Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ride Capacity

Before we start with some of the changes I would make, one concept that is important to discuss is the Ride Capacity.  Essentially, this measures how many riders can go through a ride/attraction per hour (measured in gph, or guests-per-hour).  Obviously, the higher the gph, the better it is for both Disney and the customer.

A high gph doesn't mean that you will have a short line, of course.  The park could be incredibly busy, or your ride could be incredibly popular.  Plus, gph can be deceiving during fastpass events and times, where the ride is getting many people through, but the line isn't moving (ahem, Toy Story Mania).

So, it goes without saying that anything we can do to improve gph, the better off we are.  There are several specific strategies here:

1. Add additional duplicate attractions.  Take for instance Dumbo, which for years was an incredibly long line.  Recently, with the Fantasyland expansion, they added another Dumbo carousel, in effect doubling the gph.  This has had a nice effect on the line size, and by moving the attraction, they also have opened up some walking space.

2. Improve the workflow.  It is amazing how scientific the process is for the loading and unloading of guests on an attraction.  There is quite a bit of detail into maximizing the process so as little time possible is spent at those places.  Rides shouldn't have dead time, where you have finished them and are now stopped on the track, waiting for other cars in front of you to disembark before it is your turn.

3. Add people-eaters.  These are rides designed to take in large numbers of people at one time AND get them out of the rest of the park.  Ellen's Energy Adventure, or whatever they call that ride now, is a good example of this.  The ride packs a nice 2432 gph, but it also keeps people on the ride for 37 minutes, which keeps them off other rides.

4. Add single-rider lines.  This obviously makes the actual gph closer to the ideal gph (yeah, I'm just making up terms at this point), since there are no empty seats with a single-rider line.  Disney has already done this with most rides, so it isn't something additional they can add.

5. Make the seating area in the ride bigger or add more cars.  This is feasible in a few rides, where you might have a boat, and so you get a slightly bigger boat with one more row.  But this requires major work to be done to the queue, and not every ride can accommodate bigger vehicles.  The better option is to simply add more cars/vehicles to the rotation.  However, many rides can only accommodate a certain number of cars.  Coasters for example, typically can handle 5 trains at a time.  One loading, one unloading, and one each on three different lifts/falls in the course.

6. Make the ride shorter.  If you couldn't add more cars to your ride or make them bigger, you could make the ride shorter to raise the gph.  But, this ultimately doesn't help, because it releases those people back into the park.

Well, that's a quick look at the reality of ride capacity.  One of our objectives in this list will be to build ride capacity in certain places, so that we can handle more participants in the park.  If our main objective is to get generationalists to be 5-years, and 5-years to be annuals, the byproduct is that our parks will be more crowded, causing people to get frustrated.

Here is a nice look at project ride capacities.  Here is a look at the ride length.

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