6, 2007 6:45 PM
^^ I've never played Roller Coaster Tycoon or know anything about it other than you build virtual theme parks. I prefer to build the real thing.

Inflatables are those annoying structures people have at parties and stuff that kids bounce around in. I believe there's one at Cedar Point with a huge Snoopy on top of it across from Gemini.

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Friday, July 6, 2007 6:48 PM

halltd said:
^^ I've never played Roller Coaster Tycoon or know anything about it other than you build virtual theme parks. I prefer to build the real thing.

Well, I meant the people who came up with the concept. It sounds like a good way to play RCT with your guests instead of getting out of the office and observing them and seeing yourself what's happening in your park.

I mean is it really that hard to observe "Oh...this midway is a bit congested today."

Also...you build real parks?

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Friday, July 6, 2007 9:37 PM
I used to. I was an Imagineer for Disney for a while and did theme park and resort design for them. Currently I'm doing resort design and construction in the Caribbean, but I hope to get back into the amusement industry after my contract is up here.
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Friday, July 6, 2007 11:35 PM
Its a good idea in theory. You can even have it at some smaller parks. Mom and dad fill the cards up with cash and you dont have to carry cash into a park and get it wet on water rides. then you can send little johnny on his way and the parents know where he is.

The park can use the information to track where the guests are going better and see what seems to be more popular and more money and seeing if there is any dead areas. You can't be in every place all the time this would give you day by day stats.

It isn't a problem that needs a solution per say but its a good idea that shouldn't be tossed away so easily.

Every one hates q-bots but you could even have them built into the card so you don't have to have the crappy bot break

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Saturday, July 7, 2007 12:44 AM
If you worked for Disney, then you should know that the concept you outline in your first post has already been implemented in their parks. It's called a "Pal Mickey."
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Saturday, July 7, 2007 1:13 AM
Yes I know about Pal Mickey. It's a step towards the ticket concept I mentioned too. I was just trying to show another concept that could be implemented at other parks as well - with the single "card". But, I guess it's just "useless technology."
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Saturday, July 7, 2007 1:55 AM
I do not like for enormous corporations to track my every move so they can figure out how to trick me into spending more money. I don't like for them to know every little tidbit of my spending habits. I don't like for them to pretend that there is a problem that taking away what little bit of privacy I have left needs to be taken away in order to solve it.

RFID could be a useful technology if used for shipping and stocking products in stores. Any use of RFID that tracks people is a very easy way for the "elite" ( and I'm not talking about people who can afford Q-Bots this time) to have ultimate power, which is what they have been striving for in the last 10 or so years. It could possibly be a way to financially enslave us.

first they use it a little here and then a little there until we get used to it, then they decide we need to be tracked a little more and more until we are no longer free to do whatever we want.

Why do these cards need tracking tech involved in their design? Why can't the cards just be used for giving information as a service? What if I don't want my friend to find me in the park and that is why I haven't been answering my cell phone?

The tech for a product like this is available at a pretty reasonable price, but it will be many more years until the human population can be groomed to accept it as useful and not as another privacy corrupter.

Flame away...

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