2009 Golden Tickets

Friday, September 18, 2009 11:49 AM
mlnem4s's avatar

I would like to point out the irony between the Q-bot argument and the example of airport security line "express lanes" for those who pay. Funny, air travel is at its lowest level since 2001 and complaints have never been greater about passenger rights while Six Flags is struggling in bankruptcy, overcoming negative guest perceptions and attendance levels still nowhere near what the were prior to Burke & Co.

Could it be people are simply tired of being sucked dry for every penny they have and still getting nothing but a miserable experience for it?

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Friday, September 18, 2009 12:09 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

RatherGoodBear said:


I don't know if this is a valid comparison either. Sure the people in the box seats and suites have some extra amenities, which they pay for, but their experience of the game itself is pretty much the same as for the people in the bleachers. Now, if the people in the cheap seats would miss the first two or three innings, because they can't seat them until most of the people in the suites have been seated, then I would say the experience has been lessened. But then again, Mr. Snyder sells numerous seats for Redskin games that have a great view of a column and not so much of the field.

Well actually, Bear, it all depends on how one defines experience, doesn't it? No one actually misses anything due to the qbots, either. They just have to wait longer in order to experience the same thing. That gets into a qualitative definition of experience much like the ones I described in my examples.

And mlnem4s, I don't think I understand your point. Customers are complaining to the airline industry because some of the amenities they once received are being eliminated, regardless of what others who pay more receive. It's not a class issue.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Friday, September 18, 2009 12:29 PM

Carrie M. said:


The first class/preferred security line or ticketing line is the prime analogy in my opinion. Those lines were likely lines that everyone was able to use at one time. Then they marked those off for people who pay for the privilege and pulled staff away from those helping the regular customers.

You still get your ticket. You still get to go through security. You still get to board the plane. But you have to wait longer while those who paid more go first.

Qbot is the same thing. You still get to ride. But you have to wait longer while those who paid more go first.

I dunno, Carrie. It doesn't sound like a very good analogy to me. With the airplane analogy, you still wait for the exact same time for the plane. More of it may be spent in the security line or in the seating area in front of the gate, but the plane still lifts off at the same time for every single person who purchased a ticket.

If it was a valid comparison, those first class passengers would not only get on the plane first, their compartment would also detach from the rest of the aircraft and amazingly fly itself down the runway an hour before anybody in coach ever got on board the remnant of the vehicle.

Aside from providing a little more leg room or first dibs on the overhead compartments, all first class seating or preferred security cards do for you is reduce the amount of hassle that you have to put up while you wait the same exact amount of time as everybody else. Whereas preferred cutting at amusement parks really does save you time -- actual time that can be spent riding other rides while those poor saps that don't have as much money as you have to cool their heels for another hour.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Friday, September 18, 2009 12:47 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

No, I don't think so.

Haven't we established that qbot is still waiting for the same time one would have ridden otherwise? They just wait somewhere other than in line? The folks flying first class also wait the same amount of time they would have otherwise. They just get to wait somewhere other than in line.

Everybody rides; everybody flies. But riding a coaster is not something that everyone gets to do at the same time no matter whether qbot exists or not.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Friday, September 18, 2009 12:56 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Carrie M. said:
Haven't we established that qbot is still waiting for the same time one would have ridden otherwise? They just wait somewhere other than in line?

I don't know. Over the years of debating this, there seems to be a lot of grey area depending on the system.

Something like Q-bot or Universal's deal with the hotel keys or Busch's thing is not like that. Q-bot signifcantly reduces your wait (generally around 75%), Universal is an unlimited FOL priviledge and Busch's is FOL but limited in use.

I see Disney's FastPass as not a VQ because it has nothing to do with wait times and everything to do with distributing seats. It's simply taking a portion of available capacity and giving it away via reservation.

Standard bot is pretty much the only system that still works in the sense of the purest idea of VQ which is that you wait the same as everyone and are virtually holding your place in line.


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Friday, September 18, 2009 1:08 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

The system in place at Parque de Warner de Madrid and Portaventura has nearly no wait at all. It's an unlimited use wristband. You just walk up the special line they have for the ride and they let a few on each train. As soon as you get off the ride you can get right back in line. I rode Furious Baco 4 time in a half an hour. I had a great time. It was a lot less expensive than here in the states as well. I think it was around $50.

Last edited by Jason Hammond, Friday, September 18, 2009 1:08 PM

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Friday, September 18, 2009 1:14 PM

Even if you have to 'wait' for a designated time to ride (which seems to be the most restrictive of the systems described), it's not like you have to cool your heels on a bench outside the ride entrance for two hours. That time is still yours to do with whatever you want -- shop, eat, ride other rides, pick your nose -- while the unrefined or monetarily disadvantaged classes have to stand and sweat in the stinky old line. So it's really not waiting at all. It's an appointment.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Friday, September 18, 2009 1:23 PM
Fun's avatar

Didn't Six Flags Fiesta Texas designate the front row for Goliath as Flash Pass only for a while?

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Friday, September 18, 2009 1:24 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, Mike. That's the point of VQ in it's purest form. Hold a place in line virtually so you can do other things. Your wait and spot in line is determined by the state of the queue when you virtually get in line.

Hell, by your definition if you get in a queue line, you're not really waiting. You could talk, have a drink, pick your nose, play a game, eat, hum, air guitar or whatever people do to pass the time until they get on the ride.

All the 'true' VQ system does is not confine you to the designated queue area. You're still 'next in line'

And the line between waiting and 'not waiting' is going to blur further when Disney gets the new Dumbo ride open. It's essentially the first proposed 100% VQ. (assuming the mumbling and speculation is true)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Friday, September 18, 2009 1:31 PM
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Friday, September 18, 2009 1:53 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
Busch's is FOL but limited in use.

Just wanted to correct my info (and this will kill LK), but it seems Busch is offering an unlimited version of their setup.

$15 for the limited and $40 for unlimited.


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Friday, September 18, 2009 2:06 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
You could talk, have a drink, pick your nose, play a game, eat, hum, air guitar or whatever people do to pass the time until they get on the ride.

Hey! Have you been spying on me?

That is so totally not fair.... I almost never hum in line. ;)


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Friday, September 18, 2009 2:18 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Ensign Smith said:
Even if you have to 'wait' for a designated time to ride (which seems to be the most restrictive of the systems described), it's not like you have to cool your heels on a bench outside the ride entrance for two hours. That time is still yours to do with whatever you want -- shop, eat, ride other rides, pick your nose -- while the unrefined or monetarily disadvantaged classes have to stand and sweat in the stinky old line. So it's really not waiting at all. It's an appointment.

Are you still challenging the airline analogy, Mike? Because I never see any first-class passengers waiting in the regular line just to keep things fair. :) They get to arrive later if they choose. Or they can take the extra time to shop or get something to eat.

At the very least, it seems pretty similar to me.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Friday, September 18, 2009 2:22 PM

Eh, I'm out. I'll never understand how the likes of you, LostKause and Gonch can keep at these debates for so long. Sometimes I get a good head of steam going and I can argue for five, six posts on a thread like this. Then all I want to do is nap. Or canoodle. ;)


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Friday, September 18, 2009 2:24 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Thinking is hard and stuff. ;)


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Friday, September 18, 2009 2:34 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

^ Ooohhhh mmmmyyyyy......though I guess that comment kind of goes along with why you are at "first base" with your Q-bot.

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Friday, September 18, 2009 2:34 PM

Fun said:
Didn't Six Flags Fiesta Texas designate the front row for Goliath as Flash Pass only for a while?

Yeah, there are several Six Flags rides that designate certain seats for FP. Some have been mentioned in this thread I believe (if not others), but Skull Mountain at SFGA (a middle row) and Batman at SFOG (at least the back row, might have been the last two rows but memory fails) immediately come to mind.

I was at SFGA last October. I got in line for El Toro right at the "90 Minute" (which, as it turned out was 45 minutes) wait sign. I happened to notice a group going in to the FP entrance. About 20 minutes later, before we had gotten to the merge point, the same group was queueing up again. I gotta assume they had the Gold Q-Bots as I'd assume the regular bots wouldn't let you queue up again that quickly.

Having said all that, I don't mind VQ devices as long as people are waiting the same amount of time. In line next to me, eating, whatever, doesn't really matter as long as posted wait times are accurate. I did rent one at Dollywood and noticed that wait times with the bot were in line with where you'd enter the back of the main line (no pun intended). I'm completely convinced that this is also why Dollywood also doesn't offer a Gold version of this. If someone can get two (or potentially more) rides with a Gold bot in the same time as a person waiting in the main line gets one, again, not a problem, as long as there aren't hundreds of people doing it at the same park at the same time. I think Gold Q-Bots need to be priced closer towards what VIP Tours cost than regular bots, as I think they are priced way too cheaply right now.

Everyone who gets the Gold bot is getting them for the same reason, and that is simply to get more rides in. Regular bots simply don't allow you to do this. What regular bots do is give you more flexibility with your time, as you're not waiting in a physical line. They do not change the how many people are technically in line, because you're still waiting that same amount of time. Gold bots fundamentally change how many people are in line. If I can get 40 rides in a day on a ride with the Gold bot whereas I would have gotten 10 without it, I am adding 30 people to the line whether my body is in it physically or not. I'm also adding to someones wait time, albeit incrementally each time, because they are simply holding a place 3/4 of the way up the line each time instead of at the end of it. Regular bots don't present that same issue.

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Friday, September 18, 2009 2:41 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Thinking is hard and stuff. ;)

:: looks around floor for ego, dusts it and sulks off :: ;)


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Friday, September 18, 2009 2:42 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

mlnem4s said:
^ Ooohhhh mmmmyyyyy......though I guess that comment kind of goes along with why you are at "first base" with your Q-bot.

You don't want to see the 2nd and third base pictures, trust me. :)


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Friday, September 18, 2009 3:49 PM

Gonch, I just hope you know where that thing was before you got hold of it. :) Is it true that as a precaution against swine flu, Six Flags has instituted a "no making out with the Qbots" policy?

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Friday, September 18, 2009 6:04 PM

ridemcoaster said:
I would say you screwed yourself out of a second fastpass as the policy for fastpass is you cannot obtain an new FP until the time on the ticket has elapsed -or- 2 hours have passed. So at the very most, you could have obtained a new FP at 11:31. This is one of the few ways you can technically have more than 1 FP at a time.

You're right, I forgot about the 2 hour rule. The ticket did say that, but the Space Mountain Fast Pass still would not have helped us since we could only stay until 6:00 and the ride time on that ride was 7:30. We did still use FP on other rides, but most of our reservations were 2-3 hours away from the time we got the FP. We ended up only being able to reserve 3 total rides in 9 hours at the parks. California Screamin', Mulholland Madness and the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

Last edited by SFMMAddict, Friday, September 18, 2009 6:07 PM

My mother (1946-2009) once asked me why I go to Magic Mountain so much. I said I feel the most alive when I'm on a roller coaster.
2010 total visits: SFMM-9, KBF-2
2010 total ride laps: 437

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