Diane Buchwalder

Pirates! Ride Queue

Themed entertainment, 2012

For this project, we were given a theoretical capacity of 2400 people per hour, with the challenge to design a themed interactive queue around a chosen intellectual property and ride style. My choice was a mine train coaster ride developed around the story of the movie Pirates! Band of Misfits (also titled Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists), created by Aardman Animations and based on the book series by Gideon Defoe. I also chose to place my ride in the Mutiny Bay (a pirates themed) area of Alton Towers park in England.

Since the rollercoaster would parallel the final action scenes of the movie, in which the pirate brigade rescues their beloved mascot Polly, the queue was broken into four zones to set up the action and existing world of the characters. The entry areas, to match Mutiny Bay's existing theming, would focus on the tropical pirate island and town.

The first zone was an uncovered overflow queue with a wait capacity of 30 minutes, themed to the island jungle.

The second queue zone was uncovered with a wait capacity of 30 minutes, themed to the pirates' island town. It also offered an optional interactive play element where guests could turn a photo of themselves into a pirate wanted poster.

An alternate queue area for wheelchair access and VIPs created a shorter version of the jungle and pirate city, before meeting up with the main queue in a small pirate ship zone that brought the guests from the equator into Victorian England, the next queue zone.

The third zone was a covered queue with a further wait capacity of 40 minutes, styled after the science hall competition with small cycling show elements.

The final wait area was the loading zone, themed after the streets of London, where guests would set off on their adventure to encounter Queen Victoria and rescue Polly.

After the ride, guests returned to the pirate island and Mutiny Bay with their rescued mascot, and a gift shop opportunity to purchase pirate accessories such as membership badges and prints of their wanted posters.

Examples of themed safety signage and the interactive "poster" touchscreen elements.