The average queueing time can vary from the different throughput for a certain ride and time of the season in which you go. If you go on an off-peak day it can vary from a straight walk on to 20 minutes queuing (which isn’t too bad). Peak season though is a completely different story. Queues can vary from 30 minutes to 90 minutes on average depending on the ride and weather.
Many parks are currently trying to battle the on-going struggle for shorter queue lines and trying to make your queueing experience more enjoyable! One way they are achieving this is by using some kind of “Fast Track” system. Most parks now have this option available for you to take advantage of, but this will also add to the price of your day out. This way of beating the queues is the most advantageous to the parks, and to you, the customer, as this allows them to watch and manage the flow of Fast Tracking options being used in any one day and can control it to how they see fit.
Another way in which parks are battling the long queue times is by having specific queue lanes for single riders, or by encouraging the Ride Operators to ask the customers in the queue if they are a single rider. Now this way does work well, but is not the fastest of the ways to use as when the normal queue has boarded the attraction, the Operators then have to count the empty seats, usually have to shout over general Theme Park-y noises and then wait for the rider to reach the front of the queue. This may only take 1 or 2 minutes to implement, but if you do the maths it could be quite a costly approach. For Example, if it takes a ride 5 minutes from the front of the queue, experience the ride and then exiting the ride it all sounds fine. But if every ride has to wait for a single rider to jump onto the attraction that is 12 minutes an hour wasted using this method. In an average 8 hour day that is then 96 minutes which is used up by waiting for single riders.
The third way in which Theme Parks are trying to counter the boredom of queues is by have an interactive queue lane, or having characters come along and interact with the customers. Some people view this as a cheap gimmick by the parks, to try and take the minds off how long you are actually waiting for a ride, but for children this could be the difference between them getting bored and having a tantrum, or them happily queueing and not giving you a headache.
Below are a few ways in which you can beat the queues or at least make your queueing experience fun.
Check the Parks Calendar : In doing this you are able to see which days are their ‘Peak Days’ and plan your trip accordingly to get more ride time for your money.
Make a game: This one works well if you are going with a group of friends or family. A few days before hand you can make up a quiz, print it off and hand it out to the group at the beginning of the day. You can then include questions such as “how tall is a certain ride” or “how many animals can you see in this queue line”. This way it gives people something to do rather than standing around and twiddling their thumbs. Hey you could even ask the Park if they have one already made up!
Shows: In most Theme Parks families and groups enjoy watching the various shows that are on offer at the Park, if you plan to go on rides when the shows are on that will mean less people in the queue, thus you don’t have to queue for so long. Unfortunately it does mean you will miss the shows.
Back of the park: When Theme Parks open their gates, most people run to the first ride they see and jump on that. So take the time in finding out what rides are far away from the entrance gates as usually these are quiet for the first 15 or 20 minutes while people slowly make their way down to that area.
If you are able to implement the above tips then your day should run smoother and you will be able to get onto more rides during the day!