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Theme Parks Go Beyond Rides, Using Technology to Engage Guests

Gone are the days when you enter a theme park and expect to see animatronics that move and speak in a repetitive loop.

Almost two decades ago there was buzz around an indoor interactive theme park that was going to change the landscape, Disney Quest.

Disney was on to something when they opened the five-story building filled with tons of entertainment and virtual interaction.

You Can Now Be Part of the Action

Thanks to technology theme park innovations have changed drastically over the past few years.

Many theme parks now understand the importance of incorporating interactive technology into their guest’s park experience.

When you visit Aquatica, SeaWorld’s waterpark, you can challenge a seven of our closest friends to a timed race down water slides.

There is no need to have someone stand at the base of the ride to time you.

At Islands of Adventure (IOA) you may have encountered Mystic Fountain.

With a well-hidden camera, microphone and speaker system a hidden operator can engage with anyone that walks by the fountain.

Very frequently guests are caught off guard by the talking fountain and are perplexed that responses are specific to them, sometimes they are even sprayed with a bit of water.

Wands Are Raising The Bar Again

Less than a year ago IOA welcomed Harry Potter to the growing park lineup. 

When you visit Diagon Alley be sure to purchase or pack your interactive wand because that’s where you can truly make magic happen.

Guests are encouraged to purchase a wand from the house that they feel most aligned to.

With this wand they can travel throughout the Diagon Alley section of the park looking for hidden markers where you can cast your own spells.

With the correct spell and wand movement you can get water to shower from an umbrella, turning on chandeliers or change items in store windows.

Disney Wands

Walt Disney World (WDW) has also introduced its own wands.

At the moment the primary function of these wands is to switch the colors of the color changing ear hats.

The park has also ventured into changing their park’s guest experience through interactive technology.

The Toy Story ride basically places riders in a life-sized video game by allowing them to shoot at various targets.

There are also games like "Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom," where players use cards to trigger special effects on portals.

What’s Next?

There is a lot of room for growth with advances in technology.

These features are also being used at smaller attractions to connect and engage with visitors.

You will soon find that some form of technologically aided attractions will be prominent at parks, both large and small.

Almost everyone looks forward to the prospect of being able to further incorporate themselves into their theme park visits, far beyond the prop photos and rollercoaster’s - which will always be staples of any park visit.

Customization is something that many travelers have become familiar with and desire in order to make our time with our family unique and significant to us.

No longer do you have to pretend to make something happen, with technology you can now do things that previously generations were only able to see in their imagination.<p>By Marie Ospina</p>

By Marie Ospina

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