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.
In part logically, first class vs. coach appears to be a possible comparison, and in the end it is, but it has different aspects to it.
Here is a somewhat different view on the FL/FP/etc. side of things:
People are complaining about getting shafted in their subjective thoughts by the parks which offer Fast Lane/Fast Pass/etc.
I am wondering how many more "general public" people would enjoy being invited to Media days/PR days/etc. if they were afforded that invitation?
I am positive there are more than a few people on here who have been invited to ERT/Media days/etc. which was not offered to the general public. To go one step further. Almost no season passholders were probably invited to those same events as well.
Is that unfair? If one were to be given a choice between a few rides faster vs. nobody but 50 or so people getting rides, sometimes with food, perks, etc. at the park.
This thing is stretching its legs, and more than likely will have standards which may or may not be regionalized among the Six Flags parks, and others.
Now, with season passholders knowing about the different fast lane/pass/etc. things be used this year, next year when they renew they will be aware of what has been offered.
While season passholders have certain thoughts on what to expect, I believe this thing can work.
If there are defined times/days which this is offered so season passholders know about that sooner or later, that could help.
Of course, that would probably cut into the target crowd this is trying to reach-out for.
The bottom-line is the bottom-line.
Those new rides, more employees, more work on parks, which everybody wants costs quite a bit. A new $10-$20 million coaster is a nice piece of change. Anybody looked at the debt Six Flags is carrying?
How about this for the coach vs. first class:
Only coach tickets are sold. You show-up and are offered to sit in First Class for $20.
Later others show-up and are pissed because they weren't offered the same deal. Why, because all the seats were already gone.
On the same lines of airline flights. One usually pays more for direct vs connecting. In part they are paying for the saved time and how their travel fits into the airline profit scheme.
If season passholders go to the park to ride a new ride which has downtime and slow loading, and then they are offered an opportunity to shorten that wait at a cost, but do not take their offer on that, then they will more than likely still be able to ride the ride. It will just take longer.
Riding the ride would be equated to "getting" there both via coach and first class.
Riding the ride is the endpoint being aimed for. Not necessarily in a timely manner in the busy summer season.
Why should one person get a great rate on a season pass because they bought it a day before somebody else does, after the rates increase?
Should the second person ***** and moan because their friend got a much better price, just because they picked-up the phone on a tuesday instead of a wednesday?
When one buys a season pass, I don't think an agreement on the park's side to guarantee short waits for rides is in there.
We get the majority of park visits done before July 1st, and then pick and choose on better flow dates. As well as going more in the fall/end of summer.
This should be a goal for anybody that doesn't want to wait long waits.
If we see this next year, it was because it put more dollars to the bottom than it took away.
I still say the bottom line here is that any kind of "no wait" system can only accommodate a small number of people before it becomes just as long of a wait as anybody else. Witness the TR: posted to r.r-c over the weekend where the X-Flight Fast Lane queue was as long or longer than the standard queue. None of these systems does anything to improve ride capacity, and all of them serve to make the line longer for non-participants...apparently while not necessarily making the wait any shorter for participants. At least Six Flags seems to have dealt with the "makes the line longer" problem by reserving only a few seats per train.
Capacity is the answer, folks. Not some harebrained scheme for letting people bypass most of the line. A better tactic is to get the capacity up and make the lines simply disappear.
I am very happy that some people money to burn, and no consideration for those who do not. I CAN afford the $10 for these passes, but i will NOT pay it as it is not fair for those who cannot. Most of the examples that cited, cars, college, housing do NOT affect other people, ie. just because someone else bought a more expensive car does not affect my purchase or use of a car.
The first class arguement does not fly either. Jeff is right, everyone arrives at the same time, the first class people are just a little more confortable.
Sorry but the people who say "I can afford it, its great" are being self centered on this subject.
*** This post was edited by super7 on 7/2/2001. ***
*** This post was edited by super7 on 7/2/2001. ***
Of course, super7, you can afford to pay to get into the park itself, regardless of how 'fair' that is to those who cannot. Whether some one else buys a fast pass or not does not affect whether you ride the coaster or not. You'll still get to ride. You've paid for a special privilege (to be allowed into the park in the first place). Fast pass buyers have paid for another special privilege (to be allowed to ride some rides without waiting in line).
If you don't want to do Fast pass, don't buy one. If enough people don't buy them, they'll disappear.
super7, (sorry, back to you again): you call people who say they can afford it, its great, self-centered. How are you any less self-centered? You're saying people shouldn't use Fast pass because it inconveniences you.
While higher overall total ride capacity would alleviate things at most parks, some parks are not set-up to do it the PKI way. IE, build enough for total capacity and include a decent capacity vacuum called a waterpark to boot.
I still think Six Flags is tinkering with different ideas, and we might get a regionalized difference type of thing.
While it is a popular notion that the corporate parks are brain dead, you can bet they have more than a few people doing the economic models with all sorts of twists.
They are well aware of elasticity graphs, potential per-person spending broken down to types of visitors, etc., etc.
While one can look at the way rides are put-together and shake their heads as to why that part wasn't reversed, or why this simple thing wasn't put in the queue area for easier throughput, the corporate parks have run innumerable revenue models on just about any different scenario.
Super7: How about the people who can afford to buy the vehicles which are 50-100% safer due to engineering/quality/cost built-in? The $10,000 car is probably gonna get you from point A to point B like the $50,000 car, but the $50,000 car quite possibly would not kill their drive with a head-on impact accident vs. the $10,000. Is that fair? They both get you to the same spot.
You have paid to be in the park. The ticket you purchase does not gurantee short waits and guranteed riding of all rides.
Please let somebody who lives in government subsidized housing that they are just as safe and have an equal chance of surviving and not seeing crime affect their family as those in gated communities or surrounding suburban neighborhoods, if cost of housing does not affect anybody.
As it pertains to flying. If somebody pays more to wait 15-20 minutes vs. 60-75 minutes, that is not infringing on the 60-75 minute wait people, because all have ridden. Some have paid extra like first class would, to have a more enjoyable experience.
I am not attempting to prop-up the FL/FP/IOA/ETC structures, just attempting to look at things in a rational and objective manner.
After having spent some time with business planning, economic factoring, etc., I tend to look at how/why/to what extent a company can and will be able to make money.
After-all that is the bottom-line here. Six Flags is in the business to make money, not to put a smile on every face. Of course, goodwill and entertainment enjoyment are all factors which aid in the collection of money.
If you think paying for an Ivy League College because you can vs. paying for a community college because that is all you can pay would not make a difference, then you are sadly mistaken. Does that make the community college person any less of a person? No it does not. But you can be sure the opportunities afforded each will be very different. Why? Because of money.
This thing is gonna shake-out in some fashion. Who knows how it is gonna end-up. But I hope people realize this is being done for money in part. Not necessarily the $10, but there are other factors which are being looked-at as well.
Also, if this comes-back next year in some form, all the people from this year won't be able to cry foul.
Sure, people can say: "I am not going to buy a season pass next if this is going to be around" That is their right to spend their money in whatever way they want. It would of course be hard for the majority of those to find the same amount of per hour value they receive from the small discounted season pass that the majority of them buy. Not even taking into consideration the other corporate parks that they get-into for free.
I agree with everything you're saying, but in this case I think you're leaving out the other side of this, and that is the public perception. I don't think they've thoroughly researched that at all. This kind of system does separate the haves from the have-nots, and people will pick up on that. Even as a "have," I find that somewhat offensive. This is a somewhat emotional issue for people, so trying to approach it from a rational or objective stance doesn't get us anywhere.
This is one of the rare cases where it isn't strictly about the money.
------------- Jeff Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
I would agree with the "emotional" aspect of this particular situation, as well as many other situations.
While the FL at SFWOA may not have been thought out to its best ability. IE, just doing it on specific days/times to allow season passholders to settle-into knowing when those times/days are, etc. I think SF is well aware of the possible backlash, and has built-in lost revenue formulas in play here.
I also think that companies will actually take possible negative customer actions in the hopes of eventually making more and finding new directions/paths of revenues.
The "customer" side of this is not about money, but the park side is abouit the money.
If the two clash and do not have a smoothing-out elastic effect, then the park will have to adjust to that.
This is not a unique situation in the entertainment field. I believe in the past, certain movie houses afforded people perks on seeing first run movies for certain fees, and that did not go over well. There are many other instances where the bottom-line advanced for companies but the overall backlash by the customer was too much for the company.
I am unsure how this will play-out.
I do think that the amusement industry is sending these types of "promos" to the public in part, to get them used to the future.
While not having privvy information on the vital stats of each park, you can bet there is a small overall percentage of high rides for a small amount of passholders in each park.
Is there anything wrong with that? No, but the parks do not outwardly promote: Pay us $50-60 dollars and get hundreds upon hundreds of hours of riding.
Of course, anybody looking at this situation as a non-enthusiast and or a non-park visitor, would defin. have a different viewpoint to the situation.
It would be interesting to see the actual breakdown (which could never be pinned-down) on the overall revenue produced by the 1-2 time a year visitor population vs. that 10-20% which do the majority of the riding.
While the riding minority may buy drinks and a meal once in a while, it would be interesting to see the total tab for all those people who pay the daily admission/2 meals a day/gifts/games once or twice a year. That would include out of town as well as in town visitors.
I can see the days are a changing. The new rides/coasters cost quite a bit these days, and even SF can only carry only so much debt on their balance sheet.
Over the past few years it has already started with parking fees. They were kept at certain levels for years, and in the past few years have really seen larger jumps than normal. That is slowly starting to gravitate toward concessions, and will ultimately hit the admission structure one way or another.
Yes, the emotional side of this is the unknown Z factor in the equation.
I do not think however, that this is a dead situation. Especially if it is fine-tuned, and comes back next year, after having been witnessed by so many this year.
Are you saying you find offensive the opportunity to cut your ride wait by paying extra fees/higher onsite hotel rooms/etc.? That would encompass all SF FL systems, IOA onsite hotel properties, Disney properties, etc.
Also, is it not fair for the general public who have no chance at media events, invitee days, etc. just because somebody happens to know somebody and/or some other reason? There was no money class in place for that. Merely "your name is on a list". If that were o.k., then if you knew the park manager, ride ops manager, station supervisor, and they let you on early, would that not be o.k. as well? Everybody still got their ride in the end, and no money changed hands, similar to the special days/invites.
Wow, what a great read from long before I joined CoasterBuzz! Funny to see some of the dated references, and how the opinions of the long term members have changed.
I was pretty vocal AGAINST the "pay to cut" systems when they first got introduced at my home park of Cedar Point. And I still believe that they have doubled the wait times for the normal lines. But between then and now I've got a love/hate thing going. When we use them, which is a few times a year now, both at far away parks and when bringing guests to CP, they are amazing. When not using them, especially at Cedar Fair parks where it is more noticeable when people join ahead of you, they still kinda bug me, but not as much now that I've been on the benefit side.
If I'm visiting a new park, or only have a limited time at a park, I will buy it. I just think of it as the cost of a hobby increasing. We spent so much to go to Universal Orlando over Easter weekend, but that was our only chance to visit and it was go all out for Express or stay home.
I seriously regret not buying the Season Fast Lane at CP for $850 this year and almost certainly will next year, as our son is now a HS Senior and just doesn't want to go to the park with his dad as much. I would go more by myself if only I had bought the Season FL.
I went to the park for the first time Tuesday. The weather was gorgeous and I found CP to be very busy, for instance SV was at an hour when I arrived at 9:30 or so. On solo visits in the past I’ve avoided crankiness by buying FL+ but Tuesday’s price was 110 bucks. So, no. I wound up with not many rides that day.
I’m doing some show business this summer and the next gig will take me thru Labor Day. But I’d now definitely consider the all-season if next year turns out to be better for multiple visits.
Oh absolutely. It wasn't a criticism, merely an observation, as my opinion has changed too. I did read the entire thing, it was quite entertaining, and a lot of the opinions are not the same as today. Many said it would fall flat on its face. Obviously that didn't happen.
As I said above, I now just see it as the cost of the hobby increasing. I still feel slightly douchey as I just merge into the line in front of others, and I still get slightly pissed when I've waited in a regular line and others merge in front of me. But hey, I work hard for my money, (so hard for it honey,) so if I buy it, then I guess I earned it. So.... if you can't beat the system, buy into it and take advantage of it? I guess.
P.S. We were at CP on Tues and Wed too. (Hi RCMAC) Yeah, quite crowded but mostly HOT! Perfect example for this thread. We were hosting out of town friends and went all out by staying at Lighthouse Point and, yes, getting Fastlane on Wednesday. So yeah, totally worth it. Honestly, we didn't even ride that much. It allowed us to avoid spending all day sweltering in lines, and gave us more time in the evenings for grilling out by the cabin and just relaxing and catching up.
Last edited by Tommytheduck, Saturday, June 29, 2019 8:55 PM
Even in 2019, people in line still moan and groan when they see someone walk right past them and cut in front of them, in my limited observations anyway. It''s not that the "peasants" accept it; it's that they know it will not change. They see how expensive everything in the park is and they understand that it's just another way for the park to make as much money as possible. They know that if they want to enjoy the park, they have to either tolerate it, or come up with the money to include themselves.
Counter my dislike for it all you want, but this is still how I feel even after all this time. My mind hasn't changed much on the subject at all. I tolerate the normalizing of pay-to-cut because I have to.
Don’t worry. When Big Bernie is elected president, he will sign an executive order for his $1.1B Fast Lane For All plan. Then we can all use the Fast Lane lines. Oh and he will have Wall Street pay for it.