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What are your thoughts on forced participation in theme parks?

What are your thoughts on forced participation in theme parks?

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Matt N

CF Legend
Hi guys. I was just watching the TPW review of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Smuggler's Run at Disney's Hollywood Studios when it gave me an idea for a poll; what are your thoughts on forced participation (i.e. interactive attractions) in theme parks? It seems to be becoming somewhat of a more heavily used element in theme parks now; the aforementioned example of Smuggler's Run in Galaxy's Edge uses it quite heavily, Merlin theme parks seem to love using it on attractions like Derren Brown's Ghost Train and Nemesis: Sub-Terra, and I'm sure there are many more out there.

I'm not sure how common this opinion will be, but I've never really been a fan of forced participation. Call me boring, but I would much rather sit back and be immersed in an experience than actually be part of an experience, if you get what I mean; if you view a theme park attraction like a play, for example, I've always preferred to be in the audience as opposed to up on the stage.

But what are your personal thoughts? I think this could be quite interesting, as it seems to be quite a divisive topic!


Hyper Poster
I'm not keen, but usually there's some indication of what might be involved, it's been going on for years in stand up comedy, circus, Pantomimes etc - so its not a new thing.

I enjoy immersive theatre installations , and whilst uncomfortable with it - I'm prepped there might be some participation, which is fine, my curiosity over-rides my fear.
Also I love halloween events, scare zones and mazes - again I'm prepped, and usually its fleeting involvement

Merlin's (and other parks) Forced photo points I hate with a passion! not interested!! And anything like that to get ONTO an attraction is burdonous, and puts you off re-rides!


Hyper Poster
Remember on Derren Brown when someone shouted at you with a megaphone to cover your mouth because of the toxic gas? Rubbish.

I did like the military boot camp vibe of Nemesis Sub Terra though because they played it slightly silly like a movie spoof. Interactive elements like that are always just padding for the actual ride.

At scare attractions I always avoid eye contact with roaming actors because I can't face having a conversation with someone in character and trying to be witty. Not sure whether that's more social anxiety or a lack of interest in the interactiveness though.


Mega Poster
I think it is not a case of whether I like it or not (would rather depend on the day), but I surely think they are a good thing.
Seeing the popularity of Halloween events it is clearly that the way forward is interactive experiences.
People who don't like the interaction then shouldn't do the ride obviously. Maybe it is a bit different when only a small part of the ride is interactive - pre-show - and then you should have the choice to not having to participate... but remeber... we are going to THEME parks, where they do their best to create an amazing atmosphere, and therefore it is part of the experience


Hyper Poster
Interaction is great, but I certainly dont want to BE the show/attraction. No involvement in shows (bleurgh) but love the roaming actors at Halloween events and scare mazes.


Hyper Poster
I got two completely different recent experiences, at portadventure I was picked to “dance” with the lady’s in the Polynesian show, that was great and was an experience I will not forget.

On the other hand at adventure island some of the staff I guess have to high five you befor or while seated on the ride for whatever reason. One of the guys was picking his nose then wanted to high five us at the entrance, I don’t want that give me the Polynesian dancers ?