Can a ride or attraction operate with zero queues? Unlimited Leisure thinks so. In 2018 it intends to prove it when a new system called TheExperienceTicket goes live in Oman.
Merlin CEO Nick Varney‘s statement at IAAPA Attractions Expo that queuing is still the number one guest complaint was music to the ears of Peter Rødbro. The Danish founder of TheExperienceTicket has teamed up with Unlimited Leisure from the Netherlands to adds its ticketing and queue reservation system to the company’s TapeMyDay visitor video system. All three will be offered as an integrated system at the upcoming Snow Park in Oman. The indoor winter sports facility, developed by Unlimited Snow at the Palm Mall in Muscat, will open later next year.
Using a smartphone, visitors will be able to pre-book entry tickets and reserve slots on rides, shows, restaurants and more. As they do so, they will be asked for their age and height, to detemine applicable ride restrictions. All the data will be crunched by TheExperienceTicket’s complex algorithm to produce a personalised itinerary for each family/group.
“Guests can decide everything, except in what order to ride,” says Rødbro. “That’s because our system calculates the optimal route between rides, ensuring they run at full capacity during all operating hours.”
Increasing ride capacity
The company believes it can increase ride capacity by 15 per cent. This will be achieved by maximising missed capacity in the morning and before closing time. It may not necessarily suit all venues to have a queue-free system, however. Therefore the operator can choose the number of rides covered and how much capacity it allocates for each ride, for example 30%.
If a park wants a zero queue set up for all guests,” says Rødbro, “then all rides in the park are covered and set to 100% of capacity. That will be the case in Snow Park. In the case of Ocean Park and other parks where we did trials, not all rides were covered.”
Operators of course are free to decide whether they want to offer the system at their venues for free. They may they prefer to create a new revenue stream by charging guests a fee to use it. Those visitors that choose not to book in advance can still create an itinerary on-site at the venue. However, they cannot be guaranteed specific slots on rides and attractions. Visitors can also do attractions outside their Itineraries and timeslots if the ride is free and there is no queue.
Taking care of the guest journey at Snow Park
From booking tickets, guiding them through their day, and then providing them with a personalised souvenir to take home, Unlimited Leisure plans to take care of the entire guest journey at Snow Park.
The accompanying TapeMyDay offer provides automatically generated high-resolution films. Favourite moments are highlighted, recorded and mixed with pre-recorded stock footage. Venues can add a commercial message for marketing purposes. Full 1080p movies can be downloaded at home or on any mobile device. Shorter clips in 780p are available for immediate sharing. The highly automated system requires 10% of the staff needed by traditional attraction photography providers. According to Unlimited Leisure CEO Kees Albers, return on investment is provided in one year on average.
It will be interesting to watch the roll out of both TheExperienceTicket and TapeMyDay when Snow Park opens next year in Oman. When it comes to queuing, could this Dutch company finally have found the Holy Grail?