I believe creative solutions to the ever growing attendance at amusement parks is essential. Systems like Fast Pass is are a great idea. Pick up a ticket and return to a shorter line a few hours later. Everyone has a chance to experience shorter lines at popular attractions without forking over another park expense, it spreads out the lines especially during peak hours. Parks profit from shorter lines by helping everyone have an opportunity for a better experience.
Fast Lane is basically a pay to cut in line expense, making lines that much longer for everyone else. Short lines don’t motivate the public to buy into a pay-to-cut expense, long lines do. This is one of those rare instances when a park can actually profit from guest discomfort. It also swings the door wide open for a class system based purely on dispensable income.
As long as fair and creative solutions like Fast Pass exist should parks be encouraged to offer pay-to-cut passes adding to guest expense and benefiting just a few, while negatively impacting everyone else? We say we hate it when someone cuts in front of us, how is a pay-to-cut service any different? *** Edited 5/27/2005 7:31:44 PM UTC by rc-madness***
In a nutshell, the freebies will be scaled back greatly. Now there'll be different tiers for onsite hotel guests where the better the resort you stay (the more you pay) the more options and FastPass freedom you have.
Not sure exactly when the new system gets implimented, but I'd expect it to roll out in the next year or two.
Recent coverage at both Screamscape and Jim Hill Media.
This is the future of virtual queue systems. It'll be pay to play like everything else. I'm not sure I really have a problem with it.
Also with QBot (the regular version), you wait the same time to ride said coaster. You can go get food or do something other than ride that coaster.
Ok we've had the debate as to how fair it is. But you paid for the service so what is the service you are getting for your money? You don't stand waiting while others do.
It all comes down to basic Economics class. How much are you willing to pay for an experience at said amusement park. If demand is there the park will supply it, or if there is a supply people will demand to use it. If they are willing to pay the cost at which it is offered
In an example like the one above at SFNE, where they're only running one train to begin with, that's a disservice and a poor value even to the guest just getting an every day admission or season pass. That's a load of crap.
Pay-to-cut programs don't always offer the exact experience someone who waited in line gets.
That's a great point. In addition, at parks like Disney or Universal the queue is often a highly themed experience in itself that sets up the story/ride. You're certainly missing part of the 'experience' if you bypass these lines.
RC: That would be an issue I would have with the park and how they operate the fast pass program cause I know SF America you have to ride in a set car if you use fast lane on their S:ROS.
I also believe SFGAdv uses the program well. High capacity coaster (S:UF [some will disagree on capacity], Nitro, and Medusa) you can file into the station and choose a row. On a lower capacity coaster you get middle of the train seats. A little research into the different ways the park runs their fast lane program might make it clearer as to if letting people sit anywhere is the norm or the exception to the rule. Maybe if you brought that up with Guest Relations they might be able to shed some light? Sometimes people who ask questions of the right people get things changed. *** Edited 5/27/2005 7:57:18 PM UTC by dragonoffrost*** *** Edited 5/27/2005 7:59:23 PM UTC by dragonoffrost***
It also swings the door wide open for a class system based purely on dispensable income.
Yeah, but this is kind of how the world works. I can drive a nicer car, live in a nicer house, eat better food, enjoy more extravagant vacations, have nice clothes, enjoy better material items or whatnot if I make more money.
At the core of things, I don't think people should be looked badly upon because they've been lucky enough to be in a financial situation to enjoy or particpate in a higher class of experiences.
I know some people argue that parks are just supplying a service that people are willing to pay for, but to me it seems that they are first taking that service from people who have already paid for it and are then reselling it. I know it is kind of a gray area, but it does not seem so gray when they run one train on a ride they sell jump in line passes for.
Six Flags manages to screw it all up, frustrating the users of the system and the guests waiting in the line. If they would plan out each ride with the system in mind it would work much better. Sometimes they walk up the exit, sometimes they have their own line, sometimes they merge with the real line. I have never seen it done well.
Especially in line for the Batman inverts, worst system ever.
How about they keep the program and increase capacity and service? Then they make more money all the way around.
These systems are here to stay. If anything, I'd imagine they'll become more intrusive to the park visitor who wants to just "play it by ear" and wander the park picking and choosing as they go along - particularly at the destination type parks.
Has anybody else considered that apart from the number of people in the park, there is, in fact, a limiting factor on how long the line for a ride will be? I haven't been able to get a hard number from a "good" source yet, but my estimation is that it's about 2,400 PPH. That's all. That's approximately the most people you can squeeze through a single turnstile in an hour. Why aren't rides and parks built with that simple fact in mind? The front gate is moving people at about ten times that rate, so why is the park constructed to funnel everybody to the same ride? Why are signature rides not built to operate at or near that kind of capacity? And why are parks not constructed to better balance the load?
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
...to me it seems that they are first taking that service from people who have already paid for it and are then reselling it.
Yes, yes, yes! Exactly!
I have been trying forever to find the words to express why I find pay-to-cut wrong. You have, in just a few words, said what I've been trying to say for a long time.
(fade in sad music...) Nothing hurts more inside then to see a whole trainload of people who can afford the pay-to-cut system leave the station when you have waited in line for hours. It hurts even more when you have spent your whole 2 weeks paycheck (and I DO work very hard) to get to visit the park and only got to ride a handful of coasters that day from open to close.
They seem happy when they leave the station, because they can afford to cut. When my turn finally arrives, I don't feel the same happiness they did. The excitment of the ride is overshadowed by the preocupation of belonging to the lower class at a place where I am supposed to have, and paid to have, a good time.
Am I exagerating? Sure, a little. But it does drive my point.
A POP park should be just that, POP. Not POP, and PTC if you can afford it.
If limited so much as it would not distract form the normal guest experience, maybe it's okay. but when it causes me to have a bad time at the expense of someone else haveing a good time, it's just not right.
-- alan "agree's that more people are dis-satisfied than satisfied by it -- glad that a lot of parks removed it, however" jacyszyn *** Edited 5/28/2005 6:03:48 AM UTC by SFDL_Dude***
Now if you do have a problem with this system, I say get over it. Its clear to me (even at 19 years old) that this is how life works. If I get upset when ever someone gets a little more by spending more money than me that I will be living in a world of hurt.
How is it fair that we can afford to go, but they can not? It isn't, but as Gonch so often likes to point out, that is the way the world works.
I don't have a problem with the system, my problem is parks not running the rides to capacity first, and then offering fastpass type things.
Case in point: My only exp. with Colossus at SFMM. They were running one train on one side, causing over an hour worth of lines. Then they let half of a train board with fastpass kids. Had they been running all four trains on both sides and I waited that long, for a couple people getting on with fastpass, I'd have no problem.
But that is, to me, like going to a concert, but the people in the front row, who paid more, being allowed to disrupt me from enjoying the same amount of concert.
I have no problems with it, when a park is doing their job.
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