Fast Lane is an optional, pay-per-person line queue system offered on select rides at Cedar Fair amusement parks. The system provides shorter lines, and guests who want access must pay a fee in addition to general park admission. They are given a wristband for identification, and a limited number are sold each day to keep wait times under control. First piloted in 2011 at Kings Island, the system was rolled out to the rest of the Cedar Fair chain in 2012.
On July 18, 2011, Kings Island announced the introduction of Fast Lane, a separate line queue featuring shorter lines, that originally involved ten select rides and was only active from noon to 7:00pm. The upcharge for access was $50 per person, and the purchase did not include park admission.Cedar Fair wanted to test the system before deploying to every location, and Kings Island was chosen to fill that purpose. Fast Lane received positive feedback, and it generated nearly $1 million in half a season. Cedar Fair deemed it a success and announced that Fast Lane would be rolled out the rest of their parks in 2012.
There is also Fright Lane, which is the Halloween version of Fast Lane during the fall season at Cedar Fair parks. In 2013, Canada's Wonderland, Carowinds, Cedar Point, Kings Dominion, and Kings Island introduced Fast Lane Plus, which allows purchasers to bypass the lines of additional rides that standard Fast Lane holders would not have access to. Dorney Park did the same in 2014, introducing Fast Lane Plus for Wildwater Kingdom attractions and free rides on a pay-per-experience attraction. Also in 2014, Worlds of Fun introduced Fast Lane Plus allowing riders to bypass the lines of additional water slides at the Oceans of Fun water park.
Visitors can purchase Fast Lane access individually or as a group, with group pricing offering a lower price per group member. Visitors then receive a wrist band to would give them the ability to cut to the front of the line on the park's most popular attractions. Originally, it could be used only from noon to 7:00 PM, but it was later expanded to all-day availability. Fast Lane differs from a virtual queue in that there is nothing virtual, only two physical queues (lines): one for regular patrons and a separate one for Fast Lane purchasers. Fast Lane is not included with season pass purchases, and the amount sold per day is restricted.
The priority queuing system was originally controversial. An earlier version implemented at Cedar Point in the early 2000s allowed guests to enter a virtual queue, similar to Disney's FastPass, where riders could return to a ride hours later and skip to the front of the line. It was first called Ticket to Ride, and later it was renamed FreeWay. The system was discontinued in 2004 due to negative reception; guests were uncomfortable with the park "sanctioning line-jumping". Fast Lane received higher marks when assessed internally by Cedar Fair, and the system has been in place at all Cedar Fair parks since 2012.