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Pretzel Kaiser

Silver Donor
Apr 5, 2011
Imagine if you will, a world not too dissimilar to our own. A world where famous regional theme park Busch Gardens Williamsburg is concerned about its appearance and theming. To set the stage for this concept, we look at how wildly popular theme parks use technology to generate merch sales and to keep guests busy. From wands at Universal and Sesame Street to droids at Galaxy's Edge. Additionally, parks have used mobile phone games to try to engage guests as well, such as the games at various Cedar Fair parks. My concept is simple, create a game that uses physical items to interact with the park that takes advantage of the park's themes and to sell merch.

The basic setup for the game is more simple than the actual execution, but it borrows a bit from everything I've mentioned above. The game has players travel to various points of interest in the areas, once they scan their object, they have a chance to complete a simple task like press buttons in an order like in Simon or something along those lines. The difficulty of the tasks can be adjusted to provide regulars a challenge if they're constantly at the park playing as this system could be linked to a database that keeps track of how many times this item plays the game. For the sake of description, let's call these points "Magic Wells".

There is also a competitive faction system based around the main attractions of the parks. Let's say that two teams are "Scottish Serpents" and "Mountain Beasts". Each team has their own token you can buy to represent a faction of their choice to play at the wells that represent each team. For example, "Serpent's Scale" or "Frozen Tooth". The competitive nature of this comes down to how many wells are unlocked by each faction on any day. The park could even go one step further and do something akin to Harry Potter where at the end of the year, the park has a big celebration themed to the winning faction with special ride time on the winning ride and exclusive food. This all of course could all be tracked and displayed on an app for displaying stats.

I think this would be pretty unique thing for parks to do as it mixed a real competitive element with an interactive experience at the park. Cedar Fair's games were cool, but offered little outside of some trivia, AR stuff, and basic mini games. Disney and Universal's offerings are neat, but do little outside of "make thing do something". This would be a way to interact with the park while giving people more of a reason to actually interact with it.

So yeah, that's my first concept in forever.

Disclaimer: I love how Uni and WDW have interactive elements and don't mean to trash them as I'm afraid I did in the concept. I still get death threats over the Figment joke I made.
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I'd be up for something like this. I oftentimes go to the park with my family just to kind of hang out. We only live about 15 minutes away so we usually go once a week or so and most of the time we just go to walk around, catch a show or two, eat, and maybe ride Apollos Chariot or Verbolten. I definitely wouldn't mind some sort of interactive activity to give us something more to do. I actually just bought that Great Adventure Challenge game for Busch Gardens on Etsy that Ice posted about last year and am looking forward to trying that out soon.

We've also played what we just call the "Snapchat game". It's essentially hide and seek. We determine a boundary. Usually it's just a few neighboring hamlets and not the entire park unless we're really bored. Last time, we stuck with Ireland, France, and New France. We split into group (usually just 2 groups for us because there's usually only 3-4 of us) and one group gets 5 minutes to find a place to "hide" (I put that in quotes because we're not exactly hiding as if we're hiding behind doors or corners, we usually just find an out of the way bench or secluded area). The hider then takes a snapchat photo as a clue and sets it to disappear after 10 seconds and sends it to the members of the other groups. The picture has to be reasonable. No pictures just of the ground or a wall unless that ground or wall has some distinct pattern or design that can count as a clue. We've set it to where each team can request 2 additional clues per turn, but a point gets deducted for each additional clue. For example, if a team finds the hider after the first initial photo clue, that team gets 3 points. They can request an additional photo clue but will sacrifice a point for that clue and only get 2 points for finding the hider. They can ask for 1 more and only receive one point for finding the hider. Afterwards, the hiding team takes a turn being the seeking team and just keeps alternating until the game is over. We've thought about setting a time limit on finding the hider, but haven't really needed to yet, but we've had fun playing it on slower days that we go where we get to do and ride everything fairly quickly but aren't quite ready to leave the park yet.
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Things like this could really be beneficial to park attendance. I live 5 hours away so I probably won't play. But if I lived close, after going several times that year something like this could keep me coming back to the park. Offer free drinks/ dessert or snacks as rewards. A piece of cake/ice cream/popcorn doesn't cost the park much but overall could drive other food sales and merch sales. I know if our family of 6 got a free snack we would have to buy at least one more if not 2.
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