Queues - improving the guest experience.

Sunday, September 15, 2013 9:35 AM

I think this is all nonsense. First park that goes to the updated "pay per ride" system wins. The price should be directly related to demand in real time... One line...one experience...sliding price scale. Every person gets fair access while the park gets maximum profitability.

This new (old?) means of managing the park experience is superior from almost every (all?) angle.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013 5:57 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Well, except guest satisfaction which is sort of an important thing.


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Sunday, September 15, 2013 7:04 PM

Guest satisfaction for who? They have no problems pissing off the "stand-by" folks. People adapt...

I personally prefer the actual experience (not rides) at the typical carnival. It is much simpler... The key in terms of "guest experience" is to price all the rides so that the wait time is short (less than 20 minutes?). I surmise that such a system is a superior guest experience to anything being tried today.

I know some could not afford the cost for major rides (particularly at busy times). But not everyone can afford superior guest experience. My system is geared for those who want the BEST experience in the least amount of time...and are willing to pay for it.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013 9:27 PM

The problem with queues overall is nobody likes them. Hurry up and wait is not fun. And while one is inline, one is not buying things from the gift shop or doing other things that add to the bottom line. What I wish is that parks would pay a bit more attention to capacity when designing rides. Think Gemini at Cedar Point. With 6 trains, it hauled people in. But we don't build them like that anymore.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013 10:12 PM
bjames's avatar

Aamilj said:

First park that goes to the updated "pay per ride" system wins. The price should be directly related to demand in real time...

Umm yeah, I know that's the easier scenario to make money in RCT, but in the real world, peeps aren't willing to shell out six bucks for a two minute ride.

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Sunday, September 15, 2013 10:15 PM
kpjb's avatar

People in Coney Island and Las Vegas would prove that theory incorrect.

New York New York has arguably the biggest piece of crap coaster on the planet and people still shell out 10 bucks a pop to go on.


Hi

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Sunday, September 15, 2013 10:41 PM
sirloindude's avatar

Walt, to your point, I actually give Cedar Point a lot of credit for their capacity. Out of all those major coasters, most have three or more trains and three of the majors have separate load/unload stations. There's also the lockers on three of the majors that speed up the load/unload times drastically (though in the case of the two Intamins, I think that the split load/unload was the inspiration more so than faster load/unload times).

Of course, you then have some parks like KD with Volcano, KI with Firehawk, SFMM with Full Throttle and Green Lantern, etc., etc. I think the rides may be quite thrilling, but you get to a point size-wise as a park where you just can't add something like that without it being a colossal pain for which to wait.


13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

www.grapeadventuresphotography.com

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Sunday, September 15, 2013 10:43 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

bjames said:

Umm yeah, I know that's the easier scenario to make money in RCT, but in the real world, peeps aren't willing to shell out six bucks for a two minute ride.

kpjb said:

People in Coney Island and Las Vegas would prove that theory incorrect.

New York New York has arguably the biggest piece of crap coaster on the planet and people still shell out 10 bucks a pop to go on.

When I think high-cost PPR, I think most of the piers that use ticket systems. Some of those pier coasters cost $7 or $8 bucks to ride and they wish they were the Cyclone.


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Monday, September 16, 2013 10:09 AM

If people won't pay $6 to ride...then the price drops instantly. The market/demand will determine the price.

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Monday, September 16, 2013 10:20 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

kpjb said:

People in Coney Island and Las Vegas would prove that theory incorrect.

New York New York has arguably the biggest piece of crap coaster on the planet and people still shell out 10 bucks a pop to go on.

$14 now. Worst investment of my life.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Monday, September 16, 2013 10:40 AM
rollergator's avatar

^The Aleve afterwards was the best investment of your life?

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Monday, September 16, 2013 10:47 AM

I know it was high. I went a year ago and actually refused to ride because of the price. It is the only time I recall skipping a thrill ride for ANY reason. But God bless them if they can get $14 per ride.

I wold suggest that the superior system would be to dynamically price that coaster based upon demand... They had a decent line the day I was there...I bet they could have got $20/ride, reduced the wait time, improved the paying guest experience, and increased profitability.

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Monday, September 16, 2013 3:04 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Interestingly, we had people suggesting real-time, demand-based ride pricing over 8 years ago on these forums.

The concept is fabulously fun to think about, but likely equally difficult to implement well. The information and technology needed to adjust accurately and on the fly seems like this really couldn't happen anytime soon outside of maybe WDW.


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Monday, September 16, 2013 3:21 PM
Jeff's avatar

I think the bigger problem is the ROI on figuring it out. I mean, you would need the kind of volume that Disney does to even bother to have both measurable inputs (in terms of people) and significant financial outcome. It makes more sense (and it's cheaper) just to change pricing based on your history. So for example, bumping up admission costs on Saturdays in September and October at Cedar Point seems like a no-brainer. Find the sweet spot that thins the crowd but maintains revenue, and everyone wins.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, September 16, 2013 3:22 PM

I agree that perfect Disney/Universal implementation is probably some time off. But I could put a piece of duct tape every 50' and increase the price by a dollar. :-)

The big resistance is fear itself. Fear that such a model would fail. If it were to happen...it would probably start with limited up-charge rides then filter down to the coasters/etc.

It is difficult (not for me) for people to envision an amusement park experience where lines are relatively non-existent. It is a whole different way of looking at the park experience. I don't have a few billion dollars to test my vision. But IF I did...you would see an upscale park with an a la carte experience. Less people would probably walk through the gates on a daily basis, but those that did would get the experience of a lifetime.

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Monday, September 16, 2013 3:31 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

It is interesting to think about. I'm not sure, though, I'd want to go to an amusement park (or a restaurant, or a grocery store, or a clothing store, or wherever else one could imagine) without having some sense of the costs involved.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Monday, September 16, 2013 3:35 PM
sirloindude's avatar

I'm in agreement with Jeff's way of thinking. I'm generally opposed to turning something that has for ages been all-inclusive into an a la carté experience. I'm not saying that I totally agree with how parks are pricing themselves these days as I think they too often give away the gate, but I'm definitely not a fan of a pay-per-ride system at any major amusement park. I think the current setup of that being customary only at smaller parks where there isn't nearly as much to do or to justify a pay-one-price is just fine.


13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

www.grapeadventuresphotography.com

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Monday, September 16, 2013 3:49 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Large parks aren't looking to go Pay Per Ride, they're moving towards Pay Per Tier. That's all they need to do.


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Monday, September 16, 2013 4:10 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Aamilj said:

I agree that perfect Disney/Universal implementation is probably some time off. But I could put a piece of duct tape every 50' and increase the price by a dollar. :-)

And you'd end up with the most laughably inaccurate system ever created.

Seriously though, I get what you're saying - keep it simple. But the key to doing this (and having it work and pay off) would be to do it right.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, September 16, 2013 4:35 PM
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Monday, September 16, 2013 4:18 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Tekwardo said:

Large parks aren't looking to go Pay Per Ride, they're moving towards Pay Per Tier. That's all they need to do.

Yep.

And since we're playing 'fantasy park scenarios' - I seem to remember suggesting many moons ago multiple queues leading to the same attraction.

Let's imagine it as three entrance tiers - basic, upgraded, VIP. When it comes time to load the ride ~50% of the capacity is filled by people from the top tier (VIP), ~30% is filled by the middle tier (upgraded) and ~20% is filled by the basic folks. If at any time there are not enough guests in a line to fill the quota, it gets passed down to the next lowest tier.

No one cuts in front of anyone (it's three different lines), the higher tiered lines presumably move faster (as more people are taken) and you pay more for access to higher tiers (balancing the flow with pricing).

It's fun to think about.

The thing that all these suggestions/systems (all the way from the inital implementation of VQ at Disney 14 years ago to the wildest idea we throw out here) have in common is controlling the access to the available capacity. It's just different ways of doing it.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Monday, September 16, 2013 4:20 PM
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