VIP tours in demand at Southern California theme parks

Posted Friday, April 26, 2013 10:17 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Just as airlines charge extra for first-class seats, theme parks have learned that upgraded packages can be a big source of extra revenue from those few well-heeled visitors who want to be treated like VIPs. The tours offer the velvet-rope exclusivity that high rollers get at restaurants, nightclubs and hotels.

Read more from The LA Times.

Friday, April 26, 2013 10:55 AM

In before bitching... ;~P

Remember, this is the hospitality industry. Charge out the wazoo, but treat the VIPs like royalty.

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Friday, April 26, 2013 11:35 AM

If you don't do it all the time, some of these packages aren't that much more than a normal day with no season pass. Keep in mind, I don't have exact numbers, but this is more of a theoretical example:

Take two people who don't live in Florida and are vacationing at Universal Orlando. They are not savvy about discount tickets for Universal Studios, so they each pay $80, for a total of $160.

Then they want the Lo-Q system for all the rides. I don't know what it costs there, so I'll use Great Adventure's price of $124.00 for two people. We are up to $284.

Next, factor in that the two of them are going to want to stay in the park all day, so they will eat at least two meals in the park, costing anywhere from 13-30 dollars each meal (if they want to eat at Mythos, for example, probably closer to the $30 mark). Let's say our twosome eats one meal at a "normal" food stand and one meal at Mythos, and then they get a snack and a bottle of water each in between meals. Lunch x 2: about 24 bucks. Snacks $20. Dinner $60 and tip for a total of around $72 for dinner. That's another $116. Now they've already paid for a little over 400 of the 600 fee.

This is not even including the fact that they're going to see backstage stuff that not everyone sees, which would have some sort of cost at a concert venue, or there would be a cost for preferred seating on an airplane, both of which have been actually used as examples here before. Say you spend 50 bucks extra to get backstage passes to a concert (which would never happen, so my estimate is actually probably LOWER), now you're up to $500 and some change. Really, this is not way out there in terms of cost. I'd like to do it some day.

Keep in mind that I realize my example is for the Florida park, which the LA-based article does not mention as having such a service (imagine that), but I was going with a place I'm a little more familiar with. Really, if someone saved money for their vacation for just a little bit longer, they'd be able to cover this extra cost in very little time.

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Friday, April 26, 2013 4:09 PM

Cheaper to rent a wheelchair at Disneyland. ;)

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Friday, April 26, 2013 4:13 PM

No bitching here. I love the idea of VIP. I even won a VIP a few years ago from Kings Island, and it was fantastic. There is no question that I'll do it again at another park when I have the extra money.

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