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  1. #1

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    Clearing the Pipes

    Most of us will admit Disneyland, particularly Main Street, wasn't designed for the daily attendance it receives today. During peak season navigating through Adventureland, New Orleans Square, the Castle Courtyard, Main Street, and the Tomorrowland entrances can be nightmares. While it doesn't bug me too much, I'm positive it's incredibly stressful for those with children and those with autism/claustrophobia. So, here's a mega-thread about "clearing the pipes" (walkways). I have several ideas so feel free to add on.

    In terms of guest path selection and utilizing more real estate, I would turn all smoking areas and the Esplanade into vaping areas. Vaping in theory has less collateral damage(perceived and actual) than second-hand smoke so guests should have fewer reservations trekking past a shortcut adjacent to a vaping area. Also, this allows vaping areas to be placed in more/different locations since Disney consciously tried to place smoking areas in low traffic areas. The current picnic area gets turned into the one smoking area for the whole resort and Tom Sawyer Island gets 30-50 wooden picnic tables to replace the current picnic area. My reasoning for taking smoking out of the Esplanade is it makes park hopping more pleasant for families and California Adventure has tons of underutilized capacity.

    Critter Country's major problem is underutilized capacity, not crowds. A solution is moving the Splash Mountain Fastpass distribution to the extended queue next to the Haunted Mansion exit and possibly putting Splash Mountain on its own network, similar to California Screamin'. The Hungry Bear and Harbour Galley, like most QSRs in the resort, are underutilized so I'd implement a 40% discount for APs and 3+day ticket holders since they're not in a rush to hit every E-ticket in one or two days. The fresh fruit cart gets moved across to where the Splash Mountain Fastpass machines were. If Harbour Galley gets busy enough, a second story with more seating can be added. The other major concept is to the number of Splash Mountain Fastpasses so that the queue never passes the Briar Patch. If Critter Country can bring in higher counts with discounted food/more Fastpasses, their main pipe will need that extra width from removing the extended queue.

    New Orleans Square's pipes aren't clogged too much but sometimes certain factors create a perfect storm. The elephant in the room is Fantasmic! and my half-solution to this is moving enough entertainment, Meet and Greets, and stroller parking to where everyone camps out for Fantasmic! This sends the message,"Don't start camping out until 2-3 hours before." Haunted Mansion doesn't need Fastpass unless it's the NBC overlay while Pirates might eventually need Fastpass due to their extended queue blocking critical pipes as well as the fact that their CMs frequently don't extend the queue fast enough to prevent overflow into Frontierland. The only way to implement Fastpass for Pirates without causing jams near Greeter/Validation and stealing valuable NOS real estate for the machines is Magic Band. This shouldn't happen anytime soon and I'll explain why later. Ideally the French Market's outdoor seating gets a 2nd story but I'm not sure how cost-effective this would be since I'd like the 2nd story to have decent views of the jazz band.

    For Frontierland Big Thunder doesn't need more Fastpasses since their extended queue just goes up the empty pipe up Big Thunder trail. The massive space for Big Thunder Barbecue and the Festival Stage get replaced with at least a C-ticket, hopefully an E-ticket since Big Thunder Trail is probably one of the most empty pipes in the park. Depending on an expanded Fantasyland situation, there may be a path connecting the end of the present-day Toontown to Big Thunder Trail/new Frontierland C or E ticket. River Belle Terrace loses some real estate to solve fix the Adventureland/NOS bottleneck.

    Adventureland isn't too tricky to fix. The planters in the walkway get demolished for stroller parking, as well as the current Bengal Barbecue and portions of the Indiana Jones Outpost. This makes a much larger pipe and gaps can be placed in the stroller parking for left turns to Indy and Jungle Cruise. The Indy Fastpass machine gets moved to the Outpost so guests don't have to take left turns to get a Fastpass for Indy. An ODV cart/larger Jungle Cruise queue takes the place where the current Indy Fastpass machines are. Bengal Barbecue gets moved to the interior of Aladdin's Oasis, which won't be a problem since they can share a kitchen with Jolly Holiday Bakery. Presently, Indy doesn't really need more Fastpasses since its extended queue doesn't cause jams except possibly when Disneyland is at capacity the week after Christmas. Aladdin and Jasmine can still do reduced Meet and Greets in the Oasis even if the Bengal Barbecue takes up some space.(Space will be limited during lunch and dinner so that's why I say reduced.)

    Fantasyland isn't too bad, aside from the courtyard and occasionally the pipe between Teacups and Dumbo. In the short term, Teacups can expand their capacity by increasing staffing to 2 throughout the year, not just the busiest days. Teacups never has an extended queue but additional capacity may be needed if Dumbo and Peter Pan get Fastpass. In the long term, Dumbo and Peter Pan getting Fastpass is a simple way to get rid of queue space and increase pipe size. However, they both have similar problems to Pirates in that they'll cause bottlenecks at Validation unless Magic Bands are implemented. Magic Bands or not, Castle Heraldry gets demolished for the Peter Pan extended queue/stroller parking not in the critical pipe. Matterhorn can easily implement Fastpass without causing any jams but there currently isn't enough demand to justify it.(Hence why some of us are rooting for a Frozen overlay, even if it's only seasonal.) Personally, I think Small World would get higher counts with a shorter flume. The show building has a ton of dead space so even if you cut the flume length by 20-50% would could still fit all 7 continents and most of the Disney characters in. Also, Casey Jr. will eventually need an extra spare train so both trains can be running in the off-season when Dumbo and Peter Pan eventually get their Fastpasses.

    I'm not going to touch Tomorrowland thematically but I do have a few ideas in terms of the pipes. If the People Mover truly isn't coming back, it's time to tear out the track from the Observatron to the entrance. Astro Orbiter gets pushed back to the Observatron/Space Mountain extended queue/Magic Eye Theater. The giant rocks also get removed. Thematically, I have no idea how to make an appropriate entrance that doesn't require support beams that block the main Tomorrowland pipe. Star Tours needs more Fastpasses since it's extended queue takes space out of the main pipe. The Jedi Training Academy can ideally be moved into the Magic Eye Theater to where they can do shows every 30 minutes, similar to what Muppets does right now. The Tomorrowland Terrace Stage gets used at night since Nemo, Autopia, and Astro Orbiters' critical pipes contain children who probably have earlier bedtimes than the intended audience for the Tomorrowland Terrace shows. Personally I'd love to replace the Subs with a conservation/species preservation themed clone of The Seas at Epcot.(Yes, we'll keep Nemo for the dark ride portion.) There's enough sunk cost/Subs fanatics to where I'd be fine with just adding Fastpass and using the extended queue for a larger dining area for Tomorrowland Terrace. Tomorrowland Terrace gets replaced with a McDonalds menu and the associated higher volume of burgers and fries output per hour. Disney needs more hotel rooms to pay for a 3rd gate so they could "conveniently" buy the McDonalds on Harbor as part of their acquisition of land for another hotel.(That McDonalds currently isn't much better than park food anyway since they eliminated low-margin and loss leader items from their menu.)

    Toontown...I'd personally demolish it for a Fantasyland expansion. In the meantime I'd have no problem expanding the number of Fastpasses for Roger Rabbit and putting it on its own network/the same network as Splash Mountain. I doubt the beancounters could justify this with Toontown's shortened hours but if they extended the Gadget's Go Coaster track ever so slightly they could add a hold position right before the station and run 2 trains.

    Main Street has a serious problem during parades. The current solution is just redirecting guests through the backstage area so guests get the magic spoiled by seeing the Jungle Cruise boat storage area right behind the Penny Arcade. My desperate, blasphemous solution to the Main Street bottleneck is an underground passage from beneath the Main Street train station to the hub. This would mean the Partners statue gets demolished, along with that magic of walking down Main Street and the forced perspective of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Still, who are we to force families to inch down a claustrophobic Main Street during parades because we speculate that was Walt's vision? Beancounters will unfortunately love this idea since it means the retail space for Main Street could nearly double. The underground passage could still be incredibly magical with all sorts of lighting effects paying tribute to Disney classics/Main Street U.S.A. The seasonal lighting effects could also be changed more rapidly than most seasonal decorations on Main Street, giving it an extra appeal to APs who visit multiple times a year and expect something new on a regular basis.

    As you may have noticed, expanding Fastpass plays a crucial role in the long-term plans. Magic Bands/Fastpass+ are probably the only ways guests will take advantage of the expanded Fastpasses and ride the underutilized attractions, see the underutilized shows, or eat and shop at the underutilized restaurants/stores while waiting for their times. There's one word to describe why I wouldn't bring Fastpass+ to the resort today: smartphones. Currently over 90% of adult guests at Disneyland don't have a smartphone with a battery that will last over 10 hours of constant 3G/4G use. If guests are unable to use their smartphone to get Fastpasses and/or modify their return times they'll swamp the kiosks and clog the pipes. A workaround to this is TDA could issue a heavily locked down smartphone just for Fastpass+ to front line cast members in similar proportions to who they issue pin trading lanyards to. (If you see a cast member with a pin trading lanyard, they're not in a safety critical position and they're probably not super busy.) This would be incredibly expensive but as smartphone costs drop lower everyday it may be viable.

  2. #2

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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    No offense, but many of your "solutions" are worse then the problem itself, and you couldn't build a tunnel under Main Street without tearing the whole thing down and starting over from scratch, aka, not going to happen.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
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  3. #3

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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    First let me say this an incredibly thought out plan that you obviously put a lot of time into.

    Just a couple of things. First, Fastpass isn’t the solution to the problem, it is part of the problem. Prior to fastpass, people wouldn’t be out in the walkways as much because they would be in line for rides. Now, the computer saves a spot for you in one line, while you are free to go ride another, or walk around the park, or just mill about as you please.

    Quote Originally Posted by nerdycm View Post
    In terms of guest path selection and utilizing more real estate, I would turn all smoking areas and the Esplanade into vaping areas. Vaping in theory has less collateral damage(perceived and actual) than second-hand smoke so guests should have fewer reservations trekking past a shortcut adjacent to a vaping area. Also, this allows vaping areas to be placed in more/different locations since Disney consciously tried to place smoking areas in low traffic areas.
    I don’t think turning the smoking areas into vaping areas is that much better. There have been mixed studies on the effects of vaping. Some studies have shown the products to contain diethylene glycol which is not something that I want to breathe in. They should just create a ban on smoking in the parks. If they want to designate an area of the Esplanade for smoking, that would be fine, as long as it is “off the beaten path”.

    Quote Originally Posted by nerdycm View Post
    The current picnic area gets turned into the one smoking area for the whole resort and Tom Sawyer Island gets 30-50 wooden picnic tables to replace the current picnic area. My reasoning for taking smoking out of the Esplanade is it makes park hopping more pleasant for families and California Adventure has tons of underutilized capacity
    The reason the picnic area is outside the park is to prevent people from bringing their large lunch coolers in with them. Moving the picnic area into the park would allow people to bring these in. Further, moving it into one park would prevent people who are only on a one park ticket and visiting CA Adventure from using it.

    Quote Originally Posted by nerdycm View Post
    River Belle Terrace loses some real estate to solve fix the Adventureland/NOS bottleneck.
    A better solution would be to remove the second tree trunk that they added when Tarzan moved into the treehouse. Taking away real estate from a restaurant means that there will be less people occupying said restaurant and thus out of the walkways.
    "You can cut me off from the civilized world. You can incarcerate me with two moronic cellmates. You can torture me with your thrice daily swill, but you cannot break the spirit of a Winchester. My voice shall be heard from this wilderness and I shall be delivered from this fetid and festering sewer."

  4. #4

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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    Easier solutions:
    1. Increase capacity back to what it was in, say, 1995.
    2. Eliminate FastPass.
    3. Eliminate AP Program.
    4. Create new pricing scheme to reflect the seasonal, as well as weekday/weekend, demand.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Easier solutions:
    1. Increase capacity back to what it was in, say, 1995.
    2. Eliminate FastPass.
    3. Eliminate AP Program.
    4. Create new pricing scheme to reflect the seasonal, as well as weekday/weekend, demand.
    This!
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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    I like that Big Thunder Trail is empty. That and the little corridor between the Matterhorn and the back of the BLAB show building are my only sanctuaries from the insane crowds.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    Quote Originally Posted by calsig31 View Post
    First let me say this an incredibly thought out plan that you obviously put a lot of time into.

    Just a couple of things. First, Fastpass isn’t the solution to the problem, it is part of the problem. Prior to fastpass, people wouldn’t be out in the walkways as much because they would be in line for rides. Now, the computer saves a spot for you in one line, while you are free to go ride another, or walk around the park, or just mill about as you please.



    I don’t think turning the smoking areas into vaping areas is that much better. There have been mixed studies on the effects of vaping. Some studies have shown the products to contain diethylene glycol which is not something that I want to breathe in. They should just create a ban on smoking in the parks. If they want to designate an area of the Esplanade for smoking, that would be fine, as long as it is “off the beaten path”.

    The reason the picnic area is outside the park is to prevent people from bringing their large lunch coolers in with them. Moving the picnic area into the park would allow people to bring these in. Further, moving it into one park would prevent people who are only on a one park ticket and visiting CA Adventure from using it.

    A better solution would be to remove the second tree trunk that they added when Tarzan moved into the treehouse. Taking away real estate from a restaurant means that there will be less people occupying said restaurant and thus out of the walkways.
    Great post!
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  8. #8

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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    Quote Originally Posted by sleepyjeff View Post
    This!
    I agree. This!

    Relatively simple, clear-cut answers to the problem, IMO.

    I just wonder what the reality of it happening would be, especially in light of the present modus operandi (pack 'em in and $ching$ching$) of the company.

  9. #9

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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    I guess my point about expanded Fastpass was utilizing the non E-ticket attractions and entertainment options. There is currently enough unused standby queue space to take 80% of the Peter Pan queue and spread them around Pinocchio, Snow White, Casey Jr., and Teacups without overflowing into important pipes. I don't remember what the non E-ticket queues were like before Fastpass but my guess is they weren't any longer than they were today since most guests probably went from E-ticket to E-ticket like they do today. A factor to why Fastpasses may cause congestion currently is the fact that entire parties will journey across to park to get a Fastpass and then journey back to go on another E-ticket, see a show, eat, or ride a non E-ticket. Not everyone likes the Fastpass runner idea, even though it does a fantastic job of upping average hourly ride count per guest and keeping the main pipes clear. Fastpass+ solves this problem but again, that won't happen until smartphone technology improves and/or Disney is willing to add 8-10 Fastpass+ kiosks to Main Street Cinema.(For crowd control purposes, I wouldn't open these kiosks until that period in the afternoon where tourists are starting to leave but APs aren't out of school yet.) The other big reason to keep Fastpass is it enables tourists to hit that magical quantity of 10-15 rides much faster so they'll hopefully take long breaks at DCA/shows/restaurants/stores/hotels to create space for the APs in the afternoon/evening.

    I like the idea of modifying Tarzan's treehouse to make that pipe wider. I'll add on to that idea and say it would be great if a refurbished treehouse had the staircase entrance facing west instead of east. This could in theory siphon off some of the tsunami of guest exit flow from Fantasmic. Another evil idea would be doubling/tripling Indy's and Jungle Cruise's dispatch intervals 20 minutes before the conclusion of a Fantasmic show and 20 minutes after.(The best way to do this would be to remove vehicles/boats since station backups are bad show.) This would increase wait times for these two attractions but slow the trickle of guests that add to the Fantasmic exit tsunami. Fantasmic could also add a brief post-show to help stagger exit flow like World of Color does. The leads in charge of steam trains could also listen in on the Fantasmic operations channel so they could have 1-2 trains waiting in New Orleans Square right when Fantasmic finishes to get guests out of the tsunami. As a last ditch effort for dispersing Fantasmic exit flow, they could always break theming in Critter Country and have rare Fantasmic characters do Meet and Greets over by Pooh Corner.(The dancing monkeys are critters, right? Again, it's sort of the desperate secret weapon we don't want them to use but they might have to.)

    The current picnic area is way underutilized but somehow frequently dirty. A smaller picnic area could be added to DCA along the backtrail underneath Grizzly. Where would you rather picnic:a dirty picnic area outside the park or a rustic setting on Tom Sawyer's Island/the base of Grizzly Peak? To satisfy the cooler crowd, which I'm pretty sure isn't very big, the picnic area temporarily gets a nice, well manicured lawn to see if it boosts usage of the area. If usage flatlines/goes down after 1-2 years, it becomes the designated smoking area for the resort.(Trash surveys and random observations by TDA are how I'd measure usage of the picnic area.)

    The Main Street tunnel is definitely a long shot since construction would have to be done piecemeal, each segment would take forever to complete, and we'd see almost a thousand parade cancellations over a 3-5 year span. However, if someone could design a smaller parade that loops around the hub and back up to Small World I think it could be done. The tricky part would be syncing the audio, managing crowd control for a long parade with no crosses, and making thinner floats so two could pass each other along the parade route.(The floats would have enough unique effects to that the same float will probably do something different when you see it the second time.)

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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    Again, a simpler idea for curing the Fantasmic! tsunami: Stop showing Fantasmic! !

    Simpler idea for utilizing the non-E-ticket-equivalent attractions (and I know you're going to like this sleepy-J): Go back to ticket books!! It's Disney's way of saying, "No, you should NOT go on Space Mountain five times in a day. You need to go on Peter Pan and Pinocchio! You need to go on that dreadful Pooh ride! Etc. You want to ride Space Mountain five times in a day? Well, that's gonna cost you."
    Because Disney knows best.
    Or, he did, until he died.
    And he was wrong about smoking, too.
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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    I didn't read it all, so I'm not sure if it was mentioned, but I'm still in favor of a path around the north end of the ROA from Critter Country to Frontierland. In the least obtrusive and most immersive way of course.

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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    That would be a pretty long walk. And it would probably ruin the effect of a trip back in time on the Mark Twain seeing a bunch of guests walking behind the wilderness.

    So, without further ado:
    1. Tear out most of DCA, put in a parking structure there. Keep the east-side stuff, and connect it to Tomorrowland somehow.
    2. Tear down Stickey and Friends. Create new land out there.
    3. Have that land connect to both Toon Town AND Critter Country, far enough away from the ROA so as not to destroy that experience.
    (Yeah, I'm tearing down a lot!)

    Um, can I borrow 3 billion dollars, please?
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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post

    Simpler idea for utilizing the non-E-ticket-equivalent attractions (and I know you're going to like this sleepy-J): Go back to ticket books!! It's Disney's way of saying, "No, you should NOT go on Space Mountain five times in a day. You need to go on Peter Pan and Pinocchio! You need to go on that dreadful Pooh ride! Etc. You want to ride Space Mountain five times in a day? Well, that's gonna cost you."
    .
    Exactly!
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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    That would be a pretty long walk. And it would probably ruin the effect of a trip back in time on the Mark Twain seeing a bunch of guests walking behind the wilderness.
    No further than exiting the park at the end of the night from Critter Country.

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    Re: Clearing the Pipes

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Go back to ticket books!! It's Disney's way of saying, "No, you should NOT go on Space Mountain five times in a day. You need to go on Peter Pan and Pinocchio! You need to go on that dreadful Pooh ride! Etc. You want to ride Space Mountain five times in a day? Well, that's gonna cost you."
    Because Disney knows best.
    Disney actually already does this to an extent. The training for Fastpass pulsing is 80 Fastpass/DAS cards/baby switch/VIP to 20 stand-by guests. Of course, when we break down at Racers and our Fastpass line backs up we're probably pulsing 85-15, 90-10, or 95-5 if it was a really long breakdown. The idea is for Fastpass attractions to only use 20% of their capacity on stand-by guests.(If you count Single Rider as stand-by then this number is probably closer to 25%.)Fastpass is just the cheaper, more efficient version of ticket books in terms of rationing E-tickets and spreading crowds evenly around the resort.

    DCA really needs better marketing/a wider appeal. Its pipes, layout, and parade route are capable of handling larger crowds than Disneyland. So from a crowd control standpoint, you could argue that DCA needs even more money spent on it before we think about a revamped Tomorrowland. Alice in Wonderland has triple the wait of Monsters Inc. Astro Orbiter has 12 times the wait of Golden Zephyr and Triton's Carousel. Space Mountain has double or triple the wait of California Screamin'. Gadget's Go Coaster has double the wait of Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and triple the wait of anything in Flik's Fun Fair. Winnie the Pooh has triple the wait of Little Mermaid. All of these examples scream marketing problem, not just a quality problem.

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