Cedar Point Announces Fast Lane On Facebook

It's an interesting question BECAUSE....the biggest issue with the FastLane product is that it is ill-defined (as this entire thread illustrates). What "product" is the consumer paying for and ultimately getting? Are they getting my FRIDAY experience? (Walk on anything whenever you want all day long) OR are they getting my Saturday experience? NOTE that on Saturday even though the park was crowded, only Millennium Force and Dragster seemed to have the longer FL waits....so for 18 other rides it was in fact walk-on status.

For your pricing question - let's compare it to the Six Flags FlashPass product....which actually has 3 Tiers. SFGAdv prices = Platinum is $120 (Front of line whenever rider wants) ~ Gold is $80= Significant wait reduction ~ Regular = $45 - (theoretical) same wait as the queue - Ride Reservation system. We can drop the $45/Regular from this discussion - there is no comparable FastLane experience.

ON PRICING - I think that if I were assured the FRIDAY experience for FastLane (comparable to FlashPass Platinum/$120) - it would easily have been worth paying twice the price at $100...but currently THERE IS NO SUCH ASSURANCE. CP risks setting expectations amongst FL consumers one way and then having the other occur.

I feel like my breakpoint in buying it would have been somewhere between $50 and $100 due to the uncertainty of what it would be I am actually getting - but like I said above - if it were on-demand walk-ons all day and that was the product, $100 might have flown.

Ironically, CP also offers the VIP Tour at a VERY STEEP $375 per person. I looked at that BRIEFLY but was turned off by the stated "no-reride" policy along with the fact that you have a "VIP Escort" - I am seeking rides - not a babysitter.

In closing - and to answer your question - I think I would balk at FastLane somewhere north of $100 (assuming it is FRIDAY'S experience).

I am sure we will see more price adjusting and it probably comes to rest somewhere around $75.

ALSO - they need to DEFINE it - and even possibly Tier it (like FlashPass) - so people have an idea what they are purchasing.

Best Regards - IwantIceCream

Lord Gonchar's avatar

IwantIceCream said:

ALSO - they need to DEFINE it so people have an idea what they are purchasing.

That's not going to happen and you answered why yourself earlier in your post:

"CP risks setting expectations amongst FL consumers one way and then having the other occur."

Right now they're covering their asses with generic marketing terms like "speed through the line" and "limited waiting" - and I can't say I blame them.

Here's a pretty abstract thought process - dynamic product.

We always talk about dynamic pricing around here - basically the product stays the same and the price fluctuates based on demand. What about looking at something from the exact opposite angle? The price remains constant but what you get fluctuates based on demand. That's kind of how the amusement park experience works in the first place. That same admission ticket can get you vastly different experiences depending on countless factors. The way they're doing Fast Lane seems like a microcosm of the same idea.

Yeah, it's wacky, but that's the kind of crap that runs through my head.

As long as Fast Lane works the way it does, there'll be no defining the product or multiple levels of promise. I'm not sure there needs to be. The more I'm reading about this, the more it seems fine the way it is. You benefit X amount above the baseline park experience and the whole thing scales in unison. If the park is crazy you get to reduce the craziness. If the park is happening you get extra happening.

Plus, it still seems the only questionable bits are the two big rides and only when the park is at weekend levels. For 90% of the rides 75% of the time, you're buying a walk-on. For 10% of the rides 25% of the time, you might have to wait a bit, but it's a severly reduced wait.

FOL FTW!


Vater's avatar

Gonch, you're a marketing genius. Cedar Fair has their new tagline:

Fast Lane

If the park is crazy you get to reduce the craziness. If the park is happening you get extra happening.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

And it's less vague than how they currently sell it. :)


LostKause's avatar

All I have to add right now is that as early as six years ago, Cedar Point was telling their employees that their customers expected to ride each big coaster at least once per visit. That was part of the reason they expected ride operators to hustle. That culture may have changed by now, or maybe not, but when I worked there, it was important.


Lord Gonchar said:

That's not going to happen and you answered why yourself earlier in your post:

"CP risks setting expectations amongst FL consumers one way and then having the other occur."

Right now they're covering their asses with generic marketing terms like "speed through the line" and "limited waiting" - and I can't say I blame them.

LG -

Very good points - and you are right.

I think the other part of my own writing that is a key point = 18 out of 20 rides seemed to be walk-on even on a very busy day.

Pricing is probably going to be the only piece of this that is adjusted - and we already saw that happen once - this past week.

Best Regards, IwantIceCream

Carrie J.'s avatar

Did anyone know that Hersheypark has a "Fast Track" program? I didn't know this and didn't see any signage anywhere for entrance via this program at the coasters... unless of course I wasn't near any of the nine for which this pertains. Three coasters apparently are not part of the program.

Interesting.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

ApolloAndy's avatar

Any idea which are the 3? That determines an enormous part of the value.


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."

ApolloAndy's avatar

Re: Dyanmic product

As Gonch often says, it's all about perception. If the purchaser thinks they're purchasing front of the line access and then sees a 40 minute wait (20 minutes is probably a lot more manageable. For some reason, that's about the max "acceptable" wait time for me.) then it doesn't really matter what the sign says or what the park things they're selling.

That said, is it just a matter of a few months or a year before people know exactly what they're getting when they buy it?


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."

Carrie J.'s avatar

I don't know which 3 as I didn't even know this existed. It's a surprise to me and I wonder why it's not more advertised at the park.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

The 3 coasters not included are Sky Rush, Fahrenheit and I think Roller Soaker.

It's $50 per person ($35 for kids under 48") and allows you to skip the line once on each coaster, I think you get a time to ride like at Kennywood.

Last edited by YoshiFan,
LostKause's avatar

I like that deal best of all cut-ass perks. The price sounds right in order to benefit everyone at the park. I kind of wish it was that expensive and limited at all the parks.

Last edited by LostKause,

 So it seems, at least in his experience, most people who bought it were not expecting to wait at all. But again, the 30 minute waits were for the "big 3" while the other 17 or so rides had much shorter waits, if any.

On the flip side, I was there on Friday, and without Fast Lane never waited more than 10 minutes for anything. We ran into a couple of guys with Fast Lane in the non-existent Windseeker line. When my friend poked fun at them for paying to skip the line that wasn't there, they said they hadn't waited longer than 10 minutes for anything all day. Which was pretty funny, since we did the same thing by just avoiding the herds.


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

DaveStroem's avatar

You're right, It was Saturday that I was speaking of. I also did not purchase a FL as we had planned on taking an afternoon nap. What I did witness and photographed was an entirely full FL queue going all the way back to the Panda Express entrance. People were ticked of when they went up with their wristbands and were told that it had a 40 minute wait for FL.

My observations are as accurate as they can be given that I did not wait in any FL line.


Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

Well, I've spent three days each at Kings Island and Cedar Point. I can truthfully say that in all cases (perhaps because I've been careful about what days I go to those parks?) the existence of FastLane has not seriously impacted my waiting times for the rides I have ridden.

At Kings Island, though, I have serious reasons to ABSOLUTELY HATE FASTLANE. Why? Because the way Kings Island has implemented it, they are now *assigning seats* on many of the rides, including Vortex, Diamondback, and Flight of Fear (at least), rides where for me, it absolutely does make a difference where I sit. In a couple of those cases, (Vortex and Flight of Fear) it even makes a difference whether I can physically get myself into and out of the train.

As for Diamondback, as many times as I have ridden that thing, you'd think that eventually the law of averages would catch up with me. But no. Every single time I have been assigned a seat on that ride it has been in row 7, 8, or 9: as close as possible to the exact center of the train, and the closest thing Diamondback has to a "****-You" seat.

Personally, I am sick of it. If they can't figure out a way to implement FastLane without assigning seats (as, I should note, Cedar Point has), or at least without being jackasses about it, then they should scrap the program entirely. Sure, 80% of the people out there probably don't care where they sit. But for those who do care, there's no quicker or more useless way to piss them off...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

Assigning seats sound horrible and hope other CF parks don't start that. I have never ridden Vortex but with Scream Machine, where you sat in the train made a huge difference in how smooth the ride was with the front cars being good and the back cars horrible. Plus the front rows of each car have more leg room.

Last edited by YoshiFan,

I just got done reading most of this thread. Here is a different point of view NOT mentioned yet. My friend and I will be going to CP on July 1st (Sunday) We both are in our mid 50's (no jokes please) We bought the FL for 3 reasons. #1 less wait time with a chance to ride the most coasters as possible in that day.......#2 we are older and have weaker legs, feet, and backs than a person 1/2 to 1/3rd our age while standing in line........ #3 .......my friend is about 6' 2" tall and around 325 pounds. We do NOT want to wait in line for 2+ hours in a coaster line and get turned away because my friend does NOT fit in the train because of his larger stomach. We went to SFMM last year at Christmas time on a vacation. We bought the Flash Passes for the very same reasons as above. We rode 12 coasters all day on a busy day. My friend only got turned down on the Superman ride after a 35 minute wait with FP due to his larger size. We did not feel too bad as the time was a total waste, but could have been much worse if we did NOT have the FP........The wait was around 2 hours at that time without it. We would have been much more upset if we waited for this time and then got turned away if we did not have the FP option. I do NOT remember MM having any "test seats" to try out before we entered the line for any of the major coasters. Fast Lane is a "less wait" option that just seems well worth the risk in our situation. Even if it cost $75 bucks.....it would still be worth it to us. If we could ride 12 more of the top coasters at CP as we did at SFMM........it would make us both very happy assuming that neither of us has a stroke or heart attack while at the park......LOL! I will report back to this thread after July 1st and report our opinions on Fast Lane if it was worth it or not for others to read. Any and all comments between today and after are very welcome!

Last edited by talon1189,
Jeff's avatar

I can't even decipher what you're trying to say. Are you pissed that no one had anything to say about your first post?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Raven-Phile's avatar

Honestly, I'd have something to say if I could read it.....but it's really hard.....when it looks......like....this.

rollergator's avatar

My stuff....often...looks like that.

But I use papragraph breaks to keep the reader from going blind.

;~P

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