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Customer Success Story
The implementation of Accesso LoQueue virtual queuing technology was the centerpiece of our COVID safe re-opening strategy.
Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari is a family-owned theme park and water park in Santa Claus, Indiana serving over 1.1 million visitors annually. Home to the world’s longest water coaster and America’s only launched wing coaster, the park features top-ranked wooden roller coasters, numerous family rides and shows, and of course, appearances by Santa Claus himself.
For over two decades, Holiday World has used the accesso SiriuswareSM point of sale ticketing platform to power fast transactions throughout their theme park. In 2014, they added the best-in-class accesso Passport® online ticketing system to their portfolio. Through this integration, the park has been able to increase online conversions and overall revenue through the sales of daily tickets, season passes, cabanas and meal vouchers online. It’s also helped Holiday World offer a more seamless onsite experience for guests, allowing them to easily redeem benefits and perks associated with their tickets and season passes.
When the COVID-19 pandemic brought park operations to a screeching halt in 2020, Holiday World faced the same challenge as many venues around the world: finding a way to safely reopen the park. Beginning in early March, the team met weekly to map out a strategy, looking at every aspect of the guest experience and how it would need to be modified for the state of Indiana’s social distancing protocols.
“We needed to re-engineer every part of the Guest experience from the time they walked through the front gate to the time they returned to their car at the end of the day,” said Blumhardt, noting that many of the safety protocols Holiday World needed to implement were similar to what consumers would expect from food and retail establishments, such as ground markers for social distancing, plexi-glass barriers in front of cash registers and face coverings.
In addition to reducing capacity and adding plenty of locations for hand “Santatizer,” how could the park modify their operations to ensure that guests were staying 6 feet apart throughout the duration of their visit? A normal line for a rollercoaster can fit approximately 100 guests across a 300-foot area, but with social distancing requirements, this same line became nearly 700 feet – almost two football fields long! With so many popular rides, Holiday World needed to find a solution in order to reopen safely.
Increase in Guest Per Capita Spending
Virtual queuing allowed us to re-open Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari safely during an unprecedented time. In addition, we believe virtual queuing changed the park experience for the better.”
After careful planning and consideration, Holiday World decided to launch a plan for reopening safely that centered around a temporary 100% virtual queuing program with accesso. Virtual queuing allowed the park to eliminate lines, giving guests a safer way to enjoy Holiday World’s rides and attractions, and making it easier for park operators to facilitate social distancing.
With more than 20 years of experience and extensive patents, there was no one better suited to help the park implement virtual queuing than accesso. Holiday World worked closely with the accesso team to develop its inLine Reservation platform, a custom-branded implementation of the accesso LoQueue® virtual queuing system, which was provided as a complimentary offering to every guest entering the park. In just a few months, the park was able to re-open to passholders on June 14th, opening to the general public a few days later.
The platform was easy and intuitive for guests to use, and accessible directly from a guest’s smartphone via accesso’s web-based Qsmart® platform. Upon arrival, guests received a wristband with a code. They were prompted to register for the system and add the 6-digit number from each wristband in their group. At that point, they could begin making reservations through their smartphone (or, if they didn't have a smartphone, they could visit a gift shop to make a reservation). After making a reservation, guests were placed into a virtual queue and a countdown began. When it was their turn to ride, guests were notified to proceed to the attraction, where park operators conducted a contactless scan of the QR code on the guest’s wristband in order to redeem the reservation.
Aside from happier guests and the ability to reopen safely, Holiday World discovered another key benefit to virtual queuing— increased guest spending. When guests spent less time physically standing in line, the park saw a lift in guest per capita spending metrics in retail, food and beverage and games, which Blumhardt believed could be attributed to the implementation of virtual queuing.
Holiday World and accesso worked together to refine the virtual queuing offering. Initially, the park started with virtual queuing for all of their rides, but as the park learned more about how guests were spending their time, they were able to gradually remove less popular attractions from the system, enabling guests to enjoy a variety of smaller rides while they waited for the park’s signature attractions. “We found that this hybrid queuing approach worked well for our guests and resulted in higher customer satisfaction scores,” said Blumhardt.
Virtual queuing technology was a critical part of the park’s plan for reopening in the wake of COVID-19, but Blumhardt also believed it had a lasting impact on the guest experience. “We believe virtual queuing changed the park experience for the better.”
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