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Queue Behavior — Why do they stop?

MestnyiGeroi

Active Member
There is something that has intrigued me at amusement parks for many years, and I’m sure I can’t be the only one, so I thought I’d ask for others’ input here.

So when you’re waiting in line, the queue is usually corralled or walled in on both sides for most of that line. But then there is that final moment when the narrow line opens up in the station and allows riders to choose a final slot, to choose a row on the coaster. So this is the point when you leave the general line and pick a mini-line of, say, 0 to 6 people, typically.

What intrigues me is that there is never a shortage of people who — with no prompting from staff — stop at this opening and wait. In doing so, they hold up the entire line (I’m not saying they delay the actual time people get on the coaster; they just stop people from moving forward). These people will stand there, either oblivious to fhe fact that they’re holding up the line, or conscious of what they’re doing but deliberately standing there. Then finally, after one to three minutes, they seem to realize they’re holding everyone back, and they move in to pick a row, allowing ten to twenty people to follow them until, inevitably, the next group stops and creates the next bottleneck.

So, has this phenomenon intrigued others here or is it just me? Sometimes I watch these people standing there for minutes, wondering what they’re thinking.

Why do you suppose these people do this?

Is it ...

A. They’re waiting for a staff member to invite them forward, and it takes them a while to realize no one is going to ask.

B. They’re self-volunteers, consciously deciding to halt the crowd in order to keep the row lines in an orderly, minimal state.

C. They’re confused by the sudden open space; it’s timidity that makes them stop.

D. They’re extremely picky about their rows, and they need everyone to wait while they think.

E. They’re not paying attention, and the sheep in front of them that they were following are gone.

F. Other
 

elephant58

Active Member
I know that at Alton there is a staff member who asks how many people there are in a your group, who then, depending on your response, directs you to a particular gate. I'd always assumed all parks were like this to be honest.
 

TLARides

Member
I've never encountered this problem, only when staff stops the group/person.

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TLARides

Member
I know that at Alton there is a staff member who asks how many people there are in a your group, who then, depending on your response, directs you to a particular gate. I'd always assumed all parks were like this to be honest.
Kings Island does it a lot but only when lines are huge.

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I figure some of it's recorring guests, knowing which row is their favourite, waiting for the station to clear so they can pick the row they desire without worrying about other people getting there first.

It's a cut-throat world I tell ya!

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MestnyiGeroi

Active Member
I figure some of it's recorring guests, knowing which row is their favourite, waiting for the station to clear so they can pick the row they desire without worrying about other people getting there first.

It's a cut-throat world I tell ya!

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Hm. If they knew for sure which row they want, holding back everyone and waiting seems like a far riskier strategy than simply heading straight for that row. Fwiw, the people I’m talking about don’t usually look like they know what they’re doing.

That said, I asked because I was curious about other people’s perceptions, so I don’t want to start “correcting” responses here, especially as there is no one correct response, just perceptions.
 

Yunho Kim

Member
In Everland, cast members make riders stop in the start point on station.After 1 train starts operating, cast members let 36 people to choose a row. I haven' t seen other reasons
 

EpochEmu

Member
IMO C and F. Most people have no idea how operations work so they stop for a bit (usually until a train loads and they notice all the rows getting shorter). I think it’s a good thing though because it stops the row-lines from getting extremely long and backing up the station.
 
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GuyWithAStick

Captain Basic
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
If there's a designated grouper telling people which row to go to, then that grouper stops the line to prevent congestion in the station area.

If not, then it's just guests being oblivious.
 

tomahawk

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
^What he said, but also, you have people who simply can't tell where the lines are longest because people bunch. You have groups of people strung across a couple rows. Spreading out and making gmthemselves seem bigger, which alters the view of which rows are truly available. Having someone batch is the way to go.

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Snoo

The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
^What he said, but also, you have people who simply can't tell where the lines are longest because people bunch. You have groups of people strung across a couple rows. Spreading out and making gmthemselves seem bigger, which alters the view of which rows are truly available. Having someone batch is the way to go.

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Yep! I do not see this frequently done with a purpose when no staff is guiding a line. Mostly just "mob rule" as it were and a group of people being oblivious.
 

ash

New Member
I witness this each time I visit BPB. For some reason it happens on the Avalanche almost every few minutes with the op having to get on the microphone and instruct people to move down and form a second line behind those waiting in the gates.

The Big One is another such problem, people get to the back row and stop, despite their being about 20 empty gates elsewhere.

Same can also be said for the Nash, why people don't continue to move down is something I don't get, then the look foul at me for pushing them into the fence to get past lol
 
Ah, I suppose I may have misunderstood.
Hm. If they knew for sure which row they want, holding back everyone and waiting seems like a far riskier strategy than simply heading straight for that row. Fwiw, the people I’m talking about don’t usually look like they know what they’re doing.

That said, I asked because I was curious about other people’s perceptions, so I don’t want to start “correcting” responses here, especially as there is no one correct response, just perceptions.
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MestnyiGeroi

Active Member
IMO C and F. Most people have no idea how operations work so they stop for a bit (usually until a train loads and they notice all the rows getting shorter). I think it’s a good thing though because it stops the row-lines from getting extremely long and backing up the station.
Agreed on all you say.
 

MestnyiGeroi

Active Member
Yep! I do not see this frequently done with a purpose when no staff is guiding a line. Mostly just "mob rule" as it were and a group of people being oblivious.
Maybe it’s because I live in a crowded city where you’re forced to be aware of the movement of people around you (or people will let you know right away), but I am always amazed at how oblivious to the crowds around them so many people are at amusement parks. A recent example for me was at Holiday World, where drinks are free, and all you have to do is line up in front of the dispensers. So, because you are waiting in line for a bit, once you reach the dispenser, there is no way NOT to know that there is a line of thirsty people standing RIGHT BEHIND YOU, and yet what do I see every time? People linger and slowly top off their drink and examine the machine. Or even worse, they stand there and take a drink of their soda. Or, even worse, they stand there and start talking to their friends/family, blocking the machine and the line. I see this every time and it makes my jaw drop.
 

MestnyiGeroi

Active Member
^What he said, but also, you have people who simply can't tell where the lines are longest because people bunch. You have groups of people strung across a couple rows. Spreading out and making gmthemselves seem bigger, which alters the view of which rows are truly available. Having someone batch is the way to go.

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Agreed to some extent, but having someone batch means that you can’t choose your row — or at least that you have to ask if you want the front or the back.
 

GuyWithAStick

Captain Basic
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Agreed to some extent, but having someone batch means that you can’t choose your row — or at least that you have to ask if you want the front or the back.
Yes, that's the point. Telling people where to go removes all the faff of deciding which place to sit, which causes the line to back up. 9 times out of 10 you can ask the grouper, and they'll try to make your request work. Just don't come up with a party of 17 and say you all want the front. That will not work out well.

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NAPayne31

Member
Yes, that's the point. Telling people where to go removes all the faff of deciding which place to sit, which causes the line to back up. 9 times out of 10 you can ask the grouper, and they'll try to make your request work. Just don't come up with a party of 17 and say you all want the front. That will not work out well.

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It removes all of the faff while also ensuring that trains are filled with people. Empty seats and longer wait times are guaranteed if there is no one crowd controlling.
 
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