Operating Schedule changes at Six Flags

Monday, July 31, 2006 4:31 PM
After looking at sixflags.com, almost every park (maybe 5 or so don't) have had a hour cut off the schedule from now until Fright Fest (usually not on Fri. or Sat.). Some parks have had changes made to the Fright Fest schedule (not scheduled at SFDL anymore, days eliminated at others). I would suggest you check the schedule for each indivual park, because the may not be open on a day scheduled on the park brochure.
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Monday, July 31, 2006 4:39 PM
For a company that wanted institute nightime performances to keep guests in the parks longer to cancel Fright Fest at select parks boggles my mind a little bit.
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Monday, July 31, 2006 4:45 PM
Since SFDL is on the chopping block for the FF event, did this park pack in the crowds during Fright Fest?

If not, I can see why they discontinued it.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 5:12 PM
Well, unfortunately they always closed down 1/2 the park due to staffing / crowds / whatever, and this always pissed off a LOT of people. All rides past the viper were always closed.

Yes, the admission was discounted, but they never told you 1/2 the park was closed. I always heard complaints about it, and I really don't blame them. Either do a GOOD event (don't downsize EVERY year) or don't have one at all. I don't think the FF at SFDL will be missed.

The first year we had a HUGE (free) haunted house in the nightmare/batman building, haunted hayride tons of shows, and other haunted attractions.

Over the years, things were taken away (the only real addition being the "road rage cage", bumper cars with fog/music)

They took things out from the haunted houses and spread them around the park. Brutal Planet has an additional charge, the haunted hayride (which was really good IMO) dissapeared, and so did the other haunted attractions.

Last year, Fright Fest consisted of corn stalks around the park, orange lights at some places, and a really small extra-charge haunted house. in a nutshell. *** Edited 7/31/2006 9:15:22 PM UTC by SFDL_Dude***

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Monday, July 31, 2006 5:58 PM
Hmmmmmm..... can you imagine the pile of Money that Six Flags would save if the close their parks at 9 instead of 10? All that elecrical that can be saved and so much more.. but of course, it's bad for us!
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Monday, July 31, 2006 6:43 PM
I asked a manager about the hours change while at SFA today. He said that since some of the parks experience a significant drop in attendance after 6PM and especially after the water parks close at 8PM, as a cost saving effort it was decided to reduce operations during weekdays at some parks.
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Monday, July 31, 2006 9:30 PM
I'm also wondering how much electricity rates going up in Maryland (anywhere from 30 to 70%) factored into the decision to close early. I'm wondering if this wasn't budgeted for?
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Monday, July 31, 2006 9:42 PM

Chitown said:
1. Sheryl Crow

2. Godsmack

3. Black Eyed Peas

4. Rob Zombie

5. Pussycat Dolls

6. Aerosmith

7. Motley Crue


I think I'd pay money to *not* have to sit through any of those.

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Monday, July 31, 2006 10:47 PM

Chitown said:
Since SFDL is on the chopping block for the FF event, did this park pack in the crowds during Fright Fest?

If not, I can see why they discontinued it.


Another thought here, since it is on the chopping block, period, not just for Halloween - an early close could be at the request of a future owner to allow more time for 'de-branding'.

Or maybe I've just been drinking too much coffee today and can't help but add idle speculation to the discussion... ...actually, the more I think about it - it must be the coffee... :)

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Monday, July 31, 2006 11:17 PM
Odd Todd, that's a pretty logical explanation. Why sink money into a Halloween event at a park you're selling anyway?

That makes sense to me.

X Factor

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Monday, July 31, 2006 11:59 PM
No, I don't dislike CF for discontinuing Haunt (although I heard it was awesome). No, I don't like CF for cancelling WinterFest. However, Haunt was NEVER on the schedule this year. FrightFest @ SFDL was, and happens to be my favorite time of year at the park even though half of it is closed. That's what irritates me, when I bought my season pass it included FrightFest as well as 10pm closes all summer long. Goodbye night rides on SRoS...
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Tuesday, August 1, 2006 12:03 AM
If they're claiming a big loss in the crowds after 6:00, why not try instituting a twilight admission plan? It's a big draw in places like Hershey, Kennywood and even Knoebels with their Wed. and Fri. Bargain Nights.

You can't even get out of HP's parking lot till 10:30 or 10:45 on a weeknight with a 10:00 close. And many of them are families with kids, even babies. So not all families are home in bed by 9:00.

If you can get a few hundred cars out to Elysburg, surely you can draw some of the after work (family) crowd in places like Atlanta, San Antonio, and suburban DC.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006 12:15 AM
I think all reductions in hours suck. Whether it is Cedar Fair reducing King's Island at the beginning or Six Flags doing it at the end. I'm sure the cost-benefit analysis shows that they don't have enough guests in the parks at the extremes...so they make a quick decision to do the obvious.

Stuff like this cuts into that "perceived value" we always talk about. One of the great values of the amusement park pay one price system was the fact you could get a whole day of entertainment for the buck. Guys like me take full advantage of smaller crowds early in the day...and/or late at night. Open too late and/or close too early and I take my money to the zoo, baseball game, etc as I've no desire to spend my day waiting in lines.

Of coures this in the enthusiast in me talking. The business guy understands. Sadly though...as I age...it is stuff like this that makes me less of an enthusiast than I used to be. I don't want to have to rush my whole day to get everything in. I prefer to plan ahead an enjoy the atmosphere.

P.S. Does this park still open at 11:00 am? This is rediculously late for a dry park in my opinion...combine that with an early closing and you can bet your butt I'll actually go look at some of those monuments the next time I'm in D.C.! :-)

P.P.S. It is a little early I guess...but anybody else starting to get the feeling Shapiro was all hot air? There has not been a lot of good news on the Six Flags front this summer...at least nothing that makes me or anybody (?) want to run and take the "family." I still think the entire company is nothing more than a REIT.

*** Edited 8/1/2006 4:21:59 AM UTC by Jeffrey R Smith***

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006 12:42 AM
SFDL already offered an after 5:00PM admission, and frequently advertised lower after 5 rates on pepsi cans back in the day... I wonder if they will change it to after 4:00 now, or lower the price... -- i highly doubt it.

EDIT: hmm... maybe they don't offer it this year? (or they just stopped offering it?) -- I see it's not listed on the website... i'm proud of them actually updating the thing by the way, after 5 years twister is finally listed as a ride int he park so i can stop brining it up in every six flags website thread :P *** Edited 8/1/2006 4:45:19 AM UTC by SFDL_Dude***

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006 8:06 AM
SFA opens at 10:30.

I don't think Shapiro is full of hot air. I think he took over at the wrong time of the season. When things were already set in stone and four parks had already started their three major coasters and adding 10 flat rides for 2006.

As for SFDL, it wouldn't surprise me if it's announced during the conference call tomorrow that the park has been sold and the sale will close by 10/1.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006 9:08 AM
This doesn't make any sense at all.

These operating hour changes were handed down from the Six Flags corporate office as across-the-board operating hour cuts, made with no regard for their impact on the specific parks. How do I know this? I was at Wyandot Lake yesterday, where they closed an hour early (7pm instead of 8pm) in response to a telephone call from the New York office.

Never mind that the park was PACKED at 6:30 when the waterpark closed.

'Gator already gave my thoughts on this one. I understand shaving an hour off of the operating day. But why in the hell is this park still opening at 10:00 am? Wyandot Lake should be opening at Noon and closing at 9:00pm most weekdays. Especially with the heat we've been having the past few days, which is PERFECT for a waterpark! Don't close the park early, either throwing out paying customers or convincing them not to come late in the day...instead, open the park late, since nobody comes in the early part of the day anyway!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006 10:08 AM
I was at SFoG yesterday. It closed at 9PM instead of 10PM. It was a phenomenally stupid thing to do, because it was rather packed. Infact, the whole day was really busy for a Monday. It also bummed me out coz I was denied a Mindbender night ride. Got a Goliath one though, last train of the night. THAT was cool.
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Tuesday, August 1, 2006 10:09 AM
See, Dave, ever since my initial reaction of "well, open the park later in the day", I've been pondering the pros and cons of both options. CERTAINLY you make a good point that parks should be treated *individually* in order to maximize revenue and minimize cost for EACH park. (For instance, I don't recommend an on-site hotel for every park, LOL).

Those parks that DO a good brisk early-am business MIGHT very well be better-served to open early and close early. My gut instinct tells me more parks make more money by opening a bit later and staying open later. Having a hard time believing that the cost of the lights is more expensive than it is revenue-generating (creates a delightful atmosphere after dark that I personally find exceptionally conducive to buying food, drinks and souvenirs). Plus, being cooler, it's more enjoyable for the guests *and* for the employees.

Also, we're not in the 1950s anymore, Ward and June don't put the Beav to bed at 8pm... ;)

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Tuesday, August 1, 2006 4:01 PM
Just another indication that the writing is on the wall for Six Flags. I bet tomorrow's announcement will include fairly significant attendance declines at many properties.
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Tuesday, August 1, 2006 4:05 PM
Pete, check your PMs... :)
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