CoasterBuzz Podcast #199 posted

Posted Monday, January 10, 2011 12:59 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Jeff, Carrie, Mike and Gonch review this week's news in the amusement industry.

  • CoasterBuzz has a Windows Phone 7 app. Check it out.
  • Carrie went to Tennessee for the New Year. Did the Dollywood holiday thing, found Thunderhead to be just OK. Doesn't mind saying that she's not that interested in riding in bad weather.
  • Holy Land in Orlando comes off as completely strange to many.
  • The Cedar Fair vs. Q Investments saga continues, with mudslinging worthy of a political campaign. Jeff asks who is lying about the Falfas situation: termination or resignation?
  • Experts say Freestyle Music Park won't reopen. Really?
  • Disney's queue management isn't just Fastpass, it's getting the crowds to go where there's excess capacity, even if that means parades.
  • Disneyland and DCA close on two days because of crazy attendance.
  • Knott's sells "Hate to Wait" passes, as the premium virtual queue comes to a Cedar Fair park. Doesn't seem like a particularly good deal to us.
  • Dudley Doo-Right catches fire at Islands of Adventure. It's a water ride.
  • Fun Spot expands on International Drive. Mike thinks the karts look cool. Jeff says try the electric carts if they exist near you.
  • Block Party Bash retired at Disney Hollywood Studios.
  • Zamperla gets fined for tearing down Shoot The Freak. So goes the Coney Island "character."
  • If you get photographed at a park, deal with it. You pretty much have no rights in said public place.
  • Disney prices go up on both coasts for the locals. Gonch says they apparently stayed the same in Orlando for the better part of a decade.
  • Conneaut Lake Park begs for more money from Pepsi. We all say "I told you so." Just let the place die peacefully.
  • Cedar Fair attendance up significantly, we suspect it has a lot to do with the Halloween events, combined with the big cap ex in the southern parks.
  • Legoland Florida is selling a lifetime pass. Only $2,500!
  • Mike saw Tron. He thought it was cool.
  • You can get the latest headlines on CoasterBuzz from the Twitter. Follow us @coasterbuzz. You can also like us on Facebook.
  • CoasterBuzz Club is $25 per year. You can join or renew today. Enjoy CoasterBuzz with no ads.

Visit the CoasterBuzz Podcast.

Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:10 AM
LostKause's avatar

No, I wouldn't, Vater. I understand your analogy. Me gets it.

...But especially at Disney, a lot of people there are having a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not everyone is going to understand how to fully utilize the system to the best of their advantage.

Yes, standing in lines sucks. Fastpass is a solution for that. I wish that their were a way, save from injecting a microchip under park guest's skin, to prevent them from waiting in more than one line at a time, but there isn't.

Bird of Prey, a restaurant reservation is not the same thing at all. Reserving a ride time has many more factors involved. While at a park, while virtually waiting for one ride, you can be standing in one or more lines and riding other rides during that time. That makes the "virtual" amount of people in the park waiting in line higher, creating longer waits times for all lines in the park, including food stands, gift shops, ect. People shouldn't be standing in front of you, they should be in line for the ride that they are about to ride. That doesn't compare to a restaurant reservation at all.

Think about an imaginary park that has only one ride, one show, one bathroom, one gift shop, and one food stand (sounding a lot like Camden Park, now that I think about it lol). You pay admission to get into the park, get a free fastpass, and stand in line for that one ride. after your ride is done, you go to the fastpass entrance and ride it again. You rode twice in the time it took to ride once. Later in the day, someone else is going to wait longer, because you got to ride twice. Multiply this by however many people did the same thing, and you can see how people who come to the park late had to wait longer, because they are waiting for your turn too.

What if it was a pay scheme instead, like fastpass. If it was super-cheap, more people would buy it, causing the same" waiting in two lines at the same time effect". I like for it to be so expensive that is takes as little away from the admission price as possible.

Heck, I'm even happier to spend the money on a front-of-the-line pass when less people are using it. I don't feel so dirty. lol


+0
Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:13 AM
LostKause's avatar

And seriously this time, I do believe that over the last decade, people have got used to the front-of-the-line systems, and now it's considered normal. I still don't like it, but I am as used to it nowadays as I have ever been. I even use it more often, without "feeling dirty".

(Sorry for the double post, but this was a new thought.)


+0
Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:25 AM

LostKause said:
And seriously this time, I do believe that over the last decade, people have got used to the front-of-the-line systems, and now it's considered normal.

So when you use pay-to-cut, you don't feel the eyes of the non-cutting customers boring into you with hatred as you get on those coasters? Because when I used the service at Kennywood last year to ride Skyrocket and skip the hour plus line, I definitely noticed. It was downright uncomfortable. No, I don't think it's been accepted anywhere near where first class boarding on airlines is, for example.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

+0
Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:44 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Ensign Smith said:

So when you use pay-to-cut, you don't feel the eyes of the non-cutting customers boring into you with hatred as you get on those coasters? Because when I used the service at Kennywood last year to ride Skyrocket and skip the hour plus line, I definitely noticed. It was downright uncomfortable. No, I don't think it's been accepted anywhere near where first class boarding on airlines is, for example.

I think that has a lot to do with the newness of the concept at Kennywood more than anything.

Last few times I used pay-for-FOL (at SF parks) I had people strike up conversation asking how much I paid and if I felt it was worth it. No animosity at all.

A big change from the early 00's when the experience was more like the one you describe.

It's all about familiarity. It'll take a few years before it become 'normal' at Kennywood.


+0
Thursday, January 13, 2011 2:08 AM

Sky Rocket wait was more than an hour?

Seriously, I was SHOCKED at how much of a people-mover that thing is, considering its short train and apparent low capacity. I waited on the midway (overflowing from the main queue) and still rode in less than 40 minutes!

--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

+0
Thursday, January 13, 2011 2:11 AM

That's a lucid explanation. I don't have a personal experience base to judge it, as prior to paying for the perk at Kennywood the only places I had utilized anything similar were the Disney Orlando parks (with the free Fastpass), and the two Orlando Universal parks when I stayed at Portofino years ago. (And both with Disney and Universal, the systems are designed so that you have very little contact with the peons in the regular line.)

Can anyone else corroborate Gonch's take?


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

+0
Thursday, January 13, 2011 2:13 AM

Dave: we were there on a massively jammed packed day -- by far the worst I've ever seen at Kennywood. There was some sort of huge corporate picnic going on that day, just our luck. In fact, that was the main reason we opted to pay for the perk.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

+0
Thursday, January 13, 2011 10:16 AM
LostKause's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

I think that has a lot to do with the newness of the concept at Kennywood more than anything.

...


It's all about familiarity. It'll take a few years before it become 'normal' at Kennywood.

It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks that cutting is wrong. It sucks to hear that the parks strategy is to force it on people, and eventually, they'll get used to it, and not be so against it.

And, I am SHOCKED, as well, to hear that "Caffeine Espresso: The Ride" is considered a people mover. :D


+0
Thursday, January 13, 2011 10:50 AM
Vater's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
It's all about familiarity. It'll take a few years before it become 'normal' at Kennywood.

I'm thinking it may take at least a couple of decades. A surprisingly large percentage of Kennywood patrons still have mullets.

+0
Thursday, January 13, 2011 11:32 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Ensign Smith said:
That's a lucid explanation. I don't have a personal experience base to judge it, as prior to paying for the perk at Kennywood the only places I had utilized anything similar were the Disney Orlando parks (with the free Fastpass), and the two Orlando Universal parks when I stayed at Portofino years ago. (And both with Disney and Universal, the systems are designed so that you have very little contact with the peons in the regular line.)

Can anyone else corroborate Gonch's take?

I have had SFNE, GAdv., SFDK, and SFoT as home parks for the last decade and a half. FastPass has absolutely become normal and accepted by the vast majority of patrons.


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
Thursday, January 13, 2011 11:43 AM
rollergator's avatar

^Exactly. VQ has become "the new standard", and parks without it are seen as "behind the times". How things have changed in the past...10-12 years. Seriously, while I may see change happening rather quickly, it takes me a little longer to ACCEPT that change is happening (depending of course on how I view the cost-benefit analysis of said change).

VQ....even *I* accepted that not long after the dawn of the new millennium. Even though I still have issues with HOW it's done in some places, there's no denying it IS here and it is NOT leaving. (Offer not valid at all CF parks...yet). ;)


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

+0
Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:22 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:

It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks that cutting is wrong. It sucks to hear that the parks strategy is to force it on people, and eventually, they'll get used to it, and not be so against it.

Not at all. It's not that they think it's wrong, it's that they don't understand that it's changed. It takes time for a park's entire audience to see the changes and understand them.

rollergator said:
^Exactly. VQ has become "the new standard", and parks without it are seen as "behind the times". How things have changed in the past...10-12 years.

Exactly, I said a while back (in the early days of this discussion) that it was a matter of time. There's a generation of kids who know nothing but a world with VQ. Mine are 9 and 13 and absolutely think it's weird if a park doesn't have some way to skip a few lines if needed. That's because most parks they've gone to in their lives do. In another decade my kids (and the gazillions like them) are the new generation of adults. A decade after that they're the new generation of parents and we are the senior citizens having our grandchildren roll their eyes at us when we talk about how you used to have to stand in line and wait hours for rides.

It's over. It's not even up for discussion any more. It's done. It's just a matter of how these systems will grow and change and what the future of ride distribution will turn into. My advice is to look Disney's direction but add a component where the time you wait to be funneled in is based on what level of service you purchased (either upon entering the park or upgrading inside or if you stay on-property or whatever). The idea of a line or switchbacks or cattle chutes for top tier rides is soooo over. Like anything good, long-lasting and impactful in the industry, Disney will do it first and other will create variations, try to perfect it further or flat out copy the idea.

Put a fork in it, Grandma.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:23 PM
+0
Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:33 PM

Vater said: A surprisingly large percentage of Kennywood patrons still have mullets.

Well, it is Pittsburgh. It's not the capital of North Appalachia for nothing. ;)


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

+0
Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:41 PM
Vater's avatar

Oh, I know why they're abundant in that area. :)

+0
Friday, January 14, 2011 3:48 AM
Rick_UK's avatar

I wrote a long explanation regarding my experiences with VQ as a cast member, but I didn't have the energy to post it.

Essentially, if it is managed correctly - I don't have an issue with it. However, there have been instances as a member of staff and a visitor where VQ has caused massive problems.

For instance, there is a ride in a park somewhere that has a maximum hourly throughput of 210 people. Each hour 60 'spaces' are provided on the park's up-charge VQ system, dropping the ride's 'standby line' capacity to 150 people. In the event of bad weather, the ride can't operate. When it reopens the standby line is closed and only those who have paid the additional fee are allowed to ride. So, essentially - a class system comes into play.

Also, at another park, front of line access is sold per group of rides. For instance;

Group A - Flat 1, Flat 2, Coaster 1
Group B - Flat 3, Coaster 2, Coaster 3

Take Group B; the rides have the following theoretical capacities; 400, 1000, 1400. Two hundred tickets are sold per hour, that doesn't have much of an impact on the two coasters, but more than half of the flat's capacity is wiped out. This situation is not made clear to the general public when entering the queue. A short line will actually attract a long wait as unsuspecting visitors do not realise 200 across the park have their space booked on the ride.

I can't help but think that in some of the instances above, the park is a fairer place without it, however - as we've said, it's not really about fairness.

Also, the worst thing about up-charge systems is that it encourages parks to reduce capacity on rides to increase revenue via VQ. That blows.

As Gonch said somewhere, it's here to stay, we can bitch about it as much as we want - it's the modern way. Queuing is for poor people


Nothing to see here. Move along.

+0
Friday, January 14, 2011 11:06 AM
LostKause's avatar

"Like"


+0
Friday, January 14, 2011 11:42 AM

Viva la revolucion!


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

+0
Friday, January 14, 2011 11:58 AM
Vater's avatar

I wonder if in the future we might see parks' regular admission prices require everyone to virtually queue for rides, or you can purchase a discounted admission ticket if you prefer to wait in standby lines. That's essentially what happens now, except that the VQ system is advertised as an extra cost perk. If marketed as regular admission (i.e. the 'standard' ticket price), guests who want the VQ option wouldn't have to wait in another line once inside the park to get their pass--it would be provided at the front gate.

And, if this were the case, could those who purchase the discounted admission really complain about the 'line cutters'? Justifiably, I mean...it's a given that people will still complain. ;)

Just thinking out loud.

+0
Friday, January 14, 2011 2:17 PM
Jeff's avatar

For all the negatives people concoct, especially for Disney's Fastpass, I never find that any of them are worse than the alternative: My ass standing in a long line.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

+0
Friday, January 14, 2011 4:56 PM
Rick_UK's avatar

^ Of all the systems, I think the Disney one is the best in terms of usability and fairness. I'd struggle saying the same thing about the systems I highlighted above.


Nothing to see here. Move along.

+0

You must be logged in to post

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