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(LA Times)   Is $300 really worth it just for "front of line" privileges at your local amusement park?   (latimes.com) divider line 169
    More: Unlikely, VIP, SeaWorld San Diego, trade groups, Chris Hansen, privileges, back lot, Universal Studios Hollywood, standing in line  
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8233 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Apr 2013 at 7:57 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-26 08:28:58 AM
Disney is ahead of the curve. They have designed those RFID bracelets now that are used as your ticket, credit card, hotel room key. It knows how much you are spending and the more you spend the better the experience. Sure, you serfs can take a picture with mickey but hurry along now and shoo. Oh wait, you're staying at the expensive hotel for a week...how about mickey greets your kids BY NAME and then some?

/look up talking mickey on YouTube, its pretty cool
 
2013-04-26 08:29:41 AM
Years ago, my wife's employer rented a Great America for employees and customers. You could get on any ride with no wait. That was fun. Also free.

The employer was Arthur Andersen, so no more of that.
 
2013-04-26 08:30:17 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: It's pretty disgusting to see how the rich buy their way through life, stepping all over the poor every day. It's a slap in the face of the very concept of equality.


The key word there: CONCEPT.
It's a great concept that "all men are created equal", but that is not the reality.
Some people are more equal than others.  Sometimes that is because of having a better natural ability to do certain things better than most people (e.g. Albert Einstein).  And sometimes it is because they were born into a rich family (e.g. Paris Hilton).
 
2013-04-26 08:30:37 AM
This is news? I thought Disney has been doing this at their parks for like a decade?
 
2013-04-26 08:30:40 AM
Has anyone considered the possibility that there are just too damned many people in the park?

www.latimes.com

These parks were designed when there were about half as many people living in the US and getting to the park presented an almost insurmountable barrier to most of them.
 
2013-04-26 08:31:52 AM
As far as I could tell people go to Cedar Point to wait in line.  I know I'll never go back.
 
2013-04-26 08:32:43 AM
Some friends and I invented the line-pass comp at the NYNY casino in Vegas.  The pit boss hand-wrote it the first time.  When we visited next year, it was on a pre-printed form.
 
2013-04-26 08:35:23 AM

Tat'dGreaser: Actually it's not a bad idea if you have the money and don't have kids.


Dept of Redundancy Department.
 
2013-04-26 08:36:16 AM

markie_farkie: People who have no contextual awareness of their surroundings, and wander aimlessly, 2 feet in front of you, stopping randomly every 3 feet, and somehow managing to anticipate your every evasive move to get around their stupid farking asses...


My wife and I call these people Meanderthals.
 
2013-04-26 08:38:35 AM
My worst line experience was at Busch Gardens Water County in Williamsburg.  Took for frickin ever to ride anything.
 
2013-04-26 08:39:46 AM
It would be too much money for me, but what do I care what someone else spends their money on? If it makes them happy then good for them. I bet those people might be concerned about all the money I spend on computer gadgets. Big deal.
 
2013-04-26 08:44:51 AM
I always get the fast passes.  I'm going on vacation to enjoy myself, not stand in line with a bunch of  people that I don't want to talk to.
 
2013-04-26 08:45:10 AM

bbcard1: I am pretty sure that this is just another example of me slipping into old farthood, but I don't mind standing in line.  It helps build antici.....................pation for the ride. You get a chance to talk to the people you are riding with and plan what you're doing next.  You get to check out the tatas on the young mom who is in line about 20 people in front of you and sat in the front of the log flume...I am not saying I am up for the hour long line....but with planning you can generally avoid long waits...not all that complicated...get there early, stay late. Ride the popular rides first/last.


Maybe the rain is really to blame...
 
2013-04-26 08:49:04 AM
"We introduced our enhanced VIP Experience in response to the growing demands of our guests seeking a luxury opportunity when they visit our theme park," said Larry Kurzweil, president of Universal Studios Hollywood.

Will we be buying our tickets in bitcoins in the future? When will the ride computers be intelligent enough to revolt and eat the guests? Are any of the suited actors really genetically engineered superfreaks?
 
2013-04-26 08:49:32 AM

kingdd: You know you're screwed when the line wraps around the building before the doors even open. This place is just a lake of fire away from being actual hell on earth.


The Lake of Fire is still under construction, opening in June 2013.

I'd suggest you get the Fast Pass for it, new attractions always have long lines.
 
2013-04-26 08:49:49 AM

offacue: markie_farkie: People who have no contextual awareness of their surroundings, and wander aimlessly, 2 feet in front of you, stopping randomly every 3 feet, and somehow managing to anticipate your every evasive move to get around their stupid farking asses...

My wife and I call these people Meanderthals.


You too?

We have discovered that people who are bovinely wandering down an aisle, blocking all access to anyone else don't like it when you come up behind them and moo.
 
2013-04-26 08:51:49 AM

WhoopAssWayne: markie_farkie: I would gladly pay $300 to have the following people perma-banned from any public setting:

7. thin-skinned whiners


8.  WhoopAssWayne
 
2013-04-26 08:53:42 AM

wingnut396: So the only time you are productive at the theme park is when you are on a ride?  If your time is so valuable and that you can't waste time, why are you at a park in the first place?

Now when I am on vacation, I'm paid via my saved PTO wages regardless if I in line or not.  And since I can pretty much set my hours, maybe I'll 'charge' my productivity time when I am spending a hour eating a nice meal 'after work' instead.  In short, when you are not on the clock, complaining what you lost in 'productivity' it farking stupid.

Now is it worth it to not wait in line.  Hell yeah.  Personally instead of paying extra, I try to go in the off season when lines are short and rooms are cheaper.  This is extra good if you go to Orlando because central Florida is farking ball sweat nasty hot in the middle of the summer.


"Productive" ain't exactly the right word. Queueing up for rides isn't nourishing your soul or giving you pleasure or feeding your bank balance. It is wasting time. It's not even good wasting time like lying in a field in the sun.

I pay for Q-Bot at Legoland because I'd rather be going on rides with the kids one day, and maybe going on a bike ride at home the following day, instead of spending 2 days at Legoland to do all the stuff we want to do. It also costs about the same for Q-Bot as a day's ticket, the kids don't get bored, we get to go on lots of stuff, don't have to pay for a hotel overnight.
 
2013-04-26 09:00:33 AM

Kibbler: When people pay a lot, they feel entitled to be jerks.


This. Notice it everytime I'm overseas. Fat wallet Americans think they can be the same a**holes over there that they are over here.  Makes me shamed to be one.

/american, not jerk.
 
2013-04-26 09:06:39 AM

wingnut396: Cubicle Jockey: If you are a childless couple, just go during the off season in late September. No lines at all.

Fark that noise, pull the kids out of school.  Get the work lined up in advanced and make sure the kids take care of their shiat.  If anyone give you the lines about what you teaching kids taking them away from their work, just say you are preparing them for real life where you plan vacations whenever and make sure your responsibilities are taken care of in advance.


Love this. So many people forget: you are their parents! Do whatever you want! You own them! If you're so worried about them not developing properly, stop doing all the other bad parenting moves that you have (every parent has them) and save up the irresponsibility for one big pop every September.

Most parents insist on perfect school attendance because they've been fantasizing about their kids being out of their hair for months and delayed gratification isn't easy for anyone.
 
2013-04-26 09:07:05 AM
My wife and I paid $200 extra for a meet and greet with a band that also allowed us to get into the venue early and get the best spots for a GA show. It ended up being the best concert we ever saw because we had perfect spots where it sounded great and we could see the band. We decided that from now on we will always drop the extra cash if it's available because the experience was so much better.
I could absolutely see doing that for an amusement park. Personally, I'm a big pussy and I can't go on roller coasters so in a park it wouldn't matter to me. I'm the designated wait with the baby carriage and purses guy while everyone else goes on the ride and I'm totally okay with that.
 
2013-04-26 09:07:41 AM
If it is it might tell you something about the regular experience for visitors to your park.
 
2013-04-26 09:08:34 AM

farkeruk: "Productive" ain't exactly the right word. Queueing up for rides isn't nourishing your soul or giving you pleasure or feeding your bank balance. It is wasting time.


I agree.  My main point is comparing what you are doing away from work with what you could be earning is farking stupid.  Do you do that with sleeping?  How much money are you losing when you do crap like sleep, shower and shave?  Do you time how long it takes to pinch a loaf and then wonder if you need more fiber because it 'costs' too much?

I knew a guy that was part of our lunch group for a while that would biatch about this when service was slow.  About how much money he could be making and crap like that.  Finally we asked him if his time was so farking valuable, why was he not eating at his desk instead of going out for a lunch?  He decided to no longer be part of our lunch group for some reason.

I get the point the point of convenience.  I get the point that you have a limited amount of time on vacation and many feel the need to do it all.  I've no problem with the passes.  I just think it is stupid to compare time on vacation that you view as wasted as a missed  earning opportunity cost.  If that is your worldview, you should never go on vacation or take any leisure activity, as isn't all just missed earning opportunity?
 
2013-04-26 09:08:47 AM

Tat'dGreaser: Sid_6.7: It isn't $300, it's $219 more than you'd normally pay.

And it's probably an awesome deal for couples without kids to pay for.

GODDAMN RICH PEOPLE ARGHHHH!!!!!

Actually it's not a bad idea if you have the money and don't have kids.


Precisely. My wife and I did Disney and Islands of Adventure in Orlando back in December.  After dealing with all the "fun" at Magic Kingdom, I ponied that cash in a heartbeat for IoA so we could actually ride everything more than once.

The only ride that we stood in line for was the new Harry Potter, and that entire line is an experience in itself.  Then we rode both of the dueling dragons, twice each, in the time it took to get through the HP ride.

And this was on a Monday in December.  If we went back during the summer, there's no way I wouldn't buy the super pass.
 
2013-04-26 09:08:55 AM
6 flags in Illinois has a pass that allows you to bypass 90% of the lines for $200 for up to four.  if all you want to do is do the rides, it is wonderful. Much better then spending most of the day in lines
 
2013-04-26 09:10:48 AM

markie_farkie: I would gladly pay $300 to have the following people perma-banned from any public setting:

1.  People who congregate in groups in the MIDDLE of a farking walkway, full-well knowing they are blocking traffic.

2.  People who STOP AT THE TOP of a farking escalator, staring off in to space, oblivious to the fact that there are uncontrolled masses of people behind them that can't reverse course.

3.  People who, after standing in line for 15 minutes at a concession stand, with all that time available to review the menus posted every 6 inches, get to the front of the line and then take 10 more minutes to figure out what the fark they want to order.

4.  People who have no contextual awareness of their surroundings, and wander aimlessly, 2 feet in front of you, stopping randomly every 3 feet, and somehow managing to anticipate your every evasive move to get around their stupid farking asses...

/end of rant.


You forgot the people who stand in front of elevators and subway cars not giving people time to get out first.
 
2013-04-26 09:11:29 AM
Staying on site at a Universal Hotel in Orlando, especially during off peak when prices get more reasonable, is worth every penny.

Family of 5 - 3 great pools... all get fast passes to 95% of the rides / attractions... come and go as you please from the parks and walk back to your hotel.. go off site for food.. come back.

Sounds like a commercial?  Probably.  But this is the one thing my entire family agrees on and we look forward to going every year.   Cut out a handful of other amenities during the year.. no biggie.  It's more expensive than staying at the Ramada and getting to ride only about 20% of the rides we currently do but, if I'm only going to have one vacation a year, I'm doing it right. And no.. I don't feel guilty that I can budget throughout the year to make my family's vacation memorable..
 
2013-04-26 09:11:50 AM
You can go the scumbag route and put someone in your group in a wheelchair. Everyone gets to skip the lines that way.
 
2013-04-26 09:12:07 AM
I noticed at King's Dominion that almost everyone over 8 and under 40 had a Fastpass.  The fastpass line was longer than the regular line for some rides.  I don't know if the regular line ever moved.
 
2013-04-26 09:13:15 AM

honk: The Lake of Fire is still under construction, opening in June 2013.


If you've been to Disney Studios, that attraction is called "Fantasmic."
 
2013-04-26 09:14:06 AM
No one goes there anymore; it's too crowded.
 
2013-04-26 09:16:49 AM
First time I saw someone with one of these fast passes, at King's Island in Ohio, yeah, I was pissed.  But now my wife and I are planning a trip to Cedar Point this summer, and we've decided to splurge on the fast passes--I went there once, years ago, and my single most vivid memory of the day was standing in line for 3 hours to ride the raptor, right around closing time.  Thanks, but, it's worth my money to spend an extra 60 bucks a ticket so that driving 6 hours to a theme park doesn't suck donkey balls.

Side note--have any of you been to Cedar Point with the fast pass this year yet?  How big of a difference does it seem to make?
 
2013-04-26 09:20:20 AM

bark_atda_moon: I noticed at King's Dominion that almost everyone over 8 and under 40 had a Fastpass.  The fastpass line was longer than the regular line for some rides.  I don't know if the regular line ever moved.


This highlights the real problem.  They're just overselling the total number of tickets at times.

The last park I actually enjoyed was Busch Gardens Tampa in the off season.  Disney Orlando wasn't horrible, but only because we went on my daughter's birthday and we got to double up on the rides.
 
2013-04-26 09:24:36 AM

ManRay: You can go the scumbag route and put someone in your group in a wheelchair. Everyone gets to skip the lines that way.


Depends on the park. Some give exit line access, others treat it like a FastPass, where you schedule times to get on the ride, and it adjusts for how crowded the park is.

In any case, if you go when it's crowded, it's going to suck. We went to Universal between Xmas and NYD, and it was a two-hour wait to get IN to the Harry Potter section. Then another 1.5-2 hour wait to get on the 3 rides in that part of the park. They shut down admissions to that side of the park by 11AM.

Advice? Go on a weekday, during a non-vacation time of year. Look at the kids' school calendars, and do it on a teacher workday. Won't need a fast pass, overpriced upgrade or fake doctors' note.

Side note - because this type of 'upgrade' has become so popular, Disney recently created an apartment inside Cinderella's Castle @ WDW. Technically, it's not available to the general public, but, like Club 33, it can be had.....for a price.
 
2013-04-26 09:27:58 AM
As someone who lives within a mile of a major amusement park and doesn't ever wait in lines and rides the rides more than most anyone who goes to the park, I'm really getting a kick . . . .

I go evenings during the week around 8:30, and mornings on the weekend right when they open.  And sometimes a weekend at the end of the day.  I can leave my house at 8:55, and get 6-7 rides in on top flight coasters, and be back home by 10:10.  Put the kid to bed, have a couple pops, head over and ride rides, and then come back home.

I'm also the king of the three point shooting game and the free throw shooting game.  Not sure why anyone would pay 5 bucks for 2 shots at a bent rim way up in the air when you could pay 5 bucks to do a three point shooting contest (4 balls from each side and top of the key).  I've won so many jerseys I have to give them all away.  I will win the IPad one day, I swear I will.  Gotta go 12/12 from college three point range in 40 seconds.  My best is 10/12.

I love amusement parks.
 
2013-04-26 09:31:13 AM

markie_farkie: I would gladly pay $300 to have the following people perma-banned from any public setting:

1.  People who congregate in groups in the MIDDLE of a farking walkway, full-well knowing they are blocking traffic.

2.  People who STOP AT THE TOP of a farking escalator, staring off in to space, oblivious to the fact that there are uncontrolled masses of people behind them that can't reverse course.

3.  People who, after standing in line for 15 minutes at a concession stand, with all that time available to review the menus posted every 6 inches, get to the front of the line and then take 10 more minutes to figure out what the fark they want to order.


3.1 ... and then proceed to take another 5 minutes to hunt around in their purse/jacket/pockets for their wallet to pay for said order.  What, did you not realize that the step AFTER placing an order and receiving it was PAYING for it?

4.  People who have no contextual awareness of their surroundings, and wander aimlessly, 2 feet in front of you, stopping randomly every 3 feet, and somehow managing to anticipate your every evasive move to get around their stupid farking asses...

/end of rant.

 
2013-04-26 09:31:33 AM
If the park does this, I don't go. This is because when they pay the park this extra thing, the park is selling my place in line, which I paid for, without compensating me for the fact that I have to wait. Selling cuts is NOT cool.

It's one thing for the rich to be able to pay for things I can't- and quite another for them to be able to take from me without my permission based on their wealth.
 
2013-04-26 09:32:23 AM
or just time your trip to the park right.. we got lucky one day, went to Cedar Point in the fall, started out looking like a cloudy gross day. Got to the park and hardly anyone was there. Every single coaster we went on had a line of at most 10 people. The longest line was maybe 10 minutes for Millennium 2000. Most of the rides you could get off and get right back on. I love coasters and crazy g force rides.. but we rode so many that day that by the end i was completely wiped out. As for Cedar Point? if you like coasters, you MUST go there some day. Its an amazing park, tons of great rides.
 
2013-04-26 09:33:37 AM
basementrejects.com

loves this idea.
 
2013-04-26 09:36:02 AM

Flakeloaf: Richard_The_Clown: Or you can by just one if you like. My thing is though, what happens when more and more people start doing this. Then you'll have your long lines again.

Came here to say this. Seems this is just a fee to wait in a different line with a slightly wealthier kind of asshole.


You're missing the point. Once that happens, they'll introduce an even more expensive, er I mean special, VIP pass that allows you to cut in front of the cutters. Which probably already exists for celebrities.
 
2013-04-26 09:36:22 AM

kokomo61: Side note - because this type of 'upgrade' has become so popular, Disney recently created an apartment inside Cinderella's Castle @ WDW. Technically, it's not available to the general public, but, like Club 33, it can be had.....for a price.


What is the price?  Everything I read said that it was exclusively for prize winners.

legendsrevealed.com

I bet it is SPOOKY as crap to be there with the park empty.  And probably no room service!
 
2013-04-26 09:41:21 AM
Last year when my youngest kid turned 10 we took a trip out to L.A. to finish up his SCUBA certification over on Catalina, where I had finished his brother's certification the year before.  After the dive trip we gave them the option of Universal / Disney,etc or go sightseeing.  We ended up hiking up to view the Hollywood sign, people watching on Venice Beach, went to 3rd. St. Prominade to people watch some more and then did the pier afterwards.  They've got memories of LA that will last a lifetime, whereas most kids won't remember a thing about a visit to a theme park other than how cranky mom and dad were at the end of the day.  For farks sake - take your kids and do something meaningful.  If, as a family of four, I had budgeted $1200 to blow for a day of fun, it sure as fark wouldn't be spent with 10,000 other people.
 
2013-04-26 09:43:35 AM

AverageAmericanGuy: It's pretty disgusting to see how the rich buy their way through life, stepping all over the poor every day. It's a slap in the face of the very concept of equality.


As I have been teaching my son in preparation for the coming classwar
 
2013-04-26 09:55:04 AM
ChaoticLimbs:

It's one thing for the rich to be able to pay for things I can't- and quite another for them to be able to take from me without my permission based on their wealth.

Why do you hate America?
 
2013-04-26 09:56:01 AM

doglover: YES!

Assume my time is worth $25 dollars an hour, thus every hour I'm waiting in line is -$25.
The average wait in Tokyo Disney is 2 hours in the summer.

This means that a full day at Disneyland in the busy season each 2 hour line costs me about $50 in lost productivity just waiting to get to ther ride.

Now, let's talk utility. I'd pay $25 to do something fun for two hours that's not waiting in line. Be it a movie, a bar tab, or a few rounds of bowling. So the 2 hour line is costing me an aditional $50 in lost utility.

So each two hour line costs me $100 in loss to wait for. Thus if I ride three rides(or skip six hours' waiting) in a day, the fast past pays for itself. So if you hit many rides, totally worth it.



You just typed all that on a Blackberry, didn't you?
 
2013-04-26 09:57:03 AM

FilmBELOH20: For farks sake - take your kids and do something meaningful.

 
2013-04-26 09:58:31 AM

The Dynamite Monkey: FilmBELOH20: For farks sake - take your kids and do something meaningful.


Ok I am a numbnutz who didn't preview, so I will direct my scorn to myself instead of you!
 
2013-04-26 10:00:04 AM

Monkeyhouse Zendo: Has anyone considered the possibility that there are just too damned many people in the park?

[www.latimes.com image 850x550]

These parks were designed when there were about half as many people living in the US and getting to the park presented an almost insurmountable barrier to most of them.


Actually, the parks have expanded exponentially in size... at a rate far exceeding population growth.  They are so big and numerous now, it isnt even possible to go everywhere on a week long trip.
 
2013-04-26 10:02:56 AM

ChaoticLimbs: If the park does this, I don't go. This is because when they pay the park this extra thing, the park is selling my place in line, which I paid for, without compensating me for the fact that I have to wait. Selling cuts is NOT cool.

It's one thing for the rich to be able to pay for things I can't- and quite another for them to be able to take from me without my permission based on their wealth.


I generally feel the same way.

When a park sells special tours or access to hidden areas - that's cool. They are selling something extra that requires additional resources (special tour guide and adjustments to security). Selling 'cuts' in line is essentially selling something that doesn't belong to them. They are literally selling the inconvenience of their less valued customers. Other examples might be:

Revoking a reservation at a booked hotel because someone agreed to pay more
Bumping you from a reserved/confirmed flight because somebody bought your seat for a fee

Nobody has a problem with people with money getting the first class treatment. The problem is when the treatment takes away from the experience that you are also paying for.
 
2013-04-26 10:03:23 AM
bark_atda_moon:  I don't know if the regular line ever moved.
 
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