Cedar Point Announces Fast Lane On Facebook

Thursday, April 5, 2012 1:39 PM

I don't think this thing ever gets put back into the bottle. Look at society now:

An entire amusement park in Orlando (Discovery Cove) dedicated by and large to the "haves". Professional sporting events largely out of reach for the average American to attend.

Even the "fair" systems aren't really fair. Fastpass at Disney is probably the closest thing to fair since, theoretically, everyone has the ability to use it. But then many of the attractions book up their Fastpass times before a significant percentage of the days' guests even arrive in the park.

Supposedly Fastpass at Disney was developed to keep people out of real lines so they could be spending money in stores and restaurants while they are "waiting". But, people are still in the lines for hours in some cases.

I agree with the sentiment that if Cedar Fair was going to make this about revenue (which it is) then they underpriced it.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 1:48 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Saw this posted on Facebook. I've never operated a ride in my life, but this makes pretty decent sense to me:

The line really won't be affected really that much. Initially in the season (like first two weeks or so) while the crews are learning how to really work their rides and form some cohesion as a team, it might be a bit of a mess, however when it goes on in the season, it's manageable.

Also with CP, the rides selected are high capacity, and overall high interval rides. For instance me working Coskcrew for the majority of the season. If I had VIP tour members, or special access, ect. They would usually be loaded in the next train or the train after depending on how things were on the platform. It very rarely caused us to stack a train, or whatever, and in the instances that it did, it's still a minute setback.

Regardless theoretical capacity for us was 1440 with two train op. We would usually get during peak operation about 900-1200 depending on the speed, if every seat was filled, ect with a 2:00 trip time. So in 2:00 I can cycle 24 people per train...That being said, you won't probably notice a line problem.

It may add minutes here and there, but overall to be honest, I'd be more worried about large guests, guests that don't comply with the ride admission policy, and guests with loose articles, problematic guests, ect. My biggest two problems being large guests and loose articles. Those most of the time caused trains to either set or heavily delay dispatch time. One guest with a camera out, or a bag at their feet, ect. can actually setup a train. That's why we rush you so much to get you off & on.

But regardless, money makes the company happy and successful, the more money, the more successful. The more successful, the happier we will be, I guarantee it.


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Thursday, April 5, 2012 1:58 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

I'm shocked at the price and agree that its underpriced. I'll probably never use it but its good to know that if I have family or friends in town that don't want to wait they can pay for it.

At least that's what I would do.

~Rob

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 3:17 PM
Jeff's avatar

I agree with everyone else that it's priced too low. I'd be shocked if they didn't up the price by mid-summer.

It is not in the park's best interest to let capacity suffer. It never has been. People keep pointing to problems at other parks, and in almost every case, those parks had crappy capacity ten years ago.


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

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 4:35 PM
kpjb's avatar

It's priced about $5 more than Six Flags' regular FlashPass, and they're charging an additional $5 per person on Saturdays. Doesn't seem that out of line to me.

They could charge more, as it's more comparable to the Platinum FlashPass, but they probably just wanted to price it in line with what people would be accustomed to since they don't offer the lesser options. In people's minds, all these systems are the same, so I'd probably price it in line with others' base options.

They also don't have to pay Lo-Q a percentage, so they're making way more money on it.


Hi

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 6:38 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

I have been at Cedar Point, and experienced the whole fast lane non-sense. And, it is certainly not going to please everyone. I have always been strongly against them allowing people to pay to cut in line in front of other guests. I think it's unfair, and only shows how much the company is willing to make a percentage of it's guest unhappy to make more money for those who they assume are better than their other park guests, just because they can afford to be.

But, I also got a good laugh of it, because they only had one booth set up in the park to sell the tickets, with a huge line of people waiting to buy them, and there was nobody at the booth to buy them from, just someone walking the line telling everyone that the booth would not be openning until noon. And, to go and enjoy the park, and enter the line again later. Even though there were several hundred people waiting to get the passes as soon as they entered the park at 10 am.

I have also experience the Fast lane, and drink Natzis, by making the mistake of following guests into what I thought was the entrance for Gemini. I wisked right past the girl holding the "Stick" and she yells at me. Number one! I need to see your fast pass ticket, and number 2 you can't enter the line with a soda. So, I said, number one, I didn't know this was a fast pass entrance, and number 2, if you can't enter the line with a soda...why do you sell sodas in the Que? Then she goes..you just need to leave sir, you are blocking the entrance. Sorry, rules are rules. And, I said, I am only blocking the entrance because you stopped me, otherwise I wouldn't be standing here..But, I am leaving now. Thanks.

I also saw a lady arguing with the fast pass guy at the M-force que, because she was trying to get 7 people into the que with only one pass. To me, it's just all a big headache. This reminded me of the Batman The Ride tickets at Great America. It was very busy, and they were giving out numbered tickets to the guests entering the que. And, a bunch of kids climbed the fences in the garden que to be with the friends, and were booted by the ticket Natzi when they got to the tunnel. People were telling them about the tickets, but they just blew it off.

I can only imagine what the people who have to be in charge of this idotic pass have to go through on a daily basis. I wouldn't want that job. Knowing me, if I saw that the line was getting too long, I would start sending people into the fast lane wether they had a ticket or not. The park can snub their noses at people who can't afford to pay, doesn't mean that I have to. I would be the friendly park Natzi, and just say go on ahead and have a great day!

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 6:50 PM

Whoa was this a dream? Cedar Point has never had a paid Fast Lane program to my knowledge, nor has there ever been a Fast Lane entrance for Gemini. etc. This is supposed to be new for 2012.

Last edited by Jeph, Thursday, April 5, 2012 6:51 PM
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Thursday, April 5, 2012 7:08 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Somebody forgot to take their meds again today.

Last edited by Raven-Phile, Thursday, April 5, 2012 7:08 PM
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Thursday, April 5, 2012 8:30 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Cedar Point started having some form of cutting in lane pass, around the same time that all of the other parks started theirs. It actually started the same year that Maverick opened at Cedar Point. Which is the year that I experienced the cutting in line pass at the park. Or, do we forget about the drama that came about over the various cutting in line programs that have been around for a few years at Six Flags and Disney. The main argument being wether or not it should be free, or if the parks should charge admission for the pass. Plus, the various ride time's that the parks placed on various attractions with the pass. They also announced that they are using the fast lane at Michigan's Adventure. Which as far as I am concerned, will probably fail.

And, no, I don't think I imagined that booth at Cedar Point. They act like this is a new program, but it's not. They are just rolling it out to all the parks this year. It's been around at a few Cedar Fair parks for a couple years. It's been discussed before. Nothing new.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 8:38 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Dude, you're senile. They have never had a pay fast lane system. I've lived here for the last 20 years, and I've never seen it. They did a free system from 2000-2003 or 2004, but there was never a booth at Gemini, and it was long gone by the time Maverick came around.

Oh, and as far as drink Natzis [sic], they used to not allow beer in line, but everything else was fair game so long as it was finished before boarding. Even that has changed, and beer can be brought in lines now too.

So, as per your usual ramblings, you're wrong.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 8:59 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

It is kind of fascinating to me how Cedar Point has adopted Facebook as their primary way of dispensing information like this, yet I would guesstimate that somewhere between 1/2 to 2/3 of the responses are negative. I would be curious to know how that affects the opinions of other uses who read those comments, and then in turn hurts Cedar Point (or frankly other businesses who use FB as a marketing tool and have similar feedback.) It seems to me that the negativity only fuels more of the same, and I notice a great deal of the comments are coming from adults who are the primary decision makers about making a trip to Cedar Point. I noticed a great deal of it last year when it was announced Paddle Wheel Excursions was leaving and being replaced with the up-charge Dino's.

I would think this is something marketing/public relations should pay closer attention to, maybe Facebook (or social media) isn't always the best tool for dispensing information when you can't control the feedback/comments.

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 9:00 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Wow Josh, quit being such a Natzi!

Yeah, this is Cedar Point's third crack at a virtual queue system. Ticket to Ride was for MF in 2000, then along came Freeway (a faster way to ride!) from 2001 - 2004, which both of those are free options. This Fast Lane is their first try at a pay to wait less system.

I'm sure Cedar Point has had it in mind for a while that virtual queueing would be coming their way, even Maverick has a way of allowing for it while coasters since MF were built with that extra queue already. I don't understand why they are going the wristband route. I thorougly enjoyed the Q-bot I got at SFGAm a few years ago. I trust that they'll tweak their system and make it work as well as the other parks.

~Rob

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 9:03 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Hey Raven-Phile:

I didn't say anything about a booth at Gemini. I said I was walking into what I thought was the entrance to Gemini, and was stopped by the girl who was asking me for my pass. And, I had a cup of soda in my hand not a beer. As I do not drink beer. And, when she told me that I could not drink my pop in line, when they sell pop in line, it made me mad. I don't make things up sir.

The pass booth I am talking about was in front of the Raptor, and it was the only booth offering passes in the whole park. It was not open at the time that I walked by, but there was quite a line for that booth, with a sign that said why wait? I actually think it was called fast pass. And, not fast lane. but, they are both pretty much the same.

And, if I am wrong, why would there be a que operator at the ride exit? allowing people to go in? What would you suggest the lady with 7 kids in her group was arguing with the man at that ride exit about? Why would they be trying to go in the exit if I am wrong? On my last visit to the park Maverick was their new ride. I have also been to the park almost every summer prior to that, and that was the only year that I noticed a pass booth. So, I am not senile. If so, what were all of those people waiting for? the easter bunny? Maybe Santa Claus?

And, what pass do you think the girl at the Gemini was asking for? Or, maybe I'm deaf, and she said passport. Must be Canadian.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Thursday, April 5, 2012 9:12 PM
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Thursday, April 5, 2012 9:53 PM

I'm glad that makes sense in your mind, but I really cannot even follow that garbage you just wrote..

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 10:18 PM

There was no pay-to-cut or even free-to-cut system from about 2004 onward. There definitely wasn't one in 2007 or even just for Maverick, as I worked at the park that year, my roommate worked at Maverick, and I read the ride manual often. You're spouting a lot of nonsense. They've done VIP "tours" for a while now, so she might have thought you were with a VIP group, but that's the only possible thing. I have no clue what the supposed booth outside of Raptor was you're talking about either.

You're either grossly inflating some experience with Ticket to Ride in 2000 (and maybe 01), and then the stamp system they had (some of the stamp booths for certain rides didn't open until about noon) until 03 or 04, or you're just making up stuff to stir the pot. Reality is probably a combination of both.

Last edited by maXairMike, Thursday, April 5, 2012 10:18 PM

Original BlueStreak64

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Thursday, April 5, 2012 10:33 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

mlnem4s said:
It is kind of fascinating to me how Cedar Point has adopted Facebook as their primary way of dispensing information like this, yet I would guesstimate that somewhere between 1/2 to 2/3 of the responses are negative. I would be curious to know how that affects the opinions of other uses who read those comments, and then in turn hurts Cedar Point (or frankly other businesses who use FB as a marketing tool and have similar feedback.) It seems to me that the negativity only fuels more of the same, and I notice a great deal of the comments are coming from adults who are the primary decision makers about making a trip to Cedar Point. I noticed a great deal of it last year when it was announced Paddle Wheel Excursions was leaving and being replaced with the up-charge Dino's.

Yeah, it's an interesting angle.

I still think the internet brings out the vocal minority in most cases.

That is to say, what seems like overwhelming negativity on somthing like a forum or facebook post simply doesn't translate to the real world.


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Thursday, April 5, 2012 10:52 PM

I suspect most of the "sane" people probably just skip by the lunatics. I know I do...not just on Cedar Point's FB posts, but with just about any "popular" FB page.


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Thursday, April 5, 2012 11:36 PM
Jeff's avatar

Facebook and Twitter have largely become a place for people to bitch and moan about stuff. I wonder how useful it really is to businesses that use it.


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

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Friday, April 6, 2012 8:56 AM

It will be interesting to see on pricing. Cedar Fair had a couple of months of field experience with Fast Lane at Kings Island. They included a couple rides at Cedar Point that likely will only need it a handful of days all season (presumably they were included because the logistics of a Fast Lane line will work easily for that ride). Seems to me they thought they needed to add some perceived value to the Fast Lane pass with a higher ride list. Seems to me like on some days it will be overpriced and for others it will be underpriced. Ideally they would be able to adjust the pricing on the fly but that takes some experience.

I no longer have a Facebook account. However, I presume it still works the same way in that even if I do not follow Cedar Point on Facebook, if one of my friends responds to the Cedar Point page, I will see that on my Facebook page? If so, wouldn't it be the case that many, many more people saw the announcement yesterday through Facebook than would have seen it had they put something on the Cedar Point website? They got their word out initially for free. The bitching and complaining that goes along with Facebook (and much else in every day life at this point) just goes with the territory. I suspsect they wil follow that up with some more traditional advertising as the season approaches.

They had similar feedback at Kings Island. Presumably they decided that the negative feedback was worth what they gained in income. I was only there one day at Kings Island with the Fast Lane last summer and my impression was it added a couple trains to the waits I had for a couple of rides. Not a big deal from what I saw. I have no idea how it worked out for the rest of the season. But CF does.

Last edited by GoBucks89, Friday, April 6, 2012 8:58 AM
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Friday, April 6, 2012 9:18 AM
Vater's avatar

One thing to note is there are over twice as many "Likes" as there are comments, a good number of those comments are positive, and some people have made multiple comments. Not that these are really solid metrics, by any means. In fact, I question my sanity even mentioning it. "But look how many Likes it haz!!"

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