Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sabrina's Brochure Spotlight: Family Kingdom 2008

This week we head to Family Kingdom to find out exactly what it takes to survive the seemingly constant turmoil in Myrtle Beach's amusement landscape. The year 2008 was likely a bit nerve-racking for this park. Let's see how their marketing gurus responded!

"Nothing Rocks Like Family"? Oh SNAP! Wait, I get it--because you're Family Kingdom, right? Of course. What was I thinking? I'm sure that new-for-2008 tag line had nothing whatsoever to do with a certain rock 'n roll theme park that opened down the street that same year. Now that's what I call good old-fashioned clever marketing with a side of contempt.

And that contempt just continues to roll on! I love it. Don't get me wrong, I mean no disrespect toward Family Kingdom or the target of its jabs. There's just something inspirational about David trying to out-market Goliath, and in this case I daresay David won by a landslide.

But it's not just about witty tag lines. If you read the fine print, you'll see that Family Kingdom really does have a lot to offer, and that "lot" is very affordable. They're also quite proud of the high ranking they received from TripAdvisor. Could we debate the validity of such "rankings" till the cows come home? Sure we could. But the bottom line is, if you've got it, flaunt it. There are a lot of parks in this world that do not have such claims to fame, so obviously Family Kingdom is doing something right.

One thing Family Kingdom has that its key competitor does not is a water park. And an oceanfront one, at that. Talk about ambiance! I just want to know one thing: Does the kid wearing the makeshift towel cape sign autographs? Because he is my hero. I've said it once, twice...Oh heck, let's make it a nice round three times. Nothing spells fun like a cape!!

A major selling point for Family Kingdom is that, as we've seen, it is truly "seaside". And let's not forget the fact that this park is home to Myrtle Beach's only surviving wooden coaster, the Swamp Fox. As long as we're talking "est" [even though we're not--humor me and pretend that "only" ends in "est"], Family Kingdom also has the largest Ferris wheel in the state of South Carolina. So let's see: A wooden coaster, a Ferris wheel, a drop tower, a flume...Sounds to me like this park has a lot of family favorites that you can't find at "the other guy", and they really did a great job of emphasizing that in this brochure.

Now let's talk value. Despite having over 30 rides, Family Kingdom charges no general admission. And although you can pay for your rides piecemeal, the all day and combo passes listed here are a heck of a good deal. This park knows exactly who it is and how it needs to position itself in the market. And unlike "the other guy", it didn't experience an identity crisis after the 2008 season either!