Cutting In Front Of Kids At The Amusement Park

A couple weeks ago I went to Valleyfair with my wife and kids. Valleyfair is a big amusement park near Minneapolis – kind of like a Six Flags or something. It has giant roller coasters like “Wild Thing” “Renegade” “High Roller” and “Corkscrew.”

Valleyfair also has these things called Fast Lane passes. For an extra $35 (tickets were only, like, $30 to begin with) you get a special wristband that allows you to skip the lines on all the biggest rides and walk down a separate cue called the Fast Lane.

We got these passes, of course.

Hardly anyone else has the special wristbands, so every time we walked up to a ride we were immediately let on. There was never a line in the Fast Lane.

I guess most people think they’re already paying too much to spend a day at Valleyfair…tickets, food, parking, hotel, gas, and whatnot. They can’t justify spending another $100+ for their family to get something they see as a luxury.

Here’s how I see it…

While ethically cutting in front of people all day, I kept a mental tally of how much time I was saving by not standing in the long lines.

An hour here.

Thirty minutes there.

Another hour at the “Wild Thing”…it added up quickly.

Sometimes we’d ride the same ride a few times in a row and pass the same people in line multiple times.

By the end of the day, I calculated about 20 hours saved.

And I wasn’t even riding big roller coasters all day. Most of the day was spent doing other things like eating fair food, going on smaller rides with my 3-year-old, playing in the water park, going to the bathroom (again…ate a lot of fair food).

The time spent on the main attractions – the big rollercoasters – was probably only about 5 hours.

This means if I didn’t have a Fast Lane pass, it would’ve taken me FOUR EXTRA DAYS to get the same number of big rides in. That’s four extra days at a hotel, four extra days of fair food, four extra days of general admission tickets and parking, and four extra days of my TIME.

The last one, time, is most valuable to me. Whenever I can buy time, I’m all for it.

So as you can see, I didn’t spend $105 on Fast Lane passes. I invested $105 and saved close to $1000 and four days of my time. Plus, my whole family had a much more enjoyable day at Valleyfair as a result.

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