Universal Orlando billed its new TapuTapu technology as the solution to standing in line at theme parks.

Judging from long lines at Volcano Bay’s grand opening Thursday, the technology failed to deliver.

People who attended the opening complained on social media that it took up to five hours to reserve a spot on one of the rides. And once the spot was reserved, guests still had waits of 30-45 minutes once the TapuTapu band told them it was their turn to ride the attraction.

“TapuTapu is a useless accessory at this point,” tweeted Jamatar. “And a filthy half-completed construction zone of a park. Tripping over wires, hoses, debris. They should have never opened today period!”

Mickey Guru complained on Twitter that he waited two hours then the ride went down.

The park’s trademark rides such as the lazy river and Krakatau Aqua Coaster were closed for parts of the day. Kiddie swim areas were also only open for half the day.

The water park was obviously opened hastily as construction equipment could still be seen in some areas. Other opening snafus included a lack of signage to direct Volcano Bay guests to the parking lot and to buses that shuttled them to the water park.

Universal spokesman Tom Schroder blamed the problems on opening day glitches and said they are working to resolve the issues.

“The most successful part of grand opening day was that thousands of our guests had an incredible time with their friends and families inside Volcano Bay,” Schroder said.”We’re sorry for any inconveniences we may have caused them and we have been grateful for their patience.”

Schroder added that Universal “conducted extensive tests on every piece of the Volcano Bay experience, from our rides to TapuTapu.”

The TapuTapu waterproof wristbands were billed as Volcano Bay’s solution to “no standing in lines.”

“With TapuTapu on your wrist, you’ll enjoy a new level of convenience with Virtual Line technology and multiple interactive surprises throughout the park,” the Universal blog reported in February.

Many complained that while they waited for their turn on one of the water park’s 18 attractions, there was nothing to do but spend money in restaurants and retails shops.

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About The Author

The youngest of seven children, Terry O. Roen followed two older brothers into journalism. Her career started as a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, where she wrote stories on city and county government, schools, courts and religion. She has also reported for the Associated Press, where she covered the Casey Anthony and Trayvon Martin trials along with the Pulse massacre. Married to her husband, Hal, they have two children and live in Winter Park. A lifelong tourist in her own state, she writes about Central Florida’s growing tourism industry for Florida Politics and Orlando Rising.

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