New Christmas Town Discount Ticket Structure

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Zachary

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We had the chance to interview Dan Dipiazzo regarding Busch Gardens Williamsburg's discount ticket strategy for this year's Christmas Town. Our full article explaining everything we learned (and there's a lot of it!) can be found here.

October 29th Update: Additional information including a calendar of all of the starting prices, pass holder impacts, and some additional Q&A can be found here.

October 31st Update: Tickets seem to be up for sale a few hours early! Link

In addition, I've embedded the official press release and FAQ below.

Press Release
<iframe src="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByCl07ugT0C_S2JIdnhfaHh1NEk/preview" width="100%" height="600"></iframe>

Official FAQ
<iframe src="https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByCl07ugT0C_d3hYbjJ3a29fUWs/preview" width="100%" height="600"></iframe>
 

Zachary

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Just published this thread alongside Nicole's front page story (linked above). Enjoy! Tons of great news in there!

Also, if you'd like to like/comment/share/retweet/favorite/whatever the story on social media, it's always appreciated!

[facebook=https://www.facebook.com/BGWFans/posts/10154120228688721]

[tweet=https://twitter.com/BGWFans/status/791655736740904960]
 
Apr 5, 2011
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Color me skeptical that the GP will be happy about the new (comparatively) complicated ticket system. Guests think it's okay to drag infants through haunted mazes.

Though, to be honest, it won't affect me any. The last time I was at CT the crowds were bad enough for me to swear off the event forever.
 

Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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First, looking at our Facebook page, people seem to be generally interested in and enthusiastic about the new pricing structure. Honestly, I don't think it is all that complicated: it is the same concept that airlines and hotels use. Demand drives increases in the price.

Second, I know that most of our members look at this news and think, "why should I care?"

The fact is that I see real implications for pass members. I'm sure I'm missing some points, but here are some examples of how the new structure could affect people with CT Passes and Fun Cards directly:

- Fewer super-crowded days. As I explained in the article, if the structure works as intended and taking into account the extended hours and additional days, people will have incentives to visit the park on less crowded dates, minimizing the number of times the park hits max capacity.

- Fewer really light days. The downside to the leveling of attendance numbers across days is that there probably won't be as many really light attendance days, ignoring the impact of weather.

- The possibility of being turned away at the gate. People with single-day, dated tickets will be guaranteed entrance, because the park will hold their spot in reserve. BGW will know exactly how many people to expect, based on on-line sales, and then will limit the number of multi-day pass holders and undated ticket holders (Pass Member discounted tickets and in-person/over the phone sales). So, while the likelihood should be reduced by the new system, there is still the potential that your pass will not get you access to the park on max capacity days.

- Better discounts than on the pass member site. I always like to bring guests to CT, and usually use the pass member discount. This year, however, I may try to use the dated tickets, because the prices for many of the days start so much lower than the $24 cost on the pass member site.

- The dynamic calendar provides a way to predict crowd levels in advance. Because the costs reflect demand, the current price listed provides insight into actual ticket sales by day. So, we can plan to go to the park on days, when the fewest tickets have been bought on-line.

- Better times for shows. The park plans to schedule the shows to optimize crowd flows. This change could lead to show times that work better for everyone's schedules.

- Additional attractions. To manage crowd flows, the park has also opened up additional areas and attractions, which should keep people off the paths. That will give us all more to do and fewer people to contend with.

Essentially, this new system provides us a fairly predictive crowd calendar and minimizes the risk that we will be at the park when is hits max capacity.
 
Apr 5, 2011
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I see how it could be good if one goes to CT (I'm not one of those). My main concern will be people totally not doing the proper research before going to the park, as they do. BGW has an extremely high amount of locals, but that hasn't stopped tons of complaints over clear policies in the past.

I hope this works since it's good to see the park address the crowds.
 

Alf33

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Jun 8, 2013
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The one thing their going to need to do is on days where they do expect to reach capacity they should designate some of the ticket booth lanes with special signs to be for people with dated tickets or Fun Cards (even though that's not guaranteeing admittance depending on when you get there) to allow those people in vice those that were planning to buy their tickets at the booths who may have to be turned away.
 
May 17, 2013
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I'm happy to see the park attempting to address the overcrowding problems that cheap tickets have caused. I was hesitant to even buy a Christmastown pass this year because of the miserable experiences I had last year. I even had to resort to breaking my no-Saturdays rule because it was a little less scary than Sundays (my preferred day to be at BG). I did buy the pass because if I went even once the $22 sale in August was worth it.

I'm sure there will be people who react negatively to the price increase, and that's what happens when you underprice an event from the start. I never understood why Twinkle tickets were a GP purchase and not just passholder perks.

It will be interesting to see how this pricing structure plays out. I'm glad they didn't follow Disney and make everyone choose their dates. I like having the pass because I do go several times. When I'm not being herded around, it's my favorite seasonal event at BG.
 

Luke

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Jul 20, 2011
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Thomas said:
This^^^
—————————————
Pretzel Kaiser said:
Color me skeptical that the GP will be happy about the new (comparatively) complicated ticket system. Guests think it's okay to drag infants through haunted mazes.

Though, to be honest, it won't affect me any. The last time I was at CT the crowds were bad enough for me to swear off the event forever.
I thought we were going to see Gloria together with Zimmy...?

 

Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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We just posted a second front page article about the new discount ticket structure.

The marketing team sent us the chart of starting prices by day, which we we converted into a convenient, color coded calendar, so we can all use it as a planning tool.

I've also included the answers to questions posted here, as well as my thoughts on how Pass Members can make best use of the ticket price calendar.
 
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Aug 9, 2016
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The new ticket structure seems pretty neat. I am interested to see how it all plays out this year.

Christmastown has gotten to be an incredibly popular event. Especially the last 3 or 4 years. The only way I see crowds ever being more manageable (especially on weekends) is if Kings Dominion started a winter themed event. A few months ago I was reading on Coaster Addict that later this year Cedar Fair would be announcing some of their parks would be doing Winterfest starting in 2017 and Kings Dominion was rumored to be one. I never saw anything more about Kings Dominion, but did see that Carowinds was chosen as one of the three.
 

Nicole

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In case anyone was curious, we got confirmation from the park that pass members would get their benefits during CT, regardless of what kind of ticket they purchase. So, we won't give up discounts and parking, if we buy the discounted tickets.

Busch Gardens said:
Pass members receive their typical benefits at Christmas Town, regardless of whatever admission they use (Christmas Town Pass, Christmas Town Fun Card, single-day ticket or other). They just need to present their active pass as usual at the toll booth for parking and at retail locations in the park.

There is no Preferred Parking during Christmas Town, so Platinum members receive general parking.
 
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