The Technology Behind Reducing Ride Wait Times at Amusement Parks

Each year over 270 million people visit theme parks around the world. Visitors are all looking to have a good time and escape for a little bit but is the integration of mobile devices taking away from that?

As technology evolves it makes it easier for visitors to access information and park operators are incorporating this into their daily operations. According to amusement and theme parks are forecasted to generate $22 billion in 2019 and it is expected to continue rising. With this type of revenue, it’s no wonder park operators want to stay on top of visitor trends and give them a great experience.

ride wait time technologyOne of the biggest hurdles that amusement parks are faced with is the never-ending ride wait times. Most people have waited in an hour-long ride line for a 30 second ride at one point in their life but park operators are looking to do away with that.

Understanding the amount of visitor traffic going through a park and specifically through the ride wait lines is key to tackling the problem. People counting sensors, such as the SenSource people counting systems, are one way of determining the visitor traffic levels. These sensors are able to reliably and accurately count the number of people in a queue line allowing operators to post signage alerting visitors about their anticipated wait time. Park management has also taken things a step further and they offer different forms of entertainment while visitors stand in line. Some parks post videos and games for visitors to watch as they work their way through the line while others send characters over to distract visitors and ease their wait.

Large theme parks such as Disney and Universal Studios have implemented RFID bands that serve as a visitor’s ticket, as well as, their form of payment throughout the park and their way of skipping out on lines. According to the recent article by Knowledge@Wharton, When Fun Goes Digital: Creating the Theme Park of the Future, these bands allow visitors to sign up for certain rides at a specific time and they are able to show up just in time for the ride and bypass the entire waiting line. Certain rides are even able to detect each individual and offer different experiences for each person. Utilizing RFID also allows visitors to be notified if a ride is going to be available at an earlier time than they anticipated.

Another option amusement parks are starting to look at is utilizing mobile devices for any ticketing and ride time scheduling, this allows visitors to schedule rides at their leisure. When surveyed visitors, 67% of respondents said they were interested in seeing increased mobile integration and that it would improve their experience. As amusement and theme parks look to the future, they are also looking at airports and their self-service kiosk technology. Some parks hope to offer a similar kiosk system at the front entrance, according to Mental Floss in their recent article 5 Educated Predictions for the Future of Amusement Parks.

For the time being, amusement and theme parks are going to continue to tackle the hurdle of ride wait times but there are many options available for them to try and reduce the stress. If you’re looking to learn more about the foot traffic in your park on a daily basis or learn more about the length of time visitors are waiting in your ride lines contact a member of the SenSource sales team to see what options are available to you.

Learn more about how other amusement and theme parks are utilizing people counting systems in these articles:

Theme Park Trends to Thrill Your Guests

Amusement Parks Focusing on Visitor Experience

3 Ways to Give Your Guests the Ultimate Experience at Your Theme Park


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