Dining with the Experts: Tea with Theme Park Tourist
When Ipswich, England resident Nick Sim was preparing to make a trip to the Orlando theme parks for his honeymoon, he was surprised to find that there were only a small number of commercial theme park websites. A lifelong theme park fan, Sims decided to build a theme park website with his new wife Natalie. The couple hoped that Theme Park Tourist would become a “one-stop-shop” for people planning a visit to a theme park, featuring attraction information, reviews of rides and restaurants, special offers and the latest park news. The site launched in early 2009, and in 2010 Theme Park Tourist covered its first big story; the opening of the “Thirteen” roller coaster at Alton Towers in the United Kingdom. Since that time, the website has grown in both size and popularity and has become a major player in the amusement industry media.
TPF: What drew you to create an amusement news distribution source?
Nick: I’ve always been a huge fan of theme parks, and in 2008 we started planning our honeymoon in Florida. I looked around online and was surprised that there weren’t many big commercial theme park web sites, as there are for most other entertainment niches such as video games and movies. I decided to have a go at building one, although as we both have day jobs it’s taken longer to develop than we’d originally hoped.
Natalie: I’ve always loved going to theme parks, and I love getting a good bargain so I was really keen to create a section on the website to collate all the discounts and offers that are available. Since the credit crunch it’s become even more important for people to find a good deal, and most parks seem to have responded by offering quite deep discounts. I focus mainly on UK theme parks, Disneyland Paris and Florida at the moment, but my aim is to develop this to include the other European and US parks to provide a comprehensive list for everybody to benefit from.