Cedar Point now requiring special limited passes to ride Top Thrills

Sunday, July 12, 2020 1:23 PM

https://fox8.com/news/coronavirus/cedar-point-now-requiring-special...p-thrills/

So I guess this is similar to Disney fast pass?


Weather Freak
Ride Warrior

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 1:53 PM
TwistedCircuits's avatar

I didn't see anything there about TTD.

This is just the access pass system they've been using since opening. It's similar to the old paper Disney fast pass. You pickup a paper slip and it has an hour long timeframe to come back and get in line. Limited number per day based off of capacity.


Still haven't been able to uncross these circuits...
DJ Fischer

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 2:06 PM
jimmyburke's avatar

So, at noon today we were walking on Frontier Trail towards the front of the park. There was a line of people waiting at Millenium Force attempting to obtain the "access passes". This line was extremely long and dis-organized with social distancing being compromised by the majority. It stretched from the booth at the ride entrance to across the CPLE RR tracks and didn't seem to be moving very quickly at all. Good luck with that.

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 2:20 PM
TwistedCircuits's avatar

Yeah that system needs some adjustments. The plan sounds to be virtual queues you can do through your phone in the future but thats going to require some serious infrastructure to fully deploy. I wouldn't say we couldn't see it this year though.


Still haven't been able to uncross these circuits...
DJ Fischer

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 2:27 PM
Sollybeast's avatar

It also seems unfair to those who can't get there early- from the reports I've been reading, passes for the best coasters, SV included, are all gone by 11:30, making those who arrive after unable to ride at all that day. There has to be a better way that's fair for everyone, though I'm not certain what that could be.


Proud 5th Liner and CP fan since 1986.

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 2:49 PM
TwistedCircuits's avatar

Short of virtual queues, my idea after stewing over it would be make a limited number available per X time. Say 100 passes an hour spread out across the day or something like that so that everyone has an opportunity for the pass.

Now I don't expect Cedar Point to do this to be completely honest. I think if someone is going to make that big of a deal out of the top coasters then they need to plan around what the park is doing. They are already do so much to operate I really only want to see things that do two things, make it easier for them and improve the guest experience. Some things such as "I couldn't get a ride on X" is so minor with everything going on I don't think it's a reasonable (not I'm not negating it's validity) expectation.


Still haven't been able to uncross these circuits...
DJ Fischer

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 3:38 PM

It definitely seems like a free virtual queuing system is something with potential to make the park experience better even post COVID. I don't really care for the paper tickets (or stamps) first come first served stuff because it means that a resort guest or a local arriving later on in the day might not get a pass and that might deter them from bothering to go to the park. I think the infrastructure required for a FastPass type system at Cedar Point might be too much for them to bite off and I'm not sure I'd enjoy having to plan my visit weeks ahead of time, but they could do a more simple virtual queue via the smartphone app that would allow a guest to wait in line for a single ride at a time virtually rather than physically. They could then eat, shop, wander, or even ride another smaller ride while waiting virtually for one.

Maybe implement it just on major rides that get say greater than a 1 hour wait. Allow a guest to get into line via their phone or physically at the ride and be given an estimated wait time. The time would not be guaranteed because weather or mechanical issues could delay the queue. It literally could be a system that counts people entering the line either physically or virtually and counts people exiting either by riding the ride, leaving via the entrance of the ride, or leaving the virtual queue. It would just be first in first out. When you're within 2-300 people or so of the front of the queue, you're instructed to go back to the ride to board with minimal wait through a merge point close to the station (perhaps existing Fastlane could be repurposed). If the ride breaks down, you could be notified and choose to either keep your spot in the queue or leave the queue - same as if you were physically in the line. If a downtime occurs, a ride host would have to re-calibrate the number of people physically in the line since many of them would leave.

The big challenge I see with trying to implement something like this would be having it coexist with the pay to cut schemes currently in place. One way I could think to do it would be to have Fastlane use the same app, but if you have purchased Fastlane, you are moved up two or three spots in the queue for every one person that exits - so you use the exact same system, but by paying extra, you're moving though the line faster than a normal person.

Just an idea I had that I think would be a pretty good enhancement for guest experience and not as expensive as say a full blown FastPass system like Disney has.


-Matt

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 4:00 PM
Cargo Shorts's avatar

Correct me if I am wrong but with the current system a FL+ purchaser basically gets unlimited rides but a standby peasant is lucky to get one.

Maybe that how CP wants it to work.

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 4:04 PM
Sollybeast's avatar

I think Tony mentioned at some point that there's a FL cap at 2 rides per day. I could be wrong though. Still, I hope that's the case- I don't want to revive the old FL debate but being able to ride ad infinatum when any latecomers can't get to ride at all is staggeringly unfair.


Proud 5th Liner and CP fan since 1986.

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 4:56 PM

Jordan_Vanichek said:

https://fox8.com/news/coronavirus/cedar-point-now-requiring-special...p-thrills/

So I guess this is similar to Disney fast pass?

Cept ain’t nothing fast about it. This allows the rider to get in line.
This is not news. This has been the policy since the park opened up for the season and has been discussed.

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 5:10 PM

Cargo Shorts said:

Correct me if I am wrong but with the current system a FL+ purchaser basically gets unlimited rides but a standby peasant is lucky to get one.

Maybe that how CP wants it to work.

Yea - that's a good point. That also probably helps explain why people are getting these tickets to come back at a certain time and still waiting 2 hours plus to ride. It's kind of like they need someone good at math to put some thought behind certain things.

Of course since they're not selling additional Fast Lanes this year (only people that pre-purchased before COVID can use the ones they already had), I wouldn't think there's a sinister motive behind what they're doing. More like they just are giving out a certain number based on expected capacity and the actual capacity with all of the sanitation/distancing measures has turned out to be quite a bit less than they hoped.

Last edited by MDOmnis, Sunday, July 12, 2020 5:11 PM

-Matt

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 7:23 PM

It seems to be they just need to lower the number of access passes given for each hour window. Obviously then the issue becomes more folks not having a chance to ride the ride at all. But obtaining a pass only to come back to a 2-3 hour wait seems a bit silly. At that point just allow the line to fill to the 2-3 hour mark anyway. The whole point should be to keep the queue area virtually empty for distancing purposes.

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 8:40 PM
Kevinj's avatar

If you happen to be around a ride when the queue isn't full, you can get in line. We happened upon Steel Vengeance around 7:00 and hopped right in line.


Promoter of fog.

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 8:47 PM

We have the season FL+ and went on opening day. For MF, they made us get an access pass for a timeslot, but were able to go through the line FL gate, so it was the usual 15 minute wait. We went on Maverick the first time and they let us go right in with no pass, then the second time we went through, one guy asked if we had an access pass, and the other guys said they let FL go through twice without one, and need it a 3rd time. On SV, they didn't require us to have one and didn't ask. We are going up tomorrow and I'd bet they have everything more standardized by now. I'll post back how the experience was.

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Sunday, July 12, 2020 8:56 PM

Yea fl+ here to on opening day and the didnt ask for a access pass on maverick or steel vengeance either according to Tony's post he says fast lane is same as always

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Monday, July 13, 2020 1:11 AM
TTD 120mph's avatar

The biggest problem I saw on Sunday was the confusion regarding the passes for Steel Vengeance and Maverick (and Millennium to some extent). Me and my group got into the park just at 10 and got to the back at 10:20. There we found a line stretching from the SV entrance to the Gemini bathrooms. We stood in line and did our best to maintain 6 feet both in front and behind us but the vast majority of the line was not observing proper social distancing procedure. After about 35 minutes of barely moving, an attendant was going through the line saying that the passes they had for the 10am slot were gone and that the 11:00 slots were starting to be handed out. However, we were told that they would likely be gone by the time we (specifically) got to the kiosk. Meaning, we would have to wait till 12:00 for the next round. So, instead of waiting that long, we bailed on the line and ignored Maverick because it too had a long line for passes.

We made our way to Magnum, then headed to the front of the park when we decided to step out of the park for a little break. We got back in around 2 and headed back to Frontier Town. On the way, we grabbed a 4pm-5pm pass for Millennium and made our way to see that there was still a long line for passes for SV. We didn't think it was going to work and made a move to get a pass for Maverick instead. The queue house was only 1/4 "full" so we thought we'd have no problem getting a pass. But the attendant at the kiosk said they were all out for the day and that SV would soon be out as well. Flustered, we gave up on the the back section of the park and wasted some time before our 4-5 Millennium passes. The rest of our day was spent waiting for Millennium, Valravn and Gatekeeper.

And hearing what Kevin got to do during the last 90 minutes in the park really put me in a sour mood since I thought there'd be no hope, at all, for getting on Vengeance or Maverick. :P

I just hope they can iron out the kinks and make it work.


-Adam G-
Former title: Biggest Dragster nerd
Current title: Biggest Sir Rub a Dub's Tubs nerd

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Monday, July 13, 2020 8:34 AM
Kevinj's avatar

In case you're wondering what Adam is referring to, my wife and kids and I more or less won the ride lottery last night.

We checked into Lighthouse Point around 4:30, and finally decided to venture in the park around 6:15 or so; after reading all the negative posts I honestly thought we would just get our passes (got new ones) and meander around the park just soaking in the atmosphere.

But as we passed Magnum, we noticed there was no one in the queue... and off we went. Eight minutes later we were already off the ride and I even joked to my wife..."well, at least we got one ride in today".

It was my wife's idea; she said we should check out Steel Vengeance just in case. We had no access cards, but the queue had maybe 40 people in it so they let us in (I suppose confirming the idea that if a queue is not at capacity, a card is not needed), and we got a front row (well, rows 1 and 3) ride in just under 20 minutes. To top it off, Maverick was also a complete walk on, and at 8:00 we snagged the last ride on Skyhawk of the day. All that with a grand total of waiting about 28 minutes in line.

It's now Monday morning, so we will get our first taste or reality when we eventually head in....but man, what a night and what a way to kick off our stay.

Condolences to Adam. :)

Last edited by Kevinj, Monday, July 13, 2020 8:58 AM

Promoter of fog.

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Monday, July 13, 2020 9:05 AM

Sounds like your evening was fantastic!! I wish you luck today, and even if it's not smooth sailing, your evening sounds better than many pre-COVID visits!

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Monday, July 13, 2020 9:17 AM

I went Sunday, and maybe I just got insanely lucky, but the access pass system seemed to work just fine for me.

Got to the park a smidgen late, and took until 11:45 to get to the back of the park. The access pass line for Steel Vengeance was fairly long, but once they started handing out passes it went fairly quickly. 20 minutes of wait later, got a 3-4 time slot.

Immediately hopped over to Maverick's pass line because it was right there. This one had corckscrewed around itself twice right in front of the train station, but again once the passes were actually handed out, things went pretty quick. 30 minute wait later, had a 2-3 pass for Maverick.

Did some shenanigans around the park for a bit (more on that later), and by about 3:45 I'd wandered down to Millennium Force. At this point I'd written that one off, but figured why not check the state of things. Surprisingly, the next round of pass handouts was slated for 4. Again, waited about 15 minutes (less for the line and more for 4 o'clock to show up) and got a slot for 5-6.

As for the wait times in-line themselves?

-Millennium: 1 hour 45 minutes (although it did break down for about 45 minutes)
-Maverick: 45 minutes
-Steel Vengeance: 15 minutes. (I had flashbacks to Mean Streak lines!)

Again, maybe I got lucky, but it seemed like the system worked pretty well. Staggered releases and limiting a single ticket per rider, only for individuals IN line (I saw a couple people refused extra tickets for people not in line) kept the numbers manageable.

App-based queuing seems like a good idea, but if it's anything like Michigan's new Secretary of State process, it's the exact opposite. Rather than having to show up in person to line up (and eliminating anyone not willing to make that effort), instead you get everyone who has an app trying to snag an access pass the second they're made available. Be ready for passes to "sell out" IMMEDIATELY on being available.

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Monday, July 13, 2020 9:51 AM

Kevinj said:

...Steel Vengeance...but the queue had maybe 40 people in it so they let us in and we got a front row (well, rows 1 and 3) ride in just under 20 minutes.

While that seems like a good thing this year, waiting 20 minutes for 40 people, normally two trains, to ride is awful.

Last edited by Shades, Monday, July 13, 2020 9:52 AM
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