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Nov 24, 2009
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RE: New Membership Program

horsesboy said:
WDWRLD said:
Yes looks like they are. But who would buy them now that they can get them free. And how would you like to be those that have already bought tickets through them and can now get in free.
The way I am reading it if you use your free ticket you don't get the free lunch. The lunch deal appears to be included in the discount ticket sale price.  I not sure but I would guess parking is a similar deal.  Also its ONE free ticketN for first responders if you are taking a family you are still paying for the rest.
You sign up for the free lunch on the VAOEMS site. As a passholder I dont need a ticket but can still get the buffet. So if you already have a single day ticket for free its the same thing.
And for the family, if you know a passholder that has a bunch of free tickets (like me) that I dont plan on using I could in theory get a whole family in free for that day which is what we plan on doing. Then when they get in the park free they will eat for free at the Black Forrest buffet.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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RE: New Membership Program

warfelg said:
I guess my take is that getting people through the door is half the battle that's going on.  Get people in the door, (hopefully) give them a great experience, and give them a reason for coming back.  Struggling business 101.

If you can do what you can to get people that normally wouldn't be coming to your business to come in, then you make them have a reason to return.  And what you look at is where can we offer value, but still make a profit on this person coming in the door.

For BGW they've done the math that what they are losing on the ticket to get in the door, they are confident that they can make enough money to offset that they pull out of the admission price before counting it as profit.  And I would be willing to bet a large amount in that they make most of that up in food.

Just a quick example of how they can make a huge amount on food:
When my family had a bakery, we sold a pretzel dog.  Per dog it cost $0.145; the pretzel part cost us $0.095 per unit; the cheese was $0.07 per dog.  Total of $0.31 to make per dog.  Labor another $.50 so we spent a total of $.81 and operating the equipment cost another $.10 per dog.  We spend a total of $0.91 per pretzel dog to make.  We charged $2.50 for the pretzel dog.  Made over $1.50 per dog.  When we bundled the $2.50 hot dog; $1.00 bag of chips; $1.50 soda, we charged $4.00.  

Based on what I see some people say here they would complain we're giving away the chips, but in reality we're still turning a good profit because of how little the fountain soda and pretzel dog make to offset the cost of the chips.  And what it does is gets people to try our products, and get's them to come back and try other higher profit margin items.

So BGW doing this with free and discounted tickets (which BTW happens at most parks across the country and isn't just a BGW thing) they are hoping that the family/individual would spend enough in the park to offset the free entry.  And then they are working to make them want to return at a full price time so that they turn a family that was unlikely to come, into a family that would return at RAC rates, and possibly turn them into a member, so in the long run they can maximize the income to the park from that family.

Basically:
This is a common business practice and if it wasn't a proven path to obtaining new customers no one would do it.
The problem I have is I pay for a membership to get in the park. Yet when I go the park is packed because there are so many either heavily discounted tickets or free admissions. Again, I just want everyone paying their part so we have more money for the park to operate off of.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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RE: New Membership Program

WDWRLD said:
The problem I have is I pay for a membership to get in the park. Yet when I go the park is packed because there are so many either heavily discounted tickets or free admissions. Again, I just want everyone paying their part so we have more money for the park to operate off of.
There's a simple counter for this:
If you want the park to have more money to operate off of, how are you doing your part when you pay $12-20 a month on your pass and visit 4+ times? You give them less money to get in the park than those discounted tickets.

Let's say you did a pass that's $18 a month. You spent $216 total. A family of 4 shows up day of and their tickets are $360. Is it fair for their increased prices to support paying your part once you've "paid for" your pass by visiting to the point where you would have spent more on individual passes?

So basically, to me, you're saying you want other people to pay more to support your going to the park.

Also....why is the park packed a bad thing? That means more money for the park to operate off of. We should want them to be busy! If they aren't busy they aren't getting more money to operate off of and the current financial situation gets worse.

It's quite contrarian IMO to say you want the park to have more money, but you don't want it busy. You want everyone to do their part, but when membership/pass prices go up you speak out against it. You can't have a park that's not busy, low membership prices, and expect them to give you a quality product.

In any business you have three things: Speed of product (queue lines), Quality of product (no SBNO rides, properly taken care of rides, happy employees), and value/price (food, merch, tickets). In any given business you can have 2 of the 3 at a high level. If you want low price and high quality, don't expect it to be fast. Want high quality and quick product, expect it to be expensive. Want low prices and quick product, don't expect high quality. I get the feeling you want all three, which is next to impossible.
 
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Nov 24, 2009
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RE: New Membership Program

warfelg said:
WDWRLD said:
The problem I have is I pay for a membership to get in the park. Yet when I go the park is packed because there are so many either heavily discounted tickets or free admissions. Again, I just want everyone paying their part so we have more money for the park to operate off of.
There's a simple counter for this:
If you want the park to have more money to operate off of, how are you doing your part when you pay $12-20 a month on your pass and visit 4+ times?  You give them less money to get in the park than those discounted tickets.

Let's say you did a pass that's $18 a month.  You spent $216 total.  A family of 4 shows up day of and their tickets are $360.  Is it fair for their increased prices to support paying your part once you've "paid for" your pass by visiting to the point where you would have spent more on individual passes?

So basically, to me, you're saying you want other people to pay more to support your going to the park.

Also....why is the park packed a bad thing?  That means more money for the park to operate off of.  We should want them to be busy!  If they aren't busy they aren't getting more money to operate off of and the current financial situation gets worse.

It's quite contrarian IMO to say you want the park to have more money, but you don't want it busy.  You want everyone to do their part, but when membership/pass prices go up you speak out against it.  You can't have a park that's not busy, low membership prices, and expect them to give you a quality product.

In any business you have three things: Speed of product (queue lines), Quality of product (no SBNO rides, properly taken care of rides, happy employees), and value/price (food, merch, tickets).  In any given business you can have 2 of the 3 at a high level.  If you want low price and high quality, don't expect it to be fast.  Want high quality and quick product, expect it to be expensive.  Want low prices and quick product, don't expect high quality.  I get the feeling you want all three, which is next to impossible.
Ok first off I may show up to the park 4+ times a month (I really am there more) but for the most part I simply enjoy walking around the park and having dinner or a snack. I many times never even ride one ride other than probably the train. So for what I am paying I think its fair and the park is making money off me in food and drink.
Again, I never said I wanted others to pay for me to be in the park, I get sick and tired of hearing that on this forum.....quit putting words in my mouth. If everyone was paying to get in the park would make the same money with less people in the park, making queue lines shorter, using less park resources, making the overall experience better for those there. There is a difference between busy and there being too many people to make it enjoyable. Lets face it the park can not handle crowds, when you have to stand in line 20 minutes to get a drink or 30 at the smokehouse for dinner somethings wrong. I consider what I pay for a BGW pass extremely high for a regional park. I pay way less for my KD pass and consider the rides there better, service better, you can call and get an answer and the same answer every time, and the lines arent as long. I also have passes to Walt Disney World, and if you look at the number of hours BGW is open compared to WDW every day year round you are paying less for WDW than BGW and what you get is hands down better.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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RE: New Membership Program

WDWRLD said:
If everyone was paying to get in the park would make the same money with less people in the park, making queue lines shorter, using less park resources, making the overall experience better for those there. There is a difference between busy and there being too many people to make it enjoyable. Lets face it the park can not handle crowds, when you have to stand in line 20 minutes to get a drink or 30 at the smokehouse for dinner somethings wrong.
Again, why is being busy a bad thing? That means the park is making a whole heck of a lot of money! It doesn't matter if there's 1,000 or 25,000 people in the park, it get's staffed the same, it costs the same to run rides, they prep a similar amount of food ahead of time. When they have less people in the park, queue lines are shorter the park actually has a closer to 1:1 spending to income ratio than when it's busy.

You bring up Disney quite a bit....is there something wrong with them because last time I was there is took 52 minutes on average to get on a ride, 35 minutes to get even a snack. I guess there's something wrong with them and they're not set up for the crowds either?

Sorry, but this thought patter doesn't connect. Longer waits mean more people, means more spending in the park, means they have more money to open now food options, mew merchandise locations, and new rides. Busy. Is. Good.

If the park had smaller crowd and shorter lines you would see the price of everything skyrocket. Guaranteed.

WDWRLD said:
I consider what I pay for a BGW pass extremely high for a regional park. I pay way less for my KD pass and consider the rides there better, service better, you can call and get an answer and the same answer every time, and the lines arent as long.
I think I get more value out of my BGW pass than my KD pass to be frank. I rather have the food at BGW. Other than I305 and TT I enjoy the rides at BGW. And KD doesn't have the entertainment that BGW has.

I don't consider what I pay for my BGW pass too high. I pay $22 a month for BGW. $18.75 a month for KD. Counter that if you paid monthly for a HP pass (I think it's comparable to BGW) you don't get the extra parks or extra tickets for $15 a month.

I get value is a very by the person type thing, but I think for a lot of people the BGW pass isn't as high as some others think.

WDWRLD said:
I also have passes to Walt Disney World, and if you look at the number of hours BGW is open compared to WDW every day year round you are paying less for WDW than BGW and what you get is hands down better.
WDW and BGW are no where close in terms of comparable. Especially if you keep passes to WDW but you aren't local. Because then you have to add in travel, accommodations, getting every meal there as opposed to maybe just 1.
 
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FWIW I’m for programs like this thanking military and first responders for what they do.

If this was a “free pass for PGA pros” (that’s what I am, so not picking on a group!) or “half price for lefties” (again I’m part of this group!) then I would be a little more unhappy with it. But something like this, or for educators even, I have little issue with. I dunno. Find it hard to get worked up over a “thank you first responders” gesture.
 
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Nov 24, 2009
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warfelg said:
Again, why is being busy a bad thing?  That means the park is making a whole heck of a lot of money!  It doesn't matter if there's 1,000 or 25,000 people in the park, it get's staffed the same, it costs the same to run rides, they prep a similar amount of food ahead of time.  When they have less people in the park, queue lines are shorter the park actually has a closer to 1:1 spending to income ratio than when it's busy.
This is where you dont understand the way BGW operates. They use predictions to decide on how many employees to schedule on a given day. If they over estimate or if there is unplanned bad weather and there are way less than they figured they send people home.Have you ever been to Howl O Scream and noticed that some nights they houses have very few scare actors yet on a busy Saturday they are everywhere. Have you ever been when the parking lot trams were not running? Thats because the estimates were expected to be very low so they didn't schedule team members to operate them. They do not have the same number of employees working every day so its not "staffed the same". When crowds are lower they do not run two stations at Verbolten. they do not have as many food lines open at the Festhaus, they dont have as many trains running, everything is based on how many people are in the park. Do you know the daily numbers? They vary greatly and sometimes are thousands off both over and under. Do you really think when it pours down rain from noon till 4pm they decide to close early at 6pm for safety? No its because they are losing money because no one is in the park. Ive seen them close early like that and then the sun comes out. The park very rarely has a 1:1 spending ratio, if they had days like that often they wouldnt be open in following years those days.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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warfelg said:
FWIW I’m for programs like this thanking military and first responders for what they do.

If this was a “free pass for PGA pros” (that’s what I am, so not picking on a group!) or “half price for lefties” (again I’m part of this group!) then I would be a little more unhappy with it. But something like this, or for educators even, I have little issue with. I dunno. Find it hard to get worked up over a “thank you first responders” gesture.
As a "first responder" I also appreciate the gesture.....but people are missing what is happening here....they are giving away the park trying to boost attendance numbers with all these free tickets.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Every park can run into those issues though. It’s isnt a uniquely BGW issue. Obviously going as low as I did downplays it. But if they predictively said 15,000 would be there, they have the same budget and staff in place for that day regardless of what actually shows up. Every business does that. It’s the same reason restaurants have more staff on Friday or Saturday nights. Doesn’t mean they can’t get more busy on a Wednesday and be understaffed or have a random slow Friday and be over staffed. But on that given day they budgeted to have that certain staff.

So if on a Saturday BGW plans on 20,000 people and they have that staff show up, and they get more guests than expected how can they predict that. Ditto if for some reason it just happens that only 15,000 show up that day?

So again it doesn’t matter how many show up, they are staffing the same either way.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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Again, their crowd prediction goes way further and more detailed than that....but anyhow im not getting into that. What I will say is the are caught with their pants down way more than they would care to share. Their crowd levels vary drastically and many factors affect it...weather, day of the week, holidays, other area events, park events, and much more. Sometimes they will have drastic spikes with no real reason.
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warfelg said:
Obviously going as low as I did downplays it.
You are accurate on that number....I have heard its that low on certain bad weather days.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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WDWRLD said:
Again, their crowd prediction goes way further and more detailed than that....but anyhow im not getting into that. What I will say is the are caught with their pants down way more than they would care to share. Their crowd levels vary drastically and many factors affect it...weather, day of the week, holidays, other area events, park events, and much more. Sometimes they will have drastic spikes with no real reason.
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warfelg said:
Obviously going as low as I did downplays it.
You are accurate on that number....I have heard its that low on certain bad weather days.
I mean...lots of places do. This isn’t a uniquely BGW problem. I’ve had it at KD, HP, and many other parks. Even restaurants and other places of the like.
 

Nicole

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New limited time Fun Pass:

BGW said:
NEW 2-PARK SUMMER FUN CARD OFFER JUST IN TIME FOR WATER COUNTRY USA® OPENING

Unlimited Visits to Virginia’s Largest Water Park and the World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park Through Sept. 9


WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia (May 9, 2018) – The countdown toward the unofficial start of summer is on and the Williamsburg theme parks are offering a great deal for consumers to take advantage of Water Country USA’s May 19 opening day.

The 2-Park Summer Fun Card offer is the optimal way for guests to enjoy both parks. This online-only promotion — available from May 9 through May 24 — allows guests to make unlimited visits to both parks through Sept. 9 for only $85.

To access the limited-time offer, visit https://buschgardens.com/williamsburg/tickets/fun-cards/.

At Water Country USA, there’s fun for the entire family in a cool beach vibe, with resort-style amenities and more than 40 state-of-the-art water rides and attractions.

New culinary offerings are on tap this year. Park guests will find a new cooling off spot at the all-new Dock Bar featuring Coca-Cola® inspired beverages and a new, rotating craft beer lineup. Guests also can find delicious Nathan’s Hot Dogs with chili and cheese at the Village Grill Cart; artisan style flatbread pizza at Traveler’s Treats; and homemade ice cream sandwiches rolled in your favorite toppings at Coolsville.

No visit to Water Country USA would be complete without taking home a memento. Casual shoppers will find more in store at Wipeout Gifts and Way Out Gifts. Additional merchandise such as Salt Life, Guy Harvey, Simply Southern, along with classic surf brands, will line store shelves.

After taking in some sun, shopping and slides, guests can relax in enhanced cabana areas with Wi-Fi, fans and charging stations. The H2Oasis area has been refashioned with added shade structures for the mega cabanas and new fencing for a more luxurious resort feel. The Williamsburg water park also is offering tiered Preferred Parking for general admission, starting at $20.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. Busch Gardens® Williamsburg has popped the cork on an exciting new season filled with an all-new virtual reality ride, Battle For Eire, plus a new summer show and major milestones for a popular roller coaster and exciting events.

For park information, visit www.buschgardens.com or call (757) 229-4386.
 
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Nicole

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Shared without comment:

BGW Marketing said:
2-PARK FUN CARD OFFER EXTENDED THROUGH MAY 31
Buy Busch Gardens, Get Water Country USA Free — Get Unlimited Visits

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia (May 22, 2018) – Due to popular demand, the 2-Park Summer Fun Card offer has been extended through May 31. This admission product is the optimal way for consumers to enjoy Busch Gardens® Williamsburg and Water Country USA® this summer. This online-only offer, allows unlimited visits to both parks through Sept. 9 for only $85.

Busch Gardens has popped the cork on an exciting new season filled with an all-new virtual reality ride, Battle For Eire, plus a new summer show and major milestones for a popular roller coaster and exciting events.

And the fun doesn’t stop there. At Water Country USA there’s fun for the entire family in a cool beach vibe, with resort-style amenities and more than 40 state-of-the-art water rides and attractions. New culinary offerings also are on tap this year. Park guests will find a new cooling off spot at the all-new Dock Bar featuring Coca-Cola® inspired beverages and a new, rotating craft beer lineup. Guests also can find delicious Nathan’s Hot Dogs with chili and cheese at the Village Grill Cart; artisan style flatbread pizza at Traveler’s Treats; and homemade ice cream sandwiches rolled in your favorite toppings at Coolsville.

Consumers can visit www.buschgardens.com/williamsburg/tickets/fun-cards/ to purchase the 2-Park Summer Fun Card before May 31 for only $85. Busch Gardens is now open daily. Water Country USA begins daily operation May 25.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Read on coaster-net, apparently vets get themselves and 3 free passes between now and July 4th.
 
Dec 13, 2013
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Nicole said:
Shared without comment:

BGW Marketing said:
2-PARK FUN CARD OFFER EXTENDED THROUGH MAY 31
Buy Busch Gardens, Get Water Country USA Free — Get Unlimited Visits

WILLIAMSBURG, Virginia (May 22, 2018) – Due to popular demand, the 2-Park Summer Fun Card offer has been extended through May 31. This admission product is the optimal way for consumers to enjoy Busch Gardens® Williamsburg and Water Country USA® this summer. This online-only offer, allows unlimited visits to both parks through Sept. 9 for only $85.

Snipped

Consumers can visit www.buschgardens.com/williamsburg/tickets/fun-cards/ to purchase the 2-Park Summer Fun Card before May 31 for only $85. Busch Gardens is now open daily. Water Country USA begins daily operation May 25.
So for less than half the cost of the mid-tier season pass, you get six months of access. Three and one half more months for double the price when you choose the membership. If the fun card includes parking, that’s a great deal (and quite a slap in the face to those of us paying $180 this year, $204 next year).

I commented for you, not intending to put words in your mouth.
 

Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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The Fun Card actually includes neither parking nor discounts.  It only gets you into the parks.  Additionally, it expires on Labor Day, so it does not include HOS or CT.

I don’t understand why it doesn’t have blackout dates, however.

This is the part that facinates me:
"This admission product is the optimal way for consumers to enjoy Busch Gardens® Williamsburg and Water Country USA® this summer."
 
Dec 13, 2013
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I understood the FC did not include HOS and CT. I was saying that to get those three months (another 50% of dates), it would cost you twice as much. But with no parking or discounts, it isn’t really a comparison. The annual membership is a better value. Of course, it’s double the cost of that park an hour NW (but so much better looking!).
 
Jun 23, 2010
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Does a two or three day ticket allow "park hopping" between BGW and WC, or does it only allow one Park per day?

Here is what the fine print says, and I wish it was more clear...

"3-Day Ticket is valid for a guest (ages 3+) to visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg and/or Water Country USA (when open) for three days within seven consecutive days from date of first use."
 
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