Are clones bringing future damage to Six Flags?

Friday, June 27, 2003 6:48 PM

I'm new so please bear with me if I babbled.

I have noticed that Six Flags lately has been spreading a lot of clones. We have the inverted batmans, the flying supermans, deja vu's, the flying dutchmen, the impulse, the cyclone clones, medusa/scream, golitah.titan, etc. I mean my homepark is SFGAm, and certain six flags parks that interest me were SFOG, SFMM, SFGAd, and SFMW.

Now I really don't have that much of a desire to go to SFOG or SFGAd. I mean once at SFOG, i would have already been on S:UF, Deja vu, Batman, and the Georgia cyclone. It makes me not really want to go. I understand some coasters are menat to be clones like maybe the impulses and deja vu's. The thing is though most other chains really don't clone that much. Like Paramount and Cedar Fair.

Also I have friends who have been to numerous Six flags parks, and they told me they have a lot of coasters that are the same. So yes, before you say it, the general public, at least some, do notice. I just think Six flags parks needs to get a little more orignal. I think it sucks that we have 6 flying coasters in the U.S. but they're only two different designs. Do you think that this will hurt Six Flags?

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Friday, June 27, 2003 6:54 PM
While a majority of the world does not go park to park to experience rides, Six Flags has the ability to build rides that are clones from other parks.

Remember, the initial reason Six Flags was started was because people couldn't make it to Disney and Coney Island, etc. Six Flags was built so that a theme park would be close by for everyone. I believe they have accomplished their goal. Building rides people hear about and bringing them close to the public.

I highly doubt this will be an end to Six Flags at all.

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Friday, June 27, 2003 6:57 PM
MOST DEFINATELY it will hurt them. Why should I got to differant Six Flags parks when all the rides are the same at them?

I think it is actually one reason they have been experienceing loss of money recently. People have learned how much better parks like BGW, BGT, Dollywood, Paramount, and Universal are. Each of those parks are unique, there's nothing else like them. Unlike SF parks were all of them have the same "feel."

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Friday, June 27, 2003 7:02 PM
Hurt? I would guess that the majority of people going from park to park have season passes... thus decreasing the amount of money brought in by such travelers.
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Friday, June 27, 2003 7:30 PM
I guess the whole season pass thing is a good reason. But the whole just local thing I really don't think it's true. I mean look at SFMM. We know that they are competing with CP. If it was based on location SFMM wouldn't need to compete with them. People have even mentioned how SFOG competes with orlando themeparks. I'm sure if you mean local you mean around that park.

We all probably hold season passes cause we are coaster enthusiasts, but some GP don't. A lot do but some don't.

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Friday, June 27, 2003 7:31 PM
I must also disagree that I don't believe that all SF parks have the "same feel" to them. They do feel different, it is just some of their coasters.
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Friday, June 27, 2003 7:44 PM
A park's main constituency is located around the park itself, not long distances away. SFMM does not compete with CP in the sense that SFWoA does. SFMM fans may compete with CP fans, but that's about it. Location determines competition.
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Friday, June 27, 2003 7:44 PM
Remember that Paramount has built two Vekoma invertigoes, and several cloned mice and Cedar Fair has now built a standard impulse and a boomerang. It's not just Six Flags.

-Nate

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Friday, June 27, 2003 7:50 PM
If SF is going to clone their rides the least they can do is make most of them available at all of their parks.

Not everyone can make it to SFMM or SFGRADV to ride a floorless or a flyer for example,now by puttiing these types into all of their parks(where space & height restrictions allow) then they'd be able to satisfy their local markets that may know of the existance of these types of rides but can't enjoy them because their local parks don't have them.

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Friday, June 27, 2003 7:58 PM
There are more then 2 types of flyers in the US...Theres Stealth which is diffrent then Xflight/Batwing and then theres the S:UF's...Plus I dont mind the clones...most parks have bumper cars and a scrambler...same types of rides!! So its not really a major problem...And the cloned rides are good and cheaper then custom hence SF buys them.

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Friday, June 27, 2003 8:01 PM

The idea is to have this affect. Six Flags wants to allow the GP to be able to have the same expierence. This will allow more people to have a great vacation right in their own backyard. This may come back to bite them in the but later but all Clones are not the exact same expierence. I have ridden 3 of the batman clones and magic mountain's delivers a very different expierence than SFGAm. Also S:UF is very different at SFGAm than at SFOG. In short they deliver almost the same expierence but each one has it's own distinct differences. Like theming or overall expierence.(by this i mean it's up keep it' staffing etc) anyway This only hurts six flags when it comes to us enthusiasts.
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Friday, June 27, 2003 10:50 PM
Not all of the GP cares about clones. When I went with my marching band to SFFT a couple of years back, I was asked by many people what type of rides they had (I live about 2.5 hrs from SFOG). Most if not ALL of those people were upset that SFFT didn't have a Batman:The Ride.

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Saturday, June 28, 2003 6:04 AM
SF can do this because not enough people travel very far to go to another park. I can understand people traveling hours to go to Disney / Cedar Point / etc., but this is a little different.

Most people that i go to school with hardly know exactly what the rides do at all. There was a girl in my art class that went to SFMM over spring break, and all she could really say about X was that the seats rotated. She couldnt even hardly name them, all she knew was a little about them.

Ofcourse there will be some who can tell. Some wont care and some will, but for the most part the rides are usually spread out far enough so that if you went to the closest 2 or 3 SF parks near you, you wont ride too many of the same thing.

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Saturday, June 28, 2003 6:07 AM
People who are not enthusiasts (read: normal folks) don't travel from park to park. They go to their local park once, maybe twice a year. If more than one park is nearby, they might go there too on a good year. Once or twice while the kids are small, the family might get on a plane or in the minivan to go on an extended trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World. They might also stop at the nearby park when Mom or Dad has a business trip somewhere interesting enough to drag the family along.

These folks make up the vast majority of a park's attendance and revenue. These people have no clue that Kong at SFMW and Mind Eraser at SFA are the same coaster, because they don't even know that one or both of those parks exist.

On the (worn) topic of SFMM vs. CP: I challenge you to find me *one* person who is trying to decide which of the two parks they are going to visit this Saturday. The only people who *might* face such a decision are crazy Coasterbuzzers and like-minded people, and we'll all be going to both parks eventually anyway. They don't compete in any meaningful way beyond marketing, and depending on your loyalties CP isn't as honest as they could be in that department anyway. (Superman is not a coaster! Is too! Is not! Is too!)

I do think the question of clones is an interesting one to consider in the context of the destination parks. For example, most of the Disney "Castle" parks (I've been to Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, and Disneyland Paris so far) are very similar to one another, but these are destination parks. You could imagine an "ordinary" family considering a visit to more than one of them. However, even the disneyphiles admit that when someone goes to a Disney park, they want to ride Pirates/Space Mountain/Haunted Mansion/etc. etc.

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Saturday, June 28, 2003 6:56 AM

Ferrari4MeNotU04 said:
MOST DEFINATELY it will hurt them. Why should I got to differant Six Flags parks when all the rides are the same at them?

You miss the point. Six Flags does not market their parks as destination, which is why they use the slogan, "So big, so close." They don't want people in Boston going to Six Flags Magic Mountain or people in LA going to Six Flags New England. They're regional destinations. Ask a local if they even know about other Six Flags parks and I bet nine times out of ten they won't know other parks even exist.

crazy kal: Being new, I guess you wouldn't know that the thing about clones comes up time after time after time. We won't hold it against you. ;)

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Saturday, June 28, 2003 7:11 AM
The clone debate in a nutshell...

The average non-enthusiast will not go to more than one Six Flags park. Therefore they will never know or care if there is a clone of a certial ride elsewhere. Six Flags will not be hurt, on the contrary, they benefit by not spending the extra bankroll on hahing a custom designed ride every time. Enthusiasts (which make up less than 1% of the park going folks) are the only ones who really care. If you ran a business, would you spend millions per year to keep less than 1% of your clients from grumbling... I think not.

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Saturday, June 28, 2003 7:23 AM
How to tell if a "clone" is hurting Six Flags:

1.) Go to Six Flags (any with a "clone" will do).

2.) Get in line for said clone.

3.) Notice how full the queue is.

Invariably, the clones are as popular or more so than any other ride in the park.

That said, I'm a season passholder and have ridden Batman: The Ride in Chicago, Los Angles, and St. Louis within the past year, and enjoyed each of them.

Apparently, a good ride is a good ride. It doesn't matter were it is.

And Six Flags is well aware of this. It's not hurting them, it's helping.

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Saturday, June 28, 2003 7:24 AM
As an enthusiast myself, and one who has to *carefully* decide which parks to attend each summer due to time constraints, I must say that the clone factor does indeed weigh heavily on my decision to visit a new Six Flags park. While most of my coastering has to occur on the weekends during the summer, unless I am on one of my paid six weeks of vacation, I have to look for the "most bang for my buck." This being said, however, I do not believe the clone installation, which is indeed a Six Flags phenomenon, hurts the park chain in any way (they just don't happen to see as many of my $$).
*** This post was edited by ophthodoc 6/28/2003 11:25:37 AM ***
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Saturday, June 28, 2003 8:00 AM
I definitely do think that the clones are damaging Six Flags. For example, Six Flags America is practically a cloned park. There is only one coaster that is not found anywhere else, the Wild One. I have no need to go back to that park since I can just ride those rides elsewhere.
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Saturday, June 28, 2003 8:34 AM
Most of the GP doesn't go traveling from park to park. Clones are good because everyone can expirience a real exciting coaster. I think clones are just bad for enthusiests. Clones are definatly not going to hurt Six Flags.

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