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Subject: How do we draw an Entity Relationship Diagram for a visitor activity system and
convert this data structure into data tables to third normal form?
Question: The case study for the visitor activity system as follows;
Funtime Forever THE MODERN THEME PARK FOR MINNESOTA Funtime Forever and the Theme Park Industry
The theme and amusement park industry has been a cash machine for the last two decades.
With the rapid expansion of industry giants such as Sea World, Six Flags, Disney World, and Disneyland,
national attendance is now close to 300 million and gross receipts are approaching $5 billion per year.
Smaller, one-site theme parks have shared in this popularity.
Funtime Forever Theme Park was established in Minnesota fifteen years ago.
Fewer than 100,000 people visited the park in its first year of operation, but attendance increased
rapidly as the park became better known.
Also, a large public relations firm was engaged to undertake a national promotion campaign, using
newspaper, magazine, radio, and television advertising.
Last year, a record 5.6 million visitors passed through the gates, paying admission fees of $94.5 million.
They spent an additional $126.5 million on gifts, souvenirs, concessions, and games.
Funtime Forever boasts thirty-five attractions grouped into six principal theme areas.
Entertainment throughout the park is provided by wandering clowns, musicians, marching bands, and a variety of
shows offered at fixed locations.
There are ten large restaurants and twenty-five small concession stands, which bring in revenues of over $42.5 million per year.
Gift and souvenir shops, some with special themes, generate $84 million in annual revenues.
A variety of game booths cater to either single players or groups of three to ten participants and offer prizes ranging in value
from 10 cents to $4.00.
All participants also are eligible to win a daily jackpot prize of $100.
Management takes pride in the park's popularity and impressive growth, but it is concerned about the future.
Industry statistics show that theme park attendance has flattened out over the last two years.
Visitors, particularly the majority that visit theme parks regularly, expect more and more impressive attractions.
Last year, Funtime Forever spent over $5 million on a new roller coaster.
In a fiercely competitive industry, theme park operators are caught between the need for high capital expenditures and an inability
to raise prices. Funtime Forever has not yet felt the worst of the pressures.
Fortunately, the park is more than 100 miles from the nearest large competitor, and attendance figures have continued to increase slightly.
However, management is preparing for harder times.
Even though Funtime Forever's attractions have been improved each year, management is planning a major expansion within the next five years
to provide an even wider range of attractions.
Architectural drawings have been prepared for the construction of a resort hotel with two night clubs, an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts,
a swimming and wave pool, restaurants, and convention facilities.
Management also is looking for ways to extend the park's short revenue season.
The park is in a mountainous area, and a ski lodge and ten slopes are planned near the hotel as a means of extending the revenue-producing season.
Financing is presently being sought to fund these expansion ventures.
Resistance to price increases is the industry's other main problem.
Surveys at Funtime Forever have shown that 90 percent of visitors still think they are getting good value.
Nevertheless, with an average admission price of nearly $17, a family of four is likely to spend more than $100 for a one-day visit, including
transportation, tickets, food and refreshments, and even a small outlay on other items.
Funtime Forever is already at the high end of the market, and management is reluctant to increase admission prices by more than about 4 percent per year.
Interestingly, it turns out that visitors are less resistant to increasing prices for gifts, souvenirs, concessions, and games, and these prices
may be allowed to rise at more than a 6 percent rate.
Regular admission is for a single day, but three-day passes and season tickets are also sold.
Children under age twelve and groups of twenty or more people are admitted for a reduced charge.
Tickets are sold at the gate or in surrounding hotels and may also be ordered through the mail, using credit cards.
At this time, credit cards and cheques are not accepted at the gate because of the processing delays they would cause, but next year, management plans to
install an automatic dial-up and approval system for credit cards and a MICR reader for cheques that will tie in with a local cheque verification system.
When the new system is available, credit cards and checks will be accepted at the gate.
Last year, 80 per cent of the ticket sales were for cash, while 20 percent were charged to MasterCard, VISA, or Discover cards.
The issuing companies settle their accounts monthly, but charge a 5 percent service fee.
Operators in the booths at the gate are provided with electronic ticket machines connected to microcomputers, which in turn can communicate with a
Each operator has an identification card which must be inserted in order to start the system.
After the system comes on line, the operator must enter his or her password, which is not echoed on the screen.
Users are permitted only two attempts to enter the correct password; then the system logs off and a supervisor must be called to restart it.
All passwords are changed once per year. When a visitor purchases a ticket, the operator enters the code for type of ticket and the machine then
prints out the correct ticket.
The current system does not provide a check on invalid data entry (alphabetic for numeric), nor is there a limit on the range of allowable numbers.
The electronic ticket machines imprint each ticket with a bar code that indicates the type of ticket and the date issued.
As visitors enter the theme park, another park employee uses a scanner to verify the ticket.
The scanners provide a one-line LED display which can be read by the operator.
They are also tied directly to the mainframe to accumulate information for marketing analysis.
The scanner provides a record of the time of entry and the ticket type.
A daily Admissions Report is prepared, which summarizes the number of one-time, three-day, and season tickets sold to adults, children, and groups.
A separate report can be prepared, which shows usage rates by time of day and the number of days that three-day and season-ticket holders make use
of their tickets.
Management is keen to obtain more detailed information on visitor activity at the park.
As a consequence a management consultant hired by Funtime Forever has recommended the development of a database which will enable reporting on
ride activity by theme area and visitor.
To capture this data it is envisaged that visitor tickets would be scanned prior to commencing each ride.
It has further been suggested that an automated computer system utilising a relational database with four major tables:
(2) theme area;
(3) ride; and
(4) ride usage,
would be needed to store the data to provide the required information.
All gift and souvenir shops, restaurants and concession stands are equipped with point-of-sale registers that are connected to the computer network.
Operators scan the product bar code with an optical wand, and the system accesses the product file to retrieve the description and current price of each item.
The register then prints the product description and price on the sales slip.
The use of product bar codes speeds up sales in the gift/souvenir shops and decreases customer waiting time and dissatisfaction.
Game booths are also equipped with electronic cash registers that are connected to the computer network.
October 1st. 2011