Six Flags America 04/07/13

Saturday, April 13, 2013 2:48 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Disney (and now SFoT on NTG) just makes their rides move as you load. It's obvious that there is a deadline to you getting situated on the train.


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Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Saturday, April 13, 2013 3:00 PM

LostKause said:

I honestly do not know the answer to this particular question. Does SF as a company, and specifically at SFA, promote a culture of fast ride operators? I mean do they teach their employees to hustle the trains out of the station like Cedar Point does (or did when I worked there a long time ago, anyways?)

At one end of the spectrum you have the ideal "let's give great service all the time, and there will always be a market for a higher price service (pay to cut)," and at the other end you have "let's give crap service*, and that will force people to buy the higher price service (pay to cut)." I would say that Six Flags varies widely between the 2 extremes... while Cedar Point stays on the "lets give our best service 100% of the time" end.

That's my rough explanation (I know it has been explained before and will be again by people who can do it better than me), and just my experience. There will always be an employee at any part (say SFA for example) that is really busting it and will always do their best, but the whole experience is taken down because the majority of employees there don't have the same ideal. And while the "ideal" is set by management, Six Flags simply has a lower ideal or standard. Did I actually make any sense? Or none as usual?

With this method of service/ideals, Six Flags is guaranteed short-term success (money), while places like Cedar Point, Holiday World, Knoebel's, etc., are guaranteed long-term success. Six Flags has a history of changing their game plan every few years (and losing or threatening to lose parks (Magic Mountain most recently)). They are very inconsistent.

*By "crap service" I really mean that the service is excellent sometimes, depending on the park and employee but many times the service is slow, indifferent, etc...

Last edited by GayCoasterGuy, Saturday, April 13, 2013 3:06 PM
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Saturday, April 13, 2013 3:29 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

In the past 5 years or so, I've found the service/experience between SF parks and CF parks is practically indistinguishable.


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Saturday, April 13, 2013 3:47 PM

^I would say that Cedar Point and Great America are outstanding standouts in their respective chains. Service at Carowinds, KD and MiA seemed way below the Cedar Point standard, and the other SF were bad. Of course I am biased towards Great America, but the service has really risen in the past few years. And of course, we have the best coaster line-up, but that's a different discussion ;)

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Saturday, April 13, 2013 4:02 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Been to SFA 3 times and the worst thing I ever had to deal with was a 2 hour wait for Batwing it's opening year. Running 2 trains.

I think that the atmosphere is different, but, then it's just outside of Baltimore & D.C., not the kindest, friendlies place in the world.


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Saturday, April 13, 2013 4:05 PM

Tek, in an earlier post, I was going to mention geographic location and available employee quality depending on location but didn't want to sound like I was hating on that area...but you could have something there.


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Sunday, April 14, 2013 12:15 AM
LostKause's avatar

You made perfect sense, Billy.

Gonch said:

In the past 5 years or so, I've found the service/experience between SF parks and CF parks is practically indistinguishable.

Would you say that is because they now meet somewhere in the middle, or because one has gotten worse or better?

Being the park that I visit the most these days, my limited opinion is that Kings Island does an okay job. People don't rush in and out of the trains like my experience with Cedar Point, but they don't lollygag.

I haven't been to CP in about 7 years now. I got burned out working there. I am planning to go back this year though.

I haven't been to a SF park in about the same amount of time, for different reasons.


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Sunday, April 14, 2013 12:58 AM
Vater's avatar

Tekwardo said:

I think that the atmosphere is different, but, then it's just outside of Baltimore & D.C., not the kindest, friendlies place in the world.

I live just outside DC. What the &%#@ do you know, you *$&#@ &#@^! piece of #&*!@# #*$^@!$?

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Sunday, April 14, 2013 2:11 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:

Being the park that I visit the most these days, my limited opinion is that Kings Island does an okay job.

I think, on average, that's the case at both chains.

I actually agree with Billy in that each chain seems to have parks that perform well and other that perform less than well.

On average, in general (smile) - the experience at both chains is very comparable. It's big corporate regional theme park 101...and that's not necessarily a bad thing.


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Sunday, April 14, 2013 12:50 PM

I remember a couple years ago the Six Flags parks were competing with each other on who had the highest capacity on any given "type" of coaster across the chain. For example, SFGreat America had the highest hourly capacity for Superman over Superman at Great Adventure and Tatsu at Magic Mountain. That capacity was 777. They were displaying dry-erase boards at different coasters with the results. It's a kinda-sorta cool idea, and may get 4 people interested in other rides across the chain. But in the end, it just reminded me how sad their numbers are. Of course, to someone who isn't privy to coaster nerd stuff (or cares), or hasn't worked at a park, the numbers probably look impressive. "Holy cow! They put 777 people on this ride in one hour!!!" (As a train with 9 empty seats rushes by...)

I would be curious to see what the highest capacity the flying coaster at Six Flags America was in a given year. One thing is for sure, the ride is better than the B&M Superman flyers :)

Last edited by GayCoasterGuy, Sunday, April 14, 2013 12:53 PM
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Sunday, April 14, 2013 1:27 PM
rollergator's avatar

The number on the board at SFGAm's Deja Vu was 432.

They forgot the decimal.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013 1:38 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

GayCoasterGuy said:

Of course, to someone who isn't privy to coaster nerd stuff (or cares), or hasn't worked at a park, the numbers probably look impressive. "Holy cow! They put 777 people on this ride in one hour!!!" (As a train with 9 empty seats rushes by...)

So basically everyone? Or at least everyone that matters...the vast majority, so to speak. :)

If these parks were really as horrible as the forums would lead you to believe, they'd be out of business.

Maybe some of the stuff enthusiasts get hung up on really doesn't matter?


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Sunday, April 14, 2013 1:53 PM
Vater's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

Maybe some of the stuff enthusiasts get hung up on really doesn't matter?

But it does matter. Once inside the gate, enthusiasts are all-knowing and the GEEE PEEE are drooling, knuckle-dragging imbeciles who don't know any better.

Last edited by Vater, Sunday, April 14, 2013 1:53 PM
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Sunday, April 14, 2013 11:21 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

Maybe some of the stuff enthusiasts get hung up on really doesn't matter?

You have a good point... At the same time, I've seen tons of GEEE PEEE pissed off at SF parks. They get frustrated waiting in the guest relations queue, so they leave with out getting their complaint logged. Or they never even get to guest relations and walk out "they don't care anyway." And as long as they are making a profit currently, sure - it doesn't matter. I'm mostly referring to SF parks, who change their strategy every few years.

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Sunday, April 14, 2013 11:53 PM
WildStangAlex's avatar

I will say, from my experience, that Six Flags Great America seems to not be part of the whole Six Flags stereotype. Every time I have ever gone all coasters (except occasionally one side of Eagle early in the season) have had at least two trains. And with that, they seem to try hard to get the dispatch times as short as possible. This is especially apparent with Raging Bull's countdown clock. I can say I was very impressed with X-Flights dispatch times last summer as well. Maybe you guys will think I'm nuts, but I love the operations at my home Six Flags park.


"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

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Monday, April 15, 2013 2:01 AM
LostKause's avatar

We might use the term to differentiate between coaster nerds and normal people, but I haven't heard anything negative about the infamous General Public in a very long time.

Heck, I would argue that enthusiasts ARE "GEEE PEEE" while we are in the park.


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Monday, April 15, 2013 8:16 AM
Jeff's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
If these parks were really as horrible as the forums would lead you to believe, they'd be out of business.

I disagree with this. The regional nature of many parks means there are rarely direct competitors, or a frame of reference to how a "good" park should be run. I think there is an argument to be made that people don't know any better, that long lines from slow operation is normal.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, April 15, 2013 11:47 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

But then the end result is the same - it doesn't matter.


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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 12:29 PM
sirloindude's avatar

I think it does. I think that "nobody will notice" is a pretty poor reason for giving something less than one's best effort. It establishes a corportate culture of doing the absolute minimum to get by, and I would think that the troubled past of Six Flags would be enough incentive to put their best effort into their operations.


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Tuesday, April 16, 2013 1:42 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Is it less than their best effort? Seems you're veering off into a slightly different argument.

I contend that maybe - as inconceivable as it may be to some on these very forums - the capacity and throughput at Six Flags parks, while arguably lower than other big parks, is still high enough to satisfy their customer base.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Tuesday, April 16, 2013 1:42 PM
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