Chessington World of Adventures has confirmed that the Mandrill Mayhem rollercoaster will use a virtual queueing system when it launches on 15 May.
The Bolliger & Mallibard-manufactured wing coaster is a launched shuttle ride, operating on a single train.
In a video posted today, Chessington said that a smartphone would be needed to access the ‘reserve and ride’ feature via QR code or app.
Up to six people can be booked to ride by a single smartphone user.
Chessington said the system will be free, but operate on a first-come, first served basis. The park said that paid fast-track will not be a part of the ride.
The park said: “If you are unsuccessful in acquiring a place in the virtual queue at 9.45 am, more slots will be released at regular intervals throughout the day.”
Once a place is secured, a countdown starts on the user’s device, after which they have 45 minutes to join a smaller physical queue.
With 28 seats and a claimed two-minute turnaround time, the ride has a theoretical capacity of about 840 people per hour.
The capacity figure has been widely disputed due to observed loading times on other wing-style rollercoasters.
The decision to adopt a virtual queuing system is likely to be seen as an attempt by Chessington to avoid lengthy physical queues.
It is unclear if the virtual queue system will remain indefinitely, or if it is intended only as mitigation for the likely busy period immediately after the ride’s opening.
Chessington said that only one entry into the virtual queue would be permitted per person per day.
The Surrey park today announced that riders would need to be 1.3 metres tall to ride alone.
Those between 1.2 metres and 1.3 metres must be accompanied by a person over the age of 16.
When the rollercoaster was first announced, it was stated as being a 1.4-metre restriction ride, but this decision was later reversed.
‘In real time’
Chessington said that the virtual queue would work “in real time”, making adjustments to the countdown based on Mandrill Mayhem’s reliability and operational throughput.
“The virtual queue will automatically ensure guests are boarding the ride at the desired rate,” a Q&A response read.
“If there is space in the loading queue, guests in the virtual queue will jump forward. Equally, if there are delays, the countdown timer will be paused or pushed back.”
Chessington said that a smartphone was the only way through which the virtual queue system could be accessed.
The new World of Jumanji area opens on 15 May, with the supporting flat rides Ostrich Stampede and Mamba Strike not requiring virtual queue entry to access.
Mandrill Mayhem’s back row will feature four rear-facing seats. It is not currently clear how they will be accessed, but they are confirmed to have no additional charge for access.