Q-bot To Be Used For Rides at Dollywood

Tuesday, February 27, 2007 3:07 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar But Gator, what happened to all the cries of line-cutting? Where did all the contemplation of amusement parks being the last bastion of equality go? Where are all the complaints about how ridiculous it is for parks to charge at the gate and then ask you to pay more inside for the right to ride?

Worst of all, I'm inclined to play flip-flop just like everyone else. :)

What happens when people start figuring out the "virtual queue for one ride while you physically queue for another" trick? Well, according to past arguments the lines are going to get a lot longer. And with longer lines, more people will be inclined to buy into the system making lines even longer and before you know it, the Q-bot charge becomes a necessity. And how dare these parks expect you to pay more once inside just to enjoy the park and get on some rides?

Where did all that fun suddenly disappear to now that we've removed SF from the equation? Because as much as everyone wants to backpedal and change their angle (again!), those were the previous Q-bot complaints - the unfairness, the extra cost, the sponsored line-cutting.

Not as much fun when it's one of the 'good' parks playing the game, I guess.


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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 3:10 PM
Q-bot, line cutting options can be as evil and corrosive to the park experience as park officials allow it to be. The problem is any time there is profit to be made by running things badly; there is less of an incentive to running things well. My guess is Dollywood is aware of the pitfalls to this approach, so they will be less evil than Six Flags in implementing Q-Botts.

That does not change the reality that the more people who buy into line-cutting options generates greater profits for the park. Why pay extra staff to run rides at full capacity when you can make more money from lines people want and need to cut into? Six Flags has been evil, and predictably consistent in the ways they have generated this incentive. I guess we'll see how reserved Dollywood will be in generating their own profits from offering alternatives to long waits to ride. *** Edited 2/27/2007 8:27:10 PM UTC by rc-madness***

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 3:12 PM
Well Im kinda against it. It's a pay extra to actually enjoy the park instead of the park having enough diverse rides to keep lines short (HW)

However Im sure it will be implimented better than ANY SF plan.

Chuck, who also doubts it will be so damn expensive such as SF Gold bots are.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 3:26 PM
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:Worst of all, I'm inclined to play flip-flop just like everyone else.

Looking at the situation from various angles, flip-flopping...

Tomayto, tomahto? ;)

LOL, I stand by my original assertion at ALL times - make your best guess, run with it WHILE collecting data, analyze the data to tweak your solutions, implement the newer policy, collect more data, etc.,etc.

Only politicians get mileage out of the term "flip-flopping". It takes a stronger person still to recognize that RARELY do they have the perfect solution to a complex problem, admit past mistakes, and fix the broken parts while continuously adjusting strategies....I'll NEVER make it in politics...LOL!

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 3:27 PM
Personally? I think it's ironic that complaints are being leveled from that numerically insignificant to overall park attendance, fringe-of-the-target market at best, frequent season-pass-scuffing, most likely to drive per capita spending DOWN bunch called Coaster Enthusiasts.

You know--the type that loooooooooove getting in to media days to ride the firstest. Or special just-for-me-not-them events to be the only-est.

I'm not gonna lie to myself or anyone else. I'll be the first in line for my free pizza, chicken, cookies, fudge or whatever else they toss my way. I coulda paid $30 for the first-run souvenirs I got at one of those events this year...of only two I attended. And while the gracious parks that host these events may reap bountiful goodwill, it certainly isn't profit that drives these events.

So now they wanna offer part of that 'special' experience for a fee? FANTASTIC. More power to them. I wish them all the success in the world with it. I know it my kids love VIP treatment for a day! Why not somebody else's?

Let he or she who has never ERT'ed cast the first stone. That's what I say.

-CO


NOTE: Severe fecal impaction may render the above words highly debatable.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 3:30 PM
See what I mean? ;)

Six Flags= Evil, money mongers.

(Insert smaller, more well liked park) = less evil.

Edit: Coastaplaya, that was *DEAD ON*. ;) *** Edited 2/27/2007 8:33:11 PM UTC by DWeaver***

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 3:34 PM
rollergator's avatar ^ LOL!

/Futurama Reference
Leela: "Do you think you could be slightly less evil?"
Bender: "I dunno, do ya think you could survive a 700' fall?"

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 3:36 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Yup. :)

You know for a long time I really did believe it wasn't just mindless SF bashing, but rather genuine concern for wishing the parks would get their ish together and we could all start enjoying them again.

Good thing I'm not the type to get my hopes up.


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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 3:39 PM
Actually I hightly praise Dollywood. The bots are needed for some of their shows and probably water rides in the summer.

However, Planning is everything. Visit DW in Christmas Celebration mode and you have virtually ERT conditions anyhow. Also weekdays before anytime except July and Aug.

Chuck

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 3:54 PM
LOL. I've often said (and still believe) that if Six Flags were to ever start to do things across the board, the way several of their parks have done for years (SFOT, SFFT, SFGAm), the chain would hardly be mentioned at all because there'd be nothing to bitch about.

We *NEED* Six Flags to be bad just so that there *IS* a bad guy.

I mean, how often to we talk about SFOT or SFFT? when it's MUCH more interesting to bash SFMM, SFKK and SFGAdv, and then apply that dislike to the entire chain and every move they make?

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 4:33 PM
I'm not too worried about this pay-to-cut stuff locally because KW isn't going to do it. They have no reason to because lines aren't a major problem there and the lost goodwill and loyalty from poor operations would translate into lost attendance. KW depends upon that local business that keeps coming back again and again.

One thing that they did do was to eliminate general admission but they looked at the stats. 90% of persons 3 and older were using the POP option. Most of the other 10% were seniors who didn't ride much and small children who rode mostly the 1 ticket kiddie rides. So they reduced the POP price for these two groups. KW's reason for the change was to make its operations more efficient and to save the cost of ride tickets and wristbands.

Also the other parks in the region (except CP and HP) are smaller parks that would have absolutely no reason to do this at all. Their lines aren't long enough in most cases.


Arthur Bahl

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 4:54 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar Since someone has to try to stop the runaway train ;), I've always been of the opinion that a poorly implemented q-bot is bad for everyone and a well implemented q-bot is non-ideal for me but an increasingly good idea for the parks.

However, I don't know which is the chicken or the egg, but SF's ride operations on the whole are abominable and they have q-bot systems in place.

*** Edited 2/27/2007 9:54:43 PM UTC by ApolloAndy***


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 5:52 PM
The problem with Six Flags is that they are after top dollar in almost every respect. High admission prices, expensive parking, outrageous food, drink, and game prices and on top of this Q-BOT and worse yet, Gold Q-BOT. Meanwhile the operations at many of the parks suck wirh rides down or running at less than capacity.

I just hope that Ceder Fair doesn't go down this slippery slope especially since they acquired the entire color-group in Ohio.


Arthur Bahl

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 6:13 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Yup.

You know for a long time I really did believe it wasn't just mindless SF bashing, but rather genuine concern for wishing the parks would get their ish together and we could all start enjoying them again.

Good thing I'm not the type to get my hopes up.


Oh my little deity friend, I thought so much more of you. Here I was thinking you we a nice hard-crusted cynic and you turn out to be all 'shinning happy people' underneath. ;)

Seriously though, it was clear from the start that some ppl just liked to SF bash. The fact that so many ppl were against FastLane (SFI), but approved of FastPass (Disney), proved to me that the line cutting wasnt an issue. And even though enthusiasts are notoriously cheap bastards, I was never convinced that it was all about the money either.

While I'm sure that ppl have had some bad SF days, I think that the internet coaster community has become sort of a "support group" or worse even, high school like, with ppl thinking they have to SF bash to be one of the 'cool kids'. Those who have been against all queue management from the start, I vehemently disagree with, but I respect their position because of the consistency.

Specifically, on topic, I think this is great news. In the next year or two I'll be treking to DollyWood and between the Qbot at DW and the private cabanna at Splash Country, it sounds like the trip will be very pleasurable indeed.
lata, jeremy
--living in a GS-27 world...

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007 8:19 PM
rollergator's avatar The word "bashing" to me implies a certain level of mindlessness that I expect from spoiled teenage Hollywood girls. Fact are facts, and they speak for themselves. I just like to make sure they're heard, LOL.

Seriously, the two remaining SF parks in TX stack up QUITE well against parks in other chains (in my *experience*). So do SFoG and SFGAm.

Similarly, being against ALL forms of queue management seems overly simplistic. We live in a complex world. WELL-RUN, queue management rocks. Poorly-run, it can be a headache for everyone. Even one of my favored parks, IoA, had quite the *cluster* going on at Bilge Rats last Friday. And that's a park I praise *religiously*. ;)

Bottom line: Nothing is all good, OR all bad. But if *we* (yes, enthusiasts DO have more input than we tend to think) do a REALLY good job of pointing out what works well and what "needs improvement", then GRADUALLY, we'll likely see things change for the better. But it IS critical that we continually make the distinction between what *we* think, and what the average park-goer thinks. Personally, I'd take a RoS over any other piece of steel going...any RoS. But since the parks make decisions on what's best for THEM (and rightly so), I could NEVER argue against someone building something more family-oriented.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007 11:16 AM

dannerman said:
Here's an idea for virtual queueing that could be free, make everyone still wait, but still give the benefits of being able to leave the line to take junior to the bathroom, as well as eliminate linejumping (it's foolproof)

Give *Everyone* a Qbot, slightly modified. When you scan it, it would give you a sequential number, as well as a time ESTIMATE. This would be updated over wi-fi to change based on downtime, and actual running eficiency. For example, if ride capacity is 800pph and they only ran 300 in the past hour, and there were 200 people in front of you, it would say 40 minutes instead of 30.

Now here's where it changes.. instead of cattle chutes minus the mooing, the queue is now a big open (shaded) patio with benches, specific smoking sections, maybe even arcade games. People can go anywhere they want (including leaving the line) because there number is on the bot, saving their place in line. When there number is close, it "calls" them and they go into a line at the station that is maybe 5 minute wait max. It fixes the line jumping because they can't just duck under when security is watching. If you get hungry, you can go eat something. Also you can get rid of the turnstiles because it will count it automatically.

If you take long geting a pizza and miss your turn, no problem.. as soon as your number is called your eligible to go in the station.

The only problem would be implementation, but it would solve soooo much, IMO.

Thoughts?


I just thought that needed reposted because no one commented on it. I can honestly say that this idea is pretty good. The reason I like it so much is that it would prevent the guest from standing in two ride lines at once. I don't know if it would ever happen, but I kind of like the idea nonetheless.

On the other hand, once ride reservation becomes the norm for all parks, I will miss the carefree days of waiting in line. Making something more difficult in the name of making it more simple doesn't make much sense to me.

And I will say it again and again, Ride reservation systems take away from the overall capacity of all operating rides in a park. Some people are waiting in more than one ride line, thus there are virtually more people waiting in lines. This doesn't add to overall capacity, it takes away.

And if done wrong (sorry for bashing SF so much), ride reservation is a nightmare and does even worse damage to high capacity (like waiting for the Q-Botters to board the ride from the exit and then opening the gates for standby, for example, which totally throws speed of service out the window).

So if Dollywood does it the right way, I'm still against it but not as much as if it is done the wrong way. *** Edited 2/28/2007 4:32:47 PM UTC by dexter***

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007 12:01 PM
There doesn't appear to be an easy answer. We all recognize that 6F's use of the program has room for improvement.

Dollywood (Herschend) isn't in severe debt either, so their motivation is different. Dollywood, by my guess will use virtual queing for 80% shows, and 20%rides. Except for the newer rides, virtual queing simply is not needed, even at the peak times. I'm a dollywood passholder, and I have yet to see anyone use it, or even lay eyes on one of the qbot stations. The presence at Dollywood during the trial period was minimal to me. I don't go to many shows, but I do notice that the lines for popular shows are Insane.

6F has a financial incentive to produce revenue to pay off their debt. As a consumer, you can make the choice to spend your money there or not.

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007 12:09 PM
This might be the first implementation of Q-bot to fail (well not like SF's fails lol). It'll be interesting to see if it works or not at DW. Really the only long line I've ever seen is for the river raft ride. It just doesn't seem necessary.
I survived a Japanese typhoon and the Togo flat ride of death!!!!!!
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Wednesday, February 28, 2007 1:02 PM

coasterfreaky said:


*snip*

Dollywood, by my guess will use virtual queing for 80% shows, and 20%rides. Except for the newer rides, virtual queing simply is not needed, even at the peak times. I'm a dollywood passholder, and I have yet to see anyone use it, or even lay eyes on one of the qbot stations. The presence at Dollywood during the trial period was minimal to me. I don't go to many shows, but I do notice that the lines for popular shows are Insane.


I think this hit the nail on the head here. Enthusiasts don't do shows as much as the GP so they don't see Dollywood's need for the system. Problem is the shows are the draw at Dollywood. Some even have past or up and coming radio acts, forgive me for forgetting names of the shows I saw when I was there.

I had 2 days in the park and must say I was glad I did because I could ride the rides and see as many shows as I wanted. Now that Lo-Q, Q2Q is available I could possibly cut it down to one day by not having to get in line for a show 45-30 minutes prior to the show starting. I can see the usage at Dollywood and I believe it's a great idea.

This system should help people schedule the Most Popular parts of a park visit and then let the rest fall where it does. At Six Flags (most parks of the chain) the popular stuff is the coasters and rides. At Dollywood it's the Shows then some rides. I will stay out of the operational nightmares some parks have with running the system.


Watch the tram car please....
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Monday, March 5, 2007 3:48 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

The fact that so many ppl were against FastLane (SFI), but approved of FastPass (Disney), proved to me that the line cutting wasnt an issue.

Word on the street is that Disney is seriously considering adding an 'unlimited' FastPass option that you would pay for.

Sounds a lot like a Q-bot to me.

Assuming they put such a program into place within the next year and that the system works well at Dollywood, we could see Disney, Six Flags and Herschend parks all using a pay-to-cut system by 2008.

Welcome to the future. :)


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