Should Big Coasters Be Upcharges?

With all of this conversation about pay-to-cut systems going on, the next question is, how do you feel about making the big coasters (the ones with the long lines) upcharges instead. This could involve two options. One is to pay for individual rides on these coasters. The other is to buy a higher priced POP that includes these coasters. Knoebels uses such a system and I remember when Crystal Beach used it for Comet years ago.

One possibility of this using Cedar Point as an example might be:

Regular admission $35 -- This includes all rides except MF, TTD, Raptor, and Maverick. Premium admission --$50 includes all of these coasters. Individual rides on each of the designated coasters are $5 for those not buying the premium admission.

Arthur Bahl

Not even going to touch it. :)


crazy horse's avatar

You pop when you pay to get in the park.

what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

I agree with Crazy Horse here. If you are going to make it a $5 upcharge for the ride, why not raise the entrance fee by $5 per person and include the ride in the admission price. That does two things....first, it covers the cost of the previously stated upcharge for that particular attraction. Second, not every person walking through the gate is going to ride that particular ride, so you get their $5 to cover the cost of the ride and kinda bank it for the next attraction.
Old hat. Hardly a new idea. Been done for years.

Once upon a time, there was a general admission fee to a park and tickets for individual rides. Disney's Space Mountain was an 'E' ticket. A buggy ride down Main Street was an 'A' ticket. And then there were attractions rated somewhere in between.

Pay One Price (POP) got everybody to shell out for the rides, not just those who chose to climb aboard.

Move along, move along. Nothing to see here.


NOTE: Severe fecal impaction may render the above words highly debatable.

rollergator's avatar
LOL, Arthur....I do remember suggesting this when X grew lines of up to five hours (maybe longer). I got a mostly-negative response. I know, shocking... :)

Then we get the 20+page threads on the evils of VIPs and Qbots. So.... ;)

Honestly, the only reason a "regular coaster" should have to be an upcharge is if there's REALLY horrible capacity. Then the extra fee actually becomes a way to reduce DEMAND for the ride...

Eventually, as everything old DOES indeed become new again, we'll go all the way back to pay-per-ride... :)

*** Edited 3/29/2007 1:49:36 PM UTC by rollergator***

Which is why SkyCoasters and SCAD towers are always gonna be upcharge.

Unless, of course, you get the VIP season pass at my local CF park for $40 extra...


NOTE: Severe fecal impaction may render the above words highly debatable.

I was just throwing this idea out as a possible thing that some parks might try (actually, as I mentioned, one already does). I seriously doubt that CP will do anything along this line although Q-Bots might be in the park's future.

Where this might work is with a relatively small park that wants to add a hypercoaster, an inverted coaster or some other costly ride. This way they can draw in a new type of visitor without pricing out the current visitors who like the current pricing and offerings. *** Edited 3/29/2007 2:19:15 PM UTC by Arthur Bahl***

Arthur Bahl

Knoebels offes POP wristbands with and without the wood coaster option. Makes sense there but I wouldn't want to see it happen at a theme park. Enough is enough.
DawgByte II's avatar
I don't think it'll cut down queue times... that seems kinda dumb if you ask me.

If you're going to ride it anyway, then you will pay the additional fee that they'll be charging for the "POP". The queue lines would make little to no difference. I don't think there's too many people out there going:
"Hmm... all these rides are included in the price? Well hot diggity dog! I'm going to get in line for the biggest & best... even though I fear heights... and speed...".

Just my thought.

Plus it's really not POP if you're only including some rides!
Interesting things about POP. As far as I know, this is an old idea that George Tillyou introduced at his Steeplechase Park at Coney Island nearly a century ago. Back then he charged 25 cents for admission and included the attractions at no extra cost. Until the 1960s, however, almost all major parks stuck to the traditional pay-per-ride format.

Six Flags probably did more than anyone to popularize the POP pricing plan. When SFOT opened back in the 1960s, admission was $4.95 and that included the rides and shows. Other parks followed this plan such as SFOG, KI, CP, WOF, (SF)AW, and (SF)MM. Other smaller parks used POP as promotions on off-peak days to generate business.

Eventually the two major holdouts, Disney and Knotts, switched to this system. Many of the traditional parks such as DP and KW have also switched and almost all of those that didn't do offer it as an option.

What goes around comes around. The park chain that was responsible for making POP the usual way of doing business in amusement parks is now the chain that is promoting pay queue systems most aggressively. *** Edited 3/29/2007 3:12:36 PM UTC by Arthur Bahl***

Arthur Bahl

CoasterDiscern's avatar
If you enter Cedar Point on a saturday in July paying for a full day fee. Do you think it is possible to get on "every" roller coaster in that one day?

Ask not what you can do for a coaster, but what a coaster can do for you.
Why is it okay for Knoebels to do it, and not for other (bigger) parks? Just curious...


rollergator's avatar
^ Free parking and admission means Knoebels already has "virtually unlimited" options...

Just a thought...

Knoebels don't do it. You can actually go for free, Get free concerts ect and pay for what you ride. ACTUALLY THEY ARE MAKING IT CHEAPER FOR YOU BY GIVING YOU THE OPTION NOT TO RIDE THE COASTERS BUT EVERYTHING ELSE.
Also if all you want to do is to take a few rides on the coasters, just buy tickets and use them to ride. It costs $2 per ride for Phoenix and Flying Turns and $2.20 for Twister.

Arthur Bahl

coasterdude318 said:
Why is it okay for Knoebels to do it, and not for other (bigger) parks? Just curious...

I don't think anyone can argue that Knoebels operates in a market that is different than most. And let's not forget that admission to Knoebels is free- someone is free to go there and just sit around and do nothing while other people in the family ride everything.

First of all, I think different POP price plans at a theme park would confuse people. I can see it now... people arguing with the person running the line that they had no idea this particular coaster wasn't included in their admission. Second, is a theme park going to let someone get into the park paying half price when they can get them to pay full price? I doubt it.

CoasterDiscern's avatar
Ten rides X two minutes each = twenty minutes.

Fifty dollars to enter the park for the whole day. This is just how I see it.

I travel to Cedar Point, and spend the entire day ridding coasters. Mellenium line-up, TTD line up, Maverick line up, raptor, wicked twister, mantis, meanstreak. I think this list is going to take up the better part of my day on a busy saturday. I "DO NOT" get pleasure of visiting Cedar Point on a regular basis because of my Job and the distance. So when I do get the chance to visit, you can bet your left testicular body part thzat my time at the park is going towards coasters and nothing else. Now, ask me if there should be additional pricing in place for guests wanting to ride certain coasters.

Ask not what you can do for a coaster, but what a coaster can do for you.
I think they should include food in the price of admission to get all those who get off cheap by not buying food in the park.

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