Andrea got tickets to Body Worlds
for Christmas so we went out on a date last night to dinner and the exhibit. For those unfamiliar, this is the exhibit where there is a bunch of bodies and body parts, all dipped in plastic and put on display. The bodies themselves are in various states of dissection, most with no skin. They are posed in really neat positions sometimes cut in slices and internal organs moved to the outside. Andrea's a Dr. so that is all really neat to her. I even thought it was pretty cool. So, the exhibit itself was worth going to, but the experience as a whole was horrid.
There was no where to park. The underground lot for the exhibit was full. The side street spaces were all occupied. By luck we came across one being vacated, so having gotten to the location 30 minutes early was a good thing, because it took half that to find a parking space.
Once inside we were directed to the basement to wait in line with all of the other pre-paid ticket holders. Yes ALL of them. There must have been a few hundred people down there in a long and winding line. All of them had the time of 7:00 PM marked on their ticket.
For what kinds of things do you have a tickets that have a specific time? Anything in a theater, auditorium, arena, and the like, right? For what is essentially an art exhibit? That seemed odd. You go through at your own pace. You spend more time at the things you want and less at the things that don't interest you. So having a time on an exhibit that is open 24 hours must be to regulate how many people are there at one time, so that everyone gets the experience they are paying for. In this case it was about $30 a person, so you'd expect a fairly personal experience.
It's not like this is their first time at the rodeo. This is Body Worlds 3. That means there was a 1 and 2 before it. Utah is not the first stop on the tour either. There is plenty of experience to have a really good idea of how many tickets to sell for each half-hour block. Instead of rubbing a couple of braincells together and making the whole experience a nice one...for $30 a person...did I mention that already (In our case it was a very nice Christmas present, but I can be irritated for other people)?
After our wait downstairs we got to go back up to the main floor, where there was another line with at least 3 times as many people. After that line we went upstairs, where there was another line. This one probably only had about 100 people in it, so we're nearing the end.
TWO HOURS from the time we got there, we are having our tickets scanned. The lady says "If there is a lot of people at one exhibit just go on to the next and come back later. There will be no more lines after this point." Right after the turn stile, we find ourselves in another line! This one, to pick up our prepaid audio guide (Really cool device that tells us extra stuff about each of the things we see).
The stuff we saw was cool, but at each display there was at least half a dozen other people crowded around it. We spent about an hour in the show itself, with us taking our own sweet time, which seemed reasonable to me. Only 650 people were allowed in the show at once, which seems high for how much space there was. Not everyone had the audio gadgets, so most only paid $25 a person. If everyone else averaged about the same amount of time as us, that's over $16,000 an hour. Due to mismanagement they must have been selling more than 650 tickets for each hour block, so that's even more money their racking in. Even if they were only open and that busy for 5 hours a day (I know that it was packed for at least the 3 hours I was there), that's $80,000 per day...PER DAY! I think for that kind of money they could cut back the number of tickets per hour, and not make us wait for so long.
So for a final grading. The exhibit was easily an 8 out of 10.
The people running it and everyone involved get a -1 out of 10...If I found whoever was in charge in a dark alley, I'd be awfully tempted to make him/her look just like the displays.