Cedar Point - Fast Lane 6/28/15 review

Thursday, July 2, 2015 1:19 AM

Thought I would post a review of Cedar Point.

Visited on Sunday (June 28) with a good friend and fellow Coaster enthusiast.

It was raining in the morning, with chance of rain stretching until 4pm or so. Since it was raining we didn't arrive until 11:50.

As we were parking it was sprinkling. We took a photo of the sign out front, it was still grey and windy. We had purchased tickets on-line. Scanned and they told us some rides would not be open due to weather. When we came out from under the entry gate, the sun was out. Awesome, like stepping into another world.

The coasters were not running. We made our way to the back of the park. There were a lot of people walking around and showing up. We passed Raptor, it was running empty.

Millennium Force starting running.

Since this would be our only day, we bought 2 FastLanePlus passes.

I am not against FastLane or whatever the different parks call it, I am not for it either. I understand the arguments on both sides. This is just a review of FastLanePlus.

Millennium Force (took about 20 minutes)

Maverick (took 15 minutes)

Mean Streak (walk on) (awful... hurt)

Gemini (walk on, fun)

Magnum Force xl200 (20 minutes)

Top Thrill Dragster (15-20 minutes)

GateKeeper (front Left) (40 minute wait, train was down for some of this)

GateKeeper (Left) (15 minute)

GateKeeper (Right) (15 minutes)

MaXair (walk on, there was a line, but the FastLane was a walk on)

Raptor (20 minutes)

Rougarou (20 minutes)

Millennium Force (20 minutes)

Millennium Force (20 minutes)

Maverick 7 times (10-15 minutes each ride) Front, Back, Middle.

Top Thrill Dragster 2 times to end the night.

My goal wasn't to ride everything. But to maximize the time on ride vs line.

Taking out filler rides. Mean Streak, Gemini, MaXair, leaves me with 20 rides. Admission and fastlane was 150, $7.50 a ride.

With posted wait times 1hr - 1.5hr. I would have been in for 6-9 rides for $50. $5.55-$8.33 per ride.

Park wasn't crowded, but it was busy and the true wait to for Maverick was easily 1.5 hours.

We did get stranded on Maverick in the tunnel for 45 minutes. They gave us 2 line skip tickets, which we used on TTD back to back.

I love Maverick, rode it 8 times. But, favorite ride was the last TTD in the front seat. At night. Truly an amazing indescribable experience.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015 9:54 AM

I found the price-per-ride to be very interesting, as the FastLane price fell right in the middle of the standby price range... But then I thought about how much more value FastLane can really add; feeling less rushed & more relaxed between rides, ride what you want opposed to what has a short line, obviously more rides, and (in my opinion) it really makes for a much more pleasant experience on a busy day...

Having said that, I am amazed what FastLane costs... Would CP/CF ever consider a lower tier like Sea World/Busch Gardens does with their Quick Que program? Lower level allows 1 ride on each major attraction, plus a "bonus ride" of your choice, upper level is unlimited rides.

Glad you had a fun day! I've had days like that with the weather... Pouring rain in the hotel room in Sandusky, but the clouds part and the sun is shining on CP as you come around the bend onto the causeway.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015 1:07 PM

I never get Fast Lane since I visit the park frequently enough, there's no reason to. But on super busy days, I see Fast Lane lines get backed up sometimes. I still saw Maverick with over 1 hour FL waits. If it's still selling alot, I'm thinking it's actually underpriced.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015 1:40 PM

It may be underpriced, but I would shocked to see the park push it to $100. The psychological impact of a 3-digit cost is going to make a lot of people angry.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015 2:37 PM

I just checked the CP website and it is $105 for FL+ this Saturday, if you buy only 1. So, it does exceed $100 during peak times.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015 2:40 PM

Oh, yeah, but they don't ever advertise it that way. It's always "As low as $95" or whatever. That's what I don't think they'll bump up to 3 digits.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015 2:54 PM

It actually says as low as $75, but you need to buy them in bulk to get it at that price and that is not during peak times.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015 11:42 PM

$ per ride is maybe not the most useful metric because of the law of diminishing returns. My tenth ride on Maverick isn't worth nearly what my first ride on it (or even Gemini or Blue Streak) is worth. In fact, I'm at a point in my life where very few rides still give a positive return after lap 4 or 5. Between nausea, tiredness, wanting to be with my family and enthusiast burnout, I usually can do front, back, favorite row and leave happy.

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Friday, July 3, 2015 8:28 PM

I agree with ShaneDenmark and Andy. I like the idea of just taking a break in between rides...even taking a nap in the middle of the day. The Fast Lane / Fast Pass / Express Way - whatever it is called in the park that you visit offers flexibility and calmness in what could be a very tiring day.

A few years ago, I wondered how this would work at waterparks...but is also now used in some of those parks too.

Also, I feel that the general public now "Gets it." People understand what it is and how it works. When it first started, there were arguments, and even minor skirmishes about it. Now...just mostly internal agrevation and long sighs.

Two things... It makes money and it's here to stay.

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Monday, July 6, 2015 4:05 PM

I would like to see them start selling one ride exit passes for maybe $15 to $20 per ride. Would let you get your favorite ride fix on a crowded day without having to purchase a complete Fast Lane pass.

Last edited by Pete, Monday, July 6, 2015 5:49 PM
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Tuesday, July 7, 2015 9:05 AM

Do you ever play PLINKO?

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015 3:36 PM

ApolloAndy said:

$ per ride is maybe not the most useful metric because of the law of diminishing returns. My tenth ride on Maverick isn't worth nearly what my first ride on it (or even Gemini or Blue Streak) is worth. In fact, I'm at a point in my life where very few rides still give a positive return after lap 4 or 5. Between nausea, tiredness, wanting to be with my family and enthusiast burnout, I usually can do front, back, favorite row and leave happy.

Yes.

A $ per average minute or hour saved would be an interesting number to work out.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015 6:19 PM

Even then I think you're going to find a pretty big skew in the data because of self selection.

Pretend the only ride in the park has an hour long line the entire day and my FastPass lets me ride it instantly all the time, everytime.

The first time I get on there, I save an hour. If I wanted to ride it standby, it would have cost me an hour.

The second time I "save" an hour. But this time, I'm not so sure I would have waited an hour standby the second time. Maybe I would have waited if it were 45 minutes, but probably not if it were an hour.

By the tenth time, how much am I really saving? Still an hour? Probably not, because there's no way in hell I'm waiting through the hour-long standby line the tenth time. I'm maybe saving 10 minutes because that's probably as long as I'd ever wait in anything for the tenth lap.

I think you'd have calculate your "time savings" based on the smaller of actual line length and what you would have been willing to wait.

(Similarly, I have a couple friends who insist they're saving tons of money with the Six Flags dining pass because meals are normally $15 and they got 6 or 8 of them for the pass price of $80. My response is: are those meals actually worth $15 to you? Because they're worth about $5 to me and by the end of the summer, having eaten ten of them, they're probably worth $.50 to me.)

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015 6:38 PM

Well, the data would definitely be different for each individual.

All I care about is my own. :)

But I'd still be interested other's as well.

Regardless, I'm saving enough time (it's not about rides, riding something more than twice in a visit is a rarity for us outside of ERT) that the value is sometimes there for me. At this point it's just about trying to quantify with an actual number what that abstract 'value' equates to for me.

I'd be curious as to what that number is for me...and for others.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015 7:38 PM

Yeah. I think the relevent number to calculate savings is min(actual length, what you would have been willing to wait) for each ride.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015 7:42 PM

It's almost two numbers, really.

Like your SF meal example. The retail value of those meals is $15, but what are they really worth to you?

Same thing. The actual length of the line was X, but how long would you have waited?

Still in the end, the point is that it would be interesting to quantify it in some way as a money/time value. We usually do money/ride numbers, but I'm like you - that's not necessarily where I get the value from the FoL access.

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Monday, July 27, 2015 3:17 PM

They say they limit the amount of fast lane tickets they sell every day. However with such long fast lane waits, and other park perks for season pass holders (like early entry) are seemingly just given to everyone that wants to take advantage of it. I think it's really a huge rip-off to people that are buying into it.

I would guess that they sell fast lane tickets to anyone that wants to buy one, with no limit. Or, they set the limit so high, that it can't possibly be passed, and raise it whenever their predetermined limit gets broken. When I last visited the park, fast lane riders on almost every major coaster were waiting more than 40 minutes, and on Top Thrill Dragster the wait was an hour and a half, with the regular line at 3 hours. I think only the Blue streak, Corkscrew, and Iron Dragon had fast lane waits under 20 minutes. Mean Streak was the only coaster, where there was no Fast lane wait. Though the regular line was only 15 minutes. (becasue it's crap)

Maverick had the second longest regular wait, at 2 hours and 45 minutes. Fast Lane 1 hour. I would hardly call that fast.

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Monday, July 27, 2015 3:21 PM

Timber-Rider said:

I think it's really a huge rip-off to people that are buying into it.

When I last visited the park, fast lane riders on almost every major coaster were waiting more than 40 minutes, and on Top Thrill Dragster the wait was an hour and a half, with the regular line at 3 hours. I think only the Blue streak, Corkscrew, and Iron Dragon had fast lane waits under 20 minutes. Mean Streak was the only coaster, where there was no Fast lane wait. Though the regular line was only 15 minutes. (becasue it's crap)

Maverick had the second longest regular wait, at 2 hours and 45 minutes. Fast Lane 1 hour. I would hardly call that fast.

So it consistently cuts the wait time in at least half (often 1/3rd) on the most popular rides on the most busy days Cedar Point ever sees throughout the season.

Yeah, huge ripoff.

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Monday, July 27, 2015 4:07 PM

ApolloAndy said:

$ per ride is maybe not the most useful metric because of the law of diminishing returns. My tenth ride on Maverick isn't worth nearly what my first ride on it (or even Gemini or Blue Streak) is worth.

I recently had a friend discussing on FB how each subsequent chocolate chip cookie wasn't providing the same enjoyment as the first one did. My economist brain kicked in (it's really the only one I like) - and I reacted with "that's the law of decreasing marginal utility for ya." I sometimes wonder if that's tied to the addictive nature of some drugs....

edit: wait, I remember now - that was Homey G. Where's that guy been, anyway?

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Monday, July 27, 2015 5:27 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

Timber-Rider said:

Maverick had the second longest regular wait, at 2 hours and 45 minutes. Fast Lane 1 hour. I would hardly call that fast.

So it consistently cuts the wait time in at least half (often 1/3rd) on the most popular rides on the most busy days Cedar Point ever sees throughout the season.

But it's called FastLane, not HalfLane.... :-)

Last edited by slithernoggin, Monday, July 27, 2015 5:28 PM
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