Focus on Acoustics: Hear and Be Heard – The Case for Acoustics in Themed Entertainment

Just as they are for conference rooms, auditoriums and commercial spaces, acoustical considerations are integral to the design of family entertainment centers, themed restaurants, theme parks, water parks, museums and other visitor attractions. (We call it Acoustically Integrated aRchitecture, or AIR.) Good acoustics are part of the pixie dust that creates an outstanding guest experience. Our top ten benefits:

  1. All members of the extended family can enjoy themselves.
  2. Guests can hear the show the way the producer intended it to be heard.
  3. The show can only be heard in the designated space (not in the queue line, the neighboring attraction or the adjoining auditorium). Intrusive sounds counter the suspension of disbelief and pierce the “bubble” of the guest experience.
  4. Sound and temperature are the two most criticized elements in a building, but putting on a sweater (or stripping down to your skivvies) won’t fix the audio.
  5. Keep the sounds of the nighttime spectacular inside the park and out of the surrounding community (it’s good business to comply with local noise ordinances).
  6. When incorporated into the architectural design, the investment for good acoustics is negligible – when added later, it costs significantly more and is often less effective. (Just like the “A” in AV, the “A” in Acoustics is not for “Afterthought.”)
  7. Improving speech intelligibility is especially important in settings that welcome a diverse audience, such as theme parks, museums or world’s fair pavilions. Good acoustics creates the optimal environment for everyone to hear and understand the audio.
  8. Good acoustics can encourage repeat visits and increase dwell time. A pleasant environment can dramatically extend the length of stay, which tends to increase per person spending.
  9. The hearing-impaired can enjoy themselves fully. (Millions of deaf rock ‘n’ roll loving Baby Boomers are a part of your market.)
  10. 10.Sound reinforcement alone is not enough. A bad sounding room with a good sound system will still sound bad.