Coasters as Upcharge Attractions?

Wednesday, April 2, 2003 10:17 PM
Forgive me and let me know if this has been discussed before....

Does anyone envision a day when coasters within parks will require an additional charge, a la Skycoasters and Ejection Seats? Let's take TTD for example. CP and Intamin have really pushed the envelope creating a record-shattering unique thrill ride. It seems it would make sense for CP to market TTD as an upcharge attraction, as it's obviously going to draw in huge crowds that more than likely would be willing to pay extra for a ride on it.

Skycoasters are exhilirating and unique, but I know I would rather drop a few extra bucks to experience something like TTD. Where do parks/manufacturers draw the line between novel upcharge attractions and 'just another roller coaster'? (Not that TTD will ever be considered just another roller coaster.)

I use TTD as an example simply because its phenomenal dimensions put it in its own category of extreme thrill machines. Does it make sense that some park somewhere will build a similiar or even bigger roller coaster and end up making it an upcharge attraction? Thoughts?

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Thursday, April 3, 2003 12:07 AM
Don't bet on it. Few people go for the upcharge attractions so it would be a wasted investment. On a capacity-restrained ride like a Skycoaster where you can only get a dozen or two riders it can get away with charging. It pays itself off. I mean, how much does a Skycoaster set-up run? In the tens of thousands?

But can you imagine forking over $20 million for a world-class coaster and making it an upcharge attraction? You couldn't raise the admission price. You would create badwill. And since most standalone pay-as-you-ride coasters will run you far less than $10 you would get a lousy return on that investment.

So, no. It won't happen. It doesn't make business sense. The closest thing to that in reality is that you can pay extra to include the Knoebel's coasters in the Pay-One-Price on weekdays (or, for that matter, the Haunted Mansion there where it is exempt from the P.O.P.). But, keep in mind that Knoebel's is a free park.

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Thursday, April 3, 2003 5:19 AM
I *could* see it happening...as I recall, we were discussing the prospect of making X an upcharge not too long ago. When the ridership outstrips capacity to such a large degree, upcharging is one way to balance out supply and demand. I may not be in favor of it, and don't think it's LIKELY anytime soon, but I would say it's FAR from impossible.

As far as worry about created *bad will*, what has happened with all these Fastpass/Fastlane systems. We experience a small amount of bad will "cutting" into DD's queue with their system, which is free and available to all.
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Dr. Thrill IS my family practitioner
Hey look, gator finally posted a TR...;)

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Thursday, April 3, 2003 5:27 AM
Gator's got it right. I believe that most parks make some attractions upcharges just because the attraction cannot handle a large volume of riders. Could you imagine the line for Slingshot at PKI if it were free? You'd be looking at 4-5 hours, minimum.

If TTD ran only one car, or if the car it ran only seated 4 people, then I could definitely see where it would become an upcharge. However, part of that $20 million expense was the six trains and the computer system that allows it to run at high capacity. I doubt we'll see a true upcharge coaster anytime soon.

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SRM 2003-Look for the guy with my name on his chest

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Thursday, April 3, 2003 6:08 AM
The only reason the Haunted Mansion at Knoebel's is "upcharge" per se, is because they are trying to ward off vandalism. I think I heard somewhere that the new Scenic Skyride will be "upcharge" as well... I'm just not sure where I heard it. :)

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If at first don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.

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Thursday, April 3, 2003 6:32 AM
It would definately deter me from visiting a park if I new before hand that I'd have to pay for a new coaster on top of the admission price. In fact, since the P.O.P. came into being, I have only paid once for a stand alone coaster, and that was at raceworld in Pigeon Forge. The only thing that made it worth the money was that they were giving us two circuits for the price of one (nice ride, and had it been in a park running constantly, it may have broken in well...it ALMOST had airtime in a couple of places, and I rode in the front and back).

In addition, what would you use to bring crowds in if your new attraction was an upcharge?

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Goccvp1

I sure do miss the Idora Wiildcat & Jackrabbit.

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Thursday, April 3, 2003 6:55 AM
You can see this in action on RCT.

If you make a really low capacity ride, you can still run full trains at a very high price because you only need a couple of suckers to pay it.

If you make a high capacity ride, you'll run really empty trains (i.e. wasted rides) if you jack up the price.

Hypersonic could definitely become an up-charge though, with it's single train, 7 seat operation on opening day.

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Be polite and ignore the idiots. - rollergator
"faster, cheaper, and more often" that's somebody's new sig -UpsideDawnGrrrl
My shirt in my photo seems to be for "Aging Bull"

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Thursday, April 3, 2003 9:01 AM
How about an upcharge for the front row? Charge a buck or two to get in the front row line. If there wasn't much of a line for the front row, I could see a great number of people paying a small amount for it. This could be done on a lot of more popular roller coaster. As a benifit for the park, it could pull in something along the lines of $5,000 - $10,000 per week.
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Thursday, April 3, 2003 9:30 AM
Yeah somebody was ready to give me $5.00 to ride Georgia Cyclone @ SFoG. I laughed all day at that.
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Thursday, April 3, 2003 9:35 AM
How about upcharging to get on before everyone else?? Oh...somebody already thought about that...

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"Know thyself!"

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Thursday, April 3, 2003 4:36 PM

SteelMonsters said:
How about an upcharge for the front row?

I think the capacity on this is still too high unless the upcharge price were pretty low. I mean, there are so many coasters that are better in the back anyway, I certainly wouldn't be willing to pay for front on any coaster save maybe MF or S:RoS SFNE. Maybe a floorless/invert, but that effect is getting pretty old.

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Be polite and ignore the idiots. - rollergator
"faster, cheaper, and more often" that's somebody's new sig -UpsideDawnGrrrl
My shirt in my photo seems to be for "Aging Bull"

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Thursday, April 3, 2003 4:57 PM
Andy's right. You couldn't charge for the front seat because either you'd have pockets of downtime with no one riding in the front or you'd have to give the seats away for free -- further confusing the picture.

I can see a park having a Season Pass Appreciation Day where they may limit the front row to season passholders -- and conveniently set up a guest services kiosk by the ride to help upgrade one-day guests -- but I think the paid ERT (like E-Nights at Disney World and to a lesser extent Joe Cool Club at Cedar) will only continue to grow in popularity. That way it's no skin off the GP's back. It's actually better in that it keeps the lines shorter because those who will be paying for the extra time know they can hit with shorter lines.

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Thursday, April 3, 2003 6:38 PM

MarimbaGuy87 said:
The only reason the Haunted Mansion at Knoebel's is "upcharge" per se, is because they are trying to ward off vandalism. I think I heard somewhere that the new Scenic Skyride will be "upcharge" as well... I'm just not sure where I heard it. :)

It is, their website lists it as being exempt from the POP.

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"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."
-Bill Cobb - Designer, Texas Cyclone

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