Six Flags "re-visioning"- will it ever happen?

Thursday, April 18, 2002 8:25 AM

I heard about the "new" Subway restaurant the other day. The insides of future stores will do away with the common yellow seats and newspaper clippings on the walls. Instead, they will have an upscale deli look, with large jars of fresh ingredients as decoration, lots of glass and brass rails, open seating area, etc.

Do you think Six Flags will ever do such a "re-vision" of their style? Say, if Six Flags were to buy Jazzland, maybe instead of automatically cordoning off the Gotham City area, they could invent some new themed areas, new ride names to be duplicated? Will they ever drop the superhero theming altogether? What could replace it?

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 8:30 AM
I don't think SF's weakness is its theming, but its staffing. Most of the SF parks seem like they're exclusively run by teenagers. You never see a manager walking around and very little customer service.
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Thursday, April 18, 2002 9:04 AM
Chad, I don't know your age, but I hope you realize that the majority of posters on here are teenagers. With the pay, and the shortness of the season, why would you be surprised by amount of the teenagers working in their parks? If I was a college-aged person (I'm way past that by the way), I'd be thinking paid intership, not endless checking of lapbars.
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The word "definitely" is definitely the most misspelled word on the buzz.
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Thursday, April 18, 2002 9:11 AM

Chad said:
I don't think SF's weakness is its theming, but its staffing. Most of the SF parks seem like they're exclusively run by teenagers. You never see a manager walking around and very little customer service.


FYI, there is management at almost all units, they have red name tags, and are called leads or foreman, depending on which SF parks you go to. Look for them if you have a problem or concern. What you were looking for is a supervisor, and there are only a few of them for the whole park. ;)

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 9:18 AM

Actually, I never said the theming was its weakness. I think, as far as business goes, theming is Six Flags' strength. The sameness makes the average consumer comfortable, just like McDonalds does.

But everything needs upgraded now and then. That's what I'm curious about - when Six Flags will do it, and how.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 9:18 AM

Six Flags will never drop the the Superheros.

Cedar Fair isn't ditching Snoppy anytime soon.

Hannabarbera will be at Paramount for quite some time.

Six Flags is gonna' be adding these new Danimal Kids Zones to 15 parks soon. So expect that an a certain ride to be going to every park that gets one. Every chain has certain themes and areas that they reuse at many parks. Crack Axle Canyon, Gotham City, County Fair, Warner Movie Backlot, and Looney Toons Land are some of them. Six Flags, as the third biggest amusement park chain out there, cannot build the total uniqueness into every park. They will make sure that each park has a few star attractions to call their own, but you will not find a single Six Flags park that doesn't share many relations with the chain and other parks outside the chain. Tell me, is Batman:THe Rid

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 11:40 AM

Den said:

The sameness makes the average consumer comfortable, just like McDonalds does.

Is it really advantageous for an amusement park to make all of their parks the same (or at least very similar)? It makes sense for a McDonalds or Subway. The consumer knows exactly what they are going to get, no matter what city that restaurant may be located. And for people that don’t like to try new things, that a good thing. Plus it’s cheaper to build each new location because all of the furniture, decoration, and cooking equipment are all the same and you can buy in bulk.

But most amusement park guests only go to one park a year. So knowing that your local Six Flags is exactly like the other 30 Six Flags is not very important. And if you are the type of person who does travel to different parks, you are probably looking for variety. I wouldn’t travel 100 miles to eat at McDonalds because there is one 2 miles from my house. That’s kind of the way I feel about Six Flags parks. There are a couple I would go out of my way to visit (like SFMM), but most seem so similar to my local SF, that I have no desire to visit.

Does anyone else feel like this?

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Bob M.


*** This post was edited by RPMGuitar on 4/18/2002. ***

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 11:52 AM
Our local Subway closed 8 months ago for "rennovation" and hasn't reopened yet ;)

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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
Woodencoaster.com

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 12:03 PM
RPM: I catagorically disagree. First off, I dont think that Six Flags is counting on "Vacationers" for their main business. In fact, I'd be willing to venture that, even though they tout being able to go to parks "all over the country" on the same season pass as a big perk, they *really* dont want people to take advantage of that.

Speculations aside, since SFI banks on the "local" customers as being the hay to feed their cash cow, it is unnecessary for the parks to be vatly different. But even with that being said, most of the park chains have great similarities between their parks. Having a "Batman" at Six Flags is no different than having a "Shamu" at Sea World.

Oh, and I've noticed that when a great deal of people are on vacation, they *will* opt for a KFC/Subway/White Castles "like at home" as opposed to stopping at "Harold's" (Chicago), "FatBurger" (L.A.), or "Ben's Chilli Bowl" (D.C), because they *know* what they are getting into (especially if they have fussy/picky kids :)).
lata,
jeremy
--who is the adventureous sort who would go to Nawlins looking for (non-roller) 'Gator meat ;)

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 12:10 PM
Six flags 3rd biggest chain? I thought they were the biggest.
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Thursday, April 18, 2002 12:38 PM

All I will say is this...

If you want to theme, then theme. Don't simply throw coasters carelessly in an area, throw up a few buildings and paint "Gotham City Police Dept" etc on them, and call it "Gotham City". SF may see a theme there, but what I see is a collection of coasters and a few decorated buildings in the middle of an open field that looks very barren and lifeless.

As for a chain not caring if a park in one section of the country looks like antoher, all I will say is that Williamsburg VA and Tampa FL are pretty far apart, and a certain chain didn't feel the need to make a near carbon copy of its parks in those two locations. Just a case of quality over quantity I suppose.

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 12:51 PM

Good point, Slfake. I always wondered why Six Flags didn't theme their parks a little more individually. Of course, when you have about 15 more parks than Anheuser-Busch has, I guess individual theming would dent the Six Flags' execs pockets a little too much. A-B only has 4 theme parks, so they can meticulously theme them to fit in with their respective surroundings. Six Flags can't (or just won't) do that.

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 12:52 PM

SFGAm has a lot of rides that aren't superhero themed: Shockwave, Whizzer, The Demon, Vertical Velocity, DeJavu, Raging Bull, Viper, American Eagle, Iron Wolf. In fact, Isn't the only one that is a superhero Batman?

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*** This post was edited by coasteraddict on 4/18/2002. ***

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 1:02 PM

I also agree with SFLAKE. Why does every park have to be the same or simliar. When i went to SFA last year i thought the park would be more themed for a early american/revoltionary type of theming due to its location in a area rich in american history . It was in the beginning but wasnt anywhere else where the theming was awful!!

I think SF needs to theme their parks alot better!!! They need to learn from a other theme park companies on how to increase the attractiveness/cleaniness of their parks. From going to SFA then to BGW you saw how one park was ran in a great manner and the other did as little as possible to get by.

Even though i love riding on coasters i would much perfer a few less coasters and a park that has great theming/good food/excellant shows/puts a emphasis on cleaniness which when all are put together makes the experience much more enjoyable whci his was you get from a Busch/Universal?Disney park and you dont get from a SF park, at least from the ones ive been too.

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 1:09 PM

You've hit the mark Lallen, name any other amusement company with ten or more parks, and you've got your answer as the why they do not theme more individually. That kind of money would break anyone's financial back.

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 1:12 PM

Why would they stray from a formula that works ? When superheros "get old", then maybe they'll come up with a new concept.

It's as simple as that.

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 1:22 PM

Chad said:
I don't think SF's weakness is its theming, but its staffing. Most of the SF parks seem like they're exclusively run by teenagers. You never see a manager walking around and very little customer service.


I agree with the weakness being the staffing but I still think it is also themeing....along with prices, capacity, food places, etc. (At least at SFWoA). I don't think its that there are teenagers working there. I think it's just the fact that SF doesn't care how their employees act or if they are making the guests happy or mad. They probably don't watch to see what kind of people they hire when they hire them. I don't really know why the staffing is so bad.

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Millennium Force......It has its ups and downs.

www.helpmeineedtorideacoastercauseithasbeentoolongsinceihaveriddenoneandiam goingtogocrazyoneverybodyreadingmysignaturerightnow.com
I have 32 coasters in my track record.....I'm so proud of myself.

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 2:24 PM
Yet another Hostyl-sized rant....

DDrok11: Who said SF was the "3rd" biggest?

SLFake: I could go into a whole diatribe about how the differences between BGT and BGW came about, but that would be moot to the discussion. What I *will* point out though, is no matter how different BGT and BGW are, you still cant deny that SWF, SWT and SWC are virtually the same park. In the meantime, I could say that SFoT and SFoG are vastly different as well, themeing wise. You want to say they both have Gotham themeing interspersed? Then I'll say both BGT/W have German and beer themeing interspersed. :)

Lallen: While the SF rides/parks may have similarities they are not all themed the same. Heck, even the three B:TRs I've been on (GAm, StL, GAdv) have all had differences in the themeing.

rcd187 (please say you were born in Jan of '87, otherwise why name yourself after a code for murder...): The SF parks have a *unique* problem as far as staffing goes that most other park chains dont have to deal with. With the exception of like KennyWood and PKI, very few of the other parks are drawing from a city with a ton of other jobs for people to choose from. Of course, I wasnt too impressed with the KennyWood employees either (sorry CMMike). But I guarantee that you will see customer service go up across the board this year. Why? Because with the unemployment rate creeping up, businesses can be a *little* more selective on who they hire/retain. People will be trying harder cause they will know they are expendable.

But here's the kicker, nobody (and the rock means NOBODY) complains that DIsney has like four parks worldwide that are virtually identical themeing wise. NOBODY complains that there are like four coasters with the name Space Mountain, and I think that not one of them is alike (I know there are 3 different designs, but not sure about Tokyo). Or even that there are four different Paramount "Top Guns". But let it be SF and "Viper", suddenly all hell breaks loose.

And Bob O: I just dont think I understand what you are trying to get at. Personally, I think SF themes just fine. There was *never* a push for SF parks to be "immersive" parks like say IOA. They really were just about regional heritage. Now you *may* say that that concept was lost. Possibly. But one should NOT go to an SF Park expecting Disney or Universal. They have not ever made that claim of "total immersive" theming.

And for the record, cleanliness/attractiveness of a park has nothing to do with themeing. If there's a trash problem, then there's a trash problem, not a theming problem. But I'll still submit that SF queue themeing is better than the BGT/BGW queue themeing.
lata,
jeremy
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Besides, if we were really shutting down people we disagreed with, would Jeremy (2Hostyl) still be around? :) I think not. - Jeff 1/24/02

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 2:33 PM

2Hostyl said:

rcd187 (please say you were born in Jan of '87, otherwise why name yourself after a code for murder...)



Actually i was born in July 86. But don't worry my name wasn't meant to have anything to do with murder. I'm not the type that would do that or favor it an anyway or favor the heartless bastards who do kill people. I actually picked the number before I even knew that it is the police code for homicide.

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Millennium Force......It has its ups and downs.

www.helpmeineedtorideacoastercauseithasbeentoolongsinceihaveriddenoneandiam goingtogocrazyoneverybodyreadingmysignaturerightnow.com
I have 32 coasters in my track record.....I'm so proud of myself.

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Thursday, April 18, 2002 6:01 PM
I think an ideal park would theme to its location. That way you really feel like you are in that part of the country (or world) and there is a certain uniqueness. The locals would know that this is their park, for them. For example, I don't go to SF Hurricane Harbor NJ to see nice tropical theming. I'd prefer to see palm trees at Disney World, where they belong. Then if you visit a distant park, you really feel like you are visiting that place else rather than "another version" of you own park. Theming could then easily spin off of local history and way of life...much like Jazzland in New Orleans does. The overused "Old West" theme would be great, if I was visiting Texas.

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http://www.gadv.com

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