ajfelice wrote:From a current employee perspective who is not closely tied to ownership, the cashless system has actually been a huge success. The gradual implementation with the rides in 2010 and games in 2011 has been so successful that the system is moving forward into concessions. Just from observations on lunch breaks alone, Wally Cards are already a popular payment option for concessions. Some people will initially complain out of fear of change, but all in all they will adapt.
My comment has nothing to do with fear of change.
I'm well aware of the usage of the system for rides over the last couple of years. And, other than when the scanners don't work (more often then most would like to admit), it's not an issue.
People were already wearing wristbands. It's not a meaningful change.
The point of my comment is a simple one. And it's based on far too many years of going to amusement parks with a preset number in my head of what I was going to spend only to go over it year after year.
Most people will initially load up the cards with what they think they're going to spend. When that's done, no matter how many kiosks you put in the park, it's far less convenient to leave your spot in line and go fill up the card again than it is to simply reach into your pocket for more money.
The card is a good means of supplementing cash because it requires you to carry less of it. The moment somebody tells you that you're going to have to figure out to the exact penny how much to put on the card, else get cheated of the overage at the end of the day, it starts leaving a bit more of a sour taste in one's mouth
Will I stop going to Waldameer because of it? No.
Will it affect how much I'm likely to spend? Yes.
I won't use the card for food, because it's far more convienient for me to use a credit card (which costs them money).
IF I choose to play games, I'll use it because I have to. But it will be based on what I initially figure I'll spend, which is always a good bit less than what I normally do.
I really have no desire to keep running back and forth recharging the card a couple of bucks at a time, knowing it's the only way to keep my money at the end of the day.
In my opinion, cashless is like Chuck E. Cheese in which when I run out of tokens, I have to either: A) stop playing, or B) get more tokens. Of course this is a basic example, but they seem to be ok when it comes to their games.
Can't speak to Chuck E. Cheese. I haven't been to one in years. I can say this, though. Of the various arcades in the region, the ones that only took tokens went out of business before the ones that took both.
Take that for what it's worth.
Additionally, last season Waldameer did have options at the midway games where you could purchase cards with cash already charged with points. I do not know if such options will be available this season on concessions or games, BUT Waldameer has also gone the extra step and installed several kiosks to purchase and recharge cards using CASH or plastic bringing their total up to 12 purchase/recharge areas. These are in addition to the admission booths and a couple other concession stands where cards are available for purchase.
That's fine. Like I said, I'm not opposed to the cards.
Just point me to the booth that refunds whatever I have left on the card (even if refunds are only given once the balance drops below a certain figure, like $10) and I'll have no complaints.
I truly trust what the Nelsons and Gormans are doing with Waldameer. They continue to asses and explore new practices with this cashless system to make it such a success. Besides, when it comes to employee/customer theft, is it fair that some people can get away with free rides/games/food/etc. while the rest of us pay our hard earned dollars? I choose fairness.
With all due respect, you're creating a false choice.
Wristbands with bar codes in no way stopped operators from giving free rides. I saw too many instances last year where the scanners weren't working properly and people were just ushered through. So, if it can be done when they aren't working right it can be done when they are.
The answer to your question is, no, it's not fair to make us pay when others don't. No more than a sytem that requires us to give up our hard earned dollars at the end of the day if we don't use them all before the park closes.
Either way, you're being punished.
I was and still am skeptical of this system, but they only way to confirm or put to rest concerns is to give it a chance with an open mind. So far, my skepticism has been greatly reduced.
Like I said, it has nothing to do with skepticism or even having a problem with the cards.
It comes down to simple facts. If I run out of day before I run out of money on the card, I'm going to lose it. Whether it's $1 or $50.