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Daniel.S313

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Reduce your wait eh?

So you wait 30-45 minutes on a busy day to buy it, and then queue the same to get on the ride...

Lol, Thorpe have it down to an absolute tee don't they?

Jesus their love of capital letters annoys me so much...

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if the queue times increase, then ultimately so does the number of allocated tickets for those wishing to purchase Fastrack.

So the worse it gets the worse they'll make it into a continuing spiral of chaos. What utter utter morons, that makes no sense from any point of view. How can they not see this, and who the hell is running that place so ineptly that this is allowed to happen?

Are you going to continue your dialogue with them @Zappomatic and try to explain to them the stupidity and flaws of their current policy?

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Please read what it says and not spin your own interpretation on to things (note I am standing up for them here). I really hate it when people read something and then exaggerate it like this. Nowhere does it say that the number of Fastrack tickets are unlimited, just the longer the queue time the more they sell.

But...

There is no specified restriction on the total amount of tickets that can be sold per hour or per ride but are sold to represent a percentage of the overall waiting time for that ride.

That to me, reads that they have no upper limit set at all... Ergo, can be seen as the park can easily sell an 'unlimited' amount of Fastrack per day... Sticking a decent ratio or a maximum amount per hour (like Fred pointed out is done at Towers, which as I've pointed out before only goes to absolute hell on their busiest days of the year) would help ease the problems Thorpe have so much more...

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"Unlimited Fastrack sales" is definitely not the right way to word to. Unlimited would imply they would sell as many as they can, with no consideration about any other pieces of information.

As Benin says, they have no upper limit / cap on the number they sell per day. This means that they're not saying 'Okay, every day this year, we will say at most x many Fastrack tickets', but instead 'We'll sell this many to ensure Fastrack users wait this period of time in proportion to the main queue'. So, no where near unlimited, as they won't sell so many the Fastrack queue goes above a certain waiting period, but it just doesn't have an exact bounded number.

Certainly an interesting system and different to how I would expect it to be run.. I'll muse over that for a while before I say what I fully think.

However, it's really good you got such a clear, informative and helpful response. Normally, you find that such responses feel very general and feel like they've just been copied and pasted. However, this has obviously had a bit of thought into it and gives information about Fastrack, helping give a more helpful and specific response to the complaint. Good to see.

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Please read what it says and not spin your own interpretation on to things (note I am standing up for them here). I really hate it when people read something and then exaggerate it like this.

Sorry Ian, but that is exactly what you are doing with your 'interpretation' of the message from THORPE PARK. It clearly states there is no upper limit on the number sold, that they sell more as the queue time increases. Obviously the more fast track they sell the longer the main queue gets, so with their odd thinking that allows for the sale of more fast track tickets which will? You guessed it, cause the main queue to get longer and allow the sale of more fast track tickets. It's a never ending cycle of stupidity. There is no upper limit on the length of the main queue line other than the complete capacity of the park.

There is no positive spin to put on this system. It out and out sucks and is clearly the cause of much complaint and loss of guest satisfaction. The obvious and as far as I know common way of managing this is to have an absolute limit on the number of fast track ticket sales in any given time slot as a percentage of the operational capacity of a ride. The standard queue continues to move at a reasonable rate and the fast trackers stay close to walk on. This means that the sales of time slots simply get for later in the day and everyone is kept relatively happy.

The system as described by THORPE PARK is fundamentally flawed and has the net result of making anyone happy, apart from maybe the accountants at Merlin in the short term.

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Your argument works if the only thing taken in to account was the stand-by queue time, which is not the only factor here:

From the horses mouth:

There is no specified restriction on the total amount of tickets that can be sold per hour or per ride but are sold to represent a percentage of the overall waiting time for that ride.

So the longer the queue, the more they sell, so the longer the queue so the more they sell, so the longer the queue, the more they sell, so the longer the queue so the more they sell, So the longer the queue, the more they sell, so the longer the queue so the more they sell...........

That, according to THORPE PARK themselves, is the details of the maths behind how it works!

EDIT:

Edited by IanNem, 12 minutes ago.

Removed image that contributed nothing to the post.

It was a Union Flag, just a little reference to the highlighted math/maths use. Not important, I grant you, but but it contributed to explaining why 'math' grates on me. Not to worry though.

Edited by pluk
Removed image that contributed nothing to the post.

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Sorry Ian, you, and I can only presume THORPE PARK, are over thinking the simplicity of what is actually happening.

There is only one thing I have 'ignored' from the original quote, and that is the capacity of the ride. There's good reason for ignoring this: they can not amend the throughput of the ride. It is what it is and ain't going anywhere, so once the original numbers are worked out for an acceptable number of fast track riders per hour it can be ignored.

In reality it matters not a jot how long the main queue is. There is a complete constant, and that is the throughput of a ride. There is nothing to be gained in sending more and more people into the fast track queue if they are going to keep the ratio of fast track to standby the same. So why do it? Because the pressure of the fast track queue will force the staff member on the merge to increase the ratio in fast track favour.

Why make the physical fast track queue longer, when people can virtually wait with a timed ticket if they are sold with a time in at the correct ratios? Remember, in all the numbers you give there are three things not changing- one being the capacity, one being the ratio (allegedly), and one being the opening hours. If all of those three things do in fact remain static there is nothing at all to gain or any sense in selling more fast track tickets per hour with the growth of the main queue. Any such sales that do take place can only be dealt with by moving the ratios in fast track favour, because the other numbers are not going anywhere.

I've just noticed throughout your post you reference the number of people joining the queue. That joining end of the queue does not matter in the slightest. It is the business end that matters, the getting on the ride bit.

Lets see how those imaginary numbers add up, how the queue length effects the variables:

Queue Length: 20 minutes

Ride capacity: 1000 pph

Ratio: 4 standard to 1 fast track

Sales available: 250 per hour

compared to

Queue Length: 200 minutes

Ride capacity: 1000 pph

Ratio: 4 standard to 1 fast track

Sales available: 250 per hour

Oh look, no differences. So how do you justify an increase in fast track sales? You can't.

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Of course the throughput varies, but in terms of working out fast track numbers if should be using a good average of what they manage to achieve what they can't do is increase the throughput in any reliable or meaningful way. There has to be a presumption that they are doing just about the best they can on any reasonably busy day. What I'm saying is they can't turn it up to account for extra fast track sales, so fast track sales shouldn't increase either.

Indeed, if you have the longer queue you would want to 'enforce the ratio' more than with a short queue. Can't you see that selling more tickets when the queue is long will be doing the exact opposite. Remember, that throughput has not moved!

As for the times, stager it on the ticket into hour slots starting at 5 minute intervals. Simples!

From your operating experience you clearly have good knowledge of the departments and process of how these numbers are generated and managed. I don't really care about that, to me and the average visitor THORPE PARK is THORPE PARK as a complete entity I have no idea which department's fault it is and nor do I much care. Whoever is running the park as a whole has to bash some heads together to sort a working system that does not piss everyone off.

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Finally we found something that we can agree on :P was starting to feel like a bit like it was getting out of hand.

Indeed!

I still stand by my assertion that increasing sales with queue times is an absolute work of stupidity and nonsense as the amount of people the ride can process has not changed regardless of how many people they ram into a queue line, but it is true there are many ways of working out a sensible system.

If fast track must exist as Merlin are incapable of pricing the entrance ticket at a level that turns them enough profit (which is what should be happening, but they have spent years devaluing themselves with a voucher discount pricing model and failing to offer good value, another long debate!) then I would like a very Disney type system in place.

-Pay the extra once to activate your ticket as fast track. Something like £10 a day seems fair.

-Issue tickets on an individual ride basis at a station which would issue you an allocated time to return, with a 30 minute window.

-You can not get another fast track ticket until you have used the one before.

-When you turn up for your ride you walk straight to the merge point - no substantial queue before that.

-The allocations are strictly managed at levels the rides can be reasonably expected to cope with (third of real throughput). This will mean the return time could be quite a long time away.

-People will have a choice - use your pass on something less popular with a small return time and use it more frequently, or use it on something more popular with a longer return time and use it less frequently.

I would market fast track as the standard ticket, with a 'light' ticket available without fast track for people not intending to ride much / at all.

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The system, if indeed it is like Ian says, is flawed as sales can very easily ignore whatever live information they get fed (of which, I doubt is any), and just use their maximum fastrack slots available for each ride.

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So the worse it gets the worse they'll make it into a continuing spiral of chaos. What utter utter morons, that makes no sense from any point of view. How can they not see this, and who the hell is running that place so ineptly that this is allowed to happen?

Are you going to continue your dialogue with them @Zappomatic and try to explain to them the stupidity and flaws of their current policy?

No, can't really be bothered as either they'll notice the flood of complaints they've been having, or ignore me and everyone else. Hoping some of their dubious practices come back to bite them in the form of people not returning to the park. I think that's the only thing that will make them change.

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"Unlimited Fastrack sales" is definitely not the right way to word to. Unlimited would imply they would sell as many as they can, with no consideration about any other pieces of information.

As Benin says, they have no upper limit / cap on the number they sell per day. This means that they're not saying 'Okay, every day this year, we will say at most x many Fastrack tickets', but instead 'We'll sell this many to ensure Fastrack users wait this period of time in proportion to the main queue'. So, no where near unlimited, as they won't sell so many the Fastrack queue goes above a certain waiting period, but it just doesn't have an exact bounded number.

Certainly an interesting system and different to how I would expect it to be run.. I'll muse over that for a while before I say what I fully think.

However, it's really good you got such a clear, informative and helpful response. Normally, you find that such responses feel very general and feel like they've just been copied and pasted. However, this has obviously had a bit of thought into it and gives information about Fastrack, helping give a more helpful and specific response to the complaint. Good to see.

The initial reply I got was a load of copy-pasted nonsense that in parts was completely irrelevant to my complaints.

Thing is, the more Fastrack tickets they sell then potentially the longer the main queue time becomes, meaning they can sell even more Fastrack tickets, which pushes the main queue time up, which means they can sell more tickets...

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To be fair I think if enough people complain (not just the few moans from here) they will change somthing.

The parks do take feedback seriously and have kpi targets to hit and I imagine a bulk of complaints would possibly work against them in this resulting in questions being asked.

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Sorry Ian, but that is exactly what you are doing with your 'interpretation' of the message from THORPE PARK. It clearly states there is no upper limit on the number sold, that they sell more as the queue time increases. Obviously the more fast track they sell the longer the main queue gets, so with their odd thinking that allows for the sale of more fast track tickets which will? You guessed it, cause the main queue to get longer and allow the sale of more fast track tickets. It's a never ending cycle of stupidity. There is no upper limit on the length of the main queue line other than the complete capacity of the park.

There is no positive spin to put on this system. It out and out sucks and is clearly the cause of much complaint and loss of guest satisfaction. The obvious and as far as I know common way of managing this is to have an absolute limit on the number of fast track ticket sales in any given time slot as a percentage of the operational capacity of a ride. The standard queue continues to move at a reasonable rate and the fast trackers stay close to walk on. This means that the sales of time slots simply get for later in the day and everyone is kept relatively happy.

The system as described by THORPE PARK is fundamentally flawed and has the net result of making anyone happy, apart from maybe the accountants at Merlin in the short term.

You described exactly what I was thinking of posting. Problem is I think it's probably way too obvious and sensible for Thorpe Park to even consider it.

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To be fair I think if enough people complain (not just the few moans from here) they will change somthing.

The parks do take feedback seriously and have kpi targets to hit and I imagine a bulk of complaints would possibly work against them in this resulting in questions being asked.

I hope so. I haven't seen their Facebook page so full of anger since last year's AP day! They definitely got something wrong over Fright Nights and I hope they learn from it.

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No, can't really be bothered as either they'll notice the flood of complaints they've been having, or ignore me and everyone else. Hoping some of their dubious practices come back to bite them in the form of people not returning to the park. I think that's the only thing that will make them change.

That's a shame. I understand why it might seem to be more trouble than its worth to continue with them, but as you've managed to get more than the usual cut and paste response they put on facebook complaints they are obviously listening to you!

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just though let ppl knw they were selling fastrack on the final day of the season when there were like 0-10 min queues lol what are thorpe park thinking thought if it hit less capacity they wouldnt sell fastrack

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I've also been told that on the same day they were running things on reduced capacity (ie Inferno on one train) to try and generate queues for people to pay their way out of even though the park was dead. If that is the case (which with fast track sales points open would seem likely) then it really is disgusting behaviour.

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Or, more likely the gate figure didn't warrant 2 trains so it gave the engineers an opertunity to get a head start with closed season work and could start stripping the trains?

I'm not saying thorpe are perfect at everything they do, but they are certainly not as bad as made out here somtimes.

And yes they sold fastrack to those who wanted to buy it, but it wasnt really needed so its really down to the people who did buy it and if a 20 min queue is to long for them, the option was there.

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Or, more likely the gate figure didn't warrant 2 trains so it gave the engineers an opertunity to get a head start with closed season work and could start stripping the trains?

Compare this to a season or two ago when they worked hard to get Stealth reopened on the last day, and ended up opening it for only a few hours, and it wasn't particularly busy. Of course, it could be the case the second train may not necessarily have been able to be used, but the reason of 'Getting a day's head start of closed season work' just isn't that good in my mind.

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Compare this to a season or two ago when they worked hard to get Stealth reopened on the last day, and ended up opening it for only a few hours, and it wasn't particularly busy. Of course, it could be the case the second train may not necessarily have been able to be used, but the reason of 'Getting a day's head start of closed season work' just isn't that good in my mind.

Samurai and Slammer show they do care IMO. Monday was the first time Slammers actually ran on the final day of the season.

Don't even need a headstart. They've got til late march to get rides done. Plenty, seriously plenty, of time.

Maybe not but its nothing new, I remember rush swings being taken apart one year after a shutdown and they couldn't fix it that day :P

I dont really think queues warranted 2 trains, the only rides what I saw get a queue were inferno and swarm at probably no more than 30 mins each at the peak of the day, apart from that they and everything else was pretty much walk on :P

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Actually, one train on Colossus has been damaged by some plonker dropping their mobile phone on the final part of the track causing substantial damage, and another on Stealth is out of action and in need of extra work that will be done during the winter maintenance period.

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