Queues at Walt Disney World

The New York Times has an interesting article about queue management at Walt Disney World. They use a combination of methods to subtly nudge people away from crowded attractions and to entertain those waiting in line.

Employees watch flat-screen televisions that depict various attractions in green, yellow and red outlines, with the colors representing wait-time gradations. If Pirates of the Caribbean … suddenly blinks from green to yellow, the center might respond by alerting managers to launch more boats. Another option involves dispatching Captain Jack Sparrow or Goofy or one of their pals to the queue to entertain people as they wait. … Disney has also been adding video games to wait areas.

For more on queues, Don Norman spoke about how Disney approaches the problem during his lecture at the Institute of Design back in 2008. More here, here and here.

Sorry about letting things go dormant around here over the past couple of months. I’ll try to pick up the slack in the new year. What have I missed?


  1. next permutation: make a ‘disney-ville’ video game, with an online option. build thousands of scenarios for gamers to solve and slowly buildup a knowledge base for an automated response system, in a few years time the thing can run itself.

  2. Jeff, I’m glad to see someone else reading about Disney in the NYT, during the holiday week. Thanks for taking it deeper with the links to Queue Management.

    http://jlwatsonconsulting.typepad.com/my-blog/2010/12/walt-disney-world-has-built-a-customer-experience-command-center.html#tp




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