Monday, August 16, 2010

Theme Park Design – Location

So you wanna design a theme park?  The first three rules of theme park design are: location, location, location.  Just like any real estate venture the most important consideration is to find a location that best suits your business and supports your clientele. 

For the theme park, that is likely a location that is conducive to year round leisure.  There are exceptions to every rule, and some successful theme parks operate only during certain seasons of the year.  It would therefore be helpful to checkout other seasonal competition if the location that you are interested in has a more difficult climate.

The film industry ended up in Hollywood California because of the weather.  At the time it relocated from New York, many silent films were shot outdoors (even for interior locations) in order to have enough light.  Southern California offered an excellent climate for outdoor shooting.  The establishment of Hollywood gave Walt Disney a film community to make, first his cartoons and full-length animated features, and later his live-action films.  It also offered Walt an excellent, nearby, location for Disneyland.

Sunshine and beaches have made Southern California a popular tourist destination for decades.  In 1950, the population of California was about 10.6 million people.  Having a population base to draw from is critical to the success of any theme park.  Disneyland historically attracts 70% local visitors (from Southern California) and 30% out-of-state, and Northern California visitors.

For Disneyland Paris, the population of the Paris metropolitan area, in 1990, was 10.3 million.  Obviously, the larger the population base, the better the chances are of attracting visitors.

The theme park basics discussed here are extremely general.  Always consult with experts, regarding your specific needs, before making any significant investment into land and/or design.  Feel free to contact me.  I’ll be happy to assist you in your efforts.

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