VR and Nostalgia: Using animation in theme parks to enhance visitor engagement

Jae-eun Oh, Pui Keung Kong (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In the theme park industry, returning visits are often considered a measure of success. Numerous parks have incorporated virtual reality (VR) technology to encourage visitors to return. This paper aims to discuss how VR can work effectively in combination with nostalgic animation content to attract visitors and promote the parks. Through interviews, the research finds that adoption of new technology only generates first-time visits. In contrast, having sophisticated, narrative-driven, high-quality content that creates an emotional attachment appears more important to visitors when enjoying attractions than simply having high-end VR technology. The findings suggest that combining existing animation content with emotional attachment and VR attractions will allow visitors to experience stronger emotional connection, enhanced presence, and deeper immersion. Interviews with experts and visitors were conducted using convenience sampling and combined with archival research. This research aims to understand the effects of adding VR technology to Korean theme park attractions, and to examine how nostalgic attributes of animation content can enhance the immersive visitor experience. Finally, this paper proposes a VR immersive experience model for theme parks, ensuring that quality-driven VR content can evoke localized nostalgia and lead to returning visits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-127
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Promotion Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2022


  • Theme park
  • VR
  • animation
  • animation content attraction
  • nostalgia
  • returning visitors
  • tourism motivation
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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