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Six Flags vs. Cedar Fair


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Heres a completely different perspective. Just got back from my first ever experience of both as I was on holiday (vacation) from the UK.

 

First park was SFMM. To keep it brief I got lucky from what Ive been told so far. The rides were nearly all fantastic and there were loads of them. Every single one of them was open! Plenty of coaster variation with so many different styles. Schools had gone back and there were barely enough people to form a gang so I cant comment too much on clientele. Food was quite good. Theming was atrotious. Gotham City was OK. Staff couldnt give a hoot. All looked bored and disinterested. Only one show and it as closed.

 

Next, Knotts Berry Farm. Fantastic park. Theming was much better, not great but certainly good. The shows were great especially the Wild West Stunt Show and the Saloon show as I ended up taking part!! Rides were a good mix. XLerator and Silver Bullet and Supreme Scream for the extremists, Boomerang and Montezumas Revenge for the slighly less brave, Sierra Sidewinder for brilliant family fun, Roaring Rapids to get damp and Riptide to get drenched through to your underwear!! Ghost Rider was closed but I think its opening for Halloween Haunt. Cant recommend Sierra Sidewinder enough went on 7 times! Food was OK and shops were quite well priced. Camp Snoopy Land was good for kids and big kids.

 

So to summarise I only have the benefit of 1 park from each provider. Based on that I would say if your with a family, KBF representing CF offers a great all round family day out. MM representing Six Flags offers a fantastic day of high adrenaline extreme coasters for the teenagers and wannabee teenagers!! If I had to call it I would go with Cedar Fair

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Which chain has El Toro??? ...enough said.

 

"...Easily the best wooden coaster in the U.S." said Robb. Let's see, what else. SFGAdv also has Kingda Ka, which at worst matches Top Thrill Dragster, and a few SF parks also have Superman: Ride Of Steel, which some say is better than Millennium Force. But maybe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which could be why Cedar Fair is consistently voted the #1 park in the world.

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Which chain has El Toro??? ...enough said.

 

"...Easily the best wooden coaster in the U.S." said Robb. Let's see, what else. SFGAdv also has Kingda Ka, which at worst matches Top Thrill Dragster, and a few SF parks also have Superman: Ride Of Steel, which some say is better than Millennium Force. But maybe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, which could be why Cedar Fair is consistently voted the #1 park in the world.

 

SFGAdv also has Nitro, S:UF, Batman, and Medusa, which makes for a pretty damn awesome coaster collection.

 

Cedar Point is consistently voted #1 by a bunch of gravy swilling ACErs who don't get out much. I can think of more than 10 parks I'd rather go to.

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In terms of being run as a business, it's pretty much a no brainer that Cedar Fair was run exceptionally well. SF teetered on the brink of self-destruction for so long, and prior management made amazing mistakes.

 

But now that Cedar Fair potentially overexpanded with the Paramount Parks, is gutting GL but being coy about it's future, I'm not entirel convinced they are moving in a positive direction.

 

My primary experience is with Knott's, so here's my comment. Imo, I thought Silver Bullet was redudant in the so cal marketplace (as opposed to a Dive Machine or flyer - this was Pre-Tatsu), and it's presence destroyed the theme of it's area. The colors are way off for the old west, the station is typical B&M shed. At least a better attempt was made with SS, but not by much. I'm really stunned that have removed an old west attraction for an Panda Express! I think their management needs to refocus on the look of the park before it all turns into a cement slab like the "boardwalk area".

 

I kind of see similarities in how both chains are being run, and I'm not sure either one is making the right moves everytime out.

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^ Outside of Renegade (which I haven't been on), none of those are all that good... plus he was limiting it to Great Adventure alone (best coaster lineup on earth) and you just spread that out across 4 parks in 3 states, basically just giving a point to SF IMO.

 

Ok I see.

 

I think that those coasters are good though.

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^ Outside of Renegade (which I haven't been on), none of those are all that good... plus he was limiting it to Great Adventure alone (best coaster lineup on earth) and you just spread that out across 4 parks in 3 states, basically just giving a point to SF IMO.

 

Yep. Even with coasters from 4 different parks they still fall short of Great Adventure. Heck, even if you consider MF a top 10 coaster (many people do) they still lose.

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I've never been to any park that was originally Cedar Fair, but I've seen what they've done to Knott's, and I don't like it at all. More coasters---so many to the point of destroying the charm of a park that I always enjoyed visiting (even when they only had one or two coasters).

 

Our local Six Flags park (SFMM) also was not originally under Six Flags, but that organization did get us some great rides throughout the '80s and '90s. The current "Premier" Six Flags came in ten years ago and overexpanded and de-family-ized the park, but at least they caught themselves and are going to turn it around.

 

All in all, for me, I think Six Flags wins out between the two.

 

Eric

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CF for sure. CP is my favorite park- I also like King's Island, King's Dominion, and Canada's Wonderland. I've been to 2 SF (Georgia and Great Adventure), and found them to be fun but a little too commercialized- not sure if that's the right word. And they use all the same names for rides- and too many comic book/superhero names. How many rides can you call Batman, Superman, etc? Don't know why, it just annoys me.

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CF for sure. CP is my favorite park- I also like King's Island, King's Dominion, and Canada's Wonderland. I've been to 2 SF (Georgia and Great Adventure), and found them to be fun but a little too commercialized- not sure if that's the right word. And they use all the same names for rides- and too many comic book/superhero names. How many rides can you call Batman, Superman, etc? Don't know why, it just annoys me.

 

The Six Flags parks are designed for the people who just visit their home parks, not the coaster weirdos who try to hit every park in the chain. A single park will typically have one Batman and one Superman. They don't quite pull the comprehensive DC comics characters theme off, but they did do some very nice work with the Batman: The Ride inverts.

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Heres a completely different perspective. Just got back from my first ever experience of both as I was on holiday (vacation) from the UK.

 

First park was SFMM. To keep it brief I got lucky from what Ive been told so far. The rides were nearly all fantastic and there were loads of them. Every single one of them was open! Plenty of coaster variation with so many different styles. Schools had gone back and there were barely enough people to form a gang so I cant comment too much on clientele. Food was quite good. Theming was atrotious. Gotham City was OK. Staff couldnt give a hoot. All looked bored and disinterested. Only one show and it as closed.

 

Next, Knotts Berry Farm. Fantastic park. Theming was much better, not great but certainly good. The shows were great especially the Wild West Stunt Show and the Saloon show as I ended up taking part!! Rides were a good mix. XLerator and Silver Bullet and Supreme Scream for the extremists, Boomerang and Montezumas Revenge for the slighly less brave, Sierra Sidewinder for brilliant family fun, Roaring Rapids to get damp and Riptide to get drenched through to your underwear!! Ghost Rider was closed but I think its opening for Halloween Haunt. Cant recommend Sierra Sidewinder enough went on 7 times! Food was OK and shops were quite well priced. Camp Snoopy Land was good for kids and big kids.

 

So to summarise I only have the benefit of 1 park from each provider. Based on that I would say if your with a family, KBF representing CF offers a great all round family day out. MM representing Six Flags offers a fantastic day of high adrenaline extreme coasters for the teenagers and wannabee teenagers!! If I had to call it I would go with Cedar Fair

 

Thank you so much for your imput. You're opinion of KBF is exactly where I've coming from. They just have a great mix.

 

As much as I hate MM, they do have some winners, as far as coasters go, but everything else has simply fallen away.

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^^ Hahaha....oh man...oh man.. I haven't laughed that hard in a long, loooong time.

 

The food is mediocre, the themes minus ghostown is mediocre, and the rides aren't that great.

 

At MM, the themes minus nothing is atrocious. I rest my case.

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He has been to two parks, one of which you hate so much it is in your siganture. I doubt if that makes him the expert on the matter. Glad it made you happy to not be alone.

 

Well between the two, at least I know I'm not totally crazy.

 

Both of these parks struggle in the same areas, but in different ways.

 

SF remains to be credited for building the most extreme coasters, while CF seems to fall just short of the standard generated by SF. SF won't be pushing the envelope on coaster technology for a while, because of the coaster-related debt that they've dug themselves into, which means the CF will eventually come out on top for brand new rides. However, because CF's taste in rides won't necessarily change, this may simply lead to a few years of under-par ride unveilings from both chains. Basically, SF goes overboard with wild new attractions, and CF stays relatively within budget, but falls short.

 

SF had decent themes at one time, but have all fallen to despair because of the various trademarked rides that are going into themed areas. Superman: The Escape on Samaria Summit is a perfect example of this. CF succeeds when properly assessing a themed area, like the Western areas at CP and KBF, put the parks with no themes are falling victim to clean, boring spaces and lack of foliage. Michigan's Adventure is their best example. Basically, SF can't stick to a theme, and CF can't landscape.

 

Some prefer the most bone-chilling extremes of SF, despite the lack of themeing and crummy operations. Others prefer the more conservative thrills and comfortable, light themes of CF, despite the lack of foliage and unpopular management decisions.

 

I happen to prefer the extreme thrills of a SF park, but I can't stand being in a filthy, run-down environment. CF doesn't deliver thrill like SF, but at least they are clean and comfortable. On the other hand, I might like CF parks better than SF parks, but the difference pales in comparison to how much I love roller coasters in general. To me, CF is simply the greater of to goods.

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Another example of a SF park putting a trademarked ride into a themed area is at SFGam. Since when does Superman: Ultimate Flight have anything to do with the "themed" Orleans Place it sits in?? And what does Batman have to do with the Yankee Harbor "themed" area??

 

I've only been to SFMM and SFDK from the SF chain. And GA from the CF chain.

 

SFMM takes the cake for the laziest and slowest ride-ops. Out of the two times I went to SFMM, there was only one girl ride-op at Ninja that was really cool and energetic. And at SFDK, I lost count of how many associates were on their cell-phone. GA also has a big cell-phone problem.

 

Obviously SF wins when it comes to rides, not ride themeing, just rides. And no, parking lots don't count as themes *cough*Medusa-west, Scream!, Goliath, etc.*cough*. But Cedar Fair wins in every other category IMO.

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I happen to prefer the extreme thrills of a SF park, but I can't stand being in a filthy, run-down environment. CF doesn't deliver thrill like SF, but at least they are clean and comfortable. On the other hand, I might like CF parks better than SF parks, but the difference pales in comparison to how much I love roller coasters in general. To me, CF is simply the greater of to goods.

 

Thanks for giving a detailed exegesis on why you prefer CF. I prefer SF, but can certainly appreciate the other point of view when someone articulates, and recognizes the tremendous progress that Six Flags has undergone.

 

As for filthy park environments, the most disgusting thing I've seen this year was the queue for Volcano at Kings Dominion. It had chewing gum stuck everywhere, cobwebs grown up on the ceiling, and massive amounts of dust. It was deplorable.

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^ Outside of Renegade (which I haven't been on), none of those are all that good... plus he was limiting it to Great Adventure alone (best coaster lineup on earth) and you just spread that out across 4 parks in 3 states, basically just giving a point to SF IMO.

 

Yep. Even with coasters from 4 different parks they still fall short of Great Adventure. Heck, even if you consider MF a top 10 coaster (many people do) they still lose.

 

So your saying that S:UF, Nitro, Medusa, and Batman are all better than MF? Seriously? What's in your top ten? (haha, who's in your fabe five?)

 

Also, I'd like to add my name to the KBF lovers list (well like, not love). I really like their ride selection. Their theming, kiddy area, food, and flat rides are far superior to SFMMs while their coasters and water rides might not be. Though I'm not saying I'd rather go to KBF, I just don't see what everyone has against the park.

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So your saying that S:UF, Nitro, Medusa, and Batman are all better than MF? Seriously? What's in your top ten? (haha, who's in your fabe five?)

 

I'm not a fan of Millennium Force. The first drop is good, but could be more intense. Then there's the big overbank, and ... nothing! Sorry but a coaster has to do more than just go fast and be smooth to be a top ride. How about some airtime?

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I would say that SFGAD lineup is on par with CP. With that being said I have never thought that CP was the problem in this argument. It is not as good as it used to be, but it is not the problem. I still find it the best park out of the 2 chains, it is all the other CF parks that look like little mini clones that cause me to be so in favor of SF.

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On park atmosphere, Cedar Fair is definitely better (although SFDK's new theming is hard to compete with). When I went to KBF last year, I noticed how much cleaner it was than when I was at SFMM the previous day. The food was also much better at KBF. So it looks like Cedar Fair is better. Although I have yet to visit CP and SFGAdv.

 

Also, try swimming in the water at a SF water park. It's filthier than the water in the bathrooms.

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