One of the more interesting theme park related stories to come out of 2020 was about Halloween Horror Nights intended to control capacity during a pandemic. Theme Park University reported on the idea back when the event was still a go.
Before the rug got pulled out from under them, the concept was to use the Universal Orlando app to control how people flowed through the park. Guests who got Universal Express Pass were given priority and essentially could see all houses if they so desired, while general admission ticket holders could visit them based on availability. You can read through a few different scenarios on how it might have played out in our original post.
Now, instead of just reading about it in an article with no evidence to back it up, you can view the patent yourself which recently became available. Ultimately what got this particular idea squashed was the short amount of time to implement it before Halloween Horror Nights was supposed to begin.
In the end, the entire event did end up getting cancelled. However, that didn’t stop Universal from patenting their idea for the future. Could we see this put into use for Halloween Horror Nights 2021? I wouldn’t rule it out as we are still not sure when this pandemic will be winding down.
More importantly, Disney and Universal like to file patents on ideas and technology not so they can use them. Think of it like trying to keep Slugworth from getting his hands on an Everlasting Gobstopper. Sometimes they will just create a patent so even if they don’t want to use it, no one else can.
In this case, the intent was to implement this system extremely quickly. It is also entirely possible that it could be utilized at some point regardless of a pandemic. Would you rather reserve a time to visit a haunted house as opposed to wait in a physical line for an hour? There could me some merit to the idea. The patent is pretty fascinating and covers several different scenarios. Definitely worth a read.
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