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The Master

Universal's Volcano Bay

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Surprised there isn't a topic for Universal's new waterpark with its virtual queue system. Looks like despite waiting in a virtual for a long time, you still have a long wait on the stairs anyway. Though the park does look nice in the online review pictures though not sure if I would go and deal with their tapu system.

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I have somewhat following the park updates and it looks like a disaster so far (average TripAdvisor review is 2 out of 5 stars).

 

Having a 3 - 6 hour wait for a slide and then another 30 - 45 minute wait on the stairs is horrible. Only being able to to reserve 1 slide and then be stuck with the wave pool and lazy rivers doesn't sound good either. If you can only get a few slides in the entire day, it doesn't seem to be worth close to $70 get in.

 

The kids areas with a 48" height limit sounds like another miss. They should have copied other water parks like Aquatica and Hershey and had 1 area for under 48" or 54" and 1 for all ages. It must be bad to have a tall 5 year old and have to tell them they can't go on those slides.

 

There have been multiple closures of slides adding to wait times, not enough lockers and the wristbands have had glitches.

 

They should have had a few weeks of soft openings to try to work out some of the issues like finding out Express doesn't work well with the virtual queuing or letting too many people in the park.

 

To also post something positive, the Aqua Coaster looks amazing and the mat racers look like a lot of fun too with more of a standard slide layout than most mat racers.

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6 hour wait for 1 slide?!?!?! If you are the person willing to wait for that your next step after leaving the park better be to the hospital to get your head checked

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6 hour wait for 1 slide?!?!?! If you are the person willing to wait for that your next step after leaving the park better be to the hospital to get your head checked

LOL - I'd never wait more than an hour for any kind of ride at any park. The SFGA safari was an hour wait earlier this year, and I wanted to pull my hair out (not that I have much).

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I wanted to go on the Safari ride last time I was at the park but the line was all the way to the sign and I said F that

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Keep in mind, "6 hours" is in the virtual queue. So, you're not physically waiting in a line for 6 hours, the idea is to enjoy the rest of the park, eat food, relax, etc. until the Tapu watch tells you it's your turn to ride.

 

 

That's the thing that I think most people don't understand when complaining about the virtual queue/Tapu system. Without the virtual queue, everyone would just be waiting on a physical line for 6 hours. (okay, maybe more like 4 hours since some people obviously would turn away when they see the line).

The problem is insanely high attendance and low slide/ride throughput, not necessarily the virtual queue.

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Would the standby lines really be 6 hours without Tapu, or is the system inflating the wait times? Many accounts say that in the time Tapu can process 50 people, old stand by lines would have processed 100. Volcan Bays problem is it doesn't have enough rides to process its guests and Tspu is a faulty band aid.

 

6 hours is an awfully long time to do just one slide even with riding river, going in wave pools, eating, etc. There is only so many times one can go around a river in a day and everyone else is milling around for hours too, so the rivers, wave pool, and even restaurants jam up. From reports I read, even the snack bars were deep in the weeds with all the people waiting. 6 hours spans from lunch time to dinner time. Tapu makes HH Flash pass look good.

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Many accounts say that in the time Tapu can process 50 people, old stand by lines would have processed 100.

 

This doesn't even make sense.. why would there be the 40min physical line after the virtual queue, then? Tapu exists to tell people when it's their turn to get on the physical line. As long as there's people in the physical line, it's doing it's job. If anything, it's processing too many people by sending 100 when it should send 50.

 

"Processing 50 people as opposed to 100" would mean that there are no people in the physical line and the slides are empty half the time, with the employees sitting twiddling their thumbs waiting for Tapu to send them riders.

Edited by Matt Kaiser

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I wanted to go on the Safari ride last time I was at the park but the line was all the way to the sign and I said F that

Reminds me of back during my skiing years, and lift line queues would get ridiculous, especially on weekends. You pay all this money for a lift ticket, and then spend 90% of your time waiting to get to the top of the mountain. At resorts with larger elevation changes, you could almost justify a long wait time, as the time to ski back down the mountain was also longer. But at the smaller places, you could wait an hour to get to the top and then be back down in 5 minutes. Then it's off to the lodge to spend some more money instead of actually skiing. LOL

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VB is having growing pains, but it's not the disaster that some people have painted it to be. The opening should have been delayed a couple of weeks to complete the work, and the park has suffered from lack of a soft opening to work out the kinks.

 

My cousin was just there last week and mostly had positive things to say about it. And she worked for Six Flags corporate for many years and knows the industry so she went in with a critical eye and we had given her a heads up about some of the difficulties the park had. They still managed to ride the water coaster twice, and everything else they wanted to do. They said the longest waits were the food lines.

 

Here in Orlando there are lots of discussions about the park and lots of people updating daily on the operations and progress on the things that still need completion and each day it gets better and better. By September (when I plan to visit) it should be perfected.

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This doesn't even make sense.. why would there be the 40min physical line after the virtual queue, then? Tapu exists to tell people when it's their turn to get on the physical line. As long as there's people in the physical line, it's doing it's job. If anything, it's processing too many people by sending 100 when it should send 50.

 

"Processing 50 people as opposed to 100" would mean that there are no people in the physical line and the slides are empty half the time, with the employees sitting twiddling their thumbs waiting for Tapu to send them riders.

Tapu may be creating imbalance. Like instead of people getting in line whenever they want thoughout the day, they are pooled into large groups that pour into the lines at once, causing long physical lines going down all the way to the base. It is similar to a supply and demand curves, where any attempt to influence them just creates imbalance and inefficiency that favors one group while hurting the rest. I don't know, for example, if Tapu holds up and prevents people from sliding on the major slides until an hour after opening because that is the beginning preprogramed wait time.

 

Regardless, the park clearly has capacity and efficiency issues, otherwise the lines, both electronic and real would not be several hours long. These issues can be stemming from, not enough slides to handle the number of guests in the park, the slides themselves not having enough capacity, and inefficient and slow loading and dispatching. Even here at local water parks, a poorly trained slow lifeguard can back a waterslide line up fast, while a efficient lifeguard can clear up a backup.

 

Also, for a system designed to let people mill around while waiting for slides, there isn't much to mill with. Such a system needs much more than just a wave pool and a couple of rivers. They would also need a large water playground and large old school activity pools for people to mill in. Perhaps they should even have an option for longer standby lines and shorter Tapu lines, similar to Disney's old fastpass.

 

Another problem that may also be going on is inefficient tower and stairway setups. At Hershey Boardwalk, when they first opened their water slides, it originally had a poorly designed stairway. There was one stairway up to both the regular slide and the fancy bowel slide. As you can expect, the bowel slide line would be longer and block people from riding the regular slide. Thankfully that fixed it by adding a second stairway just for the bowel slide. I can see from the maps of VB that some towers have a plain slide and a fancy slide. But as GA coaster has said, many of the problems are likely from rushing the opening.

Edited by The Master

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Reminds me of back during my skiing years, and lift line queues would get ridiculous, especially on weekends. You pay all this money for a lift ticket, and then spend 90% of your time waiting to get to the top of the mountain. At resorts with larger elevation changes, you could almost justify a long wait time, as the time to ski back down the mountain was also longer. But at the smaller places, you could wait an hour to get to the top and then be back down in 5 minutes. Then it's off to the lodge to spend some more money instead of actually skiing. LOL

yeah, I haven't been to a mountain in a few years but that's something I do not miss

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So in a nut shell, this water park is too small to handle the crowds and it needs to be expanded is pretty much what it comes down to

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The park looks cool, but I don't think I would ever go. The older I get the more water parks gross me out lol

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