Flashpass prices at Great Adventure have gone through the roof

Saturday, November 1, 2008 9:36 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Why not complain actively about every empty seat that goes out. Heck, just two empty seats every cycle on a B&M train reduces your potential to ride by over 6%. Just one empty seat on a PTC woodie train reduces capacity by 4%.

If the park added a single rider line to fill those seats, I think it would help balance the effects of Flashpass. I typically see 5+ seats going out empty on the 4 B&M's at Great Adventure and have seen as many as 9 (not counting when all rows are not filled of course). It would make lines shorter for everyone since if I am riding alone and a group of 4 is waiting for the next train, unless a group or 3 or less asks to get into the same row as me, 3 out of 4 seats in my row are going out empty.

Last edited by YoshiFan, Saturday, November 1, 2008 9:38 PM
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Saturday, November 1, 2008 9:08 PM

Lord Gonchar said:


The logic is fine. It's the number I question. I don't think he lost that many rides over the course of his day.

I agree it's probably an exaggeration. But at least you acknowledge that the effect is real.

Oh, I disagree. I think that there are places that run to capacity during their operating hours.

I merely said most restaurants. There are plenty of exceptions, to be sure.

A restaraunt or movie or coaster or whatever has a finite number of seats. Regardless of when the demand peaks, I'm still reserving a seat.

Yes, but the difference is that the party that made the reservation at Le Turd d'Orange is not spending the time they saved by eating a separate meal at Castle de Blanca.



And yeah, the downside occurs when (or if) the person with a reservation joins another line. Then (for the purposes of overall park capacity) it's as if there's an additional person in the park as long as that person remains in two lines.

Precisely.


There's so many variables in the park experience, that reducing it to this one element that slightly reduces one aspect of the park experience is almost funny.

Why not complain actively about every empty seat that goes out. Heck, just two empty seats every cycle on a B&M train reduces your potential to ride by over 6%. Just one empty seat on a PTC woodie train reduces capacity by 4%.

Complain when guests don't move fast enough the slow dispatches. Add just 4 or 5 second to every train leaving and on some coasters that could be reducing capacity another 4 or 5%.

Heck, make some bad choices during the day without realizing it and you might hit the wooden coaster line and wait 40 minutes when if you had come by just an hour later the line would only be 30 minutes. Then do the same thing with both big steelies in the park and you've wasted a half hour (enough for another lap on the woodie if you hit the queues at the right times).

Maybe if you wouldn't have stopped for a drink and a bathroom stop you'd have gotten on the train that dispatched as you entered the station. Instead there's a ill rider getting off and you have to wait an extra 5 minutes for them to clean the 'protein spill'.

I think you see where I'm going. The process is entirely random to begin with. Hell, even the amount you are personally affected by VQ users will vary based on the dumb luck of life.

All true, every one. Many of those are simple randomness, which is out of human control, or intelligence -- also out of human control as far as how much your wind up with in this world -- or experience, which is at least earned.

But the very concept of paid cutting is something that exists on a completey different level than the factors you mentioned. It is like handing a power drill to a chimpanzee. A highly artificial, leveraging advantage that comes from simply having more money to spend on what is perceived to be a (fairly) egalitarian activity.



I just don't get it. It seems so trivial. And if the number of rides weighs that heavily in the enjoyment or value of your day, then I'd think you'd be the one buying into the system to maximize what is important to you.

It's one of those 'principle of the thing' things. I prefer to leave my class distinctions at home when I go to the park, thank you very much.

I'm glad we got that ironed out. ;)


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Saturday, November 1, 2008 9:20 PM

Further proof today at SFGAdv that flashpass is floundering it's final breath: park employees were acting as peddlers pushing print ads for FP as soon as you walked through the entrance - they reminded me of those mindless moonie types handing out religious flyers in the airport, but the promise these flyers were advertising was for eternal salvation from long lines by immediately hitting you up for more cash, and only a few seconds and footsteps away from spending your money to enter the park. unbelievable

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Saturday, November 1, 2008 9:33 PM

Wow, I have to see that. If they are out tomorrow I'm going to see how people react. Was the park crowded today?

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Saturday, November 1, 2008 10:30 PM
LostKause's avatar

I don't remember saying anywhere in this thread that I "liked" Disney's Fastpass. I don't like it, but I am forced to use it because if I don't, then I'd be at a disadvantage. It's just like any other park that offer line cutting. I am at a disadvantage if I don't use it. I do not like the Disney system any more or less than any other line cutting system.

I wasn't exaggerating about how many rides I have lost throughout the day. If it was 1 or 2 rides, maybe I wouldn't be so against it. It seems to me that it is a lot more, especially when SF is loading up entire trains with flashpassers every few times on some coasters. I wish SF would share flashpass numbers with us. What percentage of the parks customers use it? What percentage of flashpass users does each ride seat per day? Gonch, you don't seem to think that those numbers matter. If thay are as high as they seem, they matter to me.

Every train goes out with two rows of flashpassers on some SF coasters. That's 8 riders on Medusa, and leaves 24 riders left to ride from the real line. That's 25% useing flashpass, increasing MY wait time by 25%. If they are waiting for more than 1 ride at a time, then my wait time is increased even more than that, so yea, I think that maybe I could get a a few more rides in throughout my day if it wasn't for flashpass. At least 25% more...

And the amount of rides matters, especially when the park is so clogged with people that there is a chance that you are only going to get to ride something once from open to close. If a park offers 10 coasters and is open for 10 hours the day that you visit, then you better hope and pray that each coaster line is less than an hour long.

Why else do people go to parks, especially coaster nuts like us? To ride coasters. Sure we like shows and cheeseburgers, but the rides is what most people are there for.

Last edited by LostKause, Saturday, November 1, 2008 10:34 PM
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Saturday, November 1, 2008 11:00 PM
Vater's avatar

Rye.D.Ziner said:
Further proof today at SFGAdv that flashpass is floundering it's final breath: park employees were acting as peddlers pushing print ads for FP as soon as you walked through the entrance

So wait...you're implying that these people were out peddling ads because FlashPasses aren't selling? Why, then, would Six Flags have just upped the price? I don't see this as 'proof' of anything, especially when we keep hearing that more and more park chains are adopting these types of systems.

Here's my theory: Six Flags raises the price, then advertises heavily so they still sell the same quantity as they did before, which in turn makes them more money...aiming above and beyond that 'sweet spot,' if you will.

Last edited by Vater, Saturday, November 1, 2008 11:01 PM
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Saturday, November 1, 2008 11:49 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:
I wasn't exaggerating about how many rides I have lost throughout the day. If it was 1 or 2 rides, maybe I wouldn't be so against it.

So how many rides did you get to ride?

It seems to me that it is a lot more, especially when SF is loading up entire trains with flashpassers every few times on some coasters. I wish SF would share flashpass numbers with us. What percentage of the parks customers use it? What percentage of flashpass users does each ride seat per day? Gonch, you don't seem to think that those numbers matter. If thay are as high as they seem, they matter to me.

Oh, I know they matter. But my guess is they're nowhere near as high as you seem to think. I'd place big money on it.

And the amount of rides matters, especially when the park is so clogged with people that there is a chance that you are only going to get to ride something once from open to close. If a park offers 10 coasters and is open for 10 hours the day that you visit, then you better hope and pray that each coaster line is less than an hour long.

So what about all the other rides? See, I see this a more proof that your opinion is not the typical one.

Flat rides, kiddie rides, shows, food, people watching. All of it matters to some degree and everyone will be different. You happen to be worried about riding coasters. That doesn't mean everyone is.

And that piggybacks onto another simple fact - Flash Pass is only available for a handful of rides on any given day.

The SFGAdv site lists 56 rides in the park. The Flash Pass page shows availability for 14 rides. That's only 25% of the park to begin with. (and to be honest, all 14 rides are not necessarily open to Flash Pass on any given day - look at my Q-bot photo again and you'll see only 13 were on that day)

And that's just rides. That doesn't include anything else - just rides.

Every train goes out with two rows of flashpassers on some SF coasters. That's 8 riders on Medusa, and leaves 24 riders left to ride from the real line. That's 25% useing flashpass, increasing MY wait time by 25%. If they are waiting for more than 1 ride at a time, then my wait time is increased even more than that, so yea, I think that maybe I could get a a few more rides in throughout my day if it wasn't for flashpass. At least 25% more...

Two things:

1. Your math is wrong.
2. I think your estimate is WAY high - you think 5000 people are using it on a busy day?

So even if we go with your estimate of 25% of the park using VQ, they're still only using it on 25% of the rides (less overall if you include all attractions and activities).

Even if every person using it doubles up as you suggest at your inflated 25% user rate you have a 25% increase on just 25% of the rides and nowhere else. (they'd be in the first line even without the Flash Pass, the artifical increase only comes to the second line)

Even in a worst case scenario using your own numbers, it becomes very near insignifcant levels in terms of an entire day at the park.

Over the course of an entire operating day I'd bet the average guest loses one ride, maybe two at the absolute worst - and that would only apply to guests who ride a high percentage of rides that accept Flash Pass.

Even still it all goes back to the initial point - why are we even arguing "if" anymore? The is no if anymore. It is. Which leads to this gem:

Rye.D.Ziner said:
Further proof today at SFGAdv that flashpass is floundering it's final breath...

Heh. So 8 years isn't enough. How long exactly do these systems have to exist and be successful before you finally accept it. Two more years? Four? Ten? At what point can I come back to this thread and call you wrong? How long does VQ have to thrive? How many parks have to implement some version of it? How many people have to buy it? When do you realize you're wrong? Even Lost Kause concedes that it's here to stay.


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Saturday, November 1, 2008 11:58 PM

Lord Gonchar said:


The SFGAdv site lists 56 rides in the park. The Flash Pass page shows availability for 14 rides. That's only 25% of the park to begin with. (and to be honest, all 14 rides are not necessarily open to Flash Pass on any given day - look at my Q-bot photo again and you'll see only 13 were on that day)

And that's just rides. That doesn't include anything else - just rides.

Of those 56, 27 are kiddie rides, I didn't count the water tower. Some removed rides like Flying Wave are still on the list. Others are closed for the season, Big Wheel, Rapids and the Log Flume. Then if you subtract Eruption, Go Karts, and Dare Devil Dive, which leaves 22 rides open this time of the year. The Big Wheel, Rapids and Log Flume are all Flashpass rides so that leaves 11 out of 22 non kiddie rides open with Flashpass. That seems like a high amount. I didn't count Tango or Blackbeard's as kiddie rides either so if you remove those 2, then it is 11 out of 20 rides with Flashpass.

LostKause said:
Every train goes out with two rows of flashpassers on some SF coasters. That's 8 riders on Medusa, and leaves 24 riders left to ride from the real line. That's 25% useing flashpass, increasing MY wait time by 25%. If they are waiting for more than 1 ride at a time, then my wait time is increased even more than that, so yea, I think that maybe I could get a a few more rides in throughout my day if it wasn't for flashpass. At least 25% more...

Medusa's Flashpass line merges at the station, there are no rows dedicated to Flashpass except on Scream Machine, Rolling Thunder and Skull Mountain. Of course that also means if you had 32 people come up the Flashpass entrance at once on a ride that merges, you could potentially have Flashpass users take a whole train.

Last edited by YoshiFan, Sunday, November 2, 2008 12:00 AM
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Sunday, November 2, 2008 12:07 AM

YF: Parking lot was only about 1/4 full around noon, but there was a steady stream of people coming as the night grew closer. My reaction was utter amazement and disgust, however the employee handing them out was reacting very ashamed to be peddling them at all.

My theory is that the price was raised because they we selling too many of them and wanted to test the waters how people would still buy them at the increased prices which would also help control the number of paying line cutters since even the waits on flashpass queues were starting to get too long - I've heard several people complaining at guest relations at the end of the day about waiting too long on fpass queues and they usually get some incentives from the park to come back, so the park was essentially acknowledging the value of these passes was dimishing by giving back something to the customer in return.

The ad handouts are probably an attempt to bring back up the flashpass sales at these higher prices to find that perfect balance sweet spot others have been referring to in this thread, without adjusting their printed materials for the price change this season again.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008 12:09 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

YoshiFan said:
Of those 56, 27 are kiddie rides...

So? That doesn't discount anything I posted.

Rye.D.Ziner said:
My theory is that the price was raised because they we selling too many of them...

And that's your definition of failure? It's starting to smell a little like troll in here.


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Sunday, November 2, 2008 12:40 AM
Vater's avatar

Rye.D.Ziner said:
The ad handouts are probably an attempt to bring back up the flashpass sales at these higher prices to find that perfect balance sweet spot

Dude, I just said the same exact thing...in rebuttal to your original statement, no less.

Last edited by Vater, Sunday, November 2, 2008 12:40 AM
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Sunday, November 2, 2008 12:57 AM

This topic has been brought up so many times about other parks that it deserves a good haiku closure:

Flash you Fastpass

Before it's gone

Like a Twicket

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Sunday, November 2, 2008 8:16 AM

Okay. It's time to put our money where our typed words are.

What's a reasonable time to see if the "experiment" of FlashPass will have succeeded for failed? Two years? Five? Let's establish the date, and then start placing bets: Pay-to-cut will/will not still be employed by SFGAdv after N years.


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Sunday, November 2, 2008 10:44 AM
a_hoffman50's avatar

As I read this thread, I kept thinking of how Gonch's arguments are glass half full, the others are glass half empty. Basically, they say the same thing, but from different perspectives.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008 11:53 AM
LostKause's avatar

So what about all the other rides?...

...You happen to be worried about riding coasters. That doesn't mean everyone is.

And that piggybacks onto another simple fact - Flash Pass is only available for a handful of rides on any given day.

With hour long lines, the people who DO want to ride coaster matters.


Two things:

1. Your math is wrong.
2. I think your estimate is WAY high - you think 5000 people are using it on a busy day?

So even if we go with your estimate of 25% of the park using VQ, they're still only using it on 25% of the rides (less overall if you include all attractions and activities).

It wasn't an estimate. it was a guess.

But I don't think my math would is wrong if Madusa's flashpass was run that way. 2 rows hold 8 people. 8 times 4 is 32. 8 is 25% of 32. I'm no mathmatician, but I think my numbers are correct.


I'd think that more of those people who are in line for one coaster are looking to ride the others as well. I guess that those people would want to ride every coaster in the park. You don't get flashpass unless you want to ride coasters.


(they'd be in the first line even without the Flash Pass, the artifical increase only comes to the second line)

Right. Overall, the park has an artificially increaded amount of guests waiting in line. This diminishes the value even on rides that don't use flashpass.

Even in a worst case scenario using your own numbers, it becomes very near insignifcant levels in terms of an entire day at the park.

Even if my perception is askewed, it seems that way, and many other see it the same way too. Even that diminishes the value.


Even still it all goes back to the initial point - why are we even arguing "if" anymore? The is no if anymore. It is. Which leads to this gem:

I'll argue "if" 'til the day I die. i still feel it is wrong for them to offer it. Blackmailing your guests is not customer friendly.


Rye.D.Ziner said:
Further proof today at SFGAdv that flashpass is floundering it's final breath...

Yes, it's probably here to stay. 'Sucks for those of us who see how it works and what it takes from the regular guest.


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Sunday, November 2, 2008 1:54 PM

Brian Noble said:
Okay. It's time to put our money where our typed words are.

What's a reasonable time to see if the "experiment" of FlashPass will have succeeded for failed? Two years? Five? Let's establish the date, and then start placing bets: Pay-to-cut will/will not still be employed by SFGAdv after N years.

Shouldn't that come after the "will Six Flags be around" and "will Six Flags Great Adventure be around" in N years bets?

I don't like the idea of Flashpass, Qbot, or whatever you call it, but I still think it will be around only because like P.T. Barnum said, "there's a sucker born every minute."

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Sunday, November 2, 2008 2:51 PM

Metaphysical question: if someone is satisfied with a purchase, even a purchase you would not have made, were they suckered, or are they just a satisfied customer?

Discuss.


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Sunday, November 2, 2008 3:05 PM

If a coaster enthusiast falls in a forest and there's nobody around to hear, does that mean Cedar Point is building a new woodie?


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Sunday, November 2, 2008 6:47 PM
matt.'s avatar

Brian Noble said:
Metaphysical question: if someone is satisfied with a purchase, even a purchase you would not have made, were they suckered, or are they just a satisfied customer?

This is a fine question, I just wouldn't reccomend asking it of people who have taken the time and money to have ridden 200, 300, 400+ roller coasters. :)

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Sunday, November 2, 2008 8:53 PM
Vater's avatar

I've ridden fewer than 200, am I qualified to answer? ;) Your point is taken, but I will say that the one time I purchased Fastpass was at SFGAdv on a weekday (if you bother to read the TR, you'll see that I mentioned how I used to feel about Flashpass), and I used it for El Toro and Kingda Ka, one ride each. I felt it was worth it, so call me a 'satisfied customer.' And I only rode 7 or 8 coasters--once each--the entire day.

Last edited by Vater, Sunday, November 2, 2008 8:57 PM
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