Al Weber, Six Flags (pictured): As one of the most recognised entertainment brands in the world, Six Flags is very brand-centric. We have enjoyed a long and healthy partnership with Warner Brothers and utilise the intellectual properties of DC Comics, Looney Tunes and Hanna Barbera in various applications throughout our parks. IP investments are worthwhile when they extend and complement the goal of providing a fully integrated guest experience, namely branded characters combined with themed rides and attractions.
Wouter Dekkers, Movie Park Germany: We are convinced that IP-branded attractions are worth the investment and see the benefit in using well-known brands so that our guests can meet their favourite “stars.” The positive brand attributes then transfer to the park and that pays off in terms of increased attendance, guest satisfaction and word of mouth. However, you have to consider that not every IP is worth the investment. It is important to identify clear target groups, the IP life cycle (what will be the next big hit?), and the popularity and penetration of the brand, all of which should match your park strategy.
Dan Koch, Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, USA: Holiday World started out as Santa Claus Land in Santa Claus, Indiana, in 1946, so we’ve always had the highly recognisable red-suited Santa Claus here at the park. In addition, we’ve created our own costumed character, Holidog, who has become quite popular, along with his buddies Safari Sam and George the Eagle. We have not historically used outside intellectual property or characters because we want the theming and design our attractions tied to the holidays in Holiday World, and safari/beach at Splashin’ Safari, rather than a licensed character or movie.