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Why haven't any major theme park operators/manufactures merged?

In the theme park industry things typically work like this, a theme park operator builds and runs the theme park whilst a theme park manufacturer builds the rides, we all know how it works.

In other industries they started off with one company does produces something and then another creates said product. Look at Netflix for example, when they started they primarily brought content from Disney, BBC, Paramount, Fox etc. But then they started to produce their own content themselves such as Stranger Things and the company has slowly focusing on building their own library whilst content producers such as Disney realised they could build their own streaming service direct to consumer. Or another example would be Tesla, who buy their batteries from Parasonic at the minute but have future plans to start producing their own batteries and cut the cost of their cars down.

So why haven't we seen anything like this in the theme park industry outside of the whole Europa/Mack (which are family owned) relation. Manufacturers like Sansei have the tech to build a variety of attractions from small things like lifts to stages to small kiddie ride to big thrill rides.

Having a major theme park operator and a major ride manufacturer merge would allow operators to build rides for cheaper and would allow the business to build ride models that suit the public more because at the minute a manufacturer has to sell the rides to the theme park operators who then have to sell the ride to the public.

Another advantage would be that if a ride has an issue it would allow the manufacturer to sort out the ride quicker as the park wouldn't have to get someone to call the manufacturer who then has to arrange see what has broken, manufacture a new part then charge the operator for any new parts.

So what is everyone's thoughts on this? And why do you think this hasn't majorly occurred?

I'm interested in hearing everyone's thoughts.
I think that zampela have a similar thing with coney Island, as most of the rides are their's.

I imagine the big manufacturers not seeing the point as they are always booked up and the smaller ones probably can't risk the investment.

Honestly I don't really know, just guess work.

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Say Six Flags buy Intamin. No way would Merlin EVER buy a ride from Intamin. Merlin would never allow private, confidential information anywhere near a competitor. This applies to pretty much every other theme park operator in the world. They can wave goodbye to any sales to anyone other than that chain, even someone like Six Flags would be able to fill the order book for Intamin.

I've seen this multiple times in my industry, people end up losing A LOT of money.

A lot of parks manufacture things in house, just look at the new Harry Potter ride. The ride hardware is from Intamin, other things are outsourced too, but Universal Creative are doing the bulk of the work.

The only reason Mack Rides / Europa park thing works is because they are kept operationally and financially separate.

It's worth reading John Wardleys autobiography to see just how close Tussards and B&M worked on Nemesis.


New Member
Another interesting case is Lagoon, which did the opposite of what you are thinking about : being a park manufacturing their own rides. I guess they had the same thought as you "wait, why don't we build our own coasters, it will be cheaper". Result is that Cannibal cost them a good $22M according to rcdb ... However the ride is a big hit, super smooth , and maybe they can now build the next rides at a lower cost (at least now they have to otherwise they would just have spent this money in R&D for nothing !)

(I forgot whether the kiddie Bombora was also built by them or not, but this one cost $5M which is insane for what it is !)


Captain Basic
The beauty of competition is that a whole lot of different minds work on a whole lot of different solutions to the same problem. Different manufacturers have inherently different styles of attractions. Look at Mack and Intamin, for example. They both produce high-thrill, multi launch coasters that can invert. But Intamin clearly makes much more intense rides, whereas Mack has a tendency to make their rides a little more gentle and floaty, while still being very thrilling. Multiple manufacturers give parks a choice as to what exact type of ride they want. If a park and manufacturer decide to merge as one, with the park only taking rides from that one manufacturer, then the park loses that variety of the open market. Additionally, if the park and manufacturer sign an exclusivity agreement, then the manufacturer is taken off the market for every other park.