Sydney Australia paper discusses Wiggles, SFGAdv, and its Wiggles World.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 4:18 PM
Mamoosh's avatar LOL Rob. He knew I was kidding :D
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007 5:46 PM
Well IMO both Wiggles world and Thomas town were a big hit this season at SFNE which saw an increase in attendance of 16%. You can attribute some of that to the great weather we had but with the absence of their main attraction(SROS) for about 10 weeks, i would say the park did really well in 07.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007 6:50 PM
^Six Flags in a few years? Well ask an middle class family about a day at the local SF park. I mean, it's probably cheaper to fly to Disney, stay in a hotel and go to the park.

I think Holidayworld is the best family park. I mean, come on, having to dish out mega bucks ever time your kid (or 2, 3, or 4 kids) is thirsty. And waiting in those awful lines. I think a group of us should work our way up in the chain and take it over. Holidayworld style. More fantasizing of course.

And yes guys, it takes me 2 hands to type on here ;)

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007 6:56 PM
Mamoosh's avatar Bragger! ;)
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007 6:58 PM
What!? I said to type! Come on, I know how to type Moosh!
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007 7:00 PM
Mamoosh's avatar lol
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 5:30 AM

Mamoosh said:
Kiddieland is *so* on my list of parks I want to visit. Perhaps a trip to Chicago is due next year? Wanna be my guide?

This is just a heads up, or warning so to speak. If you visit this park without kids, they have no prob letting you through the gate.

However, if you start snapping photos or video, please let security know you are doing this. I don't have personal experience with this as when I visited this park, it was with my daughter in her younger years. We don't visit now.

I have heard and read a few stories of enthusiasts and their buddies going to this park and snapping photos and vids. They were approached by security asking why they were doing this.

Basically, what I am saying is, they (security) are strict with possible pedophiles so let them know in advance that you are taking pics or shooting video because you are an enthuiast.

Don't let this make you think twice about visiting because it is a great traditional park. Just let security know your intentions when you visit.


My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 10:52 AM
Mamoosh's avatar I don't own a video cam and rarely take photos without friends (or myself) in them so I doubt that'll be a problem. Thanks for the heads-up about not bringing kids.
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:05 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

J7G3 said:
^Six Flags in a few years? Well ask an middle class family about a day at the local SF park. I mean, it's probably cheaper to fly to Disney, stay in a hotel and go to the park.

I understand you're exaggerating, but I think there's a 'high-end' amusement park market that's currently untapped. I believe enthusiasts often undereastimate the GP's ability and willingness to drop cash at the park.

Combine that with the fact that I believe parks are underpriced to begin with and assuming SF can deliver a good experience, I think they're poised to break through.


I mean, come on, having to dish out mega bucks ever time your kid (or 2, 3, or 4 kids) is thirsty. And waiting in those awful lines.

Two point on the drinks:

1. I got refills last year at SF parks for less than a buck each.

2. You're paying for drinks at HW in the inflated gate.

On the subject of lines - what do you think will happen once HW actually grows to the size of the SF parks? (and it will - eventually)

Until then buy a q-bot if it's a problem. Then again, I haven't had to wait more than 20 or 30 minutes for a ride at a SF park in more than two years...without the q-bot. I guess it's a matter of being lucky.


I think a group of us should work our way up in the chain and take it over.

Trust me, you don't want me running the park. :)


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:20 AM
I dunno Gonch, I think the "ultra-premium" theme park experience will only thrive in certain markets, hence the reason why Discovery Cove pretty much remains the only one of its kind. I think you have to find a market (like Orlando) that gets a lot of repeat visitors, a lot of visitors with money and a lot of visitors that are willing to drop the coin on something because it's different.

For example, my wife and I have been to Orlando about eight or nine times. Next year will be the first time we're going to Discovery Cove and we're going because we're looking for something new since we're familiar with everything else the area has to offer. I'm not Discovery Cove is something that first-, second- or even third-time visitors are going to do when there are so many other options that are inexpensive by comparison.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 11:46 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Yeah, I'd even give you that to a degree, Rob.

There are certain markets that would support the idea better than others - and either way the experience has to be there as well...and I'm not sure SF is there yet.

But still in a world where people pay $8 for ice cream at Cold Stone when DQ has it for $2 and people pay $6 for coffee at Starbucks when it can be had cheaper everywhere else (and I'm guilty) - I think it's largely an untapped market in the amusement industry.

Those lines for upcharge rides and things like Q-bot are there for a reason - people are willing to pay.

Yeah, it's the same discussion we've had countless times, but I think a park controlling crowds, lines and in turn, the overall experience via pricing could work. People are willing to pay way over the baseline or average price for an exceptional experience.

I can't think of another industry or product that doesn't offer a full array of price ranges. There's low-end, middle-end and high-end everything...except amusement parks. They all seem to cost $40 (give or take) to get into and offer roughly the same collection of rides, shows and whatnot.

There seems to be cheaper alternatives (FEC's, small local parks and such), but outside of the handful of destination parks, no one seems to be doing the high-end thing. And even then, the destination parks seem to offer all three levels of experience within their walls - I mean, I can do Disney on a tight budget, or spend anything up to the family savings in upgrades and heightening the experience.

I still think that with a little planning and under the right circumstances, an 'upscale' amusement park could break the bank.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 12:03 PM
rollergator's avatar I think the LINES are a bigger issue than people think, ESPECIALLY for those "select customers" who might be willing to pay more for a high-end experience. If I make say, $50-$100/hour at my job, spending 15-20 bucks on a few sodas might not annoy me TOO much....but waiting 20 minutes to do so WILL.

One of the BIG reasons I like paying "up front" for my drinks, a la HW or LC - I don't have to wait in line to get a drink. Saves me TIME. And vacation time is valuable time....

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 12:21 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar I'd agree with that to a degree as well. That's why Virtual Queue systems sell. People spending money shouldn't have to spend time as well. (and vice versa)

Right now most parks work on the 'spending time' approach. Pay a small price to get in and spend time waiting for rides and attractions. All I'm proposing is the inverse - pay a large price to get in and there's no need to spend time waiting for rides and attractions.

Right now many parks are struggling with capturing both ends of that scale. That's all these pay-to-use virtual queue systems are. They give the guest to ability to spend money and save time. If you don't buy into it, you've made the choice (admittedly the more traditional model) of saving money by spending time.

There are people who are willing to spend money to save time (just look at how many use VQ systems). There are lots of parks that let you spend time for little cost and parks that offer a little of both, but none really that offer the 'spend money, save time' model.

That's where someone needs to go with it. :)


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 2:04 PM
rollergator's avatar "Right now most parks work on the 'spending time' approach. Pay a small price to get in and spend time waiting for rides and attractions. All I'm proposing is the inverse - pay a large price to get in and there's no need to spend time waiting for rides and attractions."

Just looking at Wall Street's reaction to the SF one-day sale, I'd say you're onto something that the market is really looking for. It's something we've sorta been looking at over time in various ways....and a less-busy park IS probably the way to serve those customers that ARE most desireable from the accountant's perspective.

The idea whose time has come (and has BEEN around)....yet I'm still not seeing any other parks picking it up - IB and *ride sessions*.

And since we're here already.....Miracle Strip DID have that cool idea where a "pass" actually only bought DISCOUNTED admissions for the season....

Innovation, thinking outside the box, willingness to experiement and try new ideas...that's how you squeeze money out of a "mature" industry. ;)

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 2:09 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Innovation, thinking outside the box, willingness to experiement and try new ideas...that's how you squeeze money out of a "mature" industry.

Without a doubt.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 3:56 PM

Lord Gonchar said:


Yeah, it's the same discussion we've had countless times, but I think a park controlling crowds, lines and in turn, the overall experience via pricing could work. People are willing to pay way over the baseline or average price for an exceptional experience.


And I'll agree with that.

That's the reason why I can completely support the concept when it's disguised as Discovery Cove but not as a standard Six Flags or Cedar Fair park. DC was built from the ground up as a premium experience while regional theme parks are taking small steps in an attempt to pass themselves off as premium experiences when they're not.

I used to go to Great Adventure and spend $50 to get into the park. Now the same park is trying to sell me on the idea of a $200 ticket when there clearly isn't $150 in added value. Discovery Cove, on the other hand, has always charged about $250 for a ticket- it's expensive and premium but it's always been expensive and premium. I can deal with that. An ultra-expensive Six Flags park is a lot harder to sell.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 4:03 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Yeah, see, that's the change thing that I don't understand.

Assume two things:

1. The experience was underpriced to begin with.

2. The experience would change accordingly.

Then you're ok.

Actually you're ok with one or the other, but with both it's even more covered. :)

I just don't like the idea that something suddenly becomes a bad value because the price went up.

You like car analogies.

Just because I scored a Beemer for $5000 (for whatever reason, just play along) doesn't suddenly make it a bad value at $40,000. It's not as good as getting it for $5000, but given the fact that plenty of people pay $40,000 - it's a fair price for the product. They didn't have to add $35,000 in value, it was already there and the pricing was wrong.

I think the same thing applies to the big regionals. They're worth more than the $40 or $50 they are (and have been) asking.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 4:11 PM
But what's to say the experience was underpriced? Regional theme park prices have always remained rather close to one another so it's not like there was ever a "budget" theme park option. Location seems to have the biggest impact on theme park prices, which is why a park in the middle of New Jersey is more expensive than a park in the middle of Kentucky.

Take your car analogy (and I appreciate the nod to the way I usually do things, BTW)- the Beemer costing $5000 doesn't make the Beemer costing $40000 a bad car, but do you really think that if all luxury brands (BMW, M-B, Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, etc.) all sold cars for such low prices for such a long period of time, people would be willing to suddenly pay eight times more for them? Discovery Cove gets away with charging those prices because they allow you to swim with dolphins. Not a lot of other parks do that. Like I said, that park has been premium since Day One.

Also take into account the experience that's being advertised as premium. It's the same old park except you're skipping lines and getting better dining options included. It's not like Six Flags or Cedar Fair has a magic wand that turns a Hyundai Accent into a BMW 335i. All they've done was swapped logos and stuck a set of BMW rims on the little Hyundai.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 4:37 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

the Beemer costing $5000 doesn't make the Beemer costing $40000 a bad car, but do you really think that if all luxury brands (BMW, M-B, Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, etc.) all sold cars for such low prices for such a long period of time, people would be willing to suddenly pay eight times more for them?

That's a fair question and I don't really know. Maybe? Maybe not?

But one thing is for sure - if all of those brands sold for $5000 (or the equivalent of) for all of this time - none of them would probably exist anymore. They'd either go broke from offering more than they get in return or they'd be forced to reduce the quality of the product to match the price.

That's exactly what the big parks are facing. Even worse, they seem to be more ok with reducing the quality of the product than raising the pricing to levels that they should've been at - and in this case (unlike my lame analogy) we're not talking an 8x increase. Much less would set things straight.

That's the one thing a park like HW does exactly right. They're not compromising the experience to keep prices in check. They're raising their prices year after year in accordance with what they offer. What did we (I?) project a while back? Wasn't it that at the pace of the last 8-10 years that by 2015 it would cost more to visit HW than CP - or something crazy like that.

Why is that? Because HW is priced right and continues to adjust correctly and accordingly. Something the 'mature' parks haven't done.


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007 4:39 PM
rollergator's avatar ^Maybe the word "senile" would be more appropriate? :)
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