Attention: Richard McCurley and Michael Rowe,
I am writing with a few concerns and grievances regarding a visit I had to your park on Tuesday, August 8, 2002. Let me preface this letter by first saying that in my nearly 23 years of visiting theme parks, I have never been driven to write any letter to any theme park regarding a less than satisfactory visit. While there are some visits that were less than pleasant, this is the first time I felt the need to express my issues.
In any case let me begin with issue of your rides and ride operators. Six Flags Worlds of Adventures was the eleventh park I had visited in the chain. To that end, I have ridden some of the largest and fastest roller coasters in the world. It should be noted that I wear glasses that are designed to correct my slightly impaired vision. It is very seldom that I remove my glasses on any roller coaster. I have worn them on Goliath and Titan at Magic Mountain and Six Flags Over Texas, respectively. I have even worn them on Superman The Escape at Magic Mountain while enduring speeds of 100 mph, 415 feet in the air. Well imagine my surprise and dismay when I boarded Batman Knight Flight and was asked to remove them. I fully agree with the added safety measures that ride attendants must take, but if a guest insist on wearing their eyewear while riding, should that not be the decision of the guest ? Batman Knight Flight is the 2nd tallest of all floorless coasters. I have ridden Superman Krypton Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas on numerous occasions without incident of losing my glasses. Superman is the largest of its kind and has one more inversion than Batman. If my glasses stayed secure on Superman, I am quite sure that Batman shouldn’t have posed an issue.
It didn’t seem to matter. Even though you have signs clearly posted all over the ride, the attendant insisted I hand her my glasses or I will not be permitted to ride. Begrudgingly, I acquiesced, relinquished them, and proceeded to ride with blurred vision. To say that took away from the experience would be a slight understatement. I find your policy to be somewhat hypocritical due to the fact that you ask the guests to assume responsibility for loose articles, but then do not adhere to the guests’ decision on how to address them. I find it even more hypocritical when I went to ride again, and notice other people wearing glasses on the ride. It would seem there is some discrepancy regarding this seemingly arbitrary practice of safety.
My next grievance would be about the closure of rides an hour before the park closes. As I said before, I have been to ten other Six Flags parks, in addition to other parks including your LARGEST competition in Sandusky. At no point have I even encountered a policy that allows for the closure of rides an hour prior to the park. This year alone, I have visited Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags St. Louis, and Six Flags Great Adventures. In each case, the lines were open until 5 minutes before the printed and posted closing time. I find it disconcerting that in planning this trip for over a year, I did not read anything about such a policy in your travel guides or on your website.
One of your associates acknowledged my disenchantment and callously directed me to the signs posted outside the ticket booths. Admittedly, I should have paid better attention to your policies, but I was under the impression that all Six Flags operated with the guests’ best interest as a concern. I would have never entertained the idea that any member of the Six Flags industry would see fit to limit the satisfaction and enjoyment of the guests. Furthermore, the insignificant little minion went on to point out how Worlds of Adventure is trying to comply with the policies of its sister parks. Well after visiting 10 other parks, Id like to think I have a grasp on what the general policies of Six Flags are. He said that because your park is in the middle of a residential area, that you were trying to maintain and monitor noise levels in the surrounding area. If this was a concern of Six Flags, then why did they buy Geauga Lake three years ago? I will concede that local residents might be disgruntled at the sounds of exhilaration and excitement, but by the same token I am quite certain they know living that close to a theme park entails. Geauga Lake was in full operation for years before Six Flags purchased it; moreover, what about guests who enjoy riding coasters at night? I trust you realize that it is a totally different experience depending on the ride. I can promise you that a flying or floorless coaster at night is three times as exciting as it is in daylight. Many of the guests were robbed of that experience. I know I was.
Next, I would like to address poor standards demonstrated by your guest relations and security departments. Around 8:50 that evening, I was headed back from the former Sea World side of your park to enjoy some more coaster riding. It was then that I noticed your rides had ceased operation due to some alleged power failure. My companion and I made our way to the front to address the complaint. Well the fact that there was a line already ahead of me indicated I was not the only person who felt cheated. While I stood in line to voice my opinions, I noticed a woman walking away vehemently voicing hers. About 30 seconds into her tirade one of your security guards ordered the immediate and forceful removal of her. Now, had the lady been waving a gun or another type of weapon, I would see the need for such actions. All she did was announce her unhappiness to all within hearing range. Given the rights of the First Amendment, should she not be allowed to do so? Additionally, having three large and brutish men forcefully try to escort her off the premises for doing so was somewhere between abominable and deplorable. She was not threatening nor menacing any of the other guests; she was merely letting your company know what she had thought of the day. I would tend to believe that Six Flags welcomes all commentary whether constructive or disparaging. Perhaps I am mistaken.
I would like to finish this letter with just a few observations. Six Flags Worlds of Adventures is a new fish in an enormous lake. With a certain world-renowned theme park only 75 minutes away, I would think Six Flags would like to keep what customers they can. Your situation might be a bit different if you were like Six Flags St. Louis, Six Flags Elitch Gardens, or Six Flags Over Georgia and had a majority of a certain market base. Unfortunately, you do not and there is some severe competition because of it. To that end, it might behoove you to examine your options and policies regarding treatment of the customers. I might be a little more indifferent if I lived in Ohio and could visit regularly; however, I do live in Houston and put quite a bit of effort into coordinating a trip to the vicinity.
I have been an avid supporter of your company for nearly two decades. I have been a season pass holder for the last 6 of 8 years. I have spent quite a sum of money traveling around the country to visit your parks. I have defended your parks in person, on line, and other venues to those who think you are not worth the money. I would appreciate it if you did not make a liar and a fool out of me by proving my cohorts correct. I would like to continue enjoying Six Flags parks including the ones I have yet to visit.
I know the amount of money I spent at your park may seem inconsequential, and I accept that. Can you accept the fact that if I am only one of hundreds with the same idea, that the situation might be a bit more grave? I do plan on returning to Ohio one day, and I have no issue spending my money at another park in Sandusky, or yet another one in Kings Mills, Ohio. I would like to include you in my future Ohio vacation plans, but not as long as the aforementioned conditions are still occurring. This letter may or may not have any impact on you, but I hope you will at least consider some of the matters I have addressed here.
Why is that some men are about as fun as kiddie rides ?
[paragraph breaks added -J]
*** This post was edited by Jeff on 8/14/2002. ***
So, why are you posting this here? Shouldnt this be handwritten on some paper, put into an envelope, stamped, and stuck into a mailbox?
Paragraphs would be nice to.
Ric Flair was hitting on the female host, he told her - "Space Mountain may be the oldest ride in the park, but it has the longest line." WOOOOO!
*** This post was edited by Chitown on 8/13/2002. ***
All i have to say is you have a serious problem.
I'm guessing he pasted it from another program and the paragraphs got lost. I can certainly understand most of his frustrations and I am glad he took the time to write to the park rather than JUST posting it here and whining on and on like some people do. Perhaps if enough people take the time to write letters like this, the management at SFWOA will take a hint.
2001 Magnum Crew
Well ... I'm really speachless... I really can't do much to turn the situation around other than to help you make sure your letter gets to the appropriate place. Let us know if you ever get a response.
Boy and I said most of this on 4 of my 5 trip reports to WoA during the season......I didn't write a letter, but now, am thinking twice. If a 50% decrease in stock value doesn't wake a few sleeping giants at the next managerial meeting, this letter might (although, I highly doubt it). Six Flags cares about one thing: The Bottom Line. Where ALL companies care about THAT, safety and GP well-being come in a close second at SF's competitors.
I'm only purchasing a SF pass next season for four reasons: SFMM, SFNE, SFStL and SFGAm. WoA will not gain a cent from my wallet. Some may bash me for spending any money at all at a SF chain, but that leaves many good parks and coasters off my list. WoA has been a disaster, my only dream is to have the management team from SFDL switch with WoA's. DL was a treat.
BTW: that was a very well written letter.
There's nothing like a woodie...
*** This post was edited by Woody on 8/13/2002. ***
Well written letter. I hope it gets some sort of response, I'd be curious to see what the management thinks of this situation.
Steel - #1 Kumba, #2 Millie, #3 Mantis ||| Wood - #1 Thunderbolt, #2 Villain, #3 Gwazi
"The key to a happy life is moderation" -- Jon Stewart
This is a well written letter and it has inspired me to write my own letter to SF. I was there the same week and being a season passholder I felt ripped off. I get there around 6:30 and find the rides are closing early. Can't see the live shows because there are none pass 6 except for the Killer Whale show. Which lasted 15 mins because the Whale has issues. It seems to me that the whole park has gone down hill since merging. Now starting next week they are closing the rides around 8. It is not worth it being a season passholder for SFWOA anymore.
PLEASE READ: This post wasn't meant to offend or anger anyone; I apologize in advance if it does. So please don't post a reply just to rant about it. :)
To all my fellow coaster fiends:
I appreciate all the commentary and responses I have received regarding my letter. I normally wouldnt write a letter like that to a theme park, much less post it all over the net, but I feel this time it was warranted. Perhaps if any of the reps at SFWOA see the posts and the responses in addition to the letter, it will affect the way the park is operated. I would like to think that should I bother to spend my $$$ at WOA again, it will be a more pleasant experience. If not, I will simply rent a car and drive 11 hours to Gurnee, IL and check out SF Great America again. Not to mention that I can still head to Cincinatti and ride the Beast G
Why is that some men are about as fun as kiddie rides ?
I have ridden Superman Krypton Coaster at Six Flags Fiesta Texas on numerous occasions without incident of losing my glasses. Superman is the largest of its kind and has one more inversion than Batman. If my glasses stayed secure on Superman, I am quite sure that Batman shouldn’t have posed an issue.
This must be a new Rule that SFWOA has, because I know that when I went to SFWOA last year, I was allowed to keep my glasses on all rides except for X-Flight. I do agree with you though that its frustrating when a ride op says something like this to you, as I get annoyed myself, I have rode many coasters riding with my glasses on(MF,Raptor,Goliath etc) without any problems at all, yet on some other rides, I am told to take them off(Strangly enough I was told to take my glasses off on Monte at Knotts,WTF) If you want a good tip, Try saying to the ride ops that you will take your own responability for your glasses, and most of the time they should leave you alone, Its worked for me a few times, so try it next time you go.
Only ever rode 2 coasters with out my glasses... Steel Phantom and Williamsgrove Cyclone. Only reason why I did that... I forgot the strap for my glasses.
With the glass strap on, I've ridden everything from the tame Ravine Flyer III (a kiddie coaster) to the much more intense S:RoS and BatWing at SFA with no problems with my glasses. Funny thing though... at SFA, while the ops on BatWing and S:RoS did not question my glasses once they saw they were strapped on, the one op on Roar was trying to give me a hard time. After I said "Rode BatWing with them on with no problem" she said "Okay... whatever... they're your glasses..." and left me alone. Of course I had no problems with them.
Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"
Nitro you are just a little bit sensitive. Your two biggest complaints seem to be so called "early ride closure" and that a ride op told you to take your glasses off. As to the early closure, may I suggest getting to the park a little earlier. And to answer your question, "If a guest insist on wearing their eyewear while riding, should that not be the decision of the guest?", the answer is, "Sure, just like if a 36" kid insists on riding, that's the kid's decision".
Why are you complaining about park policies. One of the agreements for the hyper was the rides would close early. BKF is mainly over queue and midway unlike any other floorless coaster. I could not think of a park that would NOT eject a guest that was making a scene, and my guess is that you are leaving out that she PROBABLY was resisting the security guards. Why did you question the transformation of Geauga Lake to a major Six Flags park? I could say that the people that get paid to think about this stuff know what they're doing. You're nothing but a member of the general public, unless you are on payroll from Six Flags Inc. I think i covered most of your pointless post. Your first two paragraphs are also nothing but bragging of how you've been on the tallest rides and have been to many other parks.
Jeff, or any other moderator, why was this topic not closed or deleted? It is nothing but flaming a park. It's right in the TOS. If I was to start a topic titled "Cedar Point-less" (just to pics a random park named in the post above) where i ranted about how Wicked Twister was closed and I couldnt get a good spot at the laser show wouldn't that post be terminated at first glance?
Don't tell me what's in the TOS. There are no flames here. Move along now...
Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"Let's stop saying 'don't quote me,' because if no one quotes you, you probably haven't said a thing worth saying." - Dogma, KMFDM
I had a similar experience at SFNE on S:ROS. I rode with my hat on or held it in my hand a few times and then was later told I had to leave it on the platform or I could not ride. What irks me about your case is you had to hand over expensive eyewear to a total stranger . What if they were broken or lost, you would be screwed.
Imagine in this case if you were allowed to ride with your glasses on then later be forced to cough them up. Granted glasses are much more important than a hat but it the same hypocritical policy.
SFNE makes SFWoA look like the best ran park in the world.
You know... I think it has ben mentioned in a thread before... but as long as they stay on your face (and a strap should take care of that quite nicely), it is probably better to be wearing glasses on a high speed coaster (or any other ride for that matter).
On our last ride on S:RoS at SFDL (a very fast last ride... the tracks and the wheels were really heated that day), I took a bug right in my open, screaming mouth as we made the first drop. In a way, Glasses on a coaster work the same way as goggles on a motorcycle.
Now as far as coasters that run backward (through all or part of their cycle), it is a little more crucial to have them streapped on...
Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"
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