Coke Freestyle Now Launched

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AT86, 7th Jul 2020.

  1. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    Fizzy drink fans...the Freestyle machines are now up and running at the park.
     
    jon81uk and imanautie like this.
    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  2. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    Don't mind me, just got a bag full of THORPE vessels

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
     
    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  3. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    I'm assuming you can pay to activate the chip at any of the parks as the hardware is the same?
     
    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  4. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    Actually no, the tags are all cross compatible but it's been deliberately configured not to permit cross site activation.

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
     
    skyscraper likes this.
    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  5. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    Well that’s a missed opportunity to reduce plastic waste.
     
    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  6. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    That seems stupid in terms of any eco-friendly benefits. So instead of buying one cup and then just paying the £6 to reactivate each visit across the Merlin parks, therefore reducing plastic.
     
    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  7. Swarm Chris

    Swarm Chris TowersStreet Member

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    I believe this is likely what was wanted from launch, but that certain implementation issues may have occurred from the supplier side.

    Inevitably requiring multiple cups will create customer complaints and negative comparisons to the quencher, so I doubt that it's currently ideal for them
     
    jon81uk likes this.
    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  8. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Both Disney and Universal run systems with NFC cups that work across multiple locations. For Universal one cup works in Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios, with the same pricing structure as Alton Towers. At Disney it only works in the resort hotels, but it works even if you go over to a different hotel. So I'd be surprised of it is a supplier restriction.
    https://www.validfill.com/ is the system used by Disney/Universal and it is being rolled out by Coke Europe using the same systems and mugs as the US parks. University of Reading was one of the first uses in the UK https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/coca-cola-uk-trials-system-to-reduce-soft-drink-packaging/
    edit to add, its from the launch in 2017, but the pricing at UoR is interesting at basically £1.20 a drink (when buying 10) or £40 a term https://blogs.reading.ac.uk/student...troducing-our-new-sustain-it-reusable-bottle/
     
    Last edited: 7th Jul 2020
    imanautie likes this.
    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  9. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    The reading scheme is fantastic as it shows how flexible VALID FILL can be, I believe LL Florida they actually have multiple packages.

    Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
     
    jon81uk likes this.
    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  10. Swarm Chris

    Swarm Chris TowersStreet Member

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    Does anyone do cups that can be used across parks that are further away, such as at both Universal Hollywood and Orlando, or within Six Flags/Cedar Fair parks? In my mind, that's were a potential limitation occurred from a odd design decision.
     
    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  11. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    I'm not sure if that's the case but it might be useful if I give some information I've uncovered in the process of reverse engineering the tag system.

    Each vessel has a location, each machine has a corresponding location I'd which need to match.

    The data that permits a refill is written to the tag itself, the machines don't look up on a database to check if they can dispense they just read the vessel.

    So distance between venues isn't really an issue, now each machine (Freestyle and the check&charge machines/mini pos's) do keep a record of what transactions they do with bottles but that's for back of house analysis not actually controlling the dispensing.


    Now whilst I am might be able to change the location I'd for a vessel it appears by default the check&charge machines lock out cross location vessel handling But that is an additional software restriction that VALIDFILL could adjust to say let a machine at Alton issue a product into a THORPE location vessel such as by changing the location I'd.
     
    Swarm Chris likes this.
    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  12. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    Sea World and Busch Gardens (of course both in Florida but a reasonable distance apart) do offer refills in both parks, but don't use RFID, they just use coloured stickers.

    But for RFID systems, this blog post does seem to indicate you can reactivate a Orlando mug in Hollywood https://insideoursuitcase.com/universal-studios-refillable-cups/
    Although I can't find many other sources and realistically I doubt many people ever want to travel that far and still use one.

    Given how big most US states are compared to England I don't think there is anything comparable, but I would be very surprised if Validfill couldn't be made to work across the whole of the UK Merlin resort parks in the same way it works in all Disneyworld hotels.
     
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    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  13. Swarm Chris

    Swarm Chris TowersStreet Member

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    It may well be that final software restriction.

    There's certainly nothing from a technical perspective I can see what would prevent cross site usage. But there could well be some fairly bad design decision to prevent say a cup from Universal working at Disney, which has had a knock on effect. But it's certainly not something that couldn't be fixed in software.
     
    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  14. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    The key thing is the location code, now I haven't been able to check an Alton bottle to see if it's a different location code to a THORPE one.
    If they are the same it's not a technical restriction but a operation decision.
     
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    Posted 7th Jul 2020
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  15. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    Update: checked and it appears to be a different location code, but the data seems to be the same format.
     
    Swarm Chris likes this.
    Posted 9th Jul 2020
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  16. Swarm Chris

    Swarm Chris TowersStreet Member

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    That is correct. Additionally, in the last few seasons the time taken to dispatch has been so terrible, that they could probably fully sanitise each train and still have time to spare.

    It wouldn't surprise me to find that the location code is hard coded into the retail activation unit as a nasty fix to prevent cup usage across parks. If that's the case, then surely Merlin should have just been able to request the same location code for all of their sites.
     
    Alsty likes this.
    Posted 9th Jul 2020
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  17. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    The check and charge machines are configurable with a site id according to the documentation ive seen, no word to if VALIDFILL/CCEP control that or if the venue can configure it themselfs.
    Its implied In a few places venues can simply activate a vessel to add extra locations it can be used, the example VALIDFILL show is adding usage at a waterpark onto a vessel purchased at its sister operation.
     
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    Posted 9th Jul 2020
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  18. Swarm Chris

    Swarm Chris TowersStreet Member

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    So we're perhaps verging on no one at Merlin knowing how to do that then? Or an operational decision, so as to allow Towers to charge £2 more per cup than Thorpe.
     
    Posted 9th Jul 2020
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  19. imanautie

    imanautie TowersStreet Member

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    Operational atm, but I do think once all sites are on the VALIDFILL freestyle system they will then look at a passholder cup, perhaps £15 a cup?
     
    Swarm Chris likes this.
    Posted 9th Jul 2020
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  20. jon81uk

    jon81uk TowersStreet Member

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    They are about £15 for the first day anyway on the regular non-passholder price? Then £6 for re-activations.

    I would just give passholders a discounted reactivation, say £4 a visit instead of the £6 and maybe a cup for £10 to start with.
     
    Posted 9th Jul 2020
    #20

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