Kings Island Fast Lane

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 1:40 AM
CoasterDemon's avatar

^There is a very large continuum between immoral and moral. And everyone can make a decision what they think is closer to either side; there are plenty of places in-between. Even the more immoral person in one set of eyes can do something 'good'.

Maybe not immoral, how about just not liking something? Or disagreeing with it?


Billy
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 6:20 AM

Yeah, I think that Platinum Pass Holders should be able to use this no charge. We are paying more as loyal customers and get nothing else at this park for it. Even if we get less that 10 shots, still nice to recognize the Platinum Holders.


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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 7:14 AM

So why is Cedar Point not doing this as well?

I am sure people would do it there for the money.

They have a really great lineup of rides they could include.


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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 8:42 AM
DaveStroem's avatar

Because they can test it out at KI. If it works there I would expect it to come to CP or even go park wide next year.


Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 12:34 PM

Spend $50 for front of the line access from Noon - 7pm?

Aren't those the hours of when EVERYONE is at the water park? :)


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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 1:06 PM

I think there are four big reasons why it's not at Cedar Point yet:

(1) I would think that Kings Island has a much larger season pass base than Cedar Point. I can't imagine that most season pass holders are going to pony up for this much (if at all). Therefore, as DaveStroem said, if it works with KI (and a smaller proportion of people going the daily ticket route) then I'd be pretty sure they'd try it elsewhere because they know it will likely be successful with parks that have higher daily ticket numbers like Cedar Point.

(2) Cedar Point's VIP tour is $375 per person. By way of comparison Kings Island's VIP tour is $249 per person. The only reason why most people decide to go on this tour is to bypass the lines. What Kings Island is essentially doing is announcing that not many people are doing their VIP tours because of the price, but that people like the idea of skipping lines so they're willing to work out a compromise. Cedar Point doesn't have too much difficulty selling out their tours or coming close to selling out. Offering a cheaper skip-the-line system they would forego the revenue from the VIP tours because very few folks would choose to go that route if a cheaper option exists.

(3) Cedar Point doesn't currently have the infrastructure in place in their ride lines to properly integrate the skip-the-line passers. You currently only have one option and that's to send them up the exit ramp (like you do with the VIP tour folks). That's obviously not ideal because you would need to hold the airgates each time you get someone with a wristband coming through, thus reducing capacity and adding to wait times. They would need to add a merge point to each ride queue that would accept the passes. I'm not saying they won't do it in the future but you don't have the means to effectively do it now.

(4) Cedar Point only has five rides that really generate long lines on a daily basis: Top Thrill Dragster, Millennium Force, Maverick, Raptor, and perhaps Maxair. Most of your passers would end up at these rides. That same argument also holds for most of your Six Flags parks, as people generally only queue for the bigger coasters. With the sheer volume of people who would get the passes at Cedar Point you'd have people with wristbands coming through those rides all the time and in good sized numbers slowing down the regular lines even more. On MF and Raptor (where lines move quickly) it'd be less noticeable, but on a ride like Maverick it'd make an already slow moving line that much worse.

IMO the $50 Kings Island price point is probably about right. Cedar Point would probably need to charge upwards of $100 for the same bit. Why not try a "based-on-the-day-and-time-of-year" price approach like the Busch and Universal folks do with their skip-the-line passes? This will definitely be a work in progress and they'll be a lot of eyes on this as this moves forward.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 1:49 PM
Jeff's avatar

I think Cedar Point has the means to do line skipping on every ride built since 2000, depending on where you think it's OK to have a merge point.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 2:08 PM

I see two major groups going for this -

1. The people who can only make it to the park on a busy day - maybe people who frequent this very forum and are planning that multi day coaster trip, and maybe the best day to visit KI is Saturday. They know that Saturday's at the park are ultra crowded and go for it.

2.The instant gratification types that value their time more than their money.

But - I submit there is a third group here. Season passholders I am a season passholder, and I am considering the program.

Here's why - I really like Firehwak, and Flight of Fear is great coaster. The problem is that you can have a day when nearly every other coaster in the park is a walk on or less than 15 minutes or so to ride: Firehawk will be at least 75 minutes wait,and that, as anybody who has waited in that line knows is a slow agonzing wait. Flight of Fear doesn't do much better, you can usually count on 45 minutes for this in the best of circumstances. This is to the point where now I am lucky if I get one ride a year on Firehawk, by going on an off season weekday, and sprinting there at 10AM. I just don't have the patience for that slow queue.

As far as the economics go, to me the cost of my Gold Pass is already a sunk cost, it was the day I bought it. No matter how many more times I go to the park (or don't go to the park), the (already paid) cost is the same. If I were to decide to give myself a day of coaster decadence the price of that would have to be considered on its own merits.

Also consider: KI with Internet Special or Kroger speical coupon: $36, Fast Lane "VIP" upgrade $50 = $86. WDW park $85 + $0 FastPass program = $85. Toss in the fact that parking is slightly cheaper at KI, and you have to ask yourself: are the two experiences comparable for similar money.

Back to me:

Yes, I am almost considering it just to get some quality time with Firehawk and Flight of Fear. Okay, if I really did get it, consider you get to the park at 10AM, you go right to Action Zone (picking up your wristband on the way), hit Invertigo at the "running of the bulls" to get that slow wait out of the way. That done, you can liesurely pick up Flight Deck, Congo Falls, then zip into Oktoberfest for Adventure Express, then duck next door for Racer. It should be around 11AM at this point so zip on back and get Vortex out of the way (if it's open), and if you feel like you need to Crypt. There you have all the major non-kiddieland, non VIP rides out of the way except Canyon before noon. Exiting Crypt also sets you up to say:

Ride Beast from 12:00-12:45, Backlot from 12:45-1:30, Windseeker from 1:30-2:00, Firehawk from 2:00-3:00, FOF from 3:00-4:00, then Delirum from 4:00-4:30, Drop Tower from 4:30-5:00, cross over Intenrational Street, Take a ride or two on Boo Blasters, then a ride or two on Race For your Life, finsih the session on Diamondback from 6:00-7:00 If you can get on each major ride at least 3-4 times, that's 30-40 rides for $50, on a busy Saturday, when the park is packed to the gills. Sounds kind of like setting your own ERT schedule, doesn't it

When the Diamondback greeter stops liking your armband, chill off with a nice relaxing wait for WWC (whose line should be going down since its getting later in the day), them maybe hit Rivertown Dining Hall . By which time its 9, and all you need are Flying Ace, Surf Dog, and Woodstock to finish all the major rides. And if you don't care to ride the kiddie coasters, you're done.

You can even adjust those times to better suit your priority. For example repeated spin rides may not be your thing, and how many Drop Tower rides do you really need - you could move those into the once maybe twice category, maybe put Windseeker there as well, and thats more time you can give to the rides that are just too painful to wait for otherwise. I'd be inclined to put Beast, and Backlot into the once maybe twice bin, so that really I am going to concentrate the vast majority of the time on Firehawk, Flight of Fear, Diamondback - say 90 minutes each. thats 270 minutes of your 420 plan minutes, leacvng 150 or 2.5 hours to split between the other 8 rides. 15 minutes each should get you each other ride twice, and that leaves .5 hours for travel time and restroom breaks. These are all just suggestions. We also know that there will be people who use the program to turn the park into a track meet. "Its between Cedar Point and Holiday World on the trip schedule, how quickly can I run in, get the credits, get out"

Note most of the rides chosen already have a secodnary entrance in place from Speed Lane's last incarnation: Drop Tower, Delirum, Backlot, Race for your Life, Boo Blasters - so implementing it on these rides will just need to have a greeter at the start of the alternate entrance, and a credential checker at the merge point. Diamonback is allegedly going to use the preexisitng single rider line as the alternate entrance, Firehawk has the ADA access path that goes right from the greeter to the backside station. Again little investment there. Next in difficulty is Flight of Fear, but there FastLane can either be implemented directly into the back of the loading area via the lose article storage room gate, or with a minor queue remod, through the chicken exit in the saucer. Windseeker needs one installed, and Beast ripped out its SpeedLane entrance when they reidid the queue a year or two ago. They could either put theings back, merge via the exit, or take the third option. Route them along that walkway under the loading station and have them merge in via the stairs that come up at the back of the load side platform. Low implementation cost, $50 a person, sounds like a gold mine for the park.


David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville
My Blog -> http://coasterville.blogspot.com

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 2:24 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

David, they are bringing the Fast Lane on Beast up the emergency exit stairs that are toward the back of the train on the load side.

So your estimating 40-50 rides in the 7 hours that the FL is good for. I would guess that a ride warrior with out a FL could only get 10 rides in. So those with a wristband would be like adding 4-5 extra guests in the park for every one that is sold. If they limit this at a thousand wristbands in a day that could significantly change the wait times for the rest.

Last edited by DaveStroem, Tuesday, July 19, 2011 2:27 PM

Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 2:50 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

You're assuming that everyone that gets this is going to power ride with the bracelet. Stop thinking like an enthusiast ;-).


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 3:00 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Stop trying to think like a GP. ;-)

If your paying extra for a wristband, then I would think that most people will be trying to get the most value out of it as possible.

They will want to do some amount of power riding. If there not interested in riding a lot, then why did they purchase this.


Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 3:04 PM

I do agree that most people will not power ride to the extent stated. I also think his point is very valid. If you have a choice between waiting (insert any amount of time here) for a ride that's not on the wristband or walking right on to any of the 10 attractions listed I'm pretty sure that most people are going to opt for the rides with no wait. People with the wristband will be very line (and wait)-averse during the time that they have it.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 3:06 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

DaveStroem said:
So your estimating 40-50 rides in the 7 hours that the FL is good for. I would guess that a ride warrior with out a FL could only get 10 rides in. So those with a wristband would be like adding 4-5 extra guests in the park for every one that is sold. If they limit this at a thousand wristbands in a day that could significantly change the wait times for the rest.

For those 7 hours, at least. :)

Although, I'd argue that every single one of your assumptions is high. (the number of people willing to buy, the number the park would sell and the number of rides the average person buying would get in that 7 hours)

But even if they aren't which do you think is more important to the park? The extra ~10% tacked onto your wait or the $50,000 per day generated by those 1000 wristbands?

Are you getting screwed as a non-purchaser. To a varying degree, perhaps. But the business approach has changed.

We used to have this discussion a lot in years past, but I think it's a conscious sacrifice to some degree to be ok with losing people off the bottom to make people on the top even happier. Face it - at the price of roughly 1.5 admissions (online price), they have to lose 1500 guests for every 1000 wristbands sold just to only break even on the upfront. That doesn't even consider the idea that the people who will pay $50 for this are probably more likely to spend more in the park too.

The downside to implimenting stuff like this just isn't there.

They will want to do some amount of power riding. If there not interested in riding a lot, then why did they purchase this.

Ahhh. Because of Dave's group #2:

"2.The instant gratification types that value their time more than their money."

That would be my family. I don't want to power ride. Maybe two laps tops. What I want out of it, is my time back. Spending an hour in a queue is the single biggest waste of life I can think of. There is NO ride worth an hour in a line to me. But almost any ride is worth a few bucks with no wait.

(I just posted along the line of explaining how it's not about the sheer number of rides to us a couple of days ago - right here)

I'd argue that the majority aren't power riding.


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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 3:38 PM
SFoGswim's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
What I want out of it, is my time back. Spending an hour in a queue is the single biggest waste of life I can think of. There is NO ride worth an hour in a line to me. But almost any ride is worth a few bucks with no wait.

This is exactly how I feel. My trip to Cedar Point at the end of last summer was soured by the sheer amount of time I spent waiting in line. If they'd had this type of system implemented at that point, I'd probably have paid upwards of $100 for it. Yes, it's seems a little pricey, but $100 is well worth it if it means the difference between enjoying my trip vs. not wanting to return (which is how I feel right now).

For everyone against these "premium" features, you're welcome: your prices are now lower. Maybe not immediately and maybe not by that much, but if the parks didn't get the revenue from here, they'd have to get it from somewhere else (higher gates, higher food, etc.). It's kind of like airlines charging for bags; I don't ever check a bag, so all it really means is that I'm paying less for the flight than I would have had to otherwise.


Welcome back, red train, how was your ride?!
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 4:06 PM

Am I one of the few who actually doesn't mind and expects to wait in line at places that have several thousand people there? I mean, there are some who would say I'm not the most patient person, but I'll hop in a 45-90min. line by myself without hesitation.


Original BlueStreak64

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 4:53 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I suppose it depends on the value proposition of the line length and what's at the end of it. ;)

3 hour line for as many gold bars as I can carry? Sure!

45 minutes for anything at Kings Island? Pass.


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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 4:54 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Yeah what Gonch and oG said. Dave, the value isn't in power riding, the value is in not waiting in line. Going back to what Travis said, there are going to be some families that do want to do as much in a park as possible. Not as many as he tends to think (and CF seems to think it'll be a max of 250 or less average families. They're still not going to power ride, they're going to likely ride more attractions overall.

Normal people don't go to parks to ride coasters 10 times in a row. That's not the main target of this product.

And anyone here saying that their familiy does this or that in an effort to prove a counter point needs to realize that you're already biased.


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 4:57 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

PS- oG, I'd almost argue that prices are lower NOW. Disney gives their fastpass away for free, but they charge double what most other parks charge for admission.


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Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 5:21 PM
Jeff's avatar

I've become completely line averse. I mean, it's the reason I went back to Royal Pacific at Universal despite having issues there (and had more on my last visit). I wanted that Express access.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011 5:41 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Correct. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's waiting in line. I'm willing to part with a couple of extra bucks to skip 7 hours of waiting in lines.

If I calculate my time, I realize that in 7 hours, I'm bringing home more that $50, as I'd bet most of us are, so, really it's not so much paying to skip the line, as it is buying back some of your time at a fraction of what it's worth. Make sense?


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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