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Yes. Yes, you should plan on purchasing Flash Pass/FastLane+/Timesaver/Skip the Line etc, if you are going to a Park in 2021


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Fair enough.   My reference is Great America, Great Adventure, and New England.  Platinum was absolutely a waste of money (save for PLATINUM ONLY rides) because of what I described.   We gained zero extra time on our days using the pass.

 

I will admit that I am crowd savvy however and actively avoid obvious busy days (Holidays, Saturdays, etc).

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6 minutes ago, RaceBoarder said:

Fair enough.   My reference is Great America, Great Adventure, and New England.  Platinum was absolutely a waste of money (save for PLATINUM ONLY rides) because of what I described.   We gained zero extra time on our days using the pass.

 

I will admit that I am crowd savvy however and actively avoid obvious busy days (Holidays, Saturdays, etc).

Have you been to a park this year, 2021?  If no, then all of your experiences are invalid for this conversation.  It doesn't matter what day of the week it is...unless the weather is absolute shit, parks are packed.

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54 minutes ago, Mike240SX said:

Have you been to a park this year, 2021?  If no, then all of your experiences are invalid for this conversation.  It doesn't matter what day of the week it is...unless the weather is absolute shit, parks are packed.

SFGAm and yes, it held true.  Because of the slow ops you were 20-40 minutes till you were exiting and yes, you were able to just walk right to your next ride and get through.

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I'm mostly enjoying my closest park being open again, riding more and driving less. While it has been worse than normal for sure, last Sunday rope dropping it for a couple of hours was both effective enough for riding and about the only thing that could be done for the heat. Might just have to take a break if it gets even more mobbed, after all been riding almost continuously since 7/6/20 with the BGW "year round".

KD just opened 5/16 so of course is mobbed. BGW has been crowded/understaffed since Spring Break but I haven't been for a month, don't know if the masking changes have affected it much. These crowds could continue or normalize later in the year. 

So I'll take the advice as a warning if I travel, but don't necessarily stay home if you don't have the extra bucks.

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6 hours ago, bill_s said:

So I'll take the advice as a warning if I travel, but don't necessarily stay home if you don't have the extra bucks.

This is a good point too. Usually we are asked by people who are already planning trips and have the money for the fastpass but want to know if it will be worth purchasing. That's where the thread title comes in. 

 

Whether you should ONLY go to a park if you can purchase a fastpass is an entirely different question, and in many cases the answer is no, parks can still be worthwhile even without a fastpass. Where I would say don't go right now, wait until Covid and post-Covid cabin fever subside is in that once-in-a-lifetime trip to a park on another continent. But a park in the next state over that you could easy come back to again? Sure, go. Same with a park you've previously visited.

 

Right now, it comes down to: Without a fastpass, you're not going to get on everything. If that's ok with you, then go for it. If you can't bear the idea of only riding half their rides, then you're better off waiting.

 

And we're all going to be waiting to go to Japanese parks, no matter what.

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49 minutes ago, ytterbiumanalyst said:

Whether you should ONLY go to a park if you can purchase a fastpass is an entirely different question, and in many cases the answer is no, parks can still be worthwhile even without a fastpass. Where I would say don't go right now, wait until Covid and post-Covid cabin fever subside is in that once-in-a-lifetime trip to a park on another continent. But a park in the next state over that you could easy come back to again? Sure, go. Same with a park you've previously visited.

This was my basis for going to CP/KI on Memorial Day (not that they're close, but I'm at CP a lot). I thought about going to SFGAm, SFOG, Carowinds, or SFFT/SFOT but I've never been to any of them. After telling myself I wouldn't visit any new parks during COVID, I ended up getting burned by doing exactly that and rushing to Lagoon which was a bit of a sh*tshow. Even though there were horror stories coming from CP, I figured at least I wouldn't "miss out" if it was less than desirable. And adding on KI was an easy decision.

If the employee shortage gets worked out by this fall, it might be worth going to new places but right now I'm still planning on sticking to familiar parks for a few more months. Places where if it's a zoo and I cant get a fastpass, I dont mind just walking around leisurely or just leaving.

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Had some varying experiences with fast passes this year but mostly positive:

SWSA on 3/6 - Didn't need it much but was only ~$15 then, came in handy really for Wave Breaker. 

SFFT on 3/7 & 3/8 - Gold Flash Passes both days, system worked super well and was a life-saver with not just skipping lines to maximize rides, but walking less with the shorter FP queues. Absolutely worth it.

SFOG on 5/16 - Gold Flash Pass, definitely came in handy some but ride wait times stopped updating after about 2pm, which was frustrating as many rides were listed at 40+min even with Gold tier. Was weird, as staff were very strict about verifying (SFFT was fairly lax about scanning in comparison), so odd that the wait times weren't regularly updated along with it. Lines were fluctuating all day, with decent ops and little breakdowns, so I'm sure there may have been a couple times standby was (at least looked) shorter than even Gold FP. Only got six of the coasters that day, so will have to go back. 

Will be visiting SFMM for the first time on 6/17 with a Platinum Flash Pass pre-purchased, and should be using the smart phone app system for it, so I'll have to update everyone on how it works there. 

SWSA was the only park in my above experiences that wasn't fairly busy, so I'd recommend (just like everyone here) to get a fast pass if you're traveling to a park that you may not return to soon. 

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Yes. Ready to go back to a Japanese park again

 

(and the skip the line at USJ are insanely expensive.   and I still think worth every penny)

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