Six Flags will soon hate poor people too

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 9:13 PM
Fun's avatar

The most recent news coming out of Six is a reversal in ticketing philosophy.

https://www.dailynews.com/2022/01/18/six-flags-tests-simplified-sea...-mountain/

Noteworthy changes:

It doesn't appear that all parks have moved over to this approach yet, but the changes at these parks is the new direction. Some of these changes were in motion prior to the departure of Spanos, for what it's worth. There will be some frictional loss of attendance, which Bassoul is aware of and they aren't seemingly concerned with that (https://seekingalpha.com/news/3788654-six-flags-looks-attractive-to...ation-push) . What remains to be seen is if these net increases in ticket sales completely offset attendance drops. If there ever was a time to try it, it would be now headed into 2022.

Last edited by Fun, Wednesday, January 19, 2022 12:00 AM
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Tuesday, January 18, 2022 10:10 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Not to mention Magic Mountain getting in on that Lightning Lane action: https://www.ocregister.com/2022/01/17/six-flags-magic-mountain-laun...-coasters/

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Tuesday, January 18, 2022 11:16 PM
Jeff's avatar

Well, the new boss is a micromanager, but at least he's not trying to race himself to the bottom with ticket pricing.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 12:05 AM

Six Flags finally stops giving away the gate like Cbuzz has been recommending for years. It's pretty noteworthy that the price of an all-chain pass from Magic Mountain has more than doubled in a few years. The blackouts on the cheapest pass are limited to Fright Fest weekends at Magic Mountain, but at Hurricane Harbor every single weekend and holiday is blacked out.

As someone who just re-upped our family memberships in November after cancelling during Covid I am very curious to see what happens. We really, really enjoy the dining plan and I don't see my kids wanting to switch to a new pass that doesn't have it. I just reviewed the membership contract and surprisingly there is no clause that would allow them to cancel my membership unless I stop paying. There is, though, a clause that after the 12 month minimum term end they can change the price to anything they want. So perhaps they will enact absurd price increases to drive members out of the program.

"You agree that Six Flags may change your monthly membership payments any time after the expiration of the Minimum Term. Six Flags will give you notice of any change in your monthly membership payments before the new payment amount goes into effect, by sending a notice to the e-mail address you provide. (At Six Flags' option, Six Flags also may mail a notice to you.)"

If they do that I anticipate that we will become Knott's passholders next year instead.


"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 3:44 AM

If this reduces the number of guests in the parks a little, I'm all for it.


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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 9:32 AM

What I find interesting about this is it is a complete 180 over what seemed to be pushed toward the end of the year. We started our membership this summer given kids now being old enough to enjoy the park and signs that the pandemic was ending (well, signs then that that was happening). In our 3 trips to SF Great America, the pass was really being pushed, even at the Lights in the Park Event in November / December.

We probably would have gone with an annual pass when we bought, but everything on the site was entirely discouraging that.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 10:55 AM

ThemeDesigner said:

As someone who just re-upped our family memberships in November after cancelling during Covid I am very curious to see what happens.

According to the article, "Current Six Flags members will be grandfathered into the membership program as legacy members. Existing Six Flags members will continue to be honored as long as they keep making payments. Membership refunds are not being issued at this time." You're right, they could make it cost-prohibitive, but I suspect they'll just match the price of season passes and be happy to keep existing members while simplifying the sales pitch for new passholders.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 2:00 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

It's funny that the parks are evolving to dynamically priced, pay-per-ride, front of line access because (and you guessed it), it's something we suggested in conversations WAY back in the FOL debate days around here (circa 2006/2007).

I can't find the actual conversation, but I can find a 16 year old reference to it. One of those times where I missed the mark. No idea then how common dynamic pricing would become in general. But it was being thrown around as an answer to whatever the perceived problems with FOL systems were at the time.

We live in the future and it's crazy how much of it we totally saw coming at the time. (Well, those of us paying attention, at least. A lot of people were - and still are - complaining that this will somehow ruin the industry and refusing to visit chain parks and all the usual nonsense.)

High five!


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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 2:08 PM
Jeff's avatar

We predicted a lot of things, even if the industry was slow to evolve. It was easy for us, because literally nothing was at stake.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 2:44 PM

I find this whole gate value idea fascinating. Cedar Point gives theirs away and the. Six Flags finally says “This isn’t working so well. Maybe we shouldn’t let people pay next to nothing to get in”.


But then again, what do I know?

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 2:50 PM

I wonder how many things we predicted that didn't happen?


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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 2:55 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't know, but we can't high-five each other on those, and therefore I shall ignore them.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 3:33 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Brian Noble said:

I wonder how many things we predicted that didn't happen?

Far fewer than you'd think, I'd imagine.

Let me qualify that. I suppose it depends on who you're watching. There were plenty of people back in the day that claimed FOL would put parks out of business, for example. The key is to pay attention and pretty soon you know who to listen to.

Besides, I would say the burden of proof is on those that choose not the believe in the power of Gonch. 😉

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, January 19, 2022 3:34 PM
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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 3:39 PM
Fun's avatar

One thing is for sure, we'd would have never guessed that Indiana Beach would be installing more coasters in a single year than the entire Cedar Fair Chain.

Last edited by Fun, Wednesday, January 19, 2022 3:40 PM
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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 4:38 PM

The Great Escape site still shows monthly memberships and season passes. The Gold Plus level pass ( 1 above Basic) includes admission and parking to all Six Flags for $69.95 with a Basic Dining Plan add on available for around $47.99. Maybe because its in a smaller market?


CometFan

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 6:28 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

They're trying out this new model at Magic Mountain.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 8:05 PM
Fun's avatar

... and Discovery Kingdom, Over Texas and Fiesta Texas. Looks like the longer season parks rounds will pilot, but I think it's a near certainty the other parks will switch in 2023.

Last edited by Fun, Wednesday, January 19, 2022 8:07 PM
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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 8:08 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Oh weird. I bought my 2022 SFDK pass last fall for $40. That’s not a typo. In the Bay Area, that’s not even enough for a nice lunch for two.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 10:38 PM

Meanwhile I'm scoping out my Disney trip and thinking, "oh hell, what's another $40 a day?"

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022 11:54 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Yeah. I spend that much on a Disney trip for Mickey Bars. It's weird that SF shifted so suddenly from "Please come back. We'll basically make it free." to whatever they're doing now.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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