Major Chain Considering Free Parking and/or Free Drinks?

Thursday, May 13, 2010 1:27 PM

Anyone catch this on Screamscape?

Interesting.

Especially caught my attention as I just happened to be looking ahead for tickets and such to SFA and noticed they offer the option to pre-purchase souvenir cups with free refills all day.

You could take three people to SFA with drinks included for under $120. Add the $15 for parking and it's less than $45 a head to visit the park with drinks and parking included. That's getting dangerously close to the $38 HW charges for the same thing. (and if you consider SFA is in the DC area, not rural Indiana...)

Seems like more and more places we stop at have some kind of super drink deal like that in play.

Which leads me back to this Screamscape story being entirely reasonable. How long before a major chain just goes for it and ties that cost into the front end instead of adding it inside the gate? Is this potentially a trend for the 10's? Is the industry finally catching up to those handful of smaller parks that have been doing this for a while now?

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 1:55 PM

So long as I dont have to carry around a goofy, pain in the but cup around Im all for it. I hope its SF, because Im moving soon and it will be the only theme park within "day driving distance." That might be the thing that brings SF back into my good graces.

That said, I highly doubt CF is the chain most likely to do this. They have the fewest drink deals of any chain and did away with their unlimited drink wristbands last May.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:00 PM

I have hope that this will be coming to Kennywood soon. They do it at Lake Compounce.

The survey could have been from any of the parks, I could even see Disney doing this to add to their "value."

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:07 PM

As much as I'd like to see it at Six Flags, it doesn't seem likely to be them. They charge the highest parking prices and I think the highest drink prices in the industry at $15 - $25 for parking and $3.49 - $3.99 for soda.

I guess they would raise pass prices but it wouldn't be so bad since even if they raised the pass $50, it would still be a good deal since I paid $80 for the pass and $45 for parking, and if they charged $129 for a pass with parking and drinks I wouldn't hesitate to get it for a second, especially with 15% or 20% off with the Funatics discount.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:17 PM

YoshiFan said:
As much as I'd like to see it at Six Flags, it doesn't seem likely to be them. They charge the highest parking prices and I think the highest drink prices in the industry at $15 - $25 for parking and $3.49 - $3.99 for soda.

Yeah, but they also seem to offer the biggest opportunities for savings. Almost Disney-like in their approach that listed prices just serve to make the 'real' prices seem like a great bargain or value.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:30 PM

I didnt even consider Disney. Personally, it would seem like a better idea for them (and Universal while we are at it) to offer this as a perk for staying on property instead of giving it to everyone. Disney does not need to get people in the gate, they do that without trying, they want to get people into their hotels and stay longer then one day.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:38 PM

Disney certainly could be poised to be the first to offer an 'all-inclusive' vacation. They already do hotels, multiple ticket types, meal plans, add-ons and such.

An all-inclusive Disney vacation seems like a logical future step. Hell, they almost do it now if you pick all the right options.

However, I don't think they'd be asking simple questions like "Would you pay more for a ticket if it included parking?" that are mentioned as being in the survey.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:45 PM

Disney resorts include the option of purchasing refillable mug for the duration of your stay for $14.99, plus parking is free to resort guests. I'd almost consider a MYW package with dining an all-inclusive vacation wouldn't you? (Gonch, I guess you kind of said that in the post above)

Last edited by TerraCoaster, Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:46 PM
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Thursday, May 13, 2010 2:48 PM

The mug can only be used at the resort not the park. You can get a drink for free on the DDP but it costs a snack item.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 3:01 PM

If it wasn't for the dining plan with drinking a soda at every lunch and dinner and that you can only use those mugs at the resorts, I would have considered getting it on my last trip. It didn't seem worth it otherwise since it meant walking to the food court area each time I wanted a refill and it was cheaper and easier to just bring cans of soda from home (I guess that only works if you drive).

It probably wouldn't be that hard to implement at Disney especially if it was in limited areas since a few counter service places in the parks already are self serve with free refills.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 3:16 PM

Not to mention the waterparks where you can buy a mug and fill it on your own for free the rest of the day. Disney limits everyone using the fountain by having each mug have a bar code that activates the machine.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 3:57 PM

Epcot already has free sodas as long as you want some Beverly.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 5:24 PM

I think I've found the source of this rumor seeing how this was postedbefore Screamscape's update and is more detailed. I don't know if I buyit. Maybe someone else will run across this survey and take screenshots for us. I doubt Cedar Fair is behind it, I don't see them puttingup the money for this kind of research. Herscend maybe?

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 5:27 PM

I think they have been testing this concept at the electric umbrella at epcot.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 6:02 PM

Maybe I am alone on this, but what Gonch posted had me thinking. Sure, HW offers the free parking and softing drinks, but we all know it's included with admission. It's perceived value and it works.

Now with these corporate parks, if SF is actually providing these perks, and like Gonch said, it's only 7 bucks higher than HW, you can't argue that this same perk is offered. Sure, you have to do a little homework and research to get this deal, but it really is no different than the average once a year park goer showing up at the gate and paying full price instead of going online or finding discounts at grocery stores, restaurants, etc. to get through the gate.

Last edited by Chitown, Thursday, May 13, 2010 6:15 PM
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Thursday, May 13, 2010 6:10 PM

Also, Im pretty sure that Disney does not pay one cent for all their coke products (Coke is then allowed to say they are the "official drink of Walt Disney World and have their logo plastered over the cups.)

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 6:11 PM

Don't mean to rain on anyone's barbeque - and I guess that I'm in a tiny minority here - but this doesn't really do a thing for me. I rarely drink any form of soda, my choice of drinks in parks (as everywhere else) being water, orange juice, coffee and beer in that order. And my season passes include parking anyway.

So, meh :)

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 6:16 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Anyone catch this on Screamscape?

Interesting.

Especially caught my attention as I just happened to be looking ahead for tickets and such to SFA and noticed they offer the option to pre-purchase souvenir cups with free refills all day.

You could take three people to SFA with drinks included for under $120. Add the $15 for parking and it's less than $45 a head to visit the park with drinks and parking included. That's getting dangerously close to the $38 HW charges for the same thing. (and if you consider SFA is in the DC area, not rural Indiana...)

Seems like more and more places we stop at have some kind of super drink deal like that in play.

Which leads me back to this Screamscape story being entirely reasonable. How long before a major chain just goes for it and ties that cost into the front end instead of adding it inside the gate? Is this potentially a trend for the 10's? Is the industry finally catching up to those handful of smaller parks that have been doing this for a while now?

Considering SFA is in the DC area, not rural Indiana-- you mean for only $7 more a person, you can get a free shiv in the ribs?

Gonch, tickets for 3? Did you finally break down and trade one of your kids for a Q-bot? :)

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 6:19 PM

^At those prices, he had to give up 2 kids. :)

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Thursday, May 13, 2010 7:31 PM

I wonder how this would work since SF in particular's business model seems to be getting people through the gate with heavy discounts (and cheap season passes) and then nailing them in concessions.

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