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Convo with Don Helbig 5/6/12 -- Fast Lane Question

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PREFACE: I am posting this with much hesitation because of the way you guys blasted and mocked theLip2 for his truthful comments. I believe he (theLip2) is telling the truth because of how my conversation went with Don this past Sunday. So if you don't believe me that is fine, just don't be a jerk about it because what I am saying happened. So here goes nothing...

My GF and I were at KI this past Sunday. We were in the shed at the end of the queue line for The Vortex when we noticed that a film crew filming riders getting on and leaving the ride. (This crew as we all know was the travel channel crew filming for a future show that should include some KI rides)

After we left the ride we noticed Don Helbig was around the photo area of the ride and I had to double take to make sure it was him but it was! I hesitated for a second and then turned around because I had one pressing question to ask him. I approached him and asked if he was in fact Don and he said Yes. (Funny/embarrassing sidenote: I think i called him Don Helberg instead of Helbig... I think I was nervous and felt like an idiot, but Don was nice and didn't correct me. I thank him for that.) We shook hands I told him my name and I told him that I didn't want to bombard him with a question but I had a question about the park that I always wanted to be answered. He replied go ahead and ask it.

I said, I wanted to know what was the cap, if there was one, of Fast Lane passes sold per day? How did they determine when to stop selling them for a particular day? Was it based on a percentage or was it just a set amount of passes they had available? (I know thats 3 questions but I had followups because we held a convo for about 7 minutes or so)

He mentioned that the sales of Fast Lane passes are based on a percentage off of the attendance for that particular day. The percentage of Fast Lane passes sold is around 20% of that day's attendance. He then quickly mentioned the fiasco we all remember from HH without me even posing the question. He stated that they learned from those HH nights and based the "newer system" in place this year should help alleviate the problem of overcrowding at attractions. He mentioned that they did a great amount of research before implementing the program at KI. He said they went to many parks (Dollywood, Six flags Locations, Busch Gardens) to take some of the good from each program and implementing the program here at KI. He said they didn't like the ride once quick queue program and they added an unlimited ride program that we see in use today. He said there hasn't been very many people who use Fast Lane that blatantly just ride one ride over and over again. (Which I do agree with, I haven't seen many people marathon on a single ride with Fast Lane. BUT if I ever bought a Fast Lane Pass I would do nothing but marathon ride on the Diamondback. they would literally have to peel me off the ride because I passed out after riding 25 times in a hour of so :rolleyes: )

He also mentioned that they increased the price (starting at $50) this year so that it is an add on that people can buy but not everyone will buy. He said that was due to the fact of HH and how the line for Fast Lane were so long because everyone bought one that the regular lines were affected. He also mentioned that the role of Fast Lane was to have equal enjoyment of on both the people who visit only one day and want to experience everything as well as the people who choose not to purchase the Fast Lane passes and stay in the regular lines.

He then asked me a few questions like If I was having a good time at the park? Which I responded with a "of course I am!" Where I was from and who I was here with? Indianapolis and my GF. If i was here with a pass or with a regular ticket? Gold Pass holder.

He was very nice a courteous especially since I asked the question while he was in the middle of working with the travel channel crew helping film the park. He took the time out to answer my question fully as well as ask me about myself and how I was doing with my park experience. Don is definitely a good gentleman to have as the KI PR man. I thanked him for his time and we shook hands again and he said enjoy the rest of your day here at the park and we hope to see you here again soon.

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Thank you! We finally have the answer to "what is the limit on FL passes?" 20% of attendance. That seems a little high to me, but they probably know more about this than I do. Between Mr. Ouimet's comments about SOB and Don's comments here, it looks like we have a new era of better transparency. Cedar Fair is definitely moving in the right direction.

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Thank you! We finally have the answer to "what is the limit on FL passes?" 20% of attendance. That seems a little high to me, but they probably know more about this than I do. Between Mr. Ouimet's comments about SOB and Don's comments here, it looks like we have a new era of better transparency. Cedar Fair is definitely moving in the right direction.

That is exactly what I really wanted and I was so glad he gave me a pretty straight forward answer off the cuff like that. I really appreciated that he took the time to answer my question while working on such a busy day for his department. I also think that is a pretty high percentage just purely for the fact that not everyone that enters the gates will ride rides but everyone who purchases a FL pass WILL ride rides. But that is a whole separate story... I'm just glad I got an answer!

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Thanks for posting.

I've spoken with him a couple times and was impressed with how genuine and easy going he was. I would have expected him to kinda rush the conversation to get back to what he was doing but he never does. A couple times he needed to get moving so he invited me along so we didn't have to end the conversation. I really was impressed.

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Thanks for the info, and preface, best way to make sure you dont get bombarded with fan-boy hate mail!

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I would do nothing but marathon ride on the Diamondback. they would literally have to peel me off the ride because I passed out after riding 25 times in a hour of so :rolleyes:)

I like you already. :lol:

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Don has always been courteous during the course of my press coverage of the park. He's quick to respond to questions and always a professional. I'm glad you asked this, because I was wondering, too!

We saw the Fast Pass lines a couple of weeks ago during a *VERY* busy Saturday. If I had purchased a one-day ticket, I surely would have paid the extra for the Fast Pass! I can't imagine the disappointment of a ticket-buyer who has to battle 1 1/2 hour long lines all day. Definitely worth the cash for those folks.

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Don was at the FunPerks booth today from 6:30-8 according to Twitter, did not make it out in time to talk to him but he is really going to extreme lengths to work things out for the park. He even replied to a Tweet I tweeted about the park, class act and a great guy. Keep up the awesome work Don, Jasper is behind you 100%.

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You got to meet Don Helbig? I'm jealous.

Haha yeah I guess he is at the park all the time from what I hear. This was the first time I saw him but I have only been to the park 6 times in the past two years.

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