Lo-Q comes to Six Flags White Water using RFID wristbands

Posted Tuesday, July 5, 2011 10:26 AM | Contributed by Jason Hammond

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt of a press release. J]

Six Flags Atlanta Properties and Lo-Q plc have once again teamed up to introduce the newest technology in virtual queuing designed to shorten wait times for guests at the Southeast's largest water park, Six Flags White Water.

The virtual queuing system, aptly dubbed The FLASH Pass after the popular system used at Six Flags theme parks, utilizes a revolutionary new RFID wristband that is lightweight and waterproof. Guests can use The FLASH Pass wristband to reserve a "virtual" place in line at the park's most popular slides. When the reservation time arrives, guests enter via a separate entrance, avoiding the need to stand in line.

"Six Flags Over Georgia debuted the world's first theme park virtual queuing system ten years ago," said Melinda Ashcraft, Six Flags Atlanta Properties Park President. "It is certainly fitting that Six Flags White Water would be the world's first water park to feature this exciting new technology."

Read the entire press release on PR Newswire.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 10:51 AM

designed to shorten wait times for guests

That's laughable. It sounds like they are claiming that it somehow magically shortens lines? It in fact does completely the opposite.

I just don't see how this can work at a water park, where many of the "rides" are already such low capacity attractions to begin with. I have stood in line for an hour-and-a-half for a water slide before (at Dorney park). If this catches on, I'll be in line for two-and-a-half hours. People don't want to wait two-and-a-half hours, so they'll either not go on the slide, or pay up and make the problem even worse for everyone else.

It's a (supposed) solution that just makes the problem worse.

No fun.


...And there is my biyearly Flashpass rant. That's all you get. :)

Last edited by LostKause, Tuesday, July 5, 2011 1:11 PM
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 11:16 AM

I wonder what the separate entrance is? Did they build a 2nd set of stairs up to the top of the slide?

It would be a nightmare to try and squeeze past everyone currently in line.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 12:03 PM

No you probably just have to physically walk up the water slide ;)

Maybe they will divide the stairs into two separate queues, with a rope or something? I wouldn't want to be the person who has to cut in front of everyone waiting on the stairs by trying to squeeze by that's for sure!

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 12:35 PM

LostKause said:

designed to shorten wait times for guests

That's laughable. It sounds like they are claiming that it somehow magically shortens lines?

Perhaps it sounds that way to you. To me it sounds like it's designed to shorten wait times for guests...more specifically, to shorten wait times for guests who buy the passes.

It in face does completely the opposite.

In ass I disagree. :)

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 12:39 PM

I have stood in line for an hour-and-a-half for a water slide before (at Dorney park).

Why?

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 1:29 PM

Because the park was busy, and I don't live within a short drive to Dorney Park, and I really wanted to ride that particular water slide, and I didn't know when I would get back to the park next. I assume that on busy day, an hour-and-a-half long line is normal for a water slide.

I'm not one of these enthusiasts who have the privilege of going to a park once a week. I live too far away from any park to just drop by once a week. An amusement park visit is not a casual affair to me. That's why the longer lines these flashpass thingies create irritate me.

In a lot of cases, When I plan to go to a park that offers this kind of "service" (allowing you to ride over and over while everyone steps aside for your highness), I just plan on paying for flashpass too, because I am not going to allow anyone to cut in front of me when the lines are already too long. This make me bitter towards the whole thing. I would much rather everyone wait their turn than to feel like if I don't pay extra, I will get a worse experience than if the system didn't exist in the first place.

Don't get me wrong. Cutting in front of everyone else is awesome! Awesome for me. If you all knew how empathetic and unselfish of a person I am, you might understand my side of this better. Everyone wants a shorter wait. Allowing some people a shorter wait at the expense of the rest is not a good solution for this problem, more stuff to do (higher capacity within the park) is.


I usually don't edit my posts when a mistake is pointed out, Vater, but I feel too strongly about this topic, so I had to. Sorry. :)

I was wondering the same thing about the separate entrance, Jive2. I would assume that the steps that lead up to the slides would have to be split into two separate paths.

Last edited by LostKause, Tuesday, July 5, 2011 1:33 PM
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 2:10 PM

^But as a consumer you are acting in your own self-interest within your means of doing so. Six Flags and Lo-Q are happy that you do. I'm hard pressed to think of an entertainment venue that doesn't offer different levels of service and experience. Money makes the world go 'round.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 2:27 PM

I wonder if virtual queuing will ever be added to the list of prohibited subjects to start a thread on in the TOS. It's getting to be as tired, pointless, and uninteresting as 'favorite' threads.

Granted, this is a news item...

Last edited by Vater, Tuesday, July 5, 2011 2:28 PM
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 2:28 PM

Six Flags Over Georgia debuted the world's first theme park virtual queuing system ten years ago," said Melinda Ashcraft, Six Flags Atlanta Properties Park President.

Hasn't Fastpass been around since 1997 or 98ish?


Edit: Wikipedia says 1999.

Last edited by robotfactory, Tuesday, July 5, 2011 2:29 PM
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 2:35 PM

Vater said:
I wonder if virtual queuing will ever be added to the list of prohibited subjects to start a thread on in the TOS. It's getting to be as tired, pointless, and uninteresting as 'favorite' threads.

robotfactory said:
Hasn't Fastpass been around since 1997 or 98ish?

Edit: Wikipedia says 1999.

Exactly why I dont even bother anymore - it's done. Virtual queueing exists, will continue to exist and will continue to spread until it's as ubiquitous as pay-one-price admission is.

It's an added convenience for guests. It's a solid revenue stream for parks.

There's no debate any more, just complaining or cheering depending on your take on the subject.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 2:53 PM

I don't understand why there is a debate anyway. You either use it or you don't. There is no disadvantage.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011 4:00 PM

I finished debating a long time ago (and lost miserably, I might add). :)

It is a tired subject, for us anyways, but there may be new people here who may be interested in hearing my not-so-glamorized take on it. That's why I almost always just say a few words about it and then move on. I know for certain that someone missed the entire Flashpass "debate", and feels the way I feel about it. :)

Flashpass is a scam. ;)

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011 3:41 AM

LostKause said:

In a lot of cases, When I plan to go to a park that offers this kind of "service" (allowing you to ride over and over while everyone steps aside for your highness), I just plan on paying for flashpass too, because I am not going to allow anyone to cut in front of me when the lines are already too long.

You aren't alone, I feel the same way about this. Most parks that I have to travel for are a 1 day, 1 time trip for me, and unfortunately those trips are usually on weekends, so basically I have to add the cost of this system on top of the cost of a park ticket. Usually those costs are way too much for me, which is why I haven't been in a rush to visit many SF parks lately. Not that I can't afford it, but simply because the cost/benefit thing just isn't there for me. For reference, a day at Great Adventure with parking last year was a few bucks short of my CF Platinum Pass, which to me is absurd.

If you've got the money to shell out for the Flash Pass, or have the ability to visit the parks for multiple days or on slower days, more power to you.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011 11:57 PM

I don't have a problem with Flashpass in general but the way it is being used at White Water is horrible.

Screamscape had a report of the setup and for 1 slide tower with 3 body slides, 1 slide is now designated only for Flashpass so it's basically an upcharge slide now and when no Flashpass users were that, it was unused while the 2 non Flashpass slides had a longer line. I'd be angry if that was one of my favorite slides since it would mean no longer being able to use that slide unless the Flashpass was purchased every trip to the park. It was also mentioned on the low capacity slides, the standby lines barely moves.
http://screamscape.com/html/six_flags_over_georgia.htm

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Thursday, July 7, 2011 4:28 AM

To echo Yoshi a bit, I don't have a problem with the fastpass concept at all. On most decent capacity rides it's not much of an issue. I've been on both sides as a happy fastpass user and also a still happy, but waiting longer non-fastpass user in various parks.

With most waterpark rides being at such low capactiy, this will really test the threshold of what people will put up with. I don't see this translating well from theme park to waterpark but will be very interesting to see how it turns out. I've watched adults spend several minutes, with directions and assistance from staff, trying to figure out how to sit down in a tube. If I'd been waiting in a line for an hour and that person had a gold pass and jumped in front of me, that would be incredibly irritating.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011 10:39 AM

We can always "discuss" the various implementations of fast pass, even if we don't discuss the merit of the system as a whole.

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