2009 Golden Tickets

Thursday, September 17, 2009 2:08 PM
rollergator's avatar

I think by now the discussion should have evolved from "should parks adopt these systems" to "how can parks BEST implement these systems to minimize negative impacts?"

Clearly, holding up every single dispatch on a ride to allow for multiple *sets* of riders (VQ, handicapped, and regular line) means that capacity suffers greatly. And running trains with empty seats because no VQers were present is just as bad if not worse.

Let's move along so that parks can read these threads and see less bitching and moaning about the inevitable...and start figuring out how to do VQ better.... :)

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Thursday, September 17, 2009 2:24 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
"Discrimination" is irrelevant.

I couldn't agree more. I only use that word because minem4s did earlier.

rollergator said:
I think by now the discussion should have evolved from "should parks adopt these systems" to "how can parks BEST implement these systems to minimize negative impacts?"

Let's move along so that parks can read these threads and see less bitching and moaning about the inevitable...and start figuring out how to do VQ better.... :)

You'd think it'd be that easy, huh? I'd love some constructive discussion in that line of thought.


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Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:23 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

rollergator said:

Clearly, holding up every single dispatch on a ride to allow for multiple *sets* of riders (VQ, handicapped, and regular line) means that capacity suffers greatly.

Im not totally convinced that this causes the ride capacity to suffer. Its still taking the same amount of people through the line. They are just coming from different directions. (Why do I get the feeling that Im sounding like Gonch in this instance)

Capacity is technically only changed if the second 1/2 of your sentence:



...running trains with empty seats because no VQers were present is just as bad if not worse.

..is true. If trains are being sent out empty then you have changed the person per hour capacity as empty seats then dont count. As long as all the seats are filled then the capacity for the ride itself remains relatively the same.


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Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:34 PM
rollergator's avatar

Ken....the first part makes sense too, even if I didn't phrase it exactly the way I wanted. If those groups of people were let in simultaneously (in parallel), then the coaster would dispatch in the same amount of time with the same number of riders. However, in too many instances that I've witnessed there is this set-up, with people coming in sequentially (in series): Let the handicapped guests in and get them seated, then let the VQers come in and get them seated, then the air gates open for the "regular guests".

The "stand-around time" between those groups is killing dispatch intervals...IMO. If the train is in the station and the air gates are closed, capacity is suffering (unless there are multiple trains running and "blocking" the train in station from dispatching anyway....very rarely the case.

Last edited by rollergator, Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:36 PM
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Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:39 PM
Fun's avatar

LostKause said:


CF is all about capacity. They would want as little empty seats to go out as possible. Better capacity means more rides, and more rides given means more happy customers. It is how their collective brain works. I hope they never get rid of that attitude.

I think you give them too much credit. People in line don't aren't spending money. Long lines means lost revenue. I'm sure they want their customers to be happy, but the main reason they are concerned about capacity is because they want to get people back out onto the midway and buying stuff.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:48 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't think that's true at all. I know some of the operations gurus (all in Sandusky, of course) pretty well. Short lines and keeping people moving is motivated first by a better experience.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:50 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

Time is more of an issue than money to me.

Then you are one of the lucky ones my friend. Keep in mind that the average income for a family household is what, somewhere around $35,000 a year? A "typical" family of 4 in this category already struggles to pay for parking, admission, one meal, and maybe a souvenier or game at a park. That is where I am coming from; I have family members who are millionaires and I have family members who struggle financially every day. I don't want to see the amusement park experience become solely for the "elite" of America, do you?

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Thursday, September 17, 2009 3:54 PM
Jeff's avatar

I personally don't care one way or another. If people can wipe their ass with hundred dollar bills, more power to them.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:04 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Well that is definitely one time I would insist someone "keep the change".


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Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:04 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

Jeff said:
"Discrimination" is irrelevant. Paid systems generate revenue, free ones don't. There's nothing else to understand. If there is some kind of moral issue around that, then that's where your discussion is, but the motivation is pretty obvious.

Jeff, would you not agree that the Flash Pass system at Disney generates revenue for Disney simply because it enhances the park experience thus driving revenue via sustained or increased attendance while gate admission has rising in price thus generating even more revenue? (Not to mention resale revenue with guests spending less time waiting in line which was the whole point to the inception of virutal queueing) I believe I recall you touching on this point in previous years when this issue has been debated before.

I whole-heartedly support systems like Disney's, and yes I think there is a moral issue with Six Flags implementation. Think of all the places we stand in a queue line at....if all these places start charging for the priviledge of faster service does that not take us back to a "classist" society? If so, doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of why America was founded in the first place? These are questions I think we should be asking ourselves.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:08 PM

Keep in mind that the average income for a family household is what, somewhere around $35,000 a year?

Try again. In Ohio, the median income for a family of four from the 2007 Census surveys was about $71K. In Michigan, it was $73K.

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/statemedfaminc.html

And the average (mean) would be higher, because the income distribution is not normal, it has a long tail at the high end.

People in line don't aren't spending money. Long lines means lost revenue.

That was originally one of the motivations for virtual queueing. But, as far as anyone can tell, it didn't work. Rather than spend more money, folks just got in another line. Every park that had "free" virtual queueing hoping to reap more revenue has abandoned it except for Disney. And, if you go back through the earnings reports for the Rat, there wasn't any unusual jump in per-capita revenue when Fastpass was deployed.


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Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:19 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Brian and Jeff took all the good answers, so I'm stuck playing with this:

mlnem4s said:
Think of all the places we stand in a queue line at....if all these places start charging for the priviledge of faster service does that not take us back to a "classist" society? If so, doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of why America was founded in the first place?

No and no.

...and really, Q-bot goes against what America stands for?

Classic.


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Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:33 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

No and no.

...and really, Q-bot goes against what America stands for?

Classic.

So Gonch you think it is ok to charge for priority/faster service to check out at the grocery store, department store, post office, security line at the airport, at restaurants, etc? That is my point, if you believe these are justifiable that is fine but I would like to know where you "draw the line in the sand?"

I am not ashamed to say I believe the Q-bot program at Six Flags, in its current format, goes against my values or what I believe one of the founding values of our country is about....that being equality.

Last edited by mlnem4s, Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:36 PM
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Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:49 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

If your going to go that far, then why not get rid of overnight mail service, one hour photo, stadium suites, etc.


854 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

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Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:49 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

mlnem4s said:
So Gonch you think it is ok to charge for priority/faster service to check out at the grocery store, department store, post office, security line at the airport, at restaurants, etc?

I'm not sure I believe that any of those are directly comparable to waiting in line for an amusement park ride.


That is my point, if you believe these are justifiable that is fine but I would like to know where you "draw the line in the sand?"

At wherever the market draws it.

If enough people are buying into pay VQ systems to justify having them and at the same time if those that aren't are still coming in big enough numbers, then the people have spoken - they're ok with it.

It's like Gator said way back there - we're well beyond the debate of "if" and should have moved onto the discussion of "how" a long time ago.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:50 PM
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Thursday, September 17, 2009 6:54 PM

I would much rather pay for a regular Q-bot than use Disney's free fast pass system. I have found Q-bot to very useful. On my last trip to Disneyland, I went to get a fast pass for Space Mountain at 9:30 am and it said that my ride time would be at 7:30 pm. Since you cannot get a fast pass on another ride until you have used your first one, I hardly find a reservation time which is 10 hours away to be useful. The signs also said that the regular line was 70 mins. Since we were only able to stay until 6:00 pm we waited in line and it turned out to be only a 45 min. line.

With Q-bot you don't have to wait nearly as long and therefore get much more use out of the system. I would rather pay for something that helps me a lot that use a free system which is nearly useless. With Disney's free fast pass system you get so few reservations that you are barely better off than if you just wait in the regular queue for every ride.

Last edited by SFMMAddict, Thursday, September 17, 2009 7:06 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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Thursday, September 17, 2009 8:31 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Isn't the whole point of the American dream to become a "have" instead of a "have not" and to be able to pay for more things (goods, services, upgrades, whatever)? I would say that VQing is more American from both the consumer's standpoint and the park's standpoint.

Equality in America is not about giving everyone the exact same thing (communism?). It's about giving people equal opportunity to succeed and then rewarding those who succeed with higher quality of life. If by luck of the draw or by personal merit, you are able to pay for something that I am not able to pay for, more power to you. That's not inequality...that's life.

Not that the "American-ness" of anything is ever a compliment (especially after the last 8 years...:-P).

And as Gonch is always quick to point out, if you're so concerned about equality, why don't you give your season pass to someone who can't afford a ticket at all?

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Thursday, September 17, 2009 8:35 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Thursday, September 17, 2009 8:32 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

mlnem4s said:
So Gonch you think it is ok to charge for priority/faster service to check out at the grocery store, department store, post office, security line at the airport, at restaurants, etc?

Security line at the airport already done. (First class and priority passengers have their own line).


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Thursday, September 17, 2009 8:59 PM

I agree with everything that ApolloAndy just said. I'm not as well traveled as a lot of you are, but from what I have seen at Six Flags parks as of late, i'll be bold enough to say that less than 1% of everyone uses the flash pass. I have never had an issue with it.

And i thought this conversation was about the golden tickets not on flash passes. I guess my eyes must be playing tricks on me :)

Last edited by GIGAFORCE01, Thursday, September 17, 2009 8:59 PM

-Eric: Major Parks: SFNE(homepark), SFA,SFGADV,CP,BGE,BGA,Kennywood,and Sea World: Track record 65 different coasters ridden #1 is Millennium Force #2 is El Toro and than there are all the others

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Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:05 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

And as Gonch is always quick to point out, if you're so concerned about equality, why don't you give your season pass to someone who can't afford a ticket at all?

I have given away numerous free admission tickets as well as special discount tickets to people who I know had no other way of visiting an amusement park. I stand by what I believe in.

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