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Fast Lane Plus Renewal Effect on Sunday Wait Times


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The item I'm posing for discussion is how much effect has the Fast Lane Plus for renewing season pass holders affected wait times on Sundays during the Fall.

 

Fall Sundays always were a good time to go to the park, especially the ones after Columbus Day weekend.  Wait times were always extremely manageable even on the nicer weather days.  It seems that has changed for the worse over the past couple of seasons, and I think that part of that change is due to the park giving out free Fast Lane Plus bands to renewing season pass holders.  I had a desire to go to the park that last couple of Sundays, but decided to pass because of the reports coming in from the park about long wait times. 

 

The day it finally hit me was a late season Sunday last year.  My friend Cheryl and I came in to the park around 4 and decided to renew our Platinum passes at that time.  I mentioned that one of the perks was a free Fast Lane Plus band on Sundays, and she recommended that we might as well use it now.  We got the bands, and went over The Beast.  We walked up the exit and into the Fast Lane Plus line only to be greeted with a 25-minute long Fast Lane line.  The regular line looked to be around an hour.  Cheryl turned to me and said "I don't remember lines being this long on Sundays in the past".

 

I couldn't disagree with her, but I'd be interested in hearing others thoughts on the matter.  

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I was there this past Sunday and wow what a difference to Sundays in previous years. We renewed and got our free FastLane Plus bands and I can say they really did not make anything fast. The FastLane line for The Beast was backed up almost the entirety of the exit. If the goal was to boost Sunday attendance for October, bravo KI you accomplished it. It was still a great day but I was not expecting crowd levels that high. 

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Gas prices also have a bearing. With gas around $2 or less, people are traveling more as where in the past with it being twice as much, less traveling was done.

It's this way everywhere. Add that to the renewal incentive and you now have busy fall Sundays.

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We have hit the last 4 Sundays (car trouble or we would have hit 5).  Last Sunday I was kind of surprised it was not more crowded, as the weather was great!  Sure, lot of FLP folks in the line, but it was still shorter than the regular line.  If I had my way, I would have cashed in our FLP on Saturday, but hey, its a free perk.

 

I dont know if Cedar Point offer them, but at least at KI there is a dedicated Fast Lane.  It would also be nice on The Beast if the Fast Lane was not going through the exit.

 

I have a feeling that this Sunday will be about even with regular and FLP lines.  Time will tell

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Closing day will be colder. Expect less crowds. As of now, the high is only supposed to be 65 and a cloudy one at that.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Whether it is 65 or 70 degrees, it is still above the average 55 degrees for this time of the year, so I wouldn't say closing day will be colder - it is above average and will likely drive up attendance.

 

Several years ago when the FL became a perk, I predicted on this site that we would see what we are now experiencing on a Sunday (one could search if so inclined lol).

 

I expect Sunday to be crowded.  And I believe KI will have experienced more FL perks used than in previous years because the weather has been so nice.  I know many in years past that just didn't make it back to the park and never utilized the FL perk.  Everyone I know has used it or plans to Sunday.

 

Yes it has drawn in crowds and most also have the food plan - bigger question that will never publicly be answered is did it increase the per cap spending in October, and more specifically Sundays in October.

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My experience has been a little different than yours in that I would have said that Sunday weekends as you get closer to Halloween have been more crowded than Sundays in late September/early October or any Sundays after Halloween. For example, we went on the Sunday, November 1 last year and dealt with very little waits on rides. Sunday, September 25th this year also wasn't too bad (though we renewed and used our FastLane.) 

 

My past speculation for this was the Halloween activities for kids draw more families to the park, especially closer to Halloween, as kids have their costumes and want a fun, safe Halloween activity. As always, cannot make broad statements about specific weekend dates without also accounting for (1) the weather, (2) the Bengals schedule and (3) school schedules. A nice October Sunday Bengals off-day with school closed on Monday is a bad combination for wait times, while a home game versus the Steelers on a cold/rainy non Columbus day weekend will have little-to-no wait. 

 

What is Fall Break schedule like for kids in Ohio? A larger number of Indianapolis area schools have gone from a 3-4 day weekend (used to be just Thursday and Friday off for my kids) to a full week off. Some schools here even start in late July and then take two weeks off in October. I read recently how bad the October crowds have been at Disney World the past week or two relative to prior years. (There are multiple compounding issues there, too, including a change in annual passes with summer blackout dates and Hurricane Matthew, which could have altered vacation plans and pushed two weeks worth of visitors into one week.) 

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So what is with Columbus Day weekend anyway? I know City of Columbus and Worthington Schools did not have a day off. I never worked in an industry that had the day off, I thought Sanitation Engineers, Bankers and Letter Carriers were the only ones the "Holiday" applied to. :)

We did go late that Saturday afternoon and it was packed (I knew it would be crowded but it was insane). By dark the midways were so packed it was really starting to bother my boys and getting difficult to keep track of them and they just wanted to go home. :( Not complaining per say as it is great for the park.

I would like to come this Sunday but my mother is in town so a packed park would probably not be enjoyable for her either as the tower would be the only "ride" open now she would be interested in.

I kind of get the feeling from a few of these threads the bonus FL passes could really be causing a problem for those that have to wait in the Standby Lines. If quarter or half the people have then the system can't possibly work.

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we were there several sundays ago, and used the fast pass.  Lines were very short in the fast pass lane when I took my boy and a friend.  next train on AE, next train on The Beast, short wait for Stunt Coaster, no wait for The Racers.....  My son's friend is just over 48" tall, so we didn't try Diamondback or Banshee

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On Closing Day 2014, lines were relatively short throughout the park. Fast Lane (Plus) queues were approximately the same wait as the regular queues. The group from here split up between the queues (since not everyone had Fast Lane) & "raced" each other through to the platform; the regular queue often won.

Closing Day 2015 was decidedly more crowded. Fast Lane waits were significantly shorter than those in the regular queues; probably ~15 minutes on most of the major rides.

This year is anyone's guess, but (with nice weather in the forecast) I'd expect moderate crowds. It shouldn't compare to the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend, though.

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