On the basis of its experience in the design, realisation and management of amusement parks located all over the world, Team Park Project has developed an original approach – the TPP Framework – that embraces all the realisation phases of an amusement park. The TPP Framework arose from the desire to exceed the traditional, purely creative and architectural approach when realising an amusement park.
Briefly, through the prognostic study of visitor flow to an amusement park – done with mathematical constructs – it is possible to predetermine the size and movements of visitors in the park, and as such optimise routes to increase park profitability.
The first phase of the TPP Framework involves listening to clients, to understand their needs, expectations, ambitions and budget. We invite clients to fill in a specific questionnaire in order to simplify both the collection of information and organisation of the activities indicated by the TPP Framewor. The questionnaire, which is continually updated, is drawn up on the basis of the experience matured by Team Park Project during the hundreds of interventions made at amusement parks all over the world, from Coney Island to North Korea. All the questions we ask our clients revolve around the central question of amusement park profitability, the fulcrum of the whole activity of Team Park Project.
Market analysis includes the search for and elaboration of information on quality, among which a study of the area, its population, and also its culture, habits and the spending capacities of the population. Competitors and benchmarks are also analysed, together with weather conditions, public and school holidays.
All the analysis elements are then examined more thoroughly with a view to amusement park profitability, which is at the base of the TPP Framework. The results of the analysis are gathered in a summary document that informs the client of the social, design and competitive context in which the amusement park is to be inserted, and supplies the first strategic hypotheses in terms of profitability.
During the pre-sizing phase, the preliminary parameters that are usable and necessary for defining the effective size of the park and its accessory services are calculated. One of the key parameters is “Design Day”: the number of people who will be present on a typical, high season day. Design Day, together with other similar parameters, make it possible to define the size of the park, and the number and dimensions of the elements needed for operation; not just rides and refreshment areas, but also parking, entrances and toilets. In this context, TPP stands out for its original and scientific approach to flow predetermination with a view to profitability, which is described in the Special Report called “That’s Not Funny”, written by Andrea Caldonazzi, CEO of Team Park Project.
The park theme and storyboard are defined in this phase. A study of the logo and the mascot complete creation of the park identity. There are some rules we follow during the concept phase:
- we favour ties with the area, its history and habits; this also makes it possible to develop an educative entertainment route (edutainment) through which students can learn having fun, and the park increases its number of school-age visitors;
- we select the best mix of simplicity, recognisability, originality and atmosphere that satisfy collective imagination but which follow the TPP owner criteria, which are rigidly set on profitability.
The project area and its viability are analysed and the first evaluations on the position of the parking area and the main entrance are made during this phase. Using the values obtained from pre-sizing, the dimensions of the various macro-areas are defined.
The bubble design is used to distribute the theme areas defined during the concept stage ideally, so as to satisfy the main storyboard.
The connection logic between the different areas which later on determine the flow logic are defined here.
Target and concept are basic principles for selecting the rides, which must always be well balanced between budget and users’ expectations. To keep costs down and not be dispersive, the correct dimension is attributed to the bubble design through the sizing parameters. The rides and accessory functions are then added, always respecting the basic rules, namely landscaping, atmosphere, expectations, division from the external world. Flow control, even in relation to collateral businesses, for example F&B, Games and Merchandising, is critical.
In this phase, which leads to decisive choices being made for the future success of the amusement park, Team Park Project uses an original approach, created at Bologna University, that leans on mathematical bases. All the details are available in the “That’s Not Funny” Special Report, written by Andrea Caldonazzi.
In the amusement park industry, theming defines the activities used to design and realise scenography that decorates the architectural and mechanical components of the park. As is known, theming is a very delicate subject which must be faced with great sagacity and a scientific method to avoid overshooting the budget. Given the high cost of the scenography, we at Team Park Project like to interpret it as an element that serves the storyboard but which must never jeopardize park profitability.
All the elements analysed and designed until now contribute to drawing up the business plan, an essential tool for measuring park sustainability and profitability.
The Business Plan for realising an amusement park is not – or at least should never be – conventional. This is because an amusement park is a complex structure, one of its kind, and with insidious aspects that can quickly sink even the best business plan, especially if drawn up under a wishful thinking perspective, and without the pragmatism deriving from years of experience in this sector. On this matter, and to follow the perspective of profitability that distinguishes it, Team Park Project introduces to its Business Plan scientific elements and benchmarks that refer to the historical data collected by Team Park Project when designing amusement parks all over the world. Both elements can notably reduce the typical approximations of a conventional business plan, protecting investors from unpleasant surprises that can appear in the phases after the realisation of an amusement park.
Designing an amusement park means designing movement, not just that of the rides, but above all that of people. In this phase, the TPP Framework stands out because of its ability to design the experience of visitors in a holistic manner: an experience that obviously does not just include ride use, but also food, stops, merchandising and, last but not least, parking simplicity. In the same manner as with the other phases of the TPP framework, even the user experience is designed around the dogma of profitability; it is important to know how to offer visitors the possibility of purchasing services to progressively improve their experience inside the park without reaching the point of commercial intrusion or too many free services.
Foresight, control, speed and elasticity: these, briefly, are the key words that characterise park management, which in any case must be designed and realised in a state of the art manner to be run profitably.
The TPP Framework was developed precisely to ensure that nothing is left to chance during the various study, design and realisation phases, in order to make park management as profitable as possible. For this purpose, Team Park Project can count on solid experience in managing amusement parks all over the world, including parks that were completely realised by Team Park Project and parks realised by others, where TPP intervened to optimise management to the highest level possible, bringing investors the results of their intervention directly.
Kaizen is a Japanese word made from the syllables KAI (change, improvement) and ZEN (good, better). Kaizen therefore refers to the concept of constant and continual improvement. Each amusement park needs to be managed – or supervised – in a special and instrumental manner that aims at the virtuous circle of continuous improvement. Result analysis, listening to the clients and staff, decisions that make improvements, must be coded in the management DNA, and are an essential part of the TPP Framework.
This is because, in the tracks left by the great Walt Disney, small, imperceptible changes are the main way to profitability, which cannot and must not be perceived as an optional, but as a true characteristic of the amusement park that was designed and realised.