Fast Lane allows line jump at Six Flags Worlds of Adventure
Posted Friday, June 29, 2001 5:06 AM | Contributed by Jeff
In a move that will likely spark controversy among enthusiasts, Six Flags Worlds of Adventure will now offer "Fast Lane" passes for $10, which will allow guests to enter a much shorter line on any five of the park's bigger attractions.
I agree with RagingBull about Fast Lane being diffent then plans like "Joe Cool" at CP, but here's why I think the plan will not work at SFGAm.
The reason I say this is that back in 1995, SFGAm sold what they called "Gold Season Passes" as an "upgrade" to your noraml SFGAm Season Pass. For like an extra $15 or $20 (on top of the season pass), you were given extra perks like a % off of Food and merchandise. They also had a special night just for the Gold Season Pass members to ride Viper before it opened to the public. They did the same thing in October for Fright Fest. The park was open JUST FOR THE GOLD pass members (kind of like a private buyout). I believe they had other events throughout the year that were just for the gold season pass members (normal season pass members were NOT allowed in).
Well, in 1996 the program did not exist. Why you may ask? The reason: Not enough people bought into the plan. It was not as popular as the folks at SFGAm had hoped, so they dropped it.
I have noticed that other parks (CP with the Joe Cool Club, and PKI with their gold pass thing) have plans like this. I don't know how popular they are, but I wonder if they are doing better then the "Gold Pass" at SFGAm did.
With this reason, I wonder if the Fast Lane system is going to attract as many people as SFGAm hopes. If a plan that saved the person money all season long on food and merchandise, plus have special events did not catch on, then I'm really wondering if the "fast lane" system will catch on either.
Here is my personal subjective as well as objective view on this.
I was recently with my family at SFWOA, and my wife and I took advantage of the Fast Lane promotion.
We have 2 daughters who are too small to ride the larger coasters, so we took turns riding them as the other one rode with them on other rides, etc.
It worked for us very well.
We had no problem paying the extra $10 x 2 for 5 rides for each of us.
Life is run by capitalism and free markets. Things usually work themselves to a point of elasticity/give-and-take within boundaries.
Like it or not, money runs the above statement. A company in a free-market capitalistic society will gravitate toward making the optimal amounts of money while still staying in business, or fold.
We are also family season passholders at Paramount as well as Six Flags.
On the flip side of things. Do you believe the park really wants the season passholders who pick and choose their days to ride over and over again a ride or two, after having eaten a meal before entering the park, and not buying the "accessories/cross-marketed items" which are the gravy for the park?
People have a choice to go to community college vs. a state college vs. an Ivy League college. What determines that many times? Money.
People have a choice to buy a Hyundai, buy a Honda, buy a Lexus, buy a Benz. What often determines that? Money.
People can rent, they can buy in town, they can buy in the burbs, they can buy in a gated community? What often determines that? Money.
People can choose to buy a season pass and get literally the cost of pennies per hour of entertainment with many uses. People can choose to only go to a park once in a while, while maximizing their free time elsewhere.
Having visited way too many parks from pretty much everywhere, and ridden on unknown hundreds of coasters. We usually don't have a problem paying for things at parks, since the money is going to the parks. Sure corporations can and do different things with the money, but it is still going for the most part, in one fund or another within the park structure.
If this is not profitable for Six Flags they will not continue it. If it is, then they will not only keep it, but quite possibly tinker and fine-tune it for maximum dollars.
We have also enjoyed staying on property at Universal/Islands of Adventure for front line access, and other "supposed" us vs. them offers.
This is not about us vs. them. This is about the facts of life, and how a company will attempt to maximize their bottom-line.
If it upsets too many season passholders, that may or may not be taken into consideration. $$$$ talks, BS walks.
The uniqueness of a free society driven by capitalism should be cherised. It does not have to be revered and be considered the ultimate.
In some way or another, just about everybody institutes/has instituted $$$$ for service/better items/ease/etc. in their life, and that is because they choose to, and somebody/some entity has offered them that option.
Okay Raging Bull: I can see that perhaps the "Joe Cool" program doesnt fit in, but what about all the other programs?
Universal has special "VIP tours" that can be purchased for an exhrobatant amount of money where the guests get front of the line access.
PKI, still has the "Two for Tuesdays" where the guests can re-ride. Furthermore, last year I was the victim of a "Season Passholders Appreciation" night @ PKI, where they closed Sonny down @ 8pm (park closed @ 10pm) to all but the season passholders. They paid the extra money, so this was a perk they got. Was I happy? No, but when I thought about it, it made sense.
As I have alluded to before, on the surface, I dont like the FASTLANE programs in general, and am really turned off by the "for a fee" programs. IMO, they dont pass the "smell test". But when I think about it logically, removing emotion, I can forsee that these programs are going to get rave reviews. People that use it are going to be very happy.
Some have commented that when people go to parks, they expect to stand in lines. I offer that when people go to parks, they expect to spend money too. I dont know *anyone* who still pays full price admission to go to parks as there are too many discounts around. Many people with think, "Hey, I just saved $10 bucks with this coupon. If I spend it, I dont have to wait in line." Whether your emotions jibe well with it out not (mine certainly dont) you cannot deny that the program is going to put some smiles on faces.
Now, the real question is how many frowns will accompany the smiles. *THAT*, I'm afraid, we will have to wait on to see how it plays out. later days jeremy --Assault me not with thou foul fingers knave!
P.S. MF#1: It is possible that SFGAm still had passes because people didnt know about it. They have big easeals out at SFA advertising the FASTLANE passes, but yet some people *still* dont know what it is. Give it a little "word of mouth" time. It'll happen!
*** This post was edited by 2Hostyl on 6/30/2001. ***
ktrain I'm sure it is great for your family because you are season pass holders which only cost you $10 to 20 dollars.Whne it cost peolple that don't have a season pass $50-60 not including food money or anything else like that.
------------- Cedar Point, doesn't get any better then that:)
The bottom line is that this is greed. Any other park that I've been to that offers this service, has it for free. The only setback is that you must ride at a certain time. Which is not that big a deal.
The article makes it sounds like this is virtual queuing. This really is just virtual stupidity. Letting people cut sure as hell is not going to solve capacity problems, if anything it will add to lower capacity. Instead of paying the people who hand out theses things they should put them on the rides!
So the Fast Lane at SFWOA works differently than other Fast Lane programs? You don't have to show up at the ride at a certain time, you can march up to a shorter line anytime you want? That actually sounds worthwhile for $10.
Regular free Fast Lane/Fast Pass systems place you in a virtual line, they tell you to come back to the ride in an hour or so, as if you were waiting in the line all along. You also can't wait in another virtual line during this time span. If at the Ohio park you're not told when to hit the rides at distributed intervals, if you're just allowed shorter lines, then yes this is a greater value than most park's Fast Lane system and should cost extra. Otherwise too many people will use the program which will defeat the purpose of it.
However, there is no excuse for offering these wait reducing programs while not running most attractions at full capacity. That's just assinine.
So what's next? Are you going to be able to "buy" your way to the front of the line at the grocery store? Or maybe these giant discount stores should offer an "Pay Express Lane" during the holiday season. Sounds redicuouls to me. If you're going to an amusment park then you should expect to wait in line. That's part of the fun. Here's another question. What happens if everyone buys an "Fast Lane" ticket that day? How "Fast" could it possibly be? If you really want to get around the whole line issue then plan your trip to the park accordingly.
I think it's a great idea,one that I'll be looking into while I'm there a few weeks from now. This way I can enjoy a few quick coaster rides than meet up with the rest of the group at Hurricane Harbor,or the marine side.:) With all the free attractions and shows at this park I really don't mind shelling out an extra 10$. Infact I'm gonna take at least 300$ and spend every last penny at this park.:) A park that invests aggressively deserves my hard earned cash..........:)
When I went there and participated in the FL program, there is a finite number of FL cards which are sold each day.
They had the date on them, so they were only good that day as well, and were only good till 8 PM.
When I went by the booth that was selling FL cards later in the day, there was nobody there, so they sold their limited number of FL cards within a short amount of time.
The stack did not appear to be too large when we got ours that morning. I could not venture a guess on how many there were, but it was not some huge stack.
We enjoyed the FL experience. Of course, over the course of goingto so many parks over the years, we will roll with whatever the parks have to offer. If that includes added pay perks, then that is another option. If we visit parks that do not offer those kind of options, then so be it also.
Our recent trip took our family to 10 parks in 7 days, and we enjoyed those 7 days. The FL experience merely afforded some extra time and/or allowed us to ride X, which we might not have done this trip.
"Do you believe the park really wants the season passholders who pick and choose their days to ride over and over again a ride or two, after having eaten a meal before entering the park, and not buying the "accessories/cross-marketed items" which are the gravy for the park?"
Right there is the problem. The things you describe are exactly the things one thinks they're entitled to as a season pass holder, not because we spent the money on the pass, but because that's how they market the passes.
Of course, that opens up another whole issue about why they low-ball the pass price in the first place, but that's another topic.
------------- Jeff Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
Well here's my take on it. Do you people complain about first class on airplanes both are taking same airplane but someone paid more to get more, is that wrong NO. Or 2 groups go to a park both pay admission fees, yet one group has the money to play games and eat meal at park. Group 2 can't because they don't have the money, is group 1 wrong for being able to afford something that group 2 can't or is that the American way. Also give me a good reason why anyone would not use this if they could afford it. Please don't say because of the reaction or what people say in line, no one can be that shallow to worry about what someone they don't even know has to say about them.
------------- Army rangers lead the way
*** This post was edited by supermandl on 7/1/2001. ***
People are paying a little more for this service and the non user still gets on the coaster. As for first class why not make the whole plane coach, why should they get all the extra large seats the good food, we paid to get on the plane just like them. Why not treat all passenger's like first class. Diffrence is they choose to pay more money to get better treatment that me is it wrong I dont think so. It goes for this also If you dont want to wait why not pay for first class treatment on the coaster. $2 per coaster is alot cheaper than upgrading from coach to first class.