Attraction Accountability
 

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Results of qualitative research

 

   The results of the interviews paint at first a clear picture of the expectations respondents have towards the park in general. These expectations were not only expressed by the attractions, but also by means of pictures and stories about the staff, the catering and the landscaping. From that particular park mostly care and attention is expected[1]. This is obvious by having an eye for detail, a clean park, friendly and tidy staff and for instance well kept nature – and walking paths. Naturally in that particular park it follows that one likes to feel a special and appreciated guest. All sorts of things are undertaken to give the guest an enchanting day out. There is no room for standardization in the park. That would only take away the enchantment and would only confront the guest too much with ‘the hard outside world of which one would desperately love to escape from’. One wants and expects to be addressed personally and sincerely. Not with an artificial smile and a standard joke.

   Both attractions have a high experience-rate. Respondents appreciate the multi sensorial aspects of both attractions. Furthermore almost all respondents express their appreciation of the theming of the attractions. It is however remarked that in the 3D/4D-show the latter could have been finished a little bit more tidy. The love that they feel and express because of this in the dark ride is in the 3D/4D-show nowhere to be found. ‘It was as if they didn’t want to do anymore, as if the money had run out, or as if they thought that it would not be apparent anyway’.  

   The main difference between both attractions is therefore not the experience-rate. Also hardly no like or dislike is expressed on the kind of attraction as such. What strikes most as explanatory variable is the connection to the brand feelings. The dark ride connects seemlessly to the expectations one has regarding the park and the brand. The attraction is often referred to in order to clarify what in their opinion the park/brand stands for. The love that is shown in the details of theming in the dark ride is a good example of that. It shows the care and dedication which is so typical for the park; and which one also sees in other expressions of the brand. Typical for the 3D/4D-show is that just the stating of the 3D/4D-show is in sheer contrast with this sort of care. Respondents state that particularly the main show leaves them with a dismal and nasty feeling. The film confronts the visitor too much with the harsh outside world. It is regarded to be too commercial and the visitor’s feelings are taken into account too little. They come to the park just to unwind and relax without any concerns. This show puts one right back in the hustle and bustle of every day life. Some respondents even claim to have been bothered by this the whole day through. On a deeper metaphorical level, the concept of mothering and caring applies[2].



[1] All results in this paragraph are (subjective) statements and interpretations from the respondents.

[2] The study also found two other deeper metaphors that are the driving forces of respondents’ behaviour towards the park. However, these two are not as tightly connected to the attractions as such as the metaphor of mothering and caring. That is why we don’t take them into this discussion.

 

 
 
 
 

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