Could someone explain Six Flags Gold Fast Passes to me

DaveStroem's avatar

We have been to SFA & SFKK where most things were station waits or walk-ons. No need for a Flash Pass at either of these two parks.

This weekend we will be going to SFGAm on Sunday. We have had a good week at work, so I am now willing to swing for the GFP. The thing is, I have no idea how these work. I am assuming that they are simple enough for the public to use so your average coaster geek like me should have no problem. But still I tend to research my trips and when spending over $100 for something, I want to know how to use it. SF description is kind of vague so I am asking here.

Could you please explain the SF gold flash pass usage in detail.

Thanks, Dave

ApolloAndy's avatar

I have never used one and I'm sure that someone who has (Gonch) will be able to give more detail, but I was under the impression that you bring it to the ride you want to ride, scan/swipe it and then in 25% of the listed wait time it will buzz you. You go up the Flash Pass entrance and the op will clear your bot (readying it for the next reservation) and you will hop on the ride. Repeat ad nauseum. ;)

Edit - Also, in before Lost Kause. ;)

Last edited by ApolloAndy,

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."

^ Once you initially get the FP you can reserve your first ride right then and there. You can reserve subsequent rides immediately after the ride host at the ride you've reserved clears your FP, or if for some reason you cancel the reservation currently in the system. Everything else mentioned is absolutely correct

The FP will come loaded with a list of attractions and the time at which you'd be able to board. You simply scroll down to whatever ride you wish to ride, select it/confirm your reservation and it'll set your time. You may only reserve one ride at a time, so make sure you use with discretion. The unit will buzz you when it's time to go.

DaveStroem's avatar

Thanks. Sounds pretty simple. I would take it that you should book the next ride as soon as the ride op clears it.

Are there any seat restrictions?

At SFKK they were letting people with FP grab the front seats. Since this park was not that busy, there were only a few people using them and thus not a big deal. I could see that being a pain though at a busier park where the line for front row could take forever or even be impossible.

sws's avatar

The flash pass is an electronic virtual queue system. It is similar to the electronic buzzers that many restaurants use for people waiting for tables. You select which ride you want to use it for next. It will then list the time you can ride and vibrates when that time has arrived. Once it is cleared by the ride op, you can enter your next selection. Please note that not all rides are included with the flash pass. At SFGAm, exclusions include american eagle and ragin cajun, among others. You may want to hit those rides early on before the lines get too long. On any given day, other rides may or may not be included with the flash pass. The flash pass and regular lines merge before the station, so seat assignments are first come, first served. We were at SFGAm two years ago on a Monday in mid-August. The flash pass was very useful and we were able to do multiple rides on the major coasters, that would not have been possible without the flash passes. I believe the price that summer was $35 for gold passes, although I may be wrong. It looks like the current price is $54, which reflects the market demand. I hope this helps. My apologies to LostKause. :)

LostKause's avatar


I saw a family use the Gold Bot on my last visit to a SF park, which was SFGAdv in '06, I believe. They were waiting much less than the 25% that they were supposed to. I think that maybe the Lo-Q people didn't really know how long the lines were.

I think that it's different now. Lo-Q probably has a better handle on wait times now that they have the new Bots.

And now, by popular demand, to all the new people who don't know much about Q-Bots...

They call themselves Lo-Q, while making lines longer. They advertise that you can get on without waiting, even though the arguement is that you still wait your turn. Standing in 2 lines at once is still line cutting, no matter how Lo-Q sugarcoats it. It's still not right, and still causes aggrivation to the customers of the park who choose not to be customers of Lo-Q. It's blackmail, and if I were king, it would be illegal. I still stand by my original opinion of the system, no matter how long the company has been around, no matter how successful they are.

The only way to make Lo-Q work would be to limit people to standing in 1 line at a time, wheather it be virtually or actuial, which is impossible with todays technology.

But I accept that it's the norm. People...or sheeple? lol

And seriously, that's all you're going to get from me. I should pull a Gonch and start linking past threads. :)

DaveStroem's avatar

LK, I agree that selling this service sucks, but since they do I am interested in using it. Would you pass up a fast pass at Disney on principle?

I did try looking up past threads. I did not find anything that clearly described using a gold flash pass.

LostKause's avatar

I've been known to talk Q-Bot to death, practically killing a thread. That's the context of my last post above. No worries Dave. Have fun.

The top 3 most self talked about subjects.

1. LostKause: Q-Bot, Lo-Q, Fastpass, Flashpass , (or any other name of paying to skip the line) SUCKS!!!!

2. Mamoosh: Did I mention that I will not visit an SF park up and including SFMM?

3. BATWINGFANSFA: Once again, SFA gets the shaft for new thrill ride or coaster. I am now going to patronize Kings Dominion.

Although number 3 hasn't been said in quite awhile so it might not deserve to be on this list at this time. :)

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

rollergator's avatar

Goldbots typically seem to reduce waits by 90-95%. IIRC, the claim was "reduced by at least 75%. I doubt that the extra-reduced waits are by accident. I'm assuming gold FP the same as gold that right?

Before you get one - I think in most of the parks you have to (ironically) wait on a line. There is a (mandatory) brief video that you watch that shows how it works.

Then one person goes up ot the counter to leave either a driver's liscense or a season's pass with the employees and pays. Of couse the liscense or pass is returned at the end of the day when you return your bot.

Of interest to us.... If hte park officially opens at 10:30, the front gates tend open earlier - so you can get on line for a bot before the rides start up.

Also... they don't adtvertise this, but if you get a bot ask for a "frequent user" card. If you rent a few bots (I forget how many) within the same year, you get one free one.

Have fun!

Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Gold Q-bot (no HansenRoll...this time)

Pretty self-explanitory. It's a list of available rides that you scroll through each with a reservation time next to it. Under that is the current time and the number of people attached to the bot. Below that is the reserve command.

In the pic it is 12:53 and I could reserve a ride on Scream Machine or Medusa in 4 minutes or on Kingda Ka in 9 minutes. I could also scroll up or down to other availble rides and check their times as well. You reserve right from the device - no need to go to the ride as you did in the early days of Lo-Q.

When your reservation times comes up, Q-bot will notify you and you enter the ride via the Flash Pass entrance. The ride op accepts your reservation and 'clears' the device and lets you enter the ride or line or however it's set up. (the set-up varies wildly from ride to ride, sometimes you merge into a line, sometimes you go right to the station, sometimes you have to use specific seats, sometimes you sit wherever you want, etc...)

You're free to make your next reservation as soon as the ride-op clears your current one. You can also cancel reservations from the device if you set one and change your mind.

It's the single greatest invention in the history of amusement parks. :)

DaveStroem's avatar

Thanks Gonch. I wish that SF had your discription on their site.

LostKause's avatar

No it's not. It's the single worst. :(

( :) )

a_hoffman50's avatar

I keep forgetting how much you like to fight losing battles LK.

I rented a Gold bot 2 years ago at SFGAm because it was July and it was a Saturday and was busy. That gold bot will score you lots of rerides on the attractions listed. I remember I got like 10 laps on raging bull in a row. I reserved the ride right after leaving the Qbot house in hometown square and before we walked to Raging Bull the thing already buzzed to enter the flash pass merging point. After the employee cleared our bot, while in line I re-reserved Raging Bull and by the time we were off the ride it was time to reenter at the merging point.

The gold bot made a miserable day into an excellent riding day. My only regret is that all the rides did not take the bot. However, I could see how people without a bot could be upset, but I kept telling myself, "hey, mabye they like to wait in lines."

Have fun and enjoy your day at Great America.

LostKause's avatar

I know that it's a losing battle, Andy. But I will never be silent in standing up for what I strongly believe in.

got2havefun said:

The gold bot made a miserable day into an excellent riding day. ... However, I could see how people without a bot could be upset, but I kept telling myself, "hey, mabye they like to wait in lines."

That's worth repeating. You have to pay Lo-Q a ransom in order to not have a miserable day at a SF.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:
You have to pay Lo-Q a ransom in order to not have a miserable day at a SF.

Says the guy who hasn't been to a SF park in years.

Just for the record, that's absolutely untrue.

I've felt the need for a Q-bot just 4 times since 2002 - two at SFGAdv, once at SFOG and once at SFGAm. Other than that lines have been entirely manageable and often shorter than other big parks.

More and more parks jump on each year to some kind of VQ program. You just might be surprised at how many and which parks give VQ a try in the next few years.

got2havefun said:
The gold bot made a miserable day into an excellent riding day.

And as long as that's the case, people are happy and parks are happy. That's the kind of result that creates a shift in the way things are done.

ridemcoaster's avatar

Interesting on the Gold Q... Ive seen it but never went to the park when it was needed, so I never really invested time in figuring out how it really functioned.

Thanks for the detailed description on it Gonch (and the non Hansen Roll).

Richie Reflux said:
Then one person goes up ot the counter to leave either a driver's liscense or a season's pass with the employees and pays. Of couse the liscense or pass is returned at the end of the day when you return your bot.

That sounds like it is a problem. If you leave the license, you can't use a credit card in the park since the new policy is you need ID for all credit card transactions. If you leave the Season Pass, then you can't get the various discounts in the park or use any coupons from the Season Pass coupon booklet. Unless they will let you use the Season Pass as a form of ID?

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