to think that "Fast-track&quo t; is just paying to push in?

(211 Posts)
Scholes34 Wed 31-Jul-13 17:13:52

Just that, really. After spending a day with four kids at Alton Towers and a lot of time in various queues, is fast-track really just paying to push in?

Yes it is. That is why people pay it

shaggyrogers Wed 31-Jul-13 17:15:29

Yes but much better than waiting 1 1/2 hours to go on a ride!

ISeeSmallPeople Wed 31-Jul-13 17:15:51


Sirzy Wed 31-Jul-13 17:16:02

It is, but given how busy those places are I would pay for fast track if it meant I wasn't spending the day in queues!

I assume they have some sort of system to ensure the normal queues keep moving aswell though!

MalcolmTuckersMum Wed 31-Jul-13 17:16:19

Fast Track. Clue's in the name.

kinkyfuckery Wed 31-Jul-13 17:16:30

Yes, it essentially is "paying to push in". Either pay it if you want to push in, or if you don't want to push in, don't pay it!

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 17:17:32

Yes. They give away so many free tickets to these places one way and another on cereal boxes and the like that they have to make the money up somewhere.

It is paying to jump the queue and it's pretty much a mandatory element of the charges now for most families. And families on a budget wait longer because of the queue jumpers.

After a day at Lego Land we vowed never again.

Isn't it more like paying to have someone else queue for you?

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 17:18:30

Hope - There are various versions. LEGOLAND had about three IIRC. The basic was what you say. The higher versions actually jump the queue.

kim147 Wed 31-Jul-13 17:19:12

I think you can get people to do that for you in Disney Land.

A bit like priority boarding.

Groovee Wed 31-Jul-13 17:19:22

We used it when we went with the kids who were too small. It meant we didn't have to fanny about waiting on dh to ride his big rides. He got a set time to ride and we rode something else which had a shorter queuing time.

I also bought the express passes at Universal. It was worth it to not have to queue forever.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Wed 31-Jul-13 17:20:09

yup <unhelpful>

Groovee Wed 31-Jul-13 17:20:43

In Disney you can get free fastpasses which you get by using your park ticket.

Well I never! The Legoland here (Germany) only has the queue-for-you one, though we've never used it as we've only been out of season. I thought though that it seemed like a very good idea.
Not sure about paying to actually queue-jump though...

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 17:23:53


Sounds like you just have regular!

yep we did it on the London Eye - was great <runs away>

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 31-Jul-13 17:28:04

Yes it is. What's your point?

shock shock shock shock at those PRICES!!!

Yep, I've just paid an extra £90 for Legoland QBots for the kids and DP for our holiday, queuing sucks.

Scholes34 Wed 31-Jul-13 17:33:51

It makes an already expensive day - regardless of what discounts you might have on entry - more expensive. More of Cameron's "we're all in this together" take on life. And yes, I do see that it's AT's way of getting more money out of you.

Yes, but you don't have to do it.

Either grit your teeth, pay the extra and "push in"

Or grit your teeth, don't pay the extra and queue.

It's not a conspiracy theory is it? It's a choice. An option.
Do it or don't.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 17:43:13

I think what grates is that for every person pushing in, your own queue gets longer.

So you join a queue that is 30 minutes long when you join it, but takes an hour because of all the pushing in.

shaggyrogers Wed 31-Jul-13 17:47:04

I don't really think you can blame Cameron for fastrack!!

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 17:47:37

I blame him for a fair amount, and even I agree on that grin

GetStuffezd Wed 31-Jul-13 17:48:15

HAHAHA!! David Cameron?! Jesus Christ.

My DH was talking about this the other day, his work colleague paid £220 to "push in" at Legoland! There is no way that I would ever go back there after the last time, 3 hours to get on a small ride and that was BEFORE they came up with this idea. Total rip off as far as I am concerned. Places like West Midlands Safari Park and Brean Leisure Park are much better value for money. Pay for a wristband- so don't ride, don't pay and no queues to speak of. Last time we went to West Midlands we were the only people there from 7-9pm and they kept all the rides open open just for us. The rides might not be the newest/ flashiest ones, but they are perfectly good for the children, and they are far happier not queuing for hours on end.

MalcolmTuckersMum Wed 31-Jul-13 17:49:45

Seriously? You're blaming Cameron for this? Funniest thing I've read in weeks!

Lorelai Wed 31-Jul-13 17:50:56

I have to say I did pay for fast track tickets for the first time ever today at chessington and it was sooo worth it. £10 total for three of us (only had to pay for two as DD2 is too small to go on the rides by herself, so don't have to buy fast track for the accompanying adult), to skip the queues on three rides. Saved a good hour or more plus my sanity.

GetStuffezd Wed 31-Jul-13 17:51:02

The alternative is getting there on the dot of opening time and avoiding most people. I do this absolutely everywhere. I don't even feel guilty when I smugly exit past queuers-up three hours later

Chessington only allow one FT group on per run of a ride, which seemed a good way of organising it.

Of course it is, I wouldn't think it has ever claimed not to be?
And its got fuck all to do with David Cameron. Jaysus people come out with some shite on here.

Wbdn28 Wed 31-Jul-13 17:59:04

Yes. It's the same as other aspects of life where people pay for an advantage of some kind.

Madratlady Wed 31-Jul-13 18:14:02

If everyone paid fast track then wouldn't that just cause other queues?

shaggyrogers Wed 31-Jul-13 18:22:34

Then they would offer fastrack extra to beat the fastrack queue!

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 31-Jul-13 19:02:03 track tickets have existed for quite some time. Nothing to do with David Cameron biscuit

Groovee Wed 31-Jul-13 19:24:17

What's it got to do with David Cameron? It's been there for years before he came on the scene. Don't pay if you don't want to, but if people choose to, that's their money to spend as they wish. I never regret paying to "push in"

Wbdn28 Wed 31-Jul-13 19:27:46

David Cameron's not directly responsible for this, obviously.

But it's similar to right-wing policies on things where if you pay, you get faster or better service. Health and education for example.

Wbdn28 Wed 31-Jul-13 19:28:25

.... so why it seems a ridiculous comparison it's not entirely incorrect.

Wbdn28 Wed 31-Jul-13 19:28:39

while, not why

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 19:31:52

Pay to get through no queue,damn
Don't need to push at all.Just sashay past the tight wads who won't say for fast track
I value my time,and standing in long queue isn't best use of time

At Disney the Fastpasses are free... it just means you've scheduled your ride time- thus making queues smaller.

I don't agree with paying for it though- cater for demand not for profiteering.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 19:51:37

I don't think the people saying that they don't regret paying to push in are the ones likely to feel hard done by though are they? It's the people who want to take their kids to AT, LL et al but who can only afford basic entrance, or a deal on the reward card points.

It's not like first class where some people pay for a better service. It's a situation where giving those people better service also inevitably means making other people's day worse.

So whilst I admit I would probably pay it, I still think it's a sad thing it exists.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 19:55:56

it's paid for add on extra to make the experience faster,enhanced
I'm willing to pay it,plenty and nonplussed if someone else disagree
Like a first class seat on plane,train not cattle class.they charge extra because someone will pay

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 19:59:14

Yes, plenty of people do pay. I get why they do. I would.

But someone sitting in first class doesn't make my standard experience any worse. This does. One experience is enhanced directly at the cost of the other. And I think that's sad.

Scholes34 Wed 31-Jul-13 20:03:06

Not blaming David Cameron for this, just the DC attitude towards "we're all in this together". A bit like "we're all equal, but some are more equal than others".

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 20:06:30

If one is willing to pay extra to fast track,that's their choice
I've paid extra on train,to get a reserved seat and not cattle class.paid for better journey
Quite simply i dont think my fast track adversely impacts someone else day.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 20:07:43

But it's not equal.its a paid premium for better service
I don't want to queue,I pay not to queue
Nothing equal about paying for an enhanced experience

Wbdn28 Wed 31-Jul-13 20:17:43

"cattle class"? hmm

Scholes34 Wed 31-Jul-13 20:22:03

But fast track is only an enhanced service because it puts others at a disadvantage compared to you.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 20:22:56

Quite simply i dont think my fast track adversely impacts someone else day.

How on earth do you figure that out? You jumping the queue directly means that someone who can't afford to pay to jump the queue waits longer. Extra people push in front of them.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 20:33:06

and yes I pay to procure an advantage.thats my choice I'm fortunate to have that choice
I will pay extra to go 1stclass on train so I'm not squeezed in cattle class,airless,no seat
So I should chose to queue in order to empathise with someone who queues?no way Jose

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 20:36:21

Yes, you are fortunate to have that choice. And as I said, I understand why you make it.

But when you make it, you have to accept that it isn't a choice that only affects you. By choosing to jump a queue you are choosing to share your queuing time out amongst all the people standing in the queue when you walk to the front.

And it makes me uneasy that we as a society have driven a consumer demand for that. I have no problem with a device that queues for you (like the basic QBot). It's the actual jumping that I think is sad.

Groovee Wed 31-Jul-13 20:40:02

At Alton Towers I have often seen people just push through the main queue and no one says a thing. That is QUEUE JUMPING. Where as when theme parks choose to offer a service where people don't have to queue, then why should I feel guilty? I have a hidden disability and queuing for hours standing up would result in me having lots of pain.

We chose to buy fast track tickets at Universal and we don't see the problem when it is offered. Disney offers it free but others choose to charge. Would you use it for free? If you would then it's just like paying for it, you are choosing the fast track option to make the most of your day!

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 20:41:36

It's not sad,it's meeting a demand and squeezing extra buck out customer
Plenty willing to pay it.I pay for fast check in at airport too.
Are you genuinely suggesting one doesn't pay for an extra cause someone else can't?

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 20:51:47

You don't think it is sad Scottishmummy. I think it is very sad what it says about us that this service exists. Do you really not see the difference between this type of service and things like first class - one is actively making another's day worse to make yours better.

I've said, I'd pay for it. I understand why people do. It's just a shame.

I'd happily pay for fast track passes at Alton Towers if I didn't have use of the exit pass scheme for disabilities.Every theme park we've been to has this scheme as well the paid for fast track scheme and it's a good idea whether its the paid for one or the free one which we use.The kids are too old for Legoland now but we used to be able to go round every ride in an hour and obviously that meant they got to use every ride loads of times.Seeing the huge queues at the rides i'm glad we got to use that scheme.As for Alton towers, we were there recently and used the exit pass scheme.Brilliant.far better than standing in a long, winding and let's be honest, unhappy queue.We did all the big rides again and again and it made the day out really great.Nothing wrong with the paid scheme though...I'd use it if I needed to but with two disabled children and the exit pass scheme allowing one disabled person and up to three carers per pass, two passes means eight of us get to go on through the exit and it saves so much time.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 20:57:02

I'm paying for an enhancement yes,so what?it's available
Am i really meant to forgo this to empathise with queuing?to really get that authentic queue vibe
Plenty things to get sad or reflective about,fast tracking isn't one of them.competely nonplussed

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 20:59:46

Not forgo it no. Nothing to do with getting an authentic queueing vibe. But there is something to be said for recognising that you getting a better day means someone else getting a worse day.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:02:29

That's life innit,I'm simply exercising my consumer power to procure advantage
Do I think about anyone else in the queue?no
I don't think anyone has worse day,I think they have the standard day.I chose enhanced day

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 21:04:16

Do you really not understand the mathematics of queue jumping? Of course they have a worse day. They wait longer. They wait (shared amongst them) your queuing time.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:06:16

I understand fine,that's why I pay to not queue,I pay to procure advantage

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:11:47

Fast tracking generates a revenue stream,that others don't pay
Fast tracking is altruistic,it generates money that's ploughed back in for advantage of everyone
So fast tracking benefits all,not the money goes toward all facilities

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 21:11:55

Fair enough. From what I've seen on other threads, you're pretty consistent about stuff like this. So I can respect that.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 21:12:33

Ok, that was to your previous post. I'm sorry, but the altruism argument is just rubbish.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:14:22

I've dont recall discussing fast tracking or stuff like this as you put it
Inequality in accessing services,public sector cuts I am animated about
Fast track on train,plane,play park I'm completely nonplussed

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:15:26

Not at all,fast tracking generates revenue from minority,used for majority
V altruistic

Scholes34 Wed 31-Jul-13 21:21:26

I really don't understand the altruism argument, scottish. How is the fast tracking by you (the majority) aiding me (the minority)?

Scholes34 Wed 31-Jul-13 21:22:13

Actually, I have my majority and minority the wrong way round there - this is because I'm so confused by the argument.

eccentrica Wed 31-Jul-13 21:23:40

AmandaP it's not true that First Class has no impact on Standard Class. If no one paid for First Class, there would be more capacity in Standard. It's not quite as clear cut as you make out.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:25:14

The income generated is ploughed back into whole of AT,for maintenance,new ride
If the minority didn't pay that additional extra there'd be less for revenue for whole park
The extra premium paid,by minority(me) benefits the majority (you)

You can thank me any ole time

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:26:30

Indeed by choosing 1st class train,,I'm not additionally crowding standard class

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 21:27:53

Eccentrica - I wasn't saying that first class was clear cut. I realise that things like space on a plane has to be split up. I was saying that queue jumping is clear cut.

Scottish - I meant regarding economics, supply and demand, consumer power, etc.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:30:21

It's not queue jumping,as im not fast tracked no queue
Queue jumping,is act if not legitimately waiting allocated pace in queue one is in
Fast tracking is not being a participant in a queue.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 21:33:31

You are a participant in the queue. You are not some separate process.

If one car boards every 15 seconds, and your party of four takes up one car, every single person in the queue waits an additional 15 seconds because you boarded from the front. Add all those 15 seconds together and you get the length of wait you would have had if you'd joined the queue at the back.

That is a participant in the queue, not somehow someone not part of it and unrelated to it.

gallifrey Wed 31-Jul-13 21:37:11

yet again separating rich and poor people

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:38:02

No.its different entrance,marked differently and taped off
I'm not queuing with majority,so im not queue jumping
Fast tracking is minority activity benefitting the majority

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 21:39:18

Ah, I get it, you're enjoying the joke. Ha ha.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:39:22

Yes it is a separation,I'm not participant in long queue
But it generates revenue that majority benefit from.
Altruistic I'd say

But it's for the same ride!

hermioneweasley Wed 31-Jul-13 21:39:50

It's a hallmark ofnMerlin Group Entertainment. They own At, London Eye, Legoland and others. A day out is characterised by them finding every opportunity to get more money out of you, and lots of rides are sponsored. Spoils it for me. At least with Disney, fast pass is free!

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:40:39

Is that it Amanda?you've run out steam, so this must be a wheeze to tease you

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 21:40:43

Hermione - If fast pass is free and everyone gets it, how is it different from normal queuing?

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 31-Jul-13 21:42:24

It wasn't a joke?

I've not run out of steam. I just genuinely don't understand that you could think you are not part of the same queue because you go under a different rope to the same ride, so I assumed you were kidding.

hermioneweasley Wed 31-Jul-13 21:54:33

Amanda, it's a bit complicated to explain, but there are a limited number of fast passes per day for each ride. Anyone can get them, but when rhey're gone, they're gone.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 21:55:47

Different queue,not snaked round.
quick,prompt access,minimal queuing
Definitely not same experience

shaggyrogers Wed 31-Jul-13 21:57:00

It's Alton Towers not a bread queue! You are talking like people are being disadvantaged by having to wait a bit longer to go on a roller coaster!!

candycoatedwaterdrops Wed 31-Jul-13 21:58:44

Life is unfair - shocker!!!!

TabithaStephens Wed 31-Jul-13 21:59:30

How much do these fast track things cost?

Groovee Wed 31-Jul-13 22:04:05

Think dh paid £10 for Air, Rita and Nemesis.

I paid £36 pp at Universal but that included all rides bar the Harry Potter one and some flying one that you needed to go on with a child.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 22:04:41
Groovee Wed 31-Jul-13 22:05:11
scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 22:49:01

As one can see there's range of fast track options,starting £21

TabithaStephens Wed 31-Jul-13 22:49:44

Theme parks are so expensive nowadays.

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 31-Jul-13 22:52:30

This is the biggest non issue I have ever seen on MN.

It's not a metaphor for the rich being better served than the poor.

It's a service some can be arsed to use and some can not.

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 22:55:37

Well yes,but the mn hyperbole about inequalities,fairness,class had all been dusted down
This wasnt fast track,it was a searing social incitement on today unfair society
Oh and Cameron apparently

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 31-Jul-13 22:57:14



See you in the fast track queue!

scottishmummy Wed 31-Jul-13 23:00:34

Indeed i'll be using my money to procure advantage
As we waft through fragrantly
Letting the other long queue snake round,getting longer

Wbdn28 Thu 01-Aug-13 00:23:56

scottishmummy you're referring to customers who can't afford 1st class train travel as "cattle". A little rude, yes?

MidniteScribbler Thu 01-Aug-13 01:41:43

I don't see how it is negatively impacting anyone. I looked at the link to the lego one and it looks like you press which ride you want, then you get to go off and do other things while waiting your turn and return when they page you. So it's not actually making the queues any longer, because those people would otherwise just be waiting in line anyway. It's a bit like taking a ticket at the deli window and waiting to be called, just because someone wanders over to check out the bread while they wait, doesn't mean they're not in the queue. Same number of people riding, just that some prefer to let a little electronic device do the waiting. Sounds brilliant to me, I'd pay for it.

MidniteScribbler Thu 01-Aug-13 01:43:52

you're referring to customers who can't afford 1st class train travel as "cattle".

Have you never heard this term before? I've heard economy referred to as "cattle class" for years. It's referring to the cramped conditions, not saying that the people using it as like cattle. Unclench.

theodorakisses Thu 01-Aug-13 09:03:33

What is it to do with politics? I haven't flown economy since Blair came in, I didn't notice them leaping into the cabin and begging me to share my champagne with a poorer person. I can afford to pay for things so I do. Mn really needs to get a grip, it really is like the 6th form common room. Such bitterness and jealousy must eat away at you and make your life so sad. It's fucking Lego land not a workhouse.

theodorakisses Thu 01-Aug-13 09:06:20

Are there seriously people who don't approve of first class seats? Please elaborate!

OddBoots Thu 01-Aug-13 09:14:41

I've never used fast track but I think by the amount they cost they probably make Merlin enough that they can afford to build more rides and better electronic signs making each ride's queue proportionally shorter.

The queues now are shorter (in time waiting) now than when I went as a teenager before fast track existed.

theodorakisses Thu 01-Aug-13 09:23:35

I can't understand why attractions aimed at families think that huge queues would be something most people would want to experience. Surely a family friendly place wouldn't expect children to stand for hours like that. I would rather eat my flip flops personally.

Growlithe Thu 01-Aug-13 09:24:32

They only sell a certain amount of them, on a 'when they're gone, they're gone' basis. This means that the fast track queues don't get too long (because that would obviously be pointless), and that the ordinary queues aren't too affected.

J.K. Rowling won't allow fast track on the HP ride at Universal Islands of Adventure. (Boring fact of the day)

theodorakisses Thu 01-Aug-13 09:31:16

I wonder if JK also refuses to fly first class and sits in Ryanair planes

Growlithe Thu 01-Aug-13 09:33:27

I bet she didn't have to queue for two pigging hours to get on the ride either. angry

TheFuzz Thu 01-Aug-13 09:53:35

I wouldn't pay the extra - crazy money. You need to manage how you go round a park - i.e. turn up early and hit the big rides or those at the rear of the park first - you'll rattle off quite a few early on. Means you can 'eat' at lunch without worrying about chucking up !

We've only ever used fast track in Disney, but that was part of the package as we were staying within Disney. You still had to queue for 10-15 minutes per ride, but you go upto the rides fast pass tickets, it then issues you with a time slot and you then go away. You can also only have one fast pass at a time - works well.

With Alton Towers, the fast pass system can be massively expensive.

Growlithe Thu 01-Aug-13 10:00:53

Here's a tip from DH who is a Themepark Geek: Most people, when entering a themepark, instinctively go clockwise. Go anticlockwise.

jojane Thu 01-Aug-13 10:45:29

if everyone got a qbot free which marks your spot in the queue and you could only queue for one ride at a time then surely this would be beneficial for the theme park as that hour people are normally waiting in a queue for a ride they would now be buying a drink or ice cream etc? plus would be happier as not bored in a queue?

candycoatedwaterdrops Thu 01-Aug-13 18:22:34

"It's Alton Towers not a bread queue! You are talking like people are being disadvantaged by having to wait a bit longer to go on a roller coaster!!"

Exactly. grin Insane thread!

I can't afford fast track btw but being disabled, I get to queue jump. Unfortunately, I now could not cope with a theme park at all which is gutting because I am a right dare devil.

Groovee Thu 01-Aug-13 18:25:57

We've only ever used fast track in Disney, but that was part of the package as we were staying within Disney.

Everyone who enters the disney park with a ticket is entitled to Fastpass. But still find their fastpass queues can be long.

Growlithe Thu 01-Aug-13 18:35:44

Disney Fastpass queues are hardly long compared to the main queues. I think the way that Disney Fastpass works is fairest for everyone, and no one has to (or can) pay extra for privileges. But, you know, it's Disney so of course we have to slag it off whether it's fair or not.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Thu 01-Aug-13 18:40:38

I liked the disney system. if I remember you could book a place using fast track for some of the busier rides but you were limited to how many. I think if you used it you had to wait 90 mins until you could use it again. We used it about 3 times for the very busiest rides.
Also liked the baby pass deal at disney. If you have a younger child then, then 1 parent could queue with the older child whilst other parent waited with the baby/younger child. Then when they come off the ride you swap and the parent who waited outside can go straight back on with the older child (we were escorted back in through the back of the exit). Fantastic idea and we used it several times. Hope that makes sense?

Rufus43 Thu 01-Aug-13 18:41:25

Love Disney fastpass!

If some people don't mind the qbot how do they feel about getting near the entrance to a ride and then 10 people join the person in the front, after you have queued for an hour.

Not a biggy and I know that you can't do this on lots of rides but I have been to "shows" at theme parks where this has happened.

Genuine question! Just curious as to your thoughts

Mrsrobertduvall Thu 01-Aug-13 18:43:59

I have a V and A membership so I can queue jump and get to see David Bowie 8 times grin

Hulababy Thu 01-Aug-13 18:53:41

The queue times given should not be affected by fast track as that should be taken into account.

At Disney it certainly is. There are two wait times given - one by the normal entrance for their wait time and one is the time or FP users in the FB queue. Disney are free but you are limited to how many you can have - done on time and can't get a second til the specified time on first has expired. And you have to return to the ride at a specified time.

However in places where it is paid for and no specified time I assume they use past knowledge for estimating the time to wait.

In some theme parks every so often they give someone in the queue a card to hold on enterig queue. You then give it in at end of queue and they use that to calculate queue wait times. Though they are only ever roughly accurate in that if it says queue time is 40 min - well, yes, it was 40 min ago - might have changed now.

Rides breaking down whilst you're waiting is my biggest bug bear!

Hulababy Thu 01-Aug-13 19:02:43

Groovee - Is universal FP £36pp? I was sure it was a lot dearer, hence never using it. Mind we've ever really needed to queue much there apart from Spider-Man I think.

Growlithe Thu 01-Aug-13 19:16:35

At Universal it the cost varies depending on how busy they expect the park to be. Real supply and demand in operation there.

scottishmummy Thu 01-Aug-13 19:23:30

Oh keep up,cattle class is dreadful travel conditions.squashed in like livestock
Save the rhetorical question for when you understand what what being said
Cattleclass refers to the grim airless,cramped conditions not the individuals.jocular innit

monicalewinski Thu 01-Aug-13 19:28:02

Fastpass is ace! Also single rider queue; I took kids to Alton Towers a couple of months ago and we single-ridered all the big rides.

Groovee Thu 01-Aug-13 20:28:41

Hula, depends on the time of year. We paid $60 at Universal Studio's when dh decided we should get it.

We found some of the fastpass lines in Disney quite long but we were there over 4th July. We remember the times we used to walk on normal ones, the days before we had to stick to school holidays.

Growlithe Thu 01-Aug-13 21:06:41

Just had another look at Disney Fastpass as we are going next year. They are currently testing a new system where you can book up to 3 fastpasses per day, from your smartphone (you don't need to go to the machines at the rides) up to 60 days in advance, for no extra cost.

Now that is a good system.

Pixel Thu 01-Aug-13 22:28:17

I can understand booking a 'slot' for your ride because that can benefit everybody, much more efficient than queuing, but queue jumping? I can't understand how that is sustainable, what happens if everyone has paid to queue jump?
Ds has autism and we have taken him to a couple of parks (Legoland when he was younger and I won some tickets, and I think Paulton's Park once) and we used the exit pass scheme because we wouldn't have been able to go otherwise. He gets very distressed in a queue. I must admit I felt rather guilty pushing in but it was really only a few rides as there are surprisingly few things he can go on anyway. Most things within his capabilities he isn't allowed on anyway because he is above the height limit we still have to pay the same price to get him in the park though hmm.
However we haven't bothered since hearing that people can pay to queue jump as I fail to see how we will have any advantage. Will we find ourselves just queuing amongst the queue jumpers and ds still having a meltdown? At Paulton's park I got fed up with the dirty looks so we attempted to queue for a train ride thing and ds was in such a state by the time we got to the front that he wouldn't get on it anyway and we had to push past all the tutting mummies to get back out. No way am I paying a small fortune for a 'fun' day out like that.

Growlithe Thu 01-Aug-13 23:02:05

Pixel I may be wrong but I think you would get on before the fastpass people because they will be in a different queue to you. I was at Legoland earlier in the year waiting for DH and DD to queue and come off a ride and the exit queue people went on before the qbot people.

monicalewinski Thu 01-Aug-13 23:09:30

I think Growlithe is right re the exit pass thing Pixel - the fast pass stuff is a completely separate thing to exit pass, the exit pass people always seem to go on the very next available seats.

Growlithe Thu 01-Aug-13 23:15:02

Pixel I may be wrong but I think you would get on before the fastpass people because they will be in a different queue to you. I was at Legoland earlier in the year waiting for DH and DD to queue and come off a ride and the exit queue people went on before the qbot people.

TheSecondComing Thu 01-Aug-13 23:21:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pixel Thu 01-Aug-13 23:22:58

Thanks, well maybe we will brave it again some time then (when I've sold a kidney or something grin). I must admit it isn't really my 'thing' anyway ( I am a wimp) and as I've said ds can't manage most of the rides, but dd loves theme parks and I feel bad for her because she misses out on so many things because of ds. She's only been to a couple of places and she's getting older so I'm thinking an effort should be made during these holidays smile. She can go on some of the things by herself but it's nice if we can do a few things as a family too.
Mind you, I'm not quite sure what's worse. To have everyone think we paid to push in, or having them know we are pushing in 'for free' blush.

Growlithe Thu 01-Aug-13 23:45:38

Well, TSC, you judge it all on merit don't you. For instance, we have the Merlin Annual Passes. We live about an hour and a half from Alton Towers. If we go next week and don't get on all the rides, we know we can go again on a quiet day.

However when we were in Florida earlier this year, we went to Islands of Adventure without FP, saw how busy it was because it was US Spring Break, and decided when we were having our 1 planned day at Universal we would get FPs as we didn't particularly like the vibe of the place so were unlikely to come back even if we did return to Florida.

So then it was useful.

Growlithe Thu 01-Aug-13 23:51:27

Pixel, my nephew and his family have recently been treated like royalty in DLP because one of his children has Down's Syndrome. Both children deserved this treat. smile

TheSecondComing Fri 02-Aug-13 00:05:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Growlithe Fri 02-Aug-13 00:18:54

TSC But my kids know we don't buy it at Alton Towers, so it is simply a time management thing on a holiday that we've spent a lot on, and aren't likely to do again.

I actually discuss this stuff with them, so they know.

theodorakisses Fri 02-Aug-13 08:08:42

TSC, are you implying that if you have children you should especially fly economy with crappo jet just so they don't think they have any advantage? Webecause we work damn hard and made choices that have meant we are able to. I don't care how you choose to travel but in the extremely unlikely event we end up on the same plane, I will not be moving seats for you.

Hulababy Fri 02-Aug-13 08:20:26

Growlithe - think FP is now, or coming to, HP. Sure I saw the signs for it.

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 02-Aug-13 08:35:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 08:35:56

This is the funniest thread I've seen in a while.
Someone actually wrote that its unfair that some people can afford fast passes while other poor people can 'only' afford the normal tickets for theme parks.
FGS some people need to get some perspective. Even if you've been saving supermarket card points for months, a day out at a theme park isn't free .. There's also travel, refreshments etc to factor in. So lets save the tears for a cause which really deserves them.
Just place yourself mentally in the shoes of someone who's genuinely poor and listen to yourself bleating about the definition of poverty being only having regular tickets for theme parks

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 08:36:28

This is the funniest thread I've seen in a while.
Someone actually wrote that its unfair that some people can afford fast passes while other poor people can 'only' afford the normal tickets for theme parks.
FGS some people need to get some perspective. Even if you've been saving supermarket card points for months, a day out at a theme park isn't free .. There's also travel, refreshments etc to factor in. So lets save the tears for a cause which really deserves them.
Just place yourself mentally in the shoes of someone who's genuinely poor and listen to yourself bleating about the definition of poverty being only having regular tickets for theme parks

TheSecondComing Fri 02-Aug-13 09:05:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FrancesDeLaTourCoughngIntoABin Fri 02-Aug-13 09:09:33

I have no opinion on this as don't really visit these places (children a bit too young)

However, to the poster saying that if someone queue jumps because of a pass, the rest of the queue waits longer - yes.
However, by offering a two tier pricing system, it means there is are two pricing options, rather than one, which would be between the two - so effectively you are choosing to queue longer instead of paying more.
Basic economics.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 09:13:38

I can afford better holidays since getting a promotion and earning more. I could have stayed in an easier job, earning less, and then I'd have to have more modest holidays.
It doesn't mean I think I am worth more than joe bloggs. It's just that I'm doing a job which commands more money. And it's up to me how i choose to spend it. I cannot believe the resentment from some people on here: 'I can't afford something , therefore no one else should be allowed it "!

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 02-Aug-13 09:16:10

janey I agree 100% but someone will come along in a minute and bleat about them feeling like the 'undeserving poor' and ignore the fact that the context is barmy.

dexter73 Fri 02-Aug-13 09:34:40

Who swaggers around the theme park showing off that they have fastrack tickets?! Nobody - you just walk around normally like everyone else.

Growlithe Fri 02-Aug-13 09:36:39

TSC with all due respect, and I'm as left wing as they come, but that argument is ridiculous.

DH and DD love rollercoasters. They would go to these places every weekend if I let them. This is how DH would choose to spend his leisure time and leisure money, especially on holiday when he would get just one chance to visit a particular theme park. What he would be doing really is buying the chance to ride more rides in the day.

The guy who lives next door to us has a much better car than ours. Should he have not been allowed to buy that one because we would rather spend our money on holidays and days out than a nicer car?

Should I not be allowed to buy Heinz beans because the woman in front of me in the supermarket queue has value beans?

As long as everyone has access to healthcare, education and welfare when they need it (and this should be more of a worry to all of us just now of course) how they choose to spend their disposable income is up to them.

And I've never seen anyone swagger about with a FP, because frankly they would look pathetic, which was kind of the joke with Loadsamoney wan't it?

theodorakisses Fri 02-Aug-13 09:53:51

I do not think I am worth more, of course not. I am not, however, going to feel guilty about my life or make children feel guilty.

theodorakisses Fri 02-Aug-13 09:55:10

Yes, a fastpass would make you swagger around and look down on people's children, I can see that. That, I am afraid is down to people's shoulder chips, not the passes.

TheSecondComing Fri 02-Aug-13 09:59:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 10:04:55

Well in your world secondcoming I guess we'd all have to live in identical houses, eat identical food, wear identical clothes etc to avoid anyone purchasing something of higher quality...

It's perfectly possible to believe that there shouldn't be a two tier Health education system without extending the principle to every aspect of life you know ...

TheSecondComing Fri 02-Aug-13 10:11:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Growlithe Fri 02-Aug-13 10:16:35

So if it's better than my house, you shouldn't have been allowed to buy it, by your own reasoning.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 10:20:18

You own a house thesecondcoming? How bloody unfair of you to have an asset which poor people who can only afford to rent don't have.

TheSecondComing Fri 02-Aug-13 10:32:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheSecondComing Fri 02-Aug-13 10:34:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Growlithe Fri 02-Aug-13 10:36:11

Well the point is, you were able to buy a house because you had the money. Not everyone can do that.

Why do you think a two tier system in something as fundamental as housing is ok, but a two tier system for something as frivilous as a themepark is unfair?

Growlithe Fri 02-Aug-13 10:40:45

And it was a hypothetical point in saying what if your house is better than mine. It is bound to be better than some people's. Is that fair?

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 10:42:22

Oh right, so according to your system secondcoming, buying a 3 bedroom house is acceptable. That's more than a lot of people can afford. By your logic, you therefore shouldn't be allowed it.

You've set your own baseline- which for you happens to be a 3 bedroom house - and are judging everyone else by your own personal standard.

TheSecondComing Fri 02-Aug-13 10:43:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 10:44:31

I wonder how your argument would stack up, secondcoming, against someone who can only afford to have one child and live in a rented one or two bed flat? According to your logic, they would have every right to see you as the beneficiary of a two tier system.

yes but realistically it isnt possible, is it for everyone to live in the same type of house, drive the same type of car, etc etc

and, tbh you could be well able to afford the inflated fast track prices but simply choose not to do it.

Getting into a debate about whether it is fair that some people can afford to buy whilst others have to rent seems a bit far removed from choosing to fast track at thorpe park?

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 10:46:23

You enjoy that pretty yard in the sunshine. Don't let the fact that other people can't afford a house with outside space put you off smile

FrancesDeLaTourCoughngIntoABin Fri 02-Aug-13 10:50:51

Suppos the point is we all choose to spend our mo ey on different things. As long as were not talki g about a fundamental right you either pay or you dont. Its nit an inequality

Growlithe Fri 02-Aug-13 10:51:45

Well really the debate is that we don't live in some communist utopia, so why should Alton Towers have to run like one?

Growlithe Fri 02-Aug-13 10:58:09

BTW TSC if you can't take your own reasoning to its ultimate conclusion, by applying it to the rest of life, I would suggest it is you who doesn't really understand what you are on about.

SarahBumBarer Fri 02-Aug-13 11:00:14

People with more money get better/quicker service/products?


I might be able to work up some contempt for the fact that people with more money get better/quicker medical treatment (having just had to use our private medical cover to get my 12 month old seen promptly for a heart condition I am actually particularly annoyed by this).

But theme park access - erm, not really!

growlithe I don't think it should, I fast tracked round Thorpe park last week because I hate queuing for 3 hours for a 30 second ride.
I was just wondering how the thread went from fast tracking tickets to housing. But I should have just RTFT properly first grin

choccyp1g Fri 02-Aug-13 11:09:29

Surely the real issue is that these theme parks are cheating us?

You and your DCs buy a very expensive pass so that you can go in and ride lots of exciting contraptions all day long, but actually you can only go on a few, because you spend most of your time queueing.

If they are attracting that many people then they need to build more rides, and different things to do while you are there.

And don't get me started on paying to park on top of everything else.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 11:12:59

I think whether people can afford ( or want!) to go, or feel they are getting value for money is an entirely different argument (and a perfectly valid one- I can't stand theme parks ) But given that they exist, it seems unbelievable that a few people are actually arguing that fast passes are 'unfair' on the 'poor' people who can only afford a regular ticket. Hahahahahaha.

TheSecondComing Fri 02-Aug-13 11:16:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 11:35:51

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

theodorakisses Fri 02-Aug-13 11:42:56

TSC may have an extreme view and I am sure would hate and want to murder me in RL but I don't think she deserves quite such vitriol. I especially agree that since the BBfuckingshittoC started making programmes where houses became "properties", nobody is expected to just buy an affodable home to live in anymore. You can't just buy a place and leave the bathroom and kitchen, it all has to be ripped out. Most of the people on those programmes are perfectly stupid and I hate them.

TheSecondComing Fri 02-Aug-13 11:43:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 11:48:28

Really really dude? ROFL

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 11:51:45

Theodora- the property porn programmes are pretty ridiculous I agree, and fly totally in the face of the idea of just buying a home to live in. But to extrapolate from that, that fast track passes are unfair is quite simply one of the nuttier things on mumsnet

Growlithe Fri 02-Aug-13 11:54:58

What happened here? I only went to the library and it's descended into this? hmm

theodorakisses Fri 02-Aug-13 11:56:06

Oh yes, completely nuts. Not arguing with that, especially the David Cameron bit. Sixth form level. Funny but a bit sad as well that MNers seem to hate anyone who isn't really, really poor and a staunch socialist.
I am a capitalist through and through, should find a different website really but the people are not as bonkers, kind and supportive elsewhere.

janey68 Fri 02-Aug-13 12:01:50

So true Theodora. The competitive hardship game is a regular theme on MN, but it reaches a new level with 'pity the poor people who can only afford a regular ticket to Alton towers ' doesn't it!!

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 02-Aug-13 12:23:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theodorakisses Fri 02-Aug-13 12:33:10

Personally I would pay anything NOT to have to go to a theme park! I see a whole new business opportunity for people to charge me to be me for the day (CRB and insurance obv)

fuzzpig Fri 02-Aug-13 12:41:03

I think if I was going to save up to go to a theme park (not something we could afford to just do on a whim, IYSWIM) I would save for longer so we could get the fast track thingies.

I have developed a disability that means I can't stand for more than a few minutes without risk of fainting so would be well worth the extra money to avoid that.

Before I got sick, I wouldn't have minded queuing, but times have changed <shrug>

schobe Fri 02-Aug-13 12:48:49

I'm never a fan of 1st/2nd class person type schemes. There are other possible queuing systems, eg timed tickets, but of course this way they can make heaps more cash.

What I'm not keen on is when they put the fast-trackers in with the disabled queue (not sure if they still do this but did at Legoland last year).

So the disabled people who can't cope with queuing now have to do so again. Joy.

Also there's the nasty overtones of people now being able to pay to, in a sense, 'be disabled' when it suits and they get an advantage.

I know that's not what it is or is meant to be, but it just made me feel vile tbh.

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 02-Aug-13 14:16:10

Schobe I hope I'm reading this wrong but you think fast passes are people paying to have the same 'advantage' as a disabled person?? confused

theodorakisses Fri 02-Aug-13 14:38:40

and back we go into the alternative dimension....

candycoatedwaterdrops Fri 02-Aug-13 14:54:25


lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 02-Aug-13 15:00:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fuzzpig Fri 02-Aug-13 15:15:15

I didn't know you could get disabled passes for queuing (haven't considered going to a theme park since I got sick and will be a while before I do), that's good. My disability (disabilitIES if I'm being pedantic!) is/are invisible so I dare say people would look at me skipping the queue and judge me [paranoid emoticon]

fuzzpig Fri 02-Aug-13 15:24:04

Sorry went off on a tangent there hmm

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 02-Aug-13 15:24:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fuzzpig Fri 02-Aug-13 15:36:23

Seems I wouldn't be eligible in legoland so would definitely pay for it instead. There is no way I could queue now (even leaning against fences or DH wouldn't be enough).

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 02-Aug-13 16:11:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fuzzpig Fri 02-Aug-13 16:25:22

Ah that's interesting thanks Lisa. I will start a thread look into all that further then, if we decide to visit next year smile

OddBoots Fri 02-Aug-13 16:52:09

fuzzpig, I have similar issues but we went to Chessington, Thorpe Park and Legoland last year and I coped by having one of these. It is quite possible I could have had a disabled pass but I felt very uncomfortable with that and there was always somewhere I could put my stick safely for each ride.

Dackyduddles Sat 03-Aug-13 08:53:58

I just don't get the angst here tbh.

Disabled get queues to help them
Everyone gets a 'normal' queue
Everyone gets the chance to pay to queue jump/priority board

Everyone gets an opportunity. You only use the places in set seasons so if you're going to save up to use a TP save up to fast track.

Equating that to political ideology is I suppose possible at a stretch but rather odd.....

schobe Sat 03-Aug-13 09:36:55

Oh fgs candy. Am I allowed my opinion if I tell you my DS is severely disabled?

No I don't think he gets an 'advantage', far from it. He's never had an advantage in his whole bloody life. But the people paying for fast track do. Talk about picking holes in the semantics/phrasing of a post.

Lisa - I'm glad to hear that. When I went, they had only just started putting the fast-track people with those with disabilities (so they said). There was no allowing anyone to go ahead, just one big queue. Glad it's changed if that's the case. I won't feel so nervous about trying again.

schobe Sat 03-Aug-13 09:39:23

And the 'alternative dimension' comment is because I dared to bore everyone with disability again.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 03-Aug-13 09:51:27

Don't get aggressive at me! I just thought I had read it wrong, so wanted to check it out hence why I asked. confused You can't always read things properly over the internet. Don't get your knickers in a twist.

Incidentally, I went to Disney Paris last year and relished being able to queue jump because of my disability. Life being physically impaired is a tough old grind but I had a great weekend break. It was the first time I'd been away since my condition 'arrived' so I really enjoyed myself - despite feeling a little guilty at times.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 03-Aug-13 09:52:33

fuzz I think I recall you saying you've applied for DLA? Many of those places accept a DLA letter as proof. I've taken a medical letter as well as that served as proof.

IWantATowel Sat 03-Aug-13 10:31:31

I took my boy to alton towers a month ago, we're not well off at all but I saved for longer to get fast track because it's a once in a blue moon event and I wanted to make the most out of it. It was worth the money for sure, but I did feel embarrassed when joining the queue near the front.

Cravey Sat 03-Aug-13 10:54:46

Yes. So what's your point ? Pay it and get on first. Don't pay it. Wait longer. It's really not very hard.

schobe Sat 03-Aug-13 12:03:33

No candy I think you were dying to jump on someone for use of language that may for a micro second be deemed to be in some way disrespectful to people with disabilities.

My knickers are always in a twist so don't bother with that one.

theodorakisses Sat 03-Aug-13 12:36:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theodorakisses Sat 03-Aug-13 12:50:44

That was very harsh. Apologies.
the fact of the matter, the only only real fact of this is that these places get away with charging the best part of a months salary for entry and then expect people, any people to queue for hours. It isn't David Cameron's fault and it doesn't make anyone else "vile", it is just ridiculous that people accept the charges and conditions of these places.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 03-Aug-13 14:01:57

schobe Aaah, so you're psychic? Seriously, don't have a go at me. I wasn't attacking you, I was checking it out because you the way you wrote it didn't come across very clearly. If you've seen me on other threads, you will see that I am not one to nitpick on terminology or anything like that at all. If you haven't, then you're making assumptions and you know fuck all about me.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 03-Aug-13 14:38:51

^ Just to add - in case you actually do think I'm a complete cow, I am sorry if you think I was implying that you were being disablist, I genuinely wasn't. I was just confused about what you were saying because IME, fast past queues are separate to disabled access queues.

fuzzpig Sat 03-Aug-13 14:57:31

Thanks Candy and Odd thanks

whatamalarkey Sun 04-Aug-13 19:19:33

Soz candy I just generally am literally at the end of my tether with everything. I should be banned from posting on anything tbh.

whatamalarkey Sun 04-Aug-13 19:20:08

Oh ffs am schobe but often name change! Can't keep track of anything.

razmataz Sun 04-Aug-13 20:07:59

Just a couple of comments to throw into the mix.

If you hate queues, and don't want to pay for Fastracks then go off season - May or September, and don't pick a day when the weather forecast is 30 degrees and sunny. If you go n the middle of the summer holidays, then expect it to be busy.

Secondly, theme parks are not cheap to run - rides have huge maintenance and engineering costs, plus there are loads of staff costs. These are businesses that need to make a profit - if they don't then they cannot run, and they certainly cannot build new rides and attractions.

If they charged less, they'd have to let in more people = longer queues. If they limited the numbers so there were only short queues, they'd have to charge more.

If you don't think the prices are worth it, then don't go - there's always a choice.

candycoatedwaterdrops Sun 04-Aug-13 20:52:26

Sorry you're having a craptastic time whatamalarkey. sad
thanks for you!

TentUpFirstBunkUpLater Sun 04-Aug-13 21:12:20

When I was a kid the nearest I got to a 'theme park' was Dreamland in Margate

Well done to you if you can afford to go to any theme park now. Get your heads out of your arses and stop whining. If you don't like to queue don't go, spend your money/time on something more fruitful.

Sorry, but FGS its a queue in an already expensive theme park

theodorakisses Mon 05-Aug-13 10:29:09

When I was a kid I always wanted to go to Tucktonia, my parents always said no, too expensive and too depressing. Yes, because walking around Corfe Castle in the rain was a deep joy

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