“More” is believed to play critical roles in operating an amusement park. More rides, more shows, more animals, more arcades, more restaurants and more ice cream stands are considered better offerings. Better offerings are believed to result in greater satisfaction (and more screams), but this satisfaction comes with high costs for both developers and customers. Actually, a “rule of thumb” investment when you build a theme park is $100 for each visitor expected in the first year, according to “Theme Park Development Costs: Initial Investment Cost Per First Year Attendee – A Historic Benchmarking Study” by Kelly T. Kaak.
Are there any alternatives for “more” in a business of amusement parks? Is it possible to offer “less” and generate more satisfaction? Actually it is. If “less” is misleading in this context, an amusement park can offer “focused contents” ONLY, for deeper, long-lasting satisfaction.
Cupnoodles Museum in Yokohama, Japan, welcomed its 3,000,000th visitor in August 2014, and it took the museum less than 3 years to achieve the landmark. Housed in a building with total floor area of about 100,000 square feet (the average floor area of grocery stores in the U.S. is about 35,000 square feet, so you see that it’s not very large), this museum only offers actitives related to Cupnoodles, the signature product of Nissin Foods who operates the museum. Yet it continues to excite children and adults alike since its opening in 2011. It’s so popular that some activities still require reservation.
Large stairs at the entrance of Cupnoodles Museum. The design of the entire facility is strikingly minimal. There is no distraction, only excitements. Image courtesy of Nissin Foods
Even though its main audience is children, Cupnoodles Museums does not rely on “more” to make them happy. There are no rides, blasting sounds nor a variety of merchandises. Then what are the keys for their success?