Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:32 AM
Since the search feature is not returing any results for me, I'll ask this question here.
I have now been to four different parks that use some sort of ride reservation system (SFA, USF, IOA, Epcot), though the one at SFA was the only one that I actually understood how it worked.
At SFA, you go into the main gift shop and receive these tickets with the times stamped on them. At your given time, you go up the exit and are ushered to a row blocked off from the rest of the riders and ONLY for the FASTLANE users. What is the procedure at any of the other parks, particularly those NOT in the SF chain. Just doing a little "comparison shopping" if you will.
--who doubts that he will use FASTLANE at SFA for any coaster besides Two-Face (maybe Batwing...)
Tuesday, May 29, 2001 12:44 PM
Express Pass at IOA is a joke.
If you have a 1 day ticket, you can get 1 Express pass at a time. If you have multi-day tickets, you can have 3 out at a time. If you stay in their hotels (Hard Rock), then your room key gets you FOTL (Front of the Line) access all the time.
You walk up to a machine (Kiosk), stand in line, swipe your card which has a magnetic strip on it. The machines say "Invalid Ticket - Please see attendant", then you try again and eventually it works. A human is there to help, but it's one human to 10 crowded broken machines.
Two times appear on the screen, the first time is usually now, the next is a couple hours later. You touch the screen and your ticket is printed.
Next, you swipe your daughters ticket, and different times appear. You're lucky if you can get two tickets at the same time so you and your kid can go together.
At the entrance to each ride are two lines. One for the GP, the other for Express Pass. A human takes your ticket and checks the time on it, then lets you pass. The Express line starts out with the regular line, then peals off into a different door that is very close to the loading station. At this point, you merge back into the regular line and give another guard your ticket. On some rides (Spiderman, Hulk) it's a different line that goes to the other side of the loading platform.
With an Express Pass, your wait is minutes or a walkon. It's nice when you have one.
Now, here comes the bad stuff. You can only have 3 passes out at any time, and they must expire before you can get more. The window for each ticket is usually about 1 hour. So if you go on a ride at the beginning of the window, your pass for that ride won't expire for another hour and you can't get any more tickets.
Here's the biggest problem. The machines sell out by noon, and stop working all together. At 11am, there are long lines at the machines with people trying to get tickets. The fast pass machines only work for the rides near them, meaning, you can't be on one side the park (DD) and get tickets for Hulk. You have to run to the ride, get your tickets, then go somewhere else.
Our passes worked, but I had to run back and forth between machines. We used them on Hulk, Spiderman, then Popeye. For each ride the regular line was 60 minutes and we walked on.
I would recommend that people use Express pass to get 3 tickets for afternoon rides between 2-5pm. Maybe that's what they intended, who knows.
I don't like the fact that Express Pass causes you to do more strategies to beat the crowds. Instead of just enjoying the park, you end up running to Kiosk machines and waiting, it's not fun.
Best tip, visit IOA in February when noone is there, or pool up your money and stay in their hotels to get FOTL.