Six Flags Announces Nation's Best Theme Park VIP Program

Thursday, March 15, 2007 4:46 PM
I posted this in the news item, not sure if it's been posted here because I haven't read the thread yet and don't have time right now:

A "complimentary attraction" is included?

Are they going to GIVE me a rollercoaster? :)

Another thing I don't like is the past-tense language regarding the VIP host training: "..each was recruited..."; "...completed an elite guest relations training program..."

Dorney started an almost identical program last year, $200/person, except I don't think it included all meals (just "call-ahead reservations") and was only 5-hours, not all day. Also Dorney had an optional add-on for $50/hr if you wanted a dedicated security guard to walk around with you and the park-employed tour guide. ($100/hr if you want him carrying a gun) I know Dorney's had a minimum of 4 people in the group, though (maximum of 8). Oh, and you also got a FREE souvenir mug with UNLIMITED FREE SOFT DRINKS, JUST LIKE HOLIDAY WORLD!! :) (link for reference)

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 4:47 PM
Its interesting that you say the "privilege" thing is GETTING out of control. Seems to me that its actually more of a one-class society now than it ever has been. Look back to the formation of our country. There was a HUGE separation between the privileged and the commoner. Did you see the movie Titanic? It wasn't a matter of getting in before other people. It was putting people on totally separate places of the ship with finishes and services that couldn't be at further edges of the spectrum.

I could see your point if the VIP people got their own trains or something like that. I think people are making a way bigger deal out of this than it really is. Its a perk you can have by paying for it. Its the same as being able to afford a BMW over a Hyundai.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 5:06 PM

Maybe it's just my aversion to this whole "privilege" thing, which is getting way out of hand. What happened to everyone being on the same level- no resentment because everyone had to wait in the same line for the same level of service?

It's always been there, you're just getting to an age/point in life where you see it more and more.

My point with the ticket/POP thing is why do we draw the line of resentment inside the park. It's a tired arguement, but what about the folks struggling to put food on the table who resent you for being able to visit the park in the first place? "You big baby, at least you get to go!"

I have absolutely no problem with such things. If I'm not using a Q-bot, I don't resent those that do. If I am, I don't resent those with a gold-bot. If I have the gold, I don't resent the presence of VIP's. I either don't care because I don't see the value or I wish I was in their shoes and if I want it bad enough, it's up to me to make it so.


Knoebels ticket-holders might be miffed that they can't ride endlessly like those people with POP wristbands but it's not like the wristband people are getting to cut to the front of the line or getting a whole bunch of extra perks. The only advantage they have is that their tickets never run dry- a premium perk that they paid a premium for.

What about parks that offer extras for passholders? Pki does double rides (or whatever their thing is), Dorney does free parking, Hershey does in-park discounts, SF does (did?) those ticket books for passholders. They get perks for paying a premium.

There's tons of examples that have always been there.

We're not all able to do things equally. It's nice to think and cute to say but the world has never worked that way.

I tend to resent good looking people who can get by on looks. Any one can get money if they try. Not everyone wins the genetic lottery. ;)

*** Edited 3/15/2007 9:08:10 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 5:17 PM
I think a lot of you guys would be surprised on how many people would pay for these privileges.

I work for nightclubs in Hollywood, we offer vip entrance with bottleservice, 2 bottles of liquor minimum, a bottle starts around $350 and we sell out 50-60 tables each and every week.

So if people rather pay $600 instead of $20 cover for vip treatment, they will pay $200+ for the services and perks six flags has to offer

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:10 PM
^^ For me, it's not that I really resent the people using Flash Pass so much as I resent the park for providing that "service". It's the park that allows people to be put on different "levels". I wish it were like the "old days" of PoP admission getting basically everybody the same access (provided height requirements were met, which is based on safety).
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Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:22 PM
Gee, Gonch don't get it. We're not upset with the people who can pay for privledge. We're upset at the parks that make it this way and affect us so called (NORMAL GUEST) for doing it.

Knoebels has tickets for a variety of reasons and even make you pay extra on the POP to ride the woodies. If I was old taking my grandkids id buy them POP and myself tickets for what I'd like to ride with them or if I was only visiting for a couple hours Id certainly buy ten bucks of tickets over 35 dollars POP. Thats a option and has been around since the 60's before that all things were ticket and almost always you waited in the same line everyone else did.

For the most part up until 1999 you waited in the same line everyone else did at almost any park save maybe Disney for a few things.

It's the park dummy, not those who can afford to pay it that gets my goat.

Chuck, who's sure if they offered some kind of 1000 dollar per day package some would pay it (Armed guard and all) Oh please look the other way when PINK walks by you or pay a grand for the priviledge *** Edited 3/15/2007 10:26:50 PM UTC by Charles Nungester***

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:23 PM
Jinx on Rablat! :)
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Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:39 PM
Yeah, I guess I don't get it.

I wish they offered more service levels like this.

Looks like you guys are in for a long road ahead of hating many places that provide the hobby you love. It's everywhere. VIP, Q-bots, FastPass, Express, whatever cute name they give it. Do you really think it's going to go away?

Heck, more parks jump on the bandwagon each season. Dolly's in bed with Q-bot now and SDC will probably follow if it works in Pigeon Forge. SF parks offer no less than 4 distinct levels of service. Pretty much every major park chain allows you to pay for privledges across their parks some with VIP deals, some for those who spend extra like hotel guests. Passholders have long gotten preferential treatment.

I think you're about 7 years too late in your 'stand' angaist the big evil parks doing this. These incentives and upgraded experiences stick around and continue to grow in use for a reason - people use them.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:45 PM
At Knoebels, $10 gets you 5 rides on Phoenix. At many parks $10 won't even get you into the park.

It's nice to have a place that does things differently. I like coasters but I don't power ride them so if I ever go to Knoebels I will probably just buy tickets and do better that way. I'm basing that on the number of rides I go on when I go to KW, a park with similar attendance levels.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:46 PM
On the contrary, I feel Im not missing a thing being treated VERY WELL by several parks that aren't trying to pad their stockholders pockets by creating such amenities to begin with and being treated the same as everyone else at them for a far reduced price.

And when and if I visit such parks, It's on my terms, Not theirs.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:48 PM

Arthur Bahl said:
At Knoebels, $10 gets you 5 rides on Phoenix. At many parks $10 won't even get you into the park.

It's nice to have a place that does things differently. I like coasters but I don't power ride them so if I ever go to Knoebels I will probably just buy tickets and do better that way. I'm basing that on the number of rides I go on when I go to KW, a park with similar attendance levels.


That should say INTO THE PARKING LOT Arthur :)

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:49 PM
And I'll be treated even better if I just drop a few bucks at the big park.

We both win. :)

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:50 PM
But they loose if even 1/4 of their visitors feel the way I do about it.

Chuck

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:52 PM
If that were the case they wouldn't keep adding these programs. (the entire point of my last post on the previous page)
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Thursday, March 15, 2007 6:57 PM
All it's doing is making up revenue they've been loosing for years due to high pricing and slumping attendance gains.

Gonch, I love ya man, You'd be a hit on anyones debate team.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 7:45 PM

Rob Ascough said:


Maybe it's just my aversion to this whole "privilege" thing, which is getting way out of hand.


Yeah, that whole slavery thing was much better. ;)

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 10:10 PM
To be fair, I think that if Six Flags parks maintained capacity levels on par with those of, say, Cedar Point or Disney, we wouldn't even be arguing about this. It's the fact that even without Flashpasses, Q-Bots, and VIPs, the lines move terribly slow that's bothering everybody. Having worked at a high-capacity park with a VIP experience, it really does barely anything to slow the line down if us ops are moving quickly. However, when it's one or two trains taking 5 minutes per dispatch, the effects of seats being taken by those who paid twice as much tend to be more severe.

It's amazing how nearly every argument over a Six Flags policy ends up boiling down to capacity and/or customer service.

Frankly, I like the idea, but I can't help but wonder if it creates a catch-22 for Six Flags. On the one hand, increasing capacity will allow shorter waits all around, especially for those penny-pinching season passholders such as myself trying to cram as much in as possible on as little money as possible (well, only at SFA and SFGAdv since I have the chance to visit them more frequently and thus don't need to spend as much money per visit). However, by increasing capacity, they're detracting from the value of the package. I think it's a pretty safe bet that most people would take advantage of it merely for front-of-the-line access. On the other hand, by leaving capacity at the painfully low levels it reaches at some parks (note: SFOT and SFFT are excluded from this based on my previous experiences at those 2), Six Flags would be alienating the penny-pinchers. In the end, the profits will be the decision-makers, and if Six Flags makes more money by charging 10x the amount of money as another park for the same experience, well, I can't say I blame them.

In my opinion, alot of the problem is the lack of competition many parks face. Take Six Flags Over Georgia for example. The closest parks are several hours away from it (I think, but I'm not positive if Carowinds is or not), and so without any other parks pulling their guests away, I suppose they can rely on the fact that so many of their guests don't have any other parks to go to (in the same class of park), and therefore wouldn't know that it's any different anywhere else. Most people don't know the industry standard and can't really argue that things are better anywhere else. We just can because most of us have been all over the place.

LOL, I feel kind of bad using SFOG as an example given that so many people find the park to be fantastic. *** Edited 3/16/2007 2:19:53 AM UTC by sirloindude***

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 10:31 PM
If your giving any park *any* of your money Charles, sorry to say, it's already on their terms. It's only matters of degree.

I personally would never use this service, but I couldn't give a flying frack if Jake and Susie Vip decide to do so, nor would I ever blame a park for offering this to their benefit. Amusement parks are greedy businesses just like everyone else, once again, it's only a matter of degree.

Singling out Six Flags as the bad guy is like singling out Burger King for offering fast food. They're all either already doing it, or soon will be.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007 11:01 PM
I'm still wondering on which planet they found people who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable about every aspect of a Six Flags park. Sure can't be anybody who worked there in this millennium.
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Thursday, March 15, 2007 11:05 PM
I think many of you are missing the point entirely. We're not talking about slavery (SLAVERY!? Seriously, what idiot even suggested that?) or the separation of classes around the time of the Revolutionary War... or Titanic. There will ALWAYS be different classes of people based on how much money they have in their bank accounts- to correlate that to what I'm talking about is really stretching things a bit.

What I am talking about is companies creating different classes of customers, something that was never done before. At the birth of the airline industry, there was no separate boarding line for people that flew more often and gave money to the airlines to remain on their "preferred" customer list. That kind of thing is very recent, and it seems to be spreading to just about every single business in every single industry.

Look at it this way. You're standing in one of those never-ending lines at the grocery store, and after 15 minutes you're finally next in line. The thing is, management comes along and puts someone right in front of you, claiming they spent a ton of money to earn them the right to do that. It's all well and good that the company had the creativity to hatch such an ingenious plan, but it's not the company that has something to give- it's YOU, the other customer. You- the other customer that's paying the prices on the shelves and standing in line like you're told- are the one that suddenly has to wait a little longer because the business decided that someone else could make themselves more important by paying them off. How do you feel now?

Maybe Six Flags- or other theme park companies, for that matter- will make 5 times the profit on these suckers that pay $250/day at a theme park. But maybe the company should instead work on improving things so 10 more customers return int he future? That makes more business sense to me because you're talking 10 times the profit instead of 5.

*** Edited 3/16/2007 3:06:50 AM UTC by Rob Ascough***

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