Published: January 25, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Is there also a factor in which the length of a waiting line serves as a deterrent to other guests choosing a certain attraction? If so, then any attempt to reduce wait times by packing the raft might be offset somewhat by additional guests entering the queue because it is no longer unattractive.
Robert Niles

Published: January 25, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Actually, to theme park attractions operators the number that's more important than wait time is the hourly count of guests who've gone through the attraction.

If an attraction is hitting close to the number of visitors that it is designed to put through in an hour, operations managers really don't care that much about the wait time - they're putting through everyone they can. If more people than that are showing up, well, there's nothing ops can do about that. (Except make a case for more building attractions, of course!)

The problem is when you're not doing hitting that number, and the number of visitors you're putting through every hour is far below your capacity. That was the problem we had on Tom Sawyer Island with the overloaded rafts - a really low percentage of "theoretical capacity."

So if we hit our highest possible capacity numbers, and that draws people from other attractions or off the street into our queue - fine. We'd rather have a 20-minute wait with us putting through 1,000 people per hour (for example) than a 15-minute wait when putting through only 500. Wait times are only held against operations managers if they're putting through a low percentage of their operating capacity.

Published: January 25, 2010 at 6:58 PM

Well this is a good story. Tell you a story of my own. THis summer I went to hershey park and stayed on the property as a incentive to camp at their camp ground they give you a free shuttle to the aprk every morning. It started to rain on the way back to camp. everyone was running to the bus and trying to get on it. The driver of the bus decides to overload the bus by putting little kids on parents laps so that would free empty seats. This meant that he got more people on the bus and he overloaded this bus probably almost twice the limit because then those families that were extra put kids on laps and that fit even more on this bus. Bottom line is overlading is good in some ways expecially in bad weather.