Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio, USA
I was actually skeptical as to whether or not it was worth it to post a Trip Report. I admittedly am not received well by a lot of you when I post [anything], not to mention I was only at the park from 3:30-10:00. At first I thought a Trip Report wasn't going to work. But well, here we are.
As usual for me, my dad was on the trip with me, but my younger sister unexpectedly tagged along. By the way, this is a situation where the teenage girl thinks Blue Streak of all rides is the scariest thing known to man. So you can pretty much guess what rides she rode.
Okay, here we go. Arrival time was, give or take, about 3:30. We three entered the park, we got a Fast Lane Plus (just me, no point in it for the other two), so that way while my dad and sister were on the gentle rides, I could roam around on my own and do some coasting as much as I pleased. First ride had to be GateKeeper. That was a must.
Let's just say to you enthusiasts out there, your stellar reviews of GateKeeper didn't say enough. Just because I was shocked at a) how incredibly smooth it was, and b) how much airtime the inversions had. I mean, that's some serious piece of awesome right there. Not to mention I got through line in 15 minutes.
Next I moved towards Millennium Force. At the beginning of the day, I thought I'd only get 4 or 5 rides, and I would skip out on Dragster and Raptor this time. But Millie-Force is a must-ride. It had a much longer wait then GateKeeper. About an hour. But I think it's worth it and/or not that bad. So that's that.
After Millennium, I crossed to the other side, and rode Magnum, but for some reason, the back seat of the train didn't have as much airtime as usual. So it was just a rickety experience, like I usually get from Magnum. But without that world-famous airtime. Next was Maverick, which appeared to have a third inversion from a certain angle. I took a closer look, but couldn't figure it out. It appeared to be an oddly shaped horseshoe roll, but when I rode it I was still confused. It didn't do a full inverted motion, but I could've sworn, it was enough to be an inversion. I'll let you guys debate this.
It was about 6:30 at this point, so I met up with my dad and sister, and had some dinner. I made sure it was something light. Now, remember my vow to not ride Top Thrill Dragster? Yeah, about that...my love of extreme thrills somehow hijacked my ability to resist and drove away. So I'm thinking I didn't get the Fast Lane Plus for only one ride. I boarded the Dragster at about 7:30:00. I got off at 7:30:17. Ha, sorry. Bad joke. But you know something's not okay when the wait for the launch is longer than the actual ride. But anyways it was as awesome as usual.
At this point, I spent God-knows-how-long in a gift shop. I wanted to buy something, but nothing there seemed really worth it. Darn! I was easily distracted my that store, and I paced around in there for about 20 minutes. So by the time I emerged, it was dark skies with all of CP's pretty little lighting. My dad hadn't ridden a real coaster all day, so feeing bad, I worked out time for him to get on GateKeeper. He was also very impressed with the ride.
Um...I don't know what else to say. Thanks for reading this! Okay, I'm gonna give a grand finale. Wow, just...yeah. I'm done.
Hey, this Trip Report's over. Why're you still here?
I love gatekeeper too!
Well, who doesn't?
Oh! A meeting of the minds. Let's listen...
I don't hear anything.
Honestly, it was a decent trip report. And then the comments started...
Question: Was Millennium Force an hour wait with Fastlane?
I had fast lane yesterday, too. We waited 15 minutes for MF. They did tell us, however, that MF could have fastlane waits of up to 45 minutes,
The major problem that I saw, was that the fastlane deniers in the main line were trying to be white knights of justice at the merge, and not letting the fastlane people in. It was almost like they had coordinated to just keep staring straight ahead and walking. The girl at the merge point was sprawled out of the corner with her sleeves and shorts rolled up, getting her tan on, and couldn't have cared less.
There is something seriously wrong with a system in which the pay-to-cut option is still 45 minutes.
Doesn't that depend on the length of the regular line? If its 90 or 120 minutes, seems to me a 45 minute wait is still has value. And is the FL line 45 minutes all day or are there only periods of time in the day during which it is that long? Plus the benefit of the other FL rides.
0g: Yes, with the Fast Lane Plus. It was a bummer.
ApolloAndy: You are very correct.
My gut reaction is to agree with Andy, but I think GoBucks is closer to reality.
If you're cutting your waits by 50% or more, you're probably getting your money's worth.
It's the standing in line part of the Fast Lane equation that blows. Other systems (FastPass, Lo-Q) often make you wait as long as you would without, but you don't have to stand there.
What CF is doing is like meeting the middle of true VQ and true FOL.
And, as usual, we're discussing worst case scenario.
So if the worst you can do with Fast Lane is cut your wait in half for the most popular rides on the most crowded days - how is that a fail?
Because I have no patience for lines. ;) I guess that's what the VIP package is for.
But I can't imagine a park with 120 minute lines and 45 minute "pay-to-cut" lines that isn't leaving money on the table.
I'd tend to agree.
But on the other hand, a park that is able to get people to pay over $125 (assuming admission and weekend Fast Lane pricing) to stand in 45 minute lines is doing something right. How much more money is really on the table at that point?
Alternatively, if the FL wait is 45 minutes, maybe you're not charging enough for that...? That "sweet spot" we've discussed so many times is elusive as anything...
We all agree that FOL pricing is "best" when it's variable depending on demand and park conditions, special events, etc, right?
So, ok, you can get it all set, find your sweet spot for an August weekend, then some variable like weather comes along to muck it up. Unless you vary your FOL price from hour to hour, but customers will be reluctant to participate without knowing at least somewhat in advance what they might expect to pay.
This discussion just goes on and on, doesn't it?
"I can turn this thread into a FOL discussion in ____ posts."
Honestly, wait times also depend on what coaster and what time. I'd say my wait for Millennium Force was longer than average with a Fast Lane, but not by much. I mean, it's arguably the most popular coaster in the park. The only time I found it was too far off average was GateKeeper's extremely short FL Plus line. But who in their right mind would complain about that?
Yeah, but if he were going to complain in this thread, he'd have done it already.
The main reason fast lane varies from ride to ride, is the location of the midway split, where the fast lane line enters the regular line. On Gate Keeper, the Fast lane entrance is at the base of the station house stairs, which is only 10 to 15 minutes from riding. Where the M-Force split is at the bottom of the ramp, which is about a half hour wait from that point for regular riders. That is why they end up waiting an extra 30 minutes, where as if they entered through the exit, like on Mean Streak, their wait might be 10 to 15 minutes tops.
Also, on Top Thrill Dragster, Maverick, and Magnum, Fast lane folks enter the main line at the 20 to 30 minute point. Where as on Blue Streak, the wait is maybe 5 minutes at the bottom of the stairs leading into the station. And, Mean Streak has no wait for fast lane riders at all. So, it really depends on what ride you are riding, and it also is up to the Queue op, of who goes first, which on some rides was a pain in the ass. As the endless sea of fast lane people kept going forward, while the main line was cut off by the queue Natzi. I would not want that job, because I would make the Fast Laners wait their turn, and alternate, and leave nobody standing still.
I would also eliminate the chart keeping. Is it really necessary for you to count each fast lane guest? You know how many of the darn things you sold, just leave it at that, don't waste my park time with your boring paper work. One girl took so long doing her paper work, neither line was moving as she blocked the queue...Dear Diary. Today I am being a total bitch!!
The problem is they are selling too many fast lane tickets. And, early entry for season pass holders is a joke. They were just letting everyone in early.
Huh. I wonder how I got the front row on Maverick in less than thirty minutes after passing by a sea of people at the main gate who were not allowed into the park because they weren't early-entry qualified.
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