Thinkwell Group Launches Annual Guest Experience Trend Report

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First Survey Finds that 67 Percent of Visitors Want More Mobile Integration at Theme Parks, Saying it Would Improve Their Overall Experience
Most Desired Mobile Features Are Time Savers, Including Front-of-Line Access, Ability to Check Queue Wait Times and GPS Tracking to Locate Family Members
November 11, 2013 (Burbank, CA) – Thinkwell Group, a worldwide entertainment design and production firm that specializes in theme parks, major attractions, museum exhibits and live shows, today released the findings of a nationwide survey analyzing behavioral patterns as they relate to existing and potential mobile integration into the theme park experience. This survey marks the launch of Thinkwell’s Guest Experience Trend Report, which will provide market research insights to the themed entertainment industry. This annual report will measure and distill consumer interests in varying topics related to guest experiences.
The survey, conducted among more than one thousand theme park goers, found that 67 percent of the respondents are interested in seeing increased mobile integration at theme parks, because it would improve the overall guest experience.
Of those surveyed, 80 percent took a mobile device (a smartphone and/or tablet) on their last theme park visit. Among the respondents who took a mobile device, a full 72 percent spent “a few minutes on and off throughout the day” engaging with it. Fifteen percent revealed that they did not use their mobile device during their theme park visit, although they did take it with them.
Thinkwell's 2013 Guest Experience Trend Report Infographic
“Mobile technology is ubiquitous and theme parks have to embrace this ‘distraction’,” says Craig Hanna, CCO, Thinkwell. “We are continually looking for ways to keep guests engaged in the ways that they want to be engaged, utilizing these devices to improve the guest experience or interact with visitors in new ways that enhance the parkwide milieu.”
The survey participants were asked to rank a series of mobile features and enhancements from most to least desirable. The most popular features were more customer service-oriented, helping visitors save time, including front-of-line access to rides, shows and attractions. The respondents also highly ranked having the ability to check queue wait times from anywhere in the park, using GPS to locate friends or family members and using a mobile device to plan an itinerary.
Predictably, as mobile devices have replaced traditional cameras, 78 percent of participants took photos with their smartphones and tablets. Forty-four percent shared their photos on social media. Reluctant to cut-off communication with the outside world, 43 percent talked to or texted someone, 43 percent checked their e-mail and 29 percent kept up on social media.
Qualifying participants were United States residents over the age of 18, who had visited a theme park in the past 2 years and owned a mobile device. Of the 1,034 respondents, 48 percent are male and 52 percent are female. Thirty percent are between the ages of 18-29; 32 percent between the ages of 30-44; 24 percent between the ages of 45-60; and 13 percent are 60 and above. The survey found very little correlation, if any, between age or location and current mobile behavior or interest in increased mobile integration.
Complete survey results are available upon request.
About Thinkwell Group
Founded in 2001, Thinkwell is a full-service experiential design and production firm that collaborates with its clients to envision, strategize and create immersive, one-of-a-kind guest experiences. Thinkwell develops and produces attractions, master plans, brand experiences, exhibits, live shows, environments, multimedia and digital integration for clients around the world. The award-winning company has become a leader in experiential design by bringing a unique holistic approach to every creative engagement, delivering extraordinary results to notable clients over the years, including Fortune 500 companies, studios, museums, theme parks and destination resorts. For more information visit:
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Download a PDF of this press release here.
View the survey results infographic here.
Download a printable form of the survey infographic here.