Queue management common place in US parks

Posted Tuesday, July 20, 2004 10:04 AM | Contributed by Impulse-ive

Queue management has become common place at most major US theme parks. The systems range from the free and low-tech hand stamps at Cedar Point to the electronic pager-like Q-bot for an extra fee at some Six Flags parks.

Read more from AP via CNN.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 10:36 AM
You know? if SF parks would just run most of their popular attractions at a somewhat decent capacity(run multiple trains where available) then they'd make a lot more profits than they are now.

By using systems such as fastlane it gives them an excuse to run rides with only one train & make the lines much longer(& slower) so as to sway a guests choice to use the line jumping system....however it also can & has annoyed guests to the point that they are being driven away from the desire to visit the park again.

They are also missing out on a good chance to increase guest per capita spending,SF doesn't get it that when guests are stuck in a two hour queue for a given ride that they aren't out on the midways shopping for gifts or eating lunch & dinner,which is costing the parks in question several opportunities to increase their overall daily profits.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 11:03 AM
Yup...I say drop all this creative queuing and get down to the heart of the matter: capacity. Keep them rides singing along! Provide perks for fast crews.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004 11:38 AM
ALthough PKI is offering Gold Pass holders a 'line jumping' perk, the park claims in an article in the Cincinnati Enquirer that their ultimate goal is to increase ride capacity to the point where lines become minimal and queue systems unneeded.

Remember the prime falacy of virtual queueing, you AREN'T adding capacity, at the end of the day the ride will have carried the same number of people as it would ahve without the virtual queue, the only difference is the allocation of seats, by allowing a virtual queue participant to ride immediately, or to defer their wait while they ride something else gives them more rides in the day than those who don't particpate.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 11:58 AM
Gotta disagree Dave...I don't think you're carrying tha SAME number of guests at the end of the day with and without virtual queueing.

I think it's theoretically FEASIBLE to keep the capacity where it WAS before the systems, but only theoretically....and it requires AT LEAST one more staff person to do even that much. Otherwise, capacity is DESTINED to suffer, and suffer considerably, from the multiple-loading situations that most parks seem to favor (virtualy queue, THEN regular queue, adds a minimum of 15-20 seconds per dispatch, when the exit ramp is used as a "loading zone").

Can queue management work? Sure! Has it been shown to work effectively? Mostly only at Disney, IMO...

I'd like to go *on record* as saying that in general, the practice should be labeled "queue mismanagement"...;)

*** This post was edited by rollergator 7/20/2004 12:01:35 PM ***

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 3:56 PM
When you have a ton of attractions in your park, generally only the most busy rides have long lines. Look at Cedar Point. Yeah, you'll wait for Dragster and Millennium Force (and Raptor if you're silly enough to get in line before 2 p.m.), but generally speaking it's a short wait for nearly everything else. That's why I tend to ride Magnum more, and even Wicked Twister the later part of the day.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004 5:21 PM
It is nice to have a que system in place at some of the busier parks to avoid the three hour waits for a three minute long ride. However, I am very much against cutting passes made available for a fee. This sets up a class system within the park while the lines get longer for everyone else. If the parks increase rider capacity on the rides to make up the difference, this could help. But, it just sounds like another money making scam that ends up costing most everyone else who can't afford the cutting passes. No good can come from it. Free que systems gives equal opportunity to all.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004 7:57 PM
I agree. If Cedar Point can afford to support their Virtual Queue System for all the guests, then Six Flags can too. I think more lower to middle class people would go to park chains like Six Flags if they were treated with the same respect as the other middle to upperclass citizens visiting.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004 10:32 PM
Virtual queue systems have nothing to do with a parks desire to want their guests to wait less on line. It is driven by the desire to increase per capita spending. If guests are on line, they cannot spend money. Every park who has implimented virtual queues has seen signifigant increases in area or zone per-caps.

Same reason that Six Flags waterparks close their wave pools for 15 minutes every hour. It has nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with getting guests back on deck and buying that additional Coke. It's a very wise thing for the parks to do and there have been various economic models that fully support these practices.

Next time you are waiting for your fast pass time to come, notice the ice cream cone you will probably have in your hand.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004 9:25 AM
Hmmm...and your numbers come from...where?

Disneyland, where the Fast Pass was invented, is now significantly scaling back the system because the promised increases in per-cap sales didn't materialize, and instead the program caused additional infrastructure problems.

Six Flags waterparks closing the wave pools for fifteen minutes per hour has nothing to do with safety OR per-caps. Customers in the wave pool have no cash and therefore won't buy another Coke. If it is hot, they will leave the wave pool and head straight for the lazy river. Ever see a lazy river overflow from displacement? Happens at Wyandot Lake on a hot, busy day when the wave pool closes. No, the Six Flags policy is rooted in a pre-Six Flags policy at ONE of their parks which may have been mandated by the State of ** as a response to a drowning incident before Premier Parks even bought the park. Six Flags is very much into policy standardization, which is why I recently watched coaster operators giving multi-train hand-signals to each other on a single-train hand-operated ride.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Thursday, July 22, 2004 12:52 AM
Dave, you are correct, the wave pool closing did start with the 1983 drowning.....all I am saying is that let's not pretend that vertural queuing is the parks way of improving the guest experience. I know first hand that per-capita revenue can be significantly impacted by a fast pass or wave pool closing, particulary in those areas of the park. Yes, many guests go to the Lazy River, but some do go to their locker and get money to get something to eat. Per caps will benefit. In one case, I know of a Dippin Dots cart near a wave pool deck that would increase revenue / hr. as much as 250% during the 15 minutes that the wave pool is closed. Standardization or not, it's a fiscal practice (outside the box) that many parks are using to increase per-caps. *** This post was edited by hangingandbanging 7/22/2004 1:00:46 AM ***

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