Theme Park Rip-offs!

Sunday, April 22, 2001 2:08 AM
The Amusement park industry should be ashamed of itself for ripping off its guests.

Here's what I think the biggest rip-offs are in parks:

1) Car Park Fee - how can the likes of Disney justify charging $6 - $8 to park your car when they make so much money on admissions alone? Most parks in the UK have free car parking including Alton Towers.

2) Food - IOA is tops here, $6 for a burger! You could get a whole meal at Denny's for that (although you probably wouldn't want to!) We need more parks like Knoebel's (free soft drinks)

3) Florida Park Admission Charges - why are they at least $10 more than most other parks? Because Mickey Mouse is a greedy son of a beast.

4) On Ride Photo's - am I right in saying Cedar Point charges $9.99 an on-ride photo. I wonder how much they cost to produce - very little.

4) Locker charges - forcing you to put loose articles in lockers or not allow you to ride like on RR at SFMM is disgusting. They should be free like they are on some attractions at IOA.

5) Poncho's - at BPB they were charging £1 to buy a flimsy poncho to ride Valhalla. With the amount of people buying them, they must have been making £400 ($300) an hour on those alone.

6) Increasing the admission price before the new rides for the season open. Six Flags always do this.

Anyone think of anything else, or is it too depressing to think about?

What next - $1 for a park map, 25c to use the restroom. Maybe Jeff should have had a "Biggest Rip-off Park" award. Mine would go to Disney.

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May/June 2001 - 16 parks in 18 days!!!
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Sunday, April 22, 2001 5:49 AM
You've got some valid points - here's my thoughts...

1)This is not just Disney - most big parks charge $6-8 to park. I guess the idea is that parking lot maintenance/tram/labor stuff is separate from park costs/labor/etc. I don't think that's the way it works though. I don't know when/where parking fees started, but the only park that can actually somewhat justify it is Disney. After all, they offer you the chance to stay on property and take advantage of their free transportation via monorail/bus, therefore bypassing parking fees. At least they give you the option. We saved over $20 in parking fees at WDW by staying on property.

2)Food prices are high, but one can look anywhere in the entertainment industry and see this. Sports events, air shows, festivals, and theme parks all charge tons for food. It's because they know they have you trapped. You can't easily leave IOA, find a McDonalds, and get back to the park without a considerable amount of trouble.

3)Not sure on this. I will say, as much as it sucks, charging higher admission charges tends to keep out the rif-raf. I'm not saying any parks intentionally do this, but I think it's just common sense that this happens. Unfortunately, it also keeps out honest, hard-working poor folks. I think Florida prices are high partly because of the amount of parks in the region. If one park changes their prices, the other parks have to consider doing the same. Just like 4 gas stations at an intersection - prices become very important. Parks that are isolated tend to follow a more conservative pricing pattern. Another reason is, "because they can".

4)Once again - "because they can". And people are obviously paying these prices. So why change?

5)I completly agree - any park requiring "no loose articles" on coasters should provide free/refundable lockers. Otherwise, I see no problem in charging for lockers. Why should guests like me (who go out of our way and are inconvenienced because we don't carry sunblock, purses, drinks, etc) pay for the locker use of others (which would be included somewhere in our ticket price)?

6)Ponchos are a great profit maker at theme parks. If you didn't bring your own poncho, prepare to pay the price or get wet. If it rains like a typhoon, people are going to pay whatever it takes to get a poncho. Supply and demand.

7)This can be somewhat justified by taking into account the cost to the park of opening a new attraction. Many parks don't have enough cash laying around to plunk down $15 million for a new coaster. But raising ticket prices might make a difference. Other parks might just use the new ride as an excuse to raise ticket prices.

I don't agree with Disney being the "biggest rip-off park". At Disney, you're paying for quality that is arguably the finest in the world. So, high prices should be expected. Plus, at Disney, you're paying for the operation of a small city. I believe Disney pays for and maintains the miles of 4-lane freeways found on property, as well as fire departments, and some utilities. Maybe you should ask why Universal, SWO, and BGT charge prices close to WDW but only incur the costs associated with much smaller properties.

Theme parks are a commodity/luxury. I agree that prices are high, and I cringe at having to pay those prices. Just be glad you can afford it to begin with! A good portion of the world can't! Don't forget - theme parks are for-profit companies. They provide a service, at a cost. Their bottom line is to make money. My 2 cents! - epc0t



*** This post was edited by epc0t on 4/22/2001. ***


*** This post was edited by epc0t on 4/22/2001. *** *** This post was edited by epc0t on 4/22/2001. ***
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Sunday, April 22, 2001 8:37 AM

Grant said:
"The Amusement park industry should be ashamed of itself for ripping off its guests.

Here's what I think the biggest rip-offs are in parks:

1) Car Park Fee - how can the likes of Disney justify charging $6 - $8 to park your car when they make so much money on admissions alone? Most parks in the UK have free car parking including Alton Towers.

2) Food - IOA is tops here, $6 for a burger! You could get a whole meal at Denny's for that (although you probably wouldn't want to!) We need more parks like Knoebel's (free soft drinks)

3) Florida Park Admission Charges - why are they at least $10 more than most other parks? Because Mickey Mouse is a greedy son of a beast.

4) On Ride Photo's - am I right in saying Cedar Point charges $9.99 an on-ride photo. I wonder how much they cost to produce - very little.

4) Locker charges - forcing you to put loose articles in lockers or not allow you to ride like on RR at SFMM is disgusting. They should be free like they are on some attractions at IOA.

5) Poncho's - at BPB they were charging £1 to buy a flimsy poncho to ride Valhalla. With the amount of people buying them, they must have been making £400 ($300) an hour on those alone.

6) Increasing the admission price before the new rides for the season open. Six Flags always do this.

Anyone think of anything else, or is it too depressing to think about?

What next - $1 for a park map, 25c to use the restroom. Maybe Jeff should have had a "Biggest Rip-off Park" award. Mine would go to Disney.

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May/June 2001 - 16 parks in 18 days!!!"


9.50 for a meal at SFOG's Deejay's diner. Although it includes a specialty cup so it's a good deal. SFGAm has pretty cheap food when it comes to parks.

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Georgia Scorcher...OH yeah it's fire baby!!!
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Sunday, April 22, 2001 9:44 AM
kpjb's avatar Scorcher... you don't need to quote someone to reply to them. It just wastes space.

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I refuse to add a signature. Damn, too late.
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Sunday, April 22, 2001 10:43 AM
Those damn pictures they take when you enter the park. Thank God the purchase is an option!
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Oooooh, my freekin' head!!!
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Sunday, April 22, 2001 12:06 PM
When I went on RR they didn't make me put my extra stuff in a locker. A ride-op just placed it to the side and watched it for me.


Also, if you were in the amusement business wouldnt you jack up the prices. Higher prices=higher profit. People are going to go to Disney no matter what the price.
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Sunday, April 22, 2001 12:17 PM
Mamba - lucky you. I had to argue with them for 5 minutes before they'd let me leave my camera behind. I couldn't see the problem, you can do it on other rides, why should RR be any different?

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May/June 2001 - 16 parks in 18 days!!!
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Sunday, April 22, 2001 3:41 PM
On Wednesday, I watched numerous people try to lay things aside at Perilous Plunge, only to be told they would have to be carried on the ride -- which means they would get soaked. If that's the policy, lockers should be somewhere convenient to those in the queue lines (like at New York, New York) so you can make the decision literally at the last minute. After waiting in line, it's 'way too late to leave to run up the midway to find locker storage. Faced with the "carry and soak" policy, some guests opted not to ride, even after waiting a considerable amount of time in line.
- - - -
Marineland in Niagara Falls did not have a parking fee when I was there two years ago; I remember thinking they were missing a large amount of revenue by foregoing that one -- revenue that could have gone into "finishing" Dragon Mountain like the original design called for. Also, I have the cheapie season Sea World pass that gives me free park admission until December (and cost the same as a non-discounted one-day admission). I have to pay parking. It's how they make their money on letting me go back so often. I just see parking as one of those facts of life -- like four dollar Cokes.
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Sunday, April 22, 2001 3:49 PM

I think the water and soft-drink prices are an outrage, especially at Cedar Point. $2 for a damn bottle of pop. It's rediculous.

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I pledge defiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republicans, whom I can't stand, one nation, under smog, indespicable, with liberty for just us, not all.
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Sunday, April 22, 2001 5:17 PM
Actually, the On-Ride Photos at CP are $8.50
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Sunday, April 22, 2001 5:29 PM
A restuarunt right next to Six Flags over Texas charges $9 to park in a restuaraunt parking lot
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Sunday, April 22, 2001 8:46 PM

Grant said:
"6) Increasing the admission price before the new rides for the season open. Six Flags always do this."

Hate to tell you this, but you are wrong!! Six Flags Great America is getting 2 new rollercoasters for the 2001 season and they REDUCED admission prices $3.00. So, before you try and bash Six Flags about something, you should always check to make sure
you are right, because in this situation you are simply wrong!
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The Raging Bull #1!!
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Sunday, April 22, 2001 9:07 PM
About lockers, especially those involving wet rides, I think IOA is REALLY onto something with the first hour being free!

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- Peabody
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Monday, April 23, 2001 1:25 AM

SFGA_FAN said:
"Hate to tell you this, but you are wrong!! Six Flags Great America is getting 2 new rollercoasters for the 2001 season and they REDUCED admission prices $3.00. So, before you try and bash Six Flags about something, you should always check to make sure
you are right, because in this situation you are simply wrong!
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The Raging Bull #1!!"



I don't bash Six Flags Parks, I happen to like most of them very much. Do you expect me to check every single Six Flags park prices with last years, and what new rides they have? Besides, how many times over the last 20 years have Six Flags decreased there prices? I know they reduced admission for SFOG this year as well - it was a generalization.

SFMM increased it's price this year before any of the coasters opened. And they increased their price when they built Superman despite the fact it didn't open for ages.

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May/June 2001 - 16 parks in 18 days!!!
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Monday, April 23, 2001 2:45 AM
SFNE is a definate rip off. It's 8 bucks to park and and 37 to enter a park that isnt' loaded with attratctions

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sigh, SFNE goes "tiny" for 2001
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Monday, April 23, 2001 4:29 AM
Hey, beat them at their own game......

You can't do much about the parking fee, which is imo the BIGGEST rip off. Second biggest rip off is the price of drinks. If the food was great, it would be one story, but its normally nothing special and never worth the premium price.

But, pack you lunch, eat it at the car, it takes a little more effort but worth it. DON'T buy their souvenirs, photos, etc. And don't participate on the pay per play attractions. Go and ride and have a good time!

Here in Ohio, the Paramount Park was more reasonable than the Six Flags park for drinks and food, not much, but a slightly.

Now if we could just figure out a way to beat the parking fee......


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Monday, April 23, 2001 4:59 AM
Jeff, why don't you find a way to take off the Reply button? Or tell people not to use it all together?
I never reply to a message... I just scroll to the bottom and have a "take" talking to the entire community.

On park admissions, I use coupons, or buy multi day tickets. The price for MGM the last time I went was $48, and there's no way to get a coupon to Disney, they have none. So guess what? I'm not going anymore. Sure, it would be cool to ride Aerosmith's RRC and Twighlight Zone ToT, but for $48, it's too much. That's how you show them, you don't go. You could send e-mails to the companies, but they'll probably come back at you with the same arguments as above. The price is accepted by the majority of the people.

On parking, we had a thread telling how to beat it. Search the topics for the word parking. You park in hotels across the street. You can park at Disney's All Star Resorts and ride the bus for free, I did this once when I went to MGM alone to ride Aerosmith's RRC, which costed me $48.

I'm taking my daughter to Orlando this weekend. We bought the Florida Fun passes for BGT and SWF, and bought multi day tickets to IOA, we'll pack food in the car, and possible park across the street from IOA at the TGIFridays. We won't be visiting MGM. There are ways to save money and voice your opinion.
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Monday, April 23, 2001 5:02 AM
Car pool. Yeah, I know it isn't always possible.
Park at a large annonymous parking lot and walk into the park, again, not always possible.
For CP, plan to eat at one of the sit down restaurants. The parking fee is deducted from the bill if you keep the stub.

The big mystery to me are the arcades and the extra-fee attractions that are inside the gate. I'm not paying $20-$40 for the privelege of paying another $6 to scale a climbing wall or sitting in an arcade (attractions that are not all that hard to come by).

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Monday, April 23, 2001 6:04 AM
Jeff's avatar I look at it this way: I have season passes to the big three, Cedar Fair, Six Flags and Paramount. Not cheap, but I get my money's worth. As far as in-park spending goes, they charge what they charge. I'm on vacation at the parks, I'm not that interested in worrying about my finances.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Monday, April 23, 2001 6:32 AM
slithernoggin's avatar Parks charge so much because people pay so much. I hate paying $2.50 for a Coke, so I bring my own. (I can buy a 6-pack of bottles for $3... why pay almost that much for one?) Outside of buying Cedar Point or Kennywood french fries, I pack some snacks. If the prices seem outrageous, well, don't buy.

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Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
--Groucho Marx
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