Platinum Flash Pass - New For 2010

Sunday, March 14, 2010 2:06 AM

While I may not agree with the idea and use of Flash Passes, I tolerated them as unless the park(s) did something stupid that impeded operations and lowered capacity (intentionally or unintentionally), they didn't necessarily affect the total capacity. The Platinum Passes, however, will negatively impact capacity. There is no debating that. They will negatively impact capacity and increase the wait times. When you actually decrease capacity just to sell something, that is crossing the line for me. The platinum flash passes fly right in the face of the operational goal of all parks: to push as many people through your attractions in a day as possible. While the "normal" Flash Passes may have increased the stand-by wait time, the overall capacity was not affected (in theory).

Has excellence in operations become that unimportant to parks?


Original BlueStreak64

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Sunday, March 14, 2010 2:28 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

maXairMike said:
The Platinum Passes, however, will negatively impact capacity. There is no debating that.

No, there is no debating that. It's flat out incorrect.

Any given ride still gives the same number of rides per day. Capacity isn't affected one bit.

The number of riders pulled from the stand-by queue will now be a marginally lower one than before - which was already marginally lower than before Flash Pass.

Has excellence in operations become that unimportant to parks?

I dunno. I think the goal is to offer guests things they want and are likely to buy. Which, in turn, makes them happy guests and generates revenues. This is another of those offerings.

I'd like to see them fill the hole that exists below the current general admission. For 1/2 the regular admission price, you get a Rusty Flash Pass that doubles your wait. That way people who can't afford the general admission ticket price can still enjoy the park (even if those "regular ticket price" jerks keep throwing their power around and buying general admission tickets)


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Sunday, March 14, 2010 4:19 AM
LostKause's avatar

I would be so against that "Rusty Flash pass" in so many ways, it makes me sick just thinking about it.

Now offer a "non rider admission" good for all the shows and non ride attractions, and I'd be all for it. That would actually be a great offering to the people who do not or can not ride.

(It wouldn't be a good idea for the Disney parks though, because practically anyone can ride most of the rides that they offer.)

(The quote feature is being buggy so...)

MaxAirMike said...

While the "normal" Flash Passes may have increased the stand-by wait time, the overall capacity was not affected (in theory).

END QUOTE


I pretty much agree with your post except for this part. A lot of rides were not initially designed to use the flash pass system. People with Q-Bots have to enter from the exit. Ride hosts wait until they are seated before opening the gates for the standby riders, which slows down the loading process, which cuts overall capacity.

Also, people are waiting in more than one line at a time, which doesn't necessary cut overall capacity, but it does affect those who don't have a Q-Bot the same way than if the capacity was lowered.

I also wish the parks would think about capacity, maybe the same way that Cedar Point does. To understand that the park that you are visiting is doing everything that they can to allow the maximum amount of rides for everyone who paid for admission to the park is noble, and very positive, imho. It's my kind of park! :)

I feel bad for the poor dude who is going to wait in line for a ride for an hour or two (partly because Lo-Q are taking payment to allow people to cut in line), only to have a platinum Q-Bot holder take their seat from the exit. Then when the poor dude thinks it finally his turn, the platinum Q-Bot holder gets to stay on and ride again.

...But the poor dude had the chance to bribe the park just like the platinum Q-Botter did. If he didn't have the extra $80 for a platinum bot, why did he even spend his last hundred or so going to the park in the first place. ...Stupid poor dude. It's pretty pathetic of him to want to go to the theme park so bad, that he spends all his money to get there and get in the gate, and he can't even afford an $80 Q-Bot. :p

Last edited by LostKause, Sunday, March 14, 2010 4:31 AM
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Sunday, March 14, 2010 9:25 AM

Poor poor dude, how is he going to pay his rent, get food and survive the next day when he spent his last money on themepark admission?

LK, your examples are so far fetched, it's almost funny


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Sunday, March 14, 2010 10:00 AM

Lord Gonchar said:


maXairMike said:
The Platinum Passes, however, will negatively impact capacity. There is no debating that.

No, there is no debating that. It's flat out incorrect.

Any given ride still gives the same number of rides per day. Capacity isn't affected one bit.

The number of riders pulled from the stand-by queue will now be a marginally lower one than before - which was already marginally lower than before Flash Pass.

C'mon Gonch, I would think you would know this. You can put through a finite maximum number of people in one hour. For this example let's say 1200pph. The pph number comes from the amount of people that each ride vehicle can carry multiplied by the number of vehicles again multiplied by the number of cycles run per hour (12 per vehicle, 2 vehicles, 50 cycles per hour) . That is 1200 that you are pulling from either standby or FP lines. A train can only seat 12 people. If you have just 2 Platinum FP users in each train each cycle, that is 100 seats total that are not available to load people into each hour (2*2*25) . I.E. your effective capacity is now 1100pph, because you are moving 100 less people through your line.

So while the ride's overall capacity in and of itself may not have changed, your operational capacity (i.e. the number of people that can be put through the line to ride per hour) has been lowered. Sorry I did not make it more clear that I was talking about throughput when I was using the word capacity. I figured that use of the word was implied in the context of my post.


Original BlueStreak64

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Sunday, March 14, 2010 10:41 AM

Wow..a Tom Lehrer reference! I'm starting to like this forum...

Excuse me while I do the Masochism Tango while Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.

Mike


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Sunday, March 14, 2010 12:27 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

maXairMike said:


C'mon Gonch, I would think you would know this.

What you descibed is not lowered capacity. 1200 people per hour still ride.

All that's changed is that the stand-by line is now not the only place that riders are loaded from. There's more than one line for any of the rides that use Flash Pass. In your example 92% of the riders (1100 or 1200 per hour) come from the stand-by line. The other 8% come from the Flash Pass line.

That's not reduced capacity. 1200 still move from the lines to the ride each hour. The stand-by line moves 8% slower than without Flash Pass, but that lost throughput is offset by the Flash Pass line.

And it also means that a 60 minute wait in the stand-by line is now 65 minutes. Hardly a day-ruining thing.


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Sunday, March 14, 2010 2:10 PM

No, you aren't getting my point. Rides can pull a certain number of people through the line in one hour. These passes reduce the number of people that can be pulled through both the Flash Pass AND Stand-by line. I'm not just talking about stand-by. While the ride may technically still give 1200 rides, 100 of those were rides that were not pulled through the line, only 1100 were. So the throughput (or operational capacity) falls by 100 per hour. Flash Pass people aren't magically getting onto the ride in a seat already occupied by a Platinum rider, so it isn't just the stand-by line being affected. No one else can ride in a seat that is already occupied, so that is 100 less people that cannot in any way experience that ride in that hour.

I don't care about how much it increases the wait time, that doesn't matter. What I care about is that they are materially and intentionally lowering the operational throughput of the rides that will make use of the platinum Flash Pass.


Original BlueStreak64

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Sunday, March 14, 2010 2:49 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

It's no different than someone getting a ride and getting back in line and getting a second ride within that hour. One person filled two of those 1200 seats.

1200 riders per hour doesn't mean 1200 different people per hour under any circumstances.


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Sunday, March 14, 2010 3:17 PM
rollergator's avatar

The assumption that capacity is unchanged by having several entry points seems a stetch to me in any park I've attended save for the *possible* exception of Disney. For an extremely well designed, implemented and operated system, capacity can remain unchanged. Rarely is that the case in the real world, in large part because parks haven't really figured out that they need to STOP using ride exit platforms as merge points.

Thinking back, for example, to DV at SFoG (which is now headed to Mirabilandia) - the capacity of that ride was about halved. And that's a park I *really* like...


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Sunday, March 14, 2010 3:28 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, but now you're muddying things up with an entirely different issue, Gator.

I'm sure some of the "retrofitted" rides take a hit of some varying degree, but I still say it's not enough to signifcantly affect the day.

Others designed with Flash Pass in mind (the way SFGAdv did Dark Knight comes to mind) work every bit as well as anything Disney does and doesn't affect the capacity in the way you're talking one bit.


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Sunday, March 14, 2010 4:35 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
It's no different than someone getting a ride and getting back in line and getting a second ride within that hour. One person filled two of those 1200 seats.

1200 riders per hour doesn't mean 1200 different people per hour under any circumstances.

Yes, but the ride can still pull 1200 people through the lines that way. With this, the ride can no longer pull 1200 people through the lines. That is what I'm getting at. Using the system, the ride cannot push 1200 people through the line. Simple as that, they lose however many seats are occupied by a platinum FP holder for another cycle, and cannot recover that lost capacity in any way.


Original BlueStreak64

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Sunday, March 14, 2010 5:28 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yes, the stand-by line doesn't move 1200 people. I get that. So what?

That's not lost capacity by any stretch of the definition. And even if we pretend it is I have to repeat myself and ask, so what? Instead of 1200 people from the line, it's 1100 from the line and 100 from elsewhere. You seem to be ignoring those other 100 riders. They still get put on the ride and moved through a queue, just not the big, stand-by queue out front of the ride.

They've changed how they load the ride - it's not from just one stand-by line anymore. It stands to reason less people will come from that stand-by line when there's other ways to board.


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Sunday, March 14, 2010 5:34 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

For the record, there is a difference between Bullies (who push and push in a show of intimidation/power, but could be poor as dirt), and exclusivity. I like paying for exclusivity, I don't like paying to have to physically push my way to the front of the line. :)


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Sunday, March 14, 2010 7:53 PM
LostKause's avatar

Techno, I'd rather pay for the privilege of bullying people to get to the front of the line. That sound like a better value to me. Maybe the parks will start offering that someday. :)

Seriously, it was a metaphor about how I see the world of flashpass.

Alexatucla said:
Poor poor dude, how is he going to pay his rent, get food and survive the next day when he spent his last money on themepark admission?

LK, your examples are so far fetched, it's almost funny

It wasn't supposed to be *almost* funny, Alexatucla. It was suppose to be entirely funny. That's why I added a tongue stickie-outie face to the end.

And as much as I dislike flashpass, or the entire idea of paying the park to allow you to cut in front of other people, I understand what Gonch is saying. Only a certain amount of rides can be given per hour, and that number isn't affected when the ride has a merge point that is not at the exit. If 1,200 rides are given in an hour, that number of rides given doesn't change when (non-exit) flashpass is implemented, even if a few of the riders get to ride twice in a row. The lines, both flashpass and standby, will move at a slower pace, but the 1,200 rides are still given, but not 1,200 different riders are given a ride. Capacity of a ride that uses flashpass can only be lowered if dispatch times are affected.

Redundant Lost Kause CoasterBuzz flashpass post below...

The fact that flashpass takes rides away from standby riders is what ticks me off about it. The long line problem is made worse when a park offers flashpass. If you added the overall capacity of all the rides at a park, it would be lower because most people are waiting in more than one line at a time. It's a solution for a problem that it makes worse so that it is more appealing.

EDIT - clarification, spelling, ect.

Additional edit

I'd like to move on and discuss a possible solution for flashpasses problems and how to make it better.

1. RFID chips in park tickets, which could be used to make standing in more than one line at a time unallowed.

2. No more exit merge points. If a ride can only be merged at the exit, take flashpass away from that ride, as it slows capacity.

3. Charge a more exclusive price for flashpass. I would suggest a starting price of $150 per person, and then go up from there.

3a. Lower the limit of flashpasses given out per day. I would suggest cutting the limit in half, or offer even less than half if possible.

I believe that Lo-Q and SF are putting priorities in the wrong place right now, and allowing themselves to abuse the product that they are offering. The four items above could be a nice start to putting the priority back to offer a great park experience to everyone.

Last edited by LostKause, Sunday, March 14, 2010 8:05 PM
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Sunday, March 14, 2010 8:03 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Depending on the implementation (do the Platinums have to go back around or can they just stay in their seat) I can see this having a pretty bad effect on perception from stand-by riders. Especially if it's a ride with only one train. I'd hate to be in line for V2, for example, and have to wait 2 full cycles for someone else when I was already at the air gate. I know it's not really a huge issue, but if they could spread that extra wait time over a larger group of stand-by-ers (especially by making the platinum go around the FP line again) that would a good way.

I also have an enormously hard time believing it won't affect dispatches per hour by making the platform a little more chaotic or even adding an additional load cycle (like almost every retrofitted ride) to the process.

And finally, does the platinum pass also cut the wait times like the gold pass? If not, it's not really a great deal.


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Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, March 14, 2010 8:10 PM
LostKause's avatar

Riders get to stay in their seats for their second ride, Andy. I would think that platinum would offer the same as gold, plus the added perks.

Keep in mind that not a lot of people will be purchasing this, as it is pretty pricey, but I'd hate to be the guy who had to wait at the airgates twice in a row.


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Sunday, March 14, 2010 9:28 PM

^You wont unless the ride is in one train operation (but then again this is SF we are talking about....)

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Sunday, March 14, 2010 10:04 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

ApolloAndy said:
And finally, does the platinum pass also cut the wait times like the gold pass? If not, it's not really a great deal.

Yes, by 90%. So now one would get two rides with a 6 minute wait on a 60 minute stand-by.


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Monday, March 15, 2010 12:18 AM

This is going to be awesome!

This will increase capacity because it will be easier for crews to dispatch trains quicker when some riders are already seated.

The double rides mean that the Platinum buyers will spend MORE time on a particular coaster, freeing up the other coasters in the park for standby riders.

Paying 3x or 4x the average discounted admission for 2x rides is great for the park, great for the Platinum holders, and great for standby guests (since it would financially translate into more bodies in coaster lines, food lines, show seats, etc. for a park to generate that kind of revenue).

Everybody wins!

And -- of course I'm being over the top about this -- but after seeing this argument play itself out way too many times here over the years, it's where I'm choosing to play it this time.

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