Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2006 8:41 AM | Contributed by kpjb
Universal Orlando has eliminated its free ride reservation system and is going entirely to its "Express Plus" service, in which visitors can pay extra to cut lines all day, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
Read more from Amusement Business.
"With Express Plus, begun in 2003, visitors pay an extra fee (ranging from $15 to $50, depending on the season and package) for a pass that allows them to get into any of the Express lines, any time. Universal also has a similar deal for its hotel guests."
I wonder how much of the decision was to reduce staff workload. The Universal Express queue staff no longer have to verify return time-slots -- now either guests have it or not.
And staff will not have to maintain the outdoor kiosks anymore. I don't know how difficult these kiosks are to maintain, but my wife works for a bank where she has to call the techs to repair ATMs -- they break down a lot more than you would think. Like ATMs, the UE kiosks were basically a card reader, display, user interface and printer all connected to a CPU -- only the cash drums and deposit bins were different.
*** This post was edited by greatwhitenorth 2/14/2006 10:11:15 AM ***
Agreed about the on-site hotel guests, I seriously doubt they'd jeopardize THAT business over something this trivial in terms of operating costs...
As long as they keep the SR lines, I used them WAY more than UE...
Disney is the only one I can think of.
I can't see people getting only two rides a day with the old system, and I can't see it being any better with the new system.
People can now cut whichever line they choose, at any frequency. At least before the flow of traffic was controlled to a certain extent. It was convenient for those with tickets, and not too detrimental to those in the standard line.
...make no bones about it...we are coming full circle...it is only a matter of time before individual ride tickets become the "fair" way to maximize profits and control crowds. Universal's system is now just one big E-ticket add on for all the rides. It will not take them long to realize that Hulk, Mummy, and Spiderman are overloaded in the Express line while Twister is a walk-on from the regular line...Changes will be made to address the "premium" these larger attractions demand...
Only the return of individual tickets truly addresses this scenerio...no?
*** This post was edited by Jeffrey R Smith 2/14/2006 6:40:36 PM ***
Seems less fair to make guests be lucky than to offer it to all guests equally.
*** This post was edited by Lord Gonchar 2/14/2006 6:58:32 PM ***
1.) The parks aren't crowded enough to warrant it
2.) The parks are so freaking crowded that all the reservations are gone by noon.
I've never seen a day in between.
I think the only truly fair system is individual tickets for each ride!
P.S. If everybody who comes to the park pays for the right to skip...this reduces lines how?? At some point you have to limit the supply of "go to the front of the line passes" or you cannot offer the service you charge for! The people who arrive after the "go to the front of the line passes" are gone get a fair deal...how?
...please note I am far from the "fairness" is the most important crowd! I just debate that these pay systems are more fair. I do not think they are. At the same time...I have no problem with them!
What is more fair than first come first serve?
A system that makes said service or product available to all...
...like the pay systems.
And a system like FastPass has limitations such as the one-at-a-time rule where it comes down to dumb luck on what times you're assigned and when you'll be able to get more. On top of that it has equally unfair exploits - such as the one FastPass per ticket thing. I don't know how many times there were four of us in a party but only two wanted to (or were able to) ride a certain ride, so we doubled up essentially getting 2 for 1.
The pay system is fair in that there is no luck involved. You want to skirt the long waits, you buy into the system. Anyone can do it and no one has an advantage over anyone else.
If everybody who comes to the park pays for the right to skip...this reduces lines how?? At some point you have to limit the supply of "go to the front of the line passes" or you cannot offer the service you charge for!
I've pondered this myself and I think it comes back to the whole thing being self-regulating. Eveyone isn't going to buy into the system. In fact, I'd guess it's a very set percentage of guests that are willing to participate. The system fixes itself so to speak.
And no, that doesn't contradict the fairness thing because it's one's choice to participate vs wanting to but being denied due to timing.
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