Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2002 7:22 AM | Contributed by Xander
The Lo-Q ride reservation system, which was tested at Six Flags over Georgia in 2001, is coming to Six Flags over Texas in 2002. The system involves small pager-like devices to indicate when your time is for a particular ride.
I'm getting tired of all these ways to avoid lines. I don't like lines, but these things just help the park by people spending money on stuff rather than waiting in line. Also, if no one has to wait in a line for a major coaster, then they will go and fill up the lines on other rides as well as the midways and food places. So now that clogs up a lot of other rides that wouldn't have been so crowded if the people waiting for a coaster ride were actually in the line for that coaster. As much as I dislike waiting, its always been a part of the experience. Its more gratifying to finally sit down and pull the restraint down after waiting a little.
I'm sure SFMM is on that list. The negative response to Fastlane has been overwelming at this park. I agree with you Zimm, SF just needs to learn to run their rides at full capacity consistantly. I read trip report after trip report with people shocked to find a coaster running with two trains! That should be the standard, not the exception. ----------------- "Conviction is a luxury for those who sit on the sidelines"-A Beautiful Mind(best film of 2001)
ALL queue management systems do one thing that is inherent to their nature. They "confound" the process of loading/unloading trains, making multiple "lines" enter one coaster train. Therefore, under IDEAL circumstances, the best we could hope for is a minimal impact on total throughput. That's the BEST we can hope for...since circumstances are rarely (if ever) ideal, these systems require a LOT of additional personnel to help manage the queues AND explain to angry guests why the get to wait "just another train or two". Since Disney (and to a lesser extent the other FL parks) hire LOTS of people to staff the park, the negative impact is minimized. But most parks WON'T hire all the additional people, and the poor ride-ops have to add "policing the fastlane" and "explaining the system" to their already busy day. The policy I saw at SFA of not allowing the FastLane seats to be filled caused numerous "incidents" between guests and ride-ops. Is THIS the kind of FUN day we bargained for at the park...I think NOT!!!
Then, we factor in people entering the exit ramp, which slows the unloading of trains...the extra "hand-holding" required of the "special" guests...the extra time required to deal with irate guests (who WERE happy until they lost their seats), and it suddenly becomes a lose-lose proposition. The BEST answer IMO is the simplest answer - get in line, wait your turn, ride the ride, and leave. Having several "classes" of guests just seems downright UN-American...
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This is the worst system they could think of. Standing in line for a roller coaster is half the fun to me. You get to meet people, get hyped and anticipated on what you're about to go on, and so on and so forth.
Question: Do you have to like buy the pagers or something...it kind of confuses me...
----------------- Rollercoasters are my life, I think about them more than I think about....wait, thats all I think about :)
I know a lot of people hate fast pass systems but this system seems a lot better than fastlane. The people still have to wait the same amount of time for the coaster as they would standing in line but instead of standing in line they can go and shop or ride another ride until its their time to ride the ride. Its seem a lot more fair than fastlane. The only problem I have with it is the expensive cost which I heard is around $15 a person. I don't know that for sure so if anyone has done it at SFOG please inform us of the cost. But atleast you get unlimited amount of uses with it unlike fastlane where its only 4 rides. ----------------- Mike Favorite Wood: Viper at SFGAM, Shivering Timbers Favorie Steel: Magnum and Raging Bull
The pagers are rented out. I personally think this is very hi-tech. I like it better than FastLane because it is different in that you do NOT get to skip the line in the same fashion. FastLane allowed guests to skip a line at their every whim, Lo-Q is good because guests go to the ride entrance and activate their 'virtual' spot in line. These guests MUST wait the required length of time before they ride, only they don't have to wait in the queue...they can wait in the midway and play games until their 'virtual' spot in line reaches the front, at which point they are notified they can enter the ride. They are waiting just as long--they aren't just walking up and skipping an entire line. Overall I think it is a VAST improvment over fastlane. If you want to wait in line and chit-chat you have that option. If you'd rather make more of your experience and have your place in line held 'virtually,' then get Lo-Q. You need to understand when they put people on from Lo-Q, they technically have waited the required time, and they aren't cutting in such a way like FastLane provided. Its like this: You can pay ($15/person/day someone mentioned) to have the option of having your spot held virtually so you can get more out of your park experience. Or, you can actually do the waiting yourself. I see this as being very close to fair, and just a matter of preference for each person. Parks need to make money to build your rides, remember. ;)
*** This post was edited by SFGRAMBoy20 on 1/30/2002. ***
I will reiterate a point that I've made in basically every fastpass topic.
Obvisouly you can't increase the total throughput of all your rides for a day. However, you can minimize the amount of wasted throughput of empty cars, empty seats at shows, etc.
Thus, for a park like Disney, where there're lots of empty seats at shows, or where there are lots of shops that don't have customers, it makes sense to allow people to "wait" for major rides and go shopping at the same time, or "wait" for a major ride and go see a show.
However, at a park like Six Flags where people are going to get a ride reservation (any kind Fastpass, Lo-Q etc.) and then go to another ride that already has a huge wait, all you're doing is creating a need for more staff and all kinds of other problems, and you're actually probably decreasing the throughput of your rides.
Ideally, Fastpass/Lo-Q etc. would be free, and when you are virtually in-line you could only make use of attractions/shops/restaurants that weren't already at capacity (i.e. have a long line). Then everybody (the parks and all the guests) is happier, because total capacity is the same, but guests have the opportunity to do some things they wouldn't have gotten to do, instead of spending that time in line AND (this is the most important part) regular line lengths won't be longer, because a guest can only be in line for one major attraction at a time.
Of course, implementing such a system is a whole other problem.
----------------- The legend lives!
*** This post was edited by ApolloAndy on 1/30/2002. ***
I never stated I thought it would increase capacity--that really isn't possible. The ride has a set capacity and that is how many rph the ride will have--end of story. That being said, it won't make anyone's wait in line longer that it would have been. Eliminate Lo-Q, and those people who were virtually waiting in line in front of you are now physically waiting in front of you. No difference there. I don't know why some parks had the policy of sending empty seats that were reserved for FastLane last year, but that isn't the policy of Lo-Q (see www.lo-q.com for specifics). There isn't specific rows allocated, but rather when someone's virtual place in line comes up, they ride the ride...in any row they chose/are assigned. I would assume the first and last rows would be exempt from lo-q because of the extra time guests need to wait to ride those rows.
I've said it a thousand times... you can't increase capacity of a park in any way other than to load your rides faster.
Queue management systems only succeed in the following ways: 1. They give the park something else to make a buck on. 2. They make everyone else wait longer while those who pay wait less.
However, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can ride any more than you could. Sure, you get people out of line to do other things, but that doesn't suddenly mean that your Wave Swinger and Scrambler (let alone other coasters) can give more rides. That's precisely the reason they make these pay-extra systems. If everyone could use them, you'd have people showing up to ride and wandering around with nothing to do in between.
----------------- Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com "As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"
Go to www.screamscape.com for a list of all the Six Flags parks to get the Lo Q system. I know that Six Flags Marine World, Six Flags Great America and Six Flags Great Adventure were on the list, but SFMM wasn't. ----------------- Six Flags Marine World..... Theme Parks taken to a whole new level.
I think thats pretty cool for people that can only stay at the park for like a few hours. They can get a lot done in a short period of time. But I do agree with Glen, it's rather fun to meet new people. ----------------- TAJ @ www.morefunonline.tv
As much as it was a pain when it first started, Fast Pass at Disney is the best system currently out there. It is free for all to use (or not to if that is their choice), and those who use it aren't put into a special car...they just join the normal line close to the boarding platform. Fastpass is free and availible all day until all of the time slots are filled up. Also the FastPass people are regulated so that not many extra show up per hour.
Pros and Cons:
+ Free, availible all day, regulated lines
- Some stations/queues not properly built for the system
+ One stop, 4 tickets to use any time
- Not free, very limited availibility, tickets can be used any time (often causing hour long FastLane waits on X)
+ Regulated return times
- Not free, limited availibility, limited seat selection for Lo Q users and those seats are unavailible to the public, small return window
While non of them are perfect, now that we've all grown used to how Fast Pass works it really is the best system since it is free for everyone. Disney however owns the patents on Fast Pass so all the other parks have to do something different. I think they should just drop it and have normal lines.
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