Intellectual property plays an important role in making a great theme attraction

Spirituality – IP from a popular movie image or TV show, comic book or cartoon story plays an important role in creating a great theme attraction today. Whether it's the ever-popular Harry Potter world at Universal Orlando or the Star Wars attractions at Disney World, the response to such an IP-based attraction is quite extraordinary. Survey reports also revealed that IP-infected attractions are critical to ensuring better performance in theme park participation, including return visits and overall spending levels. According to the 2015 Thinkwell Experience report, over 70 percent of those surveyed have shown their interest and willingness to visit and experience a family entertainment venue that offers IP-based attractions. The report further revealed that over 60 percent of responding participants would also spend more on foods and goods associated with an IP mark.

Although IP seems to be the major determinant of today's conceptions of theme parks, there are other considerations when it comes to creative input as well. IP certainly offers the long-awaited benefit, but there are experts in the field who believe that designers and creative teams cannot count on IP alone to create such amazing theme attractions. In recent years, discussions about the use of IP in attractions have often led to many important conclusions. For reference, at the IAAPA 2017 (International Association of Amusement Parks and Things) Expo, we have seen leading designers and experts shed light on this in their various capacities.

One of the most notable points that emerged during the discussion is that designers should be well aware of the fact that a successful IP – one that does well as a movie or TV show – may not make a successful theme attraction. As such, it is important for the respective designers and creative teams to know which one will click and which one not before choosing a particular IP. There are IPs that do well in the movies, but a theme park version of it may not be a good idea.

Also, not finishing and using a specific IP does not mean everything. It's not just taking the creative work and using it for another version. As pointed out by experts, it is the essence of the success of the story that matters. It's about understanding and knowing the core work – especially the DNA of the creative work that led to its success. Also what the theme park offers most about direct experiences. It's not like just about the character-based side of the story that we see in the movies. Great theme attractions are built for guests. And it is the guests and their experiences in history that determine the real success.