The Business and Advertising of Amusement Parks

Who doesn’t love an amusement park? Most people do enjoy going to various amusement parks for the thrill of their outstanding rides and tasty treats. Many others go for the visuals of the park. Have you ever thought about how amusement parks use symbols and signs, typography, cartoons and illustrations to sell their park? I will be discussing the many different visual tactics different amusement parks use in order to sell the idea of their parks.

The two most well known parks would be that of the Disney franchise and Six Flags Great Adventure theme parks. There are 11 Disney theme parks located within 5 Disney resorts around the world. Although each one is a little different they have the same marketing techniques.
First they use the well known and beloved Disney characters to promote their parks. For example those who do not like the idea of a theme park still migrate to these parks in order to see some of their favorite childhood characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Pluto. They have different functions with these characters. For example east breakfast with Chip and Dale of the rescue rangers, have a tea party with Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty or one of the many Disney princesses (Figure A) or watch a fantastic parade with the rest of the Disney gang.
Within recent years Disney has been using it’s Disney Channel stars to promote their parks as well. They have done celebrate Miley Cyrus’s Sweet 16 in Disney Land (Figure B), a special performance from the adored Jonas Brothers in Disney World (Figure C), and many other promotions to entice children and adults alike to go to these parks. When a Disney billboard, commercial or print advertisement is done they use a specific font. This font is an Old English Font. This font is widely known as a font that represents Disney.
Disney also has specific colors that they have copyrighted. For example there are specific pink and purples that correlate if Disney is marketing the Disney princess collection. The reason they use these specific colors is because pinks and purples are more geared towards girls in which the Disney Princess line is more geared towards. Also when these specific colors are seen it automatically makes people think of Disney.
They also have certain symbols that represent Disney. The most famous symbol they use would be the shadow of the Mickey Mouse head. People automatically know that the shadow of Mickey Mouse is Disney. Another image they use is the picture of Cinderella’s castle (Figure D) from the Magic Kingdom view of this park. With their business in marketing Disney tries to make people feel they will have a magical time when they visit Disney theme parks. People feel this way before they even get there for the first time. Disney uses stars and whimsical lines across a page to make the consumer feel like magic is in the air. This is all Disney’s ploy to entice the public to buy their items as well as go to their theme parks.
Disney is not the only cooperate giant to use images, infographics, typography, cartoons and illustrations to promote their facilities. There are many other amusement parks that use these same marketing and advertising techniques. One of the bigger franchises would be the Six Flags Great Adventure Theme Parks.
Six Flags Great Adventure Theme Parks also knows just as Six Flags, uses many of the same exact techniques the Disney Theme Parks use. They are no strangers to these ploys. Now by the same exact techniques is referring to the cartoons, typography, infographics, the use of images, and illustrations to promote their parks.
Six Flags also has specific characters they use in order to promote their parks. Six Flags bought the right to use the Warner Brother Co. characters such as Bugs Bunny (Figure E), Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, and Marvin the Martian. Six Flags actually has an extra trick up their sleeves. Not only do they have the Warner Brothers Co. characters to bank on they also have D.C. Comic characters such as Superman (Figure F), Batman, and the Hulk, to promote those specific amusement park.
With the use of both lines of cartoons Six Flags can appeal to more patrons. They are covering the Saturday morning cartoon viewers, as well as the late night comic book readers. They also have similar functions to those of Disney world. They have meet and great the character segments as well as parades and musical entertainment. They have late night summer concerts as well as special attractions for certain days. They also have several shows that patrons can go sit down and enjoy that include their favorite characters.
Six Flags also has a specific font and color they use to promote their theme parks. Their logo is very large bold font. It is also the color red. The color red is a very vibrant color and it visually attracts people. When babies are in the infant stage of life they only see in black and white. The only other color they can see if red. This would be the same tactic used in bull fighting. Not that Six Flags promotes bull fighting in anyway; this was referring to the use of the color red. The reason they use a large bold font is again to attract the populations’ eye.
Of course the main symbols Six Flags uses to represent them would of course be flags. They use a symbol of six flags grouped together to represent them. The reason this is good is because you can visually see the six flags. They also use an image of a roller coaster (Figure G) to insure the consumer that there are roller coasters as well as other rides in their theme parks.
The most recent commercials and slogan for Six Flags are more flags more fun. This is said and used as a visual on television by showing average every day activities as being boring and they use a rating system called the fun-o-meter (Figure H). This is one flag being the least fun and six flags being the most fun. So these normal day activities would be rated as a one then they show people having fun at a Six Flags Theme Park and rate it as six flags. This is clever because the visual of people having fun is an incentive to want to go have fun as well.
A big difference between Disney’s’ techniques and Six Flags visual commercials is quite an obvious distinction. While Disney promotes a magical time and family togetherness, Six Flags promotes a thrilling time with action packed entertainment with friends.
There are many more amusement parks, theme parks, as well as carnivals that promote using characters, images, typography, illustrations and signs to sell their amusement parks. Many of them use these same techniques. Big bold words, fun and exciting illustrations, and visual stimulants to make people want to attend these parks.

IMAGES
Figure A (Breakfast with the Disney Princesses)
Figure B (Miley Cyrus’ Sweet 16 Celebration at Disney
Land)
Figure C (Jonas Brothers in Disney World)
Figure D (Cinderella’s Castle gives a magical feel)
Figure E (Bugs bunny promotes Six Flags)

Figure F (DC Comic names new rides at Six Flags)
Figure G (Roller Coasters show a thrill)

Figure H (Six Flags Fun-o-Meter)

References:
Berger, Arthus. A (2008). Seeing is believing: An introduction to visual communication, third edition. The Mcgraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
N/A, (2009). Six Flags Images. Six Flags: More Flags More Fun, Retrieved July 23, 2009, from http://www.sixflags.com/greatadventure/index.asp

N/A, (2008). Disney. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from http://corporate.disney.go.com/corporate/complete_history_1.html

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