Farce-track

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scott, 5th Jun 2013.

  1. Jon

    Jon TowersStreet Member

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    Fastrack undermines the hard work of ride staff who are trying to keep the throughput of rides as high as possible to increase guest satisfaction as park management insist on allowing a large number of guests to queue-jump.

    I think the primary use of Fastrack should be in compensation. I think it is a convenient way to effectively repair a guest's day experience. If they have been waiting an extremely long time for an attraction that closes, speeding them through a queue later on effectively catches them back up to the experience they should have had. I actually prefer this to any kind of cash or discount reimbursement, as it shows a care for guest experience rather than a default to money.

    With this in mind, the handing out of queue-jump passes in the event of a ride closure should be communicated to sales teams across the park and the number of passes available to be sold. If the situation gets really bad, such as there already being a great number of Fastracks already in circulation, the park should begin offering refunds on unused or partially unused Fastrack tickets and only accepting compensation passes at Fastrack entrances in order to best manage the situation.

    I do acknowledge that Fastracks are an important source of revenue for the park and that they are not going to disappear no matter how bitter they make us. Limiting numbers and increasing prices is the key. This presents them as a luxury item rather than a viable option each time you visit. The fact that guests are still willing and are attracted to the Gold and Platinum packages at £50 and £96 a pop shows that the desire to spend extortionate amounts to save time will withstand a price increase.

    I completely disagree with hard selling at the entrances. Fastracks are essentially paying to offload your waiting time onto other people. Though they can be okay, they're still a bit of a cheat and as such should be separated from the ride itself. Selling Fastracks at the entrances of rides comes closer to simply allowing guests to handing a fiver to the operative to skip the queue. Limiting them to the sales and information booths makes them seem like they are part of a legitimate, organised and well managed system. This also means communication across the park will be easier if the amount of passes to be made available is to periodically change depending on breakdowns.

    I don't know about anyone else, but whenever I visit by a certain point in the day, the Fastracks nearly always sell out. Is there any need to heavily advertise them? Will they not sell themselves without constantly reminding non-Fastrack guests that they're getting a raw deal?
     
    Posted 6th Jun 2013
    #21
  2. Thomas

    Thomas TowersStreet Member

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    I hate to sound like a broken record when it comes to Fast Track, but when people go to Alton Towers, when you ride Nemesis you are exactly the same as the person next to you. You all experience the thrills, fun, smiles and laughter.

    Fast Track creates a social imbalance, it creates an us and them, those with money and Fast Track and those that choose not to, or cannot afford to buy Fast Track. Fast Track ruins other people's days because other people have more than them. I detest it. I hate having to wait an extra ride cycle because people can afford to throw money away. On the other hand I understand that people on a broken down ride, or those that are only making one trip for the year would like to be able, or should be given the option to queue jump.

    Fast Track is the work of the devil, and I don't like it. Alton Towers should be for everyone, where's the magic in getting one over your fellow visitors? Why don't they use fast track money to make queues shorter? Use the money to run an extra train!

    Hate it.
     
    Posted 6th Jun 2013
    #22
  3. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    As much as I disagree with Fastrack Thomas, money made from it can't magically make the rides run quicker unfortunately. Luckily Towers are quite good at running rides on maximum capacity all season long.

    Back on the main subject of Fastrack, the whole park needs to run on a time allocated system. It's the only way that the tickets can be allocated in a way which at least attempts to minimise the effect it has. Offline and uncounted Fastrack also needs to be totally banned.
     
    Posted 6th Jun 2013
    #23
  4. TheMan

    TheMan TowersStreet Member

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    Once again Merlin in general forget the general rule.

    Happy people buy crap. When you spend happy, it feels less, because you are buying things that will remind you of your day.

    I remember the old queue timed system being used:

    PR Newswire 1999

    A heads up for our younger members who may not remember the glorious days where EVERYONE got a fast track ticket.
     
    Posted 6th Jun 2013
    #24
  5. thefatone

    thefatone TowersStreet Member

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    Which was also completely riddled with abuse, and unfair. Glad that system is way behind us.

    As long as sold at correct volumes, I have no issues with fastrack. I personally enjoy knowing someone has paid £5 to skip 10mins of a queue as they're impatient. As long as there's not too many doing it, I have no problems with it.

    This year fastrack is run far far better though, they seemingly sell out often and we've not seen massive queues ala last year. The system could do with being a bit more expensive though, as people obviously are very comfortable spending £21 on that silver package (compared to £12 for scream last year).
     
    Posted 6th Jun 2013
    #25
  6. Rose Of Dawn

    Rose Of Dawn TowersStreet Member

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    I loved that system, it's a shame they decided to scrap it and replace with paid-for fastrack. It always worked when I used it, although that was at a time where I'd be lucky to go once a year.
     
    Posted 6th Jun 2013
    #26
  7. John

    John TowersStreet Member

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    I was never a fan of virtual queue in its original incarnation as in order to ride you had to have a ticket, and the timeslots meant you had to plan your day around the times you'd be allowed to ride Nemesis and Oblivion. You had to queue to get to the entrance of Nemesis where your ticket would be checked, you'd often see people trying to get in on an earlier time slot and being sent away.

    Dual queue arrived a couple of years later which was the same as the Disney system, which would have been ideal if they'd got the allocations right, but it wasn't long before they realised people would be willing to pay for it.

    The silver package is clearly the best deal, as it covers 5 major coasters. They couldn't really charge a lot more for it unless they increased the single ride ticket prices though, the savings aren't really that much.
     
    Posted 6th Jun 2013
    #27
  8. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    The park was very busy today, the busiest I have ever seen it on a non school holiday weekday. However fastrack didn't seem an issue at all. I saw no fastrack queues of any note and did not notice any fastrack upselling at ride entrances or elsewhere in the park. I am not sure if Air still had that scroller message on though.

    :)
     
    Posted 6th Jun 2013
    #28
  9. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    I have to say I have yet to see any one stood at ride entrances this year selling fastrack, even on really hot days outside Flume, etc. Last year it was a regular feature on many rides, such as the minetrain, Flume, Rita and Sub-Terra.
     
    Posted 7th Jun 2013
    #29
  10. thefatone

    thefatone TowersStreet Member

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    Their attitudes towards fastrack changed this year - to a "premium product" and therefore not heavily upsold, with vastly reduced allocations, higher prices and better budgets to achieve.

    Hopefully this has led to no quick hard-sell style of fastrack at ride entrances, and certainly fastrack and main queues run much much smoother due to this.
     
    Posted 7th Jun 2013
    #30
  11. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    They need to keep Fast-Track price high and allocation low, i have no truck with the social imbalance thing. Lots of people can't go to Alton Towers because they can't afford it... Should the park close because its creating a social imbalance?
     
    Posted 7th Jun 2013
    #31
  12. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    Posted 7th Jun 2013
    #32
  13. Scott

    Scott Former TS Team Member

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    The thing is though... It's still a 'hopefully' and not a definite. There is obviously work still to be done as I was offered 'Fastrack for a fiver' the other day when a queue was busy.

    I'll admit though that the park have at least seemed to make it more premium with the new packages and vastly reduced allocations.
     
    Posted 8th Jun 2013
    #33
  14. djtruefitt

    djtruefitt TS Site Team Team Member

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    Apparently fastrack is today on offer for The Smiler, but have heard its limited to 20 per hour and has sold out today. Some people are quoting £5 and some £6. So much for the Smiler not having fastrack for its first few months or even first season.
     
    Posted 8th Jun 2013
    #34
  15. josht

    josht TowersStreet Member

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    How can they hand out fastracks (if its only 20 per hour) with a three hour queue to tackle.
     
    Posted 8th Jun 2013
    #35
  16. badlydrawnkelBel

    badlydrawnkelBel TowersStreet Member

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    Que bots......are hw way forward!

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
     
    Posted 8th Jun 2013
    #36
  17. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Money making over guest experience.

    Say no more.

    Sheisters.

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
     
    Posted 8th Jun 2013
    #37
  18. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    To be fair, an allocation of 20 per hour will have a very minimal effect on the main queue. However it is definitely too early for fastrack on The Smiler. All it's going to take is a lengthy break down and you have a large back log of fastrack to get through.

    :)
     
    Posted 8th Jun 2013
    #38
  19. Dave

    Dave TS Founding Member

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    Tomorrow the quota is 40

    My worry is they will feel pressure from the accountants to keep increasing the quota and the rides throughput is way too low at the moment to cope.
     
    Posted 8th Jun 2013
    #39
  20. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Hmmm 40 is too much, especially so soon after opening. This does seem to only be a trial though, so we'll have to wait and see what they decide on doing for the long run.

    :)
     
    Posted 8th Jun 2013
    #40

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