Single Rider Line for Fahrenheit...Fail?

Monday, November 3, 2008 9:13 PM

So as we know, Fahrenheit at Hershey had a single rider line this season. Well, sort of. From what I could tell, just from informal observation mind you, the single rider line failed for Fahrenheit.

At the start of the season they seemed to be filling two or three rows at a time entirely with riders from the single rider line. Unfortunately, it didn't take long for other riders to catch on to this and recognize they would have a shorter wait if they just wait in the single rider line...after all, they would likely still get to ride with their buddy, right?

Later in the season I saw that they were not filling entire rows from the single rider line any longer, but rather waiting for single riders to appear in the regular line and filling in from the single rider line. Well, on a two seat per row coaster and given folks knew there was a single rider line, there weren't that many single riders in the regular line so the wait became ridiculous for single riders.

By the end of the season, I noticed the single rider line was just not being used at all.

So I am wondering how does a single rider line have to be designed/utilized in order to make it successful? Does having the break off for single riders somewhere in the middle of the queue make a difference? Is this a concept that only works for 3 or 4 seat per row coasters or are there examples of successful single rider lines for 2 seat per row coasters, too?

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Monday, November 3, 2008 9:17 PM

The single rider line on California Screamin' works great and seats two across but there's a caveat to that one - it's a dual load station and they pump approximately 2 billion trains an hour through there.

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Monday, November 3, 2008 9:25 PM

It works great on B&M coasters. Also, it can work great on 2 seaters too, if there is a lot of groups of 3 and 5 in the park.

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Monday, November 3, 2008 9:41 PM

I didn't even realize there was a single rider line for Maverick until I was on top of it. The wait was 90 minutes long, and absolutely no one was using the single rider line. Probably because it starts right before the station. What's the use at that point? I'm sure it would get more usage if they started the single rider line at the ride entrance.

I think the only ride where I've seen it done right is Test Track. The odd seating arrangement on that ride probably necessitates the use of a single rider line, though.

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Monday, November 3, 2008 9:55 PM

I think it would work much better on a 4 seat per row coaster. On most B&M's there are at least 5 seats going out empty. With Fahrenheit only seating 12 per train and it sounds like only 2 running, it probably wouldn't help capacity that much but I would have liked to see it used even if it only shortned the wait a little bit.

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Monday, November 3, 2008 10:23 PM

^^Olsor - MiB is a single-riders dream. Spidey too, for that matter (but they don't run it as often, MiB's is *always* running since it requires no additional staffing. I hate to think of SR lines as failures, but Fahrenheit does seem to qualify. That line NEVER moves.

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Monday, November 3, 2008 10:57 PM

Maverick's single rider line is just a housekeeping thing, and frankly it's the way it should be. You don't wait any more or less, but it's easier for them to manage people on the platform when they want to fill every seat.

A B&M ride shouldn't go out with any more seats than a two-across coaster. There aren't magically more odd-numbered groups of people. It doesn't matter if three people occupy one row or two.

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Monday, November 3, 2008 11:35 PM

Flashbacks :)

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Monday, November 3, 2008 11:42 PM

Yeah, I know. But that discussion turned into whether or not odd-numbered groups generally attend parks together.

I really am just interested in knowing why single rider lines work better for some coasters and not others.

If the topic's too familiar, feel free to close it.

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Monday, November 3, 2008 11:43 PM

I don't think the coaster has anything to do with it. I think the people running it make the difference.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008 12:02 AM

Do you think the station and or queue layout has anything to do with it, though?

Fahrenheit's single rider line begins at the entrance of the regularqueue and heads straight to the loading station...right in front of thelong, winding regular queue. And the loading station is rathercramped, without much room for maneuvering for "singles hook-ups".

I agree that the folks running the show have a heavy impact. But could the design be set up for failure, too?

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008 12:16 AM

Carrie M. said:
If the topic's too familiar, feel free to close it.

That's not what I meant at all. But I read this:

Well, on a two seat per row coaster and given folks knew there was a single rider line, there weren't that many single riders in the regular line so the wait became ridiculous for single riders.

And immediately thought of that conversation, because that's essentially what we said then.

I can't answer your question. I've never used a single-rider line, paid attention to a single-rider line or really noticed one in action. As I said in that other thread the whole concept doesn't make sense to me.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008 12:24 AM

I'm not sure the design matters. Ultimately, the reason to have it is to fill empty seats, because the park cares about capacity. If that care isn't genuine and there is no proactive look from the ride ops, then it won't come together. In my mind, success is that there aren't empty seats, but you might be suggesting that long lines for singles would be indicative of a failure. I guess it depends on what the metric is.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008 12:43 AM

Yeah, I'm with you about deciding on the metric for success. It only makes sense that single rider lines should only exist to reduce/eliminate empty seats. But you can't just let your single riders rot in a separate line, either, until you happen to need them to fill the train. Single riders have needs, too, you know! ;)

My mind went to design because with Fahrenheit it becomes visually obvious that the single riders have the chance for a much shorter wait. So it didn't take long for the other riders to decide to ride single thus growing the line.

Then again, there is a ride op (or security person?) who is supposed to be standing at the entrance making sure the riders entering the singles lane are in fact singles. While that can be hard to determine sometimes, it is fairly obvious when a large group of riders is leaving the regular line in order to enter the single line...duh!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008 7:42 AM

I think maybe it's a bit of what Jeff is saying and a bit of others depending on the park.

Proper station design, line management, etc. is going to help facilitate a single rider line especially when you don't have a crew who is trained to be on top of the single-rider ball perfectly like you would expect at places like Cedar Point, Disney, maybe some of the Busch Parks. But then again if you have a crew like that the physical elements matter less and less and if they really want to do the single rider line properly, they'll make it happen regardless.

In my limited experience of being a ride op and attendant I can understand how there is so much going on you could certainly neglect your single rider line or just not care enough to really work it properly. I'd bet having a supervisor who knows how it should work, knows how to implement it, and knows how to ride the asses of those who should be implementing it makes a huge difference.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008 9:50 AM

I agree that if single riders are standing around, the system fails the riders. I would expect as a rider to have the expectation that I would have a shorter wait, I think.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008 10:03 AM

From my experience, it really depends on the people on the platform doing the right thing. In addition to Screamin' in Anaheim, Disney uses single rider on the two-across RnRC and Everest in Orlando---but the grouper is very very aggressive at getting folks to pair up.

On the other hand single rider was completely abandoned after about 4-6 weeks at Toy Story Mania in Orlando, so there are other factors at work.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008 5:06 PM

I think HP stopped using the single rider line on Fahrenheit when the college kids started leaving in August and they were short staffed. Probably as good as any position to leave unused.

I can see them wanting a single rider line in theory, since every empty seat is an 8% reduction in capacity. But it didn't work in practice. People would leave the "regular" queue to get in the single rider line. A few people would squeeze past you, then a few minutes later, you'd see them on the steps leading to the platform on the single line.

I don't know if there was a method to how they used the line-- maybe that was a problem in itself. They could have used the single line to fill in empty seats as needed, plus take two people every 3rd or 4th train to keep that line moving too.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008 5:56 PM

When I went for BORG opening season, the regular line was definitely moving faster than the singles line.

Then again, at S:ToP at SFoT (3 across) the single rider line is pretty much a guaranteed ride in 5 minutes.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008 5:59 PM

I think we should start making all single riders wear highlighter-yellow/green t-shirts and polka dot hats. That ought to do it.

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