When most people think of amusement parks, they imagine the rush of rollercoasters and the excitement of having a good time with their friends or family. They aren’t looking at whether the park offers WiFi until they arrive at the venue.
If an amusement park doesn’t offer free, fast, and reliable WiFi, the customer experience diminishes. Visitors expect theme parks to have WiFi services available, and if the venue doesn’t meet these expectations, guests will complain.
WiFi offers park-goers a way to communicate with friends and family, sharing their experiences on the rides and the fun they had during the day. It also provides park operators with valuable data and insights on what people do at their facility.
This post unpacks everything you need to know about the role of WiFi in amusement parks.
The Role of WiFi in Modern Amusement Parks
WiFi networks in amusement parks have benefits for guests and operators. Guest WiFi networks operate on front-of-house systems, segregated from the back-of-house network used by operators. Visitors to the park log into the guest WiFi network to navigate the park. The operator presents a map allowing visitors to find restaurants, attractions, and facilities on the property.
Visitors can share their experiences with their followers on social media by posting images, videos, and tweets. WiFi allows people to stay connected in the park. Some might want to hit the rollercoaster, while others want a snack at the restaurant. WiFi keeps them connected during their park experience.
Park operators use WiFi networks to monitor the park in real-time. They can check on the lines at rides, monitor equipment status, and collect data on their guest’s experience. WiFi data provides insight into peak hours of the day, what attractions are popular with guests, and visitor demographics.
It also offers advertising and marketing opportunities. The network can push discount notifications for specific services at the park directly to the visitor’s device. WiFi improves customer engagement with the business, providing opportunities to increase revenues.
WiFi for Rides: The Next Frontier
A decade or so ago, theme park experiences were passive. The advent of WiFi networks and its integration with tech like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) has made theme parks even more connected and integrated with technology. A great example is the new “Avatar” ride at Disney. It’s different from the traditional rollercoaster, with the visitors “riding” a machine that emulates the winged beasts in the movie.
Guests experience the thrill of soaring through the air without ever leaving the ground. This immersive experience shows how technology is changing the theme park landscape, and WiFi forms the backbone for these next-generation systems.
WiFi-enabled virtual queuing systems let visitors access reservation platforms for rides, reserving their spot without standing in line for hours. They can use the time they would have spent queuing to enjoy other facilities, rides, and services around the park.
Challenges and Solutions
WiFi networks offer amusement parks many benefits for their internal systems and the guest experience. However, there are challenges to implementing, monitoring and maintaining these networks.
Technical challenges involved with mechanical systems around the park can cause disruption to services, requiring solutions to ensure they don’t dampen the visitor experience at the park. Rollercoasters move fast, and maintaining a strong WiFi signal is tough.
High-speed rides interrupt WiFi signals, creating a suboptimal experience for park-goers. Management must ensure correct system planning to ensure optimal coverage throughout the venue, with no dead spots.
It’s crucial to place access points in areas around the park, allowing for seamless handshakes and handovers of connections to ensure uninterrupted WiFi connectivity and no drops in signal. Management must ensure all outdoor APs are weather-resistant and dustproof to avoid damage to the equipment and network reliability.
Solutions and Best Practices
Amusement parks can prevent and resolve issues with their WiFi infrastructure by adhering to best practices during the installation and operation of the network.
The first step is to complete an adequate site survey of the park to determine how many APs are required. The survey determines the proper placement of these access points for optimal park coverage, seamless connectivity, and a high-quality WiFi experience for visitors.
|Security is a huge concern for guest networks, and we’ve already discussed the need for segregated networks. Park operators can tackle it one step further and implement captive portals.
Amusement Park App Connectivity: Enhancing the Experience
Back in the day, park-goers would rely on paper maps to navigate the park. Today, WiFi allows guests to access digital maps from their phones and download apps to enhance the visitor experience. Apps for booking rides, ordering food, and receiving notifications when it’s time to hit the rollercoaster or pick up their food order.
Tips for Seamless App Integration
Amusement parks offer app integrations for guests. Parks can use QR codes on their site and encourage guests to download the app before their day at the park. However, apps are easily corrupted and require secure design to prevent bad actors from adding malware or compromising the network through the app integrations to the network.
When using the app in the park, operators must ensure the network has low latency to provide fast response and updates to in-app activities like ride wait times and food pickup alerts. It’s crucial for park operators to implement security measures for the app and the network to prevent hackers from compromising the system and visitor’s devices.
Amusement Park WiFi Zones: Where to Connect
Amusement parks are high-density locations for WiFi networks. Operators must compensate for this with sufficient access points, especially in high-traffic areas like the admission gate, restaurant areas, and around rides.
If the network doesn’t have ample APs in high-density areas, visitors experience a slowdown in connectivity, dropped connections, and a diminished user experience. The result is bad reviews. The guest might have the time of their life on the rides and enjoy the food, but if the WiFi is bad, it’s enough to get them to leave a negative Google or Yelp! Review.
Pros and Cons of WiFi Zones
WiFi networks for amusement parks offer far more advantages than drawbacks. Visitors expect this service, and if you don’t provide it, it will result in mayhem, with your guests complaining about it.
WiFi improves the visitor experience by implementing the beneficial systems and features we’ve discussed so far in this post. Regardless of the WiFi network’s services, the network’s primary aim is to improve the guest’s theme park adventure.
For operators, the benefits of WiFi zones are clear – they lead to your visitors having a better time at your park and the possibility they’ll leave a great review. When guests are happy with their experience, there’s a good chance they’ll come back with other friends or family members or recommend the park to their social circle.
When we think about the pitfalls of WiFis, a few concerns naturally emerge. One of the big ones is the ongoing investment in maintaining and updating the tech. As we all know, the tech world moves at a breakneck pace, necessitating regular system overhauls.
The rise of cloud-based monitoring tools has given park operators a clearer, more immediate window into their network’s health. It’s like having a constant diagnostic running, ensuring everything ticks along nicely and spotting potential issues before they become real headaches.
And then there’s the topic of security. With all the digital threats out there, ensuring a safe environment for data—especially sensitive stuff like credit card details—is paramount. This is where features like captive portals come into play. These tools act as gatekeepers, ensuring only authenticated users get access and adding an extra layer of defense against would-be intruders. Regular sweeps for vulnerabilities and staying updated can further solidify this digital fortress.
By weaving in these advanced strategies, amusement parks can elevate the dependability and safety of their WiFi offerings, guaranteeing both visitors and staff have a seamless experience.
Family-Friendly WiFi: Safe and Secure Browsing
Amusement parks are family-friendly spaces. Parks must ensure they offer safe, secure connections and limit the content available through the WiFi network to family-friendly options. Implementing content blocks for unauthorized websites or access to the dark web keeps bad actors away.
How to Enable Family-Friendly Features
While park operators can do a lot to improve child safety by monitoring and limiting access to its network, parents can also take precautions when visiting the venue. Setting up content filters on their devices prevents them from using the park WiFi to view illicit or illegal content while at the facility.
Parents must also educate their kids on safe online behavior, as predators might lurk in the venue, looking for opportunities. Park operators can implement segregated networks and client isolation protocols to prevent devices from communicating with each other in the park.
Wrapping up, WiFi is essential for enhancing the amusement park experience for both guests and operators. Companies that adopt WiFi will have an advantage. Guest WiFi networks allow visitors to enjoy the amenities and services offered in the park and assist operators with providing a fulfilling experience for customers while improving operations.
From interactive rides to queuing systems and even ordering food, WiFi is a crucial component of the amusement park experience, saving guests time while improving management profitability.
WiFi technology continues to advance, allowing the integration of IoT, VR, AR, and AI systems into the network and park mechanics. Amusement parks embracing WiFi networks better position the business to meet visitor demands in today’s tech-savvy environment.