Former Disney Cast Member and Universal Team Member Amy explains why theme park queues can sometime feel a little rushed...
Occupational hourly ride capacity, or OHRC, is the maximum number of guests that an attraction can move through in an hour. Every attraction has an OHRC somewhere in its guidelines, and this magic number is something that management often pushes Cast Members and Team Members to hit. If an attraction is hitting its OHRC, it’s theoretically providing the best possible guest experience by getting everyone through the queue quickly, and offering the magical ride experience to as many people as possible in a given period of time.
Unfortunately, hitting OHRC isn’t that simple, and can become a frustrating hassle for the Cast and Team Members who struggle to hit it.
1. It diminishes guest experience
While some guests are all for rushing onto the ride, there are others who prefer to savor the experience. They want to take their time finding all the hidden Mickeys in line, linger over the creative features in the pre-show area, and stroll at their own pace through the building. OHRC is particularly problematic in places like the Halloween Horror Nights houses, where guests want to slow down, creep through, and scream through the scares.
No matter how engaging the experience is designed to be, Cast and Team Members are still encouraged to push guests through as quickly as possible. Though people can theoretically pass by those who linger to take in all the Potter-ness of the Hogwarts Express stations, slower parties almost always create a backup, as others wonder whether they should pass or struggle to squeeze by.
The name of the game is speed when it comes to OHRC, and guest experience doesn’t have much of a place in this area. When you’re pushing the guests to get in the vehicle quickly, they often miss out on some of the smaller details they might have enjoyed along the way.
2. It leaves little time for questions
When you’re worried about filling up every vehicle to capacity, you don’t have as much time to field guest questions, particularly in positions like grouper or load, where moving guests through is a primary concern. This is an inconvenient time for a party to start wondering whether they’re about to get on a roller coaster, or inquire about the cool Imagineering features in the area, but that won’t always stop them from trying.
As a Cast Member, it can be frustrating to have to rush through the process of getting guests settled, passing over questions and concerns that you don’t always have time to answer fully.