Anyone Check Out Dollywood's Q-bot This Past Week?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 3:41 PM
According to their website, Dollywood started using the Q-bot as of last Friday.

Just wondering if anyone stopped by in the past week and how things seemed to be. (popularity, integration, etc.)

Seems a little silly to me to just use it for shows, but perhaps it's just a test run to determine if there is enough interest to expand on the useage. Who knows? A guy can hope, right? ;)

Just curious.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:28 PM
I said it before. I no longer have the respect for HFEC that I once did because of this.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:36 PM
^ Agreed. And if *everyone* has a pay option available to bypass lines, the bean-counters at CF will be suggesting this additional source of revenue in.....

5.....4......3.....2.....you see where this is going, right? ;)

I do believe that one of the last bastions of egalitarianism is crumbling before our eyes...why not just raise the prices until SO few people can get in the gates that the capacity of the rides becomes moot?

Paula, promise us this won't happen at HW... ;)

*** Edited 9/20/2006 8:43:13 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:50 PM
Ummmm...did anybody notice that this is ONLY used at the theatres? That's really the only place they need it!!

Joe

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 4:58 PM
^ Yes, only at shows...for now... ;)
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 5:08 PM

rollergator said:
I do believe that one of the last bastions of egalitarianism is crumbling before our eyes...

See, I hate that arguement. Hate it. Amusement parks are a luxury item. They are a privledge to begin with, not a right.

What about all the families living on two minimum wage jobs who can't afford the parks in the first place? Any sense of egalitarianism has long been lost for those people.

It's all about where one chooses to draw the line. I draw it after the additional costs of things like q-bot. You draw it somewhere after the current high admission prices (DW is $46 a head!?) and before the additional Q-bot costs. Others may have drawn the line long before it cost almost $50 for a day at Dollywood.


...why not just raise the prices until SO few people can get in the gates that the capacity of the rides becomes moot?

I know you're being rhetorical/sarcastic, but why not? Seems like everyone is ok with gate prices, but hate the idea of 'additional costs' being a deciding factor. Tie in those additional costs and hide the pain (like the free drink and parking things) and suddenly it seems people would be ok with it because we all have to pay the same thing.

To me that's even less fair. As it stands now anyone who wants to pay $46 can visit Dollywood. Anyone choosing to drop a little more can avoid show lines. Raise the price to $61 (forcing the additional cost to all) and now even less people can go - and we haven't even touched on the people who already got shut out because they can't justify it at $46.

I'm not sure where it is written that any form of entertainment and the associated costs are supposed to exhibit any kind of egalitarianism at all.

I mean people don't even have the *right* to housing and/or health care in this country - why on Earth would visits to an amusement park be something that is expected to be offered to all equally?

Color me confused, because I don't get it.


And if *everyone* has a pay option available to bypass lines, the bean-counters at CF will be suggesting this additional source of revenue in.....

5.....4......3.....2....


That's already 5 seconds too late. I still have no idea why the CF parks haven't jumped on this.


villeneuve said:
Ummmm...did anybody notice that this is ONLY used at the theatres?

Yup. Mentioned it in the original post. :)

---

Still would like a first-hand account of things, though.

*** Edited 9/20/2006 9:13:12 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 7:57 PM

Lord Gonchar said:I mean people don't even have the *right* to housing and/or health care in this country - why on Earth would visits to an amusement park be something that is expected to be offered to all equally?

You haven't started getting me *elected* yet! ;)

By the way, if your SSN ends in 6, you get the amusmement park on the 6th, 16th, and 26th of every month.... :)

But back on track, the reaons I think CF parks haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet, is because I honestly believe that they've decided that, FOR NOW at least, the *costs* associated with the programs in terms of customer satisfaction outweigh the benefits in short-term profits. Furthermore, CF's bottom line, in BLACK at the bottom of the page, says they typically make the right call, and their longer-term profitability remains consistent.

Of course, I bought a little SF stock...good news, it was around 3 bucks at purchase before it went to 10. Bad news, I didn't sell it! So don't take advice from ME! ;)

*** Edited 9/20/2006 11:58:00 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 8:36 PM
It all comes down to... price and necessity. If you're spending one day at Dollywood, and don't mind paying extra to get the pass, then it works for you. This applies to Six Flags parks as well. If I only had one day at a place like Magic Mountain or Great Adventure, I might as well spring for that myself. I don't, because I know I can get everything without that, but I would imagine that customers of Qbots want to do the most they can in a day. Let them, and let the park earn a little extra coin.

I'm not going to recomend it to anyone, and I don't ever want to use one (unless I have only a day at one of the flagship SF parks). But hey, as long as they're used properly, I don't see a problem. In fact, the only problems I've seen with this system are customers and employees unaware of how to handle the Qbot system. On rides, you shouldn't be allowed to "pick a seat" as it were.

I saw that Great Adventure's B:TR has a new merge-point that puts the Qbot holding persons right in line at the station, and toward the back like it should. If you want to wait it out for the front, you must do so like everyone entering the station at that point. This is a great design (it looked pretty recent), and this is the way it should be handled. If park's don't forget the paying customers over the Qbot customers, there shouldn't be any problems.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 9:16 PM
I did get in touch with Paula regarding this Dollywood pay queue business. HW plans to handle growth in attendance by continuing to maintain sufficient capacity so that long waits aren't a significant problem. There are no plans for a virtual queue or reservation system, either pay or free.

A park that offers so many things at no additional charge is unlikely to go to Q-Bot or any other pay queue system.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 9:20 PM
But Holiday World isn't the type of park to offer this sort of thing. It's the big mega parks (Dollywood withstanding... since it's used for shows here, and that's the focus). I would wager that a family of four gets on more rides at Holiday World than at a 9+ coaster Six Flags park on a typical summer Saturday.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 9:34 PM
cedar point already has a pay for ride system.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 9:35 PM
vip experience 350 bucks per person.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 9:46 PM

why not just raise the prices until SO few people can get in the gates that the capacity of the rides becomes moot?

Well, it works for Discovery Cove.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 9:56 PM
Other parks that appear safe from Pay queue systems are the Kennywood Entertainment parks.

KW has only three rides where long hour-plus lines can be a serious problem. Exterminator is popular and has relatively low capacity. Still, you can avoid the long wait by getting there early. Raging Rapids can have long waits on hot summer afternoons. Phamtom's Revenge waits can get long if only one train is operating. When two trains are running, however, this ride really eats up the lines.

Idlewild has few line problems except for Misterrogers Neighborhood and sometimes the Wildmouse. A reservation system for Misterrogers might make sense but they havent done this yet. Since this ride has never been an upcharge attraction (although it could have been run as one), I don't expect this to have a pay queue system anytime soon.

Lake Compounce waits are generally reasonable on all rides. Boulder Dash, Wildcat, and Ghost Hunt get the biggest lines. BD is a real problem only if it is running one train (because of the roughness problem that they plan to fix this winter). If it has two trains running, the line moves well. Wildcat is getting a new braking system that will permit two train operation. That should reduce the waiting here. Ghost Hunt can have some of the longest lines at times. This could be remedied by switching from two passenger cars to four passenger cars. (Sally uses both types in their darkrides).

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 10:38 PM
Ok here's what I was told by a gentleman from LO-Q at SFGAdv. They are starting with the shows and can expand it to rides if the system is deemed to be worthy of being used on the coasters and other rides. It's Dollywood's call as to where it get implemented.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 11:33 PM
SFI takes it to the extreme and everything has a price. From the time you arrive at the lot gate it's $15 to park but if you pay more you can park in the premier lot. Pay addmission to get in and you can pay extra to get flashpass and more money can get you a gold flashpass. If you want to spend more money you can get a VIP pass. If you have enough money you can even rent the whole park for the day.
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Thursday, September 21, 2006 12:04 AM
^... And that applies to Dollywood having Q-Bot?

I totally agree with Gonch. If you want to pay extra for a *special perk* that gets you through the lines quicker, then go right ahead. Parks thrive off disposable income. Why wouldn't they offer something like this?

This is probably the greatest line ever:
"I mean people don't even have the *right* to housing and/or health care in this country - why on Earth would visits to an amusement park be something that is expected to be offered to all equally?"

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Thursday, September 21, 2006 1:47 AM
NEWS FLASH, DOLLYWOOD WILL PUT THIS SYSTEM IN FOR SOME RIDES ASWELL NEXT SEASON, ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?
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Thursday, September 21, 2006 5:55 AM
Will Silver Dollar City be next? I just feel that when parks do things like this they are looking at the people that come as wallets to be emptied.
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Thursday, September 21, 2006 12:42 PM

Arthur Bahl said:
Will Silver Dollar City be next? I just feel that when parks do things like this they are looking at the people that come as wallets to be emptied.

Dude, look. This is the same as Dip'n'Dots, camera-weidling employees that assault you as you enter the park, and on-ride photos. If they can make a dime off it, they will. If I get to Solace next year, I'll consider buying the Flash Pass for SFMM, just because I know it will be worth it, and I could get as much in as possible.

Some parks will resist Lo-Q, and it will be the Kennywoods and Holiday Worlds of the theme park industry. So don't freak out. It's an additional revenue source for them, and one they can rely on for the crowded days. Heck, I've seen a lot of Qbots in parks, and they're great if you only visit one or two parks a year. For me, this summer, I've been in a park virtually every weekend, so they're not worth it to me. But if you see the value in it, then it's there. So please, Arthur Bahl, don't get so excited.

(By the way, what's all this talk about Boulder Dash being rough? I was just up a few weeks ago, when they were running two trains, and every ride was fantastic... not Voyage fantastic, but top-five fantastic. Better than most woodies of the 40-odd I've ridden this year.) *** Edited 9/21/2006 4:47:20 PM UTC by Arson***

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