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Will Magic Kingdom Have Two Digital Queues?


With the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Journey in Summer time 2024, Magic Kingdom is about to have the 2 latest sights at Walt Disney World in that and TRON Lightcycle Run. This submit runs by means of arguments for and in opposition to the brand new Princess and the Frog water journey getting boarding teams.

If Tiana’s Bayou Journey will get a digital queue and nothing else modifications, there might be two rides in Magic Kingdom with digital queues, as TRON Lightcycle Run has used the VQ system because it opened final spring. Moreover, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind additionally nonetheless makes use of a digital queue regardless of having opened practically two years in the past. Regardless of the journey being far more dependable, Cosmic Rewind will quickly surpass Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance because the longest-running digital queue at Walt Disney World.

Although it’s odd that Cosmic Rewind nonetheless makes use of a digital queue, it in all probability has much less bearing on the road standing of Tiana’s Bayou Journey than TRON Lightcycle Run does. Cosmic Rewind is in EPCOT, whereas TRON and Tiana’s are each Magic Kingdom mountain range-ish rides. Having two digital queues in the identical park might current issues and frustrations for friends who need the choice of using each new sights. In opposition to the backdrop, listed below are the explanation why Tiana’s Bayou Journey will or received’t get a digital queue. (Word: in the event you’re on the lookout for a definitive reply, it can save you your time and cease studying now–this submit doesn’t have one.)

No Precedent for Two – If each Tiana’s Bayou Journey and TRON Lightcycle Run in Magic Kingdom have digital queues, it’ll be the primary time that two rides in the identical park have used the boarding group system concurrently. The one different time that beforehand virtually occurred was when Remy’s Ratatouille Journey and Cosmic Rewind opened back-to-back at EPCOT. (If you happen to rely all sights, it did happen briefly–for like a day or two–with Cosmic Rewind and Moana’s Journey of Water.)

Nevertheless, the Rat Journey dropped its VQ inside a number of months of opening–and earlier than Cosmic Rewind debuted–to keep away from that consequence. If you happen to rely solely regular ops and never the phased reopening, Rise of the Resistance didn’t have a digital queue for that lengthy, both. Solely Cosmic Rewind has exceeded a 12 months of standard operations with a digital queue. So actually, it’s the odd duck–and there’s nothing to say that TRON Lightcycle Run couldn’t observe the precedent of the Rat Journey or Rise and drop its VQ earlier than this summer time.

The largest causes for not having two digital queues in the identical park is complexity and complaints. Whereas it might be theoretically attainable to journey each–even a number of occasions–through a robust VQ sport and/or shopping for ILLs, that won’t be the end result for many common friends. Many might want to decide one or the opposite, or (at finest), get a boarding group for one and purchase an Particular person Lightning Lane for the opposite. Something above and past that’s the area of high-knowledge friends and savvy planners, like these studying this. Don’t make the error of assuming each visitor is such as you. They aren’t.

It’s Model New – Many Walt Disney World followers assume it’s a foregone conclusion that Tiana’s Bayou Journey will make the most of a digital queue as a result of “all new sights use digital queues.” And that has been the case in the previous couple of years, with the final three consecutive main attraction openings–TRON Lightcycle Run, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and Remy’s Ratatouille Journey–all utilizing digital queues upon opening.

This began with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, nevertheless it hasn’t been true of each attraction since then. If you happen to’re nervous about digital queues and being up at 7 am to attain tough boarding teams being “the longer term” of sights, look no additional than Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The Walt Disney World model of this journey by no means used a digital queue, and the Disneyland incarnation shortly deserted its digital queue.

That’s as a result of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a excessive capability attraction that’s dependable by new journey requirements. As we’ve reiterated time and time once more, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance debuted with a digital queue throughout regular operations as a result of it was extremely unreliable, inefficient, and liable to hour-plus breakdowns. It has made vital strides since then, however nonetheless has its operational woes.

There have been and are distinctive points with Cosmic Rewind (restricted lined queue house) in addition to each TRON Lightcycle Run and Remy’s Ratatouille Journey (main pinch-point getting into their areas that will be problematic at park opening in the course of the mad sprint to the journey). In different phrases, reputation will not be the only real purpose why it sure sights are or have used digital queues. They’re extra different than that.

Identified Amount – Tiana’s Bayou Journey is far more like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway or Remy’s Ratatouille Journey (which misplaced its VQ pretty shortly) than it’s Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance or Cosmic Rewind. Each Runaway Railway and the Rat Journey had been dependable tech or clones of current sights, being identified portions that wouldn’t require digital queues for the long run.

Tiana’s Bayou Journey makes use of the very same journey system as Splash Mountain, and the observe has not been altered (in contrast to Frozen Ever After, which modified its load/unload from Maelstrom, a complicating issue that led to vital dispatch/timing points). It ought to truly be extra dependable than Splash Mountain was upon closing, as overdue upkeep can have been carried out in the course of the year-plus of downtime.

From reliability and downtime views, Tiana’s Bayou Journey is not going to “want” a digital queue…as a result of its bones are nonetheless Splash Mountain, and that journey didn’t want one.

Lengthy Bodily Queues – One other place the place the bones of Tiana’s Bayou Journey are nonetheless Splash Mountain is its bodily standby queue. I’ve by no means pulled out my tape measure to do comparative evaluation, however I’d hazard a guess that Splash Mountain had one of many longest standby queues at Walt Disney World.

There’s much more house than you may notice because of the out of doors courtyard able to scaling up its line size at busier/hotter occasions. Splash Mountain was inbuilt a special period, a time pre-FastPass when lengthy bodily traces had been favored. Consequently, its queue is kind of prolonged and in addition provides quite a lot of environments to interact friends. (It’s a extremely underrated line–and it feels like extra is being added for Tiana’s Bayou Journey.)

Not solely that, however there’s no pinch-point getting into this space of Frontierland and there’s ample house for much more out of doors overflow queue. If Walt Disney World needs to have a standby queue for Tiana’s Bayou Journey, they may. It doesn’t appear to be there are operational concerns that “mandate” a digital queue.

Seasonality – Tiana’s Bayou Journey would be the hottest attraction at Walt Disney World when it opens. It will be a marketable draw and much more in-demand than Splash Mountain for not less than a few years–until one thing goes terribly mistaken with the execution of the reimagining, and there’s no purpose to count on that after seeing the wowing Tiana Audio Animatronics.

This is likely to be unpopular sentiment among the many skeptics, nevertheless it’s actually not that daring of an assertion. Every part new enjoys a interval of recognition. Individuals love princesses. Rides that includes present characters–or ones that not less than nonetheless exist in popular culture (see Seven Dwarfs Mine Prepare)–are inclined to outperform unknown ones. So it’s secure to say Tiana’s Bayou Journey goes to attract large crowds all through Summer time 2024 and past.

However what occurs as soon as October rolls round and nights begin getting chilly? Heck, even in summer-time, there’s way more demand for water rides in the course of the day–when daylight and contemporary air present free and pure drying mechanisms. Wait occasions are usually a lot decrease as soon as the solar goes down since you is likely to be moist the remainder of the night time in the event you journey then. There have been a number of events after I handed on doing Splash for this very purpose.

And actually, I’d in all probability do the identical with Tiana’s Bayou Journey in some conditions if I received a boarding group with a callback after sundown. There are in all probability loads of others who would do the identical, that means that–whilst total demand stays excessive–there could possibly be unutilized capability for Tiana’s Bayou Journey by advantage of the digital queue.

Level being, even when Tiana’s Bayou Journey is the higher digital queue candidate in June by means of August 2024, that will not nonetheless be true in Winter 2024, at which level TRON Lightcycle Run could possibly be the higher possibility for the VQ. It’s arduous to think about Walt Disney World bouncing backwards and forwards between the 2 rides having VQs primarily based on climate (including much more complexity and confusion for friends), so a long-term resolution ought to be created from the outset.

Optics – If the advertising and marketing is any indication, there’s a way of “defensiveness” from Disney with Tiana’s Bayou Journey. It looks as if all the messaging is calibrated to show the haters mistaken whereas additionally preemptively addressing criticism from completely different instructions. My view was and is that you simply’re by no means going to please folks on the lookout for causes to be upset, so merely let the substance of the factor communicate for itself. With the discharge of superior Tiana Audio Animatronics video, that’s lastly the strategy.

In terms of Disney’s hypersensitivity about Tiana’s Bayou Journey, I get it. This attraction has been a powder keg from the outset, and there was and is extra scrutiny on it than every other journey reimagining or new attraction. And I get this, too–not less than to an extent. Splash Mountain was among the best sights at Walt Disney World, so not solely does Tiana’s Bayou Journey have large footwear to fill–nevertheless it additionally occupies a historic place. Persons are readying the pitchforks, salivating for “alternatives” to deem it a failure or feign outrage.

That may embrace its standing as a Lightning Lane attraction or whether or not it provides a digital queue. It might appear foolish to take optics under consideration when making operational selections, however I’d be shocked if this similar dialog isn’t occurring internally. If Tiana’s Bayou Journey doesn’t have a digital queue, that may grow to be a manufactured controversy. “This proves Disney is aware of the journey isn’t truly good!” “The corporate is barely paying lip service to Tiana, they don’t maintain her journey in the identical esteem as different new sights.” You get the concept.

The choice completely shouldn’t be made on the idea of optics, however that doesn’t imply it received’t occur. As ought to be apparent, unpleasable critics are not possible to please. In a logical world, they’d be silenced by standby wait occasions when the journey opens if it lacks a digital queue or the substance of the journey. However that’s not the world we inhabit, so as an alternative they’ll discover no matter they will to fulfill their controversy quota.

Lightning Lane Standing – Each time a brand new attraction will get a digital queue, some Walt Disney World followers say: “it’s solely getting a digital queue to power friends who ‘lose’ the VQ lotto to buy a Lightning Lane since there’s no different option to journey.”

Each time an attraction drops its digital queue, different (or perhaps the identical!) WDW followers say: “it’s solely dropping the digital queue so it will probably submit a excessive standby wait time that pushes extra folks to purchase Lightning Lanes since they will’t bypass the wait without cost.” These are actually each actual sentiment that’s (usually!) shared in response to queueing modifications.

In actuality, Walt Disney World has no drawback promoting out Particular person Lightning Lanes for brand new (and even some older–take a look at Seven Dwarfs Mine Prepare!) sights. This notion that digital queue standing is motivated by cash is belied by ILL gross sales earlier than and after stated standing modifications. Particular person Lightning Lanes don’t promote properly due to or regardless of a digital queue. They promote properly (or don’t) due to the attraction itself and its reputation. Not every part is a conspiracy!

Visitor Friendliness – Actually, I like digital queues and am selfishly, not-so-secretly comfortable to see them proceed. I additionally know I’m not the common visitor. What’s good for me will not be all the time good for the park-going public.

I like digital queues as a result of I’m good at them. Which may sound like a humblebrag, however at this level, you’re in all probability fairly good at them too. If you happen to’re studying this weblog through the pc in your pocket, you’re within the prime 5% of the park-going public when it comes to expertise or data.

Digital queues are nice for folks like us as a result of they operate equally to how free FastPass used to work–though the return traces have gotten worse. At minimal, they’re extra environment friendly than ready in a standby line and/or are cheaper than shopping for an Particular person Lightning Lane.

Consequently, I’m doing TRON Lightcycle Run and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind virtually each single time I go to Magic Kingdom or EPCOT–even on days which might be “only for enjoyable” with no technique or analysis agenda. That may not be the case if the rides had been posting 90+ minute standby wait occasions–and each would if it weren’t for the digital queue. I do know I’m not alone on this, and numerous different Annual Passholders and locals who would balk at excessive standby wait occasions, however do the VQ.

The factor is that journey capability is a zero-sum sport. If the digital queue is filling up with a bunch of APs and locals who would skip a triple-digit standby wait, these spots are coming on the expense of another person. The losers on this situation are doubtless disproportionately first-timers and different low-knowledge or technology-averse friends.

Whereas these folks usually are oblivious to digital queues or are unsuccessful at becoming a member of, a lot of them are in a position or extra inclined to attend in a protracted standby line. The balking level is increased for them–they’ve by no means achieved the journey, so their tolerance for traces or threshold for ready is increased than the common AP who skips any standby line that’s over half-hour.

First-timers or rare guests are the very demographics that, for my part whilst a biased and self-interested AP, Walt Disney World ought to be favoring. It’s higher for the sake of visitor satisfaction and creating new followers to make issues simpler for these folks, and eradicating one layer of friction.

That is doubly true with regards to new sights which might be the main target of promoting campaigns. There are individuals who have booked journeys after seeing advertisements for Cosmic Rewind or TRON Lightcycle Run…who haven’t been capable of journey as a result of they failed on the digital queue, or didn’t perceive find out how to ‘play’ within the first place. They’d no different recourse, as Particular person Lightning Lanes are sometimes offered out by the point these friends have found their error. Standby traces are usually not excellent, however not less than they offer friends an possibility to attend–even when that’s a extremely very long time. It places friends extra in charge of their very own future, so to talk.

As most of us have complained in regards to the quantity of display screen time and overreliance on expertise in visiting Walt Disney World, we should always likewise proceed to help the retirement of digital queues. They could profit us on a person degree, however total and in combination, they’re a unfavorable for the visitor expertise–and one which results in extra complaints and alternatives for disappointment that has no potential decision. Digital queues add yet one more pointless layer of friction and make issues overwhelming and intimidating for inexperienced and older friends.

Finally, that is all a long-winded approach of claiming that I don’t know what’s going to occur with Tiana’s Bayou Journey–there are compelling arguments each for and in opposition to the attraction getting a digital queue. If I had been a betting particular person, I’d in all probability give an edge to Tiana’s Bayou Journey getting a digital queue. However it’s fairly removed from a positive factor–extra like 60/40 as in comparison with the ensures that got here with Cosmic Rewind and TRON Lightcycle Run.

With all of that stated, what I might do if I had been in cost is begin by dropping the digital queue for TRON Lightcycle Run on or round April 15, 2024. Perhaps per week later–however after Spring Break and earlier than the beginning of summer time season. This will seemingly defy precedent, as Cosmic Rewind nonetheless–by some means–has its digital queue practically 2 years after opening. However the circumstances are arguably completely different there, attributable to a shorter indoor queue and inadequate shade exterior. In contrast, TRON has loads of indoor queue and ample overflow, and numerous that may be underneath the cover.

Following that, I’d announce a digital queue for Tiana’s Bayou Journey “as needed throughout its debut season in Summer time 2024.” Utilizing that sort of verbiage leaves the door open to finish the digital queue early or lengthen–and makes that apparent from the outstart in a (in all probability feeble) try to quash criticism.

Most significantly, it might give operations flexibility to open a standby line at night time, on colder days, and different occasions when a digital queue might not be needed or excellent. The objective right here could be to make sure that capability for an in-demand journey isn’t wasted, and friends getting shut out of the digital queue aren’t watching empty logs drop down each night time, questioning why they will’t line as much as journey.

I doubt that’ll occur, however suppose it’s the absolute best resolution. What I actually don’t wish to see is 2 digital queues at Magic Kingdom with inflexible guidelines that successfully power many friends to decide on between one large new journey or the opposite. That’s a guest-unfriendly end result, and Disney ought to try to keep away from that consequence. It’ll solely add gasoline to the hearth in regards to the complexity and convoluted nature of planning and doing Walt Disney World, at a time when the corporate is in any other case attempting to deal with such complaints.

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Ideas on the digital queue or standby standing of Tiana’s Bayou Journey or TRON Lightcycle Run come Summer time 2024 and past? Would you prefer to see each have digital queues, neither, or one of many two? Do you agree or disagree with our evaluation? Any questions we will help you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even whenever you disagree with us–is each fascinating to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!