Americans spend a cumulative total of 37 billion hours waiting in line per year. Nobody loves standing in line, especially at a water park, but a bad queue doesn't just bore guests: it leaves them frustrated and ready to leave.
Use the following tips to make any water park line worth waiting in:
Placement: The real trick to maximizing queue efficiency isn't just in reducing wait time, it's in minimizing perceived wait time. In fact, research shows that perception matters just as much as physical wait time. If guests can see they're steadily moving towards an attraction, they'll be more patient to wait as opposed to a shorter wait time with an obscured view. If the visual focal point can't be the ride itself, then we suggest having a captivating view (the big waterslide plunge, perhaps?) to keep the line engaged.
Layout: As counterintuitive as it may seem, it is better to have a single long line rather than two mirroring lines. In fact longer queue lines at 45-degree angles convey direction better than direct vertical or horizontal lines. Setting up lines this way also frees up valuable square footage.
Design: Themed rides balance storytelling with physical experience. Similarly, lines essentially hold guests’ attention captive within a structure, which gives operators the opportunity to make an impact before the ride even begins. Large permanent structures and mechanical elements can be quite expensive, but there are many cost-effective options for operators such as as vivid graphic signs, art, landscaping, and fun flooring (think treasure maps, interesting shapes, and messages).
Comfort: Perceived wait time is also shorter when guests are comfortable. If guests are outside in hot weather, it is especially important to provide shade, and (even better) the occasional spray feature to help beat the heat. A cushioned, slip-resistant, and non-abrasive surface, like Life Floor, can dramatically reduce standing fatigue, keep feet cooler, and minimize slips and falls on ramps, stairs, and walkways.
The reality is, waiting in line can be a drag, but a well-optimized park can reduce frustration and boredom. Less frustration encourages guests to stay longer and experience more of the many amazing attractions your park has to offer, which leads to higher guest satisfaction, returning guests, and money spent inside the park.