A Popular Theme Park Is Trying A Novel Approach To Battle Line Jumpers, But I'll Be Shocked If It Works

 Montezooma's Revenge.
Montezooma's Revenge.

If there’s one thing that you know you’ll be doing inside a theme park, it’s stand in line. Even if you’re willing to shell out for the various line-skipping options, like Disney’s Genie+ or Universal's Express Pass, you’ll still spend a lot of your time in line. This makes it all the more frustrating when you see people trying to cut the line. It’s unfair to everybody who has been waiting in line when some people don't. Knott’s Berry Farm has come up with a new way to try and fight this, but to me, it seems unlikely to be very successful.

The O.C. Register reports that new signs have been posted around the iconic California theme park, and Knocked Up location Knott’s Berry Farm, that offer guests a phone number that they can text which will inform park security of people jumping the queue. After receiving the report security will be dispatched to deal with the problem. This is certainly a new idea that hasn’t been tried before to my knowledge, and while it’s not without its merits I can’t imagine it will work as intended.

Why A Special Number To Report Line Jumpers Makes Sense

On paper, I completely understand why Knott’s Berry Farm is trying this new texting option. People who jump the queue suck and everybody gets upset when it happens. However, a lot of the time people get away with it for the simple reason that people don’t like to confront people on these sorts of issues.

One group confronting another about allegedly cutting the line has led to violence inside theme parks before. Knott’s Berry Farm has specifically been dealing with problems of violence on property for years, leading the park to install chaperone rules. By texting a number, people cutting the line can be reported discreetly, the violators will likey not know who reported them, so even if there was a desire to get physical, it couldn’t happen.

But that’s about the only positive that I see coming from this idea. In practice, it’s unlikely to work.

Why This Knott's Berry Farm Plan Probably Won’t Work

First, you have the issue of response time. How quickly after a report comes in will security be able to respond? If they’re not fast enough, the offending party could already be on the ride by the time anybody gets there to deal with the problem. Clearly the need for this texting line is because Knott’s doesn’t have the staff to watch the lines closely, so there will be some sort of delay.

Next, what happens if the violators simply deny having jumped the line? If enough people in the queue claim otherwise, the group can be dealt with, but this then defeats the purpose of other guests being able to report anonymously.

You then also have the issue of the number being abused. If two parties are having a disagreement in the parks that is unrelated to line cutting, one could use the number to force them to have to defend themselves against security. Others could simply use the line to pull pranks.

I appreciate the desire to try and prevent people from jumping the queue. It’s not fair to the majority of guests who wait in line so it should be dealt with, but this solution is likely to just cause more problems.

I certainly hope I'm wrong. If I am, then there's a good chance we could see something like this become standard across many parks. Knott's parent company Cedar Fair is in the final steps of a merger with Six Flags that will create the largest amusement park company in the world.