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What do you think of Fast Passes?


Do you like and use Fast Passes at theme Parks?  

144 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you like and use Fast Passes at theme Parks?

    • Yes, I like them and I use them often
      82
    • I think it is cool that parks offer something like that, but I don't use them
      29
    • I use them but I don't really like the concept
      17
    • I don't like them
      16


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I think that fast passes are ok. I don't use them very often, because I try to go to parks on not so crowded days (no weekends, no holidays). If it is really crowded and I' m the first time in this park, I use them.

What I don't like is, when the park is empty, no waiting in lines and then there is someone, who uses a fast pass. That sucks!

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I don't have a problem with them. They are great if you are visiting a park for a short amount of time and want to get the chance to experience all the coasters. On the other hand I can see how someone could get upset over them, due to the whole "line jumping" ordeal. I have never purchased a fast pass in my life so I geuss my say isn't very valid. Just wanted to share my two cents.

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For the folks who think fast passes have no impact on other riders, keep in mind that the rides have a fixed capacity... To have no impact, the capacity of the ride would have to be increased by the same number of expected fast pass riders per hour. If a ride has a capacity of 1000 riders per hour, that's 100 riders per 6 minutes. So, say there are 100 fast pass users in an hour...that means only 900 other riders will get on in that same hour. So in effect, it adds 6 minutes to the wait time, or 10%.

 

You're forgetting that without FastPass, those 100 users would have been in line with the other 900 users. It's not like the 100 FP users would not exist if FP didn't exist. So the wait time for non-FP users is really is not affected at all. In fact, since not every FP ticket or time slot is used, it actually means the 900 non-FP users might actually wait slightly less at any one given point in time during the day.

 

People forget that for a ride reservation system, like FastPass, which is very different than a paid skip-the-line pass, those with reserved times have actually waited MUCH longer than those who randomly decide to drop into a stand-by queue. With the old FP system, it used to be hours. Now with FP+ that wait can be days, weeks, even months longer than the stand-by crowd. The biggest difference is the FP+ users' wait was not spent stuck in a stuffy queue with no escape. This is something I am very grateful for.

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After considering the amount of money required to travel, park, general admission, and meals the family trip to a major park is fairly expensive. It is a choice to add on the amount of money required for fast passes. If that extra cost is setting someone back majorly in terms of personal finance, I question why they are already investing so much into the trip at all.

 

It comes down to how much someone values their visit in terms of how much they want to experience in a given time. If I go to a sporting event and choose not to sit front and center, it shows more about how much I value my experience than how much money I have. If the extra money to move up front puts me in financial turmoil, I should not go the game period.

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For the folks who think fast passes have no impact on other riders, keep in mind that the rides have a fixed capacity... To have no impact, the capacity of the ride would have to be increased by the same number of expected fast pass riders per hour. If a ride has a capacity of 1000 riders per hour, that's 100 riders per 6 minutes. So, say there are 100 fast pass users in an hour...that means only 900 other riders will get on in that same hour. So in effect, it adds 6 minutes to the wait time, or 10%.

 

You're forgetting that without FastPass, those 100 users would have been in line with the other 900 users. It's not like the 100 FP users would not exist if FP didn't exist. So the wait time for non-FP users is really is not affected at all. In fact, since not every FP ticket or time slot is used, it actually means the 900 non-FP users might actually wait slightly less at any one given point in time during the day.

 

 

That argument you put forth is a fallacy. You have to remember that people can't be two places at once, but FP essentially allows that to happen. These people who you claim would be in front of you if they didn't have FP are now in a different line making that line longer, thus making the general public's wait longer. I am not arguing for or against FP but, it is an undisputed fact that FP makes the line longer for the general public however, you it is debatable how much longer of a line FP makes is for others. The virtual queue probably has a small effect but, systems like cedar fairs probably has a noticeable effect.

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What I don't like is, when the park is empty, no waiting in lines and then there is someone, who uses a fast pass.

 

We always chuckle whenever we see someone in the fast lane line when the ride is a walk on.

 

Same here. When I was at Valleyfair back in October, I was waiting for Steel Venom, and there was only a one train wait, but a group of three or four elementary school-aged kids went through the Fast Lane line . Makes you wonder what their parents were thinking spending around $100 for Fast Lane wristbands on such a slow day.

Edited by VF15
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That argument you put forth is a fallacy. You have to remember that people can't be two places at once, but FP essentially allows that to happen. These people who you claim would be in front of you if they didn't have FP are now in a different line making that line longer, thus making the general public's wait longer. I am not arguing for or against FP but, it is an undisputed fact that FP makes the line longer for the general public however, you it is debatable how much longer of a line FP makes is for others. The virtual queue probably has a small effect but, systems like cedar fairs probably has a noticeable effect.

 

No it's not an undisputable fact. Starting out calling my post a "fallacy" and then calling your opinion an undisputable fact is unnecessarily adversarial. It also doesn't sound like you have much familiarity with different kinds of systems. Have you only experienced CF's Fast Lane? Have you used a system like Disneyland's FastPass or WDW's FastPass+?

 

As I said in my earlier post, there is a huge difference between ride reservation-style FastPass systems and upcharge skip-the-line passes. What I was referring to in my post was what effect a ride reservation system has on a stand-by queue compared to a queue with no ride reservation or skip-the-line system. It doesn't put people in two places at once, nor does it inflate anybody's wait time. Do you believe people who choose to wait for a table without a reservation at a major restaurant that accepts reservations are being somehow forced to wait longer than if the restaurant didn't accept reservations? No it would be about the same wait, only the waiting area would be crammed with people who have no choice but to be stuck there waiting. With reservations, the room is much less crammed, and in some cases people without reservations actually end up waiting even less when reservations are missed. Same goes with ride reservation-style FastPass systems.

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It is not fair that first class passengers on planes get more leg room then people in coach. They should do away with first class so everyone has the same leg room.

 

 

I like the option to have a fast pass, skip the line or what ever they call it for an extra charge. When I'm traveling and have a limited time in a park it is worth it to pay extra to see everything I want to see. I don't care if people think I'm line jumping. They can pay the extra too and join me.

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I will ALWAYS buy the skip-the-line option if I am visiting a park on vacation and it would be impossible to return. It's a great insurance policy to ensure I get on all the rides I want to do (assuming they are open of course). I also don't care that "skip the line" passes increase wait times, since I would rather a park be a successful business and continue to operate and build new rides than worry about waiting an extra 10 minutes.

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At age 65, I don't have time to wait in line, LOL! I do like to use them but I ONLY get one when I am on a trip/vacation. Last year, 2014, I had one at SFMM, SFSL, and Knott's and also Silver Dollar City, but there I took the 8 ride pass and not the whole day one. I'm tired of waiting in lines and at my age I've waited in many of them. In today's amusement parks they have more people than rides and even then they don't always run all available 'trains'. Six Flags is good for doing that, IMHO. We pay to ride the rides; NOT stand in line so the Fast/Flash Passes are good for me.

 

I ADDED ON AFTER I READ OTHER COMMENTS - BTW, I also visited Disneyland in 2014. Loved California Adventure and even stayed at the Californian for four days, but I digress. We used the Disneyland Ride Reservation System and thought it very good. It gave us (4) an opportunity to do other things while waiting for our turn to ride. Back in 2012, we, the same four, visited Universal Studios. There we had the "Front of the Line Pass' and it was worth the cost. It allowed us to ride every ride at least once, plus we had time left in the day to ride some again, and do the back-lot tour all during the same visit. If we didn't have the FOTLP it would have taken us 2 days to do everything, due to the amount of people visiting the park that day, and when you don't have the time to come back then using a Fast/Flash/Reservation/FOTL Pass is ideal. It may add to your overall cost for your trip/vacation but for me that is the ONLY way to go! Remember... It's ONLY money!!

Edited by chieftom1
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No it's not an undisputable fact. Starting out calling my post a "fallacy" and then calling your opinion an undisputable fact is unnecessarily adversarial. It also doesn't sound like you have much familiarity with different kinds of systems. Have you only experienced CF's Fast Lane? Have you used a system like Disneyland's FastPass or WDW's FastPass+?

 

As I said in my earlier post, there is a huge difference between ride reservation-style FastPass systems and upcharge skip-the-line passes. What I was referring to in my post was what effect a ride reservation system has on a stand-by queue compared to a queue with no ride reservation or skip-the-line system. It doesn't put people in two places at once, nor does it inflate anybody's wait time. Do you believe people who choose to wait for a table without a reservation at a major restaurant that accepts reservations are being somehow forced to wait longer than if the restaurant didn't accept reservations? No it would be about the same wait, only the waiting area would be crammed with people who have no choice but to be stuck there waiting. With reservations, the room is much less crammed, and in some cases people without reservations actually end up waiting even less when reservations are missed. Same goes with ride reservation-style FastPass systems.

I have experienced multiple systems and I am personally a fan of the ride reservation system. I will explain how it's not my opinion, but a fact. The fast pass system is there so you will wait less and be able to do more things at the park. When people reserve a ride, what do they do? They go do other things in the park, so while they are in "line" for one ride they are out waiting for another ride. So they are in two places at once. You can say that they would have been ahead of you in line for ride 1(the FP one), but then they couldn't have gone over and ridden ride 2(non FP ride). So they got 2 rides in while the general public got 1. With the FP people getting more rides in than the general public it means that they are lengthening the line of the general public because these rides are a zero sum game.

Your restaurant example is not a good one as it misses a key factor and that is what the people with the reservation are doing with their extra time.

I am all for FP, but it just bothers me when people use misconceptions to defend their stance.

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Planes put out massive amounts of greenhouse gases. The batteries that power the laptop I'm using right now, the tablets my wife and I own, and my cell phone require strip mining, probably in China or Africa with little to no environmental or labor welfare considerations. Same with the manufacture of virtually all my consumer electronics. It isn't that I don't think that me buying a Q-Bot may lead to someone else waiting longer when I utilize it. I realize that's the case. The thing is, I don't care. It is incredibly trivial in the grand scheme of the everything. Me not getting a Fastlane band isn't going to reduce the growing disparity between poor and rich in the Western World or change anything about mass urbanism. These are gated theme parks that charge a big cover price to keep poor people out. It is a feature. If you go to theme parks, you either accept that or you don't. If you don't, you are in the wrong hobby and you fill find yourself constantly frustrated and angry.

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but it just bothers me when people use misconceptions to defend their stance.

 

It bothers me when some people are so incredibly convinced that they are right and that they have to be right that they think simply repeating themselves over & over again will make them right because they are right.

 

If you don't like the use of misconceptions, you probably shouldn't use them yourself. The ride reservation system isn't there so you wait less. It actually means you're going to be waiting a lot more. With FP+ you'll be waiting days, weeks, or even months for your reservation to be up and your chance to ride to arrive. The only difference it makes is that the wait can now take place elsewhere than a stuffy ride queue. You can even be waiting for one ride while waiting for another ride. This leads me to this statement:

 

With the FP people getting more rides in than the general public it means that they are lengthening the line of the general public because these rides are a zero sum game.

 

I'm sorry but this makes absolutely no sense at all. When I ride Splash Mountain with a FP ticket for Space Mountain in my pocket whose window doesn't open for another 8 hours, nobody is waiting longer for anything. The basis from which you reach your "zero sum game" conclusion is inherently flawed. Yes I can ride Splash Mountain while holding a FP ticket for Space Mountain, but that doesn't mean I'm in two places at once. I may have gotten on Splash via the single rider line, meaning I'm in a seat that would have been empty. Who's waiting longer? Nobody. No, holding a Space Mountain FP only means that after waiting 8 hours for Space Mountain, I won't have to wait behind people who chose to wait 45mins in a stand-by queue instead of getting a reservation ticket. My time stuck in a queue is greatly diminished, and those in the stand-by line only have to get in line behind those who didn't get a reservation instead of behind everyone who wants to ride. Take the reservation system away and wait times will go up, but it won't be a directly proportional difference since many who would have used FP but can't now won't get in line to ride at all without it. Many people in a stand-by line are holding FP tickets or FP+ times for other rides. Can you really be sure you can measure EXACTLY what would have happened had the system not existed? No, you can't. To think you can is to only build assumptions upon a flawed premise. There is no zero sum game. All circumstances affect others in different ways with differing outcomes.

 

Honestly I thought this was all settled by now since FastPass systems have been around for 17 some odd years. I thought the zero sum game myth perpetrated by a different and often wrong website was long since debunked but I guess not.

 

Another problem I have is when you call people who don't use FP "general public" when in the case of a ride reservation system that is included with park admission, everyone who buys that admission has the chance to use it. We're ALL general public. We all have equal access to the same information, namely what is written on a park map regarding FastPass. Our own individual choices determine how much the system will benefit our day. For example, arriving at 7pm greatly diminishes how much benefit the system will provide compared to someone who arrives at park opening, but both users originally had equal chance of using the system. Sometimes people realize they made poor choices about their day but that is not the fault of the FP system. If you're angry about how long you had to wait in line for a ride, the answer is not to make everyone else wait in line just as long as you did. The answer is to make better choices. Arrive at the park earlier. Go to the park on a less crowded day. Learn more about the ride reservation system and how it works. If none of these choices are an option, yet you still must attend the park, be prepared to accept the results.

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I would argue that FastPass and other free ride reservation systems actually help keep wait times down since they serve as an incentive for guests to stay spread out around the park. Without FastPass, there is no incentive for the average person to do anything other than the E-ticket rides. With FastPass, guests can be spread around the park to shows/restaurants/rides with smaller waits while they are waiting for their time to arrive.

 

Lets say it's opening day for a new major E-ticket and there are 10,000 guests waiting for the park to open to head straight to the new ride. Without FastPass, all 10,000 of those guests are forced to wait in line. With FastPass, those guests are spread throughout the whole day, which actually decreases the standby wait times since their time to come back is hours from now.

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Many parks have been very guilty of allowing a disproportionate number of people in the FastPass line to the point of making that general queue increase dramatically.

 

That's not the fault of the FastPass, that's the fault of poor training for employees. Sure, it happens, we've all seen it, but there are plenty of parks who properly balance the number of FastPass holders to the number of stand-by guests.

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I've mentioned it before in my TR's and I made a thread asking a while ago how people felt about rides becoming fast-pass only rides with no standby line, Everland on weekends and holidays runs a lot of their rides on different fast pass only systems. T Express for nearly all of its operating time is fast pass only. You need to line up and get a reservation ticket to come back later to ride. The tickets were never staggered they were always from 0 clock until 50 minutes past for everyone. However nobody seems to read the park map to see their are multiple ticket booths around the park and i've seen people wait almost an hour for a fast pass ticket because they all run to the T Express ticket booth. After 3PM it was first come first serve to enter the line, which meant as soon as the queue was in danger of going past T Expresses closing time the line was shut (T Express closes a lot earlier because of the fireworks nearby)

 

Before it closed down to be replaced/upgraded the flume ride had an interesting system. As soon as the line hit 60 minutes the standby line was closed and fast pass tickets were handed out, but unlike T Express they were staggered and once they hit 5pm that was it you couldn't line up until then, and then it was first come first serve same as t express.

 

They also run tickets only on the 15 minute hologram show where you pick the show-time and come back, it runs every half hour though because they change the show each time. I wonder how people would feel if they could choose a show time for Shrek 4D or Mickeys Philharmagic, no waiting in line but you can only go once at that exact time and when all the shows are full you can't go anymore.

 

The shows that run 3 times a day and the kids indoor playground are also reservation only, you choose your time (or for the playground time slot) and when the number of tickets are gone that's it, so you have to grab quite a few different tickets when you first enter the park.

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Just finished a survey for Six Flags (I get them occasionally). .and one of the set of questions was about the Flash pass.

 

Have I heard of it?

 

How much would I be willing to pay for one?

 

How likely would I be to purchase one for $100 per person?

 

 

(and of course, the questions sold the hell out of the benefits).

 

so Six Flags is doing research into raising the prices.

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When I've made the choice to go to a theme park that has a $60 gate admission and $25 parking, I'm throwing away the "what about the poor people?" excuse immediately. People who are really poor - like living under the federal poverty guidelines poor - are probably not inside the gates and having a good time because they cannot afford to do so. The whole enterprise is built on being undemocratic. If the lack of equality really grinds your gears, you shouldn't be on forums like TPR. You should do something else with your life.

 

I'm a relatively poor person and find amusement parks, or at least the closest one(s), one of the best entertainment values. It's true a poorer person might not do $60+25 but most parks have discount days, seasons passes, and one can car pool or even take the bus, but even at full price, almost anything else vacation-like costs more. It's very important that parks make a lot of their money on optional purchases rather than admissions, and this is the main justification for Fast Pass.

 

It sounds like some parks are selling too many. The comparison with restaurant reservations is apt, especially that on busy days, it should have to be done in advance so those who really care about it and plan ahead get it. I think it would be even fairer if they were only sold to people coming at least a certain distance, but that's complicated.

 

They do make sense for those making an expensive trip to a park. I didn't get one on my only major park trip in recent years because I couldn't really afford it, waiting would have put the trip into another year, which doesn't help.

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I love Fast Pass.

 

As enthusiasts we all know the best times to go to parks are when everyone is in school / at work but the problem is that with limited vacation time this isn't always possible. Fast Pass makes it possible to go to parks when you previously wouldn't have.

 

For example... 2 years ago we wanted to go to Kings Dominion (we try to go every year since we have a Platinum Pass and it's only 6 hours away) but I305 was closed almost all year and didn't open until Haunt. Because of the long drive we were forced to visit on a Haunt Saturday but we did so and had a great time despite hour plus waits for everything and a 3 hour wait for Volcano thanks to our Fast Passes.

 

We also like to go to parks on long weekends because we can travel long distances without taking time off and Fast Pass makes that possible also. Last year we went to Kings Island on memorial day weekend and despite lines for Banshee, the Beast, Flight of Fear, FIrehawk and Diamondback we didn't have any issues at all re-riding those rides as much as we wanted thanks to Fast Pass.

 

I don't usually use them at local parks (unless it's October) but I love having the option when we travel.

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If you don't like the use of misconceptions, you probably shouldn't use them yourself. The ride reservation system isn't there so you wait less. It actually means you're going to be waiting a lot more. With FP+ you'll be waiting days, weeks, or even months for your reservation to be up and your chance to ride to arrive. The only difference it makes is that the wait can now take place elsewhere than a stuffy ride queue. You can even be waiting for one ride while waiting for another ride.

 

This right here is what I mean by virtual queue systems allow you to be two places at once, thus increasing the wait time in the regular line. You have said that the people with FP would be in front of you in line if they didn't have the pass, but how could they be when they are also in another line?

 

 

I'm sorry but this makes absolutely no sense at all. When I ride Splash Mountain with a FP ticket for Space Mountain in my pocket whose window doesn't open for another 8 hours, nobody is waiting longer for anything. The basis from which you reach your "zero sum game" conclusion is inherently flawed. Yes I can ride Splash Mountain while holding a FP ticket for Space Mountain, but that doesn't mean I'm in two places at once. I may have gotten on Splash via the single rider line, meaning I'm in a seat that would have been empty. Who's waiting longer? Nobody. No, holding a Space Mountain FP only means that after waiting 8 hours for Space Mountain, I won't have to wait behind people who chose to wait 45mins in a stand-by queue instead of getting a reservation ticket. My time stuck in a queue is greatly diminished, and those in the stand-by line only have to get in line behind those who didn't get a reservation instead of behind everyone who wants to ride. Take the reservation system away and wait times will go up, but it won't be a directly proportional difference since many who would have used FP but can't now won't get in line to ride at all without it. Many people in a stand-by line are holding FP tickets or FP+ times for other rides. Can you really be sure you can measure EXACTLY what would have happened had the system not existed? No, you can't. To think you can is to only build assumptions upon a flawed premise. There is no zero sum game.

 

I am beginning to see where our differences are, you are solely talking about Disney FP system which is not behind a paywall while I am talking about every FP system, as that is what the topic is about. The Disney FP system is different then all others, but is a perfect example of how FP makes the wait time for the regular line longer. Their standard system (not FP+) works by making you wait couple extra minutes for each ride due to the FP users. Now throughout the day those extra minutes will rack up and you essentially cash in your extra wait time minutes by using your FP ticket for your one ride. Now it is debatable if overall the Disney FP system makes your wait time for the day increase. Now any FP system that is behind a paywall will increase the wait time of the regular guests. Now you can say it doesn't increase wait time, but I would like to quote you again to prove that it does

 

You can even be waiting for one ride while waiting for another ride.

 

 

This will be my last response on this topic because this debate could easily keep going on until a mod has to stop it. I am for FP as I want parks making more money so they can put more money back into the parks. If you use FP fine by me, but don't trick yourself into believing that you are not making the other people wait longer.

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^ Again, it really seems as though you simply do not understand the effects FastPass actually has, and are preferring to cling to long debunked claims. I think you may want to pay attention to those of us here who work and have worked for years in the industry, have been to parks all over the world, have a great deal of personal experience with just about every queue system that has ever been implemented and know what we are talking about.

 

Also, I've said multiple times that it's important to recognize the differences between a ride reservation system like FP and FP+, and a paid skip-the-line pass, and that I have been referring to a ride reservation system.

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