Let's face it - a lot of us hate those long lines in amusement theme parks! Those in the bathrooms, counter-service restaurants, and, of course, the rides tick us off!
Speaking of which, I have dedicated this forum post to your experiences in your favorite parks during times of high crowds. As long as it follows forum rules and doesn't start a huge flame war, you can tell me your tales of having to ride 2 or less rides due to super-long lines.
To start off, I experienced very high crowds in the Magic Kingdom on Christmas Day, 1996. Besides the fact that it was that day when virtually all the kids were out of school and many families were out of state (I was from New Jersey back then), Walt Disney World celebrated its 25th birthday. The lines were so long for everything that I had to only ride "it's a small world" and Snow White's Scary Adventures. But I passed the time with parades and shows.
So, did you go to a park when the crowds were so high that you had to ride little to no rides? What did you learn on that day?
Two of my favorite parks are Cedar Point in Ohio, and Six Flags Great America in Illinois.
Two horror stories at Cedar Point. When the Raptor coaster first opened, we waited in line for 2 hours and 45 minutes. I was burnt to a crisp, while waiting in the hot sun. Even worse, I went to the park, when their newest ride was Millennium Force. The line queue was full, with a line going all the way back into Frontier town, with a wait time of 7 hours. They had employees with megaphones, trying to get people to leave the line, but nobody would budge. Needless to say, i did not get in line, until the last ride of the night, which was still a 2 and half hour wait. Also waited 3 hours and 45 minutes for Mean Streak the first year it opened. Now you can get on in 5 minutes, because it sucks!!
The other nightmare was waiting for Batman The Ride, it's first year of operation. They were giving people ride tickets, that were being checked by someone at the entrance to the station tunnel. If you did not have a ticket, you could not ride, with a wait of over 3 hours. The people ahead of us, had some friends that jumped the queue at the midway point, and when they got to the guy who was taking the tickets, they got moved out of the queue, and we heard them later say that the guy taking the tickets made them wait another hour, before letting them ride.
The biggest surprise was Grand Rapids, at Michigan's Adventure. Waited in line for 2 hours and 25 minutes. Slowest loading procedure I have ever seen. One raft does the entire course of the ride, while the rest sit on a lift waiting to be unloaded. I don't think the employees there even knew what they were doing. Also their Funnel of Fear usually has a 2 hour wait, while the rest of the rides in the park have little or no wait at all. Except for the Wildcat, but, that is only because it is a one train coaster. If the queue is full, I always skip it. Not waiting 2 hours for it.
No real horror stories, although I have stood in long lines at amusement parks in the past.
The reason for that is that I quit going to those places, or at least quit trying to get on rides. I will still very occasionally go with family, but only to see the shows. It isn't worth my time, and certainly not my money, to stand in a 3 hour line for a 2 minute ride.
The sad thing is, now they have passes that you can buy to skip the lines. And, the rides that are associated with those passes have special seats for their high paying riders. These passes cost upwards of $30.00 more, on top of your park admission. Good, I guess for those people who can afford it, but not so great for a large family who can barely afford a trip.
I think it would be more fair, if they gave those passes away at random to each person in your party. Or do bunch passes, where 200 or so tickets are set aside for a specific ride time. Perhaps every other hour. It would certainly better control the crowds, if you gave large amounts of people a specific place to be at a certain time. Free of charge of course. And, allow the guests to do their normal park visit, and decide if they want the tickets or not.
Most people head to the most popular attractions first. At Cedar Point, they call it the running of the bulls. A ride time pass, would greatly cut down on that madness. But, they only do these things to make more money, and giving away anything free, would never cross their tiny brains.
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