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    • 29yrswithaGApass

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I was wondering two things that I believe probably only you guys here would know. Since the park has opened, have they always had a Season Pass (annual ticket to the park) system? And second, what would they use before the cards they used now if they did use something before the cards? I know two odd questions but I am quite curious about the system used of the park in the past.

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No, they have not always had a season pass, but it has been around since about 1980 (I'm sure Harry has the exact year).

 

They have always been laminated cards with your picture on them. For a long time there were 2 different types of passes, Gold and Silver. Gold passes got you into the park any day of the week, while Silver got you in weekdays only in the summer, and weekends in fall and spring. We used to get Silver passes since we never went on weekends in the summer when the park was crowded anyway. I think my first Silver Pass cost about $25.

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I think season pass sales started when Six Flags acquired Great Adventure so the first season would have been 1978. The earliest pass I have seen is from 1979 and I started getting them in 1980. As Tom said, the earlier years were laminated - pieces of rubber coated paper with a small black and white photo inserted. The photo use to be taken with a dual lens Polaroid camera that would take two photos at once- one for your pass and one for their files. They would have a miniature paper cutter with a lever that would pop out a perfect size square photo for the passes. The smell of the laminator was a memorable one too!

 

There is a picture of my 1980 pass below. (I could never figure out what that bald spot was other than a sign of things to come!) In 1990 they went to an even flimsier laminated paper ticket, and it wasn't until 1994 that the credit card style cards that are used today were introduced.

 

gallery_2_4_23602.jpg

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Thanks for sharing! Yeah I was really curious to see as I was looking at my small collection of Season Passes... LOL! A great spotlight would be to see all the Season Pass looks over the years. :P

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Thanks for sharing! Yeah I was really curious to see as I was looking at my small collection of Season Passes... LOL! A great spotlight would be to see all the Season Pass looks over the years. :P

 

No problem Josh. It's not with just anyone that I am willing to share a childhood picture (although I guess it is if I posted it to a public forums!) :)

 

Season passes and other ticket media will be part of the "Front Gate" Spotlight when we get it worked into the schedule!

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I haven't seen a pass like that in a loooong time. Was it just me, or did your picture sometimes "slide around" inside the pass. I remember I had one one year that slid all around in the pass.

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I remember many of my passes delaminating and the picture coming loose. That was one of the tricks people supposedly used to do was going in the park with their pass, going out through the hand stamp, and giving the pass to someone else to use by slipping another picture in. Since the passes couldn't be scanned, there was no real way of knowing which passes had already been used that day.

 

I remember taking my pass into the processing building and having them run it through the laminator again, or using an iron to try and re-seal it.

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Mine never "came open" or "came apart" at the seams around the edges. It was like there was space between the two sheets of plastic and my pic. bounced around inside. I would go to show it to get in and my pic would be upside down in the bottom left corner or something like that.

Edited by Railer

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Wow... that's pretty interesting. And to think season passes have come from the point of non-existence until the late 70's, to some serious old-school laminating, to digital as we have them now, and there are those rumblings about future use of biometrics. I would say such a simple thing as a seaso pass has gone through much change in its short lifespan :)

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The strangest thing about a Disney Premium Annual Pass is it is a cheap little piece of paper with a magnetic strip and is to be used for a full year. Meanwhile, a guest that checks into a Disney Resort and purchases a one day ticket gets a credit card type pass similar to our GA pass. I still haven't seen the logic in that. At least the Busch annual passes are a plastic-type material- not as thick as GA's but better than paper!

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My Busch pass was one of those cheap paper things. Since I had easy pay it never expired, so I had it for a couple of years, until recently when they came out with the plastic ones, but I had to pay extra for the plastic one.

 

I wish Disney would get easy pay. For those unfamiliar with it, you pay monthly. They automatically deduct money from your bank account. The Disney passes are so expensive, it would be nice to be able to pay monthly like all the other parks down here.

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Easy Pay was one of the best ideas a park has ever came up with IMO. I mean, with Great Adventure I have never gone in the month of July since I was four, so getting rid of one month's pay would be great.

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Busch Gardens and Disney I know use that awesome finger-print system which really does help with the using the pass only for yourself..

 

It's an amusement park, not the CIA :P . The GA passes work such that it will only scan once a day at each park. You can't simply walk outside the exit and give it to someone to use! I like the passes we use now, one easy scan of the barcode and you're all set. This season was a bit different with the Premium and Regular passes, there wasn't much difference to me except a different coupon book and restricted access to certain events.

 

Oh and a note on Season Passes, they've moved SP processing to the VIP Center by the Front Gate, I'm pretty sure permanently. So when you purchase a pass during Fright Fest or go early next season, that's the place you want to be!

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Oh and a note on Season Passes, they've moved SP processing to the VIP Center by the Front Gate, I'm pretty sure permanently. So when you purchase a pass during Fright Fest or go early next season, that's the place you want to be!

 

They move SP processing every year around this time so preparation can begin for Zambora...

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Does anyone remember the Great Adventure "Power Pass"? In the mid 80s the park sometimes charged for concerts and offered three different passes:

Silver - admission Monday to Friday

Gold - admission any day

Power - admission any day plus access to all concerts

 

If I recall, the idea was that they punched your pass depending upon which concert you were attending. Mine doesn't have any punched holes but that's because I worked there that year and got into the concerts as an employee. Even though I worked at the park a couple of seasons I still bought a season pass those years so that I could go early and late in the season, before and after employment.

 

gallery_2_28_59597.jpg

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Here is a question for you Harry, when did they begin putting "real" designs onto the season passes? I mean like putting in colors and shapes with the Looney Tunes, Mr. Six, and things like that.

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Here is a question for you Harry, when did they begin putting "real" designs onto the season passes? I mean like putting in colors and shapes with the Looney Tunes, Mr. Six, and things like that.

 

There was a gradual ramping up of graphics on the passes. In the mid to late 90s the park logos (in color) were added with a small Bugs Bunny graphic but he cards were a simple solid gold. It wasn't until almost 2000 that Bugs artwork dominted the pass and it was probably in 2001 when they starting becoming really flashy with Batman (2001), Taz (2002), Superman (2003), Mr Six, etc.

 

 

 

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This cat is amazing. How in the world have you managed to save all of your season passes since 1980? I cant find my drivers license half the time and I had it in my pocket yesterday and my wife doing laundry right now and I gotta go !!!

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LOL. Don't worry, I am not that organized. It is a good day for me if I can leave my house on time with my wallet, watch, and keys. Sometimes I have to just settle for the keys! :)

 

 

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I was wondering if "09" Passes are available yet? I know this is the time they usually go on sale for next year.

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Not yet. I would imagine the third week in September to coincide with the fall season pass holders event (Fall Family Fun Night on 9/26).

 

I asked when "09" Passes will be available in the Pass Processing today, and they told me the 14th. of Sept.

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