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Proper Queue Design

Author/Contributors: Steve Franks

Now that happy peeps have queued up for one of your rides, the very last thing you will want is to have that happiness level drop while they are waiting in line. Bearing this in mind, your first consideration when building a ride and positioning the station platform is how long should a queue be? Basically, this will be determined by the type of ride to be placed.

Flat Rides

ScreenshotMost Flat Rides (known as "spin and pukes" in Carnival lingo) work well with a queue of 5 or more tiles. The two strategy guides suggest 5 to 10 tiles, but 7 tiles feels just right for most ride/station arrangements. With this in mind, proper placement of a Flat Ride is important as you will need to consider where to place the ride's entrance/exit booths. It is recommended to place a Flat Ride at least 1 tile away from the park pathway, and to locate the entrance on the back corner of the ride. The exit booth should be placed at the front of the ride and adjacent to the entrance queue. Having adjacent entrance/exit paths encourages repeat ridership, allowing them to immediately re-enter a ride for a second go round. This is very profitable planning!

ScreenshotIllustration 1 shows the Carousel with both booths on the same side. This is a good average queue. Illustration 2 is an example of a long queue. The Dodge 'em car's entrance and exit booths are not on the same side, but the exit is still placed adjacent to the entrance queue. Peeps won't have to worry about finding the entrance if they want a second go round.

 

 

The Ferris Wheel

ScreenshotThe one notable exception to this 5 to 10 rule is the Ferris Wheel. This Flat Ride is peculiar in the way it loads and unloads passengers. Two peeps will enter and sit in the first gondola. The Wheel will then spin twice (the default ride length) and stop to load the next gondola. It will continue this cycle until all the gondolas are full. The unloading procedure has the same 2 turns/1 gondola cycle. This creates very long waiting times in even the shortest of queues. Try to position the Ferris Wheel so as to keep queues limited to just 4 or 5 tiles. A long queue will quickly kill off your Ferris Wheel's popularity and profitability.

ScreenshotIllustrations 3 and 4 show two methods of setting the entrance booth and forming the queue. Keep the Ferris Wheel queue very short.

 

 

 

Thrill Rides

Screenshot This same entrance/exit booth placement can be employed with most Thrill Rides as well. Again, it is best to build the ride at least 1 blank tile away from the park pathway. The recommended queue length is between 5 to 15 tiles. Personally, I find 7 to 10 tiles works best in an average park. Occasionally monitoring a queue's waiting time will help you in determining the optimum length. You can do this by selecting the "people" tab on the ride window. A good rule of thumb is to never allow more than a 9 minute wait in the queue, otherwise peep happiness levels will begin to suffer.

ScreenshotIllustrations 5 & 6 show examples of short & long queues. This efficient handling of queues will allow you to really pack in a lot of rides in a small area.

Now that happy peeps have queued up for one of your rides, the very last thing you will want is to have that happiness level drop while they are waiting in line. Bearing this in mind, your first consideration when building a ride and positioning the station platform is how long should a queue be? Basically, this will be determined by the type of ride to be placed.

 

High Capacity Rides

ScreenshotHigh capacity rides, like Transport Rides, can swallow up a lot of peeps per train load, so 10 to 20 tiles is best depending upon the type of transport. For example, a long monorail can accept up to 60 peeps at a crack! On the other hand, the Chair Lift handles only 24 passengers, so a queue closer to 10 rather than 20 may be advisable. It will also depend upon the length of the ride and speed of the chairs. Periodically monitoring each ride's queue time will allow you to optimize the queue's length. Always design your Transport Ride station placement so that you can extend or trim your queue as the ride demand changes over time.

ScreenshotIllustrations 7 & 8 show methods of handling long queues for high capacity transport rides like the steam train and monorail. Notice that the entrance booths are midway between the passenger cars of both trains for quick, efficient loading.

 

 

Roller Coasters

Roller coasters are another ride that is high capacity in that the trains are long or many, and the ride time is rather short. A queue of 12 to 20 tiles is recommended. It is especially important to place the exit path as near to the entrance queue as possible. Roller coasters are your park's biggest and best money makers. Repeat ridership should be encouraged with proper entrance queue and exit path placement. Personally, nothing makes me happier than to see a peep get off my latest and greatest coaster, jump for joy, and then immediately queue up for a second and third go round.

ScreenshotIllustration 9 of a Roller Coaster shows a 20 tile queue. One must became very creative to pack in a such a long queue. Try to keep the queues compact but "airy". Notice the different levels of the parallel sections. Empty spaces in between also allow for trees to bump up happiness levels. It is especially important with Roller Coasters to try to keep the exit and entrance queue adjacent.

 

 

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