Crawling across the screen of the Six Flags America home page, I noticed a warning, "Our Operating Hours Have Changed, Click Here for Specific Dates and Times". Sure enough, an hour has been shaved off each operating day the park is open to the public.
You might want to check the schedules of any Six Flags park you plan to visit in the next couple of months.
I was thinking the same thing. They always decrease the hours. SFA already has restricted hours to begin with. They can't stay open past 10:00. The park usually stays open until 10:00 on Friday and Saturday nights in the Summer, making it hard to schedule any sort of "enthusiast event".
It just seems really weird to me. And they wonder why the parks aren't making as much $ as they'd like. Especially with this heat, which I'm reasonably sure would keep people from going to the park untill it started cooling down at night. I was thinking of a quick trip tomorrow, but the heat would keep me away (don't have the time, unfortunately, for a stop at Hurricane Harbor, and I mainly want to get some coaster time in.). *** Edited 7/31/2006 4:14:15 PM UTC by ilovethewildone***
Yep, SFDL did the same thing... Is this across the board for SF parks? The reason I don't like this is that a lot of times I go to Darien Lake after work, get there around 5:30 or 6. 4 hours is enough time to ride the stuff I want to ride, grab a bite to eat, and catch LaserBlast to end the night. Now, closing at 9, I'd feel rushed to do the things I want to do, and who knows if they are still doing the laser show now? Is it even dark enough at 9pm? Smooth move, Six Flags. Really smooth...
If Snyder and Shapiro had ANY belief that this was going to be a quick turnaround involving just paint and characters, they're finding out differently...they were doing SO well before the season really got under way, then.... :-/
Personally, *if* I were to cut operating hours, it would come at the beginning of the day, not at the end...
Have to disagree with you there Gator. While I personally would prefer that, when it comes to mom, dad, and the children, they want to get to the park at the earlier hour and leave also at an earlier time.
I checked SFGAm's schedule and it hasn't changed so I am assuming that the lower attending parks are getting the reduced operating schedule.
Earlier closings might be in part an attempt to control that teen "hangout" problem at parks like SFA but given that this is also happening at SFDL, I doubt it. Its just a moneysaver at the expense of the parkgoer. Or it might be an effort to force more people to buy Flashpasses to get enough rides into the limited time that they have.
Some parks like LC close early because their attendance is not yet high enough to justify longer hours. Others close early because they primarily attract families with kids or because their daytrip visitors come from an hour or two away and need to leave early. SFA is not such a park at present so I ask, is their attendance dropping significantly?
I was thinking the same thing Gator. However, I know in SFA's case, that would affect the Day Camps that come to the park during the day.
Perhaps a phased opening would be better. You don't need to open the water park at 10:30, instead 11:30. Gotham City could open later, the same with Southwest Territory.
Arthur, I can't tell if their attendance has dropped significantly or not. I use to be able to tell by the number of cars and buses in the parking lot. But this season they added premium parking and that messed up my method.
There could be any number of reasons for a drop in attendance:
No New Attractions to market in 2006
Increase in the General Admission Price
Increase in the Parking Price
The addition of Premium Parking lots which are less than 20% full.
A wet June (the Washigton Area broke a record for rainfall) and the past couple of weeks have been hot.
It also didn't help when Shapiro said SFA would be a no touch park if the community responded to the changes.
The conference call should be interesting to listen to on Wednesday.
Also, in looking at the schedules of several parks, and I'm not positive, but it appears it's not just SFA and SFDL who have had hours reduced.
*** Edited 7/31/2006 5:51:29 PM UTC by coasterguts***
I wonder, in general, how many people are in the park those last hours anyway. Not necessarily trying to defend the decision, but I remember a few years ago, I loved going to SFA on friday nights because the park closed at 10, but the last (public transportation) bus left around 9pm. The final hour would be like a ghost town which was great for re-rides, but perhaps not the greatest for business. I did, however, notice that, in the case of SFA, none of the Fright Fest hours have been changed...yet. ;)
lata, jeremy --who wonders if the DC curfew had anything to do with it...naaaaah!
In response to 2Hostyl's post about FrightFest, SFDL's last day as of right now is 10/1, meaning no FrightFest. FrightFest has also been removed from the Shows/Festivals page... I'm liking this new regime less and less today!