SFWoA + Low Expectations = Satisfaction!

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Thursday, August 16, 2001 9:55 PM
Ok, I'll try not to be too long here (for once). I went to Six Flags WoA today, and I found that the key to enjoying this place is just not to expect too much out of it. I expected prices to be ridiculous and lines to move slow (hey at least Double Loop was running 2 trains today), but I still had a great time. I think someone on this board had a sig at one time that said something like "A bad day at an amusement park is better than a good day at work." I hold this to be very true. I was at a park, riding rides, playing games, and having a good time (although the ridiculous prices stopped me from buying a shot glass - why pay 5 bucks for a shotglass when I got a Phantom's Revenge coffee mug for 4 bucks last week?)

I went with a friend who has never been to another Ohio park besides CP. Since he is not even remotely close to being an enthusiast, the discussion of the day revolved heavily around non-coaster things (like our real lives and the good looking girls around the park). I really didn't tell him much about my opinion on the park, but noticed he thought the place was dirty. "This place could be nice if they cleaned it up. It's pretty trashy." (quote from him in Villain line after seeing the "pop bottle corner" of the queue). He also had quite a few comments on the prices. I don't think SF will have continued success with this park if they continue to run it the way they do. They are just running prices inside the park into the ground, exploiting everything that can make them money. This is not a good reputation for a park to get as it gives people another reason to check out the more moderately priced competing park. I believe a lot of people who come this year do so because they are curious to check out the new park in the area (SF markets this like it's a new park). These are families who usually make the yearly trek to Cedar Point and who are willing to give up a year to check out something else. In the end, I think people leave SFWoA dissatisfied with what they got for their money and will plan to go to CP the following summer after their curiosity to check out SF has died. Just my $0.02.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a little conversation I had with employees on the WildLife side of the park (I won't divulge particulars to protect the identies of the innocent...:) )

Something had happened where a group of employees were standing around a manager and complaining when one of the employees looked at my friend and I and said, "Six Flags sucks! Don't ever come back here. The company is horrible. Don't give Six Flags your money." After this, the other employees kept talking to themselves and I said to another employee closer to me, "So, I take it that Sea World were better bosses than Six Flags." She replied, "Oh you wouldn't believe how much better. I still call myself a Sea World employee. I don't want to be associated with Six Flags. There is such a difference between the two companies." I responded, "Yeah, I notice a huge difference between the employees and the look of this side and the other side." "Thanks," she said, "there is a huge difference between this side and over there. Problem is that there is also a big difference between the Sea World side this year and last year. It used to be so much better."

So there's an employee's perspective. Sort of reminds me of the movie, Fierce Creatures. I thought it funny that my friend and I played a few air hockey games in the arcade on the Sea World side and each game cost 2 tokens. When we decided we wanted to play later on the WildLife side, the air hockey game in the Gold Nugget arcade cost 4 tokens! We laughed and didn't even play. I think there is a huge difference between the 2 sides and that just shows a small part of it. How long until prices are inflated on the Wildlife side, too?

I want to reiterate that I did have a great day at the park. I was away from the piddling problems of my real life, and I spent a day with one of my good friends doing one of the things I love best...riding roller coasters. The weather even decided to cooperate. All in all, a great day, but I really wish Six Flags could just do better.

So much for being short!

It's a simple equation: CCI + CP = #1 Wooden Coaster!
Thursday, August 16, 2001 10:01 PM
It's good to hear that you and your friend had a good time. Were you able to get a ride on X-Flight?

"Duff Man Says... Ohhhhh Yaaaaa!"
Current Favorite Coasters:
1)Raging Bull 2)Millennium Force 3)Medusa (SFMW) 4)Vertical Velocity (SFGAm) 5)Dueling Dragons (Ice)
Friday, August 17, 2001 1:10 PM
I agree. I think that as enthusiast, we get too hyped up about rides and expect too much. Low expectations is the key to a good time.

SFWOA is gonna suck when I go there on tuesday! *** This post was edited by scanz on 8/17/2001. ***
Friday, August 17, 2001 7:09 PM
Mooreon quoted an employee saying, "Six Flags sucks,.... Sea World was better."

It seems that the only thing that the employee is not complaining about is his/her PAYCHECK. YES, you know the slip of paper that allows someone to buy necessary items or buy items of pleasure? First off, the employee was not asked by Six Flags to work there. They chose to work there. If Sea World was much better, they would have quit Six Flags right away or would have been at another Sea World. Let them complain all they want. The attitude has become persistent. However, let me share some facts or some realities.
1)How many people are ever on the Wildlife side?
There are days where there are 35,000 people in the park and 33,000 are on the rides side.Not the wildlife side. I don;t know about you but people go to ride the rides for the most part. Sea World under Busch was losing a hell of alot of money, henceforth, they sold it. The existing Sea Worlds all have more than just wildlife like the one in orlando which offers rides like Kraken and Atlantis. Busch realized that there was no market for them.
2) Why is the Wildlife side so much cleaner?
Hmm... look at the number of people over there on an average day. There are not too many of them.The less people= the less trash. No need to go on about that.
3) Why are Wildlife employees friendlier?
Well, when you encounter a small amount of attendance- that means less guest service. Hey, maybe if i worked over there and talked to 3 people- there would be less guest complaints.

Just a few realities to ponder. As a matter of fact, park services run by former SEA WORLD PEOPLE is doing a half- assed job. Six Flags looked alot better than it does today. Moreover, a former Sea World GM, who is 2nd in charge behind SFWOA Gm, does not know much about rides and he thinks he is superior.

I could continue on complaining and *****in about the other side, but I won;t. Let them be the immature ones to talk bad about Six Flags. It is only after these certain employees realize the need to lose their attitudes about Six Flags that they will be better employees. It is over and done. Six Flags bought Sea World Ohio.

As for the park enthusiast, prices have grown ridiculous, trash is absurd. I couldn;t agree more. Parkin is a rip. However, tell the park how you feel- drop them a line or too.

Friday, August 17, 2001 10:44 PM
Here come the replies:

StealthmF5m3: Yes, we rode X-Flight. It was my third time all year and my friend's first. Yes, he was blown away. Even though they were running 2 trains, trains were being dispatched at about 5 minute intervals, so the wait (a full queue) was just over and hour and a half. I really can't fault the ride crew here. They were busting their butts to get restraints checked. There just weren't enough of them. At one point, two ride ops were checking the whole train.

Youngstown: By the tone of your post, I am assumming that you are an employee of the Wild Rides section of the park. I also sense that there is some animosity between employees on both sides of the park. Transitions are usually rough, I guess.

Youngstown said:
"First off, the employee was not asked by Six Flags to work there. They chose to work there. If Sea World was much better, they would have quit Six Flags right away or would have been at another Sea World. Let them complain all they want."

That's a little harsh, wouldn't you say? I'm sure a Sea World employee would pack up and leave Ohio to go to Cali, Florida, or Texas just to stay with the Sea World chain... And there are many aspects to these people's jobs that I'm sure they enjoy even if they are correct about the management sucking. Many people who work on the Wildlife section of the park are, gasp, actually interested in their jobs!!! (a characteristic I don't notice so much in employees on the rides section of the park - I'm not saying all or even most, but there are definitely a BUNCH of apathetic employees over there). Many of the Wildlife people love working with animals and people so much that I'm sure they can look past the new management and still enjoy their jobs, so therefore, they stay at the park. Besides, since alot of employees are just working for the summer before they go back to school, I'm sure they would rather just wait out the summer and not come back rather than just quitting.

Youngstown said:
"Why are Wildlife employees friendlier?
Well, when you encounter a small amount of attendance- that means less guest service. Hey, maybe if i worked over there and talked to 3 people- there would be less guest complaints."

If that would be the case, then wouldn't parks like Cedar Point and Disney World be overflowing with guest complaints due to the large volumes of people who attend there? Yet, CP employees are considered to be the some of the friendliest anywhere. I don't think the number of people who visit really has anything to do with how friendly the employees are. Sea World employees have always had a reputation of being friendly, when the park drew a lot of people and when they didn't.

Youngstown also said:
"As a matter of fact, park services run by former SEA WORLD PEOPLE is doing a half- assed job. Six Flags looked alot better than it does today."

I'm not exactly sure what all falls under "park services" but whoever was running it last year (couldn't have been Sea World people) was also doing a half-assed job. I don't know about you, but I don't think Six Flags Ohio was much better last year than this year.

I realize this statement will be a sweeping generalization, but Busch seems to run their parks better than Six Flags. Compare any Busch amusement park to any SF park, and almost everyone will agree that the QUALITY of the overall experience is better (I'm not talking about just the rides, but the whole experience.)
They also seem to have everything together in terms of how they manage their parks. Well, I would hardly call park operations at SFWoA "together" so I'm sure the old Sea World employees are just having a hard time adjusting. You could be right Youngstown because after all, I don't work there, but I just thought I'd share the little discussion I had.

All in all, I really don't think SF is totally to blame for the rough transition. I mean they have transferred old Geagua Lake and Sea World to a mega park in two years, so there's bound to be some rough spots. I do think that a little bit of common sense could have smoothed things out a bit, but since when do people have sense? I only hope they have the sense to realize that they can't continue to operate their park as they are doing now if they want continued success.

It's late, I'm tired, and I am just realizing that a good night's sleep is much more important than Six Flags to me right now.

It's a simple equation: CCI + CP = #1 Wooden Coaster!
Saturday, August 18, 2001 6:25 AM
I agree with all your Wildlife praising... I love that side of the park! The employees are very knowledgable, and most of them are adults so they are very courteous and filled with information. I've seen one lady work at the Sea Lion exhibit, the Bat Ray Cove, and that little pond near the Aquarium. She really DID know a lot! She wasn't reading off a sheet or anything, but by memory.

I asked her how many gallons of water the Bat Ray Cove held, and she knew the answer right away.. but checked her sheet, and realize she was off a little. Oh well, I love the employees on that side.

Oh, and going off the subject, did you know they sold Fastlane on the WL side? :)

Chris B.
Saturday, August 18, 2001 8:35 PM
Before the parks were together under the Six Flags name, Sea World regularly had more visitors and more repeat visitors than Geauga Lake did despite the fact that Sea World's regular prices were higher than Geauga Lake's prices were.

In addition I know that there were many schools who regularly took certain classes to Sea World every year because it was an educational experience. Many of these schools also went there this year because 1) they didn't have time to change their plans when they found out that Six Flags bought the place, and 2) They didn't realize that they would be unable to keep their students from running off to the rides section of the park, as most students did. These schools will not be coming back to the park in future years. The Toledo or Detroit zoo's will be future destinations for these schools.

I am writing this in response to those people who seem to think that rides are the only reason that people come to SFWoA. There are many people, including my parents, who enjoyed going to Sea World because it was a nice relaxing day where they could go and learn about animals and see some neat shows. My parents are thoroughly disgusted with what has happened to the sea life park. To say that 33,000 of 35,000 people who come to the park come for the rides is a gross misleading statement. There are many people who come just to see the aminals.
Saturday, August 18, 2001 8:45 PM
I agree with alot said here, too much to comment on though. I also agree that the WL side is wonderful.

Currently SF is bringing more of that side to the WR side, the landscaping, and alot of other things. I think in the future with a little bit of planning, and alot of money SF will basically turn the whole park into the WL side, but it will have rides and everything mixed in.

I am glad to see you gave it a chance. You have to remember what this park was built for, not very large crowds, that's why they have the small midways, they basically doubled their size in 1 year, and added 5 coasters in 2 years. It will get better, and when it does, I will be first in line for my season pass.

"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!

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