People crave experiences; shows are no longer about sitting in comfortable chairs and watching from a distance. People want to be immersed in something engaging and unique. When people go to theme parks they go for the experience, remembering the aspects that stood out and created ‘wow’ moments.
Theme park entertainment in 2019 is showing emerging trends that tailor themselves to these experiences. With social media playing a strong influence on society, it’s no surprise that today’s top trends create visually appealing big impressions.
1. Night Time Spectacles
Evening entertainment is essential for theme parks because they aid in keeping people entertained and in the park longer. These pop-up experiences can exist anywhere and can include individual acts, an entire story, or multiple stories intermingled, allowing guests to interact with the magic of the production as the spectacle unfolds.
2. Living Art
At the Wanderluxe Gala, Cabalka recounts Creativiva made a big impression by creating an atmosphere of art infused with performance, entertainment, and decor.
“Live art installations and living statues are engineered to be eye-catching, combining geometry, colour, and movement to create a character that changes with the performance and are impossible to ignore” Cabalka explains.
When applied to theme parks, these engaging performers will roam the grounds outfitted in dream-like fashions, striking a pose and garnering attention through their alluring presence. As they intermingle with guests, they create the perfect selfie opportunities for guests of all ages.
3. Immersive and Multi-Sensory Performances
“The most memorable experiences are the ones where we achieve that effect of provoking and evoking the audience, their senses, and emotions!” Immersive and multi-sensory performances, such as a sensory tunnel, do just that.
These multi-sensory tunnels employ lighting, sounds, smells, and touch to vary the ambiance as you walk through them. As guests wander through the passageway, the atmosphere and mood changes: the tunnel’s ”calming” zone’s is filled with a green light, a Eucalyptus and freshly cut grass fragrance, and soft ambiance music; within the “curiosity” zone, the light changes to blue, the scent to delicious carnival treats, and the music to upbeat invigorating sounds.
“With so many new innovations, we have all the tools to continuously experiment with the fusion of hi-tech, sensory and theatrical elements, crossing borders in disciplines and genres – creating aesthetics that are timelessly energizing and inspiring for all of us!”
4. Aerial Extravaganzas
Picture walking through a theme park and your gaze is diverted to an aerial performance–it’s most certainly going to steal your attention, take your breath away, and leave you in awe. These aerial extravaganzas go beyond the solo artist and creates an entire awe-inspiring story in the sky.
Cabalka deems aerial extravaganzas as huge crowd pleasers since these gravity defying performances create one-of-a-kind visuals to hold onto as lifelong memories.
He has choreographed aerial acts ranging from silk dancers synchronized to a live orchestra, to aerialist wall dances against a high rise building, to an aerial violinist who played a live production score; all of which were noteworthy and memorable performances.
5. 360-Degree Theatrical Experiences
The 360-degree show is a large-scale immersive experience where everyone in the audience can enjoy their view as the action continues on all fronts.
In Cabalka’s Urban Opera, the “public spectacle where our stage and the audience were all in one place”, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. He explains that this is beneficial for theme parks because, like in giant squares or plazas, those strolling by from any which way, can catch a glimpse of the performance and become drawn in to consume part of the performance.
He smiles, “although it brings its own difficulties, at the same time, it is a lot of fun to interact with that many people.”
6. Larger than Life “Wow-Factors”
Larger than life spectacles evoke the wow-factor that are essential for theme parks to stand out.
The Illuminite Show, created by Creativiva is a designed performance that worked on two planes, the horizontal and the vertical, was a particularly enchanting example of this trend.
These wow-factors leave the audience in shock and awe and are perfect for sharing via social media.
7. Panoramic Shows
Panoramic shows offer an intriguing design as guests watch from all angles as the production unfolds on a grand, panoramic scale. These unique shows are tailored for vertical and horizontal production, making them perfect for large crowds and open spaces.
Utilizing special effects, scenic design, and eye-catching props, the panoramic show is perfect for engaging a large audience. They leave an impact by pulling in people and are particularly great for park entrances and exits.
Photo credits: Creativiva Worldwide