Theme parks compete with Internet, video games for teens

Posted Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:07 AM | Contributed by Jeff

With stiff competition from video games, the Internet and cheaper entertainment, theme parks are seeing reduced visits from teens, according to a new study. Research from Mintel shows that 67% of kids age 12-17 visited a U.S. theme park in the last year, compared with 76% five years earlier.

Read more from CNN.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:09 AM

There's a part of me that reacts to this with a "so what?" The teen audience has never been a big spending group anyway. If they spend less than it costs to entertain them, shedding a few would presumably help, not hurt.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:29 AM

The teenage demographic is highly sought after, their spending is something like 208 billion dollars. Girls concentrate on fashion and makeup, boys on games and movies. So if theme parks are losing anyone here, it's teenage boys.

Which is good news to me! I just might head over to the theme park today!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:46 AM

But they don't spend in theme parks. The old Six Flags regime learned this in their price-to-babysit days. Per cap spending was miserable.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:46 AM

What they are losing is the ability to create a habit or tradition of visiting a park at a young age which carries over to when they become adults. If they visit as kids and get hooked on the park, they will most likely keep returning as adults especially when they have their own kids.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:50 AM

RCMAC said:

So if theme parks are losing anyone here, it's teenage boys.

Hey, uh, Tyler - have any interest in video games? Let's see if we can park you in front of an Xbox for a while instead of CoasterBuzz...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:46 AM

Dang Josh. Give him a break. I mean, Tyler hasn't even posted on this thread yet.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013 12:06 PM

Most schools in Ohio started today, right?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 12:36 PM's like the Candyman. If you say his name too many times, he will appear.

I think Pete hit the nail on the head. If kids aren't coming out to theme parks as much, eventually there could be a decline in adult visits to parks as well. We're not seeing it yet, and in fact, many parks are experiencing record breaking numbers if I remember correctly. However, some of that could be from video games not offering anything new. With launches of both the PS4 and Xbox One, things are gonna get worse for getting the teen demographic out to the parks.

Also, I honestly think kids these days are lazy and less patient. Why wait in line in the heat when you can watch a coaster POV in the comfort of your air conditioned room? These are the same kids who use Wikipedia to write term papers, after all.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 5:36 PM

I'm one of those not so lazy kids. I see others all the time. I don't know how many times I've seen kids complain to their parents in line, "If we would have gotten fast lane we'd be there by now."

That's awful. It's what park's want, but those type of impatiences are hurting our world. I don't have an Xbox nor PS3, and video games are below coasters in the fun quotient. Please don't make me explain what the fun quotient is.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 6:38 PM

What kid will be buying an Xbox One or PS4 on their own dime? They make the local Six Flags look like a bargain.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 7:12 PM

Buying a game system costs about $500. It gets outdated in four years. Then, every year, you pay about $250 for new games. That's about $1,500 total. A Six Flags platinum pass for four years including gas for your car and etc could costs a variety of prices depending on usage. I'd take the theme park deal any day.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 7:43 PM

Reminds me of the discussions a dozen years ago or more.

How CP and SFMM were competing for most coasters, and is S:TE a coaster...

How parks were more competing with movies, video games, disc golf, and sports than they are with each other. That's old-school discussion right there...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 8:28 PM

What's the fun quotient?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 9:10 PM

The current generation Xbox and Playstation have been around for seven years, FYI.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 10:28 PM

Don't ever buy a console at launch!

Use that money to go to the amusement park.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:02 PM

Now, that song was fun quotient to the max!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:03 PM

What system costs 500 bucks.. my son's xbox/kinnect bundle was 299

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:05 PM

You have the most selective hearing ever.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:19 PM

Right when you buy it when it just came out it's 599 bucks. Then it drops to 299 after a year.

Last edited by Tyler Boes, Wednesday, August 21, 2013 11:20 PM

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