Single Riders: Solving the capacity problem?

Toy Story Playland in the Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris

We love the magic of Disneyland Paris; the moments shared in Europe’s number one tourist destination last a lifetime. But being the most popular tourist destination comes at a price – Queues! Capacity has long been a problem for Disneyland Paris, just how do you fill capacity when the numbers just don’t add up? For a long time the answer was to shout down the queue line “Une personne seule?” (One Person). This works to a limited extent, firstly you are hoping the Cast Member can project their voice enough so that the one person can hear them; secondly you are hoping the person understands French as this request is rarely repeated in other languages and finally you hope that they are willing to “skip” the queue. Does this work? Undoubtedly not.

New Crush Coaster Entrance in the Walt Disney Studios Park

Since 2011 and the launch of Toy Story Playland’s Single Rider lines, Disneyland Paris have seemingly found a way to solve the problem. Single Rider Lines. Disneyland Paris was not the Disney park to use this style of queue. In fact it was in each Disney resort in the world before heading to Disneyland Paris. The single rider phenomenon is certainly not unique to Disney either, all the major theme park brands in the world use it; and why not? It works. In Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, single rider lines were launched upon the reopening of the Splash Mountain attraction after a refurbishment in May 2002. The refurbishment changed logs from a traditional log flume to a series of five individual seats. It was around the same time that several other attractions in the resort upgraded to include these alternative queues. The advantage is simple – A family of four queues for Splash Mountain; you could either send the boat off with four people, or you could send it off full and hit capacity goals. The response was simple and guests can enjoy, what is usually, a shorter wait. Single Rider queues also exist in Walt Disney World in Test Track (both the old and newer versions) at Epcot and upon the 2006 launch of Expedition Everest in the Animal Kingdom and for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom
“Expedition Everest” by Benjamin D. Esham (bdesham) – Taken by bdesham with a Canon PowerShot S3.. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0-us via Wikimedia Commons

Over in the Asian Parks, Hong Kong Disneyland became the first Magic Kingdom park to include single rider lines on its opening day and was (and still is!) the  only Space Mountain attraction to feature a queue for single riders. The park currently has single rider queue lines for Space Mountain, Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop and Big Grizzly Runaway Mine Cars. Its Asian cousin: Tokyo Disney Resort has three Single Rider enabled attractions: Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull and Raging Spirits. In reality here, Disneyland Paris was over ten years behind on launching these new queue lines. But the future is bright as park management have committed to adding a single rider queue line to one attraction each year – this could co-incide with the rumoured ride updates that we will receive between now and 2017.

Toy Story Playland in the Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris

2010 and the Walt Disney Studios Park had a brand new addition; Toy Story Playland. This out-of-the-box fairground experience has won guests over with its enchanting theming and fun rides. But little did we know that what was just around the corner would usher in something brand new and exciting. 2011 and it had arrived. Single Rider queue lines. Disneyland Paris had finally opened up the chance to unlock full capacity riders and guests lapped up the chance to slash their waiting times simply by experiencing the ride alone. 2013 and Crush Coaster, which for a long time had run failed FastPass experiments, joined the party with a trial of the Single Rider scheme. It was a success. Crush’s Coaster is the single most problematic ride concerning capacity in the resort, FastPass ended up extending queue times for everybody; what the single rider queue achieves here is maximising that capacity. A family of three joins the queue, for a four person shell, the single rider takes up the extra space. Simple? Wrong – the problem with Crush’s issue is almost the opposite to that previously mentioned of Splash Mountain in Disneyland Resort. A common European family size is four. There lies the problem and that is why Crush’s Coaster, whilst needs to be applauded for the single rider queue, has a long queue with not many people in it. Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy is the turning point for Disneyland Paris on this topic, the first attraction where Single Riders have not just been an after thought, but part of the design. What’s more, it’s working perfectly. The high-capacity of the ride mixed with the number of people per Ratmobile has seen single rider queue times, even at the busiest points of the day rarely hit over forty minutes, and is often at five minutes. A real success for people who just want to get on it and quickly.

The big question is: Do Single-Rider queues solve the capacity problem? Undoubtedly, yes. Do guests enjoy shorter waits? In most circumstances, yes. There are exceptions however. Earlier this Summer, Disneyland Paris introduced a single rider queue to Crush Coaster – has this been a success? Yes, but queue times are still rather higher, shaving only around 10 minutes off the standby queue. Elsewhere the system has been a success, Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop sees a drastic saving of time – up to thirty minutes – and RC Racer sees a shorter queue as well. The big success at Disneyland Paris is Ratatouille where up to 80-90 minutes can be shaved from the standby wait. In every case the capacity issue is solved as attractions can run to as close to 100% capacity as possible.

La Place de Rémy in Disneyland Paris

Single Rider queues have revolutionised the Disney theme park experience, not just for guests, but from a business sense. A ride that runs at near 100% capacity makes business sense and costs less, parks may also market these single rider queues as taking less time indicating a win-win situation for the parks. I look forward to seeing more of these queues entering Disneyland Paris in the years to come.

Since writing this article, Disneyland Paris have shown some members of the fan media a game which will be playable in the Queue line of Crush Coaster. This game will be activated via a special WiFi network in the queue and will allow guests to explore 5 levels of a game allowing guests to have a more pleasant queue experience. This could be the future for attractions with longer queues and allow for a more agreeable queue for all with guests being distracted on their phones.

[expand title=”Bibliography” tag=”p”]

Disneyland

http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/14771-quick-question-what-rides-have-single-rider-lines-dl-dca.html

http://www.themeparkinsider.com/news/response.cfm?ID=500

Tokyo Disney

http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/archive/index.php/t-66964.html

Hong Kong

http://www.themeparkreview.com/hkdl/hkdl2.htm

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Crush’s Coaster: The Game launches soon in Disneyland Paris

New Crush Coaster Entrance in the Walt Disney Studios Park

A new game has launched in the Crush’s Coaster queue line in Disneyland Paris. This game seems to offer you a new interactive Disney experience whilst waiting in line for one of Disneyland Paris’ most popular attractions.

This simple game sees guests operating as Crush and moving him by using their finger on their mobile device. Access to the game is via a WiFi network named ‘DLRPCrush’, once connected you will be redirected to a dedicated webpage in which you will have access to the game. The following is information directly from Disneyland Paris as to the aims of the game and how it all works:

What is it about?
Crush’s Coaster, the Game is an interactive mobile game for smartphone and tablet, available in French and English. Visitors do not need to download the game on their smartphone or tablet, they directly play from their web browser.

What is the purpose of the game?
The mission is to help Crush become the best surfer in the East Australian current and avoid obstacles while gathering a maximum of starfish.

The program includes 5 levels with increasing difficulty and between each level, riddles to solve with their family or friends.

In level 1, Crush has to reach 4000 points to get to the next level. The player has to avoid boulders and running speed in the game area is very slow.

In level 2, Crush has to reach 9000 points to get to the next level. The player has to avoid jellyfish and running speed in the game area is slow.

In level 3, Crush has to reach 15000 points to get to the next level. The player has to avoid mines and running speed in the game area is average.

In level 4, Crush has to reach 22000 points to get to the next level. The player has to avoid sharks and running speed in the game area is fast.

In level 5, there is no limit of achievable points; the player has to make a maximum of points possible until he touches a foe or an obstacle. All foes and obstacles are present in this level and running speed is going faster and faster.

When will the game be available?
Crush’s Coaster, the Game will be available in September 2014.

Where can visitors play?
Visitors can play at Crush’s Coaster, the Game exclusively in the covered exterior waiting line of Crush’s Coaster ride thanks to a free Wi-Fi network.

Do we charge for the game?
The game and the connection to the Wi-Fi network are completely free for all visitors.

Is it possible to navigate on the Internet with the Wi-Fi network?
The Wi-Fi network is exclusively dedicated to the connection to Crush’s Coaster, the Game.

Also included in this release were some images of the game in action:

The game sounds simply enough to play and should provide a distraction to guests in the Crush’s Coaster queue line – is this the start of a new generation in Disneyland Paris queue line interactivity? This is possibly a simpler, cheaper option than to create truly interactive queue lines whilst offering an element of interactivity. Either way, this is a step forward for Disneyland Paris. It is perhaps a step towards park-wide WiFi, but not the sort of WiFi we were expecting. In a queue such as Crush which is devoid of any form of interest until guests enter the interior queue area, this can only be seen as a good thing; however, what we do not need in Disneyland Paris are phone zombies. The parks are a family destination – would mobile games kill family interaction? We already see this in homes across the world, why should Disneyland Paris be any different? What we really do not need is phone screen lights lighting up queue lines in Pirates of the Caribbean. Though perhaps this is a move that will liven out exterior queue areas?

The only way to see if this is going to be a success is to go to Disneyland Paris, stand in the queue and observe people – this you will be able to do when the game begins testing in September 2014 at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris.

Anna and Elsa to star in a magical Disneyland Paris Christmas.

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year at Disneyland Paris; and despite it only being late August, the first official details are beginning to emerge. After last year’s Frozen focused Christmas season, the Arendelle sisters are returning to deliver one of Disney’s most spectacular Christmases ever.

As of yet, there is no press release, however the Disneyland Paris website details a few pieces of information about the season:-

Town Square with Christmas Tree in Disneyland Paris

Celebrate amid snow-kissed splendour

Dazzling decorations and Disney Characters offer the warmest of season’s greetings, while the glowing star atop our giant tree grants Magical Christmas Wishes all season long.

Whilst this is mostly marketing-speak for the fact that the park will be decorated and special Disney Character meets will be on the agenda, we do learn that Magical Christmas Wishes is, unsurprisingly, returning this year. The show was a beautiful mix of light and sound delivering the message of Christmas in a near perfect way. The show is short but sweet as Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket narrate a show that is much more than a tree lighting ceremony. 

Catch a festive flight of fancy

Be dazzled as our nighttime spectacular takes a seasonal twist to become Disney Dreams®! of Christmas and find the Frozen princesses illuminated amid its incredible fantasy.

As if you needed any further confirmation, Disney Dreams! of Christmas will be returning after its beautiful first year of operation. The show, which features the OSCAR award winning Let It Go by Idina Menzel, will be performed nightly at park closing time. Marvel as the sounds of Christmas fill the air on Main Street USA and sing along as your favourite Christmas songs come to life. 

Olaf during Disney Dreams! of Christmas

Disney’s Christmas Parade snowballs in size

The season’s biggest parade just got bigger – and tastier! Join this Christmas Celebration as Santa, Mickey and a stocking full of Disney stars flood the street with extra performers and an incredible new Sugar and Spice float.

The Disney Christmas Parade replaces Disney Magic on Parade! for the Christmas season, this parade features a variety of Christmas scenes and characters in festive attire. The magic of Christmas is intensified by the delightfully jolly Christmas music filling the air. The extra Sugar and Spice float will feature Chip and Dale and should take on a food theme. One could only hope that the Frozen sisters can find their way into the parade to provide a beautiful Christmas moment to all their fans. 

The Christmas Cavalcade has a history of including many dancers and performers and to be promised even more points to an even more magical parade experience. Let’s hope that it is multiple times a day, a real draw for the current cavalcade.

 

ALL NEW – Brush up your etiquette for brand new royal encounters

Practice your curtsies for the Princess Promenade and enjoy the first-ever audience with Anna and Elsa from Frozen as they hold court at the Princess Pavilion.

Here is the BIG new addition at Disneyland Paris, following the huge success of Frozen meet-and-greets in American Disney parks, they finally arrive at Disneyland Paris to meet their loyal fans. The Princess Promenade sounds like an exciting event that should allow guests to see all their favourite Disney princesses in front of the castle permitting everyone to enjoy seeing the princesses and take photos of them in a magical location. Anna and Elsa will then go to the Princess Pavilion to meet their fans. We can expect huge queues here as the popular princesses meet-and-greet for, what one would hope to be, the entire day. Expect 3+ hour queues if Rapunzel during the Spring season is anything to go by.

Get snapped with some Disney Christmas stars

Catch up with Santa in his very own chalet* for a photo together before cuddling up to other Christmas-loving Disney Characters, like Minnie and Jack Skellington**, clad in their festive finery.

* Only until December 25th 2014
** from Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas ©Disney

Finally, the confirmation (as if it were needed) that Santa will return along with other Disney Characters in their festive attire. Which is always a beautiful moment to share between families.

Source: DisneylandParis.co.uk

UPDATE: PREPARE FOR MERIDA! 

Disneyland Paris have confirmed that Merida will be meeting near Casey’s Corner in a specially created decor. This will mark Merida’s first ever appearance at Disneyland Paris and proves that this Christmas is certainly not one to be missed.

And check out our Christmas Tracker keeping track of all the Christmas news in bite-size form between now and November 9th