Universal and Busch go beyond queue management with paid perks

Posted Monday, July 8, 2002 5:15 AM | Contributed by CPLady

Universal and Busch parks have adopted programs that grant line-breaking privileges in exchange for extra cash. Though the parks won't release numbers, judging by the proliferation of new levels of privilege, the practice of paying to break in line is on the rise. A group of "smug bastards" can cut in front of you because they can afford it.

Read more from Slate.com.

Monday, July 8, 2002 5:33 AM

"Smug bastards..." :) I swear, it wasn't me who wrote that!

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"We used to hate people, now we just make fun of them. It's more effective that way." - KMFDM, "Dogma"

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Monday, July 8, 2002 5:42 AM
While "the practice of paying to break in line is on the rise", I wonder just how much this type of VIP treatment will catch on. The article is talking about some really big $, not just the $5 or $10 (or whatever) extra that some Fast Pass systems use.

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Face it, call ourselves what we want, but to the parks we are all "GP". *** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 7/8/2002. ***

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Monday, July 8, 2002 5:56 AM
Universal already has a free Fast Pass system.
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Monday, July 8, 2002 7:02 AM

Dang, And I thought that Fastlane Pass was irattating. I won't complain about it anymore.

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We are the Few,The Proud, The Coaster Enthusiest !!!

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Monday, July 8, 2002 7:07 AM
It's okay Jeff, who gives a damn? :)

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Why do they report power outages on TV? SANDWICH! Feel free to call me Mack. Or S00perd00perhyper.

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Monday, July 8, 2002 7:44 AM

$3K to line jump?! HA! I"ll stick with the room keys, lol.

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-Kyle Brylczyk
KoRn - Untouchables, June 11th, 2002

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Monday, July 8, 2002 8:23 AM
How much money would you pay for a pass on Millennium Force? Not saying Cedar Point will implement this system, it's just a thought.
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Monday, July 8, 2002 8:54 AM

So when do you think they'll start taking bids to line jump?

"Our next lot is a fine item. Labled position #3 front seat. We'll starting the bidding at $3.. I see three now asking $4.. four.. four... the gentellady in the back. The bid now stands at $10. Do I see ten? The lil' tike in the front row. Now asking $20. Twenty. Come on now folks this is the finest quality seat worth a measely twenty dollars for the privilage of sitting in it for a full one and a quarter minutes of guarenteed ride time folks." :D

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Monday, July 8, 2002 9:11 AM

...Or why not just consider the admission price to enter the park as a cover charge and charge what the market will bear for every seat. You could set up a quick pay system (like the gas stations use) and have the park goer charge up the card on entering the park. When you near the ride a screen will display the cost for a quick trip to the front of the line. By waving your card, you are charged the up charge and are admitted to the express line.

Will this all end in each rollercoaster car having first and second class lines? Or perhaps two platforms, one for loading the general public and one for those who will pay extra for no lines and unlimited rides?

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What have you gotten me into?

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Monday, July 8, 2002 9:34 AM

Mark my words, the time is coming soon when going to a theme park is going to be one of those luxuries reserved for only the wealthiest.....sort of like a trip to Tahiti, or the French Riviera.

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Monday, July 8, 2002 9:39 AM

This has been debated and discussed around here countless times and since it seems to be coming up again, I'll restate my point of view:

I don't see the problem.

These parks have been doing this for quite a while. Universal hotel guests use their room card for express line access too.

Why don't people complain about the "pay more, better experience" thing in other walks of life. Examples:

You pay $30 for a peanut heaven seat to your favorite musician's concert. Why did those people who paid $100 get front row seats? Because they paid for a better experience.

Your hotel room has just a simple bed, TV, and bathroom for $69. Why do others get a jacuzzi, refrigerator, balcony, extra space and more? Because they paid $199 for a better experience.

You paid $50 at Universal Studios and stand in line for an hour at a time. Why do others get to avoid this waiting time? Because they paid $130 for a better experience.

Seems pretty logical to me.

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www.coasterimage.com
Dorney Park visits in 2002: 13

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Monday, July 8, 2002 10:11 AM
once again...all you have to do is go out and buy a wheel-chair or make friends with someone who is already in a wheel-chair...
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Monday, July 8, 2002 10:57 AM

I should note that in general I don't have a problem with these "tour" packages.. hell if I had the money you bet I would do it! But I would like to see more of these parks install Virtual Queue systems that are free to ALL visitors who can then schedule times to visit attractions and avoid waiting in line. These systems are fair and don't impact on the people waiting in the real queue.

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Monday, July 8, 2002 11:00 AM

I'll repeat my opinion that I'm opposed to anything that creates mulitple classes of riders during regular park hours. I have no problem with ERT outside of regular park hours, and I have no problem with behind the scenes tours to areas that are not normal guest areas. I also have no problem with free reservation systems.

That said, I don't see the type of special tours discussed here as a major problems. At the prices listed here, bvery few prople are going to partake of these programs. How many people will take a tour that costs more that a week in Orlando?

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Monday, July 8, 2002 11:45 AM
Why does Universal need this when they already have a Fast Pass System.

Jeff- If you are going to call these people "smug bastards" that will pay more to go in front of the lines, might as well call me one of some of your fellow coasterbuzzers.

I love what money can get you :)

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"Duff Man Says... Ohhh Yeah!"
Current Favorite Coasters:
1)Raging Bull 2)Millennium Force 3)Medusa (SFMW) 4)Vertical Velocity (SFGAm) 5)Dueling Dragons (Ice)

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Monday, July 8, 2002 12:09 PM
What a waste of money! That goes for any of those line jumping systems! You should expect lines if you go to an amuesmnet/theme park. If you can't stand waiting in lines your a wimp! (that me puting it mildly!) Stay away from amuesment parks, go to rides with shorter lines or go durning the week.

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“If you give a enthusiast a footer.......He’ll want a coaster!!!"
*** This post was edited by Goku2216 on 7/8/2002. ***

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Monday, July 8, 2002 12:21 PM

Lord Gonchar, the problem is this......

When you pay hard-earned money to get into a park, you want to be able to ride as many rides as possible. You can't do that if someone else is constantly being bumped to the front of the line for their turn at the ride. It only makes those who pay normal gate to have to wait that much longer in line, and that cuts into the time they have for enjoying the rest of the park.

Your concert and hotel comparisons don't hold water, because those who pay extra for a closer seat, or nicer room, are not affecting the rest of the people at the concert, or hotel.

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Monday, July 8, 2002 12:52 PM
This VIP stuff is old news
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Monday, July 8, 2002 1:25 PM
I agree with RAD. this will cut into everyone's time that pays the gate price and waits in line. everyone that pays the gate price should get to ride and enjoy everything.
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