Common theme park tropes that you're not a fan of

Discussion in 'Rest of the World Parks and Attractions' started by Matt N, 12th Oct 2021.

  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. In the theme park industry, a lot of parks tend to do very similar things to one another at times. Even though every park is different, there are a lot of trends that seem to catch on, and many parks do seem to copy each other at times. So my question to you today is; what common theme park trope aren't you a fan of? What's that thing that many parks do that really grinds your gears?


    Personally, a trope that's becoming more common that I'm not a huge lover of is forced participation within attractions. The likes of Merlin seem to love a good forced participation attraction, but I'm not personally a fan; I don't know if it's the fact I'm quite introverted, but I personally prefer to take a more passive role in enjoying attractions myself.


    But what common theme park trope are you not a fan of?
     
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  2. Thameslink Rail

    Thameslink Rail TowersStreet Member

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    Actors in the queue line/exit ramp. I like rides, I don't like scare actors. I would love to do TWD more if I knew that there wasn't an actor in the exit, I remember last year Chessington tried actors in the queue line which (as well as being a Covid nightmare) made me less happy to ride as they chased people around the queue line causing people to bump into me causing me to get annoyed.

    My Mum has just entered the room and her response to this question is "expensive hot dogs"
     
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  3. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    Theme parks that use vinyl wallpapers as their fall back for theming. Pixilated at that. Just bland, soulless, 2d walls with no thought whatsoever.
     
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  4. Matt878787

    Matt878787 TowersStreet Member

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    Agreed on forced participation - which is why I’ve yet to experience the dungeon.


    I’d add horror/dark themes to this (specifically UK Merlin)

    Dark Forest was just one area too many for me. Too much doom and gloom.
     
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  5. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I also agree with horror type themes being too common in general but Dark Forest is the only one that really sticks out as being "bad". At least at Thorpe they all seem fairly different (Saw is very different to Swarm which is a different take on a disaster compared to Amity).

    Universal Studios does seem to have a little too much reliance on the "oh no something went wrong" plot. But Disney has an issue with just retelling the story from the movie instead of presenting something new.
     
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  6. venny

    venny TowersStreet Member

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    A slight extension to the apparent consensus - horror attractions/scare mazes. They’re now so ubiquitous and generic, I’ve had my fill of chain(less)saws and zombies. I’d like to see a bit more creativity and diversity to Halloween events, perhaps more live productions and the like.

    I suspect I’m in the minority here given the herds which frequent these attractions, but wouldn’t it be nice to see a change.


    The other one is the Merlin formula of large centrepiece themeing structure with a mediocre ride experience. I can’t specifically complain about the big themeing pieces, but they shouldn’t at the expense of a more rounded themeing package and improved ride experience.
     
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  7. Benjsh

    Benjsh TowersStreet Member

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    I feel this way about all of them. I'm not easily scared admittedly but all mazes are just the same thing over and over. Weirdly I don't feel the same way on coasters or dark rides though.
     
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  8. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    I’ll admit I agree with the consensus on horror attractions, but for the same reason as @Thameslink Rail as opposed to the same reason as @venny and @Benjsh.

    Similarly to what Thameslink Rail said above, I am personally quite introverted and get anxious around scare actors, and based on what I’ve heard about what happens in scare mazes and zones, that doesn’t sound like my cup of tea at all. Whereas most other people I’ve watched and read about have been celebrating things like touching being back in mazes, and have been so pumped about Halloween, I don’t get excited by scare season at all; it’s actually my least favourite time of year in parks, personally, and the only reason I’d be tempted to go to a park during the Halloween season would be for night rides and to see the night lighting. And if I want that at Alton Towers, for instance, I can just go at Fireworks.

    Don’t get me wrong, I get the appeal of scare attractions, but they’re not for me.

    Another trope I’m not personally a fan of that I thought of is segregation of demographics. By this, I mean putting the rides aimed at different demographics in different areas of the park; for instance, I’ve noticed that many parks seem to put thrill rides at one end of the park and kids’ rides at the other. Take Alton Towers, for instance; areas like Forbidden Valley, X-Sector and Dark Forest have very little for families, while you have CBeebies Land which is primarily aimed at kids. While I certainly understand the logic behind this and why parks do it, especially in the context of kids’ areas, it’s not something I’d personally do if I were to design a theme park; I’d personally like it if more parks tried to intertwine a variety of family, kiddie and thrill rides in each area so that the whole family could explore the entire park together as opposed to having to take the kids to one area and the thrill seekers to another.
     
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  9. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I generally agree that segregation of family rides is a bad thing, but having a dedicated toddler area like CBeebies isn't so bad. But for over 5s the rides should be mixed in with the rest of the park.
     
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  10. Danny

    Danny Gugu Rides’ Number 1 Fan

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    Whilst I agree with you to an extent, I can also see why it has been done. A ride like Go Jetters or the bugbie-go-round parked next to The Smiler or Nemesis for example is going to take away from that innocent, inviting nature for kids. Also, there's nothing worse than when running for the last ride of the day on a coaster than having to weave in and out of small snotty children.
     
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  11. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    As I said, I’m not criticising the approach per se, and I do get why parks do it, particularly in the context of things like kids’ areas. It’s just not one I’m personally a huge lover of, and it’s not what I’d pick to do if I designed a park.

    I guess that in my head, I’ve always really liked the idea of a park where each area has attractions for every single demographic, ranging from toddlers right through to thrill seekers, so that everyone in the family can go on that same journey around the park together.

    In reality, I’ll admit it probably isn’t feasible to fully do this, as young families and thrill seekers do probably need segregation to an extent (you both make some excellent points in this regard!), and exclusive kids’ areas are often hugely lucrative for parks. In that case, I apologise as that one is probably slight unreasonable. However, I’ll admit that this type of park, where everyone from toddlers to teenagers can explore the entire park together, has always been a bit of a fantasy of mine, and I do think that some places like the Disney parks do come pretty close to what I’m describing (although those perhaps lack that full thrill seeker appeal to an extent).
     
  12. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    I think the whole dark theme thing is particularly a Merlin thing. I'm kind of cool with it because I don't think a park like Alton would be the same without them, but I wouldn't want to see any more at the same time. This is a country that's generally gloomy anyway but at the same time I think we have more than enough dark themes now.

    In terms of what I don't like - it's generic areas themed around Space, the wild west, Dinosaurs, Pirates or Fairy Tales. It's been done to death and I'm sick of all of them. I also despise all these TV screens that keep popping up in "modern" dark rides which seem to be there as a way of saving money on theming and that alone.
     
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