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As the predicted queue line ever been wrong and it's taken longer than the expected time ?

Coaster_fan_07

Roller Poster
I find the opposite usually! All the parks I’ve been to tend to overestimate queue times on purpose, in order to keep guests pleasantly surprised and to keep more people in the parts of the park where they can spend money on food, merch, etc.
I personally agree after all that is a prime reason why the FastPass systems were put in place.
 

Dan?

Roller Poster
I’m pretty sure that the Merin parks in the UK have been overstating ride times quite dramatically for the past year or so. Chessington seems to be a particular offender for this.
Most rides at Thorpe were done on a guesstimation. Rush's queue at least was broken up into 6 segments (Main start, Main end, Extension 1 out, Extension 1 return, Extension 2 out, Extension 2 return) but a couple operators tended to consider it as 3, and that's how it was described in the rulebook - Main, Ext. 1 and Ext. 2. Main was a 10 minute queue, Ext. 1 was an additional 15, Ext. 2 was an additional 20.

Rush Queue Illustration
Take this queue sketch as an example. Merlin queues are split into distinct sections, with each timed boundary coinciding with an extension gate, which could be subdivided into an outbound and a return (illustrated as dark and light) - but Merlin only note what I've illustrated as red, gold and blue as 3 sections. I've seen Rush advertised as 45 mins when it's only been halfway along the 2nd extension, which should only be a 22.5 min wait.
 
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MestnyiGeroi

Giga Poster
Though if you believe Touring Plans, Disney deliberately exaggerates about wait times for certain things to manipulate their guests.
With great trepidation, I once got in line for Guardians of the Galaxy when it was posting a three-hour wait, but the line “only” took 90 minutes.
 

JoshC.

Strata Poster
Most rides at Thorpe were done on a guesstimation. Rush's queue at least was broken up into 6 segments (Main start, Main end, Extension 1 out, Extension 1 return, Extension 2 out, Extension 2 return) but a couple operators tended to consider it as 3, and that's how it was described in the rulebook - Main, Ext. 1 and Ext. 2. Main was a 10 minute queue, Ext. 1 was an additional 15, Ext. 2 was an additional 20.

View attachment 17603
Take this queue sketch as an example. Merlin queues are split into distinct sections which could be subdivided into an outbound and a return (illustrated as dark and light), but Merlin only note what I've illustrated as red, gold and blue as 3 sections. I've seen Rush advertised as 45 mins when it's only been halfway along the 2nd extension, which should only be a 22.5 min wait.

Heh, I never even thought that having those 3 sections could be (mis)interpreted to effectively double the queue length. Although subdiving each section makes much more sense in terms of clarity.

Should stress that it's not a 'Merlin' thing to subdivide the way you described. It's not even a Thorpe thing. There's no prescribed way of doing it. It will all come down to individuals and how they feel it's best described and explained.

For example, a few years back, a particular individual created 'queue maps' for all Thorpe rides, showcasing exactly how the extensions worked, and their rough queue times. Whether those maps and that system is still in place 5 or so years later would be guesswork on my part.
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
Alton Towers used to hand out a small credit card sized bit of card with your entry time written on it. You then handed this back at batching.

This last happened to me in 2019 on Oblivion, the ‘hosts’ (not ops) then used a tablet on the wall of the ride exit platform, between baggage and the op cabin, to alter the queue times.

The tablets are still there on the rides, but I haven’t seen a host using one for a few years, whereas you used to see this quite regularly.
 

Thekingin64

Strata Poster
Was at Towers stuck in a longer than expected Smiler queue the other week. My friend spotted a staff member join the queue a short way behind us. Soon after we rode, the advertised 30min queue went up to the actual 50min queue length.

Seemingly the "manual" way of measuring queue times is still used, and probably the most accurate way of doing so..
 

cookie

Hyper Poster
I know that in parks that rely either solely on the app or collective boards spread around the park and not on posted signs by the entrance (Plopsaland and PortAventura come to mind) the estimated wait time tends to be a lot less accurate — Ride to Happiness for example had an estimated 50-minute wait but I got on in less than 30. Disney, Phantasialand, Europa Park, and similar places on the other hand tend to be pretty good with keeping their signs up to date.
 
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