When Six Flags opened its original theme park in Arlington, Texas, it featured something radical for the industry — a "pay one price" admission ticket instead of the pay as you go admission system that every other park had been using, including Disneyland.
Eventually, the entire industry came around to the Six Flags model, with even Disney abandoning its A-E ticket system in favor of new "passports." But as the theme park industry continues to look for innovations that will help boost attendance and revenue, it's inevitable that some old ideas will return along the way.
So check out the latest offer from Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, home of the world's fastest roller coaster, the Ferrari F1-themed Formula Rossa.
For Ramadan, the park is offering a "Free View" deal, with free admission to the park on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings from May 9 through June 3, the first day of Eid in the United Arab Emirates this year.
Want to go on Formula Rossa or some of the park's other rides? That's where we find the blast from the past. Ferrari World is offering a pay as you go deal to get on its attractions.
Options range from a one-ride pass for AED60 to an all-ride pass that allows one entry on each attraction for AED100 (US$23).
It's an interesting play to essentially discount the park experience for people who might be unwilling to pay full price to visit during a time of year when Muslims are called to fast during the day. (That's why this is an evenings-only offer.)
But it's also an interesting proposition for other parks around the world looking for ways to boost attendance. Find a marginal attendance period and switch to a pay-as-you-go model that might get more people in the door at a time when they have been less likely to visit. Then, once they are there, bank on them spending on those rides as well as food and souvenirs.
Parks have effectively extended their seasons with after-hours and special events, such as Halloween haunts and Christmas festivities. But maybe an old idea like pay-as-you-go nights or days might help parks, as well.Tweet
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