Integration of SFO and Sea World...my thoughts...

Monday, May 28, 2001 4:21 PM
Ok...when we first heard about the Six Flags purchase of Sea World, most of us were extremely thrilled, I know I was, because the thought of all that land being open for new rides, attractions, was exciting.
Well, I went to SFWoA yesterday, and I must say, I am not looking forward to, anymore, rollercoasters and rides being built on the Sea World side. Now, I am a big fan a rollercoasters, that's why I go to amusement parks, but a funny thing happened yesterday...my friends and I, being thrillseeking teenagers, had ridden all the coasters (including X-flight, which BTW, I didn't think was worth a 2 hour wait, although it was excellent), so we ventured over to the old Sea World side. I was pushing to go on Mission: Bermuda triangle, since I had ridden it back in the day at Sea World in San Diego. Once we got over there, we were immediately greeted by much more veteran (and friendly) employees, gorgeous landscaping, wonderful music, perfectly clean pathways, and an overall top notch atmosphere. On top of that, we were really starting to enjoy all the stuff they had over there, including the spectacular 3D movie, and simulators, and the interaction between animals.

By the end of the day, we had found ourselves having MORE fun at the Sea World side, than we did on all the rollercoasters over on the rides side!!!

Now you're all wondering why I'm posting this in this forum, and not trip reports, and this is why. My fears are that Six Flags is going to trash this side. It's got character, something the other side of Six Flags is lacking, and the signs are already appearing everywhere. They are already slapping down rides on one side of the Sea World part. One second you're surrounded by beautiful trees, southern creole theming, the next thing you know, there's tacky flat rides, around you, the clean cobblestone paths give way to black asphalt, and the trees go away to dirt and rocks, with wooden brown fencing on the sides.

Then, there's the water ski show, suddenly finding itself with Batman plastered all over it, RIGHT SMACK IN THE FRENCH LOUISIANNA STYLE THEMING!!! They are going to trash this side, I'm seeingthe future right now, and it doesn't look good. If plopping down a coaster on top of dirt, and tearing out trees, and using asphalt instead of cobblestone, and decorative pathways is cheaper, then Six Flags will do it.

The employees - one has to think about what they're take on this is. These animal experts, once attached to all the conservation, and animal rehabilitation stuff, wildlife programs, etc...now find themselves in the middle of this money hungry amusement park monopoly wannabe.

I was talking to one of them, she was one of the people involved with the Sea Lions. She said they are all scared of what's going to happen. They are worried about keeping the animals healthy, they are worried about the noise of the coming rides, the disruption of the atmosphere, the lack of quality, and the future of their jobs....being replaced by emotionless employees just doing the bare minimum. I watched her earlier, as she went around to kids, talking to them on a 1 on 1 basis, about the sea lions, and other animals, if they have any questions, and helping them feed the animals, while encouraging them...it was exciting, and showed me that they actually cared about their guests. It was just overall a better experience.

People don't realize what a difference atmosphere and good staffing makes, until you have a trashy park, right next to a well executed one.

I hope that Six Flags will listen to the Sea World side, and take note of how they do things, if they can apply that expertise to the rides side, this park will be unstoppable. If they ruin the good thing they have going for them (Sea World), then the downfall of this park is not far behind, IMO of course.

I challenge all of you to spend time over at Sea World, and see if you don't start having a lot higher quality experience. I would also do it this season, while it's relatively untouched by the corporate mentality. It's like Disney or Busch Gardens parked right next to Six Flags Elitch Gardens. That's the feeling I got yesterday.

-Clarkbar *** This post was edited by Clarkbar on 5/28/2001. ***
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Monday, May 28, 2001 5:25 PM
While I agree, I know the park is trying.

Train stacking on Batman, Serial Thriller, and Villain, which was a horrible ordeal last year, has been eliminated (except Friday's one train Batman)

The employees seem more upbeat, and the only rides I have seen closed this season are those that are actually having a technical problem, and X-Flight. None of this half of the park closed crap anymore.

The on-ride photos for Villain and Serial Thriller STILL are not open, and Batman's have been open, but are not always open. That is something they need to work on.

But, I think the park has improved INCREDIBLY after last years rocky start into the Six Flags name.

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Monday, May 28, 2001 5:42 PM
I wasn't giving a trip report of SFWoA, otherwise I would have put it in the TR section. I'm simply talking about my fear of SF ruining the Wildlife side, and what a great experience it is. Actually, I was very happy with the improvement over last year, but that's still not saying much.
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-Clarkbar *** This post was edited by Clarkbar on 5/28/2001. ***
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Monday, May 28, 2001 6:12 PM
Clarkbar, your thoughts are perfect and the Seaworld side is the only one that still cares. The rides will take over. They can advertise more that way. We lost our beautiful Sea World :(
The Seaworld side will be gone in a few years :( At least I know what to expect.
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Monday, May 28, 2001 6:39 PM
Right, it just comes off to me as some sort of disease slowly creeping in and ruining stuff.

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-Clarkbar
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Monday, May 28, 2001 10:36 PM
Wow,I really don't see a problem with SF adding rides to that part of the park.
I have yet to hear a complaint about SFMW adding rides and coasters,so I really think they(SF)know what they're doing.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2001 4:38 AM
Seaworld back in the day used to have batman and aquaman stunt show's in the ski area long before most of you where born, I have pics from 79. Everyone complained no rides in seaworld OH, now they will start to put them in and now they are complaining there putting them in. Also people say we lost our seaworld, seaworld sold out on you not caring about you. They care about the bottom dollar. If it was not for SF SW might have just been elimanted and all the animals spread out to there other park's.

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Army rangers lead the way *** This post was edited by supermandl on 5/29/2001. ***
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Tuesday, May 29, 2001 5:16 AM

Clarkbar said:
"Ok...when we first heard about the Six Flags purchase of Sea World, most of us were extremely thrilled..."
Not me. I was kind of pissed. Mind you, it's not Six Flags' fault that Shamu is gone. It was Busch's decision to sell and yank the whale.

The Geauga Lake side seemed to be running a little more smoothly so far this year, but they haven't really been "under load" yet. Big crowds will show how the park measures up.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Tuesday, May 29, 2001 8:59 AM
Just surrender, to the concept. It was destine, these two parks would someday merge. Just think that it will be the best of both worlds. The purist are all making premature judgements. Again just surrender and let time tell. Perhaps, co-opting another cooperate culture such as Busch Gardens will prove to be a great, as long as Six Flags learns from the experience.It may extend to better customer service throughtout the entire chain. *** This post was edited by Coaster Bob on 5/29/2001. ***
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Tuesday, May 29, 2001 9:11 AM
It would be cool if the park could add a bunch of whales. What a plus that would be. I don't see the animal side being overtaken by rides. The park is to important to let everything just go to waste and fall to pieces. Look for the park to expand and grow.

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BMCOASTER

bmcoaster@wi.rr.com
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Tuesday, May 29, 2001 9:50 AM
Yes, I agree with Coaster Bob, that merging the parks was inevitable. I was just always hoping that Busch would buy out Geauga Lake. THEN, we would really have had something. I always had a great time at Sea World. I loved the atmosphere, the landscaping, the food, and the high quality experience that the employees created for the guests. I fear for the Wildlife side myself, and I know that I will really take it all in and appreciate it more this year. I have heard that the food at Wildlife is still the same this year, even the fresh baked deserts. How many people fear that the Six Flags corporate culture will spoil this? I hope that the Sea World employees have enough leverage with Six Flags to keep the quality up. And I hope Six Flags realizes what a wonderful experience they have in the Sea World side, and that they value it for what it is. They need to preserve that type of park experience, not treat it as extra land to build roller coasters on. If they mess with it too much, it'll just backfire on them. As it is now, I doubt that SFWOA attendance will equal the combined total attendance of the separate parks last year.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2001 10:50 AM
You mean you don't like Taco Bell Subway Pizza Hut food while you're there? :)

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Jeff (who could only wonder where the amusement park food had gone from this amusement park last Friday)
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:09 AM
If any of you actually looked around over at Wildlife, you would have noticed many eateries, such as the BBQ, the Swampwater Jack Cafe, and other various cafes and stands serving up fresh, yummy food.

Some people WANT the Taco Bells and Pizzas, and KFC'S and Subway. There is obviously a reason it is there.

LONG LIVE SIX FLAGS WORLDS OF ADVENTURE, MY HOME PARK.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2001 11:53 AM
Man, that outdoor grill at swampwater jack's looked amazing, I'm hoping to eat there later this year...now that you mention it.

It's not that I'm opposed to having coaster built over there completely, it just better fit in with the atmosphere damn well... I hope Six Flags lets the wildlife side be run the way it always has.
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Tuesday, May 29, 2001 12:59 PM
I expect next year that a new stadium for a whale to be built. The one now is old, i'd like to see a nice one that seats many people. Don't worry about Six Flags, they know what they have, they know they're drawing more peeps, they know the marine side is nice, they know what to do.
umkay

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HurricaneGeauga- Just in case
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Tuesday, June 5, 2001 9:34 AM
If they put some rides in there , I'd like to see them as a little more on the mellow, quite side like the Ferris wheel would be excellent there. you could see all the nice landscaping .The yo-yo would also be nice. keep the thrill rides on the other side of the park.
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Tuesday, June 5, 2001 9:39 AM
The whole thing about the whale situation is that SFWoA is on a waiting list to receive one. A couple of workers on the ferry (I mean pontoon boats) were saying that there are only a couple of places that actually breed the whales and there are parks that submitted requests for whales long before SFWoA. And even when they get one, it's gonna take years before the whales will be trained well enough to do Shamu-type shows. So if you were looking for a whale 'fast-track' don't hold your breath.
lata,
jeremy
--Raptor-Hater
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Tuesday, June 5, 2001 10:02 AM
I see what you're saying Clarkbar, the Busch Garden parks are kept so clean and pretty. If you can ever come down here to Orlando, you'll be blown away by SWF. The park is beautiful, just like you described the one in Ohio. And the Key West area where you can feed/pet dolphins is incredible. I don't know if you have something like it up there, if not, that's what they need to build. Down here, you buy 4 fish for $4, hold the fish out, and the dolphin comes out of the water. You pet them, then give them the fish. But what's so incredible is that the tank is in a tropical setting just like Key West, it's huge, music playing, and hundreds of kids hang over the side waiting to pet the dolphins while parents and employees take pictures. SWF used to have a little pool for their dolphins, nothing big, you'd walk by and keep going. But this new Key West area just blows it away, we hang out there for hours. We're going to Discovery Cove in July to swim with them. Most people don't realize that you can spend an entire day at SWF. It's not just a couple hour stop while going to other parks in Orlando, it's a full day.

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Robin Fox - "I see Stars, Can You See Them Too?"
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Tuesday, June 5, 2001 11:01 AM
Ok, I have ALOT to comment on, so here I go...

1.)This year the employees seem extremely nice, on both sides.
2.)The park is always clean when I have gone.
3.)I will admit, the atmosphere is great, and when I went a few fridays ago, I only rode Villain and just was at the WL side all day, it's very relaxing.
4.)SF is trying to complete the atmosphere all around, they have started to landscape on the WR side just as well as the WL side, so they are really trying, believe me they realize it needs some work.
5.)How did the Baywatch Ski-Show fit if Batman doesn't?
6.)If they would have went with cobblestone (which IMO would be better) the path would not have been ready by May 5th. They only had one other way across, 10 passenger boats, I don't think so! That was probably because of time. I also enjoyed the path, it was very relaxing.
7.)You must have talked to one of the few employees who feel that way, all the ones I have talked to were very enthusiastic about what was to come. Also, with two other WL parks, SF knows what they are doing.
8.)Most of all, they ARE trying, it's not gonna happen overnight, and I am sure if we realize how good the WL side is SF does too, they will do as much as they can, don't think for a minute that they are going to spend $110 million and let it go to waste, not gonna happen. I really think SF is trying to get rid of their rep. with this park.

Notice the words I, and IMO (In My Opinion), please use your brain before responding to this, thanks!

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"Villain-Once You Drop, The Fun Don't Stop!"~SFWoA Rules In 2001~X Marks The Spot In 2001(SFWoA)~With SFWoA ANYTHING Is Possible! *** This post was edited by B&M-TYCOON on 6/5/2001. ***
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Tuesday, June 5, 2001 11:24 AM
Nice comments B&M-Tycoon and I'll have to agree that it's going to become a great park with time. It's already pretty darn good IMO. I'll finally get to ride X-Flight in a couple weeks and I'm very excited. It's getting right up there with the best of the "Flags" for an all around family experience. You really can't beat it. I hope their safety is up over last year though.
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