Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, is kicking off the holiday season with its brand new approach to making your dreams come true: “Extra Long” lines for rides.
“It’s what vacationers have been asking for for decades!” exclaims Ron Parsons, head Imagineer for the Magic Kingdom.
“Most families are here on vacation, and their young kids have already exhausted them to the point of collapse. Our new lines are designed to force the children into behaving better than they normally would at home!”
Scientific studies on the perception of theme park attraction lines have determined that most people will wait in lines of up to three hours before having a total meltdown, if the line has been constructed carefully enough.
“We put all the best ideas into one ride, and the kids (and parents) love it!” says Ron. “We tested some of these features on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster that opened in 2014, and now we’ve implemented the same strategy on all our rides across the Orlando Disney theme parks!”
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train line consists of plenty sights, games, and switchbacks, so that the average tourist has no real idea of how long the line will go on. It begins at the entrance: a large sign displays the current wait time to actually get on the ride.
“Those are always made up,” quips Mr. Parsons. “If it says ’30 minutes’ it’s more like an hour and a half. Calculations show that most people won’t get in a line if it says anything above 40 minutes, but once they are in that line, they will stay for at least three times that long, figuring ‘it can’t be much longer!’”
The attraction line curves along, with twists and turns covered by trees, bushes, and even the Dwarfs’ house from the movie. Once past the “forest” part of the line, you come to the entrance of the mine.
“Eventually, people begin to get bored. Especially if it’s noon on a hot summer day, they’re looking forward to getting in the shade. The promise of the sweet, cool air of the mine makes them stay in the line even longer, instead of trying to fight their way back to the entrance. We thought of every possible trap!”
Once inside the “mine” area, hands-on games await the line travelers. These include moving gems around on large touch screens, spinning large buckets full of fake gems to make kaleidoscope lights on the mine ceiling, and moving your hand under large faucets to make water appear, which you then use to “dig up” fake gems in the gravel below.
“It’s so much useless crap, but everyone eats it up!” adds Ron. “Talk about stupid! We barely put any thought into it. We basically sat around in a meeting room and threw out ideas for things that kids would foolishly love. One: spinning big buckets. Check! Two: getting messy. Check! Three: iPads. Bam. Triple-check. All problems solved.”
Luckily for parents, this offers them a reprieve of having to watch their children, as there is literally no place for them to get lost in the huge and terrifying line of torture.
“Before, the parents had to bring in their own iPads, or toys, or books, or snacks, because kids these days all have ADHD and get bored easily. Our new lines are like heaven to anyone who has had to spend more than 20 minutes with a five-year-old.”
After waiting in line for what seems like endless hours, you are left with one of three options. Leave the line, and try and find a ride that has a REAL wait time of less than 30 minutes (Hint: There are none), stay in line until you get to the ride, or – Ron’s Favorite – stay in line until an employee comes over the P.A. system and says the ride is closed.
“God, I love watching all the faces of the ‘Liners’ when we tell them a ride is malfunctioning. We usually lose about 20% of them, but if we say the ride might be back on in 10 to 15 minutes, we just suckered them in for staying another hour! Some people can spend their whole trip waiting in just one line! It’s so magical; it’s the reason I wanted to work at Disney in the first place.”
Upon reaching the end of the “line” customers come to find out there is no ride at the end, but in fact just another staging area to determine which “ride line” you want to get in next.
“Yeah, we blew our budget on all the stupid toys and decorations in the line, so we actually didn’t have enough left over to build new rides. But ‘The Endless Line’ didn’t have the same ring to it, so we just called it a roller coaster and now we watch the ‘human centipede line’ grow and grow and grow.”
When asked for comment on the “Extra long” lines, Mr. Walt Disney himself was brought out of Cryo-freeze and stated: “At least it’s a better waste of time than Avengers 2.” He was immediately refrozen.
At time of publication, Disney (DIS) stock is up 20 points, and attendance is at an all-time high.