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Vote of the week: Line jumpers

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Published: March 1, 2008 at 12:59 AM

This is a bigger deal in some parks, and nonexistent in others, but... how do you deal with people who cut in lines at theme parks?

Be honest, now. What do you actually do... don't give us what you *wish* you could do. (That vote, I am afraid, would require more answer options than would fit on the page.)

In the comments, share your tips for dealing with line jumpers.

Readers' Opinions

From Matthew Baker on March 1, 2008 at 5:49 AM
Ideally, I'll try and find out what kind of vehicle they drive, if applicable. In my experience sometimes those with massive SUVs and puckups will seem entitled by them to be pushy and me-me-me-now-now-get-out-of-my-way in other situations as well as on he road, such as in the checkout line at Smart & Final (case in point: massive-pickup owner several months ago who cut in line immediately in front of me like I wasn't there), and of course at the theme park. Then if I'm able to I'll get some nice 7.1-megapixel documentation of them and create a publicly-posted record of their conduct on my website, so others know ahead of time what they can expect from this individual. (I normally don't post pictures of people on the public Intenet--ever--out of respect for their privacy, or condone others doing the same. But there are a few rare exceptions.)

OK... :-) really, I've just let it slide whenever someone works their way past me up the line and be mildly annoyed at worst. So, "nothing", so far. If it's a parent getting back to their family further up the line, so what. For more serious cases (it hasn't happened yet) involving attitude or belligerence (whether or not I'm involved) I'll definitely open a case about it. If I have my digicam I'll try and snap a few pictures for surveillance purposes so I can show park security exactly who the offenders are.

From Larry Zimmerman on March 1, 2008 at 6:53 AM
If they're coming up from behind me, I'll casually stretch my arms across the queue, requiring them to either go outside the queue line to get by, or plead with me to let them through. Usually, it's "but my friends are up there and they're holding a place for me." I respond with "and I'm holding a place for me, and it's in line." And I don't move.

I've also lined up the kids as a blockade to prevent line passers.

There's really nothing I can do about those who don't come right by me. But those that do, I'll stop.

From now on, though, I'm yelling, "Hey! Wait your turn!" All it takes is one person raising a stink, and several more will join in. That will (hopefully) alert ride crew that they've got a potential riot on their hands, and deal with the offender. If people in line would not tolerate this behavior, it would stop. The line jumpers are counting on people acting like sheep and letting them have their way without resistance. Time to wake up, people. Take back the streets -- and the queues -- by letting these miscreants know that they're no longer going to get an unfair advantage by cutting in line.

From Iris Hernandez on March 1, 2008 at 7:29 AM
AMEN LARRY!!!!! I am not the quiet type and will be the first to say something LOUDLY about it. I do not let them pass me and if they happen to get by for some unknown reason, you better believe I am getting in front of them.

I am a firm believer that if your entire group is not ready to get in line for a ride(like lets say someone needs to go to the bathroom first), then nobody gets in line until they are all ready. If they are really that impatient and do it anyways, oh freakin' well. Not getting by me.
You see, I dont have to report them because i stop it right then and there, humiliate them enough and they will think twice about doing it the next time.

From John Smith on March 1, 2008 at 7:53 AM
oh how i hate line jumpers. when i was a ride operator at SFMM, it happened alot. i would make them get out of line and go to the back of the line if i caught them line jumping. if they got an attitude, i would call security.
From Justin Spisto on March 1, 2008 at 8:22 AM
I Hate the old my friends are holding a pot for me up there. They think they can outsmart me but they can't. Don't let them do it to you either. I just give the old "No can do Pal".
From Joshua Counsil on March 1, 2008 at 10:33 AM
Great topic! I didn't vote, though. Would have chosen "Silently curse them", but I don't do it silently. I agree with Larry about starting a fuss. Once someone grows a pair and tells them off, everyone joins in the chirp-fest.

Great example. When Expedition Everest allows the line in the morning to pour out into Asia (before opening up the internal lines), there's one spot where it's easy to cut in. Since the line appeared monstrous, people were cutting in every few minutes. Nobody seemed to be doing anything, besides grumbling to themselves, until I had seen enough and, um, flipped off a couple who cut in. After that, the throng of people surrounding the couple began chirping them. The couple just stood there, staring at their feet, taking the abuse. No matter how much time it saved them, I'm sure it wasn't worth it.

Now, when it comes to people rejoining their group in line, I don't mind. I sometimes save spots for people, but only if we're still in view to the general public and the group can cross the line without cutting through throngs of people.

From Marcos Raxtun on March 1, 2008 at 12:59 PM
It's true that my friends are always waiting for me. People think its a lie but they really are waiting for me. They always ask me where i was and i always say that people like you guys snitched and told security to kick me out.......bastards. And if i wanted to cut in line, i wouldn't use that excuse, i just push people out of my way. Usually they don't say nothing but when they do i talk back to them and just keep walking. I cant believe they don't call security when i talk bad about them but they do when i am trying to catch up with my friends and family
From Marc Ricketts on March 1, 2008 at 1:36 PM
I once had someone at KBF report ME to security because I wouldn't let her "excuse me" her way past in a line I'd already been in for 15 minutes. She was actually trying to physically pull my hands off the rail to get by. As I'm male and larger, I was smart enough to say nothing more than "the end of the line is back there" and hold on. The one time I had to ride Gadgets Go Coaster at DL (really tried to keep the boy from seeing it-too much wait for 50 seconds) some kids pulled this twice, so I dropped the word to the CM as we boarded. I assume they asked the rest of the queue since we suddenly saw everyone's hand shoot up in the air. I also make the boy come back to join us instead of us passing others if he beats us into the line, although I can cope with people catching up with each other at the beginning of the wait.

Most parks in California specifically prohibit letting someone join you in line, or even leaving and returning to the same spot. If your friends are really waiting for you, they can wait at the ENTRANCE and then you can all enter the line TOGETHER!

From Diane Graebner on March 1, 2008 at 2:10 PM
Most parks prohibit any form of line jumping, including the "my family or friends are up there" ploy. Even if they are up there, they are required by most park policies to come BACK in line to join YOU. The problem with holding places in line for someone else, or having a place held for you, is that the wait times for the attraction are calculated based on a certain number of people in a line at one time. If people are skirting past the line to join friends, they are adding to that posted wait time without the attendant knowing it. So when you get into a line posted at a 20 minute wait but your wait is actually 45 minutes, it's probably because someone (probably a lot of someones) jumped ahead to join their group.
From Claudine Deshaies on March 2, 2008 at 6:07 AM
I try to ignore it and let it slide for the most part. I really want to have fun at a park, so getting mad about it will only help to ruin my day. I have been known to put my arm out when MORE THAN ONE kid says "our friends are already in line".
I have a few times in the past had to get out of line, and since everyone with me didn't get out, I've gotten back in line with them. One person in a party "catching back up" doesn't usually bother me because it doesn't really move you back in the line. (as long as they fit in the same car)
I have a much tougher time with people that bump into you over and over while you are in line with them, sometimes downright pushing against you.
From Robert OGrosky on March 2, 2008 at 9:21 AM
If there is a emlpoyee around I will report it to them, they often that is a waste as little is done and my local SF park (SFGAM) doesnt seem to enforce most policies.

If im with other people we will often try to stop people from skipping, but if they are aggressive I wont get in a fight over it and risk getting thrown out of the park.
If I was running the park I would have people who would be out in the park wearing regular clothes ridding in lines and when they catch line jumpers would remove them from the park immediately!!

From Karan Ogilvie on March 2, 2008 at 12:32 PM
"It's all about me" is the line jumpers mind set. Line jumpers are basically saying that rules (and manners) do not apply to them - they are somehow above everyone else and are "entitled" to cut in front of anyone they choose. And it's not just young people; I've seen parents cut into lines with their whole families, acting like it's their right - they are entitled!

Typically, in a somewhat loud voice, I ask the offending individual if the concept of a line is foreign to them; remind them that the rest of us had to wait our turn and suggest that they return to the end of the line. I'm not angry or nasty - actually the nicer you are the more others around tend to support the action. I have gone as far as to go get a park employee. Sadly, I've had park employees say that they don't get involved, or refuse to do anything.

From AJ Hummel on March 2, 2008 at 9:25 PM
I don't usually mind if it is just one person, especially a kid, that is trying to catch up with their parents and/or friends. But there have been a couple of times when I wouldn't let people pass. Both times were for a low capacity ride where a group (four or more) tried to all jump the line at once. One time, they gave up, while the other time enough others joined in that security came along and threw the whole group out (it was a group of about fifteen summer camp kids with an adult shaperone).
From Rob P on March 3, 2008 at 3:20 AM
Good subject.

I was once saddened and sickened to witness what seemed to be a perfectly able bodied person use the disabled cart to get to the front of the line with about 5 family members or friends in tow.

This may happen quite often. I don't know.

But it'd be a little embarrassing to challenge because you can't be certain. This particular person jumped out of the cart and looked pretty fit to me getting on the ride and there were a few audible groans from people nearer.

The other scam is where you have one person in front of you and the next moment about 15 family members join them.

I'm all for one person getting in line to hold a place but more than 3 0r 4 is too much.

From Jayson Myers on March 4, 2008 at 2:38 PM
This is a hard topic. If they are cutting, report them.


One time we had a youngster run out of line and I had to go track him down. It was a big deal when I was bringing him back to this mom (his dad and I went looking for him). People should just relax. If it is a parent, give them some slack and hope they are not cutting. Teenagers are usually the ones who actually "cut" line.

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