Theme Park of the Day: Knott's Berry Farm

Vote of the week: Over, under, around or through?

July 26, 2013, 8:43 AM · File this under "First World theme park problems."

You've lucked out and are enjoying a day in a nearly-empty theme park. The crowd's so much lighter than expected that the parks' employees haven't had the chance (or bothered) to take down the serpentine queue chains blocking your path to an attraction's entrance.

Empty queue

What do you do?

Do you go around the chains, like an obedient theme park visitor, wasting time walking back and forth on your way into the ride? Or do you take a shortcut?

If you opt for a more direct route, do you swing your leg up over the chain to climb over it, or do you hunch down and scooch under to make your way toward the entrance?

Or, do you take the "former theme park employee" option and just start unclasping chain lengths to open a direct route by yourself? It's Vote of the Week time.

I have a feeling that one's answer to this question probably reveals something about our approach to much more than just visiting theme parks. Debate away in the comments, and, as always, thank you for reading and spreading the word about Theme Park Insider.

Replies (18)

July 26, 2013 at 8:57 AM · I voted for go over it, but I always check when I do this to make sure I am not by-passing someone who has chosen to go through it. I have been tempted many times to re-arrange it, but then I think I might be causing the cast members unneeded problems (perhaps it was set up that way on purpose), so I just step over.
July 26, 2013 at 9:23 AM · Just walk through it, for several reasons, (1) It really won't take you very long (2) I'm not lazy (3) Setting a good example for my kids and (4) it's like a labyrinth with a fun ending :) Not a big deal
July 26, 2013 at 9:35 AM · I will unchain it, walk through and replace it the way I found it. It is not my job, so I don't feel that a guest should "rearrange" the path.
July 26, 2013 at 9:40 AM · I'm short, so it's easier (and safer) to go under rather than risk tripping.
July 26, 2013 at 10:00 AM · It depends on the height of the chains. Sometimes we go over, sometimes we go under and sometimes we go through - but we NEVER go around.
July 26, 2013 at 10:05 AM · I go under, mainly for 2 reasons:

1 - I am short
2 - I am clumsy

I want to ride the ride, not fall and break my face then take an ambulance ride.

July 26, 2013 at 10:52 AM · I had a similar experience at Six Flags New England last Saturday. The ride queue for Bizarro was very short and while there were no chains in the area, there were a number of metal partitions (I'm sure there's a name for them but I can't think what it is) which served as barricades. The first couple of times I bent down and ducked under several of them to enter the ride; after that I got tired of doing this, as my back isn't in the greatest of shape anyway, and went the long way following the entire path to the stairway for the loading station.
July 26, 2013 at 11:23 AM · I also will unchain, walk through, and re-attach the chains after the last person in my group goes through. I know that the queues are for large numbers of guests visiting that attraction, but if there is no line and I re-attach the chains before entering the ride, what's the problem?

Terry Caldwell
Lakewood, California

July 26, 2013 at 11:29 AM · I go over the chain, only because I have long legs. But if I'm with my kids, we'll go through it, and make it a game, a race. I've been tempted to rearrange the chain, but I also teach my kids to not play with the chain, so that sets a bad example to them. There is nothing worse than being smacked with a chain while standing in a line.
July 26, 2013 at 11:43 AM · I'm a rearranger, but only in parks where I know the queue is shortened on slow days. I won't mess with a queue in a park that I'm visiting for the first time or a queue that typically doesn't get shortened, and will instead walk the length (it's good exercise afterall). While in some instances the chains may be there because there weren't enough employees to adjust them or they just forgot, while in other instances, those chains may be in place deliberately for big crowds expected later in the day or they just don't want to continuously adjust the chains...I like to do my part when visiting a theme park to make it a better place. I even find myself picking up trash or moving a bottle from the trash to the recycling at park I visit frequently.
July 26, 2013 at 12:22 PM · I've done all the choices. If latch is simple, I unhook it and walk through. If chain is high, I go under. If chain is low, I swing legs over. If 'long' way is not too long, I just walk the cattle chute. Never, though, do I cut in front of people walking the long way in front of me. If someone cuts in front of me, I just walk past them until I get to my rightful place in line. I don't rearrange it ever.
July 26, 2013 at 1:16 PM · Too out of shape to duck under.

To out of shape to step over.

I'll un-hook and re-attach chains if it's an option.

Usually I'll walk.

July 26, 2013 at 1:38 PM · I usually go around it... it's only a few seconds "lost" and I'm in decent shape so the extra steps aren't too bad. But sometimes, I just unhook and go through, but I make sure I rehook it.

I won't jump over or do the pro wrestling walk over anymore! I've biffed it too many times under estimating the height! If I go under, it's to do a "limbo limbo rock" type of thing!

July 26, 2013 at 5:42 PM · Over is out of the question because it's impossible to do it with a wheelchair. Around is my last option. Either under or through. Hey, Shrek chose through ;^)
July 26, 2013 at 7:19 PM · Actually I think the answer to this question says more about your height/leg length/clumsiness. I'm short and I have an easier time ducking under rather than hiking a leg over queue ropes.
July 26, 2013 at 11:02 PM · If it's a chain that is easy to remove, I'll unhook it, step past, and replace it as it was. Otherwise, I just walk through the switchbacks. I only climb over or duck under when it is a significant shortcut and the rest of my group is doing it. I will not line jump anyone, however, so if someone in front of me goes around I will follow them.
July 27, 2013 at 10:02 AM · 30 seconds of annoyance isnt worth the risk of some jobsworth security guard deciding I'm queue jumping.
July 27, 2013 at 3:40 PM · There is one queue I loathe. The Batman ride in Saint Louis has this long annoying high fenced winding path that goes through a park. It is not until you get into the "junk Yard" area that the fence turns to pipe framing.

From there occasionally you find some gaps with chains you can remove. Somewhere along the line they added a new part of the queue under the loading platform which they created because people would avoid the queue at all costs when they saw the line in the park. Not knowing how long the line really is behind the wall that hides the junk yard area.

There was a shortcut put in for folks in wheelchairs to go through the line like everyone else then hit the cut thru and go up the ramps that make the exit. people abused the cut through to bypass the main queue and re-ride so much that they got rid of it.

I am guilty of using that shortcut but only on slow days. Not when the line was beyond that point even if only by a few people. I would exit and then return.

Can I share another pet peeve that has cropped up a lot in my local park. There are countless rides that have now closed/boarded up booth from when the rides had on-board cameras for pictures. So, now you still have to walk through these areas as you exit which in my opinion is just lame. At the very least, turn it into a souvenir stand for that ride.

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