Free Parking

The Branson properties do not charge parking for their properties because of the location of two of them. Celebration City and White Water and basically in the middle of the strip and you could park anywhere you wanted to really if they started charging and just walk to the park. Especially to White Water who is literally right next door to an outlet mall.

According to the park, SDC does not plan to charge for parking (other than the closer "preferred" that they already charge for) in the foreseeable future. That being said, they are getting ready to redo the entire parking situation down there and re-route Indian Point Road to go around the parking lots -- this might change their tune.

Yes, but if you could drive to an amusement park, park your car in the parking lot and sit on a bench all day without going in, you probably wouldn't be looking at this site right now.:-)

Darn, I have to read how to make those smileys... *** Edited 3/13/2007 9:38:15 PM UTC by mailgirl***

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Charles Nungester said:
My GOD, Universal probably has a 500 million dollar parking garage, I was pleased when I only seen 5 bucks to park.

What the hell are you talking about, Chuck? I haven't been to Universal in almost five years and it was more than that then. Their site currently says $11

RGB said:
It just pisses me off to no end to realize that a large soft drink at Knoebels would really be only $1.75, but they rook me $2.00 for it because of the "free" parking! :)

If they're upcharging on drinks to cover parking, then you're getting royally rooked. What kind of upkeep is involved with a grass/dirt field? Give me a call when the iron horse makes it's way through town. ;)

^^Who the heck were you replying to there mailgirl?
Gonch, I visited Universal only 3 months after 9-11 so maybe the five bucks was due to that, It still to this day is better than SF's 15 if they are charging 11.

Buy into it or not. your still getting better service and more amenities for your dollar when POP is actually POP. The money I think I am saving or *have left to spend* I usually buy food or souvineers in such parks.

Where as a park you feel like they're greedy, I won't spend one extra dime. Not after that dry hump I took at the parking gate and was forced to wait in the 1 open lane of 8 existing lanes.


Swoosh, it was in response to the one before you.
Why are we assuming that free parking isn't really free, that it is added into the cost of admission?

I'm sure it doesn't cost $15 per car per day to maintain a parking lot. 15,000 cars at your average SF park for example would gross $225,000-for ONE day. Is that how much it cost a park to keep the parking lot in order? Over a Million a week?

I think some parks who offer free parking are saying, "We have decided not to make a huge profit on parking. We'll include the small cost of maintaining the lot in our admission". It seems to me that charging a parking fee is more profitable for parks than adding it into admission. It makes the experience more expensive.

Hey! It's takes the skill of a well trained blacktopsmith to strategically place those potholes, in a precise pattern, that will make the parking lot that much more fun to drive through. How do you think they manage to keep up the appearance at Great Adventure every season? By pure luck, I don't think so.

So yeah! That $225,000 a day income does go to making sure that SF parking lots are a below substandard, even by the standards of other parks that dare to have you park your car in a field, and trick you into thinking that your parking for free.

I still think, They only charge because YOU'll pay it.
Six Flags needs some real competition in some parts of the country. Their way of doing things didn't work in Ohio.

Arthur Bahl

Wow, I ignore the site for a day and this is what happens? ;)

I see both sides here. On one hand, nothing is for free. If a furniture store advertises FREE DELIVERY, I doubt it's really free- it IS being built into the price somewhere else. Heck, I know that from the way my company does business. There are times when we offer something to the customer if it's something we think they'll complain about... we'll tell them it's free but really end up adding the cost somewhere else. Fair? No. But in that case, it's all about perception. As long as they think it's free, they're happy... even if, deep down inside, they know it's not really free. After all, customers are business people as well.

But I think that some parks really do have free parking. Knoebels manages to keep prices down while allowing free parking AND shuttle service (at least on busy days). Kennywood's free parking lot includes a ride on a skyride! There are exceptions to the rule.

And I do have a problem paying $15 to park at Six Flags, and even $10 at parks like Disney and Busch. When I go to a Giants game, I gladly pay $15 because the lot looks like total crap after the tailgaters are gone. I'm surprised that the $15 covers the cost of removing beer bottles, charcoal and other assorted garbage from each parking space! But Six Flags- what do they do to deserve that kind of money? Great Adventure's lot is at least as old as the park itself- most sections of it haven't been paved in decades and it looks awful. It's also fairly dirty, and shuttle service is pathetic considering how big the thing is. There is no excuse for a park like them to charge $15 because they're not creating $15 worth of value.

janfrederick's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

You said it yourself right there - thinking you spent less and in turn spending more is ignorance.

I'd rather be miserable and informed than stupid and happy.

Hear hear! ;) But informed and happy is better. As in, I know that my admission to the park pays for services such as parking, security, clean bathrooms, safe working rides, to make the company a profit, and for me to have a day of fun with the old familia. And I don't think we're disagreeing at all here.

I guess these are things that the park can play around with to tweak perceptions. By rasing lot prices, they can increase their revenue without actually raising *admission* prices.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

millrace said:

People are just trained (brainwashed?) to fork over a fee for parking in certain situations. Strange how a fee for parking in other places would cause an uproar. Imagine a parking toll booth at McDonalds?

I agree completely.

Everytime we go to an event at the IX Center, with the exception of the Auto Show, you have to pay for parking. It ranges btwn 8-10 bucks an event. It's not on a bus line and there's no where else to park near it. Major rip-off.

Great Lakes Brewery Patron...


Cedar Point is an interesting case. If you stay at one of the onsite hotels, or eat in an onsite and out of park sit down restaurant, you can have the parking cost refunded.

Are those people who do not eat or stay onsite being overcharged because they are paying for parking twice? Once at the parking booth and then again at the admission gate? Is Cedar Point just building the cost of parking into hotel and restaurant bills but not for park admission?

Could one reason for parking charges be to encourage carpooling, thus cutting down on the number of cars in the lot while fitting more people into the park?

It's odd how people are used to paying to park at amusement parks. People don't usually pay to park at malls. Is the cost of parking being built into the rents for the stores? I don't pay to park at grocery stores, liquor stores, restaurants (without valet parking) and gas stations.

I like to be informed instead of stupid, but I also like as few hassles as possible. Maybe I am paying for "free" parking at the grocery store when it comes time to check out my order, but I'd rather do that than have to wait in line to pull into the parking lot and hand over money to an attendant, just as I like being able to cruise into Knoebels' lot in the amount of time it would take me to get to the tollbooth at Six Flags' parking lot.

There is (i think it's still there) a shopping complex in Downtown Cleveland that charges for parking. Tower City, if i remember correctly. I haven't been there in about 6 years, reason being, they charged for parking.

Why should I pay to park at a place where I'm going to spend money? Someone told me they started covering parking if you spent more than 40 bucks. wow, that's big of them.

Great Lakes Brewery Patron...


I got to park :) FOR FREE :) at Walt Disney World last year! ( I got there at 5:00 AM and the Boothes were unmanned,. You Snooze, You Lose! ) ;)

I had to be there because I had voluntered to be an Extra for a Commercial they were shooting for Expedition Everest. Upon Arrival at the Crack of Dawn they fed us a Continental Breakfast, then gave us an Orentation Lecture, which was followed by a two hour ride session on Expedition Everest while they filmed us. Afterwards we got to enjoy the rest of the day at Animal Kingom AND we got a FREE One-Day "Park Hopper" Pass to use anytime we felt like it! :)

BTW Here in Florida Boomers Family Recreation Center has Free Parking.


Lord Gonchar's avatar

Rob Ascough said:
Great Adventure's lot is at least as old as the park itself- most sections of it haven't been paved in decades and it looks awful.

I was under the impression that they recently re-did much of the lot at SFGAdv.

See the photos here. (the third and fourth show it the best)

Is this new or am I totally off on this one?

Well, I'll be damned. Looks new to me. Must be recent though, because the lot was crap for years.
Lord Gonchar's avatar
That's what I thought too, Rob. Not sure exactly when it happened, but it looks pretty new.

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