Knott’s Berry Farm exploring virtual queue system for post-coronavirus reopening – Orange County Register

Knott’s Berry Farm exploring virtual queue system for post-coronavirus reopening – Orange County Register

Knott’s Berry Farm could feel very different with required advance reservations, reduced capacity, COVID-19 health surveys, mobile food ordering and possibly even a virtual queue system when the Buena Park theme park reopens following an extended coronavirus closure.

Knott’s has implemented a number of technological updates and is exploring others to address new COVID-19 health and safety protocols that will be put in place when the park reopens.

Knott’s Berry Farm is actively evaluating a virtual queue management system that would help reduce wait times and shorten lines for rides and attractions, park officials said.

SEE ALSO: Knott’s Berry Farm owner rolls out post-coronavirus plan for reopening theme parks

Knott’s remains closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Knott’s and other California theme parks can reopen during Stage 3 of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s four-stage road map for reopening California’s economy. A reopening date has not been announced for Knott’s.

App-based virtual queue management systems allow visitors to explore other theme park attractions, restaurants and shops while waiting for an individual ride without having to stand in a long line. Disneyland used a virtual queue system to manage crowds for the new Rise of the Resistance dark ride in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge before the Anaheim theme park closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

SEE ALSO: Knott’s Berry Farm postpones 100th anniversary celebration until 2021, new ride ready to open

A virtual queue system adopted by Knott’s, the only year-round Cedar Fair park, could serve as a model for other locations in the chain.

In addition to Knott’s, Cedar Fair owns California’s Great America in Santa Clara, Cedar Point and Kings Island in Ohio, Kings Dominion in Virginia, Canada’s Wonderland outside Toronto and Carowinds on the Carolina border.

SEE ALSO: Knott’s Berry Farm owner says its theme parks could be closed through end of 2020

Cedar Fair is actively working on the potential introduction of virtual queuing, Cedar Fair CEO Richard Zimmerman said on a call with analysts in early May.

“We are also actively working on enhancements and expanded use of technology platforms, including our park mobile apps, in order to improve the guest experience going forward,” Zimmerman said on a call.

Knott’s also plans to update the park’s mobile app with new functionality geared toward the “new normal” of the COVID-19 era.

Once the park reopens, Knott’s visitors will use the updated mobile app to:

    Make required advance reservations for a specific date and time
    Present their timed entry voucher at the park entrance
    Complete a required pre-arrival COVID-19 health survey
    Process season passes without visiting the pass processing center
    Place mobile food orders
    Make cashless digital payments at shops and restaurants
    Find the closest hand sanitizing station using the app’s map
    Receive health and safety reminders

SEE ALSO: Knott’s Berry Farm’s record attendance and revenues turn to big losses with coronavirus closure

The updated mobile app will allow Knott’s Berry Farm to monitor overcrowding and maximize park capacity once attendance caps are put in place when the park reopens, according to Cedar Fair. Knott’s plans to use the updated mobile app to manage crowd flow and deploy crowd control measures in order to maintain social distancing and promote health and safety protocols.

Location-based services built into the mobile app will allow Knott’s to “maximize park capacity without sacrificing safety” once the park reopens with attendance caps in compliance with state and local health guidelines, according to Cedar Fair.

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