Over the last year or so, Cedar Fair has been testing All-Season Fast Lane Plus at some of its park. In 2016, the amusement park operator selected Dorney Park and Valleyfair. For 2017, Cedar Fair has expanded their All Season Fast Lane program to addition parks in the chain; 2017 additions included California’s Great America, Carowinds, Kings Dominion, Michigan’s Adventure, and Worlds of Fun. That only leaves four Cedar Fair parks – Canada’s Wonderland, Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Knott’s Berry Farm – that currently do not offer a season version of their popular Fast Lane / Fast Lane Plus quick queue system.
|California’s Great America||$89 (Sold Out)|
|Canada’s Wonderland||Not Available|
|Carowinds||$125 (Sold Out – March 7, 2017)|
|Cedar Point||Not Available|
|Kings Dominion||$115 (Sold Out – March 23 or 24, 2017)|
|Kings Island||Not Available|
|Knott’s Berry Farm||Not Available|
|Worlds of Fun||$99 (Sold Out – April 14, 2017)|
All Season Fast Lane is a Winner!
At first glance, naysayers will cry foul and merely point to the parks as looking for better ways to line their pockets. Still, the quick queue concept is working and is certainly here to stay. The industry continues to evolve, and companies within the industry must evolve with it to remain competitive and to ensure guest satisfaction. In many ways, All Season Fast Lane is a winner for all stakeholder (park guests included).
All Season Fast Lane Pays for Itself Within 3 Visits
The All Season Fast Lane pass pays for itself in less than three visits. In many cases, if the passholder is only going on weekends, he or she pays for the pass within two visits. So, if the passholder goes more than three times, he or she is ahead of the game. In many cases, that means that the passholder has more dispensable income to play with. In the case of families, for example, it means that they might bring more friends or their younger family members to the park.
More Revenue for Cedar Fair Equals More Investment
Adding the season long quick queue option does bring in more dollars for the park to use moving forward. In many cases, this means that more people will visit the park and do so more frequently. Those using the quick queue pass will likely hit their favorite rides and then have more time to roam around the park. In many cases, that means that those passholders will have more time to spend their money elsewhere within the park. Less time in line means more time to pick out that favorite shirt or grab an ice cream. In the end, more revenue for Cedar Fair parks results in more investment in the parks, and more future investment just makes the parks better for everybody! Everybody wins both today and into the future!
Limited Quantities Available
The parks that offer All Season Fast Lane passes only have a limited quantity available. None of the parks have acknowledged just how many are available each year nor if all of these parks operate on the same quantity caps. Most, however, will let the general public know when those passes are almost sold out; in fact, many use social media to relay that message. With a limited quantity of All Season Fast Lane passes sold each year, the Fast Lane experience is not compromised, and the regular lines do not get too much longer either, so the expected experience in each line remains consistent.
Encourages More Park Visits
Like a season pass, this All Season Fast Lane pass option is essentially an investment being made by the passholder, so it encourages season passholders who might not live so close to the park to visit the park more often. Take my situation. I live in the Greater Atlanta area, but I bought the Carowinds All Season Fast Lane Plus pass for 2017. At $125, it was a STEAL of a DEAL! I had already planned to drive the four hours to get my fix on Fury 325 a couple times this season, but now I am more motivated to make that four-hour drive even more often. Granted, I have the Cedar Fair Platinum Season Pass with dining, and that gives me admission, parking, food, and drink for each visit, but I often only get to go to Carowinds on weekends. Being that I drive a bit of distance, I usually would be budgeting in Fast Lane Plus as it is. However, I will now have a bigger motivation to go to the park during more weekends in 2017. As a result, there is a greater chance that I will buy that extra t-shirt and invite more friends to come too… and that brings me to my next point.
Encourages Bringing Others
All Season Fast Lane passholders have friends too, and most passholders enjoy riding roller coasters with their friends and family members. So, it is likely that these passholders will invite those friends to enjoy the park with them. In many cases, they will also encourage those friends to buy Fast Lane so they can enjoy the rides together. Even if the friends do not spend the money on the daily Fast Lane pass, the All Season Fast Lane passholder will likely be okay with hanging out with his or her friends in the regular lines since there will be more opportunities to use the Fast Lane pass in the future. In any case, the park gets more exposure because of the extra park visits and [potentially] new patrons, and more people enjoy the rides. Many of these friends are NOT current season passholders, too. It is highly-likely that these new visitors are paying full price for a daily ticket and/or are open to buying a season pass. Decades ago, naysayers were possibly against the idea of the “Season Pass.” The theory would be that more season passes equates to larger crowds every day at the park. However, that is simply NOT true. Certainly, there are PEAK days within any operating season, but many season passholders will spread out their visits across the entire season!
In today’s digital age, the season pass contains additional information and passes. Like with FunPix and Season Dining, the All Season Fast Lane is linked to the season pass itself, making it easy to get the Fast Lane wristband during each visit. Passholder can walk up to the Fast Lane ticket counter and get their wristband for the day by simply showing the same pass that he or she used to enter the parking lot and main gate with. There’s no additional piece of plastic required. In fact, with the new mobile apps for most of the Cedar Fair parks, passholders can simply connect their season pass right there and use that to secure admission into the park and get their Fast Lane passes. Nobody wants to lug around extra pieces of paper or cards when it is not necessary.
What All Season Fast Lane is NOT!
As with anything, All Season Fast Lane has its limitation. First, the All Season Fast Lane does not take the place of a season pass. To get the All Season Fast Lane pass, a guest needs to be a season passholder as well. Second, some of the seasonal events have additional costs that are not included in the Fast Lane pass. For example, Fright Lane – the Halloween-attractions quick queue option – is not part of this season-long pass. Of course, Fright Lane and Fast Lane have always been separate up-charge tickets, but it is important to note that All Season Fast Lane does not somehow merge the two. Also, those parks with WinterFest will not honor the All Season Fast Lane pass, especially if there are certain attractions that offer quick queue access. Third, All Season Fast Lane does not provide additional access to rides that do not offer special Fast Lane or Fast Lane Plus entry. For those attractions, passholders will either have to use the regular lines or buy a VIP Tour from the park.
It appears the season-long quick queue pass continues to grow in popularity with the park guest. Will you be adding All Season Fast Lane to your season pass?
[Special thanks to Andrew from Coaster 101 for help verifying some of the sold out pricing.]