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

Thursday, September 21, 2006 2:34 PM
Actually the only real difference between this and isneys verison is the fact that six flags charges for it (I thought I read somewhere that mark shapiro stated that he was thinking of making it free)
+0
Thursday, September 21, 2006 3:32 PM
If Dollywood guests were complaining about not being able to reserve seats for shows, the Q-bots are a good solution. I'm sure that was also Disney's thinking behind the FastPass and their Fantasmic reserved seating for people who dine at the Disney Studios sit-down restaurants.

Reservation systems are not free to implement -- the technology is not foolproof and it takes skilled technicians and equipment to keep it running.

  • Universal Express -- very high-tech kiosks, good guest options, notorious for breaking down, now they're gone.
  • Disney's FastPass -- seems simple, but still mechanical systems fail. (8 of 10 dispensers broken down before noon at Space Mountain at DL Paris.)
  • SF FlashPass / Q-bot -- handheld devices fail (rented on three occasions and had to the unit lock-up or batteries die three times - units are replaced, but virtual queue is lost).

On top of the technology issues is the additional staff requirement, which is a minimum 2 staff per attraction (one to support reservation dispersement, another to check the reservation entrance). I have a gut feeling that CP eliminated their hand-stamp system because they found it required too many staff-hours without increasing guest per-cap spending.

Theme parks and amusement parks thrive on people enjoying their experiences. People will keep paying and coming back if they have a good time. Technology malfunctions frustrate guests. Elitism frustrates guests. But if the overall benefit is more happy guests (spending more money) than unhappy guests, go for it!

*** Edited 9/21/2006 7:33:47 PM UTC by greatwhitenorth***

+0
Thursday, September 21, 2006 4:42 PM
nasai's avatar For a guy like me, who doesn't get out of state THAT often, a park like Dollywood is a real treat to get to. That all said, I will more than happily pay whatever they charge for an option to ride a coaster more often than not. This might cost a lot more out of pocket, but I don't mind, as I rarely get to said park. I was kicking myself at SFNE for not buying the Gold Q-bot for even more rides on SROS. Call me greedy.

I can see this being a huge issue for locals, but not for me.

I love the Q-bot.


The Flying Turns makes all the right people wet - Gonch

+0
Thursday, September 21, 2006 6:29 PM
in reply to arthur bahl question,

they will more than likely to install this system in the very near future, as dollywood and silver dollar are own by they same entertainment company. it may not be installed yet but look for in the next few years.

+0
Thursday, September 21, 2006 11:14 PM
Like Dolly always says, "It costs a lot to look this cheap". Gotta pay for all those wigs, make-up, etc somehow. ;)
I survived a Japanese typhoon and the Togo flat ride of death!!!!!!
+0
Thursday, September 21, 2006 11:20 PM
"Egalitarianism?" This is one of the first words on Coasterbuzz that sent me to the dictionary--not how to spell it, but what the heck it means! So am I right that this is the French version of the word "equality?" That's what I'm inferring from the entry.

I have mixed feelings on the Q-bot system. I've used it a couple of times at Great Adventure, and quite enjoyed it, but it is expensive. We debated using it at SFNE, but the only things we missed were the SLC and the Scream towers--no big loss. We still managed to get most of the park done, including flats, waterpark and five rides on S:ROS.

+0
Friday, September 22, 2006 1:00 AM
rollergator's avatar ^ Hey, if you want to expand your vocabulary, I'm yer guy.. ;)

On a more serious note, what I was getting at (in my roundabout fashion) is that when you get IN the gates, of say, HW. or Disney, you're basically being viewed as *on par* with all the other golfers...er, guests. :)

+0
Friday, September 22, 2006 1:15 AM
Hail CBuzz Warriors,


nasai said:
I can see this being a huge issue for locals, but not for me.

I love the Q-bot.



I'm going to agree.

This type of program allows a great guest experience, for non-locals, at a slight additional cost.

Locals will find this opition costs them a whole lot more paper bills.

Enhancing the experience of those that travel a long way, is a GOOD thing.

+0
Friday, September 22, 2006 6:45 AM
What I dislike most about the pay queue systems is that you pay so much to get into the park and then you have to pay even more to have a really good experience at some parks. Naturally it's worst if this is happening at a park with poor operations such as SFGAdv, SFA, or SFMM where multiple train operation and better maintainence would keep most of the waits reasonable.

As for Cedar Fair, all bets are off regarding this since they added those Paramount parks. Previously, only two of the parks (CP and KBF) would have been likely candidates for Q-BOT or a similar system. Now there are six or seven. The important thing to remember is that CF has better operations than most Six Flags parks.


Arthur Bahl

+0
Friday, September 22, 2006 10:24 AM
If it adds to the park's (or chain's) bottom line, then I'm all for it. We live in an age where parks are starting to disapear (Astroworld, Myrtle Beach Pavilion) or run into serious problems (Cypress Gardens, Six Flags, and this is just in the US). So, if it adds to the park's bottom line by selling the one available commodity, I have no problem with it. Why shouldn't these parks make a little money on the side, selling virtual queue reservations? I'm willing to bet that the cost of one day at a park with a Qbot is cheaper than getting a two-day ticket (or a night's stay at a hotel and a two-day ticket).
+0
Friday, September 22, 2006 2:51 PM

rollergator said:


On a more serious note, what I was getting at (in my roundabout fashion) is that when you get IN the gates, of say, HW. or Disney, you're basically being viewed as *on par* with all the other golfers...er, guests.


Well, in the case of Disney, not necessarily. Think about it, since you're a Floridian, you know that many days a Disney park opens early to resort guests. Well, arent those that are in the park early have an increased access to the FastPasses (by virtue of being able to get to the machines before the 'others')?


zacharyt.shutterfly.com
PlaceHolder for Castor & Pollux

+0
Friday, September 22, 2006 3:06 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

nasai said:
For a guy like me, who doesn't get out of state THAT often, a park like Dollywood is a real treat to get to. That all said, I will more than happily pay whatever they charge for an option to ride a coaster more often than not. This might cost a lot more out of pocket, but I don't mind, as I rarely get to said park. I was kicking myself at SFNE for not buying the Gold Q-bot for even more rides on SROS. Call me greedy.

I can see this being a huge issue for locals, but not for me.

I love the Q-bot.


I agree with you, Rob. :) After using the Qbot last year at Great Adventure I fell in love with it. I don't have any issues with it and I think if people want to dish out the extra $$ then the more power to them!

I don't generally use something like a Fastpass or Qbot but there ARE certain circumstances where they are VERY useful.

Then again I am just impatient and greedy too. ;) :)

I can see a park like Dollywood using it for their shows since THOSE are usually the main draw to the park anyway. Their shows usually have the longest lines. I am sure the grandma and grandpa will shell out the extra cash for them. ;) I don't see how they will be necessary for the coasters since the lines are really never that long (at least the times I have been there) but if it works for the park then I think it's great.

Maybe they should start using the Qbots for the enthusiast buffets. ;) A park would make a FORTUNE!

-Tina

+0
Friday, September 22, 2006 6:04 PM
At Disney, they normally open one park early each day to the hotel guests. The advice commonly given is to avoid this park if you are not staying on site and to visit the others. Then you can get Fastpasses more easily.

As for Cedar Point, I hope that things stay as they are but I could see the advantage of a Q-Bot being available for someone living, say 3 or 4 hours from the park. Get to the park at opening. Pay your $39.95 or whatever it is (maybe you got a discount). Pay extra for a regular Q-Bot. Use Q-Bot on MF, TTD, or the other busy coasters to avoid long periods in line and go ride Maggie, Gemini, the other coasters or the flat rides while you wait for your turn to come. Get your rides in and leave around 7 or 8 PM and go home. You save the cost of an overnight stay. Of course the locals won't like that too much. The difference here is that CP is more reasonably priced to begin with than SFGAdv or SFMM and the operations are much better. *** Edited 9/22/2006 10:06:02 PM UTC by Arthur Bahl***


Arthur Bahl

+0
Friday, September 22, 2006 6:23 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar But in the case of Disney aren't we missing the point that people who pay extra to stay at a Disney resort have more park hours available to them in the first place?

Things aren't equal from the start.

Yeah yeah, I know it's a perk that 'doesn't affect other guests' (because someone is bound to say that), but the bottom line is that people who are willing to pay more get more in return.

And no matter how many times you say it, Arthur, park pricing in general has nothing to do with the validity of virtual queue systems.


+0
Friday, September 22, 2006 7:23 PM
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:Yeah yeah, I know it's a perk that 'doesn't affect other guests' (because someone is bound to say that), but the bottom line is that people who are willing to pay more get more in return.

But the discussion always seems to come around (eventually) to that topic of "perceived" value. Disney's implementation of virtual queueing *universally* eliminates those moments when someone "cuts" in front of those waiting in the regular line...I may in fact be "cut in front of", but I don't PERCEIVE it....contrast that with the SF-style implementation which typically leads the RIDE itself short-staffed while the (too-few) ops hold up the *regular* boarding to tend to those who are coming up the exit ramps....which further slows disembarking, reducing capacity even moreso...

Wait, this was about Dollywood? LOL! Seriously, the SHOWS are the thing there, and I don't anticipate seeing it expanded to the rides for AT LEAST another couple years... :)

+0
Saturday, September 23, 2006 10:15 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar As Gator mentioned, my big beef with virtual queue implementation at most Six Flags parks is that it actually decreases overall capacity for the day. Like when they had a car roped off on chiller and wouldn't let anyone ride it, even if there weren't VQers.

The other problem I'm starting to see is that at some parks (like SFNE) it's not a matter of:
"Great day for regular price, spectacular day for premium"

When I was there, about 50% of the riders being let onto S:RoS and Pandemonium were VQers so it really became "Crappy day for regular price, good day for premium." Made the perceived and actual value of the regular ticket (well, the SP entry in my case) pretty low.


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."

+0
Sunday, September 24, 2006 11:38 AM
I think some people don't get what makes selling line jumping unfair. I know that cost is cost and more cost inherently eliminates the option for some. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with things like charging more for ERT (like the early entry Joe Cool perk) or upcharge attractions (like sky coasters). These are things that are not included in the price of admission so they can be sold as the park sees fit. However, when they charge extra to allow someone to cut in line right before the station on some ride, now they are taking back a service that has already been sold to some people and they are reselling it to other people. It would be like if the power company in your neighborhood decided to power a new house by running an extension cord from everyone elses house to that new house, charged everyone for their share of the new house's power, and then collected a bill from the new house as well. I guess if they put it in writing when you bought your tickets that this car on this coaster and these rows in these shows are not included in admission and may be purchased for an additional fee, that would be one thing. But that is not what I see happening in a lot of these systems. *** Edited 9/24/2006 3:41:01 PM UTC by RavenTTD***
+0
Sunday, September 24, 2006 12:02 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I think some people don't get what makes selling line jumping unfair... when they charge extra to allow someone to cut in line right before the station on some ride, now they are taking back a service that has already been sold to some people and they are reselling it to other people.

Only under the traditional park model.

Look at it this way - the new model is that standard admission only buys you access to 'stand-by' lines. That means people who upgrade their admission get to wait in multiple lines if they so choose (Regular Q-bot) or even reduce their wait time on top of that (Gold Q-bot).

I say it's not that the park is screwing you, it's that you're not buying the same type of admission that you buy in parks that don't use virtual queue systems.

I'd argue that it's not that some people don't get what makes it unfair, I'd say that some people don't get what makes it different from other parks who don't use these systems.


+0
Sunday, September 24, 2006 12:33 PM
Ah, but there is a difference between an advertised standby and just overbooking your flight. Some airlines sell standby to students or whoever for a discount and they know what they are getting into when they buy them. But then there is overbooking which is a sneeky way of getting more money by screwing a few people over and not giving them what they paid for. Now the amusment park company is not perfectly analogous to either one because you are not buying a coaster ride reservation with your admission, but they are not advertising that you are buying standby either. Like I said earlier, if they put in writing that general admission is only good for 5/6 cars on such and such coaster and just the back half of the theater for some show, that would be one thing. But when they put in writing that general admission is good for this ride and you can read in their literature that it has a certain capacity, and then people who pay more cut that capacity for you by 10%, they are reselling 10% of what you paid for.
+0
Sunday, September 24, 2006 1:02 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar So again, we come back to the implimentation being unfair or poorly handled, not the system itself.

Which is the point I'll always argue behind - the system is valid.

I'm still of the belief after countless conversations like this that these systems are here to stay and as time goes on more and more parks will get in on the action.

Besides that I really disagree with all of your argument. :)

I don't think the park is selling you anything other than access to the park. What you do inside the park is your choice. There's no definition of how much access or what kind of access you'll get. There is no guarantee of any kind at any park that I know of that covers which rides you'll be able to ride, how long you'll have to wait or how many rides you'll get.

And I really don't think anyone is researching the theoretical capacity of a park's rides and estimating their waits and number of rides for the day. And even if that one wacko is out there doing that and it's a valid point against the system for reducing theoretical capacity, then any single thing that reduces capacity beyond the expected count based on published literature (downtime, weather, ride-ops missing interval, guests slowing things with stupidity or sickness or any of a number of things, less trains operating due to low crowds, etc.) is the park not giving you what you paid for.

In fact, these are exactly the reasons there are no promises or guarantees at the parks. All you're buying with your money is permission to enter the gate - beyond that certain privledges may be implied or expected, but they are not guaranteed.

*** Edited 9/24/2006 5:03:51 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***


+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2021, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...