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Thread: ROTR getting rid of virtual queue, utilizing normal queue

  1. #1

    ROTR getting rid of virtual queue, utilizing normal queue

    Disney just announced that starting Sept 23rd, there will be no more virtual queue. They will be using the normal queue. Looks like the return of lining up at 5am to get into DHS, unless you want to pay to ride when that time comes.


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  3. #2

    Yes, I think Disney will have issues with large groups lining up again hours before the park opens. I also think this will certainly increase purchases of the lighting lane in Genie + app and of course the extra fee for this ride. Not sure if this is going to get more people on or not. It will be interesting to see what happens.


  4. #3

    I can't imagine anything regarding FP+ (theoretical since FP+ is now totally in the history books), Lightning Lane, etc could result in getting MORE people on.

    The previously discussed "pay per ride" Lightning Lane for RotR only shifts the people around. As the announcement re: Lightning Lane described, "some people were disappointed" (obviously those not winning the boarding group lottery). Offering it as a Pay system only adds dollars to the equation. The same number of people who pay for the ride (presumably in the "not disappointed" group) by necessity of finite time are subtracted from the number of people that would have gotten on with the previously running free virtual queue (or now with this announcement, the standby line). If the pay system did not exist, you would have had that same number of "not disappointed" people, they just would have been "not disappointed" for free.

    Unless they modify the ride itself, then maybe they can improve people eaten per hour by the attraction.

    All that said, I am on board with this change. I don't want to play technology roulette with my day planning every day while on vacation (for this, or any other ride). Now, barring a terminal (for the day) breakdown event, I can just decide I want to get on the line sometime early in the day and wait to see this for at least once. Granted there is some risk that if it breaks down, it could be for the rest of the day and then time spent waiting is fully wasted, but that's seems to be a relatively low occurrence for most rides, even if they do break down, most times it's not for the entire day. (I say that as someone who did wait it out for 2 hours+ on 2 successive days in a row when FoP was new, and the ride started out broken for those 2 mornings)

    This is one of the steps I've called out as something to make me actually want to go back. My other two gripes are the reservations and park hopping limitation. With this change though, those may be less of an issue since I don't have to try to win the virtual queue lottery each day for a chance. I'd feel comfortable reserving just 2 days of a trip at DHS and then just trying to get on the standby for those 2 days, hoping I'm successful for at least one. Also frees up days to try to make ADRs (on other days, or very late in the same day if I want to take some minor risk) since the total unknown of boarding group time (if lucky enough to get one) is no longer an issue.

    So the tl;dr version : Yay!

    I will probably only change my overall feel if there are reports of many days over a long time period where people wait all day and still don't get to ride.

    -Dave

  5. #4

    I guess for me and my family, we have always been lucky. We are 3 for 3 when trying for boarding passes for ROTR (and 1 for 1 with Webslingers at DL). So we have always liked have the boarding pass secured and then being able to go enjoy other rides and attractions while waiting for our turn instead of standing in line. For our upcoming trip, there are three people in the party who have never been on ROTR before. After telling them the news about the change, they are already planning on getting up and heading to to DHS super early in the morning to try to get on. The rest of us are sleeping in and will head over a little after rope drop to either meet up with them or to wave at them as we walk by on the way to other rides.


  6. #5

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out for sure. (I will appreciate greatly hearing how it worked for your group after your upcoming trip! I hope it's a great trip for you, BTW. )

    With the total number of riders for a day being quite finite, it would seem (my musings here only, I have no idea what is really planned by Disney) something different than the normal way they run rides with standby lines has been handled in the past.

    Any "normal" ride, the rule has regularly (though maybe there were exceptions I am just not aware of) been that you could enter the queue whenever the ride was up and running, up to and including a few moments before park closing.

    If the people per day capacity is as limited as the virtual queue made it seem, it would seem like they would have to count people in line from the initial morning line and not let anyone else on after they hit the total number of possible people that can ride in a single day. Or possibly temporarily cap the line at only holding half of a days (or some other number) visitors and then letting more in once the ride has demonstrated it's working well. Or will a CM with a sign that says "it's 300 minutes from this point" at the end of the line sufficiently control the line's growth naturally?

    I'm also curious where the excess queue will get snaked to. Presumably out the entrance near Muppets and Baseline Tap House, but then how far will it go? Indy? Hollywood and Vine? The entrance to the park?

    While there obviously are no statistics on who (i.e., regular tickets vs local APs and/or bloggers who visit repetitively) was riding (at least not public ones - Disney knows, I guess), it will be interesting to see if the demand actually goes lower with the standby.

    Were more locals (or bloggers who may be running around the park anyway) with a similar frame of mind as you have suggested just making an attempt to do RotR on many days just because they could try for a boarding group? Will a lot of those not bother now (or at least not try for every visit) with the need to wait on the line? Will the loss of those visitors cause a noticeable effect?

    Good topic. We will start to see the impact to the dynamics in a week, I guess.

    -Dave

  7. #6

    Seeing some of the pics on Twitter this morning of the crowd lined up at rope drop. No thank you. What a mess.


  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jrsharp21 View Post
    Seeing some of the pics on Twitter this morning of the crowd lined up at rope drop. No thank you. What a mess.
    Not sure if we are watching the same status reports on Twitter, but it looks like they were artificially inflating it and it's now settling around the 80-120 -ish mark. (the feed I looked at claimed it was expected to stay at that level for the remainder of the day, but I have no idea how they can predict that).

    I'll give it a few days to trend out how bad the reports of waiting end up being. It's looking close to normal for a high demand ride with the exception of the high numbers they posted briefly mid-morning (which perhaps may have scared some people away?).
    -Dave

  9. #8
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    As DL regulars it really surprises me that WDW just estimates wait times by how long the line is. The tags we get at DL don't seem like they are all that expensive or complicated of tech.


  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by candles71 View Post
    As DL regulars it really surprises me that WDW just estimates wait times by how long the line is. The tags we get at DL don't seem like they are all that expensive or complicated of tech.
    That may just be perception?

    Recall that the majority of WDW visitors have had Magic Bands (or a "key card" type of ticket, if they don't like the bands) on their person for the last 7 years. So while the sign is posted at the end of the line, nothing says there is not some computer algorithm that tracks people similar to the way they use the cards to do so at DL. It's probably not just a trained CM that knows how many minutes to post at various land-marks within the queue. The guests just may not be aware of the tracking since they don't have to accept or return a card to the CMs.

    I don't know for a fact that they ARE doing this, but it seems like a distinct possibility with all the other things the MB systems are capable of.
    -Dave

  11. #10
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    It was what a few CMs told me when we asked. I know we asked at FoP, but a few other places as well. That they look at the length of the line and estimate.

    ETA: even using MBs would be an improvement. We only asked because we never found posted wait time that was accurate either trip. Gearing up for our third, so I am interested in the lack of boarding groups for Rise.


  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by candles71 View Post
    It was what a few CMs told me when we asked. I know we asked at FoP, but a few other places as well. That they look at the length of the line and estimate.

    ETA: even using MBs would be an improvement. We only asked because we never found posted wait time that was accurate either trip. Gearing up for our third, so I am interested in the lack of boarding groups for Rise.
    OK, I guess I stand corrected and I learned something today! It seems like such a natural use of using the non-touch point tracking that can be done with the bands, but I guess if it doesn't lead to a big pot of additional money by doing it, Disney maybe isn't interested these days.

    I'm also watching the RotR standby roll out with interest. Aside from the peak yesterday where they posted something like 220 minutes at 9:30 (rope drop crowds), the last 2 days didn't necessarily look worse than any other big ticket ride with a standby line.

    This weekend's times will be interesting to see if the fact that this debuted on a weekday had any effect.

    I'm not sure if this is a reliable sight or not, but I stumbled upon it yesterday : https://www.thrill-data.com/waits/at...nce/2021/09/24. If it's decently accurate, it looks like a good way to check in on how it's been going without constantly checking MDE or other reports by people who are there.

    The times they showed for yesterday seemed to be pretty well matched up to what some other bloggers were posting throughout the day on Twitter. Today's times look not so horrible either.
    -Dave

  13. #12

    I think it made sense for Disney to eliminate the virtual queue for ROTR given the fact that they so heavily publicized the attraction - you have to give anybody attending Disney Studios or Disneyland the option to wait in a Standby line (no matter how long that line) if riding that attraction is one (or perhaps the main) reason for their attending that park. Spending a large amount of money to get into one of those parks and then being subjected to a lottery to get on to the attraction made no sense. The fact that premium hotel guests at WDW get early entry and thus a shorter line than regular park guests for such attractions does retain the advantage for WDW hotel guests that warrants the extra cost for staying at those hotels.

    As we have seen in the past, when new attractions with great popularity are open, there will be some long lines but nothing that would be such that it would not allow a guest to ride that ride and then still have plenty of other time to experience a good number of other attractions in that park (aside from the most populated holiday periods at the parks). I remember when Indiana Jones opened at Disneyland that the lines would stretch from Main Street around the hub in front of the castle and then eventually wend its way into Adventureland - but even then the wait time was usually "quoted" to be several hours but usually was actually only around 90 minutes in length. So if one came to the park for the express reason of riding that ride, it was doable and did not take up so much time as to preclude going on any other attractions. As to the idea that having a virtual queue will lead to more expenditures by park guests in shops or restaurants, my belief is that those guests who Disney feels would buy more merch in the park do that in a number of other ways than just while they are in the parks and those guests who come to a park more to eat than do rides or attractions will do so anyway regardless - so I don't perceive that situation as being that much enhanced by more "free time" not spent in lines.

    And, on top of that, with the new procedure to allow one to pay a premium to board that "must-see" attraction if it really means that much to them, then at least Disney is allowing such guests to enjoy the experience of that one attraction if it means so much to them. Time will tell what the "price point" will be for that premium access but I can guess that if a Standby line for ROTR is even up to 2 hours you will not get that many takers to pay a fee of something like $20 just to save an hour or maybe 2.

    As a Disney shareholder, I'm all for seeing Disney offer a product that is widely available to all who pay the baseline admission to a park so that attendance will return to past levels at the parks and the stock will rise back up to prior high levels before the pandemic hit.

    As a former resident of SoCal who now lives in the state of Washington, I look forward to my next trip to Disneyland where I can look forward to knowing that for the price of my standard ticket (or for the one-time premium priority price) I can experience ROTR at the park without having to rely on some lottery system that might shut me out of the only new attraction that would really be the one must-do reason for visiting the park (aside from the Matterhorn which truly is unique to Disneyland).

    Last edited by CDF; 09-27-2021 at 10:02 AM.

  14. #13

    Just got back from a great 4 days at WDW. We rode ROTR twice while we were there. Lines were always nuts at park opening. We avoided the opening line and took that chance to go get on TOT, RNR, MMRR, and other rides. The first time we rode ROTR, we ended up waiting about 75 minutes in line. Once we got into "the area" (no spoiler for those who haven't rode) they assign you a color, the ride went down. We sat in "the area" for an hour until the ride came back up. Got to see some cool interactions with the CM's and the waiting guests.

    The second time we rode was on Sunday night at 8:30pm. Complete and total walk on. The app and the wait time screen at the entrance said it was a 20 minute wait. The 20 minutes was the walk through the queue. We didn't stop walking until we got to the place where the CM asks for how many in your party.


  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrsharp21 View Post
    The first time we rode ROTR, we ended up waiting about 75 minutes in line. Once we got into "the area" (no spoiler for those who haven't rode) they assign you a color, the ride went down. We sat in "the area" for an hour until the ride came back up. Got to see some cool interactions with the CM's and the waiting guests.
    Out of curiosity, was part of the 75 min. wait the hour while it was down? Would your wait have been 15 mins. if it hadn't gone down? Or was it 75 mins. before it went down?
    Karin


  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Karin View Post
    Out of curiosity, was part of the 75 min. wait the hour while it was down? Would your wait have been 15 mins. if it hadn't gone down? Or was it 75 mins. before it went down?
    75 before it went down. We figured we had that long already invested that we were going to wait it out,

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