Last week, I wrote about how single-rider lines can help reduce wait times at Disneyland and other theme parks. But there’s one aspect of single-rider lines that inspire as much hate as love from some theme park fans – it’s the people who cheat them.
If you’ve worked on a theme park ride with a single-rider queue – or just spent a lot of time waiting in single-rider lines – you’ve likely seen a cheater. They’re the people who go through the single-rider line only to announce that they simply must ride with the rest of their group when they get to the load area.
Many times, it’s a parent who’s gone through the line with his or her child. Sometimes, it’s a fair request. A child might have said they were OK with riding alone, only to become timid when the moment to board arrives. But other times, people know exactly what they’re doing when they try to ride together after taking advantage of the shorter wait in a single-rider queue.
As much as I’d like to applaud park employees who tell the would-be cheaters to get lost (into the back of the regular queue), as a parent and former theme park employee, I have to remember that sometimes kids lose their nerve. I would hate to be the employee who provoked a parent into yelling at a scared child after I threw them out of a single-rider queue.
I suspect that many ride attendants feel the same way, which allows other, less-than-honest parents to take advantage and cut the line.
Cheating the single-rider line is unfair to the groups that honestly wait in the longer stand-by queue. But it’s hardly the only way that theme park fans cheat each other, their kids and the parks.
I’ve never understood why parents shove lifts into their children’s shoes to try to cheat the height restrictions on thrill rides. I don’t want to imagine what the karma payback for sending that message might turn out to be someday if they get hurt.
Theme park rides are some of the safest forms of entertainment, but the risk increases when people cheat their safety systems, including height restrictions.
Now, about parking, let’s reserve a spot in the Cheaters Hall of Fame for those Disneyland visitors who park in the Downtown Disney lot to get out of paying the parking fees at the theme park lots. Disney posts signs warning that there should be no theme park parking in the lot, but that doesn’t stop some people.
Some simply leave their car there until late at night when Disney abandons the toll booths, or they play the game where they run out to drive their car out and back into the Downtown Disney lot every few hours. These cheaters, besides creating a toll on the environment, take spaces from people who really are just trying to visit Downtown Disney for a movie or a meal. Disneyland plans to build a fourth hotel on its Downtown Disney parking lot – things might change then.
Even worse is the trick some fans at Walt Disney World pull, where a quirk in the traffic flow allows people who drive in from a certain side road to circle around the Magic Kingdom parking lot, then “re-enter” it without ever having paid for parking.
Disney World appears to be closing that loophole. It filed plans to create new entrance and exit roads for the Magic Kingdom’s parking lot.
Perhaps Disney should implement the system Knott’s uses for its California Marketplace parking. It has a one-hour limit. For longer stays, visitors must provide a receipt from a restaurant or shop to prove they actually bought something. Then Knott’s parking attendants scan the receipt, making it unusable a second time – preventing people from just circling around and parking, again, for free.
Another alternative is to adopt the system at Universal Studios Hollywood, where there is no free parking. Even top-tier annual passholders have to pay to park if they arrive after 5 p.m. I doubt that any Disneyland fans would welcome that in Anaheim.
Whether it’s single rider queues or short-term parking lots, people who abuse the things that are designed to help them get things taken away from everyone.
Source: OC Register
Banner Photo Credit: CodyWDWfan