Ouimet says virtual queuing has potential for Cedar Fair

Posted Thursday, July 14, 2011 12:04 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Kings Island’s parent company continues to study potential new attractions, including a virtual pass that could hold a person’s place in line, the new president of Sandusky-based Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. said Wednesday while visiting the park here. The visit was one of Matthew Ouimet’s first to Kings Island since Cedar Fair named him president on June 20.

Read more from The Cincinnati Enquirer.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 2:51 AM

Jeff said:
So because you have seen it done wrong, no one does it right? Sounds like a straw man to me. I think I mentioned somewhere how well it works at Universal Orlando, and that's a paid program (or perk if you stay on property). It varies by attraction, but I've not seen it be detrimental there.


I would consider Universal a bit of an exception. It is priced rather prohibitively unless you are either in the park during a time when you don't need it anyway, or are staying at their resorts. To add to that, Express cannot be utilized on their newest, most popular attractions (as of my last visit, in March, Express and ExPlus was not valid on FJ or HRRR). In my numerous visits to the parks over the course of a little more than a year, including several during the extremely busy periods such as shortly after Wizarding World opened, I rarely ever saw more than maybe 10-20 people go into the Express entrance the entire day, at both parks, across all attractions*.

SeaWorld was an even more dull experience, as on my numerous visits there as well, I don't believe I ever saw them open their VQ line at any ride, and I was, again, there during a few "peak" times.

Those are what I would consider exceptions, as they seem to be under-utilized to the point of being insignificant, or not used at all (like at SW). From all accounts I've heard (both those for and against VQing), Six Flags does a pretty atrocious job across the parks in general managing their VQ service. The Dollywood model is not familiar to me, as my only visit there was in '09 and I don't remember if it existed. If it did, we didn't see a single person using it, that's for sure. Disney's FastPass has been discussed ad nauseam, and many are familiar with its issues, although it does seem to be the better large implementation between it and Lo-Q at Six Flags.

I mean, there are really only two large-scale implementations, and one is, from all accounts, managed horribly. The other has many known issues. All the other systems seem to have negligible impact because of equally low utilization. Perhaps the others are doing it correctly after all?

*EDIT: I will say there is an exception to my exception; Jaws. That attraction seems to draw an uncommon amount of Express users to it. Still, it was at least well managed in their ratios so the wait time impact was negligible.

Last edited by maXairMike, Saturday, July 16, 2011 2:57 AM
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Saturday, July 16, 2011 10:13 AM

My point stands. If there's a good example, then you can't claim virtual queueing is inherently flawed.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 11:20 AM

Jeff said:
My point stands. If there's a good example, then you can't claim virtual queueing is inherently flawed.

Yes, but are these "good examples" what the park actually wants? I would say that from the intent of the system (getting people out of line to spend money), being of little impact because of their very low utilization is not what the park wants, so they aren't "good examples." When you use virtual queueing, you want to be able to use it on a large scale, because the more people "waiting" while they are shopping/eating (assuming the guests are actually doing what the park intends, in reality, 99% of them just physically get in line for another ride), the higher the possible increase in spending. This is what the parks want, and what I would consider a good example...if it didn't cause real operational issues when you use it on a large scale. Further, to my point above about the intent of the VQ systems; when the guests aren't doing what you truly want them to be doing with the system (and again, most are just getting in the real line for another ride), they're more likely to spend less time in the park because they have now completed their fill of attractions in less time. You now have to have something to hold them until a lot closer to park close, or you left even more money on the table (even if they paid for the VQ service), maybe even more than without the VQ service.

I think the middle ground/sweet spot for VQ services is somewhere between the Disney/SF model and the Universal/Dollywood/etc. model, and I'm pretty sure no one is occupying that space right now. There is little doubt in my mind that the parks with very low utilization of their VQ system would love to see the usage tick up, and they know that as it stands, they're leaving some money on the table because of the low utilization. You need to find a spot where your utilization is high, but not so high that its use causes the kinds of operational issues we see at SF and Disney (there will always be some negative impact, but I think there is a level where it is minimal but you also have a large enough user base [again, bigger than Uni/Busch/ect]). And heck, if you really want to try to drive guests to spend more while they "wait" instead of having them jump in another ride line, throw them a bone of 5-10% off a meal when you show your VQ notification anytime before your boarding window. The added bonus is that you give the rest of your non-VQ users an incentive to get in on the action as well.

Who knows, there may even be a point in time where we reach Gonch's level of bliss with VQ and that is your only option to get on rides. But, sorry Gonch, I don't think you'll live to see that. ;)

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 12:02 PM

No, spending money on other things is what Disney wants. Six Flags just wants more of your money. You're still making straw man arguments when your assertion was that these systems are operationally ineffective.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 12:08 PM

maXairMike said:
Yes, but are these "good examples" what the park actually wants? I would say that from the intent of the system (getting people out of line to spend money), being of little impact because of their very low utilization is not what the park wants, so they aren't "good examples." When you use virtual queueing, you want to be able to use it on a large scale, because the more people "waiting" while they are shopping/eating (assuming the guests are actually doing what the park intends, in reality, 99% of them just physically get in line for another ride), the higher the possible increase in spending. This is what the parks want, and what I would consider a good example...if it didn't cause real operational issues when you use it on a large scale.

I think you're close, but still missing the larger picture. You're stuck on the idea that the park is using VQ to get people spending. I'm sure that's a side benefit and I think it was the original intent - and Disney may still be following this path - but there's no denying the pay systems' benefit is the upfront cost of buying in for the day.

And it is used on a large scale at a place like WDW where, IIRC, supposedly as much as 80% of capacity is given to FastPass users on certain rides at certain times.

Pay systems aren't used on a larger scale not because they're flawed, they're not used on that scale because it's cost prohibitive to the guest. That it to say you're not going to get a majority of the people to pay the upcharge. If you could, then you might as well just make that the gate in the first place.


Further, to my point above about the intent of the VQ systems; when the guests aren't doing what you truly want them to be doing with the system (and again, most are just getting in the real line for another ride), they're more likely to spend less time in the park because they have now completed their fill of attractions in less time. You now have to have something to hold them until a lot closer to park close, or you left even more money on the table (even if they paid for the VQ service), maybe even more than without the VQ service.

Unless of course, you don't care because they essentially paid double-admission already. You gotta figure the per-cap for SF and CF is high $30's/$40. The second you get them to pay $50 for the cheapest VQ pass, you've essentially doubled the average per cap for that guest - and it goes up from there. It doesn't matter if they leave in one hour or twelve. In fact, it's to your benefit that they slip out early and quit clogging up your lines with their double-queueing and (in the case of SF's Lo-Q) reduced wait times.

I think the middle ground/sweet spot for VQ services is somewhere between the Disney/SF model and the Universal/Dollywood/etc. model, and I'm pretty sure no one is occupying that space right now.

I think it's funny that you keep equating what Disney does with the Lo-Q SF uses. Worlds apart.

There is little doubt in my mind that the parks with very low utilization of their VQ system would love to see the usage tick up, and they know that as it stands, they're leaving some money on the table because of the low utilization.


Obviously.

You need to find a spot where your utilization is high, but not so high that its use causes the kinds of operational issues we see at SF and Disney (there will always be some negative impact, but I think there is a level where it is minimal but you also have a large enough user base [again, bigger than Uni/Busch/ect]).

Not sure what the 'operational issues' you keep referring to are. Granted, Six Flags' implimentation varies from "yikes" to "seamless" - it's inconsistent, but far from an 'issue'. And Disney's system is downright integrated. It's the model of integration others aspire to.

And heck, if you really want to try to drive guests to spend more while they "wait" instead of having them jump in another ride line, throw them a bone of 5-10% off a meal when you show your VQ notification anytime before your boarding window. The added bonus is that you give the rest of your non-VQ users an incentive to get in on the action as well.

Again, I think you're barking up the wrong tree in regard to what the parks expect, but that's a neat idea.

Who knows, there may even be a point in time where we reach Gonch's level of bliss with VQ and that is your only option to get on rides. But, sorry Gonch, I don't think you'll live to see that. ;)

There absolutely will be a time. I'm only 38. I suspect I'll live to see it as an option at WDW. As usual, other parks will follow.

And if I don't make it to see that, then I take solace in the fact that people will read archives of these conversations and know what great understanding and insight I had of what was to come. I'll be regarded as a visionary - the Nostradamus of virtual queue trends in amusement parks. ;)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Saturday, July 16, 2011 12:09 PM
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Saturday, July 16, 2011 1:18 PM

Jumping back into Buzz after a bit of an absence...

Anyway, let me address the fringe topic before the main topic: Some pages ago, Rideman discussed the ordering process at Pinks. I'm not familiar with Pinks, but would that eatery happen to be a 1950's diner style place (along with Coasters AND Johnny Rockets?) In that case the order carousel may be part of a thematic show to fit the theme. Even so, if they wanted to use paper grill slips to keep theme, the order taker, could simply print the check using the receipt printer on the POS, and tack that to to the order carousel. Though hasn't just about every fast food chain already solved the operational side of this problem a while ago with video monitors in the food prep area linked to the POS. Along those same lines, I am surprised more sit down places haven't gone with wireless handheld units to replace the paper check pad. I've seen them abroad, and even locally, and they see, to do wonders.

Now - back to virtual queues, (VQ)

Where to begin on this one.

Let's first look at Kings Island, since that is the park the article originated with. You may recall they had a short lived VQ system, "Walk on Wednesdays", later "Walk on Weekends" when they learned "Walk on Wednesdays" wasn't exactly a big perk. "Walk on Weekends" was a VQ system that was restricted to Gold Pass season pass holders and higher. It was also a very limited program, only 1,500 per day (in a park that has a HUGE SP base), and was crude, it was simply a sheet of paper tickets, and you got one ride on most of the selected rides. (You had to choose between Drop Tower and Delirium, I guess there were 750 of each available) They also spent several seasons trying to figure out the timings on the tickets. One season I recall having to run through the parks, as the total time window for me to get on all 5 participating rides was only 1 hour.) (If memory serves, the participating rides were Drop Tower/Delirum - Backlot - Beast - Log Flume - Scooby Doo). Another season, they spread the times out further with maybe each ride being in a different hour window. Whatever it was, it really didn't work well because it was more inconvenient to use the VQ tickets than not, and if you were going to the park with people who weren't gold tier or higher, just awkward. I think removal of that system was one of the first things Cedar Fair did. To its credit the very limited usage meant that impact on the main queue was minimal. The same discontinued program also offered "Two for Tuesdays" allowing Gold Pass and higher to re-ride selected rides, to make it unappealing it was in only selected seats. I only mention it since Double Riding is a VQ style perk "Their ticket allows two rides, yours only allows one"

Now, onto Cedar Point, their first foray into VQ was "Ticket To Ride" a program that was such a success it only lasted one season. That, IIRC, was an extreme example with no standby queye. Their sesond attempt was maybe the crudest VQ system ever, "Freeway", where timed handstamps controlled access to the VQ entrances to the rides. You only have two hands, and the soap in the restrooms isn't that good. I believe that system perished when they got the keys to Geauga Lake and were able to rip out Fastlane, thus rendering Freeway obsolete in a tactical marketing sense.

Point is, to this point, Cedar Fair has dabbled in VQ, and has rejected it. I'm unfamiliar with how Knott's does VQ, as it wasn't offered last time I was there.

But, in today's world of instant-gratification, me-first, and limited patience - perhaps VQ does have a place. I'm liking the first class/ economy analogy from the airlines. Two entrances to a ride, one of them is free to use, the other requires participation in a program that may/may not have extra fees involved. The people in one wait in a traditional holding area, while the others wait in a nice comfy lounge (aka: the rest of the park), when it comes time to board, they first pull the quota from the priority entrance, then the regular entrance. Your participation in said program can depend on many things: Your financial situation (does it make sense to your budget to spend $X on VQ membership), your ethics/beliefs (would you have a moral problem, lose sleep if you participated), your interests/priorities (once you learn the price of the VQ program, do the perks offered by the program seem to hold a value to you that matches or exceeds the price). These are all subjective things that each person will have to answer for themselves.

For example: I would love to watch a Red's game from the Diamond Club, it has all sorts of perks - VIP Parking, pre game high quality buffet meal, open bar, and free in seat food service during the game, not to mention your seats are lower deck right behind home plate in extra wide, padded seats, and the lounge has an opening through which the Red's go on their way to/from their clubhouse. One might call it the ultimate baseball experience - but I usually pay about $20 to watch a game fro the upper deck, behind home. Are the perks offered by the Diamond Club worth an extra $230 per seat for me? Probably not, I just can't comfortably eat/drink that much. Let's go back to our park - the upper deck seat is the standby queue, and the Diamond Club is the Ultra Platinum, Emerald and Diamond Encrusted QBot that allows instant access to any ride or show in the park, and just to even the scenarios out, lets say includes food/beverage/parking. Let's also say it also cost 12-13X the price of a regular gate ticket. I think parks have these, they are called VIP tickets, and are actually much lower than the 12-13X price differential.

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Speaking of Q-Bot, even though I don't get to many Six Flags parks - I kind of like what Six Flags St. Louis does to mitigate the constant re-ride scenario. This is most blatant on Boss and Mr. Freeze - they put the machine where you check into a ride with your Q-Bot way out on the midway. Which means even if you want to marathon these rides, at least one person in your group has to haul the Q-Bot(s) from the ride exit out the LONG exit ramp, insert it into the machine, get your new time/credit - then haul the Q-Bot back the long exit ramp to the rest of the group, who can then re-enter the ride.

I'd prefer the merge point tactic, where they "quietly" merge the two line together sometime before the loading area. That way the ride sees the full compliment of riders coming and all seats can be used. Also, aimed at Six Flags, that means all riders, no matter which queue they entered through, has access to any seat on the ride. Put the merge point far enough back and it also mitigates the marathon reride scenario. Put the merge point TOO far back, and it can wreck havoc on your well thought out fully themed queue experience. (I'm thinking Indiana Jones at DL here as the poster child, wonderful queue area that is essentially unused (you practically run through it) because the merge point is before you go indoors. Of course, merge through exit is the cheap way to go because it it easier to retrofit an exit than an entrance on a ride in some cases. The hack job when Kings Island put a VQ into the Beast queue is a prime case here.

Also - I have seen VQ actually go against the VQ participants - Kentucky Kingdom used to sell booklets of Flashpass tickets that were essentially "Board any participating ride whenever you want via the exit". This particular day was the Friday of Stark Raven Mad 2003, which meant SFKK had an abnormally large number of enthusiasts in the park who were there to ride the brand new (to them) thriller: Greezed Lightning. Problem was, the ride didn't make opening bell, in fact the ride didn't open till like 3pm. When it was clear it was going to open, enthusiasts with visions of getting a few rides on GL before heading to Holiday World made a mad dash to the FlashPass booth to buy ticket books. Recall, SFKK is a Six Flags park, merging through the exit, which meant that perhaps, one car of GL was reserved for FlashPass. Jerry and I boarded via the standby entrance, rode the ride, exited the ride, and noted the FlashPass lane was clear down to the bottom of the stairs, we walked back around, entered the normal line, which had almost nobody in it, rode again, and waved hi to the same people as we went down the exit stairs again.

To Rideman;s theoretical example - i think you are missing what he was saying, when he said FastPass admitted 1,200PPH to a ride, I think you meant that was the actual number of seats the greeter is to hold per hour. Knowing Rideman, I can just imagine him standing at the Space Mountain FastPass distribution area on a given day, and with stopwatch in hand, timing how many people are served by a fastpass machine, in say 5 minutes. Extrapolate that out to an hour, and you know, operationally, how many tickets that machine can produce an hour. Multiply that by the number of machines, and you know how many tickets the attraction can give out per hour. In his theoretical case, that is 1,200 tickets per hour can be generated by those machines for that attraction. Same way as he probably stood at a ride entrance and clocked just how fast people can enter a ride at the peak time of the day (and arrived at 2,400PPH) So, just imagine that Ouimet decides to blatantly "borrow" the FP methodology from Disney, and installs the same number of machines out in front of Magnum XL-200 that Rideman noted at Space Mountain. Then let Dave's scenario play out. He isnt getting into the split, he is talking about the total number of people waiting for the ride in some queue some where. Compared with the fact the ride can only reduce the total guests waiting by 1,600 PPH. So it will, on the busiest days, add 3,600 PPH to the two queues (2,400 through the main turnstile, and 1,200 out of the FP machines) while only giving 1,600 rides - which means the line backs up 2,000 PPH until such point as the FP machines run out of tickets, then it till only be swamped by 800PPH, that is until the magic point is reached when the standby queue is long enough that the vast majority of people decide they would rather spend their time doing something else, and thus the back up will hit an arbitrary limit. One could argue the arbitrary limit on W will go up, since I don't care how long the standby line is if I am say over at Maverick, Mean Streak, Mine Ride and Gemini waiting for my return in 5 hours. Of course, if the program has the effect of slowing the standby line down significantly, the magic "it's too long" point may also change to compensate.

Of course, that doesn't take into account, that is the top capacity of the machines, the actual capacity is somewhat lower I presume, as I learned on a Keys to the Kingdom tour that Disney uses some complex algorithm that is proprietary to determine for each hour, how many FP tickets they would like to have exist, the computer model determines how many tickets for each time window should exist, and then it lets guests pull tickets, marching forward to the next window once the limit is reached. On some high demand rides, that means the machines exhaust all tickets well before park close, at which point V=0 for the rest of the day. Good news there, is now E is comprised soley of L, which means the rate of people entering the queue(s) for the ride has dropped, giving the ride some hope of catchng up by park close. Bad news is people know that Disney is generally non-confrontational, and doesn't want to leave a bad taste in peoples mouths at the end of the day, meaning people could theoretically collect FP's anytime during the day, and then try to cash them in just prior to park close on that #1 E-Ticket attraction. Enough people do that, and suddenly you may have more people in the VQ line than the ride can ever hope to handle by park close, at which point you may as well just go home if you are in stand by. The other thing that helps the parks here is rememeber in RCT, people would stop joining a queue if it reached the end of your established queue area? That seems to happen in real life as well, except it may not be the end of the actual queue area, but there seems to be some magical point at which guests tend to say "That line is way too long" This seems to put an arbitrary limit on how bad W can become.

Of course, the other case is you put FP on a ride that people don't really care that much about, at which point V is less than 1,200PPH and the machine is having to advance the time window with unused virtual (unprinted) tickets going to waste. Too much of this, and Disney rightfully removes the machines.

One thing Ouimet should have a pretty good knowledge of what works with FastPass, what doesn't work with Fastpass (since as has been noted, he is responsible for removing it from some attractions), and may be able to "inherit" some strong research on the subject from his prior employer that he can use when designing what, if any, VQ system Cedar Fair decides to go with.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 1:36 PM

A ways back, LostKause said "Tek, Splitting people into have's and have not's is part of why a few of us feel it is wrong."

When you step up to the ticket booth and pay out the money for your ticket into the park, you've just separated yourself from the have-nots, the people who can't afford a day at an amusement park and declared yourself a "have"; I have never understood the mental leap involved in separating yourself from those who "have-not" and then complaining that it's unfair to allow people to buy something you can't afford.

("You" and "your" and so on should be read as generic, not as referring to LK only.)

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 1:42 PM

Awesome post, Dave. :)

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 2:19 PM

I'll second that.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 2:23 PM

spending money on other things is what Disney wants.

But as near as anyone can tell, that's not what happened. People don't go shopping or eating with that time---unless they were going to eat anyway---they get in line for some other attraction. If you go back and compare the guest per-caps before and after FASTPASS implementation, there is no noticeable jump in spending beyond what you'd expect through normal inflation and gate increases. In other words, there's a reason why everyone else who tried "free" VQing has either abandoned it or converted to a pay-to-play system, and why paid VQing has been growing---it's more profitable to get fewer people using it, but having them pay to do so.

Even Disney is toying with the idea of further monetizing VQ. This is all rumor at this point, but word on the street is that NextGen is, in part, Gonch's holy grail: plan your trip before you leave home. (As long as you book through the Mouse for one of Mickey's hotels, that is.) Current rumor status here: http://miceage.micechat.com/allutz/al071211a.htm

I can't believe we're *still* debating any of this. Parks have figured out what everyone else in the service industry has figured out: some people will pay more for better service, and that leads to profits.

For what it's worth, I agree with almost all of the factual claims that the "anti-" crowd makes, namely:

* Paid VQ gives its users more and better access to a park's attractions than those who paid only the regular gate.

* As capacity is finite, that increased access means that those who paid only the regular gate get some fractional decrease in access.

* It separates those willing/able to spend the extra for the service from those who are not.

Where we part ways is that I don't believe that parks have any obligation to forgo extra profits to treat everyone "the same." The exception might be any parks that are municipally owned or managed. Every other park instead has an obligation to make as much money as possible. That's the only name of the game in business. Now you have to do it without ticking people off so much that they never come back, or you starve your revenue stream going forward. But, the evidence seems clear: the growth of paid VQ systems over many (many) years shows that the general public accepts paid VQ systems, and they lead to more profits.

If you don't like this (and some don't), you have two choices. One: visit the park on a day with lower than average crowds and/or in a way that makes VQ unnecessary. We've all been around the amusement park block, and we all know how to do this: go during shoulder seasons, early morning/late night, etc. Two: refuse to visit any paid VQ parks out of principle. But, expecting that it is going to change is like wishing that gravity would just stop. It's more profitable, and so it will continue to come to pass. Perhaps in some other culture, it would be less tolerable to the guests, and things would have turned out differently. But here in the US, most people are down with paying more to get more.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 4:04 PM

Parks have figured out what everyone else in the service industry has figured out: some people will pay more for better service, and that leads to profits.

They all have figured it out, but some aren't willing to 'go there'. Personally, I'm all for the extremely limited things like VIP tour, or even the thing Kennywood or Knott's offers.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 4:16 PM

A couple of things here...

First, Dave is right; I was deliberately avoiding getting into the ratio between normal queue entries and VQ entries. And Gonch is right: to keep the system from getting badly bogged down, it makes great sense to let one less person in the front door for every person you let in through the back. To some degree, parks already do this. Been to Cedar Point lately? Ever notice how they position their ride entrances and exits? With the exceptions of Raptor, Corkscrew and Gemini, in general, the entrances are placed as far away from the exits as is practical. I don't believe this is by chance.


The 2,400 PPH number I got for a slammed entrance queue comes from an experiment I conducted one late night: I measured my own walking pace, estimated the usual comfort distance between people, did some quick figuring, and determined that a single-lane queue can handle about 2,400 PPH without obstruction. Later I found a book on OhioLINK that described in great detail how pedestrian flow works, and talked about how many many studies around the world all seemed to agree on an average walking pace (I believe it's about 10 ft/sec) and an average social distance (about 2 feet) and through a whole lot of effort and probably government money, basically validated my results. 8-)

My intent was to concentrate on the mechanical aspects of a double-queue system, not to debate its moral validity. But here's something else to consider: What is the park's goal for installing a virtual queue system?

Disney was hoping that people would roam through their shops and spend more money, but what they got was a lot of people milling around on the midways in a park that didn't have enough milling around space. Six Flags, in their relentless pursuit of cash at the expense of customer experience if necessary, was looking for another revenue stream. But if you implement a virtual queue, what other effects does it have on your customer?

Does the park have enough second-tier high-capacity attractions that people who are waiting for their virtual queue times have something else to do? Does the virtual queue allow people to visit the park in half the time, meaning it reduces the length of stay so that they only buy one meal instead of two? Are the return times calculated to convince people to stay *longer* in the park (I think Disney did a certain amount of that on FastPass tickets for Animal Kingdom and for Hollywood Studios)? And overall does the system improve the customer's experience in the park? That's probably the most important question of all...and if it improves the experience for 10% of the customers, what about the other 90%? Has it improved their day? Is their day made no worse? Or have you made them so mad that they won't come back?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 4:21 PM

Awesome post, Brian. :)

Brian Noble said:
Even Disney is toying with the idea of further monetizing VQ. This is all rumor at this point, but word on the street is that NextGen is, in part, Gonch's holy grail: plan your trip before you leave home. (As long as you book through the Mouse for one of Mickey's hotels, that is.) Current rumor status here: http://miceage.micechat.com/allutz/al071211a.htm

Looks like I will be alive to see it. ;)

The part that gets me is the way the idea gets so poo-pooed by enthusiasts as unrealistic or not doable or unfeasible or whatever. From where I'm standing it's been as clear as a 2-ton elephant standing in front of me. This is obviously where it was headed.

Then again, enthusiasts seem to be notoriously backward-looking rather than forward-looking. Tradition and nostalgia are valued. Which is ironic because they're fans of an industry that thrives on pushing the bar ahead.

Even more self-satisfying are the details of XPass. Vacations with all rides, shows, dinners, character meets planned in advance - but also using the guest's smartphone to facilitate the whole thing.

Just a couple of ideas your ol' buddy Gonch has been preaching (predicting, interested in, etc) for years and kept being told it won't happen for various reasons.

Me right now. ;)

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 4:43 PM

if it improves the experience for 10% of the customers, what about the other 90%? Has it improved their day? Is their day made no worse? Or have you made them so mad that they won't come back?

These systems have been around long enough now that I think the answer to that last question is pretty clear: "No, you haven't." Attendance hasn't cratered at any of these parks. So, either repeat business was never part of the model, or the repeat business is still there.

They all have figured it out, but some aren't willing to 'go there'.

But the set who do "go there" gets larger every year.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Saturday, July 16, 2011 4:47 PM
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Saturday, July 16, 2011 4:48 PM

^And we still go to war and kill people, what's the Point?

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 4:50 PM

[url][url]You're seriously comparing armed conflict with pay-to-cut systems? That's so ludicrous that it doesn't even deserve a response.

However, this thread's "Godwin's Law moment" cannot be far behind....

Godiwn's Law link

Last edited by Brian Noble, Saturday, July 16, 2011 4:52 PM
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Saturday, July 16, 2011 4:52 PM

^^I don't know if I love or hate that your replies are often random, completely unrelated irrelevant little quips.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Saturday, July 16, 2011 4:53 PM
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Saturday, July 16, 2011 5:27 PM

^Good thing is, you can love them sometimes, hate them sometimes, feel neutral, change your mind, etc. They are sometimes unrelated, but always open to interpretation.

^^That wasn't my intention Brian. My intention doesn't matter, everyone will see something different.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 5:29 PM

How very Zen of you.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011 5:31 PM

^Or rock n roll :) Lyrics are poetry and open to interpretation, etc.

There is room for all of our opinions, I don't claim to be right. Just right, for me.

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