Operations & Marketing Cohesiveness: A Tale About My Experience at Volcano Bay, Part Three

Part Three

The following three-part story is meant to be more of a tale of how Operations and Marketing could work together better to create a more enjoyable experience for customers. It just so happens that these stories all happened to me on the same day at the same park. My disclaimer is that I overall had a fantastic day, I would like to go again sometime, and they have hopefully started to work through some of these kinks.

The last observation was the one regarding the original marketing that said there would be no lines for rides. You’d go to the ride, link your Tapu Tapu bracelet, it would give you a time to come back, you’d go out and play, then when your time was up, you’d go up the stairs and ride the ride. In our case with the cabana, we had a machine (Tapu Tapu god I keep mentioning) that would allow us to pick any ride and link for a time.

But with 8,000 people as their max capacity (which was reached, and thank goodness it was only 8k, when they opened, it was 15k!), the operations of giving people times, having them go off and play, come back when their time was up, and then go up the stairs and ride the ride, didn’t work out very well.  We’d be told by our bracelets that we had to wait an hour and a half to go on the ride. Then, when it was our turn, we still had to wait thirty to forty minutes in the line that was on the stairs.

At one point, there were Tapu Tapu “no line” waits for up to four hours! And then, after that four hours, someone would have to wait another 40 minutes to ride something? And you weren’t allowed to ride anything else during that time frame… even if there wasn’t a line for it. You had missed that chance; everyone was locked into longer and longer waits and other rides looked vacant.  It felt insane when you’re three flights down from the top of the stairs waiting and the ride next to you barely has anyone on it.

OMCLL#4: If you’re a theme park, you’re going to have lines.  Heck, before we got to our Cabana, we waited in FOUR lines – the security, the entrance, the proof of hotel stay, and for the cabana. And then there wasn’t a single ride line where we didn’t wait at least twenty minutes.  DON’T SAY it’s the first park of it’s kind because there are NO LINES.

Here’s to hoping that they can figure out better configurations for how to use Tapu Tapu. My idea so far is to just load people with an itinerary for the entire day that allows them access to every ride at least once.  If they get there after half the day is over, they can use a kiosk to optimize their time with what’s available. Then, everyone would be moving around in smooth choreography, still probably with some wait, because, well, we’re humans, but not in excess of 10-15 minutes… I’m not saying I could write the code and execute though… heck, I’m in marketing. 😉

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