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Fastlane = Epic Fail!!!

HatTrick

Posted:
8/27/12 at
7:59:40 PM

I don't know how everyone else feels about Cedar Points new fastlane system but to me (and most people I talked to while there) it was an epic disaster. Now a line that used to take 20 minutes takes almost an hour and a line that used to take 45 minutes takes 2 hours or longer. Because of fastlane the normal lines now move painfully slow. You now get a third of what you paid for. This is a cash grab by Cedar Fair so that all the rich people who have money to piss to the wind can legally just cut right in front of all us poor folks. This is the 3rd year in a row I've bought Platinum passes for my GF and I to go to Cedar point and in the past it's been a great park but now it just sucks to know if you want to go on any of the good rides its going to be a painfull wait. I'm seriously thinking of not renewing for next year. Gatekeeper looks cool but it's going to be like a 4 hour wait to ride with all the people cutting! I've got tons of friends that were going to go for Halloweekends that have canceled those plans because they feel ripped off paying to go in and not be able to ride all the stuff they used to. (steps off of soapbox)

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by alpengeistno3 at 8/27/12 8:17:56 PM
On the contrary, for CP, fast lane is an epic WIN! How else could they raise the price of tickets by $40- $50 and have people walk away saying "it was worth it!"

I'm interested in Gatekeeper, but NO WAY I would dream of trying to get on that without Fastlane. The lines will be EPIC, in the worst way.

Paul

PS
On a related note, I found it sickly ironic how the water slide lines at Water Country USA have signs saying "line breakers will be ejected from the park", yet for Big Daddy Falls, we had countless people pushing pass us in line to get to the Quick Queue entrance that does not break away from main line until you reach the stairway. The sign should read "line breaking is okay, unless you are too cheap/poor to pay!"

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/27/12 9:04:28 PM
I encountered one of the largest crowds I have ever seen at an amusement park this June at Six Flags Great America.Like you stated the long lines were even longer waits, due to the flash pass. While in these long lines we were talking to people and complaining about the long lines. Most of the responses I got were "we got to ride X Flight, Raging Bull, Superma, Viper, etc., in a satisfied manner. Well we did too, but I was wanting multiple rides on those coasters. That's the problem with the general public(GP). They are satisfied with standing in a long line to ride something once. Parks have the GP in mind, and as long as they're happy the park will not make any changes. The members of the GP that want multiple rides, spring for the flash pass/ fast lane upgrade. It wasn't long ago where strategies like time of year, weather, and ride order could get you a lot rides. Now with these upgrades, unless the park is really dead, you're going to have to wait in a longer line. If the GP in general would start complaining and stop going to parks, then it would be changed. I try visit 8 to 12 parks a year, that's what I usually can afford. The time has come where I'm going to be going to less parks in order to purchase these upgrades. I have a feeling that these upgrades are here to stay. I don't like it, but I'm going to have to deal with it. Coaster enthusiasts make up a very minute percentage of the park's income. Our opinion really doesn't matter. The GP brings in the cash, and as long as they keep piling in, the park is happy.
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 8/27/12 9:29:11 PM
I totally agree with you here - at least with regards to the way the fast pass system is run at SF parks. I was hoping that CF might do a better job than SF, but according to what you saw happening apparently they are/were doing the same screwy stuff that I saw when I went to SF Great America last summer.

I was at CP this summer for Coastermania, and I didn't really notice any unusual disruption or extreme line waits because of the fast pass. However, that day wasn't super-busy and few rides had waits longer than 30 minutes, and some of the coasters, like Raptor, were either walk-ons or had two train waits.

Now the experience I had at Great America sounds exactly like what you describe (and some people here said that what I saw happening either couldn't possibly happen or wasn't supposed to happen, thankfully I'm validated here) - the "regular" lines were slowed way down by the fast pass people. What they did that day was to hold up the regular line for up to 20 minutes (my friend and I timed it, so not just guessing) at the fast pass entrance while the employee manning that entrance would just wait for a few fast pass holders to trickle in and accrue there. Imagine being on a 6 lane freeway at rush hour and the police come out in the middle of the road, stop the traffic, and wait up to 20 minutes for maybe 15 or 20 cars to arrive at an entrance ramp, and then let those few cars onto the freeway to get ahead of the thousands of cars that have been stopped. Pretty soon you'd have the mother of all traffic jams!

When I was at CP earlier this year I did see a handful of fast pass users going thru that entrance on some of the rides, but there was no park employee there holding up the main line - the fast pass users just merged gradually into the main line near the station.

It was the choking off of the main line at SF Great America that infuriated me, and if they were doing that at CP then a pox on CP! And I agree with you that you really do feel cheated as a paying guest. I really have no desire to go back to that park (even though I could see where it could be a really nice park and it has some nice coasters - what few I was able to actually ride) because of what was happening with their fast pass.

I could care less that someone else might be able to afford something that I can't; however, if the service I get is diminished by virtue of someone else purchasing a more expensive service, then forget it! If someone can afford to buy and drive a Rolls Royce, it doesn't impinge on my ability to purchase and drive a Ford. If someone at the table next to me at a restaurant orders a whole lobster, it shouldn't mean that I have to wait an extra 30 minutes for a plate of spaghetti and have over-cooked noodles and cold sauce! A restaurant that did that sort of stuff would soon find itself out of business, and justifiably so.

I am still kicking myself that my friend and I didn't go and complain at guest services that day. Not sure what might of come out of it (being it was SF) but I think that the more people who complain when this sort of thing happens the more likely that a park might be motivated to try and do something about it. I don't think they will be wanting to get rid of such lucrative line-cutting services, but surely there must be some way to make it far less obtrusive to the majority of guests who pay the standard admission fee.

* This post was modified at 8/27/12 9:33:44 PM *

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/27/12 9:47:44 PM
^ I can validate that. That is exactly what was happening on Raging Bull, Viper, V2, and Whizzer. Now we weren't stopped for 20 minutes, but we were stopped for about 5 minutes at time to let "future flash pass holders' enter right before the station. As soon as I walked in the park, it was already crowded. I entertained the thought of flash passes, but I would had to pay for 4 of them, because my kids were with me. I just couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money.
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by HatTrick at 8/27/12 10:24:14 PM
I agree, people need to complain to the parks and let them know how disappointed you are with the systems they have in place. I'm pretty sure all of the parks can be emailed as I have done with Cedar Point. If they recieve enough complaints perhaps they will at least alter the current system to make it better for the general public.
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by NotSo NotSo Profile at 8/28/12 12:50:10 AM
HatTrick said:

I agree, people need to complain to the parks and let them know how disappointed you are with the systems they have in place. I'm pretty sure all of the parks can be emailed as I have done with Cedar Point. If they recieve enough complaints perhaps they will at least alter the current system to make it better for the general public.


I always stop in guest relations and let them know how thankful i am for Fastlane, and how great a job they do running it. Out of 18 days being there we got Fastlane 6 times and it was worth every penny to marathon on MF, Dragster, Raptor, and Maverick. There were a lot of days it wasnt needed so we didnt bother getting it.
Fastlane was pretty cheap this year considering what you get for it (and i pay for several people), so this was the year to try it. Price will really get uncomfortable next year, but thats a good thing for everyone.

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by Coaster316 at 8/28/12 8:15:21 AM
There is no doubt that for people who are used to getting season passes and paying pennies on the dollar for rides that Fastlane/Fast Pass sucks. I totally understand that. Your cost per ride just went up. But for most other people, its not so bad.

Every once in a while we get predictions that people are going to stop going to parks because of fast pass but it never leads anywhere. Six Flags has been using it for what, 15 years? In that time many other parks began using pay-to-cut systems. Parks like Dollywood, Kennywood, and now Cedar Fair. Has any park developed a pay-to-cut system only to remove it because it was hurting business? I can't think of any.

So...15 years or more of cutting lines and yet the parks that are using it are doing fine. I think its a bit early to call Cedar Fair's fastlane a fail at this point.

I won't bother getting into the morality issue just yet.

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/28/12 10:49:00 AM
Coaster316 said:

There is no doubt that for people who are used to getting season passes and paying pennies on the dollar for rides that Fastlane/Fast Pass sucks. I totally understand that. Your cost per ride just went up. But for most other people, its not so bad.


Every once in a while we get predictions that people are going to stop going to parks because of fast pass but it never leads anywhere. Six Flags has been using it for what, 15 years? In that time many other parks began using pay-to-cut systems. Parks like Dollywood, Kennywood, and now Cedar Fair. Has any park developed a pay-to-cut system only to remove it because it was hurting business? I can't think of any.

So...15 years or more of cutting lines and yet the parks that are using it are doing fine. I think its a bit early to call Cedar Fair's fastlane a fail at this point.

I won't bother getting into the morality issue just yet.

Now I haven't been to Kennywood this year, but up until last year, they operated their upgrade system in a different way. Once you pay for that line cutting upgrade, you get 1 ride on each coaster. After that one ride, you're done. You can't keep riding the same coaster, cutting the line every time.

I actually like that system. For one there are a very small number of people who cut in front of you. The other is that enthusiasts who travel to Kennywood from a long distance can ensure themselves at least one ride on each coaster, without abusing the system. Kennywood is a place that can generate large crowds on any given day. If you drove up from Florida to visit the parks in PA, you should at least be able to ride all the coasters. If you knock out the coasters quick, you have the rest of the day to enjoy the classic unique flats and the modern flats. I can't remember what it costs for that upgrade, because it doesn't interest me. In fact it doesn't interest most of the people who live locally. Why pay for one extra ride on coasters that you've been riding since you were a kid. Kennywood is wonderful, traditional park. I would say that 99% of the people who attend Kennywood, live within a hour drive. It's not like Cedar Point or Hershey, where non enthusiasts travel several hours to visit the park. Pittsburgh is not a huge tourist destination either, so mainly the only people who travel a long distance to the park are coaster enthusiasts. If a park is going to have a line cutting upgrade, that's the one that would satisfy the majority.

* This post was modified at 8/28/12 10:50:39 AM *

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by ray_p ray_p Profile at 8/28/12 11:21:17 AM
Kennywood’s system is unique as for $15, you get one ride on each of the park’s 6 coasters, starting at 2:00 PM and then you have an assigned ride to go to every hour on the hour until 7:00. You also are given an assigned seat. I noticed this year that there is an upgrade for $18 that gets you into the front seat, so that would be $33 total for one ride on each coaster in the front (except Exterminator of course!). They also have another add-on for $10 which gives you one ride on Aero 360, Log Jammer, SwingShot and Black Widow. And finally, I believe you can buy an individual coaster ride for $5. That’s a lot of options, and despite all of the negative comments online and on the park’s FB page, the line for Kennywood’s paid line cutting service was pretty long most of the morning this past Saturday.

Dollywood to me still has the best way of doing things, and I would assume SF’s standard FlashPass is the same way. You select which ride you want to go on, it calculates the current wait time for you, then the pager tells you when to come back. So technically, you are waiting in line, just not in the actual line itself. Once you enter that ride, you can reserve another one. It seemed very fair to me, and at its price of $15, it’s an absolute steal.

CF’s FastLane is definitely awesome for those who want to marathon ride. I rode Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland 4 times in the time it would have taken someone in the “poor people line” to get about ¾ of the way through for their first ride. I was a little upset at Cedar Point that I still had to wait 15 minutes for Maverick and Dragster, especially after spending $60, but at least I got to walk past a 90 minute Millennium Force line.

I feel that these services are great for people who want to marathon ride, or those who have limited time. I spent 4 and a half hours at Wonderland and got rides on everything and then some in that time. Without FastLane, I would have had to stay later and deal with even worse Toronto traffic (is there such a thing?). If you can afford it, I highly recommend it.

And whether people like FastPass systems or not, they are here to stay. All of the letter-writing campaigns in the world aren’t going to put an end to an easy source of revenue for the parks that have implemented them.

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by Coaster316 at 8/28/12 11:21:43 AM
frontrow said:

Now I haven't been to Kennywood this year, but up until last year, they operated their upgrade system in a different way. Once you pay for that line cutting upgrade, you get 1 ride on each coaster. After that one ride, you're done. You can't keep riding the same coaster, cutting the line every time.

Not only that, but you have to ride each coaster at a specific time. One coaster was at 2:00, another at 3:00, another at 4:00, etc. There may have been a small window so that you didn't have to be there exactly at 2:00, but I'm not sure. The cost was $15, I believe.

You mentioned elsewhere in your post that it would be nice if you could knock out the coasters early and then concentrate on the other rides, and I agree, but unfortunately you can't. I was there on Saturday and Ray P. and I were in line for the VIP passes, but the system just wasn't worth it for me so we left the line. I wasn't going to be there all day so couldn't have even used it all. Now, if they had offered a ride each one once any time you want, I'd have paid $20 or even $30 for that. If they had an unlimited pass, I'd have paid much more. But they lost out on my extra money. I'm sure they'll get over it. :)

ETA:: Ray beat me to the response!

* This post was modified at 8/28/12 11:22:52 AM *

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/28/12 11:30:16 AM
I wasn't aware of the hourly time schedule for the coasters. Like I said, it just doesn't interest me. I did learn something about my home park, though. Without the line cutting upgrade, did you guys get to ride a lot on Saturday?
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by MABrider MABrider Profile at 8/28/12 1:05:07 PM
ray_p said:

Dollywood to me still has the best way of doing things, and I would assume SF’s standard FlashPass is the same way. You select which ride you want to go on, it calculates the current wait time for you, then the pager tells you when to come back. So technically, you are waiting in line, just not in the actual line itself. Once you enter that ride, you can reserve another one. It seemed very fair to me, and at its price of $15, it’s an absolute steal.

Dollywood was this writer's first use of Q-Bot. Was a while ago now, I think 2006, don't quote me, but it was their first season with it. Was just $5 a person + $5 for the Bot. I bought one for five people, and sprung the surprise on my friends. It was literally astonishing in how it worked (I can reserve that ride way on the other side of the park now, even as I get ready to board this ride? Wow!). Contrast that with SFNE and other SF parks where you reserved at the ride you wanted to go on later (all that walking!). Didn't take SF long to change over after that.
I agree that $15 today is more than a bargain, especially at DW.


I haven't used the CF version, but will most likely use it at CW on Sept 15, between ERT sessions. A wristband, right? Even easier!

Mike B.

Mike B.
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by Coaster316 at 8/28/12 1:06:30 PM
We arrived prior to the rides opening and left around 5:00 pm. Took about 20 minutes for lunch and another 20-30 minutes talking, taking pictures, etc. We rode all 6 coasters plus the Bayern Kurve and Garfield while we were there.

It was a very good time.

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by ray_p ray_p Profile at 8/28/12 1:12:46 PM
Coaster316 said:

It was a very good time.

(in my best Peter Griffin voice) "Yeahhhh!" :)

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by RobLec RobLec Profile at 8/28/12 2:02:34 PM
MABrider said:
Dollywood was this writer's first use of Q-Bot. Was a while ago now, I think 2006, don't quote me, but it was their first season with it.

We were at Dollywood in 2007 for the opening of Mystery Mine and AFAIK they did not have that system in place (though we were there early in the season). Perhaps it was 2008 for you?

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 8/28/12 2:26:20 PM
I was at Dollywood in August 2006 and don't remember them having that either.
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by drachen drachen Profile at 8/28/12 4:12:41 PM
Schrecken said:

I could care less that someone else might be able to afford something that I can't; however, if the service I get is diminished by virtue of someone else purchasing a more expensive service, then forget it!

From a moral standpoint, I really don't like any sort of 'pay to skip' program. I'd rather see all parks do away with them, especially because there are many parks that just don't implement them effectively.

I agree completely with what you said. If you can't implement such a program without inconveniencing other paying guests, then you shouldn't do it at all.

Schrecken said:

It was the choking off of the main line at SF Great America that infuriated me, and if they were doing that at CP then a pox on CP! And I agree with you that you really do feel cheated as a paying guest.

I feel that Six Flags's program is seriously flawed. I had a similar bad experience recently at Six Flags Great America (which I will post about soon). We regular line-waiters were seriously treated like second-class citizens on Raging Bull. It was Raging Bullsh-t...

The problem I see with Six Flags's system in general is that it seems that the only cap on how many Flash Passes they sell is the number of Q-Bots they have in stock. The way they run their system at the rides is not compatible with having a seemingly unlimited number of guests using the system.

I know that the computer is supposed to limit the number of guests that can skip the line at a certain time, but in all of my experiences, their program just doesn't seem to work that well.

Additionally, Six Flags offers three different kinds of Flash Passes, which further congests operations.

Hersheypark's new Fast Pass is horrible in its first season of operation. Fast Pass riders enter through the rides' exits. The park blocks off entire cars on each of the coasters, which only slows up their already-slow operations.

Yes, even on the 12-seater Fahrenheit and the 20-seater Storm Runner, an entire car is blocked off. That would be 1/3 and 1/5 of the trains, respectively. And even more idiotically, they block off cars on both sides of Storm Runner's and Lightning Racer's stations.

Now, the ride ops do try to get other riders to fill in those seats, but that only takes extra time trying to find a group of four that wants to ride earlier than they expected. People think that's a good idea. It's actually very bad for quick operations. Additionally, Fast Pass riders do not get to choose where they sit.

Another problem with blocking off rows at Hersheypark is that the number of Fast Pass riders in a day is very small. The park only allows one Fast Pass ride per person, per coaster, per day. And they cap the number of Fast Passes sold at 50-100 per day.

I like where their head's at, but because that number is a literal drop in the bucket compared to the entire day's attendance figure, and because they only get to ride once, it really makes the idea of blocking off entire cars, not only unnecessary, but pretty dumb.

Now, conversely, and contrary to the original poster's opinion, I found that Kings Island's Fast Lane was executed perfectly, and I can only imagine that the rest of the Cedar Fair parks are SUPPOSED to operate the same way.

The do number of things right:

1) They have a completely separate Fast Lane queue on each Fast Lane attraction.

2) They limit the number of Fast Lane bracelets sold per day, so there is a minimal impact. As a result, Fast Lane riders trickle in, like the drop in the bucket that they are.

3) There is a line attendant on each ride that regulates the flow into the station. But it's not like Six Flags where they shut the main queue down until all of the "2PM" Flash Pass users get through.

As a Fast Lane rider gets to the station, the attendant continues to fill the station with main queue riders. Once the station is full, the main queue is closed, and the Fast Lane riders are let in to CHOOSE where they want to sit, and they wait until it's their turn to get on.

If the Fast Lane rider gets to the station attendant when the main queue is already closed, then the attendant simply lets them through.

Cedar Fair's Fast Lane doesn't get you right on the ride. They get you right to the station. That's the way it should be.

4) There is no limit as to how many rides you get with Cedar Fair's Fast Lane - probably because there really is no impact on the rides' otherwise normal operations.

I'm a big fan of Cedar Fair's Fast Lane program, and I think other parks should adopt identical procedures. Those four things listed above are key to having such a program with minimal impact on other paying customers.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by HatTrick at 8/28/12 7:15:44 PM
drachen said:

Schrecken said:

I could care less that someone else might be able to afford something that I can't; however, if the service I get is diminished by virtue of someone else purchasing a more expensive service, then forget it!

From a moral standpoint, I really don't like any sort of 'pay to skip' program. I'd rather see all parks do away with them, especially because there are many parks that just don't implement them effectively.

I agree completely with what you said. If you can't implement such a program without inconveniencing other paying guests, then you shouldn't do it at all.

Schrecken said:

It was the choking off of the main line at SF Great America that infuriated me, and if they were doing that at CP then a pox on CP! And I agree with you that you really do feel cheated as a paying guest.

I feel that Six Flags's program is seriously flawed. I had a similar bad experience recently at Six Flags Great America (which I will post about soon). We regular line-waiters were seriously treated like second-class citizens on Raging Bull. It was Raging Bullsh-t...

The problem I see with Six Flags's system in general is that it seems that the only cap on how many Flash Passes they sell is the number of Q-Bots they have in stock. The way they run their system at the rides is not compatible with having a seemingly unlimited number of guests using the system.

I know that the computer is supposed to limit the number of guests that can skip the line at a certain time, but in all of my experiences, their program just doesn't seem to work that well.

Additionally, Six Flags offers three different kinds of Flash Passes, which further congests operations.

Hersheypark's new Fast Pass is horrible in its first season of operation. Fast Pass riders enter through the rides' exits. The park blocks off entire cars on each of the coasters, which only slows up their already-slow operations.

Yes, even on the 12-seater Fahrenheit and the 20-seater Storm Runner, an entire car is blocked off. That would be 1/3 and 1/5 of the trains, respectively. And even more idiotically, they block off cars on both sides of Storm Runner's and Lightning Racer's stations.

Now, the ride ops do try to get other riders to fill in those seats, but that only takes extra time trying to find a group of four that wants to ride earlier than they expected. People think that's a good idea. It's actually very bad for quick operations. Additionally, Fast Pass riders do not get to choose where they sit.

Another problem with blocking off rows at Hersheypark is that the number of Fast Pass riders in a day is very small. The park only allows one Fast Pass ride per person, per coaster, per day. And they cap the number of Fast Passes sold at 50-100 per day.

I like where their head's at, but because that number is a literal drop in the bucket compared to the entire day's attendance figure, and because they only get to ride once, it really makes the idea of blocking off entire cars, not only unnecessary, but pretty dumb.

Now, conversely, and contrary to the original poster's opinion, I found that Kings Island's Fast Lane was executed perfectly, and I can only imagine that the rest of the Cedar Fair parks are SUPPOSED to operate the same way.

The do number of things right:

1) They have a completely separate Fast Lane queue on each Fast Lane attraction.

2) They limit the number of Fast Lane bracelets sold per day, so there is a minimal impact. As a result, Fast Lane riders trickle in, like the drop in the bucket that they are.

3) There is a line attendant on each ride that regulates the flow into the station. But it's not like Six Flags where they shut the main queue down until all of the "2PM" Flash Pass users get through.

As a Fast Lane rider gets to the station, the attendant continues to fill the station with main queue riders. Once the station is full, the main queue is closed, and the Fast Lane riders are let in to CHOOSE where they want to sit, and they wait until it's their turn to get on.

If the Fast Lane rider gets to the station attendant when the main queue is already closed, then the attendant simply lets them through.

Cedar Fair's Fast Lane doesn't get you right on the ride. They get you right to the station. That's the way it should be.

4) There is no limit as to how many rides you get with Cedar Fair's Fast Lane - probably because there really is no impact on the rides' otherwise normal operations.

I'm a big fan of Cedar Fair's Fast Lane program, and I think other parks should adopt identical procedures. Those four things listed above are key to having such a program with minimal impact on other paying customers.

I can tell you for a fact that there is way more than minimal impact on the rides operation. I witnessed at least 200 fastlane riders in the fastlane queue at maverick and about the same at MF. The idea of limiting fastlane passes seemed to have went out the door unless the limit is 5000 a day. The fastlane passes were choking the life out of the regular line. Cedar Fairs system is horrible and I'm thinking the reason you like it is because your one of the people that can afford it and buy it. The rest of us poor folks hate standing in what would otherwise be a 45 minute line for 2 and a half hours.

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by NotSo NotSo Profile at 8/28/12 9:28:33 PM
Hattrick if your so broke then its time to find another hobby. You cant be a roller coaster enthusiast and not save up for Fastlane, its part of the hobby now, get with it.
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by drachen drachen Profile at 8/28/12 10:20:01 PM
HatTrick said:

I can tell you for a fact that there is way more than minimal impact on the rides operation. I witnessed at least 200 fastlane riders in the fastlane queue at maverick and about the same at MF. The idea of limiting fastlane passes seemed to have went out the door unless the limit is 5000 a day. The fastlane passes were choking the life out of the regular line. Cedar Fairs system is horrible and I'm thinking the reason you like it is because your one of the people that can afford it and buy it. The rest of us poor folks hate standing in what would otherwise be a 45 minute line for 2 and a half hours.

Well, that was rude.

I can't imagine that there were 200 people lined up in the Fast Lane queue for one ride. If that was truly the case, than Cedar Point should probably look at lowering the number they sell per day.

I'm not one to purchase skip the line passes. But, I recently spent two days at Kings Island. On the second day, I did purchase a Fast Lane pass for a few reasons.

1) I wanted to see how well theirs worked.

2) As it was my first visit, I wanted to make sure I rode everything.

3) I was by myself.

4) I got a dirt cheap park ticket online ($32). I spent $140 on two park tickets, two parking passes, and one day of Fast Lane. That was a great deal.

Whenever I make it to Canada's Wonderland or Carowinds for the first time, I will buy the Fast Lane again because of my excellent experience with Kings Island's version.

When I go back to Cedar Point next spring for the first time in 10 years, I will buy theirs to make sure I ride everything again. It will be part of my plan and budget.

Whenever I go back to Kings Island, Knott's, Dorney, or Kings Dominion, I don't feel the need to buy their pass.

All I've heard is how well Cedar Point does their Fast Lane. It sounds to me like you're exaggerating just a bit - or went on a bad day.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
Find me on Facebook... Search Park Connoisseur
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by NotSo NotSo Profile at 8/28/12 10:25:36 PM
CP doesnt have a set number of Fastlanes per day. I asked, and they said they sell them based a percentage of how many people come through the gate. Thats why on Saturdays, yes there will be 200 people in the Fastlane line. Moral of the story, as always- dont go on weekends..

Really though, Fastlane is dirt cheap for what you get. Fastlane=Epic Win for me, Epic loss for you broke losers! Hahahahahah!!!

* This post was modified at 8/28/12 10:27:45 PM *

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 8/28/12 10:46:38 PM
drachen said:

Cedar Fair's Fast Lane doesn't get you right on the ride. They get you right to the station. That's the way it should be.

That's not Cedar Fair - that's one specific park. That's exactly how SFGAdv's FP works so you can't judge the system by the company - it varies from park to park. At Knotts the riders were getting directly on the ride in their seat of choice from the exit ramps "cutting" those of us waiting to board so CF does not operate the FP the same way throughout their chain. They are just as bad as SF is.

Jen

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by ray_p ray_p Profile at 8/29/12 10:02:10 AM
In one sentence GoYanks says:
That's not Cedar Fair - that's one specific park. That's exactly how SFGAdv's FP works so you can't judge the system by the company - it varies from park to park.

And then in the next GoYanks says:

…so CF does not operate the FP the same way throughout their chain. They are just as bad as SF is.

So if I have this right, you are saying that Cedar Fair is just as bad as Six Flags because of your Knott's experience, yet you are telling others that they can't judge line cutting systems based on one park. I guess I'm just a bit confused as to why you would call someone else out for doing this when you are pretty much doing the same thing.

I have used FastLane at both Canada’s Wonderland and Cedar Point, both were very well implemented. I’m not going to say that the entire chain is great because I haven’t used it at the other parks. And if I do have a bad experience at one CF park, I’m certainly not going to pass judgment on the entire chain because of it. But hey, that’s just me.

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by leviathan leviathan Profile at 8/29/12 4:17:08 PM
I am surprised that nobody has mentioned the one park that has perfected the "Fastlane" system...Disney World! No extra fees, a limited number of passes available and the best executed system out there. Although you need to have some sort of admission card (i.e. key to the world) in order to make it work (to limit the amount of passes signed out at one time to a cardholder)...

I witnessed Cedar Fair's system in action for the first time this year at Canada's Wonderland. It wasn't a terribly busy day so it really wasn't even an issue (except on the low capacity rides) but 2 things annoyed me about the system - there is no limit to how many times you can continue to "cut" into any particular queue and second, the point at which the Fastlane queue joins the regular queue was typically right at the station. That means that you are literally cutting in front of everybody...at WDW, their fastpass system joins into the main queue line before you get to the station, which seems to be a little more fair. That way, you're skipping most, but not all of the line.

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by MABrider MABrider Profile at 8/29/12 5:20:38 PM
RobLec said:

MABrider said:
Dollywood was this writer's first use of Q-Bot. Was a while ago now, I think 2006, don't quote me, but it was their first season with it.

We were at Dollywood in 2007 for the opening of Mystery Mine and AFAIK they did not have that system in place (though we were there early in the season). Perhaps it was 2008 for you?


Cyclone_Phil said:

I was at Dollywood in August 2006 and don't remember them having that either.

This seems to validate my fading memory (read the paragraph next to the Q-Bot images):
http://www.themeparkpost.com/index/lo-q-wins-three-year-extension-from-dollywood-of-tennessee

But for the hell of it, I just fired up my historical trip itineraries and found that I visited DW in Dec 2005 and Dec 2006.
And again in late April 2007 (for Mystery Mine...ACE event).
I remember using Q-Bot on MM, too (entrance was on the side).

Anyway, it seems that the reservation system at DW continues to be far and away the best bargain out there.


Mike B.

Mike B.
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 8/29/12 6:28:29 PM
leviathan said:

I am surprised that nobody has mentioned the one park that has perfected the "Fastlane" system...Disney World! No extra fees, a limited number of passes available and the best executed system out there. Although you need to have some sort of admission card (i.e. key to the world) in order to make it work (to limit the amount of passes signed out at one time to a cardholder)...


I witnessed Cedar Fair's system in action for the first time this year at Canada's Wonderland. It wasn't a terribly busy day so it really wasn't even an issue (except on the low capacity rides) but 2 things annoyed me about the system - there is no limit to how many times you can continue to "cut" into any particular queue and second, the point at which the Fastlane queue joins the regular queue was typically right at the station. That means that you are literally cutting in front of everybody...at WDW, their fastpass system joins into the main queue line before you get to the station, which seems to be a little more fair. That way, you're skipping most, but not all of the line.


I totally agree, Disney's set up is the best, but then again their ticket prices are very high and almost anything they do is always better than everyone else. Now as far as the basic set up, I would gladly come back at a later time if it meant waiting on a shorter line and CF really should put a limit to how many times on their top tier rides a person can keep coming back to (maybe sell an unlimited pass for an even higher fee and sell an even smaller limit of those).

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by drachen drachen Profile at 8/29/12 7:37:53 PM
I haven't seen a Disney park's program in action, so I can't comment. I'm sure it works well. Everything they do works well...

But it's not like every park has the money to do what Disney does. Their program requires a whole different, and expensive operating system, not unlike the Q-Bots, but I'm sure it's different enough.

GoYanks34 said:

drachen said:

Cedar Fair's Fast Lane doesn't get you right on the ride. They get you right to the station. That's the way it should be.

That's not Cedar Fair - that's one specific park. That's exactly how SFGAdv's FP works so you can't judge the system by the company - it varies from park to park. At Knotts the riders were getting directly on the ride in their seat of choice from the exit ramps "cutting" those of us waiting to board so CF does not operate the FP the same way throughout their chain. They are just as bad as SF is.

Jen

I'm surprised that you had such a bad experience at Knott's with their Fast Lane. I'm surprised because usually when a company opens a chain-wide program, it's consistent in its implementation. Knott's may be the one park that doesn't do it right.

From what I've heard and read, Canada's Wonderland, Cedar Point, Carowinds, and Kings Island all operate the same way, which is pretty much what I listed above.

I haven't been to Dorney or Kings Dominion this year, so I can't comment on how their's work. I should get to Dorney this fall.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 8/29/12 7:37:56 PM
ray_p said:

In one sentence GoYanks says:
That's not Cedar Fair - that's one specific park. That's exactly how SFGAdv's FP works so you can't judge the system by the company - it varies from park to park.

And then in the next GoYanks says:

…so CF does not operate the FP the same way throughout their chain. They are just as bad as SF is.

So if I have this right, you are saying that Cedar Fair is just as bad as Six Flags because of your Knott's experience, yet you are telling others that they can't judge line cutting systems based on one park. I guess I'm just a bit confused as to why you would call someone else out for doing this when you are pretty much doing the same thing.

I have used FastLane at both Canada’s Wonderland and Cedar Point, both were very well implemented. I’m not going to say that the entire chain is great because I haven’t used it at the other parks. And if I do have a bad experience at one CF park, I’m certainly not going to pass judgment on the entire chain because of it. But hey, that’s just me.

The original poster was bashing the way SF implements the Flash Pass and praising CF for their Fast Lane implementation. I was only pointing out that not all Cedar Fair parks have a FP system that's run so well and not all Six Flags parks run it poorly. There are SF parks that run it well and CF parks that don't. That's what I meant to say. And to say Cedar Point/a specific park runs it well is entirely a different story. And I don't judge an entire chain based on one park either - that's not what I meant to say. When I said CF is just as bad as SF I meant that they are inconsistent in the way they run their FP systems.

Jen

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 8/29/12 9:46:23 PM
@drachen, from some of the rides at KD it seemed most of the FL lines were via the exit ramps/stairs, mainly for their older coasters. For Dominator, it looked like a separate stairwell towards the back of the station (or near the front entrance). I305, it was parallel to the main line, but was a strait path just before the station (entrance just next to the last row).

I can't tell if FL made the lines worse or not when I recently went there as it was probably towards the end of August and wasn't as bad as it would be towards the middle of summer. The worst wait I had was 1hr on Volcano because they had 1 train running on Thursday (and I didn't see that many FL users coming up the stairs either).

* This post was modified at 8/29/12 9:53:37 PM *

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by RobLec RobLec Profile at 8/29/12 9:48:24 PM
It could be that we didn't notice, or didn't know what Q-bot was, or just felt we didn't need it. We were there for ten days and had season passes, so we came and left as we pleased. (That's OUR way of beating the lines!)
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by HatTrick at 8/29/12 10:47:20 PM
I can tell the poster who thought that maybe I had one bad day at CP that I've been there 4 times so far this year. I have the Platinum Pass as I have had for the last 3 years. Yes everytime I have went it was a Saturday. But see I have this thing called a job and it prevents me from wandering on down there during the week. So I have to go on Saturdays. The past 2 years the lines have never been much of a problem. The most I ever waited for any ride was 1 hour (MF) on the busiest day I can remember. This year all of my visits have seen waits in excess of 2 hours for the big boy rides during the day. Whats different this year. Fastlane!

I resent the posters calling us people who don't get the Fastlane poor people. I have already forked over $340 plus refreshment costs to Cedar Fair. I don't feel like I should then have to shell out another $100 everytime I enter the park to enjoy all the rides like I used to.

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 8/29/12 10:58:41 PM
HatTrick said:

I resent the posters calling us people who don't get the Fastlane poor people. I have already forked over $340 plus refreshment costs to Cedar Fair. I don't feel like I should then have to shell out another $100 everytime I enter the park to enjoy all the rides like I used to.

I don't think that. I understand what you are saying. I have used the FP many times in the past and love it. When I don't have one I hate it. I think that like it or not, eventually in order to be able to ride all the coasters/rides you want when visiting a park far away from home for one day, you will have no choice but to purchase one. That's just the way it is and no chain is going to not make a profit because a few people complain.

And for those who say Disney has it right, the price for the fast lane is built into the ticket. A single day at WDW is $90. A season pass is $600. If I paid $600 for a SF or CF season pass I best be getting some FP options! LOL! (yes, I realize Disney is not the same thing as CF or SF before anyone starts in!)

Jen

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 8/29/12 11:02:49 PM
Jen, I sort of pointed that out as well about Disney as their tickets are insanely expensive for a single day. So I too don't expect such a system to be free, but the idea of getting an appointed time to return is a fantastic idea that all parks should adopt at the very least. Use a card to insert into a machine once every 2 hrs for the ride you want and return later. It limits the unlimited rerides and if the park chooses to do so, they can issue a select few 'platinum pass' for an unlimited ride option.
HatTrick said:

I can tell the poster who thought that maybe I had one bad day at CP that I've been there 4 times so far this year. I have the Platinum Pass as I have had for the last 3 years. Yes everytime I have went it was a Saturday. But see I have this thing called a job and it prevents me from wandering on down there during the week. So I have to go on Saturdays. The past 2 years the lines have never been much of a problem. The most I ever waited for any ride was 1 hour (MF) on the busiest day I can remember. This year all of my visits have seen waits in excess of 2 hours for the big boy rides during the day. Whats different this year. Fastlane!


I resent the posters calling us people who don't get the Fastlane poor people. I have already forked over $340 plus refreshment costs to Cedar Fair. I don't feel like I should then have to shell out another $100 everytime I enter the park to enjoy all the rides like I used to.

Don't take it personally - he's like that to anyone that's opposed to this pay for FL/FP to cut the lines. Sadly some people get their kicks that way in assuming we should all have an unlimited budget and 'tough' if anyone complained about it.

* This post was modified at 8/29/12 11:10:47 PM *

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by glutton glutton Profile at 8/30/12 12:48:12 AM
One thing that really annoys me with the CF Fastlane is that people in larger groups get much better prices for it that a single person or couple. I think they should at least get Platinum Passholders a discount on the Fast Lane passes, so we could at least get ours at the lowest price they offer without having to buy 6.
I begrudgingly paid the the $50 or so per person for my husband and I for one of our 2.5 days at Cedar Point this June, and it was certainly great being able to skip many of the lines. The way the line was organized at Top Thrill made the Fast lane fairly useless, as they weren't stopping the regular line from going up onto the ramp that leads towards the platform. The Fast Lane joins the line at the base of that ramp, and that day, two-thirds of the regular line was already on the ramp when we joined the line. It *was* very useful for Millennium though.
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by leviathan leviathan Profile at 8/30/12 4:20:21 PM
drachen said:

Cedar Fair's Fast Lane doesn't get you right on the ride. They get you right to the station. That's the way it should be.

One other variable I will throw out there is that while we were at Canada's Wonderland, it is true that the FP line would get you up to the station, however they were not "filling" the station. So in effect, it was just about getting you right on the ride.

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by HatTrick at 8/30/12 10:54:46 PM
I find interesting all of the lets give up attitudes. Maybe an email or a complaint cant get these parks to kill the fastlane programs, but it never hurts to voice your opinion. Perhaps some parks might consider ammending their policies if enough people complain. If everyone just says well its useless, then your voice isnt heard and the parks don't think anyone has a problem with it.
Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 8/31/12 12:47:32 AM
HatTrick said:

I find interesting all of the lets give up attitudes. Maybe an email or a complaint cant get these parks to kill the fastlane programs, but it never hurts to voice your opinion. Perhaps some parks might consider ammending their policies if enough people complain. If everyone just says well its useless, then your voice isnt heard and the parks don't think anyone has a problem with it.

Honestly I could care less whether they were to get rid of these programs - or not, but as I've said before it is the way they are sometimes implemented. I did get to use the FP system at DL many years ago and the way it was being done there had no impact on the regular lines as they were merging in very small groups towards the front of the line ever so often.
Had I gone ahead and complained about it at SF Great America, I would have complained about the main line stoppage - which was the source of the problem - and not the fast pass system per-se. With all the visitors the Disney parks get there is obviously a correct way to implement a FP system (and also some other parks, like Dollywood and Kennywood) that doesn't take away from other paying guests' experiences.

Back to the restaurant analogy - more power to them if they want to sell as many $60 entrees as they can every night, but when those of us who order the more moderately priced items (the vast majority - unless the restaurant is in a very ritzy neighborhood, but AFAIK there are no amusement parks in Beverly Hills or Boca Raton!) do not get what we paid for then it isn't worth going there anymore.

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 8/31/12 10:03:32 AM
Schrecken said:

Honestly I could care less whether they were to get rid of these programs - or not, but as I've said before it is the way they are sometimes implemented. I did get to use the FP system at DL many years ago and the way it was being done there had no impact on the regular lines as they were merging in very small groups towards the front of the line ever so often.

I second that thought. I actually like having that option, especially at parks where I am pressed for time or are a good distance away. The problem is the way it's implemented and how many they sell per day not the system itself.

The one I hate is the Platinum FP at SF because the people can stay on the ride 2x in a row but then I think if you want to pay $180 not to get off your ass and walk around to ride again all the power to you.

Jen

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by NotSo NotSo Profile at 9/1/12 5:26:22 AM
HatTrick said:

I find interesting all of the lets give up attitudes. Maybe an email or a complaint cant get these parks to kill the fastlane programs, but it never hurts to voice your opinion. Perhaps some parks might consider ammending their policies if enough people complain. If everyone just says well its useless, then your voice isnt heard and the parks don't think anyone has a problem with it.[/quot

Are you serious bro?!?! Fastlane is awesome. So is Cedar Point. After Hallowweekends i will have spent over $5000 on Cedar Fair parks (mostly CP) this summer, and $0.00 at Six Flags. Cedar Fair is the closest thing to Disney your gonna get. Complain all you want to Hattrick, the rest of us love it!!!

ps. Hatrick you have a job, great, so does everyone. Here's an idea, get one with vacation time so you dont have to go to Cedar Point on a Saturday (and then complain about it), because thats just dumb.

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by depotrat at 9/1/12 12:58:44 PM
"do not get what we paid for then it isn't worth going there anymore."

My question to you would be - what did you pay for? You knew they had a higher level of access available and chose not to buy it. You then complain that the lower level of access isn't is good as it used to be. You chose to not upgrade, so why are you surprised your day didn't go as well as you would have liked? Looks to me like going forward you have three choices. 1) pay the fee for the access 2) don't pay, slog thru and get what you get 3) vote with your feet and don't ever return. If enough people do #3, they will kill Fastlane but don't hold your breath waiting because most people don't care and are willing to take the lower access for the lower fee without complaint.

* This post was modified at 9/1/12 1:02:05 PM *

Re: Fastlane = Epic Fail!!! by Geauga_Dog Geauga_Dog Profile at 9/2/12 12:03:09 AM
I went to CP today and while I didn't pony up to pay for Fast Lane I did some observing. I don't necessarily think it's how a park runs its Fast Lane program but as how it's implemented on a particular ride. While it appeared to be implemented well at CP the biggest culprit seems to be at Maverick.

It was posted as having a wait of 1.5 hours. I'll wait for that long of a time since, IMO, Maverick is worth it. But the line didn't want to move and it frustrated me (along with a few riders I overheard). It felt longer than 1.5 hours and I don't ever remember the queue being that slow in all the rides I've been on it. On top of that the Fast Lane line was almost to the ride's Fast Lane entrance, which if you are familiar with it, that can be a pretty long line. That line didn't seem to be moving any faster than the normal queue. For a ride that has five/six trains and loads two at a time it seems unacceptable.

While I didn't ride Millennium Force I did notice it had an equally long Fast Lane line today as well (and the Force had a couple breakdowns as well).

As for Gatekeeper it would be best to not offer Fast Lane on it next year with it being a new ride or do what SFGAm did with X Flight and have it as a one-ride only add-on for an additional price. I think that would be a fair deal.

G-Dog