How Amusement Parks Brand Themselves

Amusement parks are popular and fun, but they also face some particular challenges when it comes to branding. First of all, amusement parks must appeal to the recreational sensibilities of people from all walks of life, and their target demographic can shift from season to season. In addition, many of the attractions at amusement parks (especially parks that focus on roller coasters) are interesting in large part due to their novelty. As such, amusement parks must maintain consistent branding while also continually introducing content that is exciting and draws return visitors. Here is how two amusement parks brand themselves throughout the year.

Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey is a park for thrills. Although very young children can’t do much at the park, advertising to youths and families is just as important as advertising to adults. Here are some of the ways Six Flags Great Adventure brands itself:

  • Extra thrills for thrill-seekers – Six Flags is known as being a place to get the adrenaline rushing. Apart from its normal rides, Six Flags gives a significant amount of promotion to special attractions like the Human Slingshot, which adventurous patrons can pay extra to use.
  • New rides on the way – Each new ride must provide some experience that no other ride before it has offered. This summer, Six Flags Great Adventure is opening Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom, which, at 415 feet, will be the tallest drop tower in the world.
  • Educational and youth group opportunities – Six Flags thrives on teen and young adult participation. In the summer, families can be selectively targeted, but during the year overall attendance, and especially kids’ attendance, drops. Six Flags counteracts this inevitable dip by offering special deals for groups of students, and even educational experiences for schools.
  • More focus on youth in the summer – Although kids are important all year long, the focus on families and youth becomes more intense during the summer months.

Cedar Point

Cedar Point targets kids and families year-round. This Ohio amusement park offers roller coasters and thrill rides, family rides, and live entertainment, as well as water rides. Here are a few ways Cedar Points targets its messaging:

  • Advertisement of season passes establishes the park as a place to go year-round
  • Increased promotion of water rides and Soak City makes the park a more attractive locale during the summer months
  • Educational programs, school groups, and youth groups keep kids engaged with the park even when school is in session
  • New rides such as the Pipe Scream are extensively promoted to keep the park fresh

Amusement parks serve as a great reminder of how brands must alter their messaging periodically, sometimes season-to-season, to continue reaching their target audience. In addition, they provide a solid example of how companies can work around potential setbacks, such as seasonal drops in attendance.

What do you think about how amusement parks brand themselves? Share in the comments!

This post was originally published on the One Smooth Stone blog on May 27, 2014. For a complimentary 30-minute consultation on how to build your brand and inspire an audience through events and communications, please contact Brian Duffy by calling 630.427.4235 or by emailing


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