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joz

Virtual queueing

23 posts in this topic

I think seasonaly it is a very good idea. Obviously it would be of no use in the off season as the parks are pretty much dead but in those busy periods I could see such a system being very effective. I personaly have never been to any of the Gold Coast parks in the Peak season(s), and never will but I know very well how long the waits can be. I can certainly see WBMW in particular being able to put Fast Pass system to use and pull it off too. Such a system could come in quite handy at W'n'W too I recon. You could be alocated a time slot for a particular slide where you could have front of line access and that way you would reduce slide wait times on those busy hot days... Perhaps at W'nW it could work as an upcharge thing???

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Disney's fastpass is a system where guests enter their entry ticket into machines located outside major rides. The machine spits out a return time when guests can return to a minimal queue. I agree with DJs idea. A similar strategy is used at Alton Towers (ie, only using it when you need it) so its most definitely workable. SW & MW could begin to give out the tickets with barcodes on them at the gate, and WnW use a returnable card (like the one you get with your locker) or a refundably deposit system and work it that way.

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At Disney parks, every guest is given the ability to get a FastPass for any relevant ride, and are limited to just one until their timeslot opens up. They issue a certain number per hour for each ride, somewhere around about a quarter or so of the ride's capacity I'm guessing. Universal have a similar system, only you have to be either a resort hotel guest, or pay an extra $30 or something for the thing. Six Flags also have an upcharge system. Anheuser-Busch (Bush and SeaWorlds) to my knowledge only have an odd system for platinum pass holders (season passes come in a range of different packages at different prices), where they get reserved premium seating for shows (more comfortable chairs in a better spot and everything), and they can ride twice in a row on any ride without re-queuing. The only problem I see is that if Australian parks were to get it, they'd make it upcharge like most do. The system works absolutely perfectly at Disney - far better even than the upcharge systems. But I'm really not sure Australian parks would see the value of this, or how it would improve their parks. What I can see is a few upper-managements going on a trip to Orlando, seeing Disney's FastPass, noting how fabulous it is and praise the hell out of it when they get back, then proceed to install the same thing, with a $30 pricetag on it. I can also definitely see Movie World benefiting from such a system, more so than any other Australian park. The only attractions you'd really need it for would be Scooby-Doo, Lethal Weapon and Wild West Falls - all of which are high capacity rides, but really do suffer in peak periods because it's all the park's really got when there's not a show on. I've been to Wet'n'Wild on packed days, though I'm not sure they really would need such a system. Most rides are bearable to queue for, even when the place is packed. I personally think they'd benefit much more just by adding more slides. Nothing groundbreaking, but just some things to take the stress away from the few slides they do have.

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Virtual queing is where a perk has a set of turnstiles at ride entrances, you just walk through and a ticket is printed with a designated boarding time, you rock up at that time and you get your ride. so you are free to do what you want. Another system is one where you rent a transponder that you scan at the ride entrance, It beeps whem you can ride and you have 10 mins to get to the ride. At WnW, how would you go carrying around a ticket for each slide? they would have to be waterproof and you re-ride slides all day so the park would go through thousands of tickets that wouldnt bio degrade as well as a paper ticket. The other system wouldnt work at WnW for obvious reasons. Now, for DW it think it could work, for example, GD could have one axis for virtual and one axis for standard. On WO have one side for each. On the coasters have the left hand seats virtual and the right hand seats standard. You can see what Im getting at. i think DW would probably go for the electronic system for the extra money it makes. Edit: Darn you beat me.

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Well, though I've said I don't think the system would be of great benefit at WnW, I'd say you'd do it exactly the same as they do locker rental and "Splash Cash" - you get a waterproof and unbreakable wristband that you'd scan. Blizzard Beach didn't have FastPass. Instead they just went the traditional way and just built heaps and heaps of slides. Hardly made a difference when I was there. It must have been the coldest day Florida's ever had - we were experiencing sweltering heat (like Aussie summer) in the middle of winter, but by the time we came around to do the waterparks it turned freezing.

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But how would the wrist band work? it cant beep to tell you your ride is due, and spitting a ticket our wouldnt work as I said so how would it work? And Rich, this may sound dumb but why in your sig have you got a link to a site we're already in. :confused:

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Well, Disney etc. don't use electronic systems. That's only select Six Flags parks with QBot. The most painfully obvious answer to that problem would be to use a waterproof device. Disney's are printed on small pieces of plastic-coated paper. I'm not sure I'd trust people to not loose them on slides, and I'd hate to be in filtration maintenance if this were the case. Still, I think there'd be no need for them at Wet'n'Wild. You'll never queue more than 15 or so minutes for anything. FastPass and similar are really designed for two or more hour queues, where guests really do get ticked off and start trashing bins, benches and lamps.

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Well a simple soloution would be to make it 100% electronic, and you scan your splash cash card and it just flashes up the return time. If you forget, re-scan your card and it'll re display the time. When the time comes you scan your card infront of who ever controls the merge point. Just an idea, and I think it'd work on rides like terror canyon and speed coaster. They're the ones where the queue tends to be the longest. Add in other rides like Mammoth and Twister and you've got pretty full selection of attractions.

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15 mins the longest wait Richard? Surely not...I've waited longer than that on quiet days I'm sure. I guess it's hard to tell though given you never have a watch on there :-p If they were to do it I'd probably impliment either; A)the stamp on the hand system or B)have a system of different coloured wrist bands each with its own roster of rides/times. But yeah probably no need...

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DJ is right, queues can reach 45mins on certain rides during the day. I don't think any park on the Gold Coast wouldn't benefit from virtual queuing, although DW may struggle with the low capacity of the rides (ToT and Wipeout being obvious exceptions). SW would only need it on Bermuda and Corkscrew and maybe Vikings. Movieworld on Wild West, Batman, Lethal, Scooby and Looney Tunes River Ride (which can get quite a queue going on a busy day). More shows to compensate for the extra people on the street (use the stage show, update the special effects show to increase interest, updated 3D movie?) and you've got a winner. Also those LED screens with the ride wait times around the park at convenient locations would be nice as well. They seem to work wonders in spreading guests evenly in the park, and filling up quiet areas. I also think what would work: Rather then making it upcharge, offer it free but with a deposit for the thing with the barcode on it. If the card costs $0.50 then make it a $5 deposit and it'll eventually pay itself off. Its effictifly still free, except for guests who don't return the card and keep it for themselves.

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Only problem with making it a refundable deposit is you end up with a massive line of guests trying to get their deposit refunded at the end of the day... Hardly the final memory you want of a nice day at the park :-(

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You make a good point, but I've never had a similar problem at WnW with lockers, nor have I seen a problem at SW or MW with our stuff which has a deposit. You would expect to need more staff, but I can't see it being a huge problem. I still like Disney's way of handing out the tickets as you enter, and making it free most (though I'm yet to try any other version). I'm just thinking (relativly) realisticly.

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I'll concede that my queue estimates for Wet'n'Wild were a little low. Let's take that 45 minutes which some rides are able to get up to in the peak season. Taking the eight major rides (i.e. everything but those things you don't queue for - Wave Pool, Whirlpool/Springs, Calypso Beach), and I'll be generous and assume they get up to 45 minute queues. Given probably half or more of those rides couldn't get queues above 30 minutes even if they tried, I think it's more than fair. In the 11 hours that the park is open in the peak season (i.e. the only time these 45 minute queues would happen), you'd be able to get in every ride once, and still have five hours for eating, rerides and the night's Dive In Movie. The thing with FastPass is it doesn't really start to work to its best until ride queues start getting up around the 90 minute mark. 45 minutes and under and it's almost a joke, because its only real purpose is to get a FastPass, queue and ride once, then use the FastPass to ride again immediately. For the 80% of the year when Wet'n'Wild has 5-15 minute queues max, you have a lot of expensive equipment and infrastructure that's going completely to waste. For that $150,000 or more they invested, Gazza could have gotten you a new slide, which has a much better marketing effect than "New to Wet'n'Wild, a virtual queuing system that's too confusing to bother with!". Really, outside of Dreamworld, how often do our parks get queues greater than 90 minutes? If they ever do, it's for that four or so week period in the middle of summer. A similar period at Disney parks would be getting queues in excess of 2:30, where FastPass is doing its thing to perfection.

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Richard, were you taking the mickey out of me? A 100m long weigand slide can be bought for that price, not sure if their slides are more expensive or cheaper than fibreglass, but a slide is a slide. If im barking up the wrong tree then sorry in advance.

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Nah, it's just that you've mentioned that $150,000 figure a number of times so I figured why not include it. You're indeed more or less correct (the way currency exchange is currently, it ranges from AUD$2-3,000 per metre depending on the design), and fibreglass would almost certainly be cheaper, especially because there are several Australian manufacturers, whereas Weigand manufacture in-house in Germany. Sorry if it came out wrong. :)

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Dont worry Rich, Im sorry, so hard to tell with just text :P. I wonder how much Australian Waterslides and Lesiure charge? (they supply WnW for their slides. has anyone seen the factory in Coffs Habour?) Though, The figure I got for Tobbogans was $1000 per metre, but then again a waterslide would use more steel than the shallow channel of a tobbogan.

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Fair point about all that Richard, though I still think that Fastpass system would work well at DW MW and SW. Your right about it being more or less useless for most of the year, but at the 3 theme parks I'd suggest that they'd be of use for not only a couple of months in summer, but also for the other holiday periods. There's allot of infrastructure in parks to deal with busy holiday periods, and I can't see how this is any different.

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Okay, around four weeks during the summer, a week at easter, two weeks in both June and September. That's nine weeks. That's about two thirds of the USA summer vacation period. Then the UK holiday times play a huge role in the Orlando parks attendance (to the extent where the parks are jam packed with no one but Brittish holidayers). Spring Break, Christmas, absolutely enormous "three day weekends" (Memorial Day and whatnot), and you're probably looking at around at the very least three times the length of peak periods. Let's get back to the basics. Disney presumably installed the system because they were getting complaints that the parks were too difficult to "complete" within a given holiday period. A family will spend three days at Disneyland alone and likely only barely get everything ridden, FastPasses left, right and centre. Meanwhile, how often do you hear people saying during the peak season they didn't get everything done at one of the Gold Coast parks? And of them, how many do you think weren't because five year old son loved Road Runner so much he had to ride it 40 times in the day? I'm guessing very few.

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You'd need to go a week either side of each of the other holidays, and I'd say from mid Dec to mid Feb, because you do get allot of people saying just that (that they can't find time to do everything). Most people can't get the parks done in a full day even at this time of year (hard to believe I know, but true). When ever attendance is around the 4/5000 mark then you can feel the park being busy. During this time, you hear quite a bit of the "Too much to do, and too busy too do it". Even though there's quite a few attractions (SW particularly) that don't require you too queue up, those attractions that do demand a queue of anything over 30mins present a problem to most guests. If you can supply a tool that makes life easier, I'd go for it.

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