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Are upcharge passes really worth it?


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Fast Lane, Flash Pass, Fastpass, Express Pass. They go by so many different names, but they all work the same. Pay an extra fee on top of park admission, sometimes nearly as much as $50 or more, and skip the lines. It seems every park and chain has one of these plans nowadays. Are these really worth it to pay an extra $50 bucks on top of nearly $100? I guess if you visit during peak season it would make sense, but then I never do. What about anyone else?

Yes. We'll pay $100 each for our passes to skip long lines, without batting an eye. Park days are our days to relax, enjoy, and take things at our own pace, as opposed to standing in line elbow to elbow with obnoxious teenagers.

 

100% yes. Unless its a local park I can visit frequently.

Also this.

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I think a Corvette is entirely worth the asking price. I also am not willing to purchase a Corvette which, while I respect it as a high performance sports car, it is entirely inappropriate for my lifestyle, not to mention income level. This isn't to say I couldn't afford one; I would simply need to make sacrifices in other aspects of our budget that I would rather not in comparison to owning another vehicle with little or no utility.

 

What I'm getting at is that QBots and the like are very much about discretionary spending and should be concerns to patrons of a park. They are priced aggressively to create exactly that reaction. Even as a non-kid haver, I'm cognizant of that.

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It probably depends on your disposable income.

 

that's not true *at all*

 

if one thinks the pass is worth it, then you SAVE to afford it and budget it in.

 

it has nothing at all to do with "disposable" income and everything to do with whether or not one thinks it's worth it.

 

Except that some people don't have to save at all for that kind of expense.

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it really doesn't have anything to do with how much money you have.

if you think it's worth it, one finds a way to make it happen. period. it's all about budgeting.

I get both sides of that argument and I agree with this. Yes, to some extent is does matter how much money you have, BUT, I'm willing to bet anyone who is taking a day out at a non-local theme park probably CAN afford the virtual queue pass based on their budgeting if they feel it's worth making those changes in how they spend their disposable income.

 

It's not like buying a Fast Pass option is like buying a car. They are reasonably priced for the value they offer.

 

I can't tell you how many times I've been around friends who are all "Yeah, man I can afford " and then a couple of days later I see them go out and spend over $100 on dinner and a bunch of drinks.

 

It's all how you choose to budget your money.

 

And to answer the original question, YES I find them worth it. I wouldn't go to any major non-local park without one. Even if a park isn't that busy. If all lines in a park are only 20 minutes and the fast pass means I can make that 20 minute wait be zero to 5 minutes, those pockets of 15 minutes add up quick! And they equal either a less stressful day at a park where I can take things slower and enjoy them more, or they equal me getting in more rides on attractions that I'd like to re-ride several times.

 

And those two things right there are worth any price tag you can put on a virtual queue option.

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I've never gotten one. I'm not against the concept, which I see as partially letting those with more money help pay for the big rides and whatnot for the advantages it gives them. I like that it's tempting to spend a lot at parks, but you don't have to, locals can hit a park on season's pass for a few dollars a visit. I have to look at less popular times to go, long range weather forecasts etc. to avoid big crowds, that and I mostly makes short visits to my local park anyway.

 

Yes it is partially how much money you have and how you choose to spend it, and I could save elsewhere but it's hard. I waited for 2 years to go to SFGAdv for my financial situation to improve. So if someone's even worse off than me, or has nothing else to cut, how many years are they supposed to save up for it? To me, $200 for a theme park trip is hard enough to justify without adding even more to it, at $300 I'm not sure it's fun anymore. Others who spend much more on a trip, it's more deciding how to spend that money rather than pulling it from somewhere else. It can reach the point it's false economy to do without it if you're spending that much.

 

On my aforesaid GrAdv trip, I was considering trying the base level Flash pass and did make a mistake in that by the time I decided I should have, it was getting later and starting to make less sense. Partially as a result, partially since I saved some money, and also just because I found out about it, I went back Sept. 13 and got tons of rides. This combination required more driving than a single trip, but was also better than a single day with Platinum and cost less as well. My "mistake" turned to win.

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For myself and the Cedar Point trip, I would have asked Bert to get us FastLanePLUS tix for that Saturday,

if he was organizing most of this trip. I know we were getting some hours' worth of ERT on the Friday,

but Saturday followed, and although we "probably" could have gotten through the day without them, I

still enjoyed the casual opportunity of having them and knowing we had the power to save some time

in the queues. Or not.

 

Also, I am really not sure if I am ever going to get back to CP in the near future. At my age, I am just starting

to get to some of the amazing U.S. parks around the country. Most of my past parks, have all been overseas.

So, probably Dollywood too, if it was a possible busy weekend day, I'd get their "FastPass" whatever form it took.

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I got a gold flash pass for the first time at grAdv on 6/1, first time to the park and probably will never be back anytime soon. I would never consider getting one at my home park SFOT. Even though it wasn't too busy and didn't help on some rides, the small time added up like Rob mentioned. I was only there until 6pm, but was able to combo 6 rides on nitro with no wait instead of wait in the 10 minute line. The only coaster it really made a huge difference was Kingda Ka, I skipped about 50 minutes before the merge point twice (all the school groups in the park went to Ka apparently). Beforehand it may seem like a lot of money, but after the fact it really did seem worth the freedom and ease to not have to worry about lines that gave it a lot more value on a 1 day trip.

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^ It also helps with park planning since you can move at your own leisure and not worry about creating the optimal touring plan.

 

I can usually tell when I pull in the lot if I'd need a Flash Pass. For example, when it took an hour to get into Six Flags Great Anerica and La Ronde, I knew a Flash Pass would be a lifesaver and it certainly was. Then it just becomes a game figuring out which rides aren't on the Flash Pass since those are the ones that need to be attacked first.

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I've never gotten/used one before. I will however be taking advantage of the free Quick Queue Unlimited we'll be getting for staying at a SeaWorld partner hotel in September. My sister and her man are bringing my nephew down for his 10th birthday. My partner and I get a bring a friend ticket (one free on each pass) and my nephew will get in half price. Having the quick queue for all of us this time will be great since it will be their first time to the park. It will almost be worth it for Antartctica Empire of the Penguin alone. While it's not the best ride, it's still worth doing it since this will be a first for them. We usually skip it if the line is more than 15 minutes. Last year we went with other family (also on the last Saturday of Sept with bring a friend tickets) and the park was packed. Mako had an hour wait, as did Manta. Normally we avoid going on weekends since we're pass members, but when you're on other folks time you have to go when they're able to for these perks (when you really want certain people to go that is).

 

Next year I am planning a Carowinds-Cedar Point-Kings Island-possible Kentucky Kingdom trip. Carowinds will be a half day since I've been going there since I was 5. It's mostly to ride Fury 325, see the new County Fair area, check out any additions for next year and process our platinum passes. Cedar Point will be 2-3 days and KI 1.5-2 days, with a half day or so at KK if we have time at the end. I definitely plan on getting Fast Lane + at both CP & KI for one of the full days in each of those parks, even though it will be on weekday. There is just so much to do and so little time to get it done that I know we'll need it. It will be my first time at those parks and want to be sure be able to enjoy them with minimal lines. The other days there will just be riding favorites or anything missed.

 

All in all, I say they are worth it depending on the circumstance. For parks near home I can go to anytime I wouldn't bother (with the one time exception of SWO above since it comes free for staying there), For parks that you may not ever get to again, or at least for a long time I would say it's worth it if the park is busy.

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100% yes. Unless its a local park I can visit frequently, I will spring for the upcharge to make sure I get the most out of my vacation.

 

This.

 

It's always in the budget if I'm traveling to somewhere. Was glad we didn't have to buy one @ SFNE this past weekend but the $$ was in my wallet in case we needed to. I see no point in traveling a far distance to stand around in line. Sounds like the opposite of a vacation to me. If I'm going to a park I never go to and likely won't be back for why wouldn't I pay extra to get the most out of my visit? It's easy to put a little extra money aside leading up to a vacation to ensure its the best possible experience.

 

However, unless GreatAdv was opening a big new insane looking coaster and I wanted to ride right away without waiting, I won't buy them there since I go all the time - I get my Toro rides in the morning and anything else is a bonus as I've done it all bunch already. I go there to hang out with friends, not to run around trying to get it all in. Last time I bought one there was the night Namtab opened and had a two hour line. We reserved, rode a bunch of other stuff, then walked right onto Namtab. A worthy investment, even if we were just using it for that one ride.

 

I find it interesting it tends to be people who have never bought a fast pass that have any sort of problem with them. However, once people have had the luxury of skipping an hour+ line to walk right onto a ride, suddenly its a good idea. This is why I don't get all butthurt when a FP user gets to steal my seat and make me wait an extra train - because I've been on the other side of that and understand and accept that they budgeted for that, splurged and now they are reaping the benefits of their extra investment.

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I used to loathe skip-the-line programs with a passion. Then I used one, and now I'm in love and can't live without them. If you buy Season Passes well before the season, it's kinda like the FastPass fee is your daily admission LOL.

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I don't have an issue with them, except recently I have noticed that some parks seem to be over selling them to the point that it drastically affects the stand by line. I know they claim to have limits on them, but let's be real...

 

One ride at cedar point had a longer line for fast lane than standby.

 

We are going on a mega coaster trip (14 parks), and plan on purchasing fast lane if needed at a few of the bigger parks. However....I never pre-purchase them because you never know what the crowds are going to be like on a certain day. I have seen people drop hundreds of dollars on them, and not even need them because the park was a ghost town that day.

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I don't have an issue with them, except recently I have noticed that some parks seem to be over selling them to the point that it drastically affects the stand by line. I know they claim to have limits on them, but let's be real...

 

One ride at cedar point had a longer line for fast lane than standby.

 

We are going on a mega coaster trip (14 parks), and plan on purchasing fast lane if needed at a few of the bigger parks. However....I never pre-purchase them because you never know what the crowds are going to be like on a certain day. I have seen people drop hundreds of dollars on them, and not even need them because the park was a ghost town that day.

 

Which ride at the Point had a longer FL line than standby line?

 

Speaking of Cedar Point, FL+ is worth it for Valravn and Maverick alone (using FL+ on those two rides alone took 2.5 hours off queuing time). It also helps on Millennium, especially if the regular line is over 30 minutes

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