Traffic Management, Disney Style

At Disney World, getting millions of visitors through the lines of their desired attractions faster is a huge logistical challenge. The theme park is taking a high-tech approach to the problem.
December 29, 2010, 6am PST | Nate Berg
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An updated control room monitors the gridlock of its lines and engineers ways to cut the congestion and control the traffic.

"To handle over 30 million annual visitors - many of them during this busiest time of year for the mega-resort - Disney World long ago turned the art of crowd control into a science. But the putative Happiest Place on Earth has decided it must figure out how to quicken the pace even more. A cultural shift toward impatience - fed by video games and smartphones - is demanding it, park managers say. To stay relevant to the entertain-me-right-this-second generation, Disney must evolve.

And so it has spent the last year outfitting an underground, nerve center to address that most low-tech of problems, the wait. Located under Cinderella Castle, the new center uses video cameras, computer programs, digital park maps and other whiz-bang tools to spot gridlock before it forms and deploy countermeasures in real time."

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Published on Monday, December 27, 2010 in The New York Times
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