Did we finally win the "Fight Against FastLane"?

Friday, February 1, 2002 9:21 AM
Is it possible that Six Flags has made yet another wise decision? Read the following:


"Six Flags Theme Parks has signed a five-year contract with Lo-Q, the U.K.-based company that specializes in virtual queuing and guest service systems. The deal, with one-year extension options, calls for Lo-Q to install its ride reservation system in 10 additional domestic parks within the next two seasons. Currently it is in operation at Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta, where it was successfully tested in 2001 (AB, Nov. 12, 2001). The contract is non-exclusive, but according to Mike Delaney, sales manager for Lo-Q, there is a geographic "protection" for a limited period. The system will go to eight parks in 2002, with all in operation by mid-season, at the latest, he said. "To get them all installed and in operation will be quite a task," said Delaney. "I'm not saying it will be difficult. I'm saying it will be very, very difficult." He pointed out that the weather in some parts of the U.S. would slow down the development of the required infrastructure at the parks. The eight parks on tap to receive the system in 2002 are Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, N.J.; Six Flags New England, Agawam, Mass.; Six Flags Marine World, Vallejo, Calif.; Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington; Six Flags Fiesta Texas, San Antonio; Six Flags AstroWorld, Houston; Six Flags St. Louis; and Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, Aurora, Ohio. Six Flags will market the system as Lo-Q, not as the Fast Lane brand the park system began creating in 2001. "The name Lo-Q is more definitive in that it's not a fast, line-jumping system, but a virtual queuing system. I think the name is more appropriate," Delaney told AB. In addition, the rental price of the Q-Bot, which users of the system need for access, will be increased to $10, with each person, up to six, being charged $10 to use the system. The Q-Bot revenues are split between Lo-Q and the park, once the initial cost of the system is paid for. The system is free to the parks, with Lo-Q making its money from the rental fees. Lo-Q operates the booths from which the rentals take place at each park. To use the system, guests sign up when entering the park and receive the beeper-sized Q-Bot to carry around. A place in line can be reserved by approaching the ride, placing the Q-Bot into a slot, and then returning to the ride when it alerts you that you have 10 minutes until your designated ride time."
I am sure glad to hear this news. Six Flags is finally shying away with the whole FastLane idea.... even though they are making money from this, at least all the guests are waiting the same amount of time for the ride. So if people want to pay extra, they can... but their only benifit is that they don't have to stand "in the actual line" but they still have to wait the same amount of time. All I can say is THANK YOU SIX FLAGS! Now guests (will hopefully) know that people arn't just "cutting" them and that they are waiting the SAME time (unlike the 'free FastLane systems) ... kudos to Six Flags, finally listening to the public.

Do you think they will remove FastLane from the other parks such as SFDL and SFMM within the next two years as well? I think that would be the best bet.. they are still making the money, but we won't get so many unhappy guests and complaints, and horror stories of how some people have to wai 3 hours and some wait 10 minutes for the same ride the same day. Finally, the discrimination is "gone"... be happy. Things are back to normal before the retarded "FastLane" came along because we are still waiting in line patiently (the ones that don't use it), not paying an extra fee, and waiting the same amount of time as everybody in the park.
I realize many people will be frustrated (parks like SFNE which had the 'free' version, to come back at a specified time), but face it, everybody is finally being treated with equality and the people who don't use the FastLane won't be ticked off by the likes of you. Whine all you want, but this is the better choice as a company.

Six Flags, you are finally changing your ways.... hopefully it isn't too late....

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Friday, February 1, 2002 9:34 AM
Great!!!
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Friday, February 1, 2002 9:34 AM
According to my old friends at SFMM, the park is desperate to drop the system which has recieved scathing reviews from customers. I for one would MUCH rather have a ride reserve system like Lo-Q. Although to me the best system remains a limited access "free" service like Fastpass, at least this system will keep people from entering "line cutting" queues at random.
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Have you ever considered that maybe it's not the park that's the problem, but YOU?
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Friday, February 1, 2002 9:36 AM
From what I read somewhere on the web an article stated that they will add lo-q to SFMM and SFA for the 2003 season so it looks like there will be one more season of this fastlane nonsense at some of the parks,still it's a step in the right direction for SF.
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Friday, February 1, 2002 9:37 AM
I don't know why everyone is against Fast Lane.  I know they tried different versions of the system, but the version at Great Adventure worked perfectly.  I wrote an editorial about it on my site at http://www.gadv.com/editorial1.html.  It was a perfect system.  A recent poll on my site also revealed that 80% liked the system and 18% said it didn't bother them at all.  Now we will be getting the Lo-Q which may be cool, but it still costs money.  Because of the complaints from people at SFWoA and other parks, we most likely will no longer have this great system.
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http://www.gadv.com
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Friday, February 1, 2002 9:52 AM
Chewman...the reason you liked FastLane so muh was because SFGAdv was the only park that had it for FREE!  All other parks made you pay an additional $10 for 6 passes.  Bullcrap if you ask me.  But they certainly have no right to charge for these Q-Bots, too!  Look at Disney.  FastPass is free to all customers, and it is the world's greatest invention.  C'mon people, let's protest the prices now!  We got them to convert into electronic systems, now let's get them to realize they already make too much damn to charge us for this!
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-Kyle Brylczyk
SAVE INVADER ZIM!
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Friday, February 1, 2002 10:10 AM
I agree with chewman. why do you hate it so much?
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My SFGAdv Website:
www.geocties.com/dannyrc2001

Go Eagles! Bring on the Bears

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Friday, February 1, 2002 10:14 AM
Kyle, SFGAd was not the only SF park with free Fast Lane.  SFNE and SFA are two more parks that come to mind right away.

And at other parks, the prices were different for Fast Lane.  SFGAm was four rides for $10, SFWoA five rides for $10, and SFMM four rides for $15.

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Have you ever considered that maybe it's not you that's the problem, but THE PARK? ;)

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Friday, February 1, 2002 10:15 AM
Actually, coaster131, SFNE's version was free also.
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SFNE loses its "floor" for 2002! Visit www.geocities.com/sfneguy for info. and pics of SFNE. Formerly known as srosatsfne.
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Friday, February 1, 2002 11:40 AM
This is basically Disney's FastPass with beepers instead of tickets. Disney's FastPass is one of the best inventions I've ever seen. It works fabulously if you know how to use it efficiently. I still don't see why they're charging for this service, but I guess Six Flags got to make up all that debt somewhere. I'd pay it.
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www.coasterimage.com
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Friday, February 1, 2002 11:53 AM
I'm opposed to any system that creates 2 classes of park customers during normal park hours based on paying more to get greater access to rides.
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Friday, February 1, 2002 12:18 PM
Legendary is right.  The SFA and SFNE are the two other SF parks I attended this summer and they both had a free version of Fast Lane.  From what I've heard from people, and from my own experience at those two parks (I used Fast Lane at all three parks), the system worked just as well as it did at Great Adventure.  SF used it to draw more guests in promotional spots and they recieved very few if not zero complaints about the system.  Maybe Six Flags should look into putting the quality version of Fast Lane into all of its parks.
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http://www.gadv.com
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Friday, February 1, 2002 12:34 PM
IMO, SF's Fast Lane is terrible... At least the systems I saw were. All it does is lower the capacity of every ride that uses it. For exsample, I noticed at the many times I visited SFNE this past year, the seats reserved for FL were not full 90% of the time. And I would say that at least a quarter of the time they were empty. Mainly, this was only a problem with S:ROS and sometimes Mind Eraser. Even if it is full, I still think it's unfair, whether there's a limited supply of tickets or not.

So I'm happy to here this. I can't say i've witnessed a system like this one, but it sounds like there will be no capacity problems.

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Friday, February 1, 2002 12:42 PM
What they need to do is settle on one system and stick to it. This swtching systems every year is bound to confuse customers. If it's going to be Lo-Q, then place it in every park and stick to it.  You're *never* going to please everyone.
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Have you ever considered that maybe it's not the park that's the problem, but YOU?

*** This post was edited by DWeaver on 2/1/2002. ***

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Friday, February 1, 2002 1:27 PM
I dont want to Pay 10$ a person to cut inline. This is just a fancy way of sayng cutting in line. Its stupid the free fastlanes worked wonderful!
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3.2.1 launch
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Friday, February 1, 2002 1:50 PM
Although the free fastlane systems "worked wonderful" it was still 'unfair' to SOMEBODY (in this case, anybody who didn't use it..)... some people would get tickets to come at 10:00 AM and some would have tickets to come at 10:00 PM based on when they got the ticket. Meaning some people had NO wait, and some people had 8 hours (example) until their time... it was first come first serve, and on a limited basis. You can't get them at 'any time' .. the point is, while sombody is getting a luxery, another person is getting screwed either way. But I fell much better about this because we all have to wait the same time, and nobody has to feel 'left out'.
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Friday, February 1, 2002 2:18 PM
This quote is courtesy of fellow enthusiast Mike Overell:  "[Virtual queues are] a solution that does not work for a problem them never existed."

My sentiments exactly.  Everyone should wait equally.  The only reason for the virtual queue [Fastlane, Fast Pass, Lo-Q] is to get people out of the lines and spending money in the stores.  Rides that are operated at peak capacity should, for the most part, not have a problem with lines.

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Friday, February 1, 2002 2:21 PM
Wow, if I could ever sum anything up quickly, that would be exactly how I'd say it, Mamoosh...
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Off-season coaster blues got you down, stop by the 'buzz and turn your frown upside-down...
Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!
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Friday, February 1, 2002 2:26 PM

Mamoosh said: The only reason for the virtual queue [Fastlane, Fast Pass, Lo-Q] is to get people out of the lines and spending money in the stores. 

Only if you're dumb enough to play along. I've only used Disney's fastpass and getting a FastPass essentially holds your spot in line. I get my ticket and it tells me to come back during a specified time interval. I now got to a nearby ride and wait in line. When I'm finished I get right on the ride I have the FastPass for. 2 rides in the time of one! The key to the success of any system is limiting the number of "passes" given in anytime frame. This way there's no added wait for the "regular" line plus a good number of guests can experience the ride with little wait, leaving more time for other attractions. When executed properly there's no "cutting" in line as people put it. I'd be standing in the line anyway - the FastPass becomes a placeholder to an extent and it look s as if this Lo-Q system takes that to the next degree.
It's not the solution to a problem, it's the addition of a new convience for guests who choose to use it. (Still think it should be free though.)

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www.coasterimage.com

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Friday, February 1, 2002 2:30 PM
I agree with Jim Fisher on this one.

Personally, the best system I've seen is the latest version of Fastpass that is installed at Tokyo Disneyland.  It worked beautifully in a very crowded park!

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- Peabody

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