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Disney imagineering long lines out of theme parks with military-grade monitoring systems

Trent Wolbe
December 28, 2010
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They've got a monorail system, IRL Muppets, and a house from the future, so we're not surprised that Disneyland is kicking its line-monitoring system into technological overdrive. Beneath Cinderella's iconic castle, a NORAD-style operation dedicated to eradicating downtime for visitors to the Magic Kingdom has sprung up, with a whole team tracking wait times, average number of rides ridden, and a whole bevy of other visitor-happiness metrics all over the park. From there, they can do things like re-route foot traffic to less-populated areas of the park with a mini-parade, adjust personnel at different attractions, or dispatch Jack Sparrow himself to liven up a Pirates line-waiter's afternoon. Chief Creative Executive Imagineer Bruce E. Vaughan dreams of "a day where there is memory built into these characters - they will know that they've seen you four or five times before and that your name is Bobby." Sounds delightfully frightening to us. But hey, it's all in the name of increasing visitor happiness, which we're sure goes hand in hand with visitor brokeness by the time they leave the park.

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