The long awaited Jurassic World (the latest installment in the Jurassic Park film series) opened last Friday to generally favorable reviews from both critics and audiences. The consensus among both groups is that although it lacks the inventiveness and imagination of the original, the spectacle of seeing 65 million year old creatures revived on the screen provides the thrills to make the film worth watching.
As this is a blog about logistics, we’d like to focus on one of the most interesting parts of the series (other than the dinosaurs of course). How would such a place need to operate to turn a profit?
Twitter Gets on the Case
Back in November when a teaser trailer was released for Jurassic World, two friends used the Twitter hashtag #realjurassicparkproblems to call out some (hilarious) barriers an actual Jurassic Park would encounter. What followed was that the hashtag exploded into a popular meme on the social media platform as more and more people started using it as well, including real life paleontologists who also joined in on the fun.
Here are some of tweets:
#realjurassicparkproblems Park power goes off once a day & dinos rampage as Windows security patches are automatically installed.
— skullsinthestars (@drskyskull) November 24, 2014
Visitors ripped to pieces, distracted by whether that fluffy toothed thing is a bird or a theropod (it's both!) #realjurassicparkproblems
— Lisa Buckley (@ShamanSciences) November 24, 2014
New documentary "Dino-Size Me" debuts due to portion sizes served in the resort. #RealJurassicParkproblems
— TSV (@tattoosandbones) November 24, 2014
Scientific access to dinosaurs limited indefinitely because all are "under study" by high profile researcher #RealJurassicParkProblems
— Andrew A. Farke (@AndyFarke) November 24, 2014
Paleobotanists lobby for the inclusion of the Jurassic botanical gardens. #realjurassicparkproblems
— Aly Baumgartner (@kyrietree) November 24, 2014
“We have all the problems of a major theme park and a major zoo”
This line by Ray Arnold in the original Jurassic Park summed up the basic problem that a real life Jurassic park would face (other than the impossibility of resurrecting creatures long extinct).
At 30,500 acres (approximately the same size as San Francisco), and with an annual attendance of over 55 million, the Walt Disney World Resort is the closest real world equivalent to the theme park side of a real Jurassic Park.
Both the day to day and annual logistical hurdles for the smooth operation of the Walt Disney World Resort are extensive as a then-Walt Disney World president Al Weiss revealed in a 2004 Orlando Sentinel article. Some of the details he mentioned were:
- More than 5,000 cast members are dedicated to maintenance and engineering, including 750 horticulturists and 600 painters.
- Disney spends more than $100 million every year on maintenance at the Magic Kingdom. In 2003, $6 million was spent on renovating its Crystal Palace restaurant.
- The streets in the parks are steam cleaned every night.
- There are cast members permanently assigned to painting the antique carousel horses; they use genuine gold leaf.
- There is a tree farm on site so that when a mature tree needs to be replaced, a thirty-year-old tree will be available to replace it.
Given that the movies, Jurassic Park is set on the fictional Isla Nublar, an isolated islet located near Costa Rica, the park would have the extra logistical problem of transporting supplies by sea which can have its own obstacles in itself.
The other logistics problem the park would face is with the animals themselves. Nevermind the massive budget it would need to even create and maintain the technology needed create the technology needed to produce the creatures in the first place, it would also effective logistical management to take proper care of the creatures.
Chesterzoo.org explains the barrier when discussing modern zoos,
Record keeping is essential for effective management, particularly when considering the many different species in a zoological collection, and the need for consistent monitoring of individual health, welfare, breeding and mortality. It is therefore vital that all animals are individually recognisable (e.g. markings, features, tags) and permanently identifiable (micro-chips)
Now imagine that level of record keeping and the cost of specialized personnel required to take care of creatures so “exotic” that the Earth has not seen their kind since the late Cretaceous.
That’s a logistics management position we wouldn’t envy…
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