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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark?

Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark?

beastmaster beastmaster Profile

Posted:
12/4/11 at
7:12:51 AM

As a sidebar to the Hershey discussion on another thread:

I got to thinking yesterday (hey, first time for everything, right?)..with HersheyPark opening their first hyper in SkyRush, and bracing for an invasion by a small but dauntless group of URCers sometime in 2012...doesn't it seem inevitable that they will roll out some form of pay-to-cut? Obviously the lines will be insanely long for SkyRush, but it won't be alone. Comet's and Great Bear's lines can be a bugaboo, as can Storm Runner and Fahrenheit, depending on crowds. Yeah, SkyRush will draw patrons from those attractions, but will also pull more people overall into the park.

What do you think. Will it happen? No chance? If so, what form do you think it will take? If it happens, I figure they'll use Kennywood's as a model. I don't think it will be a Flash Pass type of thing.

This is just speculation and I have no "inside information." It's just off the top of my head (hey, there's nothing else up there!)

Mike

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by sparky sparky Profile at 12/4/11 9:23:46 AM

My guess is that it is only time before Hersheypark gets some form of skip the line pass. While once limited to Disney Parks, enough of these systems now exist at regional parks that guests are familiar to the concept, and above all willing to drop the extra bucks to avoid a 40-60 minute wait for a 2 minute ride experience.

Then again, Hersheypark is an odd duck. Their parking charge of $8 has remained the same for at least the past 5 years. And this is organized parking with trams- much like WDW with attendants guiding guests as to where to park. Compare that with the $20 rubber glove treatment given at some other regional parks where it is a free-for-all to find a spot in a lot that oftentimes has Rhode Island-sized potholes, weeds growing through cracks, and spots that were last repainted in 1978.

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 12/4/11 10:14:21 AM

Compare that with the $20 rubber glove treatment given at
> some other regional parks where it is a free-for-all to
> find a spot in a lot that oftentimes has Rhode Island-sized
> potholes, weeds growing through cracks, and spots that were
> last repainted in 1978.
>
Thank, Sparky. Always nice to be given the opportunity to think about GAdv in the off=season!!!

Mike

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 12/4/11 11:42:36 AM

> Compare that with the $20 rubber glove treatment given at
> some other regional parks where it is a free-for-all to
> find a spot in a lot that oftentimes has Rhode Island-sized
> potholes, weeds growing through cracks, and spots that were
> last repainted in 1978.
> > Thank, Sparky. Always nice to be given the opportunity
> to think about GAdv in the off=season!!!

> Mike

Come on, give them a little credit. Those spots were last repainted in 1980. 8~)

Jen

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by drachen drachen Profile at 12/4/11 11:44:04 AM

> My guess is that it is only time before Hersheypark gets
> some form of skip the line pass. While once limited to
> Disney Parks, enough of these systems now exist at regional
> parks that guests are familiar to the concept, and above
> all willing to drop the extra bucks to avoid a 40-60 minute
> wait for a 2 minute ride experience.

I fully expect Hersheypark to have an upcharge line skipping program in the very near future. They've shown a pattern in recent years of catering to the wealthy, whether it's early entry for resort guests or expensive cabanas at the water park.

From images I've seen of the station design, Skyrush looks to have a separate entrance to the ride platform. Whether it's a pay-to-cut entrance or a single rider line remains to be seen. I hope it's the latter.

I hope Hersheypark remains a park without a pay-to-cut system. I don't like them, as convenient as they may be for those of us to enjoy rides. The principle is simple. There are many people who can barely afford gate prices in the first place. Why make them feel like second class citizens once they are inside?

Few things bother me more than having waited to ride a ride, only to have to wait one more cycle so that someone else who paid can skip the line and ride before me.

Having said that, it is a low-cost revenue generating opportunity, and we may see it as soon as 2012. Hershey doesn't typically turn down an opportunity to make more money.

> Then again, Hersheypark is an odd duck. Their parking
> charge of $8 has remained the same for at least the past 5
> years. And this is organized parking with trams- much like
> WDW with attendants guiding guests as to where to park.
> Compare that with the $20 rubber glove treatment given at
> some other regional parks where it is a free-for-all to
> find a spot in a lot that oftentimes has Rhode Island-sized
> potholes, weeds growing through cracks, and spots that were
> last repainted in 1978.
>

Great point here, though I thought Hershey charged $10. I could be wrong. Either way, as you mentioned, it's a great value because of the condition of the parking lot, along with the tram services. Now, the tram is necessary here because of the sheer size (length) of the lot. But, I'm surprised that the rate isn't higher. The best value at Hersheypark is the parking.

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 12/4/11 11:52:49 AM

HP needs to add something along these lines.

Just about any operating day during the summer months the park is packed with guests. That whole town has really done a terrific job of marketing themselves as a tourist destination.

I stopped going to HP every year once Farenheit opened because you can't ride everything that you want to ride in just one day because the lines are ridiculously long.

Joe
Great_Ump

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by Tomes at 12/4/11 4:20:55 PM

It does sound to me that Hershey is more of a family-friendly type of park.. Like Holiday world. I, for instance, don't see holiday world giving out free soda all day every day throughout the park, and free parking, but then trying to make an extra buck with a fastlane/flashpass type of thing.

I might be wrong, but I think that before Hersey Park gets it, we will see parks like Cedar Point, Kings Island and Kings Dominion getting them.

About the lines - I can tell you that any park, from Universal and Magic Kingdom, through Hersey and Kings Dominion, to Cedar Point and SFMM has off-days where almost all the rides are walk-ons. You just have to plan accordingly. I know summer officialy starts on June 21st, but it's hot enough during the entire month of June for me to consider June a part of summer... That being said, 3 of my friends and I went to BGW-->KD-->HP-->SFGAdv in early June 2011, starting on like the 8th (whichever day was Wednesday that week). So we hit BG on Wed, KD on Thurs, and HP on Friday.

So Friday in Early June, Hershey was definitely not nearly as empty as the previous two parks, but let me tell you - Storm Runner - was a walk-on. 7-8min wait for front row. Great Bear, Wildcat, Lightning Racer, Trail Blazer, Commet, SideWinder, Sooperdooperlooper - Same. Most of the crowd was concentrated in the central plaza, around Fahrenheit and the water park, especially since it was like 104°F, so Fahrenheit was maybe a 45-50min wait. That being said, once you were up on the platform, the front row wasn't any additional time. Unless they open some new food stands around the new SkyRush, or something new to attract more visitors to the area, I doubt Great Bear and Sooperdooperlooper lines would regain their strengths. And I still think that after a year or two, Fahrenheit will have longer lines than Skyrush again just because of its location.

But time will tell.

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 12/4/11 8:43:53 PM

I've always had really good luck with Hershey as far as crowds go. I don't ever remember waiting more than 45 minutes for anything. I always go during the week but usually in the middle of summer. That's one of the few parks I really don't think needs it IMO.

Jen

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 12/6/11 1:32:57 PM

> I might be wrong, but I think that before Hersey Park gets
> it, we will see parks like Cedar Point, Kings Island and
> Kings Dominion getting them.

I'm unsure about KD and CP, but KI already started one this past season.

Mike...who has only used pay-to-cut when at GAdv with Jen, as well as Paul,Darkwing Duck and Jen once this season.

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 12/6/11 8:41:11 PM

> I might be wrong, but I think that before Hersey Park gets
> it, we will see parks like Cedar Point, Kings Island and
> Kings Dominion getting them.

> I'm unsure about KD and CP, but KI already started one this
> past season.

> Mike...who has only used pay-to-cut when at GAdv with Jen,
> as well as Paul,Darkwing Duck and Jen once this season.

And Jen again opening day 2012 (please be on a day I'm off!). Don't worry, it'll be my treat! Your job will be to find the drink cups for the season. LOL!

Jen

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 12/6/11 8:51:32 PM

> And Jen again opening day 2012 (please be on a day I'm
> off!). Don't worry, it'll be my treat!

Bona fide offer? Very cool of you! Only about 4 months to go!

BTW, did you get a pass, or are you planning to?

Your job will be to
> find the drink cups for the season. LOL!

I'll keep my eyes open...but remember, YOU found our first one...

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 12/6/11 9:04:56 PM

> And Jen again opening day 2012 (please be on a day I'm
> off!). Don't worry, it'll be my treat!

> Bona fide offer? Very cool of you! Only about 4 months to
> go!

> BTW, did you get a pass, or are you planning to?

> Your job will be to
> find the drink cups for the season. LOL!

> I'll keep my eyes open...but remember, YOU found our first
> one...

Yes, it's a bona fide offer. If I don't have off that Sat it may have to be on Sun though but I do have 2 Sat. off in April so fingers crossed.

I am planning on getting a SP - too bad funds were so low when they had that special running. I did get an offer from SFA for a season pass for $25 since I only used it 3 times last year. If only Maryland was closer or Paul looked like me and could process it! LOL!

Jen

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by alpengeistno3 at 12/6/11 10:47:43 PM

>
> I am planning on getting a SP - too bad funds were so low
> when they had that special running. I did get an offer from
> SFA for a season pass for $25 since I only used it 3 times
> last year. If only Maryland was closer or Paul looked like
> me and could process it! LOL!

> Jen

If you don't mind the "extreme short hair look and got a tan set to "extra crispy", you could fool those front gate attendants. They don't really look at those horrible pics, anyway.

Paul

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by drachen drachen Profile at 12/7/11 12:13:53 AM

> HP needs to add something along these lines.

> Just about any operating day during the summer months the
> park is packed with guests. That whole town has really done
> a terrific job of marketing themselves as a tourist
> destination.

Crowds have been greater since they added the waterpark. The intention of building it was to get people to spend at least two days in the park and stay in their hotels.

People may be spending more time in the park, but from what I hear, it's not the Hershey hotels that are benefiting from it. The resort properties never hit their budgeted figures. They're too expensive for Joe Amusement Park Goer.

The chocolate company and town, along with the park, do well in attracting tourists. But it's not as much of an extended stay as you would see in Florida.

> I stopped going to HP every year once Farenheit opened
> because you can't ride everything that you want to ride in
> just one day because the lines are ridiculously long.

Line length is a result of a number of factors. I think Hersheypark's long lines don't have to do with having too many people in the park. The park is big enough for the number of people it brings in. The rides just aren't.

Hersheypark is a park that brings in over 3 million guests each year. Yet they continue to build roller coasters with capacity for much smaller crowds (see Skyrush). All of their coasters run two trains, with the exceptions of Wild Mouse (obviously) and Fahrenheit, whose trains seat only 12.

Fahrenheit's optimum capacity is 850 people per hour (pph). Storm Runner is 1200. Great Bear is 1300. Comet, can only do 950 pph. None of those numbers are very good, and they are optimum capacities, not literal. The only ride that is built to good capacity at Hersheypark is Lightning Racer.

Additionally, train dispatches are not very quick. Because there are only two trains per ride, ride ops seem to take their time loading trains. There is really no sense in dispatching the next one until the first one returns. But as a result, we wait longer to ride.

Also, eventhough the waterpark has shortened some of the coaster's lines, if Hersheypark had more "big-kid" flats or even more coasters to distribute the crowds (though 12 is a great number), coaster lines would be shorter.

I think adding a pay-to-cut option will only make matters worse at Hersheypark.

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: Pay-To-Cut For HersheyPark? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 12/7/11 8:11:49 PM

> > > I am planning on getting a SP - too bad funds
> were so low
> when they had that special running. I did get an offer from
> SFA for a season pass for $25 since I only used it 3 times
> last year. If only Maryland was closer or Paul looked like
> me and could process it! LOL!

> Jen

> If you don't mind the "extreme short hair look and got
> a tan set to "extra crispy", you could fool those
> front gate attendants. They don't really look at those
> horrible pics, anyway.

> Paul

ROFLMAO!!!

Jen