Putting the Amazement in Amusement – Entertainment Signs
Posted on June 27, 2014
Amusement parks are one of those things that childhood memories are built upon. They simultaneously have the ability to terrify and cause extreme joy. And with the wealth of whimsical and exciting options to choose from, there is something for the kids, as well as the kid at heart. Here are a few of our favorite U.S. amusement parks, from waterparks and animal sanctuaries to indoor and outdoor theme parks that are sure to thrill, as long as you meet the height requirements, that is.
For the uninitiated, Universal Orlando is a theme park and resort located in, you guessed it, Orlando, Florida. While Universal Orlando consists of multiple attractions, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is one of the most unforgettable. The Harry Potter movies have spawned legions of superfans and this is their mecca. The attraction features rides based upon elements of the film, wizarding supplies such as wands and cloaks and guests can even sample culinary delights like Butterbeer and Pumpkin Juice that are prominent in the movies. The Harry Potter themed section of Universal Orlando is expanding and opening a new section this summer, much to the delight of fans everywhere.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter really is a theme park unlike any other, and a place where the impact of visual communications can palpably be felt. Through the use of custom displays, graphics and installations, the creators of the park are able to transport visitors to Harry Potter’s universe. Amusement parks are great for stimulating guests’ adventurous spirits, but the Wizarding World of Harry Potter succeeds in inspiring the mind as well. You may only be in a dazzlingly-imagined theme park, but you’ll feel like you are a part of the film.
What began in 1979 as a single waterpark in New Braunfels, Texas, has grown into four waterparks in Texas and one in Kansas. The Schlitterbahn is a family-owned park that has something for everyone. There are numerous pipe rides and races, the obligatory lazy river, uphill water coasters, wave pools and surfing areas, but what sets this waterpark apart from its competitors is one of the rides at the satellite location in Kansas City. Schlitterbahn Kansas City has recently opened the Verruckt, the world’s tallest and fastest waterslide. At over 168 feet, with a starting point higher than Niagara Falls and a 17-story plunge where riders reach speeds over 65 mph, this is one of the most exhilarating and terrifying experiences that you can have with only half your clothes on.
Busch Gardens Tampa
Busch Gardens Tampa is a 19th century African-themed animal park in Tampa, Florida. The park is owned and operated by the Anheuser-Busch Company and features the usual staple of amusement park rides, but attendees have the added benefit of seeing numerous exotic animals throughout the park. They have gorillas and chimpanzees, cheetahs, giraffe, hippos, lemurs, tigers, flamingos and just about any other animal that one would encounter on an African safari. If you’re looking for an African vacation on a shoestring budget, then this is the place for you. They also have a plethora of events throughout the season that includes beer and food festivals, concerts from local and national acts and various holiday events.
The only indoor amusement park on our list, the Adventuredome, a 5-acre park in Las Vegas, Nevada, is connected to the Circus Circus hotel and features over 25 rides and attractions. What sets this facility apart from its contemporaries, besides the indoor setting, is the wide range of activities the park provides. There are the usual gravity-defying rollercoasters and free fall rides, but there are also midway games, a virtual reality zone, rock climbing walls, a miniature golf course and much more. Vegas is a spectacle to begin with, and this amusement park takes it up a notch.
Cedar Point is a 364-acre amusement park located in Sandusky, Ohio, and is the second oldest amusement park in the United States, having opened in 1870. Colloquially known as “America’s Roller Coast”, Cedar Point has a record breaking 72 rides, including 16 coasters, making it one of the most coaster heavy parks anywhere. And if you needed another reason to go, Cedar Point has won awards for “Best Amusement Park in the World” for 16 consecutive years and it is the only amusement park in the world with four roller coasters over 200 feet tall.
An essential element of all amusement parks is the signage. If a park or venue lacks exciting, informative entertainment signs, problems can arise. If not for this crucial component, how would guests find their way around, locate food and drinks or identify which ride they are waiting in line for? How can they become aware of a food court or snack cart nearby? While the busy season may not be the time to reevaluate and revamp signage, it’s definitely the time to start thinking about it. As the off season will be here before long, begin planning to update park signage. Perhaps a reorganized approach to wayfinding can ease guests’ frustrations in finding their favorite ride. A fresh approach to concession signage could really drive sales for those menu items that aren’t selling. And better yet, new signs for old rides can revitalize their image and give them new life. So start making those plans for updated park visuals and give the Image360 experts a call. We’ll help you put the amazement back in amusement.