How Does A Theme Park Determine Their Numbers Prior To Opening? “Ask Buzz”

So you want to open a theme park, do ya? You’ve spent months researching and developing rides, shows and attractions. Maybe you already have started designing merchandise and coming up with unique recipes for your restaurants. Now you just need a pile of money and some shovels to start digging and you can get started, right?

While all of those things are imperative to build your park, there are a few important factors you need to take into consideration. Is your attraction going to be seasonal or year-round? Will guests arrive by car or other means of transportation? How long do you expect visitors to stay?

Now, there is a new website to help get you started at answering these important questions and more. “Ask Buzz” takes these queries and gives you a ballpark idea of what kind of numbers you should be aiming for in order to make your theme park profitable.

Who is “Buzz”? The inspiration of the website is from Buzz Price, an official “Disney Legend”. Walt hired Price to study data trends like traffic, climate and location to select the site in Anaheim for Disneyland. Later on he applied those same principals to open Walt Disney World.

Buzz Price literally wrote the book on feasibility studies for theme parks. Walt’s Revolution! By the Numbers takes a deep dive into how Disney Parks justified the size of attractions, how to determine food and beverage sales and even if they should open at all. The principles outlines in Price’s book are now being utilized on the “Ask Buzz” website.

“One of the highlights of my early career was getting to spend about two hours talking with Buzz Price,” said Geoff Thatcher, the creative director for the web site. “And what we wanted to create with Ask.Buzz was the chance for anyone to do the same. We wanted to share not just his knowledge of Roller Coaster Math but a little bit of his personality as well.”

Thatcher partnered with a team of industry leaders to help create the web site, including Buzz Price’s son David Price from Price Leisure Group, Ty Granaroli from Paramount Pictures, Vlad Perelman from Backpack Creative, Bob Chambers from The Producer’s Group and Zoe Thatcher from his own firm Creative Principals.

Keep in mind, “Ask Buzz” can only take so much information into account. For example, a park still needs to do feasibility studies for things like local demographics, competition, market size and many more factors. However, the website acts as a starting point to give you an idea of the numbers you should be shooting for based on the targets you input into the system.

The idea behind the website was to honor Buzz Price who invented the formulas for feasibility studies within the attractions industry. Now potential theme park builders can gain some quick insight based on what Buzz Price built the foundation on decades ago. For more information and to visit the website, click this link!

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