From the feasibility study to the park’s management: the TPP framework offers a full range of profitability oriented services

From the experience acquired over the years in the design, development 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 development phases of an amusement park. The TPP Framework was created with the desire to exceed the traditional, purely creative and architectural approach when developing amusement parks.

Through the prognostic study of the flows of visitors done following mathematical models, it is possible to predetermine the size and movement of visitors, and therefore, optimise the routes to increase the profitability of the park.

TPP Framework

Initial Audit

The first phase of the TPP Framework involves listening to clients to understand their needs, expectations, ambitions and budget. We invite clients to fill out a questionnaire to simplify both the collection of information and the organisation of the activities as planned in the TPP Framework. The questionnaire, which is continually updated, is drawn upon the experience that Team Park Project has acquired 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 profitability, which is at the heart of TPP’s activity.

Market analysis

The market analysis consists in a thorough research and elaboration of quantitative and qualitative data: we study the territory, the population, the culture, the habits, and the spending capacity. Competitors and benchmarks are also analysed, together with weather conditions, public and school holidays.

All these elements are then examined more in depth with a focus on profitability. The results of the analysis are gathered in a summary document that informs the client of the social and competitive context in which the amusement park is going to be located, and provides the first strategic approaches to maximise its profitability.

Pre-sizing

In the pre-sizing phase, the preliminary parameters that are necessary to define the actual size of the park and its ancillary services are calculated. One of the key parameters is the “Design Day”: the expected turnout on the peak day of a high season week. The Design Day, together with other key parameters, allows you to define the size of the park, and also the number and dimension of the elements necessary for its operation; not only rides and refreshment areas, but also car parks, entry points and toilets. On this matter, TPP stands out for its original and scientific approach to flow predetermination with a focus on profitability. This approach is analysed in depth by Andrea Caldonazzi, CEO of Team Park Project, in the Special Report called “That’s Not Funny”.

Concept

In this phase we define the park’s identity: the main theme, the storyboard, the mascot and the logo. There are some rules we follow during the concept phase:

  1. we favour the connection with the territory, its history and culture. This allows us to develop educative entertainment programs (edutainment) through which students can learn while having fun. By doing so, the park can increase the number of school-age visitors;
  2. we select the concept that has the best mix of simplicity, recognisability, originality and atmosphere to appeal the collective imagination.

Sizing

In this phase, we analyse the project’s area with its viability, and we make the first evaluations on the position of the main entrance and car parks. Using the data obtained in the pre-sizing phase, we calculate the dimensions of the macro-areas.

With a bubble design, we define the position of the different themed macro-areas selected during the concept phase, making sure it reflects the main storyboard.

This allows us to identify the connections between the different areas which later on will determine the park’s flows.

Masterplan

Target and concept are the key elements to consider when selecting the rides. This selection must always be well balanced between budget and guests’ expectations. In order to contain costs and not be dispersive, it is essential to define the right dimensions of the bubble design according to the sizing parameters. The rides and ancillary functions are then positioned following the basic rules of landscaping, atmosphere and guests’ expectations. The control of flows is critical, also in relation to collateral businesses, for example F&B, Games and Merchandising.

In this phase, which involves decisive choices for the future success of the amusement park, Team Park Project uses an original approach created at the University of Bologna, based on mathematical models. All the details can be found in the “That’s Not Funny” Special Report written by Andrea Caldonazzi.

Theming

In the amusement park industry, theming defines the set of activities to design and create the scenic elements applied to the architectural and mechanical components of the park. It is well known that theming is a particularly delicate subject, which must be handled with great care and following a scientific method to avoid budget overruns. Given the high cost of the scenography, at Team Park Project we love to understand it as an element at the service of the storyboard, which in any case must never compromise the profitability of the park.

Business Plan

The Business Plan of 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 it has been drafted with a “wishful thinking” approach, 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 scientific elements and benchmarks that refer to the historical data collected over the years. Both elements can significantly reduce the typical approximations of a conventional business plan, protecting investors from unpleasant surprises that can come up after the development of the amusement park.

Design

Designing an amusement park means designing movement, not just that of the rides, but above all that of people. In this phase, TPP stands out for its ability to holistically design the visitor’s experience: an experience that not only includes attractions, but also food points, shops, relaxation areas and, last but not least, easy parking. As with the other phases of the TPP Framework, the design of the user experience is also developed around the dogma of profitability. With this in mind, it is important to offer visitors the possibility to purchase services and progressively improve their experience inside the park, without being too commercially pushy or offering too many free services.

Management

Prediction, control, speed and flexibility: these are the keywords that characterise the management of an amusement park, which must be designed and built in a workmanlike manner in order to be managed profitably.

The TPP Framework was created precisely to ensure that in the various phases of the study, design and construction of the park, nothing is left to chance in order to make the management of the park as profitable as possible. With this regard, Team Park Project can count on solid experience in managing amusement parks all over the world, including both parks that were completely developed by Team Park Project and parks created by third parties. In this case, TPP intervened to optimise operations, reporting the result of its work directly to investors.

Kaizen

Kaizen is a Japanese word composed of the syllables KAI (change, improvement) and ZEN (good, better). Kaizen therefore refers to the concept of constant improvement. It is essential to implement this approach also to the management and supervision of each amusement park. Listening to the customers and staff, analysing results and taking decisions aimed at continous improvements, must be encoded in the DNA of the management team.

As the great Walt Disney teaches us, making small imperceptible changes is the main path to follow to maximise profitability, which cannot and must not be perceived as an optional, but as a true and intrinsic feature of each amusement park.

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