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Common theme park tropes that you aren't a fan of

Matt N

CF Legend
Hi guys. In the theme park industry, a lot of parks tend to do very similar things to one another at times. Even though every park is different, there are a lot of trends that seem to catch on, and many parks do seem to copy each other at times. So my question to you today is; what common theme park trope aren't you a fan of? What's that thing that many parks do that really grinds your gears?

Personally, a trope that's becoming more common that I'm not a huge lover of is forced participation within attractions. The likes of Merlin seem to love a good forced participation attraction, but I'm not personally a fan; I don't know if it's the fact I'm quite introverted, but I personally prefer to take a more passive role in enjoying attractions myself.

But what common theme park trope are you not a fan of?


Mega Poster
As much as I love theme parks, there are quite a few things that irk me, but these are the main 3.

1) Fast Pass

Now some parks do this really well such as Universal and of course Disney, but when parks aren't run efficiently to start with, then you have problems.

I usually don't go to my home park when it's busy, but when ever I have the 'speedy pass' implementation at Blackpool Pleasure Beach is so poorly thought out that it is frustrating. I have never used it myself, but I can say that waiting in line for over an hour and then picking a seat only to be moved for the sake of speedy pass users really grinds my gears.

2) Staggered Openings

For parks such as Phantasialand I can cut some slack as they need it more for crowd control (for a park of that scale they have a really small entrance)

But for most parks it just seems like a money saving technique, When I went to Chessington only 3 or 4 rides were open at 10am granted it was a very quiet day, but if they do this on the regular then I could see it being a problem. Portaventura is another culprit of this which is unfortunate if you want more rides on Shambhala.

3) Food Service

I haven't had a bad theme park food service experience recently, but about 10 years ago it seemed like everytime I wanted something to eat I would have to wait longer then I would for the rides. The worst of which was at Drayton Manor where I had to wait 40 minutes for a burger meal and it wasn't even busy.

I guess the 3rd one isn't a trope that parks go after, but it's a thing that I believe is common at theme parks.

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Roller Poster
Six Flags parks have mediocre food, with the exception of New England's food. Then again, I have only been to three parks (SFNE, SFA and SFGADV- my home park, which has next to nothing that's even good.)
If all Six Flags parks had New England's bubble cones, then I'm good to go.


Strata Poster
Food is a big one for me, it's rare that I'll go to a park that has varied food options, including lots of veggie options which is what I eat! As mentioned previously, parks like Drayton Manor are awful for this. On my visit, all the few food outlets they had were busy and they all pretty much served the same crap anyway?!

Not a fan of hearing chart/pop music in parks either. I enjoy pop music on any other day, but I want to be immersed in the theming and storytelling and not Katy Perry's newest single etc. Admittedly, the parks that play music like this aren't the ones with good theming anyway, so...


Staff member
Social Media Team
When they get the crowd to cheer, and then they go "oh thats not loud enough, lets do it again". Every friggen preshow does it.
It's extra enjoyable when they do it as a competition between the left and right sides of the audience.

I'm sick to f**king death of the "we need your help!" / new recruit storyline with dark rides and simulators.


Roller Poster
Fast track/pass/express lane or whatever you want to call it.
The ONLY place I have seen that does a decent one is Disney - they give you a time and you come back, so you can go enjoy your day.
Alton Towers is useless as you have to pay - and if you want unlimited fast pass it's over £100 - complete rip off if you have paid to get into the park and to stay (I usually go for 2 days as I live about 300 miles away!)

Food - I get places try to make a profit, but paying almost over £10 for a mass produced sub-par burger or a stewed hotdog is really bad, I tend to try and wait until I am out of the park before getting food.

EDIT - I wanted to add Dark Theming - a lot of themed areas are based on dark ideals - "Gloomy Wood" "Forbidden Valley" "Dark Forest" are 3 of the places in Alton Towers that have a dark theme, X-Sector is dark, but more of an industrial dystopian dark feel to the area
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Matt N

CF Legend
"trope" - you've confused a lot of people with that word @Matt N :)
Ah, my apologies; I should probably define that!

I’m not entirely sure how to define the word off the top of my head (although I know what it means, I don’t quite know how to put it into words), but I’ve done a quick Google, and in this context, the word “trope” refers to “a significant or recurring theme”. So in the context of this thread, a theme park trope would be something that theme parks do a lot.


Mega Poster
I agree with Gavin's new recruit storyline, that one is very tired.

Also I'm in agreement with pop music in theme parks, I much prefer attraction or theme specific music.


Matt SR
Staff member
Social Media Team
*Sits down on Universal ride*

"Don't worry, this will be a fun casual cruise. It's my first time out!"

"What's that over the radio, cry for help?"

"We're on our way! Everyone's counting on you!"

"Oh no! We need to escape!"

"Grab that! We're going to need it to save the world!"

"Wow that was a close one. Not bad for my first day on the job."

"Let's keep this between us."

*Exits Universal ride*


Mega Poster
Interactive/ guided family rides full of bad puns. Especially if it's a historically themed attraction with sightlines of giant steel coasters. You've got costumed cast members who pretend said coaster isn't there, saying things like "What's a roller coaster?" in an unidentifiable accent, all in a futile attempt to maintain the historic atmosphere. "Pay no attention to the giga giga coaster, we're in the old west on a river cruise!"

There's another one burried in there, and it's cast members attempting, but miserably failing to do some kind of accent.


Mega Poster
American parks doing stuff like "Texas stingray", "Jersey Devil", "New England Skyscreamer".

Imagine if Blackpool did the Lancashire Launcher instead of Icon.
Skegness Scorcher
Surrey Sidewinder
Worcestershire Whizzer
Shanklin Screamer
Clacton Chaos Coaster
The Insane Inverness Inverter
Cornwall Colossus

...yeah. I would say I'm glad we don't have that kind of stuff here, but damn it would be the funniest thing in the world if we did.