Optimizing the arrival experience for guests

The arrival experience at an attraction sets the stage for a day filled with excitement and joy. To ensure visitors feel welcomed and relaxed, attraction parks have recognized the significance of crafting a seamless and immersive entrance.
Written by
Jessica Farias
Published on
29th June, 2023

The arrival experience at an attraction sets the stage for a day filled with excitement and joy. Attraction parks understand the importance of creating a smooth and engaging entrance to make visitors feel welcome and relaxed.

Greg Holt, Head of Design at Pico Play says, ‘above all a theme park arrival experience should be iconic and engaging, welcoming, and relevant to the target demographic. The recent global expansion of international attractions in the immediate past decades makes us also consider more than ever, the cultural sensitivities associated with the location and visitors of the park. A seamless ticketing operation and user-friendly guest flow is paramount in assuring visitors are not distracted by the arrival formalities but instead immersed in the thematic journey they are about to embark on. An arrival space is the face of the theme park and sets the tone for the rest of the experience’.

Oz Adventure-Concept Art
Concept art by Greg Holt

Here are 6 ways to create a memorable arrival that relaxes guests and puts them in a positive mood.

1. Efficient and Inviting Entry Process

To avoid long lines and maintain guest enthusiasm, theme parks should streamline entry with advanced ticketing systems, online reservations, self-service kiosks, and helpful staff at entry points.

2. Immersive Theming and Visual Appeal

Awe-inspiring visuals, creative architecture, captivating signage, and immersive theming transport theme park guests into a world of imagination and adventure. Vibrant landscaping, iconic landmarks, and impressive sculptures in the entry plaza capture attention and ignite excitement.

3. Engaging Pre-Attraction Spaces

Incorporating engaging pre-attraction spaces builds anticipation and captivates visitors. These areas can include interactive displays, themed photo opportunities, and captivating storytelling elements related to the park's key attractions. Theme parks engage visitors by immersing them in the park's story, creating a stronger bond and improving their overall visit.

Guest Experience-Universal Studios

4. Clear Wayfinding and Information

Navigating a large theme park can be overwhelming. Effective wayfinding signage, strategically placed information kiosks, and digital maps can assist guests in finding their way and provide real-time updates. These tools ensure visitors make the most of their time in the park, minimizing confusion and allowing them to fully enjoy the attractions, shows, and amenities.

5. Welcoming and Knowledgeable Staff

Friendly and helpful staff members play a pivotal role in creating a positive arrival experience. Theme parks should invest in comprehensive training programs to equip employees with excellent customer service skills. Throughout the park, approachable staff members can greet guests, offer assistance, and answer questions, making visitors feel valued and cared for.

6. Entertaining Arrival Shows or Performances

To immediately immerse guests in the park's atmosphere, arrival shows or performances can have a significant impact. Vibrant music, dance routines, acrobatics, or interactions with themed characters create a sense of anticipation and excitement. These captivating performances set the stage for an unforgettable day ahead.

A captivating arrival experience sets the stage for a memorable visit to a theme park. By prioritizing efficiency, immersion, and a warm welcome, parks create a positive atmosphere and leave a lasting impression on guests. Investing in the arrival experience ensures a truly magical stay.