Wait Tracking System

April 21, 2016, 8:52 AM

I'm curious what park-goers use to view wait times at parks where this information is not already tracked (such as Disney). I'm currently working on a website which aims to do this very thing via user submissions. I've seen some attempts to do this in the past but they have failed due to lack of user input. So I'm going to try and get the word out about my attempt and hopefully it will stick!

CoasterQueue - More Fun Less Wait

Replies (7)

April 21, 2016, 2:30 PM

The major issue is a site like Touring Plans always has users inside of Disney, Universal, etc. With an SF or CF park there aren't enough people to submit waits inside the park.

April 21, 2016, 3:21 PM

I'm not sure I can believe that...Just a quick google got me here: http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/entertainment/kings-island-cedar-point-top-parks-for-attendance/nYN72/

It does show that Disney vs CP/KI pulls in over 5 times the amount of visitors in a year. However CP/KI is only open about 5 months of the year so just rough math that comes out to be around 20 thousand visitors on average per day. If I could get just 10% of those people to be dedicated to putting in wait times while at parks I think that would cover the popular rides which people care about. The hard part is visibility... I need people to know this is out there!

April 21, 2016, 4:09 PM

@josh_f07
You are right. If we all knew we would all use it. Touringplans.com is only used by >1% of Disney/Universal guests. But it took over 20 years to get there.

Edited: April 21, 2016, 11:54 PM

Honestly, this is an idea that would have been very good five years ago but is now nearly irrelevant. Almost every major theme park now has an official app, and a majority of them offer wait time tracking (Disney and Universal have had it for a while, and I know Cedar Fair added it this year...I think Six Flags did as well). For the most part, a park's official app is likely to be more accurate than a user input monitoring system. There's just too much potential for users to input fake wait times and people tend to guess rather than actually time the line.

If you want to try this, I suggest you post about it on every site that is even remotely connected to Cedar Fair or Six Flags. I also suggest you include all attractions in your listings rather than just the headliners (take a look at what the Ride Hopper app lists and include those). Also, find out what parks do not offer wait time tracking in their app and add those parks to your site. You can ignore small parks, but you really need to feature every major and mid-size park in a region (in this case, the United States) in order to gain usage. Lastly, keep your expectations in check...10% is a fine goal, but the chance you will ever achieve that is astronomically low. I would consider 1% a complete success for something like this.

April 22, 2016, 6:32 AM

Yeah I agree with you. I'm a bit late to the party. A number I would be curious to see is how many people really utilize the parks apps. Excluding Disney, the official parks apps have been pretty lackluster. Six flags and Cedar Fair are in the process of adding wait times to their apps but its limited at the moment (six flags is only doing it for season pass holders, and not all CF parks have the feature yet). Ridehopper on android did terrible from a user reviews standpoint mainly due to lack of data.

I can see two benefits from my approach: First, if I get good user support data would be more fresh than those input by park operators (unless they automate the process like disney which I doubt they will). Second you don't have to install another application.

The ultimate goal would be to find a way to automate this process such that ride times can be updated without active user input. I did a research paper on this back in college and this is hopefully the beginning of that process. However, working a normal job and doing this only in my spare time has led to EXTREMELY slow movement.

Edited: April 22, 2016, 9:18 AM

Universal does not have an official app for the Hollywood park. It only has one for Orlando. You should try programming an iPhone app for USH. There is a free app for USH that is not updated with some recent attractions like Forbidden Journey. Maybe try there first.

You should forget about the Orlando market. There is too much competition there. Too many excellent wait apps.

No one is going to edit a website. You need an convenient app for a smartphone that can be instantly updated in the parks.

Mousewait is a terrific app that lists wait times for both Disneyland and California Adventure. It also lists wait times for restaurants. Look it up if you want an idea of the perfect app. Disneyland's own app is pretty good too and it allows you to include your admission ticket and PhotoPass Code. You almost don't need anything else unless its Mousewait.

SeaWorld has its own good wait app, but the lines are not that long usually so I don't use it much. Maybe try doing apps for the minor parks like Knott's and LEGOLAND.

May 20, 2016, 7:07 PM

So I do currently have a few smaller parks setup in my app. Basically I have all US parks owned by Cedar Fair and Six Flags. I was also able to tie my website into the API that Cedar Fairs mobile apps use to pull ride wait time information. So I am getting a feed from them in addition to user submitted times.

CoasterQueue - More Fun Less Wait

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