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CharleyTheDinosaur

How accurate are the wait time signs?

45 posts in this topic

I've never paid attention really. Most of the time when I go its short lines or walk on so most of the wait times signs say 15 minutes. Has anybody here ever actually kept track? Also, how are the different times determined? Just something I've always wondered.

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Are you talking about the signs which have an arrow that is supposed to indicate the current wait time? I've never given credence to those signs... the arrows often specify a fairly long wait time even when the ride has no wait at all, or at least that's been my experience. It seems like they are rarely correct when I am there, so I just ignore them.

(But maybe they are actually used on crowded weekend days? I guess if properly utilized, those signs could be helpful for visitors unfamiliar with the park.)

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Are you talking about the signs which have an arrow that is supposed to indicate the current wait time? I've never given credence to those signs... the arrows often specify a fairly long wait time even when the ride has no wait at all, or at least that's been my experience. It seems like they are rarely correct when I am there, so I just ignore them.

(But maybe they are actually used on crowded weekend days? I guess if properly utilized, those signs could be helpful for visitors unfamiliar with the park.)

Yeah the signs with the arrows. I usually don't pay attention to them because I've been going long enough that I can tell just by looking at the line and how many trains are running on the ride. I went with someone who doesn't frequent amusement parks and they lived and died by those signs. It got a little annoying to be honest.

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Are you talking about the signs which have an arrow that is supposed to indicate the current wait time? I've never given credence to those signs... the arrows often specify a fairly long wait time even when the ride has no wait at all, or at least that's been my experience. It seems like they are rarely correct when I am there, so I just ignore them.

(But maybe they are actually used on crowded weekend days? I guess if properly utilized, those signs could be helpful for visitors unfamiliar with the park.)

Yeah the signs with the arrows. I usually don't pay attention to them because I've been going long enough that I can tell just by looking at the line and how many trains are running on the ride. I went with someone who doesn't frequent amusement parks and they lived and died by those signs. It got a little annoying to be honest.

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A big drawback to said signs is the fact that they can be easily manipulated by simply turning a dial on the back of the sign. I have seen many a teenager change the signs all over the park. If the park wanted to get an accurate wait time, they would do what parks like Disney do and give random people in line a necklace w a plastic card, in which is embedded a chip. When reaching the front, the card is scanned and wait times are updated accordingly.

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One time I was at Cedar Point going on the mine ride, at the entrance it said thirty minute wait at this point and nobody was at the point, took us about 10 minutes to get on the ride.

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The wait times aren't as accurate, just a bit of a guess. I prefer the wait sign a frames at Cedar Point as those aren't so easily manipulated. Anyways when the rides get full queues are a good way for us to estimate the queue time. For instance corkscrew two train op had about a 1hr 30 min queue full, Gatekeeper has a 2hr 30min-3hr queue depending on final queue/stairs/station. Same thing for rides at KI, full queues allow you to figure out max wait time, then just divide it up. Also line speed varies depending on how the crew is reacting. I will say just after being at the park enough I can kinda tell a few lines, not all because I won't wait if there is a line.

I will say I'm surprised the park hasn't implemented something similar to disney or CP. Our person at crowd or even supervision will issue out a piece of paper to the guest to give to the op on the unload side of the platform after the ride to get an accurate wait time for guests at that time to either adjust time, or guess throughput on busy days. Also for my crew our person at crowd (turnstile) would strike up conversations usually, and ask how long their wait was, ect. so see about how much people were waiting.

Most accurate queue I will say so far has been FOF, that crew is really working the best this year, absolutely destroying lines so far. I have only seen one day where inside queues have been opened and used, other than that they really have busted through people.

The Interpreter likes this

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Most of those signs' wait times are grossly estimated to be honest. They're rarely accurate. If a Beast wait time states "60 minutes", it's most likely a little over a half an hour. If a Flight of Fear sign says "120 minutes" it's possible that it's actually only an hour.

stashua123 and The Interpreter like this

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Halloween Haunt 2010, a Saturday in October. My one and only to date ride on Invertigo, ever, which is kinda odd given I do like the ride. Sign said 90 minutes. Wait was actually 30 minutes at most.

As for some wait times for "full queue" rides...I can list a few...this assumes the ride doesn't break and the ride-ops are working at a "normal" pace for the rides, so these times can be either a bit longer or shorter on a given day...also, this is when the rides are running all of their trains...

The Beast- 60 Minutes. (An hour and half is the longest I have ever waited, the queue was overflowing into the midway that time and was even near DB's helix...but that was also my best ride on any coaster ever so I'm not complaining!)

Vortex- 20 Minutes. ("Overflows" are common for this ride though.)

Adventure Express- 15 Minutes.

Flight of Fear- 90 Minutes.

Those are the only ones I can remember at the moment. I think Diamondback is also around an hour or so, and don't think I have ever seen full queue lines for most of the other rides before...and have not waited in them.

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Lengthy estimated waits turn away many, even if the actual line is short. I often tell the ride entrance host if the wait is much shorter than the posted time, and it usually gets fixed right away. I'm sure they're glad to get the feedback.

At CP, at rides without hosts, I've even fixed it myself on occasion.

By the way, a grossly overestimated queue can be a good opportunity to ride multiple times.

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The day we have an App that tells ride wait times will be a great day for me, I never look at the signs unless they're digital.

I would think twice about taking a device in the park, unless totally needed.

I don't take electronic devices to parks (except a Casio G-Shock Watch).

I've always taken my phone in the park because I need to communicate with my aunt, but this past visit I was having my first ride of the day on Racer, it was in the regular pants pocket, and bounced out. Luckily, I was quick enough to run up the Fast Lane entrance, explain the situation, and end up catching someone talking to my cousin on it coming out of the exit.

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That's why Cargo pants or shorts are a great idea.

I was wearing cargo shorts, but didn't expect The Racer to make me lose my phone.

I usually carry around a small bag, but if I'm too lazy to do such, I put my SIM card into a crappy phone.

I carry around a bag also, but I would never keep my phone, or my wallet in there, especially not in the holding bins.

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This topic is derailed from the original question, but I want to share this little tidbit... anyone who is relatively afraid of losing their wallet on a roller coaster, should take the time to rubber-band it closed before entering the park.

I was on Adventure Express (of all rides) and lost my wallet. I had a park map stuffed in my back pocket, and my son wanted to see it while we were stopped waiting to return to the station. I know it likely breaks the rule about "loose articles" but I went ahead and fished said map out of my back pocket while we were sitting there doing nothing. Well, my billfold came out with it, and it landed on the catwalk next to the track. It flipped open. Luckily, nothing fell out of it... but it very easily could have, and it would've been a problem of epic proportions if it had, especially from that high up above the ground and with a strong breeze blowing. A ride op fetched it for me on the next ride cycle, thanks be to him.

Ever since that close-call of a learning experience, my billfold is securely bound with a rubber band whenever I'm at the park.

(and tidbit #2... my son once lost his wallet, on Diamondback I believe... I notified the guest services desk, filled out the lost & found paperwork, and never did hear about or see the wallet again)

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American Eagle shorts only have button pockets...first world problems :P

Still never had any issues however with this haha

I know! It makes me so mad, especially when I bring the pair that don't have buttons at all! I've found, however, if you've put your phone in sideways the button will stop it from flying out.

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Regarding the wait time signs, consider this: Of all the Kings Island rides, only four (The Beast, Firehawk, Flight of Fear, and Diamondback) always staff a "greeter" position. That employee is capable of changing the wait time sign whenever he sees fit, although he is only estimating the queue length based off how many people he can see from his current position. Every other ride with one of those signs - Drop Tower, Invertigo, Backlot Stunt Coaster, White Water Canyon, Boo Blasters on Boo Hill, etc. - can only be changed if an employee leaves the station, goes out to the sign, and adjusts it. This seems it is updated far less frequently, and it also allows park guests to more easily tamper with the sign.

So in terms of how accurate those signs are? I wouldn't put much faith in them.

jcgoble3 likes this

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I don't take electronic devices to parks (except a Casio G-Shock Watch).

I seem to recall you once said you viewed yourself on a park webcam - perhaps viewed it on someone else's electronic device?

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