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Volcano Bay

Discussion in 'Universal Orlando' started by Mike C, May 28, 2015.

  1. JT3000

    JT3000 Well-Known Member

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    Please give us a detailed explanation for why this is not the case, since you've obviously visited the park already. Lucky you.

    And if you can convince me that Volcano Bay fails to innovate because some obscure park on the other side of the world already did all these things that Universal's actual competitors have not, I promise to send them a harshly worded e-mail petitioning for its immediate demolition... or something. :cautious:
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017 at 6:50 AM
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  2. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    I apologize for the length of this post. But people seem to require more information to understand that many of these things have been present in industry for a long time. They're not firsts...


    The exact same system (though an earlier version of the tech), has been there for quite some time. Same company even.

    Wristband reservations at water parks have been done by a number of companies, the most famous being Lo-Q (now called Accesso), which Universal already had a relationship with, and has used their products in the past. Their QBand product wasn't even the first to market in 2010 though. Fort Rapids Waterpark used RFID wristbands for payments back in 2006. Still, Accesso's technology is what's being used here. It contains a "tap point" where reservations would be made on an attraction, and the return time is shown on an LCD very similar to the one Universal is using in their Tapu Tapu (which is merely an updated version of QBand called Prism). Six Flags has been using this system in several of their water parks for 5 or 6 years now. These bands have cashless payments and can open lockers as well. Other clients that have been using this exact same system include Dollywood's waterpark, Wet 'n Wild Vegas, Schlitterbahn, and several smaller US based parks.

    [​IMG]
    Universal's Tapu Tapu

    [​IMG]
    The underlying tech. Has been used at parks since 2011. Universals "innovation" regarding this product seems to be that they're using it to completely eliminate queues. We will see how that works out, but yes I'll give them credit for that attempt. But the product and the system aren't innovative at all. A Six Flags park 7 hours away has been using the same thing for 6 years. The cashless payment system has been in place at parks across the country using these wristbands for almost as long.

    A more rudimentary version of this system has been in use at Great Wolf Lodge's across the US for a long time as well (some of the older lodges don't use these, but the ones built in the last 5 years mostly do).
    [​IMG]
    This system stores waterpark access, opens hotel doors, does cashless payments, and even triggers "hidden" show elements and interactive stuff. Unfortunately, the vast majority of "triggered effects" have broken and were never fixed as Great Wolf has switched vendors and technologies. They rolled out a new wristband tech last summer using Heroncore's technology, which didn't go too well, and it appears that in 2017 they'll be using yet another vendor. Hopefully they'll restore the broken interactive elements at some point when they settle on a tech that they'll use long term. According to a vendor, Pocano's Great Wolf still has their "storybook adventure", though the RFID tech is embedded in a stuffed animal outside the water park po

    And from the other thread is:
    [​IMG]
    At Yas Waterworld, their system does not use an LCD, but functions as a virtual queue, cashless payment, opens lockers, and interacts with show elements/objects around the park. Yes, this park is halfway around the world, it's one of three Middle Eastern parks that are very well known in the industry for being the best, regardless of whether or not the ill-informed understand that fact- it's not disputed among people who know much about water parks. Saying it's some obscure park doesn't negate anything. If you think Yas is obscure, you don't know the industry, period.

    As far as nighttime entertainment, Aquatica's Island Nights (as well as Adventure Island) both have live entertainment throughout the evening (hey, the same tired Polynesian theme too- just like Volcano Bay). As far as multimedia displays, the US is surely light on that if they exist at all. However, I have a colleague who has done projection shows in water parks eleswhere. I asked him for a quick list off of the top of his head that he or someone he knew had worked on as far as night time entertainment/projection shows and he replied with Asia- India (Blue World, Vismaya, ), Indonesia (Jogja), China (Chimelong's many parks), Phillipines (JPark), and Europe- (Italy) Etnaland, (Portugal) Slide & Splash, Russia (H20), Czechia (Aquapalace). There are probably lots of other examples floating around Youtube especially if you search in the local language. Heck, even Efteling licenses out their projection mapping tech to water parks for usage in night time shows in Belgium and France.

    Not sure what else I can say. Volcano Bay will be excellent. It will bring some new slide technology to the US, as well as projection shows, live entertainment and some really great theming. I hope the shops and food are a step ahead of current offerings as someone alluded to. I hope there's a dark ride element on the headliner slide, but that's been done at several water parks as well (including one in Colorado). i'm looking forward to seeing Americans experience a park that looks very much at the level of the top water parks on earth. The combination of all of their various so-called innovations will make it the park to beat certainly in Orlando. But again, yes you're quite ill-informed if you believe that Volcano Bay separates itself from the offerings at the world's other great water parks- and none of them has gone to the lengths of saying "this isn't a water park, this is something new entirely that nobody's ever seen before, it's so much more than just a water park." There are examples of all of the things Universal is doing scattered across the globe. A combination of those elements will make Universal's water park wonderful, and it'll be right up there with the tops. But it's not even industry leading, let alone on a separate plane from the rest of the industry.

    If you want to say that Volcano Bay is Orlando's most innovative water park, I concur. If you want to say it's the US's most innovative water park, I mostly agree. If you want to say that it's the world's most innovative water park, then you're ill-informed. Simple as that. Going by the logic that VB is innovative in comparison to similar parks in it's home market is fine, but Universal's marketing this place as a quantum leap in water parks. Maybe it is for Orlando, and maybe even the US in general if you'd like to look at it that way. The points I (and several others) have been making is that for the most part, these are upgraded offerings that exist elsewhere- and in many cases they're actually standard offerings compared to the actual innovations in the water park industry.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017 at 9:50 AM
  3. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how any of what you said correlates to the information of mine that you quoted. Did you even read what you quoted?
    What you quoted was:
    - I'm excited to see it!
    - But to never have experienced something is not the mark of something that is innovative.
    - The discussion keeps trending towards this notion because it's being compared to the WDW water parks and instead of comparing their offerings, many people seem to be stating (including Universal's marketing) that things at Volcano Bay have never been done before and are industry firsts. So much so that this isn't even a water park, but really much closer to a theme park. Not even a themed water park, which has existed since Typhoon Lagoon, but a new type of park with unique technology and offerings that sets itself apart from any other water park. This is not the case.

    I don't need to convince you that some obscure park has done these things. What I've stated is that in comparison to Disney's offerings, yes Universal is clearly ahead of them, as should be expected for a park being built decades later. What I pointed out is that regardless of Universal's marketing, the "innovation" in Volcano Bay is largely standard or a newer model with slight upgrades in the industry (other than eliminating queues). It may be the latest and greatest, but simply because you buy a 2017 Toyota with a back up camera doesn't mean Toyota is innovating since Mazda doesn't have a back up camera- if much of the industry already uses backup cameras. But what Universal is doing is equivalent to saying "this Camry has blind spot monitoring, side airbags, a backup camera, and heated seats- it's a game changer and we struggle to even define this thing as a mid-size sedan anymore, because the offerings as just so superior to all other midsize sedans". This is what Universal (and a few delusional/ill-informed fans) are trying to do.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017 at 9:54 AM
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  4. Quinnmac000

    Quinnmac000 Well-Known Member

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  5. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for contributing to the discussion. Your insightful commentary provided an interesting perspective to consider.

    So... I make an argument and people ask for sourcing. I provide such documentation and that's your response. Noted.
     
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  6. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

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    @rushtest4echo post the pictures from the other thread showing other parks with themed support structures that aren't a mountain.

    It would be nice if the Universal fanboy response to criticism wasn't to suggest that caring strongly about theming, immersion and detail means you're a Disney pixie-duster and real theme park fans only care about how thrilling the attractions are.
     
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  7. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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  8. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    Eh, I'm not really going to take a side "against" Universal. There are just as many Disney people who look at a ride like Rock'n Rollercoaster and conclude that it's a superior experience to the Mummy because the Mummy doesn't go upside down. I had a hardcore Disney/Coaster nerd friend who said Primeval Whirl was the best ride in Animal Kingdom because everything else wasn't out of control like a proper thrill ride should feel. And there are plenty of Disney people who like to think that Toy Story Mania is an acceptable attraction theming wise (it's not). It's kind of why I concluded that people who feel this park is either the greatest water park, or the most innovative one in the world are one of the following:
    Ill-informed
    Universal fanboys
    Haven't taken a look around the industry
    Looking for anything to substantiate their notion that Disney is now 'behind Universal'

    And if they're merely comparing stuff in Orlando- yes VB sets the standard for many aspects here in Orlando.

    But you're correct that I've seen lots of people touting the slide collection as superior to Disney (which it is). But Cedar Point has a better coaster collection than Universal and that means very little to most people who largely find Universal to be a superior destination to Cedar Point.
     
  9. andysol

    andysol Well-Known Member

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    Tom- you've known me around here for a while and you know me well enough to know I am not a universal fanboy and enjoy both WDW and Universal immensely, while still giving criticism to both.

    Additionally- rudestecho didnt answer a single point. All he did was say "x park has qbots". "Y park has nighttime entertainment" "z park has multidirectional wave pool" "b park has significant theming" "c park had dual lazy rivers" "f park has a table service restaurant". "M park carries all your tubes" Blah blah blah. All of that means nothing because they aren't in the SAME park. So he spouts off this projected "knowledge" but it means nothing because they are all different parks. So no- I don't want to fly to 3 contenants to enjoy the same things I can get in one place in Orlando.

    He's a troll- I mean- look at his taunting posts with no other purpose other than to incite an argument. We don't need clowns like that on this forum- and we certainly shouldn't encourage him.
    As I said earlier- he's insufferable. And has an unbearable amount of arrogance and conceit.
     
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  10. JT3000

    JT3000 Well-Known Member

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    The correlation is that you're purposely being dishonest and veering the discussion away from what's relevant. I don't know about some Middle Eastern water park because, like nearly everyone else who might visit Volcano Bay, I simply don't care. It's completely irrelevant to me. You've said we should compare VB's offerings to the parks at WDW, but based on your previous post, that seems to be exactly what you don't want to do. Instead you're comparing it to everything else under the sun, seemingly in a badly camouflaged attempt to make WDW look good by convincing us that Volcano Bay isn't innovative enough. And I quote,

    (emphasis is mine)

    You took a swipe at Universal's position within the market and then compared it to everything BUT its actual competitors. That makes perfect sense. You can flip-flop and say it's "ahead" of the WDW parks, whatever that means, but you're still not making any relevant comparisons.

    And it's nice to see people are once again latching onto marketing hyperbole and making a big deal out of it, despite everyone here already having a good idea of what the product is and what it isn't. It's a good thing you weren't here for the "park within a park" nonsense. We already had enough people repeating themselves ad-nauseam.

    It would also be nice if the Disney fanboy response weren't to ask for comparison pictures of parks that aren't even owned by Disney.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017 at 7:25 PM
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  11. Casper Gutman

    Casper Gutman Member

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    A lot of the problem here is tone. His post outlining the use of tech in foreign parks is fascinating and he's not a troll but he certainly could dial back the arrogance.

    In any case, he acknowledges that most of this tech is unique in relation to American parks and that it hasn't been linked together in a single spot. In addition, he brings up only two examples of bands that interact with the surroundings, and the Great Wolf one doesn't really fit very well. Because of this, it still seems that calling VB "innovative" is well within the accepted parameters of exaggeration that defines PR/ fan speak. If Disney bought a trackless E-ticket in the style of Mystic Manor or Pooh's Hunny Hunt to an American park, I wouldn't be upset at ads calling it innovative, even given the existence of those rides and smaller examples like Sea World's Penguin thingy.
     
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  12. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

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    I asked for them because Universal is marketing this as a game changer, immersive, etc. They aren't suggesting its merely better than Disney's water parks, but better and more immersive than all water parks. So its nice to point out that is a dishonest marketing claim when equally impressive or more immersive water parks already exist.

    Unlike local parks, people from all over the globe travel to Orlando to experience Disney and Universal, so I think its warranted to compare Volcano Bay to more than Disney's offerings.
     
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  13. Casper Gutman

    Casper Gutman Member

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    So you feel Uni should advertise it as "a decent water park?" Have you ever seen an advertisement before?

    Shall we go through all of Disney's advertising for the last decade with the same nitpicking attitude and see how they hold up? For instance, let's all run up to a Disney Princess in front of the castle and frolic with her without a mob of toddlers and handlers. I have a sneaking suspicion you might be a little less strict regarding Mouse House PR.

    Seriously, Disney is actually adding meaningful attractions for the first time in a decade and SWL looks awesome. You don't have to lash out at Uni. Enjoy the competition.
     
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  14. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member

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    LOL!! Okay, point taken.
     
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  15. Corey P

    Corey P Well-Known Member

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    All of you seem to forget, all water parks work on gravity and water.

    There is only so much you can do ride wise. Only so much you can do theme wise as well because you are going to end up with plastic slides of different configurations for the most part.

    A water park is really just a water park, it's the thrills that make them different. You theme people will most likely be disappointed with Universal's new water park.

    Water parks can only do so much until it gets just stupid. I could take places I have been in the world and build a water park but it would be to dangerous for the theme park crowd. You got the stones to dive off a 30-40 ft cliff? Can you use a Trazan rope to swing out a 100 feet to jump of into water 20-30 feet below you? Been there done that but that's not the typical theme park customer.
     
  16. JT3000

    JT3000 Well-Known Member

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    This is what you and that other poster don't get. In order to be a game changer in the eyes of its clientele, that's all Volcano Bay needs to be.

    The average visitor to Orlando's parks doesn't have any particularly impressive water parks near their home. They simply aren't that common. Most water parks are still on par with what a Six Flags or Cedair Fair can offer and nothing more.
     
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  17. rushtest4echo

    rushtest4echo Well-Known Member

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    Completely agreed. I don't believe myself or Tom or a few of the other have ever claimed any different. It is a game changer for most people visiting. But it's not a completely unique concept that is so different from all water parks before it that it deserves to be in a separate category. I'm not sure any other arguments have really been made over the last 10-20 pages dating back to the other thread as well. I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on that point. One side feels that Universal's marketing dept and the general, uninformed public may consider this park on a totally different plane from all other water parks. The other side sees that as either marketing hyperbole or a lack of information. It's equivalent to people saying that Rip Ride Rocket is an entirely different ride not even worthy of being called a roller coaster. Instead it's a multi-sensory coasting experience that is far more revolutionary than your standard coaster fare. Plenty of people would believe that too, but people who have done X-coasters, vertical lifts, onboard selectable audio would probably consider it not that revolutionary.



    Absolutely agree. It'll be a top water park in the country for sure. But as Corey made the point: in the end a water park is just a water park. Volcano Bay is going to be an excellent water park. Is it going to be a water "theme" park? Sure, that's fine, but it's not the only one.
     
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  18. lazyboy97o

    lazyboy97o Well-Known Member

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    It is Universal who is calling it a water theme park. That was not made up by others to make Universal look bad. It is how Universal has chosen to describe their work.
     
  19. Casper Gutman

    Casper Gutman Member

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    And Animal Kingdom is "Nahtazu" - PR guys come up with slogans that might not correlate directly to reality. It's a themed water park, just like Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.
     
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  20. BrianLo

    BrianLo Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes I wish Universal fandom had higher expectations than merely being better than Disney. It doesn't even need to be good anymore, just better than Disney.

    The constant comparisons need to be put to rest. Criticisms don't need to revert back into this perceived us vs them war. It's starting to turn into the 14 year olds bickering about their preferred video game platform.
     

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