Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

How was business this season?

Nicolas de Villiers, Puy du Fou, France (pictured): Our season was a great success. Puy du Fou’s attendance increased 8% to 1.74 million guests – making us one of the top three parks in France (last year we were fourth). This is despite the bad economical context in the country.

When we look around us, the main reason for this success seems to be not only the originality of our concept in the industry but also our low ticket price. What people like in Puy du Fou is the live show experience which allows all the family to share the same emotion, from the children to the grandparents. Just add a sunny summer like we had this year and you will understand why we got a successful mix!

Carl Berni, Canobie Lake Park, USA: Our attendance was off this summer primarily due to weather. The month of June was one of the wettest on record in New Hampshire, with 19 days of rain. We then had several heatwaves in July where the weather forecasters were telling people to stay indoors. Our season became more normal starting in August. The October Halloween business was strong, which helped to offset the decline earlier in the year. We stay positive, hoping mother nature will be kinder to us next year!

Don McCoy, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, USA: We are very pleased to report that 2013 has been a very strong year for Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, with record guest satisfaction scores. Our two new dolphin shows, Cirque Dreams Splashtastic and the energetic Drench!, were immensely popular and were even the highest ranked shows in the company. The addition of Superman Ultimate Flight last year has certainly broadened our thrill offerings. Our Fright Fest is bigger and scarier than ever. This year, we added two new scare zones and a new haunted attraction called Total Darkness, and we’ll round out a banner year with our popular Holiday in the Park product. In 2014, the adventure never ends as we will be open year-around for the first time in more than 15 years.

Miikka Seppälä, Särkänniemi, Finland: Our season was not good at all, we took a dive of 15%. We introduced a pay-one-price ticket, the first park in Finland to do so. With Angry Birds Land as well as the new Koiramäki themed storybook area we thought we would be strong enough to make the switch, however it proved to be a big mistake as in Scandinavia there is a long tradition to have single ride tickets. Lesson learned: never underestimate the guests! So for 2014 we’ve going to reindroduce single ride tickets together with an apology. Novelties for the season will include a thrill ride as well as something new to the Planetarium experience.

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