Upcharge attractions, good or bad for parks?

Thursday, May 10, 2001 3:05 PM
While waiting in the line for Hypersonic XLC at PKD my friend said something joking to me that got me thinking:
"Hey, let's go on the skycoaster, oh wait, that costs extra." Then he pointed another direction "Hey, let's do the climbing wall...."
"Hey, let's do the Eurobungy..."
"Hey, let's ride the go-carts..."

More and more parks seem to be adding attractions that cost extra. After $40 admission at a park, I think it would be nice to see few less upcharge attractions. Do you think that these attractions are good or bad for parks and/or the patrons? I think they are fun, but whenever I'm at a park with someone that hasn't been there, they are always disappointed that such rides require extra money.
- Peabody
Thursday, May 10, 2001 3:51 PM
For the parks they're good, for the patrons willing to spend the money they're fun and good. Yeah, it's be better for us guests if the parks installed regular attractions in those plots that we could ride with no upcharge, but they're trying to maximize their profits after all.

Also, most of these attractions have such low capacity that if there wasn't some sort of filter (fee), the lines would be impossibly long.

In Houston, for example, I don't believe there's a better place than Six Flags to have a sky coaster. However, there's multiple go kart tracks around town and I really believe the one at Astroworld is a waste of precious land.
Thursday, May 10, 2001 4:01 PM
Hell yes there good for parks! They can charge more than half of park addmission and for the Sky coaster and get it no problem. I hate when park's get extra fee atrractions. I probibly won't ride it and I don't like to pay extra for a ride.
Thursday, May 10, 2001 4:20 PM
They're quick, they're cheap, and they can get a net-profit pretty quickly.

Fact is... I am not happy with it all that much, and don't like the prices they charge. I definately do believe they SHOULD charge some kind of extra charge. If they didn't... the sky coaster would have reservations backed up till October!!!
If they didn't, you'd be waiting for a ride on the Go-Karts for 2 hours (if you're lucky).
If they didn't charge for mini-golf, either the golf course would be very very sub-par (ie: CRAPPY), or it'd take you 3 years to complete an 18-hole course.

These are more extreme rides. You take a risk, you pay the price (literally). On Go-Karts, you control the karts at your own speed, driving your own car. It's not like something on a rail that the vehicle follows (see Tin Lizzies).
On Sky-Coaster, same sphiel... you are not 100% safe. The rope could snap, you could swing sideways and hit the supports, you control the action based on when you pull that rope to let you go and your weight helps with the momentum!
For the mini-golf, er... someone can whack that ball like they're on a par 5 pro PGA tour. That can smack you right in the eye and your vision is lost forever!!

A regular flat ride, on the other hand, is pre-programmed, and for the most part... you are either strapped in for the ride, or limited to what you can do.

Thursday, May 10, 2001 8:27 PM
As a Sky Fun 1 Sky Coaster Controller, Assistant Controller, Expediter, and Flight Suitor, I can tell you the Reason why Sky Coaster is an Up Charge Ride. Sky Coaster is an Up Charge ride due to it's Relatively low Capacity, up to six Flights in 15 Minutes, and cause Flyers must reserve a time to Fly. Flyers are also riding an extreme ride, in other words the attraction puts more control into the hands of the Flyer. Dawg Bite, the Flight Cables on Sky Coaster can each hold 9,800 lbs, as well as each of the Flight Caribeeners. I can guarantee you there is no chance of both of the Flight Cables breaking.
We Turn Dreams Into Reality - RidgeStone Amusement
Friday, May 11, 2001 4:40 AM
I almost think that a ride like Hypersonic will become an Upcharge attraction because of it's low capacity. It's right on the boarder line. Hopefully, they'll build a dual loading station and work out the bugs at the next park. If they charged like $20, and the wait time was only 30 minutes or I could reserve, I'd pay it. But then I'd only do it once and that would be it. They've already deployed it as a coaster and a big attraction, so the public would scream if another park added one as a pay ride.

But I hear what you're saying, and I don't do the extra attractions at parks. From the moment you walk thru the gate, you're bombarded with people trying to take your picture, the extra games, the food stands, the upcharge rides, it's a turn off. Sure, the parks love it, quick easy money, the parents eventually give in to their kids, or the men give in to their girlfriends. Especially kids who are about 10 years old, it seems the attractions are targeted at them. I have to tell my daughter that we're only going for the rides, no games, no extra stuff.
It's not going away, the parks love it.

I wish they'd get rid of all the people trying to take my picture at the gate. They look like guards about to attack.

Go on a cruise ship, and they do the same thing, try to take as much money from you as they can, which is why I don't go on them.
*** This post was edited by robvia on 5/11/2001. ***
Friday, May 11, 2001 11:04 AM
Extra charge attractions annoy me less when you can access them without paying the admission fee. In park extra fee attractions sack you two ways. Once with the extra fee and again with the time you spend on it and not experiencing the attractions you already paid for with admission.

Side note: Monday, May 7 at Cedar Point. I walked by the climbing wall sometime in the late morning. The fee for the wall was $5 handwritten on a piece of paper and taped onto the real sign. Later that afternoon, the paper was gone and the "regular" price of $6 was revealed. What was up with that?

everything's better with a banjo
Friday, May 11, 2001 11:59 AM
Maybe someone was short a buck?

Rollercoasters are the secret of life!

Friday, May 11, 2001 1:00 PM
Personally, I would rather see the bungee jump and edge climbing wall attractions at PKi turned into free flat rides. But if those attractions raise the necessary income to build a B&M or a good quality steel coaster then keep `em!

Paramount`s Kings Island-something big is coming for 2002, the park`s 30th anniversary!
Friday, May 11, 2001 3:28 PM
This, I think, is my age showing. I can't see paying $20 plus for a ride (Skycoaster). I am surprised that, after paying hefty $40+ admission fees, anyone else wants to, either. But they do. And they're lined up around the block to do it. So more power to them! Gotta pay for the new coasters . . .
Friday, May 11, 2001 5:02 PM
The reason I absolutely HATE why they are charging for the wall climbing is that there is no real goal...
Tell me... you pay 6 bucks for what? To climb to the top and hit a bell?

Where I live, we have a 2-floor sports store that lets you climb their wall for free (just make your reservation an hour ahead of time). We have a couple places where you pay 15 bucks to climb all day (sometimes buy one get one free admission)...

At the county fair each year, you pay a couple bucks to climb the wall...

At the amusement park (at least SFDL), you pay 6 bucks to climb the wall, ring the bell at the top, and get down... ba-da-bing ba-da-boom!
No prize.
No reward.
No time limit.

If you reach it in 45 seconds, you wasted 6 bucks in less than a minute.

I think that is an absolute waste of money. If there was a real incentive such as a prize (like at the county fair), I'd do it! Otherwise, it's the biggest rip-off upcharge "ride" there is!!
Friday, May 11, 2001 5:58 PM
One of the things that annoyed me this year when I walked into Carowinds was that the classic swings ride had been removed for some type of pay-per-experience zipline thing. The swings were extremely popular and one of the things I remember riding first in the park.

"I traded my soul for a ride on Millennium Force"

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