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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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Also, if Flash Passes didn't exist, the people who would've gotten them would have to wait in line along with everybody else, making the wait just as long for you.

 

Not true. If I'm in line without flash pass, the new person would be in line after me. With flash pass, they can go ahead of me. Therefore, there are more people in front of me, so my line is longer. And don't get me started on rerides...

 

I'll say this again: there is no way to make lines shorter for some people without making lines longer for other people. I know people who use flash pass don't consider that, but it's a fact, and, to me, it's a negative thing.

 

I'm curious: if you like/support flashpass, is there any point where it would be too much? Like, if they had "Ultimate Flash Pass" for $500, but you could reride for an hour on any ride with no waiting - would you be ok with that?

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Just wanted to put my opinion on this...

I have never used Flash Pass, but have used and will use again Cedar Point's Fast Lane. I will say that I think if the system was tweaked a little bit, the Fast Lane system seems very fair and is a great way for those that can't visit often to experience the park without worrying too much about lines, like myself at Cedar Point. Although I have never used Flash Pass, the re-ride policy on Platinum is rediculous.

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I'm curious: if you like/support flashpass, is there any point where it would be too much? Like, if they had "Ultimate Flash Pass" for $500, but you could reride for an hour on any ride with no waiting - would you be ok with that?

No. Honestly, I think the cutoff price for my family is around $90. I think Platinum Pass is way too pricey at $110, especially when Universal Studios pass is $30 cheaper at $80 (which still wasn't that great of a deal IMO). SeaWorlds was a bargain at $30 and really made our day a million times more enjoyable.

 

However, it really depends on how much people can afford to spend.

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Not true. If I'm in line without flash pass, the new person would be in line after me. With flash pass, they can go ahead of me. Therefore, there are more people in front of me, so my line is longer. And don't get me started on rerides...

 

I'll say this again: there is no way to make lines shorter for some people without making lines longer for other people. I know people who use flash pass don't consider that, but it's a fact, and, to me, it's a negative thing.

 

Not necessarily true. It really depends on what the person with Flash Pass does whilst waiting for his reservation and the reservation delay. If someone takes the basic flash pass, and does nothing but play games or eat food whilst waiting for their reservation, there would be zero impact on those in the stand by line. However, in practice this isn't the case obviously.

 

Personally, I'm fine with free Fast Passes such as those as Disney, but never been that happy with paid for fast passes. Would I pay for a Flash Pass - yep, and I did so two weeks ago because I was happy to pay a premium. Did it mean others waiting longer - yes, it did, but then they didn't pay the $170 I did for the day. I would say the vast majority of the guests (and virtually everyone on this forum) is well aware they will have longer lines due to Fast Pass - everyone is free to make a choice to visit knowing that or not. Is the issue so much about someones "time" or more about the "cost per ride" - one is probably more important than others.

 

SFGAm do VIP packages too, with a personal "guide" to get you front of line on everything. Thats even more $$$. C'est la vie as they say in France...

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I'll bite on this discussion...

 

Last Friday my brother and I got Platinum Flash passes at Great America and then we went to Cedar Point and had a VIP tour there. There are extenuating circumstances why we did both and we were very pleased with both experiences. First off, I can understand some frustration over the whole Flash pass process, but they are never going away. Period. They make the park too much money with little overhead. Also, a lot of the posted wait times are including flash pass users, and if there is a grouper in the station, most of the wait times are less than posted as you won't have a 5 train wait in the station. Would your wait be less if there were no Flash Passes? Yes. Is your wait significantly longer with Flash Passes? Probably not.

 

I am a season pass holder for SF and I have been to Great America 8 times this season and had never gotten a Flash Pass before last Friday. One of the biggest reasons we got the Platinum Flash pass was that my brother has not been to Great America in 10 years or so and we had to leave the park by 6 pm. The only way we were going to be able to do everything we wanted to ride, was get a Flash Pass. I was happy to pay extra money to be able to experience all the rides with my brother.

 

I will say that the I don't think that the Platinum should have re-rides. I also found that the only ride where the 90% less wait time really mattered was for Goliath. If Goliath weren't only available on the Platinum, the Gold would be more than enough for most users.

 

If you are interested in my experience with the VIP tour, you can read my Photo TR on the forums.

 

If you want to get upset at people using Flash Pass, that is certainly your prerogative. However, you are going to get upset a lot as it is not going to go away.

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I'm curious: if you like/support flashpass, is there any point where it would be too much? Like, if they had "Ultimate Flash Pass" for $500, but you could reride for an hour on any ride with no waiting - would you be ok with that?

 

 

Reriding a ride for a whole hour would get old, and I doubt there's many people out there who would want to ride the same ride for an hour, I mean Batman, Superman, Raging Bull, Viper, X-Flight are all great rides, but an hour straight would be redundant for most people, so that argument really holds no water, but if someone wanted to spend $500 to do it, that would be their prerogative, and I would have no issue.

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So maybe I am looking way too far into this but yesterday and today, while scrolling the ol' Twitter and Facebook, I saw SFGAm had posted a vintage picture on FB with Sky Whirl included and today on Twitter the park posted another vintage picture that looks like it was taken from Sky Whirl.

Now I'm not trying to start anything, but a return and re-design of Sky Whirl by Intamin for 2015 would be awesome! Especially considering the park is lacking any real Ferris wheel.

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^As much as I LOVED that ride and would LOVE to ride it again (at my home park or anywhere), I don't see it happening. Mainly due to the YOLO crowds; how does Great Adventure still get away with having a sky ride? Six Flags attracts some super-acting-out folks; it would have to have shoulder bars to keep you seated at this point. Watch me eat my words. I would love to see Sky Whirl again.

 

Geez, memories! I remember driving past the park before all the trees grew in. The 2 sky rides, Sky Whirl and Tidal Wave dominated the skyline. Demon was a real monster, too! Then of course Eagle was built, and it was like WOW!

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Well you have to feel for some of the people who are angry. If they have a family of 4 and can barely afford tickets to the park, they find it unfair that others can spend more to have more benefits. I always thought that there should be a Flash Pass option for season pass holders because they are the biggest supporters of parks. But there is no reason to shout rude comments or any of that. It's just plain immature.

 

There are many families of four who can not even afford a day at the park, never mind a flash pass. Should they be angry or show resentment at those that can afford to go to Six Flags? Attending a theme park is not a right, it's a privilege. Patrons should be thankful that they can do so, as others are not as fortunate as them. Someone is always going to have more money, more possessions and more perks.

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I haven't been to Great America since Raging Bull was new. Maybe first or second year, I don't exactly remember. Without flash pass, I would not have made a detour out of my planned trip to Ohio to stop in Chicago. I also agree, it's not going away. Without flash pass, it would have been a total waste of time, imo. I'm so happy for it, for someone who doesn't have the time. I guess it's just never bothered me when I see the flash passers go by at Magic Mountain, my home park. Or even the first day I got there, we went for a few hours, and didn't get one. I will say, I did feel like a dick some times doing the re-ride. I wouldn't be upset if they got rid of that, although it was really awesome.

 

I also didn't see loads of flash passers all over. It looks like there aren't that many available when you go to the flash pass distribution center? Unless there are more hidden than the spaces that they keep them in. I know only a few times I ran into re-riders.

 

Anyway, had a great time. Those complaining about employees and park operations should come to Magic Mountain. LOL

 

Goliath was awesome and I do hope for a Colossus retrofit!

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Oh no it's the flash pass argument again

 

I'm more on the not sell line cuts side, but I think there is a nice middle ground. I've warmed up to it more and more... I think the BIG issue is Six Flags operations and how they have made the decision (years ago, now) to capitalize off their extremely poor operations.

 

If Great America was run *on the dime* like Cedar Point, it wouldn't be such a big issue. I would guess our ride capacities are 60% of what Cedar Point runs.

 

It's not an issue of the employees so much (there are some damn fine ones that do their best to carry the load and go above/beyond), as a trickle down from people that don't care as much as would be nice. The high efficiency/friendly/know-whats-going-on-at-your-ride stuff simply is not a part of training anymore. It was lost long ago.

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Oh no it's the flash pass argument again

 

I'm more on the not sell line cuts side, but I think there is a nice middle ground. I've warmed up to it more and more... I think the BIG issue is Six Flags operations and how they have made the decision (years ago, now) to capitalize off their extremely poor operations.

 

If Great America was run *on the dime* like Cedar Point, it wouldn't be such a big issue. I would guess our ride capacities are 60% of what Cedar Point runs.

 

It's not an issue of the employees so much (there are some damn fine ones that do their best to carry the load and go above/beyond), as a trickle down from people that don't care as much as would be nice. The high efficiency/friendly/know-whats-going-on-at-your-ride stuff simply is not a part of training anymore. It was lost long ago.

 

I understand some rides like Batman are short, and don't have a simple loading procedure, but I was shocked by Raging Bull stacking all 3 trains, and only a clamshell restraint, not to mention time wise it's closer to the longer than short side, although I do think maybe a lack of lockers is the problem. SFOG is my home park, and on Goliath they have someone out front making sure you put up bags etc, I didn't see one ride like that at SFGA, and they were just throwing they're stuff into whatever bin they could find, even though they had 3 bins, 1 for each specific train, I know people bitch about lockers and stuff, and it really doesn't make sense to only have it on specific rides etc.., but I do know 3 of the rides at SFOG that have lockers [ Goliath, Cyclone, SUF] were all loading and dispatching faster than their Great America counter parts, which makes it even worse for Great America considering Cyclone & Superman are probably the slowest dispatches at SFOG behind GA Scorcher.

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I have to say, while slow ride ops are certainly at fault in some regards, you have to keep in mind the idiot park guests who can also slow things down considerably. More times than not this season (I've been to the park weekly at least), a delay is caused by a guest who is (a) not paying any attention to what's going on around them/moving slow, (b) is not following posted guidelines/not listening to operator instructions, © has a loose article on the ride with them, (d) is arguing over something irrelevant, (e) too large/short to ride, etc.

 

Some of those you could blame Six Flags for not having practices in place to help prevent those issues. But you have to admit that stupid people are somewhat to blame. I'm sure other parks have them as well. Maybe more of them visit Six Flags. I've seen many.

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I have to say, while slow ride ops are certainly at fault in some regards, you have to keep in mind the idiot park guests who can also slow things down considerably. More times than not this season (I've been to the park weekly at least), a delay is caused by a guest who is (a) not paying any attention to what's going on around them/moving slow, (b) is not following posted guidelines/not listening to operator instructions, © has a loose article on the ride with them, (d) is arguing over something irrelevant, (e) too large/short to ride, etc.

 

Some of those you could blame Six Flags for not having practices in place to help prevent those issues. But you have to admit that stupid people are somewhat to blame. I'm sure other parks have them as well. Maybe more of them visit Six Flags. I've seen many.

 

 

I totally agree.. One of the stupid things I saw on my 2 days were people just throwing stuff in any random bend, and running over people who were boarding the train and putting their stuff away, which kind of seems like a fault of stupid people, and park policy involving lockers.

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Oh no it's the flash pass argument again

 

I'm more on the not sell line cuts side, but I think there is a nice middle ground. I've warmed up to it more and more... I think the BIG issue is Six Flags operations and how they have made the decision (years ago, now) to capitalize off their extremely poor operations.

 

If Great America was run *on the dime* like Cedar Point, it wouldn't be such a big issue. I would guess our ride capacities are 60% of what Cedar Point runs.

 

It's not an issue of the employees so much (there are some damn fine ones that do their best to carry the load and go above/beyond), as a trickle down from people that don't care as much as would be nice. The high efficiency/friendly/know-whats-going-on-at-your-ride stuff simply is not a part of training anymore. It was lost long ago.

 

I read something that said that SFFT ran Rattler with one train on its last day and forced people to sit in certain seats, possibly to sell Flash Passes.

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Oh no it's the flash pass argument again

 

I'm more on the not sell line cuts side, but I think there is a nice middle ground. I've warmed up to it more and more... I think the BIG issue is Six Flags operations and how they have made the decision (years ago, now) to capitalize off their extremely poor operations.

 

If Great America was run *on the dime* like Cedar Point, it wouldn't be such a big issue. I would guess our ride capacities are 60% of what Cedar Point runs.

 

It's not an issue of the employees so much (there are some damn fine ones that do their best to carry the load and go above/beyond), as a trickle down from people that don't care as much as would be nice. The high efficiency/friendly/know-whats-going-on-at-your-ride stuff simply is not a part of training anymore. It was lost long ago.

 

I read something that said that SFFT ran Rattler with one train on its last day and forced people to sit in certain seats, possibly to sell Flash Passes.

 

I know at SFOG Batman & Great American Scream Machine have 1 or 2 rows roped off in the station for flash pass users, although if they don't have any, they'll take people waiting in other rows and open them up.

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Oh no it's the flash pass argument again

 

I'm more on the not sell line cuts side, but I think there is a nice middle ground. I've warmed up to it more and more... I think the BIG issue is Six Flags operations and how they have made the decision (years ago, now) to capitalize off their extremely poor operations.

 

If Great America was run *on the dime* like Cedar Point, it wouldn't be such a big issue. I would guess our ride capacities are 60% of what Cedar Point runs.

 

It's not an issue of the employees so much (there are some damn fine ones that do their best to carry the load and go above/beyond), as a trickle down from people that don't care as much as would be nice. The high efficiency/friendly/know-whats-going-on-at-your-ride stuff simply is not a part of training anymore. It was lost long ago.

 

I read something that said that SFFT ran Rattler with one train on its last day and forced people to sit in certain seats, possibly to sell Flash Passes.

 

I know at SFOG Batman & Great American Scream Machine have 1 or 2 rows roped off in the station for flash pass users, although if they don't have any, they'll take people waiting in other rows and open them up.

 

I saw the same at Skull Mountain at Great Adventure. I didn't see them filling the rows, though. And the line was long and slow. And they were only running one train...

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Flash pass equivalent are much much cheaper elsewhere. Just booked a Busch Gardens trip. Looked like $20 for a flash pass on the big rides and $35 for one that goes for everything else. Great America does have two big problems that contribute. #1 the lack of non-thrill stuff and #2 the aformentioned operations. There are a lot of times where I'd like something non-thrill, non-spin to ride and there just isn't anything. Cedar Point has two Great America Raceway type rides and a lot of other non-intense stuff. Flash Pass should exist and it should be reasonable. Maybe 100-200, not 1000-2000. I've been on X Flight maybe 40-50 times in the last two years. I know how long the line usually takes depending on length. The only time you cannot count the flash passers is when you're on the stairs(and that's assuming they go back to not instructing people to let the flash passers up the right side stairs). Demon may be the other ride where it's possible to count flash passers. It's simple math. If I'm stuck in the same spot for 10-15 minutes and just counted 10 groups of flash passers averaging 5 per group, then approx 50 people just increased my wait time. This happens multiple times, your 35 min wait now becomes a 70 min wait.

 

Those wait time signs are never accurate. I've seen signs for X Flight saying 120 min and it took 45ish on days when we didn't get bombarded with 100+ flash passers. Viper often has signs that say 45 or 60 and it takes 25-30. When I've bought the regular flash pass, I found little difference in wait time between that and the Gold. There are also times when the signs underestime wait time. Flash Passers are like this unseen variable. There's no way they can factor it in unless someone keeps a tally and knows the average wait time increase per flash passer. I would not be surprised if X Flight or Bull sees something like 3 or 4 thousand flash pass scans per day with people going back for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, rides, etc.

 

When you sell ridiculous amounts of flash passes, you end up giving the majority of guests a miserable time and a small minority lots of extra rides. It would be a godsend if Great America would add something like Sky Whirl and the raceway back. When I came back there 3 years ago after not going for 18 years, I was really taken aback by how different it was from before. Seemed like everything had to be some kinda thrill ride. And while there is a lot of riff raff Yolo people there, there's still a lot of families who are going because the parents liked the park in the 80s and were expecting something similar.

 

I wonder what % of season pass holders go more than 5 times a year. I go pretty often but by the time I get there we basically end up having dinner and getting like 3 rides in before it closes. Without the pass maybe I could get the wife to make an effort to get there early. I think there was maybe two days this year where we got there in time for lunch. Even with all our visits I think we only got in 3 rides each on Batman and Bull this year. Most likely we coulda had a bunch after riding Goliath on the ERT day but the wife wanted to leave.

 

I bet a large majority of pass holders barely go. It's like gym memberships. My advice to pass holders who don't want to gamble on crowds would be to go on all the ERT days and the first weekend of Fright Fest. They've had a lot of ERT days this year. I think this month I won't be going any other days but those. Normally 9pm is kinda like ERT but the other day was the first time I actually saw lines get significantly worse at 9.

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^Stupid people visit every park in existence equally.

 

I'm sure someone could explain how incorrect this is (and why), but it's not me.

 

(I just re-read what I wrote and it sounds abrasive. My apologies. I'm sure someone can explain the YOLOish guest phenomenon.)

 

Yeah I don't buy the "trashy policies attract trashy people" argument, pretty sure that's just blatant classism. Go ahead and dump out all the anecdotal evidence you want, I still won't believe it. It's like reading a horoscope, people take all the myriad of amusement park experiences and pick out the ones that correspond to their worldview and ignore everything else. You'll always see what you want/expect to see.

Edited by neil009
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What ERT events can passholders get into? I know about the ones on the 10th and the 15th, are there any others? Also, do they have early entry, and if so, what rides? I have Six Flags passes, so I would like this info.

 

New question edit: Also, do the vests lock on X-Flight?

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