As summer winds down we were recently trying to get the most out of our last few sunny days at a local theme park. We have season passes so we visit at a number of different hours of the day and days of the week. There are days when lines are short and days when they are long. The lines seem even longer on the days where it is sunny and 98 with high humidity. We usually skip those days.
Anyway, we have a number of rides each of us likes. One of the favorites is the bumper cars. On this day the line was shorter than average but still moving slow. As I looked out into the bumper car track I noticed 2 cars were not working and pushed into a corner and still in another corner was yet another car. I thought to myself “how can you have 3 cars out of service” especially 3 out of 12. That’s 25% wow.
Then I thought of how much longer it takes to reduce the length of the line with the broken cars. I noticed this once before at the park when we were waiting for the old time rumble seat cars that follow a track. It seemed like such a long time before the next car came. We “wait” for hundreds of hours per week in our daily lives. Think of how many total hours you spend in a year at traffic lights.
A calculation for the wait time for a theme park attraction is the number of people in line during an hour minus the attraction's hourly capacity. Then you take that number and divide it by the hourly capacity. Then multiply that result by 60 (for minutes in an hour). The result is the average wait time during that hour. So let’s look at the example above using 75 people in line to see what the difference would be.
All cars working:
75 people - 144 (hourly capacity) = (-69)/144 =.47 x 60 = 28.2 minutes
Hourly capacity is 12 cars X a 5 minute turn around which equals 12 rides per hour or 144 capacity.
3 cars broken:
75 people - 84 (hourly capacity) = (-69)/84 =.82 x 60 = 49.2 minutes
Capacity is 9 cars X 5 minute turn around which equals 7 rides per hour or 84 rides per hour capacity.
Got a favorite ride at an amusement park? Check out the wait times at queue times.com
What do you spending time waiting for most in life?