Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fast Lane Analysis

Kings Island announced the Fast Lane just the other day, as the only line-skipping program at any Cedar Fair park. Guests can pay $50 per person to gain unlimited front-of-the-line access to 10 rides: Diamondback, The Beast, Drop Tower, Firehawk, Flight of Fear, Windseeker, Backlot Stunt Coaster, Delirium, Boo Blasters, and Log Flume. This brings us back to the controversial debate of fast-pass type systems.

While many complain that charging extra for such passes is unfair, I personally don't have a problem with it. I had a great time using my Flash Pass at Six Flags New England just a few days ago. It enabled me to ride everything I wanted in just a few hours, which allowed me more time to enjoy the rest of the park. I've also been on the other side of the equation, though, and it annoys me when other people can skirt ahead of you after you've already waited in line for a long time.

So how fair are these passes? Here we come back to the price - for many people, $50 is way too high. That's just three dollars shy of a one-day ticket at Kings Island. Six Flags parks use the Flash Pass, where they provide several different 'tiers' of passes, ranging from approximately $30-$90 at most parks. This gives guests the option to choose how much they are willing to pay, and their benefit will vary with that. Additionally, Six Flags includes more rides than Kings Island's new Fast Lane pass, and the limited hours on the Fast Lane make it look like the Six Flags Flash Pass is a better deal altogether.

Still, are these passes fair? Is it right to provide people special privileges simply because they can afford it? Disney uses a free Fast Pass system, which would be ideal if more parks were willing to forego the extra income. The fact is, Cedar Fair most likely wont. I personally think that the Fast Lane is a good idea, but I wish it had more options like the Six Flags Flash Pass. I don't really have a problem with Cedar Fair implementing a skip-the-line system (assuming they add it at more parks), but I understand those that do.

What do you think about the Fast Lane system? Is it a good idea, or on the right track? Would you prefer a system more like Six Flags or Disney, or should these systems be eliminated? Let us know what you think about this hot button topic in a comment!


Post a Comment