For decades, the best and the brightest have studied the difficult questions of the theme park world. Why does the gate instantly dictate the front of the park? Why can't patrons be trusted to pilot their bumper cars without hitting each other as a prelude to a lawsuit and thus require a center island? Why must certain companies be allowed to design new attractions that will ultimately look really stupid and feel similarly?
Those are the difficult questions. There are others. Some easier and some vastly more complicated. For these, the Institute for Directed International Operational Theoretical Studies was dedicated in a remote corner of Switzerland earlier this week. The Institute is a joint venture between many of the major regional park chains and the slightly less popular ride manufacturers that's names start with such letters as V and I.
The organization was founded as a think-tank to evaluate, research, postulate, and wildly guess the answers to slightly less important questions. Why should we waste our time running 3 trains on a coaster with a 2 hour long line and no mechanical or staffing reason against it? Why shouldn't we build the nacho stand as close to the entrance of the roughest coaster in the park that just happens to be the furthest possible point from a custodian or the parks entrance? Why would we want to make sure that the closest money making areas (food stands and gift shops) to the park entrance are the last to close?
The organization is staffed by a group of trained experts that have minutes of experience dealing with the public. Most of the research is being conducted using guest code-named 'peeps'. And in situations regarding the number of custodians required at a given time, they are building rides that would usually kill a man based off of the rare unused Vekoma designs.
Their most recent project gauged the average time for a maintenance technician to reply to a down time scenario. The time to repair was irrelevant as the longest clocked time in that scenario was 2 minutes to reopen. An attraction dubbed 'Wooden Coaster 1' for this experiment averaged a response 4 times faster when there was more than one technician on duty.
The statistics are staggering. But the folks at the Institute for Directed International Operational Theoretical Studies say their methodology is fool proof and been repeated through 3 generations of testing systems. Some in the industry fear the technology was out of date before they formed the institute, but the founding partners think that it's the best thing since Arrow Dynamics broke the 200 foot barrier.
We here at Absolutely Reliable salute the brave founders of the Institute for Directed International Operational Theoretical Studies and their mascot Clark W. Griswold. We hear they have a fair team this year for the company softball game. We hope the I.D.I.O.T.S. do well in their upcoming game.