Platinum Flash Pass - New For 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010 12:35 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Paris said:
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.

The worst part is that it shouldn't even be an argument. You can't even pass along info on a new option like this without someone making it one.


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Monday, March 15, 2010 1:15 AM
LostKause's avatar

It's not an argument with me. I don't like flashpass. New readers or casual people who just happen onto this page from the internet just might like to understand that not everyone is super-dee-duper excited about SF and other parks charging money to allow line cutting. That's all. :)


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Monday, March 15, 2010 7:27 AM

According to Larry Litton GM at SFNE the platinum flashpass will be a different color to distinguish it from the other ones and there will only be 100 available each day at SFNE.

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Monday, March 15, 2010 12:08 PM

gamerguy said:
According to Larry Litton GM at SFNE the platinum flashpass will be a different color to distinguish it from the other ones and there will only be 100 available each day at SFNE.

I wonder how that's going to fly at that park. Isn't everyone in the park already waiting for one ride (Bizarro) anyway? I'm not sure I'd want to be there when there's a sizeable wait and some people don't get up from their seats after the train comes back to the station.

Essentially what this means to me is that you're heading to a bigger Six Flags park that you need to (a) make sure that you don't go on busy days (which I don't usually anyway, but still), and that (b) if you are there on a busier day and you know it's likely that Platinum bots are being rented, make sure that you don't sit in the front or back seats of any of the more popular coasters, particularly in the middle of the day. If there was one, and only one, concession I'd love for Six Flags to make for regular guests would be for there to be some way to monitor how many devices were rented and where those devices were at in the park so that you could stay out of the lines where they're at.

Someone mentioned that the Platinum bot is getting closer to the VIP tour. Does anyone know if the Six Flags VIP tour allows re-rides right then and there? I know Cedar Fair's do not, and I don't know about Busch, so it would be interesting to get more comparisons.

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Monday, March 15, 2010 12:53 PM
kpjb's avatar

I don't know exact numbers, but with the size of SFNE, I imagine that a busy day that would warrant people renting all 100 platinum-bots would be over 20,000 attendance-wise. That's ½ of one percent of guests using the device. I just don't see it being that big of an issue.


Hi

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Monday, March 15, 2010 12:59 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Keep in mind you can put 1-to-6 people on a device, so that's anywhere from 100-600 actual guests using Platinum Flash Pass at any given time if they're all sold.


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Monday, March 15, 2010 1:06 PM

Gonch, will you please tell me how you come to the conclusion that even with 100 seats filled for that hour with riders who are not being pulled from the lines (I am not just talking about Stand-by, it affects the FP line as well), the ride is still pulling 1200 people through the line? Because you can't sit someone on top of another rider. You can only pull 1100 people through the lines, period. Once again, I am talking about Flash Pass and Stand-by lines, not just stand-by. If it helps...

Train A pulls into the station, two Platinum FP riders board, along with 10 other riders (from both stand-by and FP lines). Train B pulls into the station, and again 2 Platinum riders board, 10 others board. Train A comes back, 10 people unload, 2 remain in the train, 10 people from both lines board. Train B comes back, 10 unload, 10 load, 2 remain seated. Instead of pulling 48 people from both lines, the ride has now only pulled 44 people from the line. Repeat for the hour, and you end up with 100 less people being loaded from BOTH the FP and stand-by line. Let me repeat, this affects both the FP AND stand-by lines. I am not talking about just the stand-by. I don't care about the increase in wait times by the use of a "normal" FP, because it doesn't matter to me. This negatively impacts how many people the ride will pull from the lines in one hour.

And Paris, I wouldn't count on it helping dispatch intervals, at all. Personal experience tells me that.

Let me just add one other thing to clarify my position on this. I don't really care about the fact that Flash Passes increase the wait time for stand-by guests. That is a non-issue to me. My one and only problem with this new Platinum Flash Pass is what effects it has operationally. No matter the number crunching (i.e. how small), it still negatively impacts the overall throughput of guests, and it is being done intentionally by the parks. This flies in the face of both standards of operations that I have been trained in, and thus does not sit well with me. FastPass, "normal" Flash Passes, whatever option you can come up with, I don't have a problem with it as you are still theoretically pulling the same number of people through the line and therefore not intentionally negatively impacting your throughput.

Last edited by maXairMike, Monday, March 15, 2010 1:16 PM

Original BlueStreak64

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Monday, March 15, 2010 1:27 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

maXairMike said:
Instead of pulling 48 people from both lines, the ride has now only pulled 44 people from the line. Repeat for the hour, and you end up with 100 less people being loaded from BOTH the FP and stand-by line.

But those seats aren't empty. The person in them riding twice still counts as a rider both times. It's as if he got pulled from the line twice. No different than if he went around after his first ride and rode again.


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Monday, March 15, 2010 2:16 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

It's more of a perception thing I think. Flash Pass makes the standby line move slower and the perception of wait time is that the line is moving too slow.

Last edited by eightdotthree, Monday, March 15, 2010 2:17 PM
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Monday, March 15, 2010 2:25 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
But those seats aren't empty. The person in them riding twice still counts as a rider both times. It's as if he got pulled from the line twice. No different than if he went around after his first ride and rode again.

I bolded those words because you continually avoid what I am really saying. I don't care that it is as if the rider is being pulled from the line again. What matters is that he is not physically being pulled from the line twice. While the ride may technically still be giving 1200 rides, it is actually only taking 1100 out of the lines for that hour. Again, it is only moving 1100 bodies through the line. Not rides, bodies. It is lowering the real throughput of the ride, meaning less bodies moving through the turnstiles/lines. That is what I am hammering at. Yes, the ride is technically still giving 1200 rides. I understand that, but that doesn't matter. What matters is how many bodies the ride is actually pulling from the lines (again, both FP and stand-by). It CANNOT pull another body through to occupy a seat that is already filled.


Original BlueStreak64

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Monday, March 15, 2010 2:44 PM
rollergator's avatar

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

LOL, I was muddying things up with MY issue, Gonch...maximizing the efficiency of the VQing minimizes the b*tching, AND it moves operational capacity back up towards theoretical capacity... :)

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Monday, March 15, 2010 2:54 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

maXairMike said:
It CANNOT pull another body through to occupy a seat that is already filled.

I still wonder, so what? That applies to anyone in front of another person in line. If someone has the seat in front of you, you can't board. It doesn't matter how they got there. They're still a body in the seat. Using that logic, everyone in line is affecting the throughput of everyone behind them.

You're hung up on the procedure of the bodies coming from a physical line of some kind.

What matters is that he is not physically being pulled from the line twice.

Again, hung up on the old-skool procedure of having to physically pull a body from a line.

No, he's not being physically pulled from a line the second time. On that second ride it's happening virtually - hence the term Virtual Queue. That person technically occupied two spaces in the physical line to begin with. That's the point. That's how all of these Flash Passes work, not just the Platinum.

The rub for the Platinum is that there's no wait for your second virtual queue.

Would it make you feel better if there were a special "platinum queue" where platinum riders get off, walk in a small circle on the side of the platform and immediately reboard the ride where they were just sitting? Now they're being physically taken from another line - the "platinum queue" - one the the many lines that the rides using Flash Pass board riders from.

Load from the 'Platinum queue' first, then the Flash Pass queue, then the Stand-by queue. This is exactly what's happening now. Three lines - bodies coming from some combination of all three. We just don't go through the pageantry of having that Platinum rider physically stand up and sit back down for his no-wait ride as it obviously makes no difference and is quicker to just leave them stay there.


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Monday, March 15, 2010 3:17 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

I still wonder, so what? That applies to anyone in front of another person in line. If someone has the seat in front of you, you can't board. It doesn't matter how they got there. They're still a body in the seat. Using that logic, everyone in line is affecting the throughput of everyone behind them.

You're hung up on the procedure of the bodies coming from a physical line of some kind.

What matters is that he is not physically being pulled from the line twice.

Again, hung up on the old-skool procedure of having to physically pull a body from a line.

No, he's not being physically pulled from a line the second time. On that second ride it's happening virtually - hence the term Virtual Queue. That person technically occupied two spaces in the physical line to begin with. That's the point. That's how all of these Flash Passes work, not just the Platinum.

The rub for the Platinum is that there's no wait for your second virtual queue.

Would it make you feel better if there were a special "platinum queue" where platinum riders get off, walk in a small circle on the side of the platform and immediately reboard the ride where they were just sitting? Now they're being physically taken from another line - the "platinum queue" - one the the many lines that the rides using Flash Pass board riders from.

Load from the 'Platinum queue' first, then the Flash Pass queue, then the Stand-by queue. This is exactly what's happening now. Three lines - bodies coming from some combination of all three. We just don't go through the pageantry of having that Platinum rider physically stand up and sit back down for his no-wait ride as it obviously makes no difference and is quicker to just leave them stay there.

Nope, it would not make me feel better (you're circle on the platform thing), because quite frankly that is just an unnecessary snide remark (don't try to spin it). You are missing my entire point because you are fixated on the number of rides given, not the actual throughput of the ride. The same thing would apply if any number of people were virtual queuing. The ride can only carry 1100 people now. Take out the physical lines, completely remove them, it doesn't change anything. The ride can still only carry 1100 people if there are 50 people using the Platinum FP. Without it, the ride can carry 1200.

However, I'm sure you'll come up with another snide remark and a way to circle around what I'm saying. Obviously this is an "agree to disagree" situation, so I'm done. My opinion has been stated and thoroughly explained.

*Pardon my snappy tone, but the circle on the platform thing really rubbed me the wrong way on less sleep than I'd normally have.

Last edited by maXairMike, Monday, March 15, 2010 3:34 PM

Original BlueStreak64

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Monday, March 15, 2010 4:10 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

maXairMike said:
*Pardon my snappy tone, but the circle on the platform thing really rubbed me the wrong way on less sleep than I'd normally have.

No problem. It wasn't meant to be snide, it was meant to absurdly illustrate the idea of a physical line.

You are missing my entire point because you are fixated on the number of rides given, not the actual throughput of the ride.

No, you're missing the point because you're fixated on the number of different riders - which is not that same as overall throughput.

The ride can still only carry 1100 people if there are 50 people using the Platinum FP. Without it, the ride can carry 1200.

Qualify that as different people and I'll agree. The ride moves 1150 different people, but it moves a total of 1200 riders.

Which is no different than someone riding multiple times. If a ride gives 1200 rides in an hour and you ride twice in that time then only 1199 people got to ride in that time. If 50 of those people get back in line then only 1150 people got to ride (just like your example). But the ride still had 1200 riders.

That's where you're losing me. I don't understand what the issue is. The ride moves a certain amount of people per hour and it's moving that number - where they come from is entirely irrelevant. Yes, the stand-by line will move slightly slower with Flash Pass in play (doesn't matter if it's regular, gold or platinum - those people still slow down the stand-by line to some degree).

With a 60 minute line, I don't see the difference between someone using Platinum and getting two rides at once with a 6 minute wait or someone using gold twice and getting their two rides in a 30 minute wait or someone using regular reserving a 60 minute wait and then standing in line during that time and getting their two rides in 60 minutes.

In every case the person is taking up two of the spots within that hour.

Have you ever ridden a coaster muiltple times during the day? Say this coaster in your example is open for ten hours. It moves 12000 riders a day. But if you get in line 5 times during the day, it only moved 11995 people. But it still gave 12000 rides.

I don't understand why this is perceived as a problem in the first place and especially don't understand why it's being perceived as a problem exclusive to the Platinum Pass.


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Monday, March 15, 2010 5:44 PM

To answer this question:

Gary Dowdell said:

Someone mentioned that the Platinum bot is getting closer to the VIP tour. Does anyone know if the Six Flags VIP tour allows re-rides right then and there? I know Cedar Fair's do not, and I don't know about Busch, so it would be interesting to get more comparisons.

To be fair to all of our Guests, we do not allow immediate re-rides on our attractions. VIP Guests may be asked to wait a short period of time before experiencing the same ride a second time.

http://www.sixflags.com/national/Tickets/VIPTours.aspx


Brad

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Monday, March 15, 2010 5:49 PM
SFoGswim's avatar

To add to what Gonch is saying, you can even think about it in terms of a regular Flash Pass. If a person gets in the "virtual queue" and actual queue at the same time then, theoretically, they should get on the ride at the exact same time their Q-bot ride window is opening. Then, after participating in their actual-queue ride, they get right back on (after the in-station imaginary "circle" queue or not) using their virtual-queue ride. It's still one body and it's still what maXairMike is (in my opinion, incorrectly) referring to as a reduced capacity. He claims that this new, "lowered capacity" is specific to the Platinum Flash Pass and that Six Flags has just now crossed the line, but it's obviously not a new concept at all.


Welcome back, red train, how was your ride?!
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Monday, March 15, 2010 5:51 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

^^ Ha! So this trumps the VIP if the only thing you're concerned about is sheer number of rides.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, March 15, 2010 5:52 PM
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Monday, March 15, 2010 8:16 PM
LostKause's avatar

I understand what both of you are saying, and I think maxAirMikes definition of capacity is not the correct definition, and that's where the problem is coming from. I do agree with maxAirMike though, that pulling less "different" people from a line per hour is not a good thing, and it negatively affects the fun at a day at the amusement park for regular people. Double the rides makes it doubly worse, in my opinion.


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Monday, March 15, 2010 8:39 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

^^ except you have a 10% wait instead of a 0% wait. Although, I can't imagine a 10% wait ever being meaningful. 2 rides every 6 minutes when the line is an hour long? You could really abuse that if you wanted to.

I do also wonder a lot about seat selection. On SFNE's S:RoS, for instance (which I think has just about the perfect station), the FP merge point is at the mouth of the station. Does this mean that a platinum rider can wait in the front row queue (or back row queue) once and get two rides out of it? And can they scan their pass again while waiting in the front row queue?


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Monday, March 15, 2010 8:43 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I agree with Gonch on the capacity issue. From the park's perspective, they don't really care where the riders are coming from (which lines or whatever). As long as the ride is giving out its 1200 rides per hour, they're probably happy. The guest in stand-by might not be happy, but that's also nothing new at all. You take a tiny bit of dissatisfaction from the stand-by guests, wad it up in a big ball, and give it to the platinum guest who paid more as satisfaction.

The big problem for the park happens if someone decides to marathon the platinum pass. By the 15th time someone has ridden it, their satisfaction from the 16th ride is pretty darn small compared to the growing dissatisfaction of people in the standby line (diminishing returns and all that). Of course, one could argue that if someone wanted to ride it 16 times, they're probably getting a whole lot of satisfaction.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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