Theme Park Turnstile
14 Jul

Theme Park Turnstiles: Selecting the Best Access Control gates for Your Venue

Theme Park Turnstiles: Selecting the Best Access Control gates for Your Venue

The first impression is the best impression. When guests visit your amusement venue, their first experience is passing through your theme park turnstiles. Here’s the thing though — you will make a great impression if your guests have a smooth and forgettable experience with the turnstiles. After all, they must be excited about what awaits them once they enter the venue — your turnstile is just in the way! 

With that in mind, you want to make sure you invest in the best access control gates for your amusement venue. While you can opt for manual validations using tablets or mobiles, we are going to focus on automated access gates. We are going to outline 3 of the most popular types of theme park turnstiles and give you all the information you need to know about them. 

Access Gate 1: Tripod Turnstiles 

Tripod turnstiles are the most popular and economical type of access gates for theme parks and amusement venues. These waist-high access gates can have either two or three revolving arms and they are built to allow one person through at a time. They can be programmed to allow access in both directions or just one direction. They have a sturdy build with a stainless steel or powder coat finish. 

RFID readers are integrated into the turnstiles. Guests scan their tickets and then push the turnstile arm to pass through. And the arms come back to normal resting position after a turn. Tripod Turnstiles are of two types:

  • Semi-Automatic: Once validation is successful the arms do not move. Guests need to push the arms and pass through. If the turnstiles are set to ‘off’, the arms fall down allowing free access. When they are set back on, the arms have to be pulled up into place manually.
  • Automatic: Once validation is successful the arms automatically move to a 20-30 degree angle, letting the guests know that they can move through. When the turnstile is set back on after setting it off, the arms automatically pull up and are set into position.

Access Gate 2: Flap Barriers

Flap barriers or ‘speed gates’ have flaps that slide in and out to control access. These allow fast movement of guests because it is very intuitive. When the guest’s validation is successful, it automatically opens up and guests know that they have to pass through. There is no waiting for green signals, voice commands, or pushing the arms.  

Flap barriers can also be configured to allow bi-directional or single-directional access. The flaps are usually made of plastic plates, acrylic, or toughened glass. The typical width would be around 500mm. They are recommended for venues with a higher footfall as they allow 30-40% faster movement of guests compared to traditional tripod turnstiles.

Access Gate 3: Swing Gates 

Swing gates are similar to flap barriers, but instead of the flap sliding in and out, it opens in or out — just like a gate would. These are also waist-high and can be set up to allow access in either direction. The swing gates are made of plastic plates or toughened glass — just like the flap barriers. 

Typically, swing gates are used for special access entries where the gates are longer than 900 mm. Because they swing in or out, the length of the flap can be much longer. 

Bonus: Barrier Gates 

While all of the above types of access gates are waist-high, you can also get full height variants of them. These variants are called barrier gates. 

RFID Reader Mounted Turnstiles 

Tripod turnstiles and other turnstile access control systems like flap barriers and swing gates can be mounted with readers like the Tixera XCESS Reader. These readers can validate guest cards or wristbands with RFID, Barcode, or QR Code, and allow them access without any manual intervention.

The XCESS RFID reader has a rugged single mould design with a bright, fullscreen tap area. There are LED indicators with visuals and a buzzer for easy validation of entry and the reader can support both wired and wireless networks.

The Best Access Control Products for Amusement Venues

If you are looking for the best access control products in the amusement industry, you won’t regret choosing Tixera theme park turnstiles! We have tripod turnstiles, flap barriers, and swing gates available in both waist-height and full-height versions. You can also choose the Tixera XCESS RFID reader to be mounted on your chosen access gate. And we have a variety of customizable RFID cards, wristbands, and keychains for you to choose from! 


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