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Fright Nights 2017 Wishful Thinking/Speculation


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14 hours ago, Theme Park Girl said:

Definitely 'included' as opposed to 'free'. I think a lot of people forget that Premier members (speaking as one) actually pay extra per month on top of the normal pass cost in order to have these event tickets included each year. So we are still paying for them,  just at a discounted, upfront cost than buying during the actual event seasons.  

 

Look, don't get me wrong about the memberships - I think it's great they finally started offering tiered tickets which gave different benefits - but you're paying $2 per month extra - so $24 a year, and for your $24 - you get THREE tickets to night events - Fright Nights, White Christmas, and Carnivale. That's $8 a ticket, compared to $34.95 (minimum) standard pricing (for fright nights at least). That's less than a quarter of the cost.

I'm all for memberships getting discounts - it should be a reason for people to upgrade their pass, but surely you could charge a bit more on the pass pricing - people would pay it - even if it were $4 extra a month, at least then the night event tickets would be 50% off, which is still a great saving in anyone's language, and most people wouldn't baulk at an extra $4 ($2 for current premier members) to gain access to those.

Additionally, that's only working off the lowest priced ticket, which tends to be earlier in the season - your ticket can be booked for any date, which means you could book the most expensive date ($54.95) and at that point the disparity is too large to ignore.

12 hours ago, Brad2912 said:

Yeah, probably was a little harsh, but do you believe that adding extra nights will bring about a higher visitation, or just a more even spread over the nights? if it's not going to bring them significant extra $$$ they won't invest in more nights, given the large operating costs per night. 

I pay an extra $2 a month, which admittedly is nothing, and would happily have that upped to $5 a month, maybe even $10, for access to the night events, IF the quality was improving on what we've seen from the last round of events which was WELL down on previous years IMO.. 

From memory the majority of fright night events in 2016 didn't sell out (correct me if I am wrong), so I don't know if you could justify extra nights..

I believe that they should cap attendance at a lower figure, and offer more nights, but at a higher price. They're clearly popular - as you can see above premier members only pay $2 a month extra. even if it were $4 or $5 extra, most people would still see it as a bargain deal, but you've just added another $24-$36 into your "events kitty" per membership. $34.95 tickets - bump them up to $39.95. Make a little extra on EACH ticket and you cover the costs of reducing your cap.

Assume capacity is limited to 5000. To simplify things, say we have a base ticket of $30 to allow for members paying less and ignoring some of the higher priced nights. That's $150,000 in sales to run a capacity night...

Now drop your cap to 4000. To have the same dollar figure in sales (therefore not losing any money out of the deal) you only need to make an additional $7.50 per ticket. Do that for 4 nights, and the extra capacity you lost is now another night's worth of 4000 people, which - if they're all paying $37.50 - is another $150,000 in sales to cover the costs of that night.

So i'm not advocating they reduce numbers, but keep tickets the same - i'm suggesting increase price, reduce capacity, so it still evens out - you still make the same profit 'per night' but you have 'more nights'?

Clearly, with almost every night being a sell out last year, it makes sense to have more nights, its clearly popular... and with a lowered capacity per night, people who go will get to enjoy more of what is on offer, and leave with a better experience. CBF trawling through MW's FB page, but i'd wager they would have had many complaints from people dissatisfied with only getting through a few of the attractions on offer.

 

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26 minutes ago, AlexB said:

Look, don't get me wrong about the memberships - I think it's great they finally started offering tiered tickets which gave different benefits - but you're paying $2 per month extra - so $24 a year, and for your $24 - you get THREE tickets to night events - Fright Nights, White Christmas, and Carnivale. That's $8 a ticket, compared to $34.95 (minimum) standard pricing (for fright nights at least). That's less than a quarter of the cost.

I'm all for memberships getting discounts - it should be a reason for people to upgrade their pass, but surely you could charge a bit more on the pass pricing - people would pay it - even if it were $4 extra a month, at least then the night event tickets would be 50% off, which is still a great saving in anyone's language, and most people wouldn't baulk at an extra $4 ($2 for current premier members) to gain access to those.

Additionally, that's only working off the lowest priced ticket, which tends to be earlier in the season - your ticket can be booked for any date, which means you could book the most expensive date ($54.95) and at that point the disparity is too large to ignore.

I believe that they should cap attendance at a lower figure, and offer more nights, but at a higher price. They're clearly popular - as you can see above premier members only pay $2 a month extra. even if it were $4 or $5 extra, most people would still see it as a bargain deal, but you've just added another $24-$36 into your "events kitty" per membership. $34.95 tickets - bump them up to $39.95. Make a little extra on EACH ticket and you cover the costs of reducing your cap.

Assume capacity is limited to 5000. To simplify things, say we have a base ticket of $30 to allow for members paying less and ignoring some of the higher priced nights. That's $150,000 in sales to run a capacity night...

Now drop your cap to 4000. To have the same dollar figure in sales (therefore not losing any money out of the deal) you only need to make an additional $7.50 per ticket. Do that for 4 nights, and the extra capacity you lost is now another night's worth of 4000 people, which - if they're all paying $37.50 - is another $150,000 in sales to cover the costs of that night.

So i'm not advocating they reduce numbers, but keep tickets the same - i'm suggesting increase price, reduce capacity, so it still evens out - you still make the same profit 'per night' but you have 'more nights'?

Clearly, with almost every night being a sell out last year, it makes sense to have more nights, its clearly popular... and with a lowered capacity per night, people who go will get to enjoy more of what is on offer, and leave with a better experience. CBF trawling through MW's FB page, but i'd wager they would have had many complaints from people dissatisfied with only getting through a few of the attractions on offer.

 

You've ignored the not so small matter of inpark spend. I'm not sure the exact makeup of revenue for the night events in isolation but on a total basis VRTP get around 40% of revenue from F&B and Merchandise sales (which have very low cost of goods sold btw).

Lifting gate prices MIGHT offset the lower attendance for TICKET revenue but I can guarantee it wont see overall revenue hold given the impact of lower inpark spend.

This is precisely what they have seen over this season's summer peak due to lower local visitation following the DW tragedy and the media beat ups - i.e. ticket revenue steady (because most locals have passes or memberships) but overall revenue down due to reduced attendance and therefore inpark spend.

There is ZERO chance they will seek to replicate that experience on purpose for their night events any time soon!

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If there were less people I'd be inclined to spend more in the park.

 

Last year we went to maccas on the way home, rather than buy in park, as the line was ridiculously long to get food (like something decent rather than a hot dog stand).

 

Anyway, no point debating all the 'what ifs' but the key issue is (imo), over crowding will lead to guest dissatisfaction and therefore a decline in repeat business - which isn't good for long term business sustainability, no matter what the business is.

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1 hour ago, Bush Beast Forever said:

You've ignored the not so small matter of inpark spend.

I've ignored nothing, and thanks for the ENTIRE POST QUOTE when what you were replying to was directly above it.

What i sought to do was simplify things - to show how more nights wouldn't increase costs due to higher pricing structures. I considered involving in park spend but without pricing and margins, it's not as easy to explain - however, since you mention it...

I know many people who visit fright nights for example on multiple nights. The park actually does sell a season pass as well, so we know there is a market for it. Referring back to my previous points about people only getting to do 'a few' attractions on a night would also result in many people making multiple visits to the event in order to 'do everything'.

Now, whilst it's possible a single night visitor might buy a meal, or try a special food item, perhaps buy some flashy crap, or pick up a T-shirt, those repeat visitors aren't going to buy a t-shirt for every night they're there. Furthermore, the season pass holders know that the merchandise gets cheaper towards the end, as the park tries to flog the merch off and not be stuck with it after the event has ended, so they hold onto their cash until the park drops it's margin - if in fact they buy anything at all.

So, by making it easier for people to 'do everything' in a single night, the 'season pass' is more for the diehards who want to redo the mazes repeatedly. analyse every detail. spend all night doing nothing but taking photos. People would be less likely to do multiple nights (where a per cap spend for that group will always be less) which would see an increase in the percap for those who only go on one night.

For those who do it regularly, the plan is usually:

  • eat before you come, so you don't spend time waiting in line for food
  • avoid the rides, so you can get the mazes and precincts covered

If you do it as a once off, and you were able to get through all the mazes and precincts, see the shows, and still have time to sit, have a bite to eat, browse the shops... wouldn't you think there'd be a higher chance of increasing the in park spend per guest?

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Yeah I agree with AlexB **fucking woah hold the phone!!**

I don't think a higher price would really affect in park spend per head. If you're going you're going, you've already forgot about that extra couple $s a month you've paid to get in and you're still hungry. There's no pass outs so many people are going to eat, and I'm certainly still going to drink.

It has been shown on overcrowded days F&B spend goes down simply because people can't get into the outlet/don't wanna wait. If it's quieter over more nights you may well then capture all the sales of those people that 'didn't bother' because it was too busy.

There's certainly a fine line tipping point between lack of revenue due to low numbers and lack of revenue due to overcrowding.

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1 hour ago, AlexB said:

If you do it as a once off, and you were able to get through all the mazes and precincts, see the shows, and still have time to sit, have a bite to eat, browse the shops... wouldn't you think there'd be a higher chance of increasing the in park spend per guest?

The vast majority of people going to the night events would be annual pass members using their 1 free ticket to the event so not sure how the die hard person visiting the events multiple times is representative. In any case in response to your question yes I suspect if overall attendance were to drop you probably would see the per cap of remaining guests go up somewhat.

There is very little chance though that the increase per guest would offset the drop in overall spend seen due to the reduction in attendance however. You just have to look at the recent history of the park financials to see that. VRTP aggressively expanded season passes during their FY10 season as a response to the GFC. Per caps fell (probably would have anyway given the GFC) but the double digit attendance increase saw them deliver their best result ever as inpark spend rose in absolute terms. Ardent initially held off on replicating the strategy but followed suit about a year later and also reaped the benefits.

Btw I'm not saying they have nailed the ticket price vs. attendance trade-off. I happen to think they could probably extract some more ticket revenue overall from season pass holders without smashing attendance. Recycling this extra revenue to pay for more F&B service capacity + attractions (e.g. an extra Maze at Fright Nights) would be a smart move by both improving spending and improving guest satisfaction. 

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9 hours ago, AlexB said:

Look, don't get me wrong about the memberships - I think it's great they finally started offering tiered tickets which gave different benefits - but you're paying $2 per month extra - so $24 a year, and for your $24 - you get THREE tickets to night events - Fright Nights, White Christmas, and Carnivale. That's $8 a ticket, compared to $34 (minimum) standard pricing (for fright nights at least). That's less than a quarter of the cost.

(Etc etc) 

Not quite. Memberships also cost more per year than your average VIP pass. 

4 park 'Mega' Pass =$109.99

Premier Pass = $12 x 12 months = $144

So it's actually $34 extra per year, not $24, and that's also not counting the initial $10 fee charged when you first upgrade to a membership from a VIP pass ?

That said, if that's the reward that VRTP are willing to provide people who commit to paying $12 every single month without fail, then so be it. And it obviously works for them, that's why they do it.

For example, Premier membership holders having guaranteed entry into Carnivale every year, which as most are aware is the least popular fairing event right now, and by doing so it encourages those guests to automatically attend and become potential revenue spenders.

Compare that to the average annual passholder or ticket buyer who isn't automatically committed to paying for event entry each year, and thus granting them flexibility on which events they choose to attend. They subsequently may decide to give Carnivale a miss this year instead... along with all that potential spending in park. 

So yes, why the Premier Passholder may be getting their ticket 'for free' in your eyes, they are also still giving VRTP a much higher guarantee that they will automatically attend every year at least once and buy dinner there, popcorn, a hat for the kids etc. 

That's a win for the park regardless of giving them discounted or 'free' entry. 

And believe me, being a membership holder doesn't come without its headaches. Just twice this year alone we've been initially denied entry into Movie World due to "expired" memberships (a repeating error on debitsuccess's end which has been haunting a few passholders of late) which we've had to call them on the spot to rectify ? And of course everyone knows the fun of being committed to direct debit transactions in general, ensuring you have enough funds transferred between accounts for the right day of the month etc. We also can't cancel without giving a minimum 30 days notice, which many have previously complained online to be an inconvenience. 

Yes, it's a bigger commitment than many think to hold a membership. Sometimes I think it would be easier to just go back to being an annual pass holder lol. Luckily VRTP make it up to us by providing us with decent benefits which make it worthwhile, given the number of hoops which have to be jumped through to get them.... 

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You can keep your winks. The page I looked at this morning showed three levels of membership - $10, $12 and $15. The $10 membership did not include night event tickets. all were per month pricing, which is where I take the 'extra' $2 from over the 'standard' membership price. I made no such comparison to VIP tickets, so the $24 still stands. 

When I went back to find that page this afternoon, I couldn't - and it appears as though Village now only offer the premier and elite packages - which is fine.

*Found it - there used to be a $10 option that didn't come with night events:

I can confirm that the Premier and Elite memberships will remain on sale next month even after the standard $10 per month memberships are discontinued. 
 

And it was still being promoted as recently as november 2016:

But it poses a new question - Why don't they offer a membership, with monthly payments, that don't come with night tickets included in the price? Surely there are some people out there that go to these night events 'because it was "free" ? How many headaches is this adding to the capacity problems at fright nights from all these membership tickets? 

 

As for the 'initial fee' for sign up - you also pay a payment processing fee when you buy VIP online too.

Quote

A $4.95 booking fee applies per transaction on this purchase. A surcharge of 1.5% applies to all American Express and Diners Card transactions.

It seems as though they might have changed their ticketing offering today as VIP doesn't seem to be an option at all now (although they do have a $109.99 "mega pass" which is basically the same thing) - the website does seem to be pushing everyone towards membership now, and given the $10 membership is not available, everyone who buys a membership will now have "free" (included) night event tickets.

I'm not discussing Carnivale here though. Sure it makes sense to get 'bums on seats' on an event that is less than popular - so include it - but fright nights is clearly capable of standing on it's own - it doesn't need the ticket to be included - at less than a quarter of the gate price - to get people in the door to buy the hotdog and popcorn.

I'm not saying DON'T do it - i'm saying offer a higher tier where it's available and charge more for it - they started with that, then obviously nixxed the lowest tier, and now people don't have an option but to pay the higher price, whether they want the event tickets or not.

They've also painted themselves into a corner - because now, they HAVE to provide a carnivale event. It is advertised as an inclusion in the membership. If I were to buy membership today, they would have to provide me with a carnivale ticket - or they would breach the contract I have with them. (I haven't read the fine print, and i'm sure there's a way out of it, but it would be an unpopular decision, and most people would just chuck a tantrum on social media without reading the fine print)

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26 minutes ago, AlexB said:

You can keep your winks. The page I looked at this morning showed three levels of membership - $10, $12 and $15. The $10 membership did not include night event tickets. all were per month pricing, which is where I take the 'extra' $2 from over the 'standard' membership price. I made no such comparison to VIP tickets, so the $24 still stands. 

When I went back to find that page this afternoon, I couldn't - and it appears as though Village now only offer the premier and elite packages - which is fine.

*Found it - there used to be a $10 option that didn't come with night events:

Aww, but I like winking lol ?

Oh ok, I thought this discussion was comparing specifically annual passes with Premier memberships, since the latter is the one which includes special event entries and thus up for scrutiny. But yeah, as far as I had been aware, the entry level memberships had been available for quite a while, since they had ads on TV warning of their imminent 'closure'. 

26 minutes ago, AlexB said:

 

*Found it - there used to be a $10 option that didn't come with night events:

And it was still being promoted as recently as november 2016:

But it poses a new question - Why don't they offer a membership, with monthly payments, that don't come with night tickets included in the price?

My understanding is that it's a control method to avoid overselling and subsequently potential overcrowding of the parks. They appear to cap every type of membership at a certain number, and naturally the entry level one ($10p/m) is the most popular, hence why they are currently not available.

Once July-Sept this year rolls around, which is when the minimum 12 month contract period ends for the bulk of most new members (since this is when they usually have the window of opportunity open to sign up) they will have them on offer again, assuming there will be a certain percentage of them who will cancel once it's up - usually in a disgruntled fashion after they have realised that autorenewal has kicked in and they actually didn't read the T&C when they signed up lol. 

As for Carnivale, it seems they are planning to have it again at Sea World for at least next year, since as you've pointed out, it's a current inclusion of the Premier memberships being openly sold as we speak. Who knows what will happen after that, though. They might replace it, or they may even add an additional night event sometime in the near future? We shall just have to wait and see ?

 

 

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20 minutes ago, Brad2912 said:

Or just call it 'zombies' and save on the licensing fee...

or Walkers if Movie World gets the licensing rights for The Walking Dead again.

So I think these are the possible mazes for MW.

American Horror Story

The Exorcist (movie or tv series)

The Walking Dead (If MW does a theme of Negan & the Saviors taking over MW as a scarezone.)

Alien vs. Predator

Sinister

The Purge

Krampus

The Mummy reboot

The reason I mention Sinister, The Purge, Krampus, and The Mummy reboot is because Warner Bros. allowed Universal to use The Exorcist & Freddy vs. Jason last year so Universal could give Warner Bros. the rights to use there films for Fright Nights.

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^^The Exorcist took years of wrangling with William Peter Blatty (recently deceased) and WB to finally get it on deck. At Horror Nights in Hollywood, for example, there's properties they've wanted to do for years, but they can't get the rights (cough* Salem's Lot *cough). The point is Exorcist took years to get the rights, so I'm not sure if MW would have to go through the same process. The Exorcist was a great maze last year (I only did the Hollywood version). 

 

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1 hour ago, MaxxTheMonster said:

My wishful thinking...

 

Rings - 03/02/2017...

World War Z 2 - 09/06/2017...

Annabelle 2 - 11/08/2017...

It - 08/09/17...

Saw Legacy - 27/10/2017...

Cult of Chucky - 31/12/2017...

Five Nights at Freddy's - 2017....

 

 

Cool. What do you think of American Horror Story for Fright Nights?

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Do the themes really have any relevance other than the sign out the front of it?

 

I'm not really into horror films but any mazes I have done there hasn't really been a tangible link to the film it's labelled as, other than the name - but as I said, most of the actual films I probably haven't seen, or it's been a while, so maybe they are 'just like the move' and I don't realise,

 

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^Agreed, it was awesome seeing Exorcist and Halloween scenes recreated in mazes at Halloween Horror Nights last year.

Though I must admit Knott's, California's Great America and Queen Mary Dark Harbor (haunts which I experienced last year) did some great work with no IP's for any their mazes - but that comes down to resources, and it's easier to re-create an IP (and also market), rather create something from scratch.    

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