Nobody likes to wait in line, whether it is in the local grocery store or at a Disney Park. The smart folks at Disney understand this and have been working on the issue for decades.
The History Of Lines
First with FastPass, and later with FastPass+, Disney has explored using technology, advanced mathematics, and operational planning to reduce the amount of time we spend in lines.
Most recently, Disney introduced the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Not only did this advance allow guests to spend their time exploring (and yes, spending money in) the rest of the park, but it also avoided issues of people spending 6+ hours waiting in a line. In addition, the virtual queue gave Disney flexibility for planning capacity as they worked out the start-up kinks of the most advanced, complex, and ambitious Disney attraction ever.
Back in late 2019, Disney announced a new planning app called the Disney Genie. While Disney didn’t announce many details, the high-level idea was that the app would plan your day based on complex algorithms and thousands of options. It seemed like both a way to help plan your day and – possibly – do so in a way that reduced the time you spend in line.
New Patent Application
Now, we have information that Disney has filed a new patent (US Patent Application 2021/0150421) called “Dynamic Management of Virtual Queues.” As is often the case with patents, the language of the patent is written in a technical way.
However, here is the idea:
Let’s say you have a virtual queue reservation for Rise of the Resistance. You would like to ride Slinky Dog before you ride Rise of the Resistance. A new Disney system described in the patent would look at many pieces of data (crowd levels, wait times, ride capacity, etc.) and figure out how you can ride Slink Dog without messing up your reservation for Rise of the Resistance.
While this sounds simple, it is actually very complex.
It requires many calculations on information that is changing constantly. Rides capacities change, crowds levels change, guest interests in what they want to ride change, etc. Figuring out these queues requires collecting data from rides, queues, smartphones, and maybe even crowd levels, ticket types (children vs. adults), and weather.
While many companies, including Disney, create patents that never come to life in the real world, it seems possible that Disney is working on the next generation of technology (possibly as part of the new Disney Genie app, or maybe even a successor or update to the current virtual queue or FastPass systems) that will help us spend less time in line and more time enjoying the Disney parks.
Excited that Disney is working on a patent to help eliminate waiting in line?