Waiting in line is an inevitable part of visiting a theme park. With the exception of slow days, rides with low ridership, and those nifty line skipping services, guests will most definitely find themselves slowly weaving back and forth through the miles and miles of queues.
For me, the worst part of an already less than desirable situation, is when I encounter a line jumper. For some reason it’s the number one most maddening thing that I encounter at theme parks. It doesn’t matter how short the wait may be. When that straggler who’s trying to catch up to his or her friends (who are conveniently way up in the front of the line) slides past me; my blood boils.
Who Are These People?
Earlier this year, I found myself waiting in Titan’s long, slow, hot queue at Six Flags Over Texas. I thought to myself, maybe the cutters had a plan. Instead of paying for a flash pass, maybe they figure they’ll just walk right through the packed queue lines. Typically, no one does anything to stop them. We just let the criminal step by.
My 4-year old daughter can grasp the concept of line cutting and she knows that it’s wrong. Why don’t these people? I’ll admit that many of my theme park trips are solo. But I do understand that visiting parks is typically a social activity. I just want someone to explain to me why there are always so many people with out the rest of their group. Is it that hard to stick together? Do line jumpers deserve some special treatment because their friends already waited 30 minutes?
What’s Being Done?
I facetiously titled this article. I don’t think line cutters should be arrested as our prison system wouldn’t be able to handle the increase. Seriously, I was pleasantly surprised to see an attempt at handling this epidemic on a recent trip to Six Flags Over Georgia. My friends and I were each given tickets as we entered the queue for Batman: The Ride. I asked the employee handing out the tickets and he confirmed that they were doing it to deal with line cutting. I’d imagine that there must have been some incidents in the ride’s sewer/factory-themed queue. It’s under the station and feels a bit secluded.
While it was at least a good partial effort, the tickets were never checked once we reached the station. Due to the droves of defectors who’d had enough of the long wait and left the line, our ticket numbers would been kind of mixed up anyway. I was glad to see an attempt by the park though. I also noticed signs with a phone number you could call to report line jumpers. I’d love to know how often people actually call the number, but again props to Six Flags Over Georgia for trying something. At the very least, posting the phone numbers could be a deterrent to the would-be violators.
I’m generally a peaceful and laid back guy. But I’m not above telling someone they can’t get by when they, “just need to get to their friends.” If you see a guy wearing an Eat, Sleep, Ride t-shirt waiting in line for any of these rides especially; you might want to think twice before cutting in front of him.
What other policies or tactics do amusement parks currently take? What are some things parks could do in the future to stem the tide of selfish line jumpers? Is anyone else bothered by cutters as much (or even half as much) as I am?