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  1. #1

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    Lightbulb Congestion in New Orleans Square

    As a long time lurker (as in several years) and a WDW veteran, I just got back from my first trip to DL (recently moved to Las Vegas, so splurged on the AP) and can say I am WHOLE HEARTEDLY converted! After years of pictures, videos, posts, comments, etc, I am finally able to put it all together and understand how the park "works" which brings me to the point of this post: congestion in New Orleans Square. As I'm sure everyone is well aware, the extended queues for PotC and HM cause some SERIOUS pedestrian issues in this area. After walking the area and looking at a few maps, I thought that there might solutions that don't involve drastic changes in the area and was curious as to what people thought.

    The HM queue seems to be an easier fix due to the facade's proximity to the berm. The area highlighted in red below is outside the berm and seems to be accessible with a reroute of the HM sidewalk (though with proper theming, the sidewalk could remain and visitors could be taken through the "gardens"). Following the blue line could take you through a garden area and into a cemetery and into a low, themed building that went under the berm. The entrance could conceivably be a family mausoleum (or not, there are several solutions to this) and have a pre-show styled queue area (bring back the Museum of the Weird concept or maybe a catacombs feel, making it seem that you have gone underground) before bringing you back to the sidewalk and onto the front porch. I don't know how much the HM queue normally contributes to congestion in the area (I know the NBC overlay probably draws larger than average crowds), but could this be a workable solution?

    The PotC queue is more difficult because the facade is so far from the berm and is boxed in by show buildings and JC, but I thought that an underground queue could present a solution. The highlighted yellow area is the outdoor seating for the French Market and the park-like area outside of HM. With no buildings above, structural issues should be minimal for an underground area. My primary concern would be the water table (I spent a bit of time searching online and couldn't find much info on the water table levels for DL. There were some unverified claims that Space Mountain's building begins 15 ft below grade, but I don't know how much credence to give those.) Following the green line would allow the entrance to remain under the bridge, though there may be a need to reconfigure the two-line approach, as there would be limited access from the left side. Following the green line should allow access from inside the lower courtyard in front of the PotC facade. If there were a way to enter on one side and then emerge on the other side of the courtyard, that would probably be ideal. I haven't spent much time brainstorming the theming for this, and I'm not even sure that the water table would allow it, but I thought it would throw it out there anyway. Thanks for indulging me and sharing your feedback!

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    Last edited by lasttuesday; 10-27-2013 at 07:14 PM. Reason: I got my left/right queues at PotC confused

  2. #2

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    Welcome to MiceChat, The West and October in New Orleans Square. It won't always be that bad, after Jack Skellington goes away.

  3. #3

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    Welcome! The lines for Haunted Mansion and Pirates are not usually bad enough to demand a redesigned queue area, although I like your ideas for them. Halloween and some really nice weather have combined to make this a busier than normal october at the park and if were lucky all the madness should die down soon!

  4. #4

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    POTC moves a lot of people per hour really fast. The line is just a temporary thing.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

  5. #5

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    Thanks for sharing these ideas. I like them both. As others have said, though, the daytime congestion is not really a problem, typically. However, if you can solve the nighttime congestion due to Fantasmic, you may just win the Nobel Prize!

  6. #6

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    I like the suggestion for HM a lot, especially if we can get something of the interactive queue now at WDW. As stated before, the big problem with the queues currently is just a seasonal thing. Past Christmas, when NBC leaves the mansion, that line will go back to being completely held in the designed space for it. Pirates is similarly suffering from the increased Halloween/Christmas crowds.

    As for your question on the water table, it's actually not that bad. The RoA nearby were dug out during Fantasmic construction, and supposedly goes 3 stories below surface in order to house things like propane pipelines and the towers/dragon during the day. Building an extra underground part of the queue wouldn't be too difficult. Again, it's just not necessary.

  7. #7

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    Great ideas, truly appreciate your effort...........but the best way Disney can alleviate congestion in this area is to;

    • Get rid of Fast Pass.........how many of the people in or near the lines to HMH and POTC are also ghost standing in a "queue" for Splash Mt. or Indiana Jones?
    • Build another E-ticket level attraction up near Big Thunder.....something that will draw people away from the 1st spoke (Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, POTC, Mansion, Splash are all on one spoke from the hub...no other spoke has so much)
    • Make Tomorrowland awesome again. Putting the Rocket Jets back where they belong would be job one....bring back the Peoplemover (4,000 people an hour! ), and replace Innoventions with a Horizons/Carousel of Progress type attraction (2,500+ people an hour! ).
    • Or, in the very least they could address the single biggest problem at the Disneyland Resort (I've already said too much )
    Waiting for Godot Micechat.com

  8. #8

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    I would be all for these ideas. They are not always needed but great to have when it gets busy!!!!! Moving people out of the pathways is a good idea always in the small park IMO!

  9. #9

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    These are all great ideas. So, I guess the first part of our plan is to get the Disney board staffed exclusively by Micechat members...

  10. #10

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    I suggest the OP uses his pass for a year and reports back in 12 months to see if he thinks it's needed.

    Because it's true, Disneyland isn't as 'neat and tidy' as WDW.

    And at first you might want to make it that way, but later, you'll come to appreciate the charm of the original park and how it just 'works'.

  11. #11

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    I was there on Saturday the 26th and the congestion hit an all time CRAZY high around 7pm. There was no one directing traffic between HM, French Market and POTC queue. The lines to HM and POTC were so long that the queue created overlapped each other and resulted in a cluster of congestion of people just trying to get from one end of the park to the other. it was HORRIBLE.

    I personally was stuck there for almost 30 mins and the pandemonium from the crowds was extremely hostile. Finally security came and got on top of the brick walls and tried to direct traffic, but it fell on deaf ears. There were no fast passes being given to either ride and yet, it was still crazy land. I think that the changes to the FP (coming to the ride only at the times specified) aren't working like they used to when FP was introduced. However, like I said, FP wasn't being issued that night and it was still crazy.

    There has got to be something done to regulate the queue and keep out out of the very busy main "drag" since you can't get out by going through Pooh's section. If it was connected over there, I think people would have been able to turn around and try another route like you can if you're in Big Thunder Ranch.

    It was a serious nightmare and I've never experienced that kind of congestion at DL on a non-holiday night in my life. It was seriously levels of NYE 2012.

  12. #12

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    Quote Originally Posted by MsMandy View Post
    I was there on Saturday the 26th and the congestion hit an all time CRAZY high around 7pm. There was no one directing traffic between HM, French Market and POTC queue. The lines to HM and POTC were so long that the queue created overlapped each other and resulted in a cluster of congestion of people just trying to get from one end of the park to the other. it was HORRIBLE.

    I personally was stuck there for almost 30 mins and the pandemonium from the crowds was extremely hostile. Finally security came and got on top of the brick walls and tried to direct traffic, but it fell on deaf ears. There were no fast passes being given to either ride and yet, it was still crazy land. I think that the changes to the FP (coming to the ride only at the times specified) aren't working like they used to when FP was introduced. However, like I said, FP wasn't being issued that night and it was still crazy.

    There has got to be something done to regulate the queue and keep out out of the very busy main "drag" since you can't get out by going through Pooh's section. If it was connected over there, I think people would have been able to turn around and try another route like you can if you're in Big Thunder Ranch.

    It was a serious nightmare and I've never experienced that kind of congestion at DL on a non-holiday night in my life. It was seriously levels of NYE 2012.
    This is when I was there as well. Perhaps I just happened upon the one nightmare scenario! While DL is full of charm and wonder, crowd congestion is neither of those. It sounds like these types of crowds aren't the norm, so maybe my suggestions are unnecessary. I still think it could be a good idea for those times when things do get a little maddening...especially when Fantasmic is thrown into the mix.

  13. #13

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    The easiest fix to HM would be to add a quick loop past the hearse going to the pet cemetery (on the north side of the mansion) and back before resuming its usual path past the front steps toward the switchbacks south of the mansion. Bear in mind, the queue is this lengthy only during this time of year due to the overlay, so spend money elsewhere than on fixing this.

    The easiest fix to PotC would be to double back once over the bridge and return. It's certainly wide enough tio accommodate both the queue and the foot traffic during the temporary afternoon overflow conditions.

    PS - wondering why don't people just go on it at night when the lines are almost gone????

  14. #14

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    I was there on Saturday, yes it was busy in this area. Much better on Thursday and Friday. On this Saturday, both Big Thunder and It's a small world were down, forcing people onto HM, POTC, Jungle Cruise. Making the lines extremely long and crowded in that area of the park.

    The HM no longer has FP so that makes the line move much faster.

    Needless to say places to stash extra people would be great to help keep the walkway clear. For Fantasmic, they should not allow people to reserve spots until at least 8 p.m. This might help keep the area a bit more clear.

  15. #15

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    Re: Congestion in New Orleans Square

    Quote Originally Posted by vnormth View Post
    PS - wondering why don't people just go on it at night when the lines are almost gone????
    I always wonder this too. I can't walk up to any attraction tht says 75 mins or whatever and get in the line. I'll usually just keep checking on it or skip it. If i only had one chance at seeing an attraction for the whole year it would be a different story.

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