A couple weeks ago, my friend Alaina was telling me about the uniquely Chinese features that are going into Shanghai Disneyland. The she sent me the Bloomberg article, which is worth a read. It detailed the need for extra seating to account for the 4:1 ratio of adults to kids in a party (due to the one-child policy) and accommodating huge crowds on national holidays since paid vacation is very uncommon.
Since I am a nerd, the part that jumped out was the complete lack of order in Chinese queues and their reference of a 2010 article from InPark Magazine (PDF, page 14) detailing common queue-jumping techniques they observed at Expo 2010 Shanghai. Here are two of my favorites.
Screaming Old Man - The technique is used by elderly men and women to advance to the front of the line, so if you’re older than 75 listen up! How it works: Go to the front of the pavilion queue or the pavilion exit and begin yelling. As the staff and supervisors gather, crank up the volume and begin waving your arms like you’re trying to flag down a passing jetliner. This instantly creates a commotion in the queue line. In order to maintain order and as a sign of respect, the younger staff members or supervisors will usually reward you by letting you enter the pavilion with no further wait.
Jumping the Kid - The technique uses your kid as an “advance man”. How it works: Your small child “accidentally” wanders away, snaking his/her way through the queue advancing just far enough so that you can see him/her. You begin yelling at your child, “you’re a very bad boy or girl.” As you yell, your entire family pushes its way through the queue line to retrieve the child, inserting yourselves as far forward as possible. Once you reach the child, repeat.
InPark and another source for the Bloomberg article suggest barricading the line into a funnel shape so you don’t have to scold park-goers, you just make it impossible to do wrong.
I think I’d love going. My favorite part of traveling is seeing how everyday activities change to accommodate local preferences. I went to see Gladiator in a mall movie theater in Egypt during college and they randomly stopped the move in the middle for a smoke break.