EXPLORING INCLUSIVITY IN THE FAMILY THEME PARK EXPERIENCE
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This dissertation aimed to explore theme park inclusivity and the implications for the whole family experience. To the end, it analysed the overall principle of theme parks, family types, inclusivity, and motivational theories. The dissertation structure includes an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, analysis and discussion followed by a conclusion and recommendations. The literature review explored extent literature on theme parks, inclusivity, family types and motivational theories. Key points identified in relation to this project included an up to date evaluation of theme parks, definitions of relevant family typologies and their needs when visiting theme parks, linked closely to a selection of motivational theories that are adapted to family motivations. The research methodology took a qualitative approach based on primary research undertaken via semi-structured interviews with eight respondents accessed through convenience sampling. The interviews gathered the opinions of different family experiences at theme parks, then the primary data was extended by secondary research using information gathered from the websites of the theme parks mentioned by the respondents. The data was analysed using thematic and content analysis. The results demonstrate that not all the participants primarily visited theme parks for the rides, however they still visit theme parks to enjoy the experience and they had high expectations of what facilities should be available for families, including aspects such as ride design and seating. Furthermore, it appeared that the nuclear families within the sample aspired to visit theme parks outside the UK as a focus for their main holiday, whereas single-parent family respondents mainly visited those in the UK. Moreover, it was evident that children impacted upon the decision-making process, as the main reason for visiting theme parks was to entertain the children. From the findings, the researcher concluded that new theme park projects, especially ride and facility design, must consider the overall inclusivity of families and their needs.
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