Author: Peter Blesgraaf
Abstract: Wander is a theme-park waiting-system that was designed to provide visitors with a more positive and engaging experience of waiting for rides (e.g., rollercoasters or water rides). Instead of requiring visitors to wait in a physical queue, the system makes use of a virtual queue system. Visitors enter a waiting area belonging to a specific theme park ride and receive a pager. This pager is hung around the neck, and starts beeping, buzzing and flashing when it is time to enter the ride. Until that happens, visitors can freely roam the waiting area and engage in various activities that are related to the ride, such as playgrounds and interactive installations. For example, the waiting area for a water ride can include water sprayers that are used to spray people in the ride. The pager functions as a token that activates the sprayers for a limited time, making sure many different people get a chance to use them. It is important that these installations fit the theme of the ride itself. For example, an Aztec ride has an altar to activate the statue of a deity, reflecting the theme of the ride in appearance and operation. The area also includes facilities to fulfill practical needs, such as vending machines and bathrooms. Even these practical facilities should convey the atmosphere and story of the specific ride theme. In addition to providing visitors with more freedom and the ability to fulfill practical needs during their wait, the design enriches the total theme park experience by helping visitors get into the mood for the ride they are about to enter.
Link to Article: 2014-v3-08-Blesgraff-QueueDesign