Obviously the fault lies with the tour bus and it sounds like they are taking the heat.
However my question is, how did they produce valid tickets? Surely the park didn't provide them... or did they? Was the bus driver simply going to buy all the tickets once they arrived?
The whole thing sounds fishy to me, mostly because I have been in the ticketing industry for 11 years now. I cannot imagine someone supplying in-house tickets to a tour group when they have not been purchased from the main destination in the first place.
Aside from all of that, here's a chance for SF's Marketing/PR folks to manufacture an image touchdown.
The PR team should jump all over this and make the new date a big ol party for the kids... maybe give them freebie tickets, do a special party blah blah blah. That way they become the savior although not responsible for the fiasco. The kids, the parents, the school, and likely the news would eat it up. Money can't buy that type of publicity.
I was working the phones off season at a waterpark a few years back. Got a call from a hysterical mother that driven 2 hours dropped her kids off at the park midweek when things were still in weekend operation. She was angry and wanted to know why the park wasn't open. Explaned that the park was never scheduled to be open She then wanted to know my name, my bosses name and the corporate number claiming that I had put her children in danger by closing the park. I recommended that next time she drive 2 hours and drop her kids off at a park she check the operating schedule..and she didn't like that at all.
I'm guessing they received some type of printed voucher from the tour company that had to be exchanged at group sales for an actual admission ticket. I know a lot of people like to knock Six Flags but I can't see them printing actual tickets for a day the park isn't open.
Reminded me of the the time I drove to Montreal to go to La Ronde. Supposedly, we were going to be there on the last operating day of the season. We arrived in Montreal on Sunday Sept. 4th late. Spent the night and got up early to head to the park. We got all the way to the front gate before realizing it was closed for the season. Sunday, the previous day was the last day. I had gotten the schedule from the previous year calendar....stupid mistake. And I still haven't been to La Ronde!
A few years ago (before the days of every park having a website) I alsmost did the same thing with Conneaut Lake park. At the time they were closed on Monday's and Tuesday (if I recall right). We were going to go on Tuesday, but ended up going Wednesday for some reason. I lucked out... (Course it only would have been a 75 minute drive that can be pleasant across Ohio and part of PA.)
In 1992 I redeemed some Frequent Flyer Points and made a Xmas Trip to Mexico City to check out LA MONTANA RUSA at Chapultepec Park. After getting there I found out they were refurbishing the Coaster! :( So I said @&#*!! and pulled out a Guidebook and found out that Mexico's answere to our Smithsonian was about a Mile away from the park, so I went there instead. I didn't get to rise that coaster, but I got to see Mexico City at Xmastime! ( Las Vegas EAT YOUR HEART OUT!!!) :)