Busch Gardens Quick Queue: How does it work?
21 Jun 2011 No Comments
Cutting in front of the line…sneaking ahead of everybody, you might get caught or maybe you will get away it.
The Quick Queue is a separate additional type of ticket you purchase in addition to the pass to get you in. It allows you to skip to the front of the line and get right on the ride. When you walk up to the Griffon roller coaster and see all those people lined up in the maze of railings for a wait time of 30 minutes or more, and you show your Quick Queue pass and skip right to the front! It’s a great feeling! Upon reading this scenario, I can hear you quoting Will Smith, “I got ta’ get me one of these!” However, there are a few things to consider before you purchase:
When – The time of year and day of the week you are going
Cost - There is always a price to pay for convenience.
If you are going on a weekday in late spring on a weekday, you probably won’t need it. If it’s a weekday with a big chance of rain in the forecast, you definitely won’t need it. But if you are going during the spring break weeks (when BGW first opens during the week when many schools are on spring vacation) or on a weekend during the summer, it might be worth the cost.
Speaking of cost, there are two types of Quick Queue tickets. One is just called the Quick Queue pass which gives you “skip the line” boarding on almost all the major rides once per ride and bonus ride for that ride that makes you say “Again, again!” The single ride Quick Queue was $14.99 per person. It is a ticket that is marked before you get on each ride. As far as seasonal passes go, I did not look up any of that pricing information.
Then there’s the Quick Queue Unlimited.
Ride all the main rides with “cutting privileges” and ride as many times as your stomach can take it all day long. This ticket is $39.99 per person.
We bought a 2 day park pass and did not know anything about the Quick Queue when we entered the first day. My son and I were on the Le Scoot Log Flume ride which is an older ride was not designed to move people the same way the more modern rides are designed. After about 40 minutes waiting in line (and the park was not crowded on our first day), we noticed some folks that walked in the exit of the ride, showed the ride attendant some something, and they got right on. I liked that idea. We were familiar with the idea from a vacation to Universal Studios and Disney a few years ago, but I had not heard about BGW doing this.
So, on the second day while driving back to the park, I researched it on my smartphone (just got a new HTC Thunderbolt Android just before the trip), and found my initial information in this forum. My wife and daughter were not interested in doing all the rides over and over, but I was…and so was my 12 year old son. The men of the family we were going to step up and do this!
We got there just after 10AM and the ticket lines were already long. There were electronic kiosks with almost no line, so we went there first. We wondered if it was okay to buy the QQ pass if we already had our regular gate pass in hand. The attendant said we could still buy Quick Queue passes but not at the kiosk. We had to enter the park first with our passes. Then, just after they try to take that “yea, we’re here!” happy family photo, there was a Guest Information area to purchase the Quick Queue passes. So, we skipped the photo, stood in a short line, and spent another 80 bucks for two Quick Queue Unlimited passes. The unlimited pass comes in the form of a wrist band that is not sharable.
Our first ride was the Griffon. We walked up to the front entrance and the timer said it was a 45 minute wait…for those without a QQ pass! One of the attendants sees our wristbands and walks us though the single riders line and over to the handicap line area. We were not sure if we could ask for front row, so when he asked we said row 2. Then WHOOSH! We were riding the Griffon!
Next came the Alpingeist…we walked up to the attendant as she was explaining to some potential riders that they were running on fewer cars so the wait was longer. We showed our QQ wrist bands and she told us to go through the exit. There were about 10 people ahead of us. The attendant let on a group of 2, waited for the next car, and let on a group of 3. Then the next group was 5. He said he only had groups of 4 or less. When the next car was loading…he did not let them on. I figured he was letting one car go with no QQ riders and would split the group of 5 between two rows. But then, he let the next car go. When the third car in a row left with no QQ riders, the crowd got ornery and a guy behind me walked up and said something to a roaming attendant about paying a lot of money for the QQ privledge. The ride did seem a bit short-handed. The attendant apologized, the group of 5 decided to go as just 4 and then it was our turn. Overall, we spend a good 20 minutes waiting, but that was still better than the hour I think the non QQ riders waited.
Apollo’s Chariot was designed for QQ. We walked to the gate marked Quick Queue (which is next to the exit). The attendant there asks how many and give you a choice between row 2 or row 8. We picked 2. You stand in a yellow lined area and jump on as the former riders are getting off. It was so quick and easy, we exited and got right on again. Although the second time we had to see the coaster pictures as we had our timing down to make some funny faces for the camera.
It was time for a non-roller coaster ride, so we went to Europe in the Air. I heard there was a labyrinth of lines inside, but we showed our QQ bands and were directed to the exit. The attendant asked us to wait a couple minutes while he gets the go ahead to let us in. He put us at a line behind a pair of doors and moments later a crowd of about 30 people walked in behind us. We were put in a room with an introductory video, then put in lines to board the ride. I won’t give spoilers but those of you with motion sickness issues may need to think twice before boarding.
As the day went on, it was time for another round Griffon riding. At 5:30PM, the crowd seemed near its peak. Again, we showed our bands and we walked to the same area we had gone to all day. But this time, the attendant told us we had to wait in the individual row line. If you have not been to a modern amusement park, most rides have the maze of railings which is a single line that wraps around in a covered area. Just before you enter the ride, you get to pick which row to ride in. The front row usually has a longer line and the other rows are often split up evenly. The Griffon has 3 rows. The attendant told us to pick a row and stand in that part of the line only. Not a big deal but we did have to wait a little over 5 minutes before getting on. Maybe the rules change a little at peak times.
Other items to note:
- Le Scoot (a.k.a. the Log Flume) – We rode the water rides on the first day only. This is probably the oldest ride in the park and it NOT built to move people. We rode this one on the first day we went without the QQ Unlimited passes and stood in line at least 45 minutes. It is not worth the wait if the park is crowded and you do not have a QQ pass.
- Escape From Pompeii – The line was not too bad at the time we went on in the afternoon. My son and I did not use the QQ bands to ride again for fear of (finish this sentence)
- DarKastle – We rode this the first day as well and it was early in the day. But in the past we have waited in a long line for this one. I am guessing the Quick Queue is a lot like the Europe in the Air ride and worth the expense of at least the regular QQ. Once you ride this once, you are done (unless you really really love 3d ride simulators).
- Roman Rapids – Also rode this on day 1 after a long wait in line where a slightly drunk gentleman with quite the southern drawl decided to be good buddies with me halfway through the line. Apparently, he used to work at BG. He had some stories about being an attendant at this ride and others, none of which I can recall at this point. Anyway, wait until you are ready to be completely soaking wet before using the QQ for this one.
Bottom line: Was it worth the price? To my son and me, it was definitely worth it. We drove from Boston and we are not going back for a while. It was nice to be able to ride the big thrill rides over and over again with him. He is twelve and I am getting older. Plus waiting in those long lines can really suck the life out of you. Regarding the limited Quick Queue passes, it looks like they give you a neckband to hold the card. The attendants need to mark your card as you enter the ride. If you really only want to ride each ride once, with one bonus ride for your favorite ride then the limited QQ is the best choice for you.
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