Thursday, May 23, 2024

WhiteWater releases report on how people play


Play has always been, and will always be a part of human culture—from childhood to adolescence to adulthood, we all revel in a fun day out at a park. To find out more about different styles and preferences of play, WhiteWater commissioned a report based on research comprised of over 1,100 adult respondents from within the industry as well as consumers across the US and China.

Four distinct types of play

From the research, we found that people generally fall into one of four categories: Adventurers, Socializers, Dreamers, and Challengers.

Adventurers enjoy “discovery” play and exploring new experiences

Socializers are most engaged in play involving others

Dreamers are fueled by imaginative experiences

Challengers are daredevils that love speed, heights, and pushing boundaries

Most people are Adventurers

Based on the survey findings, Adventurers have emerged as the most popular and leading play type, outnumbering the other three play types both in the industry sample and consumer sample, while Challengers have emerged as the lowest across the industry and the general population. The industry results reflect the dominance of Adventurers and Dreamers as opposed to the other two play types which reflects the creative side of the industry, reinforcing the passion to create with the love for adventure.

Cultural trends at play

Cultural trends emerge through the choices in toy selection, where the US respondents seem more interested in social activities such as board games while Chinese respondents lean towards futuristic adventure games. On the leisure activity front, more than half the respondents in China opted for ‘discovering the side streets of a city’ while in the US, ‘seeing friends’ emerged as most popular.

What this means for parks

These findings are useful tools to help create parks with rides and attractions that appeal to the various types of play that consumers prefer. For example, does a park have enough rides that Adventurers find fun? What about Dreamers, Challengers, and Socializers? Play is the cornerstone of building the best amusement and water parks. It is an intuitive, inclusive, and authentic emotion which is the secret to not just building the best brands but to doing better business.

The complete Play Report offers detailed findings of the survey, tips on bringing play to live in parks, a play evaluation tool, and insights into the way people play. To know more, reach out to Una deBoer, Global Marketing Director at or sign up here:


The psychology of play: WhiteWater

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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