Thursday, March 16, 2006
Keep the guests moving!
The Imagineers of the 60’s attempted to keep park guests on the move with huge and innovative new ride systems. As we think about Re-Imagineering Disneyland it would be good to take a look back at this phenomenon, not just for nostalgia's sake, but with the idea of improving today’s guest experience.
Part of the old magic of Disneyland was that, as a park guest, you felt you were constantly being masterfully moved throughout the park. Old Tomorrowland was probably the best example of how designers were able to keep park guests on the move. With the Carousel of Progress, Peoplemover, Adventure through Inner Space, Subs, Skyway, Monorail and Circlevision Theater all running at the same time – it had more capacity than any other land in the park! Today Pirates, Haunted Mansion and Small World still showcase some of the best capacity conscious ride systems ever designed, and they continue to successfully cycle thousands of guests per hour, day after day, year after year.
Recently, new additions have been smaller capacity attractions, like Pooh and Buzz Lightyear. At the same time Disneyland continues to get more crowded and attraction queue lines get longer. Personally, as a guest, I would much rather wait in a large queue line if I can see that it is moving fast.
As new attractions are developed today, it would be great to see much more emphasis on developing clever new ways to move people through them on a grand scale. New innovations such as motion bases, speed accelerators and the like are terrific additions, but I think capacity should be the primary concern for overall park guest satisfaction.
Even a return to some of those classic tried and true high capacity ride systems would be appreciated by park guests today.