The impact of the virtual queue on the park experience

Edited: August 28, 2021, 10:06 AM

The incorporation of the queue layout into the overall experience of a ride or show does have a direct impact for the guests, since it can begin the immersive Journey into connecting with the mesagge of the attraction ( enviromental like in the casé of the Kali river rápids in animal kingdom ) on just " the vibe" of being in an strange but fascinanting place like the Himalayas, looking for a mytical creature ( like in Expedition Everest also in AK). Some times it is not only the setting, but also part of the story itself, making You decode Hidden mesagges that warn You of the dangers ahead ( like in the Indiana Jones ride in Disneyland ).
Now those queue cost money and time to produce, and also take physical space.
I personally love them, the more elaborated and themed the better.
Now from the operacional point of view these queue lines are meant to absorb people and free the park pathways and have better crowd flow, so they can go to other rides and shows around the park.
But since this parks are business, managment want this costumers also going to eat and shop within the park, increasing revenue per cápita.
Hello boarding groups and virtual queue's.
The Main reasoning is that if You are NOT in line, and NOT in a ride or a show, You should be doing something besides contemplating landscaping or admiring structures ( altough some are very happy to do so ). They think " go to a shop, eat something".
But this kills the Main porpouse of this beatiful queue line desing.
So having more and more of new and popular attractions designated for virtual lines only affects My park experience. I AM missing ( somewhat ) a part of the immersion, which is a shame in a THEME park. Also in waiting a bit in line You can talk to Your family and Friends, which also improves the social net of the experience. And since this parks can get expensive ( specially if there is only one or Two working members of the family to provide income), there is only so much You can spend. I understand the benefits of virtual queue for the money stand point but for My experience, Classics queue desing is the way to go. What do You think???

Replies (7)

August 28, 2021, 11:33 AM

I don't think virtual queues will have an impact on the quality of a queue. Creative teams will still strive to make queues fun and immersive.

I think Disney should adopt Universal's method of a virtual queue where the line has to fill up to a certain degree for the attraction to then set over to a virtual queue. Hagrid's and, to a certain extend, Secret Life of Pets do a good job at this.

Edited: August 30, 2021, 8:47 AM

I have absolutely no problem with the way most parks are implementing virtual queues. They are a huge benefit for both guests and the parks. Guests are not held captive by queues for hours on end and are free to roam, eat, or even experience other attractions, while parks don't have to manage and maintain/clean queues designed to hold hours-long lines of people while getting those people circulating throughout the park and spending money.

From a thematic perspective, most virtual queues are only used to truncate the physical queue and don't bypass critical thematic elements. Sure, guests are not spending tons of time staring at stuff in a queue trying to find ways to be entertained (stumbling upon "hidden" features of the queue planted by designers or just staring at their phones), but missing that time in a physical line rarely detract from the overall experience. Also, guests who have been on an attraction dozens of times, don't need to spend an hour or more in a themed queue in order to put themselves in the attraction's story like a guest that's never ridden before.

Now, if a virtual queue was designed in a way where guests bypass the traditional themed queue and walk straight to the loading platform of the attraction, that would be a poor use of the technology. However, the only recent example of this I've seen recently is the single rider line for MFSR, and even there, guests bypassing the traditional lines still spend a few minutes in the Falcon's grouping lounge before boarding the ride.

September 1, 2021, 8:39 AM

If used properly, virtual queues should not detract from these elaborate queues that were previously created. What virtual queues should cut down on is the long line that occurs just to get into the actual ride queue.

Using Flight of Passage as an example, currently a 3 hour actual wait time will have you standing outside the attraction queue for 1.5 to 2 hours. It is only in that last 1-1.5 hours that you actually step inside the cave, walk through the bioluminescent area, and finally get to the highlight of the queue, that being the lab.

September 3, 2021, 9:40 PM

Virtual queues, in my opinion, will have no effect on the quality of a queue. Queues will continue to be made enjoyable and immersive by creative teams. I believe Disney should implement Universal's virtual queue system, in which the line must fill up to a specific point before the attraction switches to a virtual queue. super mario bros

September 29, 2021, 5:41 AM

When we had room key fast passes at Universal we only used them in extreme long wait circumstances because we felt something was definitely missing from the experience by walking straight onto the attractions.
The whole waiting in line experience is something to be savoured. It sets up the theming of the ride so by the time you actually get on you're immersed in that theme and , I think, get far more out of it.
Times are changing, of course, and it's getting harder to be spontaneous with a lot of things having to be pre-planned , booked beforehand, virtual queues with no interaction with other guests in anticipation of whatever your queuing for etc
Sometimes change can be a bad thing. It remains to be seen if Disney's latest moves will be successful. Perhaps they will but I personally will miss being able to ride attractions on a whim rather than having had to plan ahead.

September 30, 2021, 4:24 AM

I usually like to go to theme parks a lot, but it's my favorite thing to study everything closely, I think I wouldn't want them to be virtual. basketballlegends

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