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Uniqueness; how important is it?

Matt N

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Hi guys. Many parks across the world aspire for unique attractions in order to stand out from the competition; even close to home at the Merlin parks, the aspiration for uniqueness is a key pillar of the creative process. I don’t know about you, but I think Merlin are one of the most innovative companies out there. They don’t stay within the mould when designing attractions; they think outside the box, and nearly everything they build is very much outside the norm for a ride of its type.


But my question to you today is; how important is uniqueness, in your view? How important do you think it is for parks to shun cliches & norms and think outside the box? Is uniqueness absolutely vital, in your view? Or do you not think it’s important at all? Or are you somewhere in between?


Personally, I think uniqueness is somewhat important to an extent, but not super important; it’s far from the be all and end all, in my opinion.


I do think uniqueness is important to an extent. Without uniqueness, the industry would be totally stagnant, and progress would never happen! The desire for uniqueness has produced some of the industry’s most loved and revered attractions, so for that reason, I definitely think uniqueness has at least a certain degree of importance.


However, I don’t think uniqueness is necessary in every case, personally. Perhaps controversially, I don’t have an issue with more “conventional” attractions that follow a pre-existing design philosophy as long as they’re executed well. Cliched themes? I like them! Cloned rides or rides designed using a very similar philosophy (for instance, many of B&M’s models)? I like the consistency, and look forward to a proven ride experience! My point is; as much as an experience might be cookie cutter, the mould exists for a reason, and to have become the mould for that genre of attraction, a ride must be pretty good, so as long as it’s fun, I don’t personally see the issue with imitating another attraction. As they always say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so if something has clones, or has become somewhat of a cliche, then it must be a good sign that it works! I’m a firm believer in the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, so if the mould works, I see no real reason to deviate from it too much. As much as I do value and admire those who break the rules and think outside the box, I also think that staying inside the box can be great and valuable too; if a base concept is proven, then you can work harder on refining it to make the best version of it!


But how important do you feel uniqueness is?

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