An insider’s take on the attraction industry’s trending news.
August 30th Edition – Welcome to the Green Tagged blog, based on our first podcast episode of Green Tagged, in which we (Philip Hernandez and Scott Swenson) covered the news stories and trends in the theme-park industry in 30 minutes.
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Guggenheim Approves Plan To Become More Inclusive and Racially Diverse
Guggenheim approves plan to become more inclusive and racially diverse following accusations by employees of racism at the museum in New York. We commend the Guggenheim for taking a stand on inclusion. It’s sad to have a culture that treats people of color systematically differently than pasty-white European folk, and we must do everything we can to become more of an inclusive culture.
We hope other organizations will follow the Guggenheim in taking this step, because there hasn’t been a powerful push to actualize diversity beyond talking about the need for it in the attractions space.
This development could open the door for many other public and private attractions to address inclusion. Also, there’s the consideration that if attractions had more diverse experiences, it would draw a more diverse audience.
Read the full story on Blooloop here.
Chessington Launches Free Safari Experience Including Entry To the Theme Park.
In Chessington’s new Safari adventure (a partnership with Hyundai), park rangers drive families around in fully electric Kona SUVs to view animals and feed the giraffes. This sounds like a great idea. Any time we can create a safe, interactive experience that involves wildlife, that’s a wonderful thing, and this Chessington experience encourages people to get out of the house and back into the actual world.
Creating an exclusive, intimate experience is a great way to pivot, and Chessington is providing a model for other attractions to be innovative during this pandemic in expanding their brand. It’s also showing that this is a park that cares about the economic burden of the pandemic, as the experience includes admission to the park. Studies have shown that companies demonstrating they care about their clientele are the ones having the quickest recovery in this crisis.
Read the full story at The Mirror here.
Singapore’s S.E.A. Aquarium Offers Dining With Underwater Views.
This seasonal, aqua-gastronomy option is another example of a creative pivot to create small, family-oriented experiences within the context of an aquarium in a space that was previously an observation deck.
The aquarium setup of hexagonal domes to separate each dining group gives the illusion of a private-room experience. As a limited, seasonal experience, it has a time fuse that motivates people to come visit sooner rather than later.
Read the full story at Time Out here.
Georgia’s Wild Adventures Park Unveils Pumpkin Spice Festival
Georgia’s Wild Adventures park unveils Pumpkin Spice Festival instead of its “Terror in the Wild” experience, which won’t be happening this Halloween season. Replacing a horror event with a pumpkin-spice-oriented food festival is an interesting pivot, and we’re eager to hear how that works out. A Pumpkin Spice Festival is in the realm of “Halloween” but isn’t the same as a scare-actor-driven experience. Generally, younger audiences come for an adrenaline-filled date and friends’ night. The festival may alienate the very group that “Terror in the Wild” served—but now is the time to get creative and crazy if we can’t do our usual events!
Read the full story at WTVY here.
Seaworld San Diego Opens a Zoo and Dining Experience.
This new, limited-capacity, reservations-required experience at SeaWorld San Diego includes access to all outdoor animal exhibits, a bayside barbecue, and a bevy of craft brews. This is another example of creatively pivoting in a state that’s being more cautious about reopening than, say, Florida. Also, it’s a good mix of family-oriented fun (the zoo) and adult fun (barbeque and brews). Speaking of Florida, we should point out that SeaWorld Orlando has made a lot of safety changes prior to reopening.
Read the full story at InPark Magazine here.
Short Mentions of Other Attractions
A struggling Tokyo amusement park is about to become a Harry Potter paradise. Warner Bros. and several Japanese partners plan to open the “Studio Tour Tokyo — Making of Harry Potter” experience in Japan in 2023.
Blooloop reported, “Shanghai Disneyland resort reopened on May 11 at 30% capacity… Now, due to policy changes from China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the park is able to increase to 50% of permitted capacity.”
Recommended Reading from Philip
Check out, “I Went to Disney World,” by Graeme Wood and published on The Atlantic website.
This an expertly written account of visiting WDW during the pandemic that reveals what guests are considering as they decide whether to return to the magic.