The Price of Access at SFGAdv.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006 12:29 PM
eightdotthree's avatar Its all staffing and procedure issues.

They keep adding rides and don't add the staff to run them at capacity. The staff the do have are so overworked, they gave up on caring a long time ago.

In my experience at the park, and in general most Six Flags parks, is that they never have a lead at any of the big rides and only keep the absolute minimum in the station. There is no one to take the heat from the angry customers, or maintain structure. They are left to run the ride how they want until the next shift change.

They let the customers hang out at the exit to the rides, throw their shoes on the platform, etc. All of this leads to a crowded station and the ops can not even navigate to check restraints in time.

I could reall go on and on. I think if they would enforce their rules and staff each ride as they should be there would be a lot more happy customers.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 12:57 PM
If the park is making 100 million off FlashPass, where is the incentive to do anything different?
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 5:12 PM
^ And that part is really a shame. Whatever happened to people being treated equally, and also having good operations?

Arthur, I'm glad you and rc-madness get the whole Six Flags crap. I'm tired of certain other folks (you know who you are) standing up for Six Flags and their lousy Flash Pass garbage.


coastin' since 1985

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 5:31 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar :) (raises hand) Oooh! Oooh! Me!?

I'm glad there's people who get the flashpass thing, use it and realize that it's here to stay.

I don't see the point of slipping the comments in at every chance. Nothing's going to change. Even worse is that two of the three people you mentioned still visited a SF park this weekend. (and one of you even bought a Q-bot :) )

Don't say you hate the system, complain about it at every chance and then turn around and embrace it.

Besides, with the $32 you spent on a Q-bot you could've bought two "Virtually Queued" shirts and made a real statement. ;)


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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 5:38 PM
And you were just the person I was thinking of :)

Just because something is here to stay doesn't mean we have to embrace it. And I don't like the fact that the parks are run so bad that it almost forces people to spend the extra money just to have a halfway decent time. They're already ripping people off with food and parking prices.

Besides, I have NEVER bought a Fast Lane or Flash Pass. The only time I used them was a few years ago when they were free (coupons) and first-come, first-served. At least this way, they aren't profiting extra from their bad ops, and it encourages people to get into the park earlier. Plus, the Fast Lane may not have been as crowded this way.

If they're gonna do it, do it like Disney. They actually know how to run a system like this, and it's open to everyone--free with admission.


coastin' since 1985

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 5:50 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Man, why does this always go in circles. I wish I had...no, I pray for...the restraint to just leave it go. Really. I hate that I feel the uncontrollable need to point out how wrong the line of logic the three of you use is. Anyway...

1. Never said you guys had to embrace, just that you were. You are by visitng the park and you are by using flashpass. Why support anything you feel so strongly against. That'd be like complaining about the president for 4 years and then voting him in for re-election...it just makes no sense to me. You hate it? Don't support it.

2. Flashpass is open to everyone as well - additional fee required. Trust me, if you try to give the park your money for a Q-bot, they're not going to turn you away. However, at Disney there's been many times where I tried to get a FastPass and there were none left and I was indeed turned away.

3. You keep drawing the line between the operations at the park and the flashpass. The two are not connected. SF operations sucked butt way before they brought the Q-bot folks in.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 5:56 PM
1. I said I never bought one--only used the free ones back in the day.

2. See my reply in the other recent SFGAdv thread. This alienates people who can't afford it. Park admission should put people on an equal level in terms of most of the rides and shows.

3. While this may be true, they are connected now in the fact that their lousy ops affect people getting the Flash Passes in order to try and enjoy their day.

I guess some of us just won't easliy see eye-to-eye on this issue. If it were like this everywhere, then the operations would probably get more attention (or this would get less). But Cedar Fair and Busch parks do fine without it, as does a bunch of other parks.

I'm tired of Six Flags lousy ops and ripoff pricing and antics (such as Flash Pass combined with lousy ops, and just Flash Pass itself as well).

*** Edited 10/11/2006 9:56:57 PM UTC by rablat5***


coastin' since 1985

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 6:00 PM
You know what Flash Pass is a result of? X ... Nitro ... S:RoS (all 3) ... S:UF (all 3) ... Goliath and Titan ... Chang ... Batwing ... Kingda Ka and every other major "coaster boom/wars" coaster that was installed at a Six Flags park.

They worked themselves into a deep enough hole that now they have no choice but to pursue the almighty dollar and scrape by on customer service because the dollar pays the banker, and the banker could give two s**ts about a happy customer.

Once that $2 billion is debt is gone, you'll see better operations, better maintenance and maybe even a fairer system (I think it's unfair too, but I can't deny the business sense of it). But until that day comes, when you're standing in line for Kingda Ka and feel the need to scream about the Flash Passers realize that there wouldn't be a need for them if the ride you're waiting for didn't exist.

Americans in general are starting to reap the punishments of a decade of buying on credit, Six Flags is no different.


Brett, Resident Launch Whore Anti-Enthusiast (the undiplomatic one)
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 6:01 PM
So then what you're saying is instead of trying to fix piss poor operations, Six Flags tried to figure out a way to profit from it. Well THAT'S acceptable.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 6:08 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

rablat5 said:
1. I said I never bought one--only used the free ones back in the day.

Never said you did. But you included rc-madness as one of the 'sacred three' who get it...and well, just read his TR that started this whole thread. :)


2. See my reply in the other recent SFGAdv thread. This alienates people who can't afford it. Park admission should put people on an equal level in terms of most of the rides and shows.

See my reply in that thread too. Amusement parks are not a right, they're a privledge. What about the people who can't afford to go in the first place? Oh those poor souls. SF parks should be free and available to all. Come on.


3. While this may be true, they are connected now in the fact that their lousy ops affect people getting the Flash Passes in order to try and enjoy their day.

No, you're still suffering a leap in logic. I could fill in that same gap with, "People so enjoy and appreciate the Flashpass system and it's economic benefits", but we'd both be equally wrong as it's info we're not privvy to, nor will probably ever know. Present it as opinion, because it is.


But Cedar Fair and Busch parks do fine without it, as does a bunch of other parks.

They certainly do. :)

*** Edited 10/11/2006 10:08:29 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***


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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 6:15 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

So then what you're saying is instead of trying to fix piss poor operations, Six Flags tried to figure out a way to profit from it. Well THAT'S acceptable.

Not at all.

I don't necessarily agree with what Brett's saying, but I understand it.

SF operations will suck as long as they're $2 billion in the hole. Nothing will fix it except money to clear up debt so that future money can be put towards operations rather than said debt.

Without additional sources of income, it's a lost cause. They're treading water. Nothing will change.

With Q-bot (and higher in-park prices), they're finding a way to scrape away at that debt with hopes of paying it off and turning around operations in the future.

The generated income from Q-bots is the indirect fix for operations that otherwise would never be able to happen.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 6:42 PM
Aproximate price for one person to have a decent time at some parks (including admission/ride tickets, parking, suitable queue passes (if long lines) but not including food, drink (unless indicated), games, or upcharge attractions). Variation in prices reflects discounting, pay per ride availability (Knoebels) and varied use of queue passes (Six Flags parks).

Northeastern Parks:

SFGAdv -- $85 to $140 (assumes Flashpass, Flashpass Gold on busy days)

SFNE -- $80 to $95 (assumes Flashpass)

DP -- $35 to $40

Knoebels -- $20 to $35 (pay per ride available)

HP -- $45 to $55

KW -- $20 to $30

LC -- $30 to $40 (free drinks)

Some other parks:

CP -- $40 to $50

BGE -- $50 to $65

WDWMK -- $80

IOA -- $80 (May be more at times because of new pay queue system)

KI -- $45 to $55

HW -- $30 to $40 (free drinks)

SFGAm -- $50 to $95 (assumes Flashpass on busy days)

SFOT -- $50 to $90 (assumes Flashpass on busy days)

The figures speak for themselves *** Edited 10/11/2006 10:56:30 PM UTC by Arthur Bahl***


Arthur Bahl

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 7:00 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Yeah, they do speak for themselves. The most expensive parks have the highest attendance levels year-to-year. It flies directly in the face of the idea that cost is all that matters. In fact it's almost creepy the way the park's attendance goes up in correlation to their prices.

The assumption that the costs determines the quality seems to be your main flaw. I think we can kill the theory that money is the main factor. Could it be location & park offerings in terms of rides that really makes people decide where to go? Nah, that makes too much sense.

Besides, if you're truly value-conscious and looking to milk the dollar as much as possible, the smart money buys a SF season pass with parking for under $100 and then visits as many of the SF parks as they'd like as often as they'd like with no mandatory additional costs.

If you make 15 SF visits during the year and buy a Gold Q-bot each time it's costing $51 a visit and getting me wait times that are only 1/4 of what the line actually is (often less than most 'small' or 'high capacity' parks waits).


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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 7:37 PM
Six Flags really needs to raise those season pass prices especially for multiple park visitors. And they need to improve their operations. They clearly are not offering good value to the once or twice a year visitor.

One reason why so many northeasterners put up with the crap at SFGAdv is that it has so many really big coasters. No other northeast park can compare to them in this regard. Also, New York City area people are accustomed to high prices on almost everything.

What would happen if CP were in NJ instead of Ohio? SFGAdv would have to make a lot of changes or else they might suffer the same fate as SFO did.

Cedar Fair does charge more for their season passes as they should. They seem to have a better sense of how to run their parks. They also have the cash flow to cover their debts.

Five years from now I see Cedar Fair with most of the debt paid off and the company building or acquiring some more parks (eg. Houston). Six Flags will most likely be down to about 5 to 8 parks with the others either closed or sold off to reduce the debt.

One good question. Will CP add Q-Bot? Regular Q-Bot wouldn't be too bad because it would provide an option to standing in line for an hour or more at MF or TTD. The riders could then go and ride the less crowded coasters during their wait. I just hope they never add the %#*! Q-Bot Gold. That would really aggravate the lines at the more popular coasters. Personally, I prefer to see CP leave things as they are now.


Arthur Bahl

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 7:48 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Now you're starting to get it! :)


Six Flags really needs to raise those season pass prices especially for multiple park visitors. And they need to improve their operations. They clearly are not offering good value to the once or twice a year visitor.

Yes! But until they find a way to rid themselves of billions of dollars in debt, they won't have the money or resources to improve operations...courtesy of Burke and company. Shapiro/Snyder deserve no crap for the state of SF.


One reason why so many northeasterners put up with the crap at SFGAdv is that it has so many really big coasters. No other northeast park can compare to them in this regard. Also, New York City area people are accustomed to high prices on almost everything.

Yes! Location and offering. You can't charge those prices (even if you want to) at a small park in the midwest because your park doesn't have as much to do and the cost of living is considerably lower.


What would happen if CP were in NJ instead of Ohio? SFGAdv would have to make a lot of changes or else they might suffer the same fate as SFO did.

Yes! But they're not. The same would apply if SFGAdv were in Sandusky.


Cedar Fair does charge more for their season passes as they should. They seem to have a better sense of how to run their parks. They also have the cash flow to cover their debts.

Yes! But then again CF didn't have Burke in charge of things for nearly a decade. (thank God)


Five years from now I see Cedar Fair with most of the debt paid off and the company building or acquiring some more parks (eg. Houston). Six Flags will most likely be down to about 5 to 8 parks with the others either closed or sold off to reduce the debt.

Yes! Well, kind of. CF will have exactly the same properties they do now in 5 years. This isn't a growth industry for the most part...in fact, that attempt to expand and do it quickly is pretty much what killed SF. THe past few years have been unprecedented in terms of consolidation. Don't think it's the norm. If SF isn't down to a core group of parks in 5 years, then Shapiro pulled off a miracle that none of us could see coming. I hope they do reduce the chain to a more managable levels, reduce the debt and get SF kicking again.


One good question. Will CP add Q-Bot?

Yes! My opinion is that they're fools if they don't. But they did try the no-charge "Freeway" for a few years and then dropped it. However, it was poorly implimented with the hand stamps and such. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if they do, but I'd be even less surprised if they don't. What would you do if you wanted to increase profit? Cut cotton candy to 25 cents or introduce a new revenue stream? Seems like common sense to me.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2006 8:03 PM

If they're gonna do it, do it like Disney.

Ironically, Disney recently filed a patent application for differential fastpass---guests who spend more money/stay in more expensive (Disney-owned) resorts would have more fastpass perks than less profitable guests.
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Thursday, October 12, 2006 9:20 AM
Jeff's avatar The point that I think some people are trying to make is that the only reason some people are compelled to buy a premium queue spot is because the rides are so poorly run in the first place. That's a position that I fully agree with. The annoyance of watching painfully slow dispatch would drive me to buy a cheat as well, and it shouldn't be that way.

And Cedar Point doesn't need a virtual queue system. So few rides would require it that there would be little value in having it.


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

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Thursday, October 12, 2006 11:03 AM
^ Thank you, Jeff. That says it pretty well, thought I still don't like the virtual queue systems, anyway :) Cedar Point doesn't need it, and I hope they never get it.

coastin' since 1985

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Thursday, October 12, 2006 11:42 AM
rollergator's avatar

Jeff said:the only reason some people are compelled to buy a premium queue spot is because the rides are so poorly run in the first place. That's a position that I fully agree with.

Exactly the situation at GAdv in particular....wait times would be halved if the rides were staffed and run properly....reducing the *number* of available queueing options (currently at FIVE?) might begin to help with the disastrously-poor ride operations.

edit: Ka, with a 2-1/2 hour+ line, not even an hour after opening, running ONE side of the station....I think that points out the problem we're talking about... ;)

edit 2: Ride op overheard us discussing the exceptional wait times at Toro (with the line really NOT that long yet)...."Buy a gold Q-bot"... Bass responded with "I did!"... no further comeback was forthcoming, LOL... :)

*** Edited 10/12/2006 3:46:17 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Thursday, October 12, 2006 12:33 PM
^ Even the ride ops have been endoctrinated with this garbage.

I was there on Monday, and El Toro had an overflowing queue which took around 2.5 hrs, including a breakdown. The capacity was sitting at 500pph or less. I would guess that Intamin rates the capacity at least for 1000pph. So, running at half capacity (still 2 trains, though) and having 3 "queues", it's no wonder the folks in the regular queue had such a horrendous wait time.

And KK is unacceptible.


coastin' since 1985

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