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DLR and SFMM... Which to do on Sat or Mon?!


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Hello Theme Park Review!

 

Okay, I know its been awhile since I've been really active, but I do stop by to read some posts! Anywho, some friends and I are headed out to California for vacation May 1st-5th. We can't decide on what day we should visit Disneyland and which to visit Six Flags Magic Mountain.

 

We REALLY want to be able to ride everything at Six Flags, so we thought maybe Saturday would be better, since the park would be open 9am-10pm. But, a Saturday may be entirely too busy to really enjoy everything the park has to offer. So, we thought Monday might potientally be better, even though it is only open 9am-6pm. Given that it is a weekday and school should still be in session, it may prove to be less crowded.

 

We aren't entirely worried about Disneyland, for we really want to see some of the parades and shows and think that either day will be just fine, seeing that it is Disney.

 

So, any advice is greatly appreciate. It is our first trip out there, so we want to have it be the best it can be! So, what park should we visit May 2nd (Saturday) and May 4th (Monday)?!

 

Thank you to everybody!

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I would hit Disneyland on Saturday if I were you. It won't be busy as you might think, because most APs are blocked out on Saturdays, and most of the attractions there are real crowd-eaters (think Pirates-almost 2500 per hour!).

 

Hit SFMM on Monday, and the chances are the crowds will be light...unless LAUSD has their Spring Break that week, in which case it will be crowded like hell.

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It would be crowded no matter which day you do the parks since it's spring break week for some. BE SURE to use FAST PASS!!! & It will be 100% worth it to buy the Qbot at SFMM & 100% worth the $10 upgrade for X2. Even though you will have the Qbot PLEASE RUN TO X2 FIRST THING!!! You need to be at the gate at least 10 min before they open. You do not want to be stuck in a 2 1/2 hour line for X2. Enjoy! My two favorite parks! I am so jealous! I won't get to go to them this year!

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SFMM doesn't open until 10:30 am no matter what day it is.

 

On May 4, Disneyland's hours are 10-8. I've been there 6 times this year and every time it's been packed no matter if it's a Saturday, Monday, Tuesday or Friday. Normally, going on the 10-8 on the 4th would be a good idea but even without Spring Break crowds, the birthday celebrators and people using 2fer tickets have generated huge crowds.

 

However, since it seems like SFMM is your greater priority, maybe you should go on the Monday.

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And since you're from Orlando, you doubt know this, but when you go to DLR, figure out your strategy for using FastPass before you hit the park, and follow it as best you can. A little foresight can save you hours of waiting in queues.

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Disneyland and SFMM are crowded on Saturdays. Both have options where you can wait somewhere else than the queue for attractions, though Disneyland makes you buy it by including it in your admission. I'd recommend reading each park's respective attraction lineup and deciding where you'd best like to spend your crowded day, and where you'd like to spend your slightly-less-crowded day.

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SFMM now has Gold FlashPass. Go whenever you want and just be prepared to buy it if it's crowded. At least you have that option!

 

...And that's what I like about the FlashPass. You can now plan a Six Flags park on a Saturday and the other parks on the weekdays. It really makes planning a multiple park trip that much easier than just using Saturdays for travel days IMO.

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I would hit Disneyland on Saturday if I were you. It won't be busy as you might think, because most APs are blocked out on Saturdays, and most of the attractions there are real crowd-eaters (think Pirates-almost 2500 per hour!).

Actually, thats Pirates on a BAD day. They consistently get 2,900-3,100 an hour.

 

I also agree with going to DL on Saturday and SFMM on Monday. For some reason, DL is VERY BUSY on Mondays!

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Both have options where you can wait somewhere else than the queue for attractions, though Disneyland makes you buy it by including it in your admission.

 

I suppose that's one way of looking at it. Another way would be "Disney throws it in for free." I'll grant you that Disney has much higher SP prices, and though SFMM's non-discounted gate price is only $10 less than DLR's, I bet almost no one actually pays that much. I also understand that the free FastPass option is probably much more profitable for Disney than it would be for SF, since DLR visitors probably drop a lot more cash on food and merch when they're not waiting in queues than SFMM's.

 

Still, if memory serves, doesn't a Gold QBot with one X2 add-on actually cost more than an entire retail one-day admission to DLR? Which is to say that - disregarding the functional differences between the two systems - when you figure in the cost of admission, a day of top-of-the-line QBotting at Magic Mountain actually costs more, maybe considerably more, than a day of FastPassing at DLR, which is hardly a sign of generosity on Six Flags' part.

 

(And that's disregarding the fact that there are E-tickets at DLR, like Pirates and the HM, that don't, even on busy days without FastPass, require the excruciating non-premium-queue waits for all the good stuff at SFMM, and that Disney ops are experts at moving crowds whereas Tatsu ops are.....)

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I suppose that's one way of looking at it. Another way would be "Disney throws it in for free."

 

Disneyland 1-day 1-park admission: $69

 

SFMM 1-day admission online: $39.99

SFMM Flash Pass (regular): $34 ($15 rental + $19/person)

SFMM online admission + 1 person Flash Pass (regular): $73.99

SFMM online admission + (regular) Flash Pass when cost is shared between 2 guests: $66.49 ((38 + 15)/2 + 39.99)

 

You can make the call how you want to, but however you look at it, Disney's including a cost in your admission that SFMM is not.

 

Still, if memory serves, doesn't a Gold QBot with one X2 add-on actually cost more than an entire retail one-day admission to DLR? Which is to say that - disregarding the functional differences between the two systems - when you figure in the cost of admission, a day of top-of-the-line QBotting at Magic Mountain actually costs more, maybe considerably more, than a day of FastPassing at DLR, which is hardly a sign of generosity on Six Flags' part.

 

Comparing Gold Flash Pass to Disney FastPass is really an apples to oranges comparison. Gold is a premium option that shortens wait times by 75% in addition to allowing you to wait elsewhere besides a ride's queue. FastPass never promises to shorten wait times, just shorten the time waiting in a queue for an attraction. Total waiting time with FP including waiting for your window to open is 99% of the time longer than the posted stand-by wait time. FastPass doesn't shorten your total wait time, but Gold Flash Pass does by 75%, which is why it's called a premium service.

 

Gold Flash Pass' premium service comes at additional cost. It's really no different than how any other premium service in any other industry works.

 

 

On a side note, on Thursday night I timed Superman's cycle times by measuring how long it took from the time a car reached its peak on the tower to reach its peak again. 1 minute & 46 seconds!!! Superman cycling that quickly. Way to go crew!

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^One little thing you forgot to mention in your calculations. For the guest who doesn't buy their ticket online, the normal price of admission to SFMM is $59.99. So for only $9 more, you get fastpass. If only the Q-bot's were priced like that. Or better yet, going free on your b-day AND getting fastpass is the best deal in town!

 

I'm also a little bit confused...

 

You're telling me I can go to Disneyland for $69 and get fastpass.

 

Or...

 

I can go to Magic Mountain for $73 and have fastpass. Or save a whole $3 vs. Disneyland if I bring a friend!

 

But it's totally cool to pay more to get the same product, because SFMM is so kind that they let me have the option to decide if I want to wait in all the lines or not.

 

Anyways...not to further derail the thread:

 

I too recommend DLR on Saturday and SFMM on Monday. SFMM will be dead, but there is a chance some things might be down due to staff (since much of their staff are minors and will still be in school!).

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From what I've found, LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT spring break WAS April 4-12. Orange County Was March 28 - April 3.

 

Regardless, Go to SFMM on Monday and you shouldn't need to purchase a Flash Pass. Just make sure to get to X2 right away. X2 and Tatsu are the only rides that generate lines even on slow days (Tatsu 15-20min on a slow day; X2 around an hour on a slow day).

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You're telling me I can go to Disneyland for $69 and get fastpass.

 

Or...

 

I can go to Magic Mountain for $73 and have fastpass. Or save a whole $3 vs. Disneyland if I bring a friend!

 

Or you can buy admission online for $39.99, and buy up a bunch of other vouchers for parking, meals, Flash Pass and more online while you're at it. So many people are buying admission and more online that there's really no reason to just brush off the online admission discount like it doesn't exist.

 

Regardless the point of my above post should be clear enough. Bring a friend! Bring 2 friends! Saving money is cool like that.

 

One little thing you forgot to mention in your calculations. For the guest who doesn't buy their ticket online, the normal price of admission to SFMM is $59.99.

 

Nice use of the word "normal" there. I guess all those people using online admission are just totally "abnormal" for saving $20. Yay abnormal!

 

But those people who do pay $59.99 for admission, in addition to paying a little extra for waiting until they got to the gate to buy full price admission, they'll also get free admission throughout 2009 for that price. So it's a little bit better value over the 1-day $39.99 admission. Bottom line is that people have choices.

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^^I'm just saying that the facts you bring to the table in trying to prove Disney "forces" you to pay for fastpass are weak. It's not a fair comparison when you are comparing a full price 1-day admission at Disney to discounts/promotions @ SFMM. Otherwise it is just as fair to say that Disney is a MUCH better deal and not passing on the costs of fastpass at all, since "normal" people can just as easily decide to wait until their birthday to visit and get in free! It's not like that promotion isn't well known/taken advantage of either.

 

I'll leave it at this: you said yourself that it's totally cool to pay more for a premium product. In case you haven't noticed, Disney is a premium product in the theme park industry. You can try to try to spin it all you want, but the reality is Fastpass is a free service in the eyes of consumer. Nobody is going to come storming into City Hall demanding some of their money back because SFMM is so "considerate" that they give guests the option of paying for a similar service or not. Your backhanded comment trying to prop up Q-bot vs. Fastpass has to be the most ridiculous "justification" I've heard for the Q-bots.

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You can make the call how you want to, but however you look at it, Disney's including a cost in your admission that SFMM is not.

 

Not to drag this out further - okay, to drag this out further - as Jew said, DLR is a premium product that also includes in the price of admission: a spotlessly clean park, relentlessly cheerful cast members, hustling ride ops, best-in-the-world theming, great fireworks, Fantasmic, and the availability of really good food. And if we're going to play "what if..." games, I could buy a 6-day DLR park-hopper that includes an early entry morning AND FastPasses for around $32 a day. Whatever.

 

While waiting for an hour-or-two-later FastPass slot at Space Mountain, on a good day you can squeeze in POTC, HM, Star Tours, and maybe the Matterhorn...not bad. On a one-day park-hopper dealie in early June a couple of years ago, with some planning and a bit of hustle, I managed to ride every single E-ticket at both Disneyland and DCA once or twice, plus do a bunch of other stuff. (Though, granted, it was only a medium-crowd day.) Meanwhile, Six Flags says your Q-Bot will decrease wait times by up to 75% - a nice wiggly clause which no one will be able to prove or disprove, anyway.

 

It's really not the concept of paying a bit more for premium access that I find objectionable. It the exorbitant cost. For the 120 bucks it'd cost for two gold passes and two X add-ons, my partner and I can spend a whole additional day at SFMM (we have SPs and parking pass), paying for a cheap motel near SFMM, buying breakfast at Denny's, buffet dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, with money left over for funnel cakes. (And that 120's what we paid per day for a luxury cruise to Alaska that included the cabin, transportation, entertainement, and immense of amounts of good food.) Sure, I appreciate my cheap SP, and if SF's nickel-and-diming underwrites that, fine. But I wonder, given the state of the economy, just how many people are going to want to drop a hundred-plus bucks on a day riding coasters.

 

So...to meander back to the original topic...anyone going to DLR can profit from understanding and using FastPasses. And they're included in the price of admission.

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But I wonder, given the state of the economy, just how many people are going to want to drop a hundred-plus bucks on a day riding coasters.

 

Actually, quite a few people are buying Flash Passes, including Gold. Its the most popular on crowded days. It's doing exactly what it was designed to do. People want to be riding coasters, not standing in line for hours in the heat. Flash Pass offers them a way out of that queue, and people pay for it. Flash Pass' value is self-evident.

 

And [FastPass is] included in the price of admission.

 

Right, and SFMM Regular Flash Pass is not. This was really the only point I was trying to illustrate. Guests have a choice at SFMM that they don't have at Disneyland. The rest of the DLR/SFMM comparison, not really sure why any of that was relevant or necessary. I'm not interested in an argument over perception. The numbers are what they are.

 

Gold Flash Pass comes at the cost it comes at because of the service it delivers. It's very much like First Class service with an airline. You have the choice to pay for the premium service. The choice is yours.

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But I wonder, given the state of the economy, just how many people are going to want to drop a hundred-plus bucks on a day riding coasters.

Nobody wants to, but people do. At SFGAm they sell more flashpasses now with the q bots at like $60 each than they did when they were $8 a few years back.

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I think that people don't want to just "spend less" they're looking for the best value... That's why the Q-Bots will do so well.

 

And I'd definitely do Magic Mountain on the Saturday, as Disneyland will be more crowded (comparatively speaking) on a Saturday than Magic Mountain will.

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