Advice after learning about CF's silly platinum pass policies

This is one reason I like the pass policy at BGW. The pass is good for 12 (or 24) months from date of purchase. It doesn't matter when in the season you buy it.

ApolloAndy's avatar

Juggalotus said:

ApolloAndy said:
If they give away the gate for the fall with a 2011 pass, they're almost certainly leaving money on the table for the people who were going to visit this fall.

Wasn't it only last year that they did offer a one-day ticket with Platinum Pass purchase. And most of those purchases were by people who already had a current pass. And so they were selling the free tickets outside the park.

Sounds to me like offering a free ticket WAS costing them because the free tickets were all going to people who were coming anyway and the admission cost was going into someone else's pocket.

I'm sure what you say is accurate, but it seems to be an implementation issue that's separate from the policy issue.

Even if they could guarantee that the free tickets were only being used for the person who purchased the pass, that still doesn't mean they'd make more money.

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."

When I was at Hershey a few weeks ago, I was in line at the gate with all the preview night people, and I thought I heard an announcement that if you bought your 2011 season pass now, it would be honored for the rest of this season, including Halloween and Christmas events. That would be a first, because I know for sure in previous years I would have to carry two passes in my wallet since only the current year's would get me into the park.

Parks are only going to offer whatever incentives it needs to entice people to buy passes. Car manufacturers never offer discounts or finance incentives on the vehicles that are in high demand. Why should they, if people are running to the lots looking for that particular model? If Cedar Fair or other company decided they needed more of today's dollars in exchange for tomorrow's visits, they'll offer more percs to people to entice them to buy season passes for next year.

In general, I don't see it as a case of parks leaving too much money on the table to include the end of this year with buying season passes for next year. On the other hand, why turn away someone who's interested enough to pay for next year's pass today? There's always the chance that some circumstance will change and that person won't be interested or willing to buy passes come next spring. If parks don't want/need the money, why even offer next year's passes before this season is over?

Silly question and off topic, but does Disney offer season passes. I only ask because I may have to move to the Tampa area in a couple of years and would like to know what my options may be. I have been to all the parks in Florida multiple times and didn't ever notice season passes for Disney.

Rick_UK's avatar

^ Disney Passes

They do an annual pass and a premium annual pass.

Last edited by Rick_UK,

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Thanks, Rick.

Rick_UK's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
That would be a first, because I know for sure in previous years I would have to carry two passes in my wallet since only the current year's would get me into the park.

So why did you need to carry both? :s

Nothing to see here. Move along.

^ Because if I took the following year's pass out of my wallet, there would be a good chance I'd have no clue where it was when next season rolled around.

ApolloAndy's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
If parks don't want/need the money, why even offer next year's passes before this season is over?

I suspect it has less to do with "getting money now vs. getting money later" and more to do with "You're here and thinking about our park, so we'll try to sell you more stuff."

I see that as separate from what perks they offer with a pass.

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."

GregLeg said:

kevin38 said:
What I am trying to get across is the by giving away the last two months this year they will get a customer all next year.It doesn't cost them anything to let a few that buy the pass early into the park this year (slow since school back in) and it pushes people to buy the pass that otherwise would not have.

So if a customer already has a season pass for 2010, and buys one for 2011, would you then give them a larger discount than renewals currently get because they won't be needing that perk?

Just asking...

No the reasoning is to get new customers that you would not get without throwing in a perk.

That said a 5.00 discount for renewing passholders would also be good :)(if they could make passes generic so they could be used multiple years they might actually save money with it)

I get funtime emails from Cedar Point in my email. Here's an on topic excerpt from today's (immediately following a Student Discount Deal)

"What's Better Than $5 Off?
A $5 off Student ID discount is a good deal, but FREE is a great deal. And free admission to HalloWeekends is what you can enjoy if you decide to become a 2011 Season Passholder for the first time. When you visit Cedar Point during HalloWeekends and purchase a 2011 Season Pass at the Season Pass Center for only $99.99, you'll receive free admission to the park for yourself for that day."

I would normally provide a link, but the links in this week's email don't seem to work for me. If anyone else could provide I'm sure that could help someone

OhioStater's avatar

Are my wife and I the only people on the planet who have never had a problem with a platinum pass in any way?

Considering the deal you are getting, I would think a few hiccups in the system would be something a human can tolerate.

James Whitmore's avatar

I'm with you OS, I've not had any problems. I've thought is was a good deal for years now. The renewal "hassle" was only minor one, in my opinion. Now with the new renewal method that skips the need for a new photo each year even that minor hassle is gone and quite idiot-proof.

TiggerMan's avatar

I've been generally happy with my platinum pass, but this year I ran into one of the "silly" issues with CF and these passes - if the park you bought the pass from hasn't opened yet, and you try to visit another CF park, you will have trouble.

Case in point - my CF Platinum Pass is from Dorney Park. A group of us made a visit to King's Dominion this year in late April, before Dorney had opened for the season. We were unable to get into KD with our DP-based platinum passes because KD didn't have Dorney's 2010 season pass information yet. The even stupider part? We had all renewed our platinum passes for 2010 at Dorney the PREVIOUS fall (2009). Exactly when and how long does it take for all the parks to exchange information??

Fortunately, the Guest Relations folks at KD were nice enough to let us all in (after a lengthy wait where they actually tried to call Dorney to verify our passes, without success, since Dorney wasn't open), but still, it was quite an annoyance. I've never had that kind of problem with my SF pass.

I like that the renewal process is a lot easier than it used to be, and that there is now a "universal" platinum pass for all the CF parks, but they seem to be missing the boat on centralizing/sharing pass information across parks so that this type of problem doesn't happen.

Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line.

Jeff's avatar

My understanding is that there's some kind of synchronization of data that happens across the parks, and that, for whatever reason, it doesn't happen as frequently or reliably as it's supposed to. Granted, that's something I heard several years ago now, but I couldn't tell you what kind of budget constraints they have these days since that system was acquired.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

And now even more silliness...

Cedar Point is having an instant renewal sale on the platinum pass. So I went to Cedar Point's site and tried to renew. It asked for my pass number, then told me, "Oops, that's a Kings Island pass."

Helpfully, it sent me to the identical renewal page in the Kings Island web store, and dropped a request for a renewal at the same price that Cedar Point was going to charge ($145). I went through the whole procedure, and it seems to have worked. If I make it to Kings Island tomorrow I might have them check the expiration on my pass just to be sure.

Now here's the silly part. After I finished my transaction, I went back to the pass sales page on Kings Island's store page. Guess what...platinum pass renewals are not even available yet, and only gold pass renewals can be processed on their web site; all other pass sales have to be handled in person at the park when it is open. So the only reason I was able to renew my platinum pass on-line at Kings Island's site is apparently because I got to that page from the Cedar Point site.

Why is it such a problem to make this program "just work"?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

Jeff's avatar

I'm not sure I have all of the context, but in part it's because Paramount Parks didn't operate as discreet kingdoms all of the time. As Cedar Fair, they're worried about each park getting its credit and meeting a certain budget, which is why you got bumped to the other park, I suspect. It all strikes me as ridiculous, but I've seen big companies operate this way all of the time. The same guy might sign the checks for two business units, but because of accountabilities and inflexible thinking, doing the right thing for the customers is out of the question.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

(it was supposed to be a rhetorical question, Jeff! :) )

Yeah, well, perhaps you remember my story of how my visit to Worlds of Fun (in the pre-Gate Central era) was recorded on five different paper records, basically so that Worlds of Fun could bill Cedar Point for my visit. Which seems kind of backwards anyway. Maybe what they should do to be fair about it is pool all of the platinum pass revenue, then distribute it to all the parks based not on the number of passes sold, but based on the number of admittances. So if I buy my pass at CP for $140 and visit CP once and KI once, then each park gets $70 for my visits. That way it could all be handled "back of house". I certainly don't care how they account for it!

How badly does it screw up their accounting that the Kings Island pass I just renewed was paid for at Cedar Point?

Oh, and I did have the customer service folks at Kings Island check the expiration on my pass today. It seems the renewal worked just fine even though the front door on the site says I can't do it yet. So at least they do have a somewhat reasonable workaround in place for the "sale at Cedar Point" problem.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

I'll have to try mine again, but a week ago when I got the redirect from CP's page and entered my pass number on KI's page, it told me I needed to contact customer service. Maybe they've fixed it since then.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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