2020s Theme Park Predictions

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Hi guys. I was just reading a really interesting blog post on Cupcakes and Coasters about her predictions for the 2020s in the theme park industry, and it got me thinking about my personal predictions for what the 2020s could hold in the theme park industry. So I made this topic to discuss what we all predict will happen in the theme park industry during the 2020s; I'll get the ball rolling with some of my personal predictions:

  • Either a new coaster manufacturer will emerge or an existing one will massively regenerate themselves: This might seem like a rather bold prediction, but this seems to have happened in a number of decades in the past. For example, I'd imagine that if you told a 2010 enthusiast that a small construction company in Idaho would be one of the most sought after thrill ride manufacturers in the world, they would look at you rather blankly. Same with if you told them that Vekoma would be making smooth, intense thrill machines that were critically acclaimed. During the 2010s, RMC emerged from nowhere and changed the amusement industry forever, companies like Vekoma and Mack massively regenerated themselves, and even the likes of Gerstlauer massively upped their game in terms of the types of coasters they were producing. Even in terms of past decades, I'd argue that the 2000s really changed Intamin in terms of the sorts of rides they were producing, and B&M emerged and sent shockwaves through the industry in the 1990s. So I have reason to believe that this decade, we will either see a new manufacturer emerge or an existing one revitalise their product lineup.
  • We will see a 500ft coaster get built: Now, I know that the industry seems to be moving away from record-breaking on the whole, but I think that there is still a definite appetite for record-breakers within parks. Also, the specific reason why I put this one in there is because of a specific ride system that's being strongly hyped; RMC's TRex Track. Alan Schlike has said in interviews that this ride system is designed to reach heights of 300+ft, and if there's anyone in the industry right now who will do something so radical as break the height record, it's RMC. As for which park will build it; who knows? Cedar Point were the first to go over 200ft, 300ft and 400ft, respectively, so I could see them doing 500ft if they had the money & space. Or maybe a park in Asia could do it? They do seem to be in a real growth phase in terms of their industry compared to the rest of the world.
  • Disney will announce a major project in Florida to compete with Epic Universe: As many of you know, Universal is currently constructing its third theme park in Florida, Epic Universe, for a 2023 opening date. Now, Disney won't want to lose any custom to this major new project down the road, so I'm sure they'll probably unveil something to compete. Whether that's a fifth theme park or not I don't know, but I definitely think that they will want to compete in some way with Epic Universe. They seem to want to compete with most things Universal does; they've attempted to counter both Islands of Adventure and Harry Potter in the past.
  • Paultons Park will have grown into one of the UK's most prominent theme parks: Now this may seem like a very bold prediction, but I could definitely see it with the rate they're growing at currently. In 2010, Paultons Park was merely a speck on the UK theme park scene, with a Gerstlauer Bobsled Coaster and a Zamperla Disk'O as its two most notable attractions. But now, it's a growing name in the UK theme park scene with many notable things to its name. By 2030, I could easily see them becoming one of the UK park industry's most well-known and most visited names provided its current momentum continues, which I don't see any reason for it not to provided Tornado Springs is successful.
  • Six Flags will go bankrupt again: Now for a slightly less positive prediction; with the current pandemic having major effects on the world and Six Flags having not been in a particularly good place prior to bankruptcy (their debt was apparently nearing pre-bankruptcy levels even before the pandemic), I unfortunately think that it's looking more and more likely that Six Flags will go bankrupt again at some point during the 2020s. It's not a prediction that I want to be making, but it's one that I unfortunately feel is looking more and more likely, especially with the threat of a global recession looming.
So, those are some of my personal theme park predictions for the 2020s! But what do you guys think will happen this decade?
 

Thameslink Rail

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
Hi guys. I was just reading a really interesting blog post on Cupcakes and Coasters about her predictions for the 2020s in the theme park industry, and it got me thinking about my personal predictions for what the 2020s could hold in the theme park industry. So I made this topic to discuss what we all predict will happen in the theme park industry during the 2020s; I'll get the ball rolling with some of my personal predictions:

  • Either a new coaster manufacturer will emerge or an existing one will massively regenerate themselves: This might seem like a rather bold prediction, but this seems to have happened in a number of decades in the past. For example, I'd imagine that if you told a 2010 enthusiast that a small construction company in Idaho would be one of the most sought after thrill ride manufacturers in the world, they would look at you rather blankly. Same with if you told them that Vekoma would be making smooth, intense thrill machines that were critically acclaimed. During the 2010s, RMC emerged from nowhere and changed the amusement industry forever, companies like Vekoma and Mack massively regenerated themselves, and even the likes of Gerstlauer massively upped their game in terms of the types of coasters they were producing. Even in terms of past decades, I'd argue that the 2000s really changed Intamin in terms of the sorts of rides they were producing, and B&M emerged and sent shockwaves through the industry in the 1990s. So I have reason to believe that this decade, we will either see a new manufacturer emerge or an existing one revitalise their product lineup.
  • We will see a 500ft coaster get built: Now, I know that the industry seems to be moving away from record-breaking on the whole, but I think that there is still a definite appetite for record-breakers within parks. Also, the specific reason why I put this one in there is because of a specific ride system that's being strongly hyped; RMC's TRex Track. Alan Schlike has said in interviews that this ride system is designed to reach heights of 300+ft, and if there's anyone in the industry right now who will do something so radical as break the height record, it's RMC. As for which park will build it; who knows? Cedar Point were the first to go over 200ft, 300ft and 400ft, respectively, so I could see them doing 500ft if they had the money & space. Or maybe a park in Asia could do it? They do seem to be in a real growth phase in terms of their industry compared to the rest of the world.
  • Disney will announce a major project in Florida to compete with Epic Universe: As many of you know, Universal is currently constructing its third theme park in Florida, Epic Universe, for a 2023 opening date. Now, Disney won't want to lose any custom to this major new project down the road, so I'm sure they'll probably unveil something to compete. Whether that's a fifth theme park or not I don't know, but I definitely think that they will want to compete in some way with Epic Universe. They seem to want to compete with most things Universal does; they've attempted to counter both Islands of Adventure and Harry Potter in the past.
  • Paultons Park will have grown into one of the UK's most prominent theme parks: Now this may seem like a very bold prediction, but I could definitely see it with the rate they're growing at currently. In 2010, Paultons Park was merely a speck on the UK theme park scene, with a Gerstlauer Bobsled Coaster and a Zamperla Disk'O as its two most notable attractions. But now, it's a growing name in the UK theme park scene with many notable things to its name. By 2030, I could easily see them becoming one of the UK park industry's most well-known and most visited names provided its current momentum continues, which I don't see any reason for it not to provided Tornado Springs is successful.
  • Six Flags will go bankrupt again: Now for a slightly less positive prediction; with the current pandemic having major effects on the world and Six Flags having not been in a particularly good place prior to bankruptcy (their debt was apparently nearing pre-bankruptcy levels even before the pandemic), I unfortunately think that it's looking more and more likely that Six Flags will go bankrupt again at some point during the 2020s. It's not a prediction that I want to be making, but it's one that I unfortunately feel is looking more and more likely, especially with the threat of a global recession looming.
So, those are some of my personal theme park predictions for the 2020s! But what do you guys think will happen this decade?
The following parks will go
Drayton Manor
Lightwater Valley
M&Ds
Perhaps more, most independent parks in the UK are in quite unstable positions and Coronavirus may well push some parks over the edge.
 

SiK80

TS Member
Favourite Ride
oblivion
Thorpe park will get a new coaster and it wont have an IP, and they will remove Slammer.

only joking
 

D4n

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
Knightmare will open at Pleasureland Southport.

The Air tunnel will be themed.

Single rider queues will return to Merlin parks.

Alton Towers will make a major investment that isn't a coaster.
 
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Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Knightmare will open at Pleasureland Southport.

The air tunnel will be themed.

Single rider queues will return to Merlin parks.

Alton Towers will make a major investment that isn't a coaster.
I could see some of the other ones coming true, but the first one is an interesting prediction, as I thought that the way they demolished Knightmare didn't seem to be very careful to protect it!
 

John C

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Shambhala
Not a prediction as such, but something I would like to see for the Disneyland Paris park. Although it is a great park with some fantastic versions of classic attractions, it needs a major new attraction. Ideally I would like to see a Splash Mountain type of attraction as that is what it really lacks compared to other 'Magic Kingdom' type parks.

Unfortunately I can't see this happening for some time because of the ongoing investment in the Studios park, and of course the current ongoing situation won't help.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Not a prediction as such, but something I would like to see for the Disneyland Paris park. Although it is a great park with some fantastic versions of classic attractions, it needs a major new attraction. Ideally I would like to see a Splash Mountain type of attraction as that is what it really lacks compared to other 'Magic Kingdom' type parks.

Unfortunately I can't see this happening for some time because of the ongoing investment in the Studios park, and of course the current ongoing situation won't help.

I don't think they will ever build a splashy water ride at DLP as they aren't good all-year round attractions.
 

D4n

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
I don't think they will ever build a splashy water ride at DLP as they aren't good all-year round attractions.

Splash Mountain is hardly a soaker though is it? Personally I think something along those lines would be ideal for Paris. I was there last summer with temperatures over 30*c and the park was crying out for a water based attraction (alongside more indoor shows).

If DVH can work year round at Efteling I'm sure Splash Mountain can at DLP.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I could have sworn that I heard somewhere that many modern water rides now have temperature sensors that can adjust the wetness dependant on how hot it is; something like that might work well at DLP. I think it was Mack Water Coasters that I heard have this now?

When DLP was designed in the late 1980s-early 1990s, water ride technology was nowhere near as sophisticated as it is today. Now, they could quite easily pull off a good year-round water ride of some form for the French climate if they wanted to.
 

Ted

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
Splash Mountain is hardly a soaker though is it? Personally I think something along those lines would be ideal for Paris. I was there last summer with temperatures over 30*c and the park was crying out for a water based attraction (alongside more indoor shows).

If DVH can work year round at Efteling I'm sure Splash Mountain can at DLP.

Tokyo has a Splash Mountain and Japan isn't exactly the driest country on Earth...I recall last year when it was boiling I saw someone cooling themselves off in a lake at dlp as no other real option was available.
 

jon81uk

TS Member
If they did add a water ride I would really rather they didn't just cut and paste an existing ride such as Splash Mountain anyway, something new would be much more welcome!
 

AT86

TS Member
It would need to be a more recent IP, that’s the way Disney operate these days. Maybe Moana themed.
 

Benjsh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Steel Vengeance
The Beauty and the Beast ride going into one of the Asian Parks (forget which one now) should have been added to main Paris park. Its bleeding set there after all. Such a wasted opportunity. Maybe it will still be added at a later date.

Other than that I could see a Snow White coaster clone being added perhaps.

Just don't see them adding a major water ride. They are open 365 days a year so they like to have their major attractions to be open for most of those days. Splash Mountain will never be added or anything like it. The weather simply doesn't allow for it.
 
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