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Putting ideas at the front of the queue

Thursday, 29 September 2011 | By Yvonne Adele

I recently spent a day at Dreamworld on Queensland’s Gold Coast and noticed they had a system for checking into a queue and holding your place while you do something else.

 

It’s a virtual queuing system called Q4U and it reminded me of a system I first experienced at Disneyland many years ago.

 

Disney uses a queue reservation system called FastPass for some of the most popular rides at many of its theme parks.

 

It works like this:

 

  • You check the wait time for the queue of the ride you want to go on.
  • If it’s more than 20 minutes you put your park admission ticket into the FastPass machine and you will be issued with a FastPass.
  • This new ticket has an hour-long timeframe on it and you can return any time during that hour to be fast-tracked on to that ride within just a few minutes.
  • Say you arrived at a ride at 12:30pm and the wait time was 45 minutes. The board tells you the FastPass time, which is likely to be 1:30-2:30pm.

 

So you grab a FastPass and come back any time between 1:30 and 2:30pm to join the separate FastPass queue and get on the ride within a few minutes. Once the queue is full for the day no more FastPasses are issued.

 

You can’t get a FastPass for other rides that have the same hour-long window.

 

How far can an idea like this spread?

 

A health official from Quebec was visiting Disneyworld last year and utilised the FastPass system.

 

She knew the lines back home for swine flu vaccine were three or four hours long so when she returned she implemented a coupon system where customers arrive at the health clinic and receive a coupon which tells them to return – a revolution in health care.

 

Does this idea of the virtual queue spark any ideas for your current business challenges?