Asset management and safety at amusement parks

Posted by Sean Brian

Asset management and safety at amusement parks

Amusement park rides are designed to thrill. They might be fast and erratic, giving your customers reason to scream (happily), or they could be slow and high, carrying them several storeys into the air. But there are two constants with each ride that are absolutely essential to the success of the park—they all need to be safe and well maintained,  and they all need to make you money.

This means making sure you have a thorough management solution in place to continually monitor and optimise these critical assets, and keep them operating as they were designed.

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A solid safety record can overcome customer caution

There’s no escaping the thoughts that pop into customers’ heads when they visit an amusement park. We’re designed to weigh up the risks of strapping ourselves into equipment built to carry (or fling) us about in a way that provokes a thrill, but in any other walk of life might be terrifying. And given the number of high profile amusement ride failures in the last few years (some tragically fatal), this sense of caution is entirely natural.

Making sure your customers feel (and, more importantly, are) safe is paramount to keeping visitor numbers up and the money rolling in—especially in the age of social media, where reputations can be irrevocably damaged on a global scale within minutes of an incident.

The only sure-fire way to do this is to demonstrate an impeccable safety record and ensure all your rides consistently meet regulatory guidelines. Management of these assets, therefore, needs to be taken seriously. Not only in terms of physical upkeep, but also a predictive maintenance strategy that works to foresee and avoid problems during the life of the ride.

Prevention is better than cure when it comes to amusement park ride maintenance and safety

Preventing harmful incidents is the only approach to take when it comes to customer safety. But working to prevent ride breakdowns or malfunctions is also a far more cost-effective option rather than trying to fix them after an unexpected event.

Routine work on rides to keep them operating is a must. But it should form part of a larger predictive maintenance strategy for identifying any problems with the potential to cause unexpected shutdowns later down the line. This will give your team a bigger window to address them ahead of time, allowing them to pick the appropriate day or night for downtime that minimises loss of income.

Specialist software can help. It can often be integrated into rides, capturing data which can then be analysed for fluctuations in ride operation, motor control functions, compressor controls, etc. It can also compare and contrast this data with historical figures and environmental conditions. The rides can then be optimised accordingly for peak performance.

But it’s also important to consider the basics too. Monitoring ride history, optimal lifespan, energy consumption and efficiency can help you better spot when the cost and effort required to maintain the ride is more than the revenue generation. At which point it might be time to retire the asset and consider bringing in a new one.


A robust asset management strategy is critical to the success of any amusement park. Most importantly, it can help ensure customer safety and allow rides to meet regulatory guidelines. By using a predictive maintenance approach you can also help minimise costly breakdowns and maximise your park’s revenue flow.