Florida Busch parks raise admission by two dollars
Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2002 6:45 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Sea World Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will raise single-day admission by $2 starting today. The other Orlando-area parks have not made any announcement on admission increases, but in the past an increase at one park has acted like a license to increase at the other parks.
That's a great way to increase tourism in the area, is it not? I know that parks have to turn a profit to survive, but doesn't this seem like something that contradicts all of the recent news about attendance being down at Florida's theme parks? If you want more guests to enter the park (and thus spend money IN the park), I would think that the answer is to lower prices.
It seems contrary to what you'd expect in a recession, but it will probably have relatively little impact on destination parks such as those in Orlando. You are already spending so much by the time you travel there, pay for a hotel, and buy food that $2 per day is not going to have much impact.
Well, IOA has the AAA/ACE annual pass at $ 99 (parking included). I've already got my 2-year Busch pass, but it does seem kinda strange at the time of year when BGT is barren anyway...Of course, parking at BGT is also free with annual passes. ( Is SF ever gonna give away parking?...not likely, as it costs them SO much). And did I also mention the lack of upcharge attractions at SWF/BGT... ----------------- PoTP acolyte - remove fear to reply Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!
Well, I just got my flex tix in the mail yesterday. I am glad that I payed the old price and that I have 14 days to go to BGT, Seaword, Universal, IOA and some waterpark. It is wonderful to have got everything before they jacked the prices.
----------------- Bob Hansen
"Excuse me while I kick the sky!" firstname.lastname@example.org
I booked my flex ticket for my forthcoming trip last week - I'm glad I did now! If you went when the parks were crowded, I wouldn't have thought that well over $50 is value for money at all. ----------------- www.coaster-world.com News, Reviews, History and Records of the world's roller coasters!
Wow...$52.95? That makes me sick compared to the $34 that my homepark charges. I can't believe they are that in the hole...it looks like a great park...I can't belive they would have a lack of visitors, even if it is winter. Can someone explain to me what a flex ticket is? ----------------- Rollercoasters are my life, I think about them more than I think about....wait, thats all I think about :)
Gotta admit, I never have been on the Sky Tower at SWF. Generally, it's a stop on the IOA circuit, good for a few spins on Kraken, one ride on JTA, then I stop by for a beer (or two) at the Hospitality House. Can't believe they actually charge for THAT...basically, I have a problem with the way parks in general have abandoned the phrase "includes all rides, shows, and attractions", and make it a point NOT to go on upcharge stuff - but I DID get a free skycoaster at WA! ----------------- PoTP acolyte - remove fear to reply Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!
Glenn...The flex ticket is a 14 day ticket good at IOA,Universal,Busch Gardens,Sea World and Wet and Wild. You can go to each park as often as you want to for 14 days. You can also go to mulitple parks on the same day. I dont know how much they are now but they were $190 when I got mine last summer.There was also a flex ticket that didnt include Busch Gardens which was a little cheaper.
Most good amusement parks are worth a $50 entry fee. The only park that I thought wasn't worth its price, was Cedar Point. I paid $30 and only got to ride 8 rides the whole day. I got there when the park opened, and left just before the park closed! Now that they are adding Wicked Twister, that just gives them another reason to jack up their prices even more, and with more people coming, the lines will get even longer than they are now!!!
If there's any park that IS worth its admission price, it is CP! They have 68 rides and most of them are running at or near full capacity at all times. It is possible to get 8 rides in before 1 or 2 pm if you want. I went into the park around 9 pm sometimes and I could easily get 10 Magnum rides in by closing. You just have to plan your day a little bit. Not yet knowing how things will shake out with Wicked Twister this year, I maintain that a good way of doing things is to ride MF first and last. Get to the marina gate early, run with the bulls to MF and you'll be on within half an hour. Then hit Mantis and Iron Dragon. After that, go straight to the back of the park (since it won't be full yet) and hit Magnum, Gemini, and Mean Streak. By this time, things will be starting to fill up, so hit some of the smaller rides (flats, Corkscrew, etc). Eat around 2 or 3 when its hottest and most people are standing in hot lines. Come back and hit Raptor and Blue Streak in the late afternoon or early evening. Power Tower is also best to hit in the evening. After 8PM or so, you can get lots of rides in on Magnum in a short time. After 10pm or so, the same is true for Mantis. I always use this plan when I show people around the park. Sometimes it gets extremely busy, but they admit that I had a plan that allowed them to conquer a lot of rides in a short amount of time despite the crowds. If you casually stroll in and get in a 2 hour line for Raptor and then head to MF and wait another two hours, you are just not being smart. That's what Joe GP does and if you want to get more rides, you have to try to put yourself where the crowds aren't. If you only want to ride MF once, then you should do it last. Jump in line 2 minutes before closing and wait. Its not like you can do anything else since the park is closed. All guests in line when they close it off get to ride. That's what Joe GP does and if you want to get more rides, you have to try to put yourself where the crowds aren't.
As a side note (more on topic), I don't think that admission prices for amusement parks are that out of line when you consider prices for things like professional sporting events and movies. Sporting events cost just as much and you only get a couple hours of entertainment out of that. Movies also cost a lot since you are basically paying to sit in a seat and watch an oversize TV. Another thing to consider is that if you are smart, you don't pay full price for your admission. There are often times coupons or deals where you bring a soda can to get a discount. If you are visiting for two days, there is often a two day pass that will save you money.
<soap box>...just wondering about the comparison to sporting events...I know MF was pretty expensive and all, but A-Rod is earning a quarter of a BILLION dollars by playing baseball for what, eight years. Now, don't get me wrong, he's a GREAT baseball player, but we're talking insanity of epic proportions here. The owners cry so much from laughing (all the way to the bank) so hard their sides hurt - if they really lost that much money on their business ventures, how'd they acquire enough cash to buy a professional sports franchise in the first place? They make TONS o' cash, too, they are just a lot better at keeping it out of the media...and it all basically comes from TV and the advertisers, and that means consumers eventually...end rant </soap box>
Back on topic (you all know I have to tie up loose ends) the Florida parks know you're gonna pay, you are on VACATION. (Well, I'm not, but I'm lucky enough to be living here...;~). The visitors from overseas, which constitute a LARGE slice of their business, don't necessarily use dollars as their main curency, so it kinda doesn't really seem like :real money". You know kinda like they prefer tokens in a lot of places (or chips if you're into casino gaming) 'cause it all seems more than a little bit like play money...
----------------- PoTP acolyte - remove fear to reply Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!
If you take, Keynesian Economics it actually says that you should lower prices and allow more guests to arrive at the park, therefore stimulating payments within the park, to such properties as the diners, extra pay attractions etc. With a recession looming over Florida, I have to agree and increase in price, is the wrong thing to do.