The Art of Attractions: The Line Ends Here
The wearable technology also allows guests to blast one another with water guns or initiate other effects at TapTu Play stations throughout the park. They could take selfies without their phones at Universal’s TapTu Snap spots. And visitors could make purchases using the park’s cashless TapTu Pay feature.
“This is the tip of the iceberg for us. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it’s kind of hard to put it back in,” Jason Surrell, creative director for Universal Creative, told me when I visited Universal Orlando earlier this year. He was referring to the Virtual Line system he helped develop for the “Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon” attraction (which opened this spring at Universal Studios Florida), but TapuTapu is a natural progression. As with Volcano Bay’s slides, guests waiting to experience “Race” are free to roam around Universal Studios Florida until it is time for them to compete against “The Tonight Show” host.
Surrell sees Virtual Line and TapuTapu as Universal’s opening salvos in the war on lines—a war that he believes attractions will eventually win. “It could be 10 years; it could be one generation. But we are going to get to a point where a kid will go to a theme park and say, ‘What’s a line? I don’t know what you’re talking about, Grandpa.’”
What are your attractions doing to eliminate queues or lessen their burden? It’s time to get in line and join the battle.
I’ll see you at the parks. But maybe not while waiting in line.
A lifelong park fanatic, Arthur Levine has been writing newspaper and magazine travel features about the industry he loves since 1992. He’s been the Theme Parks Expert at About.com since 2002, and is a regular contributor for USA Today.