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You're the new CEO of Six Flags


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While I personally don't really get bothered by the teen crowd at parks, I could also tell you that I'd pay a little extra to go to a park if I knew that it would be all adults, a smaller crowd, and shorter lines that day.

 

Heck, so would I. Too bad I mysteriously fall into that "teenager" category.

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If I was the new CEO of Six Flags hmm...let's see:

 

Staff:

-All ride operators may "request a ride" meaning that they request which ride they would like to work at, and why. They would also have to go through a training course before starting (even if they are experienced). In this course, one of the things that they would be taught is that they are working at Six Flags. Not "Batman" or whatever ride it is. If they see trash, pick it up and throw it away. If you see a guest with a problem, help them (go to them instead of letting them come to you). And if there is something that needs done, do it! And those rules would apply to every staff member. And once a month (or every couple weeks, or whatever works ^_^) there would be a meeting, on what they're experience was that week, any guests situations, and anything that would improve the park.

 

Rides:

-Rides would not be like, "OMG an open spot! Let's put a clone ride here!". It would be a little more like, "I have been hearing guests saying that a coaster with speed and height would make them come here more. And it's probably time for a new coaster. Do we have room for this expansion? And what about money? And it MUST have themeing!" Things like this. They will also have TV's in the quene line, along with friendly ride ops who are interactive with guests, and doesn't just push a button, make the ride go, then text on their phone. I would have interesting facts and photos of the rides right outside of the entrance.

 

Food and Drinks:

-Food and drink would be slightly higher priced than what you find in a grocery store, but fair and not outrageous. And I wouldn't make it so that you pay $5 and get two chicken strips. You would get meals that will fill you and your family up. Of course I would still have the souvenir cup, but I would charge about $15 for one cup, $25 for two, and have FREE refills. But I would also make drinks extremely cheap ($1.50 large, $1.00 Medium, $0.80 small) and water will always be free.

 

Guest Experience:

-Guests will have the opportunity to get a "Family Fun Pack" filled with Four "Six Flags" t-shirts, A souvenir cup, $20 in food coupons, 3 free game coupons, 4 Flashpasses, and one free child's ticket to any Six Flags, IF they fill out a survey and are drawn from a box. This drawing would take place every week, and the only way to enter is if you have visited the park and received the survey at Guest Relations. And the greeters when you leave will ask you if you had a good day, but keep it short.

 

 

This is all I can think of now, but if I think of more, I will post them here

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Heck, so would I. Too bad I mysteriously fall into that "teenager" category.

 

I dont have a problem with all teens, most are very well behaved. I take issue with the little thugs whos mom/dad doesnt know 1/2 of what their doing. I always enjoy the "not my little bobby/suzie" song and dance when it comes to their own kid.

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What's interesting is that when given the opportunity to RUN the company, lots of you went straight for the financial: what to charge, etc. This is the part that most of us as park enthusiasts know the LEAST about. We can speculate all day long on what would make SF more financially secure, but face it, there are a LOT of things involved in the financial stuff that we all have no clue about.

 

What we DO know more about, however, is what it would take to make the customers happier, since we are currently the customers. Sure, the pricing structure of tickets and food and such are part of that experience, but when I started this thread I was hoping to see more ideas on the OPERATIONAL stuff.

 

Several interesting ideas have surfaced, such as adults-only days, holding won prizes at the gate for pickup, a few variations on fastpass, etc....

 

 

Someone mentioned having TVs in the queue. I *HATED* those damn TVs. They often didn't work, and when they did, you couldn't hear them. When they were turned up, everyone in the queue just screamed at each other so they could talk to their friends over the noise of the TV. It was a complete waste of money, it made the queue line experience annoying, and nobody paid attention to them anyway. I'd much rather see them put in some A/C into the queues instead.

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I've seen nearly every thread that has to do with Six Flags contain complaints about the new corporate management and how all the decisions being made are "wrong" and how the new policies "won't work" and how the company is going to go to hell in a handbasket because of it.

 

So. You're the CEO now. What do you do? What policies are you going to implement in the next couple of years to make the parks more successful?

Do you close any parks? Change operating procedures? Price changes?

 

Discuss.

 

 

I'll start by saying that I'd reduce parking rates by 50%. Premium parking would be at whatever price regular parking is now, or $10, whichever is cheaper. Under no circumstances should someone have to pay more than $10 to park a car. It's a very, VERY bad first impression for the guest.

 

Disposable single-sheet maps available at entrance turnstyles that list today's shows and times. The back would list height requirements for the rides.

 

Coasters and other rides with multiple vehicles would run at full capacity. If you OWN two trains, then you RUN two trains. Period. If those trains are only half full, then so be it.

 

Every major ride will have a "single riders queue".

 

Get out of the foodservice business. Rent out your food stalls to name-brand restaurants and charge them a premium rental. You get the money without having to hire the staff or mess with the hassle. Also, if the food is lousy and overpriced, the customer blames the restaurant, not the park.

 

Free drinks. If a little park like Holiday World can do it, anyone can. Having to pay $5 for a large Coke is another very, very bad impression left on the customer. Continue to make it ungodly expensive to bring your family here, and families won't come at all.

 

Bankruptcy is so exciting!

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If I were the Six Flags CEO...

 

First, I would order spare trains for star coasters. This way, when a Medusa train needs maintenance, the ride can still run three trains.

 

Second, I would add single-rider queues to all coasters/tracked rides.

 

Third, I would make the FastPass system more efficient. The basic FastPass (reserve one ride for one/two people) would be free. There would be deluxe FastPasses as well, which would be charged. ($10 for each ride reserved at once beyond one, $10 for each person beyond two).

 

Fourth: retrack woodies every so often.

 

Obviously, this would cost money. I might not buy new coasters for a couple of years.

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If I were the CEO of SIX, I would take out the Tilt-A-Whirl.

 

 

I wonder who listened to the Shapiro interview?

 

Third, I would make the FastPass system more efficient. The basic FastPass (reserve one ride for one/two people) would be free. There would be deluxe FastPasses as well, which would be charged. ($10 for each ride reserved at once beyond one, $10 for each person beyond two).

 

 

Excellent idea, especially if the park used the Disneyesque ticket-based Fastpass system. That way, ride capacities could be maintained (by "virtual lines" maintained by Fastpass), while also providing a GREAT benefit to the average rider. Such a system would be revolutionary to the average SF and would (probably, if marketed aggressively) a huge profit boost over time, despite the initial (though small) loss of FP revenue.

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"Have one day per month be 'adults only' day, where you had to be at least 21 years old to get in." (texcoaster)

 

Who says anyone over 21 is automatically mature? I've seen some stuff pulled by "adults" that makes what the teens do look like nothing---especially when you throw some alcohol into the mix.

 

Eric

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^Exactly! I don't think that you should turn costomers away just because of their age. Just like I don't think you should turn people away because of their sex, race, ect. I obey the park rules, because if I don't, I know I'll get thrown out of the park. Just because people are younger dosen't mean that they are less mature than others.

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Coasters and other rides with multiple vehicles would run at full capacity. If you OWN two trains, then you RUN two trains. Period. If those trains are only half full, then so be it

Once you actually work for a park, you end up finding out that a lot of it depends on how many people are running the park which depends on a couple of factors.

 

Factor 1 - Projected Daily attendence. If you're not going to have very many people in your park, you're not going to need a lot of people to run it, otherwise it becomes to costly. You have to have a certain ammount of people staffed in order to operate the ride. Often times when things become more complicated, you need more staff... so if no body is at the park, then why run 3 trains when people can get on pretty much everything they want within the parks opening hour.

 

Keep in mind that parks pay attention to the daily average ammount of rides guests can get in. They figure if guests can get on the majority of major rides within the day, they're doing fine. I mean at SFMM, there are days where it just lags on and on... it does get rediculous.. but at the end of the day I've usually gotten on everything I've wanted to once.

 

Also.. with this point.. keep in mind that the point is to make money off of your guests. If you overspend on staffing budget.. well then attendence fees aren't going to cover operation of the park.

 

Factor 2.. or at least this is how it works at Knotts.. and presumably else where... it depends on the scheduled people to show up for their shift. In order to keep up with their required work force demans... theme parks higher larger quantities of people and sometimes they can't be as picky as they'd like to be in order to fill that quota. Grant it they don't hire anybody, but a lot of times people who have no business in the industry end up with a job there. And sometimes.. they never show up for work... so as a result.. the ride gets understaffed and you get said problem of not being able to fully operate the attraction.

 

I think Shapiro is doing a good job, though, and I believe he's moving the company in the right direction. I think in a couple years time, you'll see he's delievered on making quality parks that deliver it's share holder some profits as well.

 

Also, I noticed that you guys have put up policies which are already policies within the company most likely. But what it comes down to is the attitude of your staff... which often is a result of your management team. Strict management who keep employees in their place will often see better results. Simple as that. From there.. you just need to have an intersting park for your "cast" to perform their roles in.

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Here is my opinion, based on Six Flags Over Texas.

 

SF makes or at least should make their profit based on what is sold in the park. Entrance & parking fees should cover the operational expenses, taxes, electricity, corporate salaries, new rides and upkeep, etc.

 

Season passes, discounts to get into the park, it does not matter as long as the money coming in covers the above points, the whole point is to get you into the park. I would keep the multi park use option. I rarely use it other than a couple of visits to SFFT.

 

I do agree that there is an issue with the games. In fact the SFoT season pass coupon book only has 2 $1 off a game coupons (Most of the book is geared toward getting more people into the park). Even on the busiest of days the game stands are empty. Reducing the number of game stands is a good idea, and might even save a little money.

 

I would not want to see McDonalds and others like it in the park. Improving quality of the food without upping to cost to acquire the food, should be done. Might mean finding new vendors to purchase those chicken strips or hamburgers from or new procedures to ensure a fresher product is being served. Don't see a problem with the current cost as long as the customer is enjoying what they are eating, buyer remorse should be low. (If you don't like it you are going to wish you did not buy it and you're sure not going to get it again).

 

Get rid of the $13 souvenir cup. Apparently people do not like to carry the cups or bring them back for refills (there is another thread on this topic). Instead only 1 size $2.50 a drink. $3.50 for bottled water. How much does SF pay for the manufacture, storage, and transportation of the big plastic cup?

 

I like the way SFFT is laid out. There are plenty of little kid rides, that don't require the parent to ride mixed in with the bigger rides. While my spouse and older kids ride those big rides. The baby and I can watch the younger child ride the little kid ride. Instead of the younger one being bored and tripping people when they get the urge to run around in circles while waiting for the older ones.

 

Get rid of the special handicap line. Just make the entrance to the rides be accessible to everyone. That way I can stand in the long line with the stroller and then just exit when the rest of the family rides. This is how Universal does it and it sure is nice. Also, eliminates the few I'm going to rent a power chair so I can jump the line and I'm to lazy to walk people. (I did know someone like that, perfectly healthy person not even in his 30's. Thankfully he is not someone in our family anymore)

 

How about some suggestion boxes so that management knows what the people want.

 

I am sure there are other means to trim expenses, but without knowing what items sell and what are being tossed. How bad is theft? Which rides in a park are costing more to repair than it is worth?

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honesty if I were the CEO I'd do a-LOT of research. I'd figure out which parks cater to which groups of people the most and develop around it. I'd also work on consistency, and making sure that everything that goes public stays that way. Not like "no re entry all day" last year. and promising rides to be ready than having construction problems. Aka, better, more practical PR. I'd stop putting money into NEW stuff for a year and put all that money into FIXING stuff. Painting tracks and better landscaping.

 

PROPERLY TRAINING EMPLOYEES AND MAJOR FOCUS ON RETENTION. If they could keep people comming back year after year they could eventually weed out the bad people.

 

Lower parking and seasons pass prices.

 

I'd do standard hight checks at the front gate and assign different bracelets for different heights. No braceletts, no rides.

 

aaaaaaaand yeah.

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^Exactly! I don't think that you should turn costomers away just because of their age. Just like I don't think you should turn people away because of their sex, race, ect. I obey the park rules, because if I don't, I know I'll get thrown out of the park. Just because people are younger dosen't mean that they are less mature than others.

I agree. But I think it all boils down to who has the most money. It's always about the money.

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^Exactly! I don't think that you should turn costomers away just because of their age. Just because people are younger dosen't mean that they are less mature than others.

 

It's not the maturity level so much as the fact that sometimes adults like to do things with ADULTS. They need some time away from kids, in exactly the same way that kids sometimes want time away from the adults and be around folks their own age.

 

I'm just saying that it would be cool if one of the places that adults could go for some "grown-up time" would be the local theme park.

 

It would save money, too! You wouldn't have to schedule the person at each ride who does the height check.

 

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I understand that people want to spend time with people their own age, but I don't think that it would be beneficial for the company. Although you would save money by not having to schedule the height checker, you would be losing money by not letting younger kids in the park.

 

Besides isn't Six Flags trying to go in the family direction? I don't know about you, but turning away kids just doesn't sound family friendly.

 

I have an opinion and you have yours. I respect yours, and thank you for sharing it.

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Personally I think an over 21 event would be great but as someone had said, it should be done as a solid ticket only event. It should be done after hours when the park closes at 9pm. Run from 9pm-2am with that solid ticket admission, this way you get your ADR from your family groups as well as the adults only event. It would also probably work out much better if you did these events during pre-season or end-season months (April or September) on weekends.

 

At least thats about the best way I can figure that one to work, this way no one would get turned away during a operating day and you could have a speical event at the same time.

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I checked the tickets for Six Flags Over Texas, and they are really cheap if you buy them online. They are $46.99, but they discount them to $29.99. I think they should be $49.99, but the discount should only be $5.00 -$7.00 off. Stop giving away admissions. This is SFOT for goodness sakes. It's a larger park they have. The season passes are also only $69.99. This park is open a long time during the year, and it's that cheap???

 

Are you kidding me? I am not near the park, and I can get an outermarket season pass for only $47.00!!! That is problem number one. You go Magic Mountain is $60.00, and you can't deal with it. Go to the website, and see how much of a discount they are giving you ($39.99). All these parks are doing the same thing which is so stupid!

 

I say get rid of the coupon books altogether. Forget this friend, and you get a friend to come in free. Give season pass holders 10% off games, food, and souvenirs instead. This way they are buying something, and getting a little discount for buying something. The season pass have to be raised by a lot. Six Flags Great America's season pass should be around $125. Admission (without discount) is $54.99, and season passes are around $90.00. That's only twice as much as the first day.

 

Stop the outmarket season pass deal, and don't give people 25% off a day like they did this year. People are scamming the other parks that are near them. They go to some other Six Flags park that has a season pass cheaper, and than they use it at their homepark. People go to SFKK, and buy the season pass, and than use it all the time at SFGAm.

 

So, even smaller parks should have the season pass higher (No outermarket pass), and admission should still be higher. I think admission is perfect at $40.00 for SFKK, but again they should just offer a cheap discount for admission.

 

Based on rides, I think that Six Flags should stop ripping out roller coasters for a little while, and stop adding new ones for the ones they are ripping out. Why? I think they should work on the flat rides. Some flats are 30 years old, and the popularity has ran out on them. Flats are much cheaper to replace, and could get the teens on those rides too. Don't go for the gigantic, humongous rides though as those are just too expensive. Parks just don't need new roller coasters every 2 years.

 

It's something we have taken for granted. SFGAm gets a mouse coaster this year, and is everyone satisfied? No, they want a rumored Dive Machine to come in the park next year. What the heck? Why does the park need that? The reason is because they haven't thought, let's work on the flats that are old, and boring, and no one wants to ride anymore.

 

Think about your Six Flags, and determine which flats have over a 10 minute line? There are four I can think of I can and one is the "new" drop tower at SFStL (Superman: Tower of Power). This is because it's new. Those rides get old fast though. SFGAm got there's in 1997, and it's been less than a 10 minute wait for a few years even when not all sides are working. Remember though, that ride is really expensive.

 

We are talking near a $7.5 million mouse coaster cost, or an $8.5 Vertical Velocity. The other ride I can think of is the Huss Frisbee. This is also a newer ride, and I say mabe it gets a 10-15 minute line at best. The third one I can think of are the bumper cars, and that's because they are lower capacity, and they don't always have all the cars open because they are broke. Lastly, it's the dark ride at SFStL (Scooby-Doo). That ride was pretty crowded!! Get more of those, SF!

 

Than, you have the water rides, but are those flats? I wouldn't consider them as flats. These rides are only crowded though when it's hot, or when it's not raining. In the early season, and the late season they aren't open near me. That's almost 2-3 months of the year which is a lot when your park is only open for 6 months.

 

I believe parking should stay at $10. They shouldn't hand out those gigantic paper maps anymore because they are too big to carry around anyway. The park hours should be put on the back of the small park maps they give. Did you notice that you don't know when the park is open if you look at your small park map? Sure, to advertise at a store (These are the 4 pages brochure of what's new for this season.) before the season opens, they put the hours, but not when you are actually at the park, and you take that map home. It's annoying.

 

For security, have real police walking around the park. That will distract people from doing stuff wrong. I'm saying 10 real police, but how about 2 or 3?

 

They should always be running 2 train operations. Let the people stay on the ride if they want to when it's not so crowded. Parks that are going to open longer than 6 months like SFOT, SFMM, SFOG, SFFT (now), and SFDK should buy more trains for their coasters. Thus, roller coasters don't have to run one train because they are all in refurbishment. Heck, V2 at SFDK should have 2 trains now because of what you are doing. Otherwise, don't have the park open for Christmas season. Yes, they can't run 2 trains on V2, but so what? If people want to go to that park during that time of year, they should be able to get on that ride. Buy more trains, and don't buy too many roller coasters. Buy roller coasters every 5-7 years instead of yearly, and buy the flats instead.

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I say get rid of the coupon books altogether. Forget this friend, and you get a friend to come in free. Give season pass holders 10% off games, food, and souvenirs instead. This way they are buying something, and getting a little discount for buying something. The season pass have to be raised by a lot. Six Flags Great America's season pass should be around $125. Admission (without discount) is $54.99, and season passes are around $90.00. That's only twice as much as the first day.

 

As far as I can remember Six Flags has always charged a little over two days admission for a season ticket. They make their money on you once you're inside the park, not on the admission. There's no way I'd pay $125. Which is precisely why they're selling them for $90, no one else would either.

 

It's something we have taken for granted. SFGAm gets a mouse coaster this year, and is everyone satisfied? No, they want a rumored Dive Machine to come in the park next year. What the heck? Why does the park need that? The reason is because they haven't thought, let's work on the flats that are old, and boring, and no one wants to ride anymore.

 

I haven't heard that much complaining. I'm fine with a themed mouse. SFGAm has enough of a variety that adding a dive coaster isn't really all that exciting, to me at least. That being said, Sheikra did nothing for me, so I may be in the minority.

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^Wouldn't it be great if the movie theater had a season pass all year? According to my $125 figure, it would be around $20.00 give or take. Is that a deal of the movie theater or not? The show costs $7.50, or $9.00 something at night. It's the same thing. People shouldn't be getting a season pass if they are only visiting the park twice a year. That's why you get an admission ticket instead. A season pass is for the whole season.

 

Heck, people on vacation went to Magic Mountain, and bought a season pass. They only went maybe one day. It was cheaper of getting a season pass, and getting a person to come in free for a day than to pay regular admission for 2 people. People are taking advantage of the cheapness of the Six Flags parks.

 

People bring up sports, and that's because they are seasonal things with high prices. It's costs a lot of money to go to a sporting event, and they have all year tickets. How much is it to go to a football game all year? It's a whole lot of money, and nowhere near $125.

 

Amusement parks spends millions, and millions of dollars on stuff no matter what amusement park they are, the bigger ones charge more than the smaller ones. Six Flags is spending $100 million across the board every year at the parks they own. That's an Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom! People complain about rides not open, and bad customer service. Why does that happen? They don't have money to do those things better because they are trying to become the "value" amusement park.

 

Yes, this is Cedar Fair now:

I think Dorney Park should be is close to where it is with general admission. I actually think it should be $39.99 though. I like the only $3.00 discount. For season passes, I think it should be a $110.00 for regular, and still $150.00 for platinum.

 

I don't believe Cedar Point is doing the right thing however. That park has tons of roller coasters (They have the most.), tons of flats (They have a lot of them compared to Magic Mountain, and maybe even more than SFGAm.), and it's a big park. Admission is TOO low for that park. It's $43.00 on their website. It should be what Six Flags is charging at SFGAm today. I believe that it's a $54.99 park while SFGAm is a $47.99 park. I like SFGAm better, but they have put a lot more money into Cedar Point over the years than SFGAm.

 

Thus, I think season pass prices for Cedar Point should be much higher than $109. For a season pass, you have to think of it that you can go anytime you want to that amusement park when it's open for that passes price. Disney is over $400. How much money does it cost to go bowling every week if you do bowl? It's $17 a week. Times that times 20 weeks, and that's $340. You also have to buy a bowling ball, or use those plastic balls they have in the center. Fun costs a price.

 

Those bowling pins are costing a million dollars a pin though. In fact, I heard they are around $20 a pin. The lanes cost a lot of money (I have no idea how much) when they first put in, but I doubt it was 7.5 million dollars to put in 32 lanes. That's what SFGAm is putting in this year plus other improvements most likely.

 

How much a Nintendo Wii? Is that $300 just for nothing but the system? Than you have to buy games for $45 a piece, and that's $345 for what? You have a system, and one game. I obviously don't have the Nintendo Wii, or many newer video game systems because I don't know the prices for these systems like I used to.

 

Fun things costs money because they are fun things to do!!

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Why in Gods name would I pay $125 for a Magic Mountain season pass, when I can get a Disneyland pass for $129? People may pay a lot of money for a brand new video game system or an iPhone, but not to get into a Six Flags park.

 

Around $90 is a good deal, $60 isn't enough, and $125 if far too much.

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Why in Gods name would I pay $125 for a Magic Mountain season pass, when I can get a Disneyland pass for $129?

 

Why even compare the deluxe SFMM pass to the absolute base DLR pass?

 

1. The $125 SFMM pass gives you free parking, free Flash Passes, a coupon book with free tickets, 25% discount on all merchandise and food,

2. The $129 Disney pass has tons of block out dates (basically EVERY weekend, nearly the entire summer season), no free parking, 10% discounts at select locations.

 

The only comparison that would work would to compare the $125 pass to DLR's deluxe $380 pass.

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Okay, I'll bite. Here goes.

 

-Make admission reasonable.

-$10 parking.

-Sell SFKK and SFA (keep them amusement parks, but take them off of our hands).

-Fresh coats of paint anywhere possible.

-More park-specific merchandise.

-Flash-Pass system like Disney's or less expensive.

-More conservative with additions.

-Better enforcement of park rules (ie LINE JUMPING).

-Make cleanliness a bigger priority.

-Guest Relations, Guest Relations, Guest Relations. Staff absolutely HAS to be good with guests. That's the biggest turn-off for me at SF parks. I never get that at CF parks. Ever.

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Why in Gods name would I pay $125 for a Magic Mountain season pass, when I can get a Disneyland pass for $129?

 

Why even compare the deluxe SFMM pass to the absolute base DLR pass?

 

1. The $125 SFMM pass gives you free parking, free Flash Passes, a coupon book with free tickets, 25% discount on all merchandise and food,

2. The $129 Disney pass has tons of block out dates (basically EVERY weekend, nearly the entire summer season), no free parking, 10% discounts at select locations.

 

The only comparison that would work would to compare the $125 pass to DLR's deluxe $380 pass.

 

He was suggesting that $125 be the price for the base Six Flags pass. Which gets you unlimited entry for one season. So my comparison of the base Six Flags pass and the base Disneyland Resort pass remains valid.

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