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Attractions Review 2019: September
POSTED 27 Dec 2019 . BY Andy Knaggs
Part of the new visitor experience at the Empire State Building harks back to the classic 1930s film King Kong
It has been another momentous year in the attractions industry, and Attractions Management has been there reporting the big news, good and bad, all the way. After yesterday's look at the events of August 2019, today we move on to September 2019, considering some of the biggest stories that made the headlines that month.

King Kong was to the fore as the Empire State Building, one of New York's most iconic landmarks, unveiled its new visitor experience. Disney batted away lower than expected visitor numbers following its launch of Galaxy's Edge, and in the UK, Chester Zoo looked to bring a touch of the African savannah to the north-west of England.

No sweat for Disney over visitor numbers

With the launch of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland in California, significant attendance increases were expected. However, initial visitor figures fell well short of expectations, with attendance dropping by 3 per cent, drawing comment from Disney’s parks and resorts chair Bob Chapek in September 2019.

While Disney chair Bob Iger blamed the decline on visitors staying away because of expected overcrowding, hotel price increases and a significant increase in entry fees for the park, Chapek told CNBC that a lack of extremely long lines despite the hugely hyped launch was a good thing for both Disney and its customers, and that a 10-hour queue line should be seen "as a sign of failure".

The reference to 10-hour waits was interpreted as a swipe at Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – a new rollercoaster at Universal's Island of Adventure in Orlando – where visitor reports following launch suggested queues for the ride were more than 10 hours long.

Empire State experience reimagined

A new observatory experience at the Empire State Building was completed in September 2019, following a multi-phase redevelopment costing US$165m (€149m, £128m).

The visitor experience at the iconic New York City landmark has been reimagined by design firm Thinc, with a new visitor entrance, a glassed-in observation deck on the 102nd floor, and galleries that tell the story of the Empire State Building and its impact on pop-culture over the last 90 years.

Tom Hennes, principal at Thinc, said: "From start to finish, we made the whole thing experiential. The aim was to create memorable moments that visitors could hang onto, really treasure and really associate with the Empire State Building. It clearly had to involve its construction and its place in popular culture, but we wanted to look at life inside as well."

Most importantly, King Kong is present, with his eyes peering menacingly through a set of 1930s windows as his gigantic fingers break through the walls.

Chester's African savannah

Chester Zoo received approval to its plans to build an extensive African savannah habitat as part of its 217-acre expansion masterplan.

The expansion – called the Grasslands – could open in 2022, and will feature multiple rare and endangered species including zebras, giraffes, antelopes and ostriches, while existing buildings will be transformed into 28 lodges,14 tents and a restaurant, which gives visitors a view of the new area.

The project will boost the zoo’s work to prevent species extinction, with the creation of conservation breeding facilities, and more natural habitats for endangered animals. Plans also include an option for the zoo to develop overnight accommodation which would incorporate an additional 42 traditional discreet African-themed lodges overlooking the Grasslands.

Check back with Attractions Management tomorrow for a look back at the highlights from October
The English savannah? Chester Zoo plans to build an African grasslands habitat
Fans queued overnight in Orlando for the launch of the Florida version of Galaxy's Edge
RELATED STORIES
Thinc transforms iconic Empire State Building with new visitor experience


Work was recently completed inside the Empire State Building, with design firm Thinc creating a spectacular reimagining of the iconic New York City landmark's popular observatory experience.
Chester Zoo gets approval for major Grasslands expansion


Chester Zoo has had plans approved to build an extensive African savannah habitat adjacent to a wide range of accommodation in the form of lodges and safari tents.
'10-hour queues a sign of failure' says Disney's Bob Chapek


Disney’s parks and resorts chair Bob Chapek has spoken out about smaller crowds at the operator's parks, saying that a 10-hour queue line should be seen "as a sign of failure".
MORE NEWS
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IAAPA cancels Attractions EXPO – pivots to virtual event
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08 Oct 2020

VAC 2020 VIRTUAL (The Annual National Conference of Visitor Attractions)

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Pinggu, Beijing, China
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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
Attractions Review 2019: September
POSTED 27 Dec 2019 . BY Andy Knaggs
Part of the new visitor experience at the Empire State Building harks back to the classic 1930s film King Kong
It has been another momentous year in the attractions industry, and Attractions Management has been there reporting the big news, good and bad, all the way. After yesterday's look at the events of August 2019, today we move on to September 2019, considering some of the biggest stories that made the headlines that month.

King Kong was to the fore as the Empire State Building, one of New York's most iconic landmarks, unveiled its new visitor experience. Disney batted away lower than expected visitor numbers following its launch of Galaxy's Edge, and in the UK, Chester Zoo looked to bring a touch of the African savannah to the north-west of England.

No sweat for Disney over visitor numbers

With the launch of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland in California, significant attendance increases were expected. However, initial visitor figures fell well short of expectations, with attendance dropping by 3 per cent, drawing comment from Disney’s parks and resorts chair Bob Chapek in September 2019.

While Disney chair Bob Iger blamed the decline on visitors staying away because of expected overcrowding, hotel price increases and a significant increase in entry fees for the park, Chapek told CNBC that a lack of extremely long lines despite the hugely hyped launch was a good thing for both Disney and its customers, and that a 10-hour queue line should be seen "as a sign of failure".

The reference to 10-hour waits was interpreted as a swipe at Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure – a new rollercoaster at Universal's Island of Adventure in Orlando – where visitor reports following launch suggested queues for the ride were more than 10 hours long.

Empire State experience reimagined

A new observatory experience at the Empire State Building was completed in September 2019, following a multi-phase redevelopment costing US$165m (€149m, £128m).

The visitor experience at the iconic New York City landmark has been reimagined by design firm Thinc, with a new visitor entrance, a glassed-in observation deck on the 102nd floor, and galleries that tell the story of the Empire State Building and its impact on pop-culture over the last 90 years.

Tom Hennes, principal at Thinc, said: "From start to finish, we made the whole thing experiential. The aim was to create memorable moments that visitors could hang onto, really treasure and really associate with the Empire State Building. It clearly had to involve its construction and its place in popular culture, but we wanted to look at life inside as well."

Most importantly, King Kong is present, with his eyes peering menacingly through a set of 1930s windows as his gigantic fingers break through the walls.

Chester's African savannah

Chester Zoo received approval to its plans to build an extensive African savannah habitat as part of its 217-acre expansion masterplan.

The expansion – called the Grasslands – could open in 2022, and will feature multiple rare and endangered species including zebras, giraffes, antelopes and ostriches, while existing buildings will be transformed into 28 lodges,14 tents and a restaurant, which gives visitors a view of the new area.

The project will boost the zoo’s work to prevent species extinction, with the creation of conservation breeding facilities, and more natural habitats for endangered animals. Plans also include an option for the zoo to develop overnight accommodation which would incorporate an additional 42 traditional discreet African-themed lodges overlooking the Grasslands.

Check back with Attractions Management tomorrow for a look back at the highlights from October
The English savannah? Chester Zoo plans to build an African grasslands habitat
Fans queued overnight in Orlando for the launch of the Florida version of Galaxy's Edge
RELATED STORIES
Thinc transforms iconic Empire State Building with new visitor experience


Work was recently completed inside the Empire State Building, with design firm Thinc creating a spectacular reimagining of the iconic New York City landmark's popular observatory experience.
Chester Zoo gets approval for major Grasslands expansion


Chester Zoo has had plans approved to build an extensive African savannah habitat adjacent to a wide range of accommodation in the form of lodges and safari tents.
'10-hour queues a sign of failure' says Disney's Bob Chapek


Disney’s parks and resorts chair Bob Chapek has spoken out about smaller crowds at the operator's parks, saying that a 10-hour queue line should be seen "as a sign of failure".
MORE NEWS
Bletchley Park and Eltham Palace's immersive LGBTQ+ show among winners of UK Heritage Awards
The home of British codebreaking, Bletchley Park has been named among the winners of this year's UK Heritage Awards – alongside an immersive performance charting LGBTQ+ heritage.
IAAPA cancels Attractions EXPO – pivots to virtual event
IAAPA has cancelled this year's Attractions Expo in Orlando and pivoted to a digital event, announcing a new virtual conference will take place on the same dates – 16-18 November.
Warner Bros. to open Harry Potter studio attraction in Japan
Warner Bros. has revealed plans to develop a Harry Potter studio tour attraction in Japanese capital Tokyo.
Reykjavik city centre set to welcome ocean-side geo-thermal wellness lagoon in 2021
Attractions and hospitality brand, Pursuit, has unveiled plans to develop a premium oceanfront geothermal lagoon in Iceland.
Therme Group announces development plans to roll out wellbeing resorts across UK
Following approval to build a £250mn wellbeing resort in Manchester, Therme Group has revealed plans to develop and expand its concept in other major UK cities.
COVID-19 stimulus package – VAT cut for hospitality, companies to get apprenticeship funding
The hospitality and attractions sectors will benefit from a temporary cut to VAT as part of stimulus measures announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak.
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COMPANY PROFILES
RMA Ltd

RMA Ltd is a one-stop global company that can design, build and produce from a greenfield site upw [more...]
ProSlide Technology, Inc.

A former national ski team racer, ProSlide® CEO Rick Hunter’s goal has been to integrate the smoot [more...]
Painting With Light

By combining lighting, video, scenic and architectural elements, sound and special effects we tell s [more...]
DJW

David & Lynn Willrich started the Company over thirty years ago, from the Audio Visual Department [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Painting with Light pushes boundaries to create unforgettable visual concepts
Belgium-based light and video design studio, Painting with Light, will translate the story of your location into a visual experience, using the art of light architecture. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Polin Waterparks & Pool Systems - Experience the experience
Have you ever wondered how the fun is created? Polin Waterparks is a global market leader in the design, manufacture and installation of waterparks and water play attractions. Find out more...
More videos:
Introducing AnimaChat! – Animalive
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

08 Oct 2020

VAC 2020 VIRTUAL (The Annual National Conference of Visitor Attractions)

Online, United Kingdom
17-23 Oct 2020

World Leisure Congress 2020

Pinggu, Beijing, China
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
ATTRACTIONS MANAGEMENT NEWS
ATTRACTIONS HANDBOOK
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
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