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  1. #31

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    I've never waited in line for TLM. I've only been on it a few times though.
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  2. #32

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by CMinParadise View Post
    High-capacity attractions pose some peculiar challenges in terms of queue construction. They can have fairly high demand but still swallow up the line much of the time. But capacity can temporarily change. With Omnimover ride systems, this can be caused by slows or stops, for instance. When this happens, it suddenly becomes abundantly clear just how many people are getting in line for the attraction, and a line starts to form very quickly.
    On the other hand, if a high-capacity ride such as Mermaid were unpopular, it would also have no, to little line for it. The real guide to popularity is the turnstile clicks, Tony Baxter a while ago said that if you go on a ride you like, the turnstile clicks do matter.

    I agree that big attractions need excess capacity, look at Haunted Mansion. While it is true that the elevator is a "bottle-neck" in the line, post-elevator, there is often a pretty crowded line. HM's outside line is nice, IMHO, and I sort of feel cheated when HM's wait is short. While Mermaid has a permanent overflow area, it has views of San Fran street, Grizzly River Run, and Paradise Pier, meaning just visual chaos and a sense of being nowhere special, like HM's outside queue.

    Outside of seashells pounded into the cement, and cypress trees sculpted to look like seaweed, there isn't anything specific to Mermaid, and it isn't very special.

    Also, Pirates can load 1,000 more per hour than Mermaid, and in summer and crowded times they have to put up an extended queue.

    I actually think that the wait time board at DCA sort of fudges the Mermaid wait time because often times clam shells go by completely empty, meaning the real wait time is like 1 minute, maybe 3 minutes on average, not 10 minutes on average.

    But you made a good point, maybe during the holidays Mermaid's outside queue will be used, but most of the time it remains empty and a sort of eye sore, IMHO.

    ---------- Post added 09-28-2012 at 06:09 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by gatheringrosebuds View Post
    ^ 100% agreed.

    Another issue that I had with TLM is that the guest is not a participant in the attraction. The original Fantasyland dark rides immerse you in their world, you are part of the story, allowing you to participate and use your imagination and believe that you are in this alternate reality. You're the one driving out-of-control and causing chaos, you're the one flying over the nighttime sky of London and through the stars of Neverland, you're the one racing through the frightening forest and encountering an evil witch. Even after characters were added to the rides, the guest is still more or less in the center of the attraction's story. Whereas with TLM, you're just an observer. You're passively watching everything that happens with Ariel, but you're not experiencing these things along with her. This, along with the cheapness of how the ride was constructed, makes for an extremely dissapointing experience.
    Great analysis. Always felt that Mermaid was less engaging, like just a Main Street window display.

    The Snow White dark ride used to be from the point of view of Snow White, and you actually didn't see Snow White during the ride as you are Snow White, then later they added Snow White. Same for Alice as you sort of feeling you are experiencing Alice's adventures and falling down the rabbit's hole, and with other rides. Even on Indiana Jones you are the one having the adventure as Indy remarks, "Not bad . . . for tourists."

    The Ariel animatronic in the first scene looks pretty good, but as a whole, I feel that Ariel doesn't see the audience and it is more of a display. Peter Pan shouts, "Off we go to Neverland!" at the beginning of Peter Pan, and I feel invited on the journey.

    Mermaid would be better if Ariel swims past the omnimover and says that she needs "help" doing something, or chats with guests, like how Roz does this on Monster Inc. Doesn't need to be personalized, but it would help draw the audience in. She could even say something not in the film, such as complain about how her father won't let her mingle with the humans and hold up a fork and ask the clamshells if "we", the audience, could tell her what this is.

    Scuttle is a great character, but he seems kind of obnoxious, (or even drunk), in how he rambles on and on at the beginning of the ride.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 09-28-2012 at 10:22 AM.

  3. #33

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    most of the queue for Mermaid is in the front of the building so even if it is not used it still adds to the look of the structure. I think that if the building had been made bigger it would have looked a bit too cluttered against the parade building. It might have added a bit more room for the show scenes though but not enough to help out the interior much.

    What i do think they could do is turn the stroller parking/ overflow queue area into a nice ODV area. I hate that they have started to clutter the Paradise Pier hub with those movable ODV carts. They look tacky and forced there

  4. #34

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    On the other hand, if a high-capacity ride such as Mermaid were unpopular, it would also have no, to little line for it. The real guide to popularity is the turnstile clicks, Tony Baxter a while ago said that if you go on a ride you like, the turnstile clicks do matter.
    Very true. Although in the case of Mermaid, last I heard, it was doing reasonably well in that department.

    I agree that big attractions need excess capacity, look at Haunted Mansion. While it is true that the elevator is a "bottle-neck" in the line, post-elevator, there is often a pretty crowded line.
    Mansion is a little different. In a way, you can treat the elevators as the start of the attraction, from a queueing perspective. The combined capacity of the two elevators has to match the capacity of the ride system itself, on average. Crowds after the elevators are just the result of their capacity temporarily exceeding that of the ride system. It's actually a lot like boats backing up before the first drop in Pirates. You probably already know this, but I wanted to make sure we're on the same page.

    HM's outside line is nice, IMHO, and I sort of feel cheated when HM's wait is short. While Mermaid has a permanent overflow area, it has views of San Fran street, Grizzly River Run, and Paradise Pier, meaning just visual chaos and a sense of being nowhere special, like HM's outside queue.

    Outside of seashells pounded into the cement, and cypress trees sculpted to look like seaweed, there isn't anything specific to Mermaid, and it isn't very special.
    I agree that Mansion has a LOT more to offer than Mermaid as far as queue theming goes. But Mermaid's queue area is still a vast improvement over a temporary extended queue.

    Also, Pirates can load 1,000 more per hour than Mermaid, and in summer and crowded times they have to put up an extended queue.
    Pirates actually demonstrates what I'm talking about, to a certain extent. Although I haven't crunched the numbers, I'm pretty sure the permanent part of the Pirates queue holds fewer people than the permanent part of the Mermaid queue. The solution is a pretty typical extended queue, right out there in the walkway. It works, but it's not ideal. (Of course, the higher capacity at Pirates means that the same wait time equates to an even longer physical line, so the variables aren't all equal here, but still.)

    I actually think that the wait time board at DCA sort of fudges the Mermaid wait time because often times clam shells go by completely empty, meaning the real wait time is like 1 minute, maybe 3 minutes on average, not 10 minutes on average.
    If you're referring to the wait time board at the information booth, I dont know much about that, but the wait time board at the attraction itself is typically pretty accurate. Or as accurate as it can be, considering that 5 is the lowest number it can display (like most wait time signs) and it doesn't have a 10, as I recall.

  5. #35

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by CMinParadise View Post
    Although in the case of Mermaid, last I heard, it was doing reasonably well in that department.
    Very hard to see how Mermaid could be performing reasonably well, (though I agree with basically everything else you said).

    The last times I've ridden Mermaid, a lot of the clamshells go by empty as the wait is really zero minutes, and that was during peak hours with Carsland chugging away. If the capacity of Mermaid is maybe 2,000 per hour, and if over the course of a normal operating day, about 1,000 -1,200 guests ride per hour on average (figuring in the tons of empty shells during opening and closing), maybe 12,000 per day are riding Mermaid. (And that is being generous, saying that in the course of a day every other clamshell is filled, might be closer to a third. I actually believe it is closer to 10,000 per day ride Mermaid.).

    That is about even with RSR with about 1,500 actual guests per hour, if that, as RSR probably pulls in about 13,000 - 15,000 per day.

    The big problem, IMHO, is that guests aren't by and large making riding Mermaid a priority, and even if it is a walk-on, people are skipping it. If RSR was a walk-on (had much higher capacity, like double or triple what it has), you'd probably have 40,000 guests per day (many of them repeats), if not more. I am guesstimating that 12,000 guests/day give Mermaid a whirl, when the ride could accomodate about 21,000 per day without breaking a sweat.

    HM, I believe, has a max capacity of about 2,618 per hour, and maybe pulls in about 2,200 per hour. So, during HMH, and other peaks times, maybe HM pulls in around 20 to 24,000 per day.

    ---------- Post added 09-28-2012 at 07:49 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CMinParadise View Post
    Mansion is a little different. In a way, you can treat the elevators as the start of the attraction, from a queueing perspective. The combined capacity of the two elevators has to match the capacity of the ride system itself, on average. Crowds after the elevators are just the result of their capacity temporarily exceeding that of the ride system. It's actually a lot like boats backing up before the first drop in Pirates.
    I would actually treat the pre-elevator part of HM as part of the queue. During peak times, guests will wait 45 mins to ride HM, HMH, but maybe not 60 mins or 120 minutes, so you have to have somewhere for these guests to wait, i.e. a big queue.

    When two elevators are working, it is enough to keep up with "demand" for guests at the load/unload area, so all the elevators do it is "entertain" guests in the queue, they don't change the wait time at all actually as the rate determining step is loading/unloading. In fact, they could run the elevators faster, but the guests would have no where to wait as the line to load/unload would be backed up too much. When HM is a walk-on during slow times and early in the morning, you get off the elevator and find no line post elevators.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 09-28-2012 at 11:52 AM.

  6. #36

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    Very hard to see how Mermaid could be performing reasonably well, (though I agree with basically everything else you said).

    The last times I've ridden Mermaid, a lot of the clamshells go by empty as the wait is really zero minutes, and that was during peak hours with Carsland chugging away. If the capacity of Mermaid is maybe 2,000 per hour, and if over the course of a normal operating day, about 1,000 -1,200 guests ride per hour on average (figuring in the tons of empty shells during opening and closing), maybe 12,000 per day are riding Mermaid. (And that is being generous, saying that in the course of a day every other clamshell is filled, might be closer to a third. I actually believe it is closer to 10,000 per day ride Mermaid.).

    That is about even with RSR with about 1,500 actual guests per hour, if that, as RSR probably pulls in about 13,000 - 15,000 per day.

    The big problem, IMHO, is that guests aren't by and large making riding Mermaid a priority, and even if it is a walk-on, people are skipping it. If RSR was a walk-on (had much higher capacity, like double or triple what it has), you'd probably have 40,000 guests per day (many of them repeats), if not more. I am guesstimating that 12,000 guests/day give Mermaid a whirl, when the ride could accomodate about 21,000 per day without breaking a sweat.

    HM, I believe, has a max capacity of about 2,618 per hour, and maybe pulls in about 2,200 per hour. So, during HMH, and other peaks times, maybe HM pulls in around 20 to 24,000 per day.
    Fair enough. Although comparisons to Racers are extremely difficult to make. Racers is a three-month-old mega-E-ticket with outdoor thrill and indoor dark ride components, and it's been the object of a lot of well-deserved hype. Mermaid is a year-old Fantasyland-style dark ride that wasn't and isn't particularly well advertised, and that has some real weaknesses. Many guests assume it's a show, not a ride, and it's in an area filled with outdoor attractions that self-advertise distractingly well.

    When two elevators are working, it is enough to keep up with "demand" for guests at the load/unload area, so all the elevators do it is "entertain" guests in the queue, they don't change the wait time at all actually as the rate determining step is loading/unloading. In fact, they could run the elevators faster, but the guests would have no where to wait as the line to load/unload would be backed up too much. When HM is a walk-on during slow times and early in the morning, you get off the elevator and find no line post elevators.
    Very much so.

  7. #37

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by CMinParadise View Post
    Fair enough. Although comparisons to Racers are extremely difficult to make. Racers is a three-month-old mega-E-ticket with outdoor thrill and indoor dark ride components, and it's been the object of a lot of well-deserved hype. Mermaid is a year-old Fantasyland-style dark ride that wasn't and isn't particularly well advertised, and that has some real weaknesses. Many guests assume it's a show, not a ride, and it's in an area filled with outdoor attractions that self-advertise distractingly well.
    The comparisons between RSR and Mermaid are actually easy enough to make, the resulting conclusions might be seen as "unfair."

    Seriously, though, Mermaid received a lot of hype. They had Jodi Benson and Pat Carroll from the film during the grand opening. Similarly, RSR received a lot of press when Carsland and BVS opened.

    But shouldn't a rising tide lift all boats? If Mermaid is such a gem, why aren't the mega crowds from Carsland helping? I mean, don't they still have Ariel's picture advertising Mermaid all over the Esplanade?

    I agree that the outside appeal of Mermaid is lacking, the whole show building looks like a big Barnes & Noble, and the sign is way, way up in the air. It does look more like a stage building for a show, but I think a Mermaid show like in Animal Kingdom would do better than TLM in terms of quality and long term guest endearment.

    After Mermaid, I think Lasseter made a decision that they wouldn't do cheap rides anymore, and it sure made a difference, IMHO, in Carsland.

    Something tells me RSR will being doing very well at the one year point, while Mermaid might be closed for further enhancements/additions. Can't see Mermaid staying where it is, (and how it is) for decades like classic attractions like Storybook Land Canal Boats and Small World.
    Last edited by chesirecat; 09-28-2012 at 12:43 PM.

  8. #38

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by chesirecat View Post
    The comparisons between RSR and Mermaid are actually easy enough to make, the resulting conclusions might be seen as "unfair."
    Unless you have actual capacity and turnstile numbers (maybe you do?), you can't make a fair comparison. Visuals and estimates are not scientific.

    I go mid-week off-season and the half dozen times I've ridden TLM, it's always had a very short line, but a line nonetheless. Occasionally clamshells go empty but that's more a logistics issue with guests not getting in the next vehicle or the CM directing to a different clamshell. I've never seen it with more than 2-3 empty clamshells. At the same time, I've seen RSR cars go by empty and that's also just a logistical issue since obviously there are plenty of people in line.

    So unless we have hard numbers, we're just making unscientific judgement calls.

    If we want to go with the numbers you suggested (2000 for TLM, 1500 for RSR) and assume they can never really run at max capacity, I would say TLM is doing 18000 over a 10 hour day and RSR 14000 over a 10 hour day. That's just based on my experience with TLM being generally full. In other words, TLM is at least the equal of RSR in capacity if not actual entertainment which is a whole different story, admittedly.

  9. #39

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojave View Post
    I've been on TLM maybe half a dozen times and the longest line I've seen started inside the door. Was TLM queue overbuilt?

    Admittedly, I have not been there on a Saturday in July or between Christmas and New Year's, but I feel that's a lot of wasted space for 90% of the year. They knew it would be a huge people eater, but it seems they miscalculated the space for the queue.
    yes. hands down. the only time i have seen it super busy was when it just opened, since them the attendance if LMR has gone down, i am sure they thought it was a popular ride or gonna be, but it's not. It's a great ride to beat the heat with, but with all the other fantastic new additions(carsland,BVst,Mad T) LMR is not the latest and greatest anymore.

  10. #40

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    Or the ride was underbuilt, especially the last few scenes. Don't give a C ticket a D ticket queue.
    Women, they make the highs higher and the lows more frequent.

  11. #41

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Professortango View Post
    Or the ride was underbuilt, especially the last few scenes. Don't give a C ticket a D ticket queue.
    i agree. they could have done more with the last scenes of the ride.they are just soo.. blah. The scenes need more pizazz!

  12. #42

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojave View Post
    Unless you have actual capacity and turnstile numbers (maybe you do?), you can't make a fair comparison. Visuals and estimates are not scientific.
    I don't have any hard numbers—but that doesn't discount the anecdotal evidence and my experience and those of others. Yes, anecdotal evidence is not the gold scientific standard, but it is the starting point for more formal studies, in science. As a former lab rat, I can tell you that a lot of interesting discoveries began with nothing more than a handful of observations.

    Actually, you could do a "scientific" comparison by selecting random hours on random days for a month and record who goes in and out of Mermaid and RSR.

    There might be a way to ask CMs, or maybe Al Lutz could get some hard numbers, or maybe there is a way to look at the turnstiles and get the info.

    Absent the money to do a scientific study, most of what is said on message boards is basically personal experience. But when you start hearing and seeing the same things as others, doesn't seem grossly unfair to make some guesstimates. The last half-dozen times I went on Mermaid it was a walk-on and it was cycling through more than a couple empty clamshells between guests. IMHO, it is hard to load at capacity when you line fluctuates between 0 minutes and 10 minutes, or whatever the high point of the range usually is in a given day.

    ---------- Post added 09-28-2012 at 10:32 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Poisonedapples View Post
    i agree. they could have done more with the last scenes of the ride.they are just soo.. blah. The scenes need more pizazz!
    Agreed. It's not like they don't have great material from the films. Some scenes I would like to have seen would have been:

    1. Humorous scene with the French cook chasing Sebastian.
    2. Ursula crawling across the deck of Eric's boat at Ariel.
    3. Ariel running from the shark
    4. Ariel saving Eric
    5. Ariel at Eric's castle trying to be a human.

    There was so much that happened in the film that I feel cheated that they used screens so much, and just to focus on the magical transformations, Ariel getting her voice back, etc . . .
    Last edited by chesirecat; 09-28-2012 at 03:01 PM.

  13. #43

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    Is it just me and my husband, or does Eric, in the Kiss the Girl scene, look a little... Ummm... "slow"?

    The first time we rode, my husband laughed so hard at this that he actually snorted (and then giggled uncontrollably through the next three rides). This set me off so that I started cackling like a hag (think Warner Brothers' Witch Hazel), and I had to apologize to the couple in the next shell after the ride.
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  14. #44

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    Even though it might not look like it TLM still pulls in a large amount of people. This is very apparent when the ride stops. I have seen the line go from 5 to 20 mins simply because of a 5 min ride stop and that was on a slow night. So I believe that the queue is the right size.

  15. #45

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    Re: Was The Little Mermaid queue overbuilt?

    There is one thing to remember about the Disneyland Resort and its omnimover attractions: The last omnimover attraction built where you go from end of line to the boarding area was Adventures Thru Innerspace. Haunted Mansion uses the stretching rooms to get you to a level of continuing to the boarding area and Buzz Lightyear originally opened with Fastpass, which required stopping the standby queue, causing the line to build. Nowadays, it seems they hold the line so that people aren't stuck standing by Buzz listening to his spiel over and over. Mermaid is the first omnimover since Innerspace where you go from the end of the line to the loading area without being forced to pause.

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