All entries for October 2008
October 09, 2008
During the summer month I have visited some amusement parks. A friend of mine an me are crazy for roller-coaster and other scaring attraction (e.g. free-fall-towers) and Germany's parks now offering a good choice of different kinds of rollercoaster. You need an example? Here it comes: sit back and fasten your seatbelt: Silverstar
Still the parks offer more than only high-speeds rides: wild-water-rafting, usual carussels, shows placed in lavish landscape architecture.
Allthough there are parks which offer a free entrance and individual payment for each ride most parks follow the system: visitors pay a fixed price at the entrance - all rides are free then. - Which does not mean that everything is free. The parks are very creative to get more money out of the visitors but only the entrance fee: snakc bars, restaurants, beverages, ice cream but also VIP-"non-queuing"-tickets or reservations for shows and parking. The large parks even have - following the US parks - park hotels to get the visitors stay not only for one day.
In the following I would like to concentrates on two services in area of amusement parks: on the one hand the park entrance and on the other hand running a single attraction, let's say a single roller-coaster.
Since scaring, high-speed, going-to-the-limits rollercoaster are not everybody's favorites, it is clear that more people visiting the park than taking the ride on the coaster. Only few will take multiple rides on the same coaster: waiting times for queuing are long and the parks usually offer more attractions as you can do on a single day. Nevertheless the coaster-highlights always have the longest queues.
On the entrance site the parks drew large attention on reducing entrance queues by taking advantage of new technologies (e.g. ticket selling online, automated ticket-checking at the entrance) and organizational changes (e.g. seperation of ticket point of sale and entrance gates, multiple entrance points).
Of course late spring and summer time is the peak season, with special offers and events the parks trying to make low season more attractive to visitors.
In a 4V-diagramm I would chose the following profiles for both services:
Running the coaster from my point of view is a mass service: high consistency is possible and (during opening hours) the service is always available. In a typical roller coaster there is no variaty. (Some carusells can vary in the turning directions forward and backwards.) And there is a very limited flexibility in volume. Few roller coaster can run an additional carriage to higher the volume but usually the service is limited to a fixed number of carriages (one or two). Investment costs are high of course but due to the high utilization unit costs are low.
Looking at the park entrance I tend to see it as a service shop: there is some flexibility in terms of ticket variation (single, groups, children, one or multiple days, saeson tickets) and payment-types. The service offered should be consistent but depend on employee.