Dear Jurassic World,
My name is Nicole Cann and I am a manager on the Visitor Experience team at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. My colleagues and I were lucky enough to be able to visit Jurassic World this past weekend and we were struck by what a unique experience you have crafted for your visitors. We couldn’t help but notice that there are a number of areas that could be improved, so we wanted to offer you this in-depth analysis of your operations. We hope that you will take these suggestions into consideration and please note that I would be more than happy to help.
- Bringing the Past to Life: There may be nothing as fantastic as seeing a living, breathing dinosaur, and at this time there’s no question you are the best, and only players in the field. Research has shown that having the opportunity to see animals in real life dramatically increases children’s interest in biodiversity and conservation.
- Hands-on Learning: I love that you have melded the past and the future together in all aspects of your facility, including your guest interactives. The mix of high tech opportunities combined with more traditional but effective hands–on, inquiry based activities such as interactive dig site in the Innovation Center is perfect for appealing to all visitor demographics and learning styles.
- Celebrities: There’s no question that you are able to generate a great amount of celebrity buzz. The media generated by Jimmy Fallon staring in your latest gyrosphere video and the frequent public appearances by Jimmy Buffet must generate great social marketing opportunities.
I should admit that while we were visiting your park there was, how should I put it, an incident and so many of the constructive criticisms we have are based on how we saw your staff reacting to and umm, escaping from these events.
- Lack of Emergency Preparedness: We were shocked to learn that on an island the size of Isla Nublar you have only one helicopter and that there were no evacuation boats permanently housed onsite. I was also surprised that, given the large size of some of the animals in your care, you do not have any large armored vehicles onsite.
- Lack of Supervision: Perhaps the most stunning oversight exists in your gyrospheres. I simply cannot understand why you allow minors to venture out in these spheres without an adult guardian and without any sort of emergency recall system in place to bring the spheres back in the event of an emergency. We overheard that two young guests had a very close call.
- Lack of Interpretive Delivery: Due to the unpredictable events which occurred on our visit we were only able to see the Mosasaurus Feeding Show. I could not detect any sort of compelling theme to the show and there was no call to action or direction to one of your conservation programs. Overall, I would recommend investing in the National Association for Interpretation’s Certified Interpretive Guide Training. Each of our interpreters at the Vancouver Aquarium is required to take this course and we are very proud of the results.
- Increasing the Frequency of Emergency Drills: Based on what we observed during the incident we cannot stress highly enough the importance of running frequent practice drills for all possible emergencies, and even different combinations of emergencies. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.”
- Staff Training: We ran into a poor young gentleman who had to close the gyrosphere line all by himself and he has no idea what to do.
- New Reporting Structure: I imagine you will be looking for new management soon and we would like to suggest you also revise the reporting structure of your staff. In our short time interacting with Ms. Dearing it was easy to see that she has too many responsibilities to give any her total focus.
- Dress Code Updates: Given the nature of your facility, it would seem appropriate to require staff to wear appropriate attire for their environment. Ms. Dearing seemed to be doing a lot of running around in high heels.
- Public Perception: This will be your greatest challenge with the latest incident. It may be hard to gain back the trust and confidences of visitors to return to the park after so many were, well, eaten. As Ian Malcolm once said, “When the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down the pirates don’t eat the tourists.”
- Military Takeover: During our visit there seemed to be a bit of a clash of interests with the dinosaurs. It would be best to sort out who is really in charge of the raptor training.
- Genetically Modified Dinosaurs: This one probably goes without saying but we don’t believe that genetically modifying dinosaurs is a good idea.
We hope that our feedback has been helpful. We really are BIG fans and offer these notes purely in an effort to help. We believe that once you have addressed these issues you will be able to provide a truly world class experience.
Nicole Cann and the Visitor Experience Team at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre.