Arthur Levine is a Theme Park Journalist at AboutThemeParks.fun, and has been covering the amusement industry for more than 30 years. Arthur has regularly contributed to USA Today, About.com, FunWorld, and several other publications where he covers all aspects of theme and amusement parks. His unique career has taken him all over the world, where he was able to attend the grand opening of Shanghai Disneyland, the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney World, and be among the first riders on Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa and Mako at SeaWorld Orlando. In this interview, Arthur talks about theme park journalism, turning your passion into your career, and blending nostalgia with technology.
Theme park journalism
“I have a responsibility to the parks and to the readers, and I take that very seriously.”
The landscape of journalism has changed drastically over the past few decades, and the attractions industry has had to adapt in the way that stories are shared. While many of the core fundamentals of reporting remain the same, the ability for readers to respond and engage in dialogue has created challenges in today’s landscape of social media – including clickbait, gratuitous negativity, and controversy for the sake of controversy.
In response to this, Arthur has launched his own Substack, AboutThemeParks.fun, that allows him to offer a subscription service that avoids many of the challenges listed above. Both free and paid subscriptions are available, with bonus content made available to paid subscribers.
Turning your passion into your career
“If you can enjoy the work that you’re doing, that’s a great blessing.”
Arthur has been passionate about amusement parks for as long as he can remember. As early as two years old, Arthur visited Revere Beach in Massachusetts with his mother and grandmother, and while everyone sat on the beach and looked at the ocean, Arthur faced the other way, enamored by the rides in operation at the park.
Since then, Arthur has covered the theme park industry extensively. While there are many perks to his career, many people overlook the amount of hard work that go into producing quality content and meeting deadlines.
Blending nostalgia with technology
“There’s a deep sense of nostalgia, but there’s also a great sense of wonder to experience something new.”
One of the reasons people visit amusement parks is to relive memories from their childhood and to share these experiences with their families as they create new traditions. This creates an opportunity for parks – whether they are trolley parks that opened in 1800s or Disney theme parks – to preserve their heritage for years to come. It also creates a challenge, considering much of today’s consumer demands greater use of technology.
However, much of the industry was founded on the premise of showcasing new technologies that allowed them to wow and awe their guests. Therefore, when parks embrace new technology, it allows them to maintain their roots of providing cutting edge entertainment to guests.
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