Theme Park Strategy Guide

Park design
Slow the game speed down when designing the park. This will allow more time to place rides and provide a small amount of lee-way when playing the game.

People enjoy going on rides and winning on stalls; try to cut down the amount of time that they spend walking between one attraction and the next. One method of doing this is to have a straight path with rides coming off either side of it. Each ride is butted up against the side of the path with the entrance around the back and the exit leading back onto the main path. A short queue should link the path to the entrance. Try to stagger the rides on either side so that anyone leaving one ride is pointed straight at the queue entrance to the next one. In this method the visitors will zig zag between the rides and the amount of time they spend just walking and not being on a ride is minimal. The major disadvantage with this method is that it does not leave much room for decorative features that make the park look nice and this may put some people off.

If the park has a complex path system with rides and stalls all over, place signposts so that people know where they are heading. If a person comes across a sign pointing towards a ride that they want to visit then they will feel happier about walking towards it as opposed to just wandering around aimlessly. Also, signposts that point towards the exit allow annoyed people to leave quicker and not wander around for hours getting more upset. Unhappy people tend not to go on rides or buy things from shops and just clutter up the park and reduce the average number of the happy people. As a result of this, the park's reputation and popularity will suffer.

Another method of park design is the one way method. The park is designed in such a way that the people have no choice but to walk around the park in an organized and orderly manner. This has advantages in that you should be able calculate what any person will be requiring at any one time and be ready for it. In addition, the need for signposts is greatly reduced as there are fewer junctions for people to navigate. A problem arises when too many people enter the park. Queues fill up and so people are unable to go on all of the rides. Due to the one way structure of the park, they are unable to return to rides that they may have missed.

Sometimes attempting to place objects on long grass will leave short grass that can cause placement difficulties. Demolishing the short grass may fix the problem.

Place a Balloon Shop right near the entrance so that the visitors will part with their money while they are still happy. This will put them in a good mood for the rest of their stay unless something bad happens.


Rides
When positioning rides allow for the fact that entrances and exits may move at some point.

Place bigger rides and attractions towards the back of the park. This will ensure the customers spend money on shops and stalls on their way through the park.

Do not be afraid to remove rides that are placed incorrectly. It is far better to lose the money for buying this one ride than to distract valuable Mechanics from repairing the star attraction so that it blows up with people on it.

The little people tend to prefer a large variety of rides as opposed to lots of identical ones. If the park has more than one of the same type of ride, try to position them quite far apart.

Build good rides two times and very good rides three times if possible.

As rides get older so they do not last as long as they should before needing repair. When this starts to happen, consider selling the ride and replacing it with an upgraded one. This will put less strain on the mechanics. When replacing rides, the old ride first must be demolished. Demolishing the Roller Coaster or Big Dipper entry will also demolish all connected track, so it is a good idea to break the track manually first. A ride must be replaced if the "your XXX ride has gotten so old you should replace it" message appears. If the ride is not replaced, it may blow up and leave immobile debris.

To keep rides busy, make sure the queue lanes and the exit joined up to the path. Swapping the queue path and exit (for track rides) may help. People cannot seem to walk across bridges that are part of a path intersection; add in a section of path between the bridge and the intersection.


Roller Coaster
Loops can only be placed on a flat, straight section of horizontal track. Cork-screws can only be placed on a flat, straight section of vertical track. Roller coasters may need to be longer than a certain length before loops work. If the coaster car is going fast enough to reach the top of the loop, modify the track to make the car faster.

The coaster cannot be turned on if there is not enough room on the track for the roller coaster to stop. The coaster may not stop to let passengers on and off if there is not enough room on the track for the roller coaster to stop. The coaster will stop twice if the track passes right next to the ride entrance on both sides.

The actual placement and apparent placement of some rides (especially the track ride entrances) can be very confusing. Often removing a few lengths of extra track at both ends will provide enough space to replace the object.


Shops
One of the greatest source of income can be achieved with a well-placed shop or stall. They provide instant cash returns and also keep the visitors happy. However, they have two drawbacks.

Litter is the major problem, as nobody likes a messy park. If there is too much litter then the visitors will stay away from the park. Certain shops such as the Coffee Shop have litter bins inside to take care of their own litter although they are not quite as effective as Pokey Cola's for quenching thirst. Whenever a shop is bought that produces litter, make sure that there are sufficient handymen to combat the litter problem.

The other main problem is that of keeping them well stocked. A shop that has run out of stock is no use to anyone. Keep an eye on the shops to ensure that they have sufficient stocks to last. If they do not, order some more immediately. Learn how often certain shops are restocked to develop a rhythm so that you do not have to keep looking around the map at all of the shops. It is worth spending some time getting the prices just right. You can delay the arrival of stock by re-ordering.

If the Advisor states that a certain shop is running low and you have not already sent off an order for that shop, immediately order some more to minimize the amount of time that the shop is closed. If the game is in Sandbox mode then this should not be a concern.

Catch customers early by placing shops at the entrance to the park.

The best way to set the prices is to watch the visitors. Start by adjusting the prices in large steps, and note what the visitors say as they go by. If they are hungry but it is too expensive they will say so, if not, they will buy something. Once the price is roughly correct, it can be fine tuned.


Stalls
Stalls can be a very lucrative method of gaining cash. They can also upset visitors who feel that they are being conned in some way. Try to match the cost of each game with the chance of winning and the prize if they do so. Do not try to fool the visitors too much as they are not stupid will soon see through your attempts and stop coming. A small cost and prize coupled with a moderate chance of winning provides a more reliable income than a risky high cost high prize lower chance stall.

Stalls have the added bonus in that they entertain the visitors (although not as much as rides) and do not produce litter. They are also smaller than rides and so can be slotted in several small places around the park. The visitors tend not to keep visiting the same type of stall so, as with rides, variety is the key. Research is needed to have this variety


Getting the satisfaction levels up
Turn on the fireworks display. Put in more exciting rides. Lower the gate fee. Place trees down next to every path.


Freeing stuck people
The places people usually become stuck are in queue lines, under attractions, and sometimes on the bus stop. Identify stuck people that are walking but stay in the same place. People stuck in queue lines should get unstuck when the queue moves, or when the queue is emptied (by turning the ride off and on). People stuck under rides (because the ride was built on top of them) can only be freed by destroying the ride. If the stuck person can not be found, empty the park of people by closing for a short while.


Hungry visitors
Visitors may not be able to find the shops. Use signposts to advertise their position. Shop prices that are too high for the average visitor may need to be lowered. Selling balloons, etc. to the visitors helps them forget how hungry and thirsty they are.


Handymen
Once a few items are set up in your park and some visitors are wandering around, rubbish (and other things) will appear on the ground spoiling your park. Handymen should be employed the instant litter starts appearing on the ground. Keep an eye on any new handymen as they might start becoming confused by the layout of the paths and end up missing large areas of the park that need to be cleaned. Sometimes, handymen left on their own will quickly disappear to happily mow the lawns forever, while the park turns into a waste refuge! To keep each handyman on track, use the zoning functions to assign them cleaning routes.

A few things to keep in mind with handymen zoning are: the route is a loop that passes through all control points (reachable from the handyman's current position); the route can only follow the park paths and ride queues; any route that covers disjoint sections of path will only be patrolled in the sections that the handyman can reach without leaving the park paths (when in the zone editing mode, only those sections of the route "reachable" by the handyman will be shown)

Handyman zones are assigned as follows: select the handyman whose zone you want to work on (place the handyman on a path with the "tweezers" if necessary); select the zoning button. This will toggle the handyman zoning mode. In this mode two extra buttons are available: "erase zone" and "add control point". Select the "add control point" button. Select the path in the places through which the zone should pass. As new control points are added the zone route (shown with black shading) is extended to include the new control points. Note: only eight control points can be present in a zone. Select the zoning button when zone assignment has been completed to exit the handyman zoning mode.

The handyman will now obediently patrol his zoned route picking up the litter as he passes by. Black arrows over handymen indicate that the handyman has a route assigned.

After toilets are built, hire a handyman just to clean them. Nothing clears the park quicker than chain vomiting.

If the handymen become stuck in "turbo mode", picking them up with the "tweezers" should also fix up this problem.

Make spare handymen work exclusively outside shops.


Mechanics
Mechanics should be hired when a ride first starts to show signs of breaking down. Keep an eye on them since they spend half their time eating lunch. Sometimes mechanics like to have lunch in comfortable places from which they can not leave. When they are called to repair a ride they become stuck, continually answering their radio. Simply pick them up with the "tweezers" and put them somewhere else.

When a ride breaks down, do not wait for a mechanic; tell him to fix the ride by questioning him, selecting the wrench, and selecting the broken ride.

Often, a mechanic will get to a nearby damaged ride before it completely blows up. If there is more than one ride that is in trouble, direct the mechanic to fix one ride immediately and either shut the other ride down, or hire another mechanic. A single mechanic can usually maintain three to four rides successfully, varying with the quality of the rides, how often they are used and for how long.

A slightly risky tactic is to slow down the speed of a damaged ride while the mechanic is fixing another ride. With luck, the ride will not blow up in the time it takes for the other ride to be fixed. The benefit to this strategy is only having one mechanic employed and giving the visitors at least one ride as opposed to having two rides closed down.


Entertainers
Entertainers should be placed near rides that have a particularly long wait time. At least one entertainer should be placed somewhere near the park entrance to hand out umbrellas if it starts to rain.


Guards
Guards only need to be hired if bikers start appearing in the park. Bikers are attracted by two things: litter and fast rides. Bikers will become noticeable when entertainers begin to get beat-up and rides start breaking down a lot faster than normal. Deal with them immediately by hiring plenty of guards and moving the entertainers away from trouble areas. Guards will only escort bikers out of the park if they see them doing something like kicking in an entertainer or breaking a ride.


Using signposts
Signposts are useful things for guiding the visitors around the park. When the visitors pass a signpost and see something they like, they will walk in the direction the signpost points.

Each signpost can point to: one ride (white sign), one shop (red sign), or the exit (blue sign).

To place a sign: select the signpost tool. Select the object to point to (choosing a ride selects a white sign pointing to that ride; choosing a shop selects a red sign pointing to that shop; choosing the exit selects a blue sign pointing to the exit). Select the path to place the sign. When placing a new sign, the sign will be placed so that it points "towards" the selected object. Adjust the sign (if necessary) by selecting the sign with the signpost tool to rotate the sign. Selecting an existing signpost only rotates the sign whose color matches the current color of the signpost tool.

Caution: Close signposts should generally point away from each other. Close signposts that point towards each other might trap visitors between them who are interested in the objects of both signposts.


Awards
At the end of each year a presentation will be made with various charts showing on how well your park is doing. In addition, there are also several awards that are presented if something particularly well is being done in certain areas of the park. These awards not only improve the park's reputation but add a substantial sum of money to the bank account. They are also a measure of how well the park is doing in relation to your opponents. If your park is constantly winning the "Good Technology" award, then it must be more advanced than all of the competition. Concentrate on winning a single award at a time, then use the money gained to do better at winning the other awards.


Strategic hints
Listen to the Advisor, especially when he talks about the admission prices. Every time a new ride is built, increase the admission price. Visitors do not pay to get on rides. Their only function is to make people pay more to enter the park. Admission prices alone will not provide enough revenue for the park to operate. Combined with front gate admission prices, the revenue that food/merchandise/game units generate should bring the park into the black.

When starting, do not open the park until a few rides, bathrooms, food and drink stands, and merchandise shops have been built. Do not let the first guests enter a park that has been poorly laid out, because they will be dissatisfied and word of mouth will hurt future attendance levels.

The visitors are very fickle in that they are not easily pleased yet the smallest thing will make them unhappy very quickly. Always listen to what they say. Keep an eye on the thought bubbles that appear above each little person's head and react accordingly. If several people get hungry in the same area, consider building a food stall of some type nearby. Likewise, if several people are upset about the cost or prizes of a stall, then either lower the price or raise the prize.

Research the following items first: ride upgrades; ride technology; shops/attractions/games. The ride upgrades will allow higher guest capacities, as well as more reliability. The ride technology will allow access to better and more exciting rides. The shops/games will create a wider selection of food/drink, merchandise, and game units to place. These will generate profits the park. Do not pump too much money into research, as the research expenses are incurred per month.

If the workers strike, select the workers and pick them up off the picket line and set them back to work.

Do not just buy as much stock as possible. Build up cash by buying low and selling high rather than just buying everything. Sometimes other parks stock will slip below 100/share so that it costs virtually nothing to buy all of their stock. Usually the next year that same stock is worth over 10,000/share allowing a nice little profit. It's always worthwhile to buy up your own shares. This will prevent a buy out, and, if the park does well, may be used as extra cash later.

Control the crowd of visitors by spreading them out in the park. Use arrows on the path to lead them to the inner sections of the park. Use a wide entrance area to avoid congestion at the park entrance

Build a roller coaster "chain" by creating an entrance, some track, another entrance, more track, the first entrance. The same can be done with the bumper cars or the tube ride. The monorail is not the only way to get around the park.

Use the grassy area out the front of the park to create a street fair. It is only three squares wide, but a decent selection of shops and scenery will fit in that space. With careful planning, some of the track rides may be set up in this area.

An alternative strategy would be to build a park and develop it massively, optimizing for profit. Crowd the rides in and do not bother with aesthetics. Eventually money will start to accumulate (e.g., 500 people in the park with a gate fee of zero will earn income of around $90,000 per month). Build up at least $5M this way, then sell the park. By this time, the park will be number one in four or five areas. After the park is sold, the game resets your character and the competition. Use your cash to maximize research. Design and setup an amazing park before the competition. On the second park, lay out things more carefully.

Another alternative strategy to developing your park year after year is to develop a park just to sell it (if possible) at the end of the year. There is an auction where your character can wait until the price is very high. Use that money to build a new park (even in the same country).


Attractions
NameArea ExtraFullTyp CapExcite Reliability
Race Car Ride2x1Track YGT25 Very GoodQuite Good
Rubber Tubing2x1Track YGT25 ExcellentQuite Good
Big Dipper5x1Track NRT4 SuperbOkay
Monorail5x2Track NRT2 BadTop Notch
Roller Coaster5x2Track NRT4 Top NotchOkay
Loop The Loop5x1n/a YTE0 Top NotchOkay
Water Splash5x1n/a YTE0 SuperbOkay
Cork Screw1x6n/a YTE0 ExcellentOkay
Big Wheel4x4Ent YSR6 GoodExcellent
Bouncy Castle4x4Ent YSR4 OkayVery Bad
Flight Sim4x4Ent YSR5 SuperbPoor
Ghost House4x4Ent YSR5 OkayVery Good
Haunted House4x4Ent YSR14 ExcellentVery Good
Maze4x4Ent/Ext YSR16 Very BadVery Good
Merry-Go-Round4x4Ent YSR4 BadPoor
Observation Tower4x4 EntYSR20 BadOkay
Observatory4x4Ent YSR30 OkaySuperb
Parasol Chairs4x4Ent YSR6 Quite GoodPoor
Pirate Boat4x4Ent YSR8 ExcellentVery Good
Plane Flyer4x4Ent YSR4 Quite GoodVery Good
Planet Rocket4x4Ent YSR10 BadPoor
Snakes And Ladders4x4 EntYSR1 PoorVery Bad
Space Shuttle4x4Ent YSR6 Very GoodVery Good
Super Spinner4x4Ent YSR20 Quite GoodVery Good
Tree House4x4Ent YSR1 PoorVery Good
Clown Acts6x5n/a NLS24 OkaySuperb
Cowboy Acts6x5n/a NLS24 GoodSuperb
Dolphin Acts6x5n/a NLS24 Quite GoodSuperb
Medieval Acts6x5n/a NLS24 Very GoodSuperb

Key

All track ride entrances can be oriented in four ways: facing down (normal), facing up, facing left, or facing right. The area required to place the ride entrance varies according to the orientation of the entrance (raised track ride entrances are manually oriented, ground track rides are automatically oriented).


Shops
NameArea FullTypeAddictiveness
Balloon World5x2N Toyn/a
Coffee Shop3x3Y Drinkn/a
Coconut Shy3x2Y SideshowVery Good
Duck Shoot3x2Y SideshowPoor
Gunshoot3x2Y SideshowQuite Good
Mr. Whippy Ices3x2Y Sweetn/a
Novelty Shop3x2Y Noveltyn/a
Saloon3x2Y Drinkn/a
Tincan Alley3x2Y SideshowGood
Arcade3x1Y SideshowTop Notch
Big Time Fries3x1Y Fast Foodn/a
Big Time Burger3x1Y Fast Foodn/a
Gift Shop3x1Y Giftn/a
Pokey Cola3x1Y Drinkn/a
Race Track3x1Y SideshowVery Good
Steak Restaurant3x1Y Savoryn/a
Toyland3x1Y Toyn/a

Key

It is possible to reclaim the area under the shop for other objects (except the square directly under the shop - see this in tiny mode). Reclaim this area by erasing the ground under the shop. This will change the grass from short "used" grass to normal "usable" grass. This also can be done to the square directly under the shop (choose "No" when prompted to confirm the delete operation), but the only thing that can be placed is a path. This method can be used to pack much more into the park (the space requirement for each shop is effectively reduced to a single square!). However, it looks messy.


Scenery
NameArea Type
Lamp Post1x1Other
Tree Stump Fence1x1Fence
Birch Tree1x1Plant/Tree
White Fence1x1Fence
Castle Wall1x1Fence
Orange Tree1x1Plant/Tree
Apple Tree1x1Plant/Tree
Privet Hedge1x1Fence
Rose Bush1x1Plant/Tree
Tropical Bush1x1Plant/Tree
Weeping Tree1x1Plant/Tree
Palm Tree1x1Plant/Tree
Oak Tree1x1Plant/Tree
Spooky Tree1x1Plant/Tree
Outhouse1x1Toilet/Latrine
Boggy Crapper1x1Toilet/Latrine
Lake*3x3Water feature
Super Toilet1x1Toilet/Latrine
Center Fountain3x2Water feature

* A Lake piece must be placed in a 3x3 area, but can be reduced to take up only a 2x2 area (and can of course be made much larger)

Key


Price/Profit Ratios

Big Time Fries
Buying at: 35; Computer suggested mark up: 45
PriceCont MarginSales Profit
451029% 36360
501543% 30450
521749% 25425
541954% 20380
552057% 28560
562160% 20420
582366% 19437
602571% 10250
653086% 10300
7540114% 4160
8550143% 00

Balloon World
Buying at: 10; Computer suggested mark up: 12
PriceCont MarginSales Profit
1000% 290
12220% 2652
14440% 27108
16660% 23138
18880% 24192
2010100% 21210
2212120% 21252
3020200% 00


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