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Re: could you use this at Cedar point??
bette/tx

    By JOHN SEEWER, Associated Press Writer SANDUSKY, Ohio - Long, dreary and crowded waits can take the wind
    out of even the most eager thrill seeker. So to keep guests happy,
    amusement parks these days are using beepers, special tickets and
    hand stamps to encourage people to cut the line.


    AP Photo

    Front of the line privileges for popular rides cost extra at some
    parks and are free at others. Parks benefit because less time
    standing means visitors can spend money in shops and restaurants
    instead.


    "No matter where you are people are generally impatient," said
    Chris Knauf, assistant manager of ride operations at Cedar Point
    amusement park, which gives out hand stamps that allow visitors to
    skip ahead later.


    The trend began five years ago with the FastPass reservation
    system at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom, and has trickled
    down to regional theme parks. Long waits had topped the list of
    complaints, said parks spokesman Dave Herbst.


    So the park came up with a solution. Visitors can avoid standing
    in packed queues for the top 26 attractions, including The
    Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Space Mountain.


    Guest surveys show that those who use FastPass, which tells guests
    when to show up for the ride, have a better experience and are
    able to see 25 percent more attractions and shows.


    "We're hitting at the one thing they dislike," said Todd Evans,
    manager for attractions at the Florida parks.


    While the Disney system is free, Six Flags parks charge a fee for
    getting to the front.


    Six Flags, with 28 theme and water parks nationwide, sells front
    of the line tickets at most of its parks. Five parks rent an
    electronic device that works like a pager.


    The costs vary at each park. At Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags
    Over Georgia it costs $10 to rent the device and another $10 for
    each person using it.


    Guests insert the palm-sized device at a sign near the ride and
    reserve their time to come back and get on a roller coaster with
    little or no wait. The device, called a Q-Bot, vibrates and beeps
    when it's time to ride.


    The system was developed by an English company, Lo-Q, and is used
    at Six Flags parks in New Jersey, Texas, Massachusetts, Missouri
    and Georgia.


    Leah Moss, director of Lo-Q's U.S. operation near Atlanta, said
    more people would visit amusement parks if they knew they could
    avoid waits.


    "We're looking at people who work really long hours and don't have
    much leisure time," she said. "People have more money than time
    these days."


    Not everyone thinks it's fair for some guests to buy their way to
    the front.


    Sean Flaharty, a roller coaster enthusiast from Columbus, said the
    system can produce longer lines. Some parks reserve coaster seats
    for people who have front of the line passes, and those seats
    sometimes go unfilled.


    "I can see why people get angry because that makes the line
    actually go slower," said Flaharty.

    To make sure there aren't problems, some Six Flags parks have put
    employees in the lines to explain how Q-Bot works.

    "The program is fair because people are still waiting for rides,"
    said Kristin Siebeneicher, a spokeswoman for Six Flags Great
    Adventure in New Jersey. "They just can do other things while they
    wait."

    The park typically rents 250 of the devices on an average day.

    Amusement park operators say the front of the line systems are
    popular. At Disney, at least half of all visitors use FastPass on
    a typical day. The number of Q-Bot users at Six Flags doubled last
    year to about 750,000.

    Cedar Point has a more low-tech solution to long waits. Its hand
    stamps allows guests to bypass the lines on six of the park's 16
    roller coasters.

    The stamps are free and available to anyone willing to wait from a
    few minutes to a half-hour. Lines start forming early, and a day's
    supply of stamps for the two top coasters can be gone in half an
    hour.

    Greg McNeely, of Lafayette, Ind., who was waiting to get a hand
    stamp at Cedar Point, said his family can't wait in long lines
    because their son has diabetes and needs regular snacks and two
    insulin shots each day.

    "This allows us to plan our day and make sure he has everything he
    needs," McNeely said.

    ___