Imagining Improvements to Theme Park Parking


Imagining Improvements to Theme Park Parking

It’s not easy to be a mom nowadays between working full time, school, extracurricular activities, preparing dinner. We are always, always running behind.

But finally, I took some days off from work to celebrate my daughter turning 6 at Orlando theme parks. I planned everything in advance (or I thought I did): hotel, entry tickets, dinner reservations, princess makeup, and superhero handshakes.

I even read blogs on the best way to avoid long lines for the rides (BTW I recommend the new Disney Genius app; it is amazing).

So there we were, finally the day arrived, my husband was happily driving and my two kids were so excited in the back of the car that they just couldn’t wait to start running, riding, and have a great time.

BUT, there was only one thing I didn’t think about: PARKING.

And there we were, completely stopped at a huge line waiting to access the Sea World Parking lot.

Why? As a parking person, I prebooked the parking; there is certainly a lane dedicated to those who pre-booked; THERE MUST BE!!

But no, there isn’t. We were just there, like everybody else, in line. The first line of many we will have to deal with during the day.

After 45 minutes, we reached the cashier, like on highways in the 80s, to show him the pre-booked parking receipt on my phone and to stay in line even after passing the “toll” for 20 more minutes. I just couldn’t believe this was happening.

What can we do to make this better? I have a case study with the perfect solution: PRE-BOOKING and GATELESS, FREE-FLOW PARKING at LEGOLAND.

If you think about it, theme parks are the perfect site for PRE-BOOKING: FLAT FEE per day.

Everybody must purchase a ticket online to enter the park, why not force them to pre-purchase the parking ticket as well? Huge space available for a GATELESS Gantry at the entrance.

How does it work?

Step 1: Pre-book online your PARKING, insert your license plate and pre-pay your DAILY PARKING Pass.

Step 2: Drive to the venue. NO GATE or CASHIERS of any kind are in place, only a License Plate Recognition camera collecting data from all the vehicles passing by. THIS MEANS NO KIDS SCREAMING IN THE BACK OF THE CAR, just a delightful free-flow entrance at the parking lot.

Step 3: After a long day at the park, you approach the exit with your car wanting to go to the hotel asap and nothing you have to do. If you pre-paid for parking, the gate magically opens thank to the License Plate Recognition technology; if not, you can just pay at the ticket machine that is available for the “not-so-organized” travelers.

Sometimes we forget that PARKING is the first experience of any customer.

Whether it’s an airport, a shopping mall or a theme park, providing a frictionless experience is the best way to welcome clients and license plate recognition is a huge benefit.

Laura Caillot is General Manager, Survision. She can be reached at


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Laura Caillot
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