There is no doubt I love this ride, but after this weekend/today I won't be queuing for more than 60 minutes for it.
On Sunday we queued for 45 minutes, the queue moved slow, but it was acceptable, when we got off it was 17:20 so we went for another go, it was posted as a 60 minute queue.
Well come 5:30 I have never seen the throughput on The Smiler go so quickly, this '60 minute queue' was cleared in a good 25 minutes. People were going through so quickly everyone was walking in the queue with no stopping. Anyone would think the staff wanted to go home or something...
Then today was the final straw, 120 mins advertised which turned out to be more like 150 minutes, it was too hot, no shade, no cooling (fans would be nice), no air con in the optical room. But the queue.... well it just went soooooooooooooo slowly, I mean it was painful, I had never seen the queue go so slow. On Sunday the ride has a few 5 min break downs and the queue was going a lot quicker.
The only answer is they must have increased the number of Fast Tracks or were going at a slower speed. There were so many people going into the Fast Track queue. By the time I got to the optical room, I was at boiling point, to only get up the stairs to have queue jumpers try and get in. Thankfully they were booted out. Then when getting to go on the ride, yet again 3rd time this weekend, row bloody 4. We politely asked if we could have row 1 or 2 and a stressed member of staff said "No a chance" - great customer service isn't it... Iwould expect "I'm sorry we can't do that", "If you don't mind waiting a turn" or "Would Row 2 be ok?"
Another thing which got my t1ts this weekend was the number of pathetic people who queued in a queue for ages, got on the ride, then decided once the ride was ready they wanted to get off, then their friends wanted to get off or they wanted to swap seats. Really these people just make it worse for everyone. I know some people are scared but having to get the restraints raised, then do a full re-check adds minutes to people's queues and the more people who do it the longer the queues get.
We had a girl on Oblivion today took her shoes off and the ride ops told her to put them on. The person in the control booth said "three and a hald minutes to put your shoes on" the stupid cow not only didn't read the signs but was holding up the entire ride. You know that moment where you just wanna punch somebody? If I was a member of staff after 2 minutes I would have got her to leave the ride and send it out. You shouldn't need to have the ride controller make a PA announcement to get a member of staff to help somebody put their shoes on....
Anyway hopefully when I visit next time The Smiler will have a shorter queue.