Waiting in line for a roller coaster is rarely fun, especially when you aren’t sure how long you’ll be there. Wait time accuracy isn’t a top priority for many parks.
— FOX 13 Tampa Bay (@FOX13News) June 21, 2016
But posted attraction wait times could soon become significantly more accurate thanks to automated queue management technology “BlipTrack.”
Today, many parks estimate ride wait times based on ride operators’ best judgments, the length of the queue and the ride’s average throughput — how many riders it can accommodate in an hour. Disney theme parks sometimes estimate wait times by giving randomly selected guests tokens to turn in once they reach the station.
Unfortunately, these methods are often inaccurate, which can lead to under- or overestimated wait times. And with unpredictable variables like ride downtime, varying load times and the effects of “skip-the-line” queues, wait time accuracy diminishes.
Of course, an overestimated wait time is a welcome surprise. But in some instances, like when trying to meet up with a group or make a show, an inaccurate wait time can create problems.
Improving Wait Time Accuracy
So how does it work? BlipTrack-powered queues feature strategically placed sensors inside queue lines. Those sensors detect anonymous device IDs from guests’ mobile devices.
A screen at the ride entrance provides real-time wait times. Guests can also access wait times via mobile apps and other screens in the park. This gives roaming guests the opportunity to visit attractions with shorter wait times.
This crucial information also allows park leaders to implement line-control strategies such as opening closed-off queue space or suggesting rides with shorter wait times. This can help distribute crowds evenly throughout the park.
Guest Traffic Patterns
Other sensors in the park also identify device IDs (again, anonymous) and provide guest movement patterns and trends. The data collected allows park managers to review the guests’ activity trends, such as entrance and exit usage, return visits, as well as time spent in shops, restaurants, ride lines, etc.
This information also allows park decision makers to implement changes and investments that will hopefully improve park operations and increase attendance.
Improving wait time accuracy can improve a guest’s in-park experience, increasing the likelihood that they will return. And with less time spent waiting in line, guests have more opportunities to spend money on dining and shopping, which can generate more revenue for the park.
BlipTrack was developed by BLIP Systems, a Denmark-based information technology company specializing in traffic-related data analytics tools. The company’s technology has been implemented in airports, roadways and even ski resorts. In addition, BlipTrack has already been successfully implemented at parks in Denmark and the UK.
To learn more, visit the BLIP Systems website.
What do you think about automated queue management technology and mobile tracking? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.