Theme and amusement parks provide entertainment for people in many countries all over the world*. How is continuous improvement being addressed in these parks?

We’ll answer the question by first looking at how Lean was applied in a safari park and then at a master’s thesis focused on providing a framework for continuous improvement initiatives.

Next, we’ll briefly list some continuous improvement initiatives at Disney properties.

Then, we’ll focus on a customer satisfaction study in Malaysian theme parks that explores how various variables affect service quality and  hence customer satisfaction.

Lean Applied at a Safari Park

In an article titled “Lean thinking implementation at a safari park,” authors Denyse M. Julien and Benny Tjahjono discuss the implementation of Lean principles at a safari park in Buckinghamshire, UK.

The project team “used a variety of lean tools to help map the current state of practices in the park and to identify areas for improvement in the park’s processes.”

As stated by the authors the project’s goals were to

  • Understand the relationship between customer expectations and value-adding activities to direct focus appropriately.
  • Establish reference data that captures current processes and their associated

resource requirement. 

  • Identify and prioritize key processes.
  • Analyze key processes to determine the flow of value, information, and resource.
  • Propose and validate possible improvements to key processes that would

generate maximum benefits while having the shortest payback period.

  • Ensure improvement sustainability through obtaining employee buy-in and

knowledge management.

As stated in the article, the agreed upon project deliverables were:

  • Process maps including As-Is and To-Be states.
  • Simulation models.
  • Resource planning tool.
  • Training documentation.
  • Improvement proposal

After a thorough discussion of the Lean implementation, the authors conclude that “the key learning from this research project is that when focusing on customer value and elimination of waste across functional boundaries it is possible to produce large savings and increase profit without affecting customer experience negatively.”

You can find Denyse and Benny’s article here.

Continuous Improvement in a Water Park

In a comprehensive master's thesis from Texas State University, Carol Keyes explores continuous improvement in the amusement park industry by focusing on a retail department in a water park.

The project team applied the DMAIC phases.

The tools for continuous improvement used were

  • CTQ Tree
  • Process Mapping
  • Cause and Effect Diagram
  • Five Whys
  • Check Sheets
  • Pareto Charts

There is a very thorough discussion of the tool usage through the DMAIC stages and the final key recommendations.

You can read Carol’s thesis here. 

Some Examples of Continuous Improvement at Disney

A short article from Mouse Planet chronicles two examples of continuous improvement at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

First, an improvement to stroller rental. Then a study that increased the height of kids allowed to use the Bay Slides at Typhoon Lagoon.

Access Mouse Planet’s article here. 

Next, Disney at Work discusses the evolution of providing fish and chips at Epcot’s Rose and Crown Pub.

Read Disney at Work’s article here. 

Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction at Malaysian Theme Parks

In their study “The Customer Satisfaction on Service Quality of Local and International Theme Parks in Malaysia” Authors Nor Siah Jaharuddin and Nur Fadilah Yau Mul analyze the variables that impact service quality and ultimately customer satisfaction in local and international Malaysian theme parks.

The variables considered were:

  • Tangibles
  • Reliability
  • Responsiveness
  • Assurance
  • Empathy

As stated in their conclusions “The findings explained on how customer satisfaction can be increased through the dimensions of service quality provided, and therefore lead to  increase in company  goodwill and positive consumer  feedback when  proper attention is given”.

You can read Jaharuddin and Fadilan’s article here. 

*Countries That Have Amusement Parks

*A Wikipedia article lists amusement parks by country. You can access it here.