I finally got a chance to visit DreamPlay at City of Dreams Manila. Very impressed. Great theming, the right amount of attractions, very interactive, friendly staff. My favorite thing: the beautiful DreamTales puppet show room. The downside: maybe a few too many ‘build your own’ which might end up challenging operationally. Check out this video!
Last night I went to Jurassic World theme park at Isla Nublar. I only spent two hours there but I loved it! Here is my quick review of this out-of-this-world theme park.
The experience begins with the park website, which is the best theme park website I have ever seen with webcams, real-time queuing times, etc. Just browsing I already felt like I had to go there.
After going through the amazing entrance gate and once in the park the layout is very nice with a busy main boulevard with great F&B, retail and the Innovation Centre building at the end. The park does more than 20,000 visitors a day so it has this nice buzz. The distance to each attraction can be quite far because of the nature of the exhibits but internal transportation is very good with monorail, shuttles, etc.
These guys are definitely strong with sponsorships. Samsung gets great visibility at the Innovation Centre, Mercedes Benz is obviously the vehicle partner and Verizon is looking at sponsoring the next big exhibition. Well, that is before something big happens but I am not supposed to tell you that!
One of the most amazing things at Jurassic World theme park is the use of technology. You’ve gotta love that control room and those touch screens everywhere. So cool.
Now on the rides side, here are some of the best ones but it’s hard for me to tell you about all of them after just 2 hours in the park.
- Innovation Centre: great behind-the-scene edutainment experience
- IMAX Theatre
- Aviary: watch giant dinosaur birds flying
- Cretaceous Cruise: kayaking in a gentle stream surrounded by giant herbivore dinosaurs
- Gentle Giant Petting Zoo: cuddle or ride your favorite dinosaur
- Dinosaur Safari: ride lush green fields following running dinosaurs
- Underwater Show: it starts with the audience sitting outside watching this giant dinosaur fish eating a shark (not so interesting I’d say) and then the entire seating platform moves down and the audience can see the fish from underwater; truly amazing!
- Gyrosphere: by far the most interesting ride ticking all the boxes; it’s funny (Jimmy Fallon’s intro is hilarious), interactive and it provides a true bonding experience for its riders!
I say these guys know about theme parks. I felt the same excitement there as I did when I visited Walt Disney World. It’s family heaven. Well, again until something big happens but you’ve gotta watch the movie for that!
For those who remember the post I wrote coming back from the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando last November my two signature words have been ‘beauty’ and ‘humor’ ever since. I have even come up with a motto for what I believe should drive the future of our industry: “Sparkles in your eyes, Smile on your face”.
A big sucker for any form of family entertainment, I went last night with a bunch of friends to watch a performance of the Swiss Dream Circus, which is in town (in KL) for a few weeks. It struck me then: there is nothing new about ‘beauty’ and ‘humor’ being the drivers of family entertainment. Actually it has been at the very heart of one of the world’s oldest form of family entertainment – the circus – for years!
Swiss Dream Circus is very traditionally built around a succession of beautiful acrobatic numbers interrupted by funny sketches from Swiss Clown Andre. The many kids (and adults) in the audience were going from moments of silence (admiring the beauty of these amazing acrobats or listening to the angelic and beautiful husky voice of singer Anja) to moments of laughter (the clown was indeed very funny) and that mix is what made their experience so unique and memorable; you should have seen them after the show taking pictures with performers!
And when I see how circus is so popular in China, I am confident that we don’t have to look very far to build successful family entertainment in Asia (and in China in particular), we just need to go back to the basics of circus, one of the oldest and most noble forms of family entertainment.