Thursday, March 17, 2011

NextGen Queues: What I'd Like to See Next

Lately, the buzz has been surrounding the installation of NextGen Queues throughout Walt Disney World, especially with the recent soft opening of the most recent attraction to receive this treatment:  The Haunted Mansion.  (And of course the other most recent addition of the Winne the Pooh Queue).  

For those who haven't seen what Disney has done here, check out this video from Inside the Magic.  You can really get the idea of what Disney was going for.   

As for my take on it...I kinda like it...kinda don't.  I wished they would have gone a little more creepy with feels a tiny bit cartoonish...but I do appreciate some of the whimsy the new queue is trying to bring. I understood that the Haunted Mansion could have definitely benefited from getting a NextGen Queue (those switchbacks can be torture) I just wish that it would have been a bit more of a realistic haunting on the outside, much like it is on the inside.  (Well, as realistic as you can get with ghouls and ghosts!)

One thing I do like is how right now they are allowing people to choose if they want to do the NextGen side or just go straight in.  If that continues to be the case...I'll be one who almost always goes straight.  But only time will tell if that option continues in the future.

So, with all the excitement going on about the new Haunted Mansion queue, I thought I'd take a look at what attractions I thought would be good ones to make into interactive queues and which ones I think Disney should stay far away from.

The first attraction that I think a NextGen Queue should be introduced is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  If you've been to WDW more than a few times, you have had to stand in the standby line for this attraction and you know how unbelievably dull it is.  This is one attraction where I've gotten SO bored standing in line for that most of the time now, unless there are FASTPASSES or the wait is extremely small, I will not ride the attraction.  I've actually skipped it numerous times because of that.  If this saw NextGen treatment, I can guarantee, the likelihood of me standing in the standby line will have increased greatly.

Next, and this is one where I believe sooner, rather than later, we'll be seeing a NextGen Queue being put in, is Peter Pan's Flight.  This is yet another attraction where I will only FASTPASS or ride with a short wait...because waiting 45 minutes or longer in those switchbacks is pure torture!  Please, Disney...THIS right here is the type of attraction you NEED to include an interactive queue on!  Make it happen!

I also think that Jungle Cruise would benefit from this.  That attraction's line is often deceiving and I've stood in very long lines here.  And while it's fun to listen to the music and the announcements playing overhead...I think adding a little something extra in the queue would really spice things up here.

Moving over to Animal Kingdom, I think that they should maybe look into including some interactive elements into Kilimanjaro Safaris.  Now this is an attraction where they need to tread lightly.  They don't need to cartoon it up or include video games or anything...just something animal based to pass the time in that seemingly never ending line.

Over at Epcot, I really think that Test Track would benefit from a NextGen Queue.  I mean, let's face's already loud in there...what's a little more noise?!  Maybe the interactive capabilities could include you doing the tests on the cars in the queue, instead of the tests being automatically performed?  All I know is that this is yet another attraction where I won't wait in line for it.  Maybe if there was something to do, I might.

The Studios was actually a park where I had trouble thinking about where to include a NextGen Queue.  Some would say that Toy Story Mania is one...but I an extent.  I think it would be more interactive if Mr. Potato Head was not constantly on AutoPilot, like he seems to be every time I've visited.  Plus, maybe you could do something with the toys that surround you...and you'd have an even better queue than it already is.

Part of me wonders is the new Star Tours will include pieces of a NextGen Queue.  Of course, we'll find that out in May.  This is one where I'm torn on whether I'd like to see an interactive queue included here or not. 

My biggest issue about these NextGen Queues is that I don't want them to turn into something that's too kiddie.  Kids aren't the only ones who get bored waiting in remember us adults too when building these, Disney.  And of course, you'll want to watch the cheese factor, especially with attractions that are supposed to be taken "seriously"'s ok to be kind of cartoony in Fantasyland....that whole area is based off cartoons...but it really is a fine line that they will have to walk in making things fun and entertaining, but not too cheesy.

As far as attractions I don't think they should touch (or if they are touched...please do it tastefully), I think Pirates should be left alone.  Also, just about everything in the Studios should stay the way it is...especially Tower of Terror and Rock n' Roller Coaster (although...if they could add something to the outdoor portion of RNRC NextGen, that wouldn't be a problem.  Nothing exciting about concrete walls.)  Finally, they in no way need to touch Expedition: Everest.  If they added any elements here, I think it would take all the realism out of this attraction that so desperately needs realism to make it work.

So that's where I stand...but where do you stand?  What attractions would you like to see get the NextGen treatment?  Which would would be ones you'd want Disney not to touch?  Make sure to let me know in the comments section.


Anonymous said...

Is the Mme. Leota grave still there?

Jessica @ Wanting Adventure said...

I think the Next Gen queues in the rides you describe would be a good call - I just get really bored in those switchbacks. Ick.

Unknown said...

The Madam Leota grave is still there.