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Today's Burning Question! Six Flags or Cedar Fair?


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I'm going with Six Flags for a few reasons. Season Pass prices are cheaper, they have better season pass perks like bring a friend free coupons, they have longer operating seasons (near me Great Adventure opened 6 weeks earlier than Dorney this year) and Six Flags almost always allows re-rides when rows on coasters are empty.

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This summer, I had the pleasure of visiting the following parks:

 

- SF Great Adv (home park, too many times to count)

- Dorney Park (4x)

- SF America (1x)

- SF St Louis (1x)

- SF Great America (1x)

- Kings Island (1x)

- Kings Dominion (1x)

- Cedar Point (1x)

 

So a good balance between the two companies. I, too, give the edge to Cedar Fair, though my margin might be smaller than others. I agree that Cedar Fair by far delivers a more consistent product than Six Flags does. Cedar Fair is not perfect (some of the employees at Dorney Park are a bit too apathetic for my taste), but I think by and large they deliver better than Six Flags does.

 

Now if only their season passes were more affordable...

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My vote would go to six flags.

 

Cedar fair is good, but the experience I get at sf is more appealing to me. Not to mention that sf season passes are a much better deal than cedar fair. For the price of one season pass at cedar fair, I can get 3 passes at six flags. Six flags also has the scenery all around the park, where cedar fair parks are more concrete, garbage cans and a ride plopped down in there somewhere.

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Cedar Fair

 

I prefer CF parks to SF parks because they are must better taken care of. I love the look of CF parks - they look clean and sophisticated. The operations are way better all around. I have never seen SF employees literally RUNNING to get trains out of a station like I did with Gatekeeper, Millennium Force, and Diamondback. This is just me but it appears they try to focus on not stacking the trains.

 

I have been to Kings Dominion, Dorney, Knotts, Cedar Point, Kings Island, Great America, and Gilroy Gardens and I LOVE each park. They seem to take more pride into their parks than SF. SF seems to be more focused on building the next big thing while CF is more focused on the over all experience, at least that is my opinion. I think SF rely's more on the comic book characters carrying their rides then the actual ride. CF has some pretty generic names for their rides but I do not care because they have some pretty epic rides. Maintenance of the rides is huge at CF - they are usually pretty good with keeping things up and running. Also all around they are good with keeping their grounds clean. SF builds these huge new areas and after a few years they seem to stop taking care of it - like when the newness wears off.

 

Also CF has a pretty good amount of flats at their parks which I LOVE.

 

Now the only exceptions I would say for SF are Great Escape, SFNE, and SF Discovery Kingdom. They are my favorite SF parks. I leave out SFGAdventure because that is strictly a coaster park. I want flats and LOTS of them.

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Though I live in the home state of Cedar Fair my choice is Six Flags. They have been more innovative and seem to not be afraid to add unique attractions to their parks. Six Flags has been way in front when it comes to using technology in comparison to Cedar Fair though CF is trying to catch up.

 

Under Kinzel CF parks were becoming quite sterile though I really like the direction Matt Ouimet is doing chainwide. Cedar Point lost some of its luster in the mid 2000's but is slowing getting it back.

 

Operations is the only thing hurting Six Flags though I've had some very good visits to SFOG, SFGAm and SFStL in the past few years.

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Matt Ouimet is why I'm leaning more toward Cedar Fair. He seems to be taking them in the right direction, while Six Flags is slipping back, from what I've seen.

Edited by cfc
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Matt Ouimet is why I'm leaning more toward Cedar Fair. He seems to be taking them in the right direction, while Six Flags is slipping back, from what I've seem.

This is EXACTLY why I would go with Cedar Fair. As much as people may have disagreed with Mark Shapiro, the Six Flags properties were in MUCH better shape under his direction.

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I vote Cedar Fair as well. Although, ten years from now I wouldn't be surprised if it is Six Flags. It seems like there is some kind of force in the universe that prevents both of these companies from being good at the same time. If they were good at the same time, the world might explode.

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I've been to seven Six Flags parks (Discovery Kingdom, Great Adventure, Great Escape, La Ronde, Magic Mountain, New England, and St. Louis) and seven Cedar Fair parks (California's Great America, Canada's Wonderland, Carowinds, Cedar Point, Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park, Kings Dominion, and Knott's Berry Farm). I'll evaluate both chains using the same criteria I use when evaluating an individual park:

 

Coasters: Six Flags wins here. Excluding clones, there are few coasters that I'd consider unenjoyable at any of their parks. Under the same criteria, I've found a number of coasters at Cedar Fair parks that just weren't that good. Also, Six Flags tends to have more top tier coasters per park than Cedar Fair does.

 

Dark Rides: Cedar Fair. Six Flags has only a handful of dark rides in the entire chain and has shown no indication that they want more. Cedar Fair has several shooting dark rides and one or two others, but they are showing interest in developing new dark rides for the chain.

 

Flat Rides: Cedar Fair. Most Six Flags parks have a poor flat ride collection consisting of a small number of standard flats, but every Cedar Fair park I've visited has had an adequate number of flat rides and often a couple unique ones.

 

Kiddie Rides: Although Six Flags has more, Cedar Fair has better kiddie rides and does a better job of spreading them throughout the parks. On the downside, Cedar Fair's height requirements tend to be higher than average.

 

Water Rides: Six Flags. Most Six Flags parks have at least three water rides, while few Cedar Fair parks have more than two. Additionally, Six Flags tends to have better waterparks.

 

Cleanliness: Cedar Fair. I guess those trash cans must count for something.

 

Food: Cedar Fair, but only because they offer a greater selection of outside vendors. Six Flags has slightly better park made food at slightly cheaper prices, but they force you to buy everything in a combo meal.

 

Landscaping: Cedar Fair. Six Flags considers a parking lot landscaping, Cedar Fair at least puts grass under the ride. All jokes aside, both chains are actually pretty equal in this aspect as it tends to vary significantly by park.

 

Theming: Six Flags. Although their attempts are minimal, Six Flags does at least try to theme their rides. Other than Knott's, the Cedar Fair parks tend to be almost devoid of theming other than what Paramount left behind.

 

Employees: Cedar Fair. While I've encountered good and bad employees at parks in both chains, Cedar Fair's tend to be better on average.

 

Operations: Six Flags finds it acceptable to run one train on their major coasters during peak season, even on rides with three trains. I have rarely seen one-train operation at a Cedar Fair park during the summer, and it is usually due to weather issues.

 

Overall, Cedar Fair wins. Six Flags does have some good parks and great coasters, but many of their parks are not places I'd go out of my way for and a couple I wouldn't care if I never returned to. I have yet to visit a Cedar Fair park I didn't like, and while they may not have the most extreme thrills they tend to offer a more complete park experience.

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I grew up a Six Flags girl because that is all I really had access to but I am a fan of Cedar Fair. Now my closest Cedar Fair park is Dorney and I have never been there but I have been to Kings Dominion many times. I have also experienced Canada's Wonderland, Cedar Point, Kings Island, Carowinds and when compared to SFNE, SFGAdv, SFA, and SFMM I feel Cedar Fair feels like a more well rounded experience.

 

I know I haven't seen all the best SF has to offer but that can be said for Cedar Fair too. Don't get me wrong I have a good time at most SF parks SFNE is my childhood playground and I had multiple birthday celebrations at great adventure. However, sometimes at SF parks the atmosphere feels stale and like enjoyment is almost forced and I think a lot of that stems from the employee lack of enthusiasm and general park upkeep. The Cedar Fair parks I have been to on a whole look better cared for. I was at Great Adventure recently and Nitro was a faded peeling mess, the ride was still good though. Cedar Fair also puts more effort into its Halloween events and decoration which adds to the energy of the park. True some Cedar Fair employees are just as unenthusiastic but speaking percentages it is much less prevalent. As such I just tend to prefer Cedar Fair parks when compared to their Six Flags counterparts (except when certain rides come into consideration... like El Toro).

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I think I'm going to have to go with Cedar Fair for this one. I have been to Canada's Wonderland and Cedar Point and I really liked the overall feel of the parks. Six Flags seems to be putting in more thrills but the parks don't appear to be on par with Cedar Fair from what I have heard. I also think that Matt Ouimet will make the chain better overall, in both rides, theming, upkeep and management.

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If you would of asked me this question about 3 years ago, I would of said Six Flags. I will say certain Six Flags parks do seem to be doing fine or rather not heading in the wrong direction. (Looking at you SFOT, a park that was in my top 5 and has just dropped over the years)

 

But Cedar Fair always seems to have the better employees, better ride selection overall, and better food choices. Plus FAST LANE is amazing. Seriously, it made our Cedar Point trip so relaxing and more enjoyable. I feel like Cedar Fair is definitely heading into the right direction. Plus between CP, KI and KD, you have a lot of my top coasters in those parks. So I pick Cedar Fair over Six Flags right now.

 

I love to see a Cedar Fair park come to Texas.

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As far as visiting a park in the Cedar Fair chain, I've only been to Kings Dominion. The only Six Flags park I've visited was Magic Mountain ages ago (15 years?).

 

During Kinzel's tenure, I probably would have rated both park chains about equal. Since Quimet's tenure started almost 2 years ago, I've noticed general improvements at Kings Dominion happening at a much faster pace the last 2 seasons of operations than the first 5 years under Cedar Fair management. Given what Cedar Fair has done in 2013 with the new/revamped entrance and Gatekeeper at Cedar Point and the new/revamped Boardwalk area and restored flume ride at Knott's, I really like the direction Quimet is taking the park chain. I am looking forward to the improvements happening at Kings Dominion in 2014.

 

I give my vote to Cedar Fair.

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I've only been to WoF, Cedar Point, and SFStl. Cedar Fair parks tend to have more well rounded rides, nicer landscaping, better operations, and seem to be headed in a better direction with the new CEO. While i believe Six Flags has some good parks, it feels the Cedar Fair parks are overall better.

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I've only been to WoF, Cedar Point, and SFStl. Cedar Fair parks tend to have more well rounded rides, nicer landscaping, better operations, and seem to be headed in a better direction with the new CEO. While i believe Six Flags has some good parks, it feels the Cedar Fair parks are overall better.

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Cedar Fair seems to be building better rides, and their parks are better in general. They are usually cleaner than Six Flags, and operations are more dynamic and way better (I especially like the animation that the employees do at Cedar Point !). The Fast-Lane system at Cedar Fairs completely kick Flash pass in the trash can !

 

However, good point for Six Flags, their season passes are way cheaper and allows you to do more things. For example, my La Ronde season-pass cost me 50 $ for gold in super-discount, and I didn't have to pay extra to visit other Six Flags properties, have free parking at each Six Flags, etc. Cedar Fair's platinum, which lets you do approx. the same of what I know, is 200 $. Six Flags' is half of that !

 

So even if I think overall Cedar Fair is better for the quality of their parks, their rides and their operations, I do enjoy my day when I go to a Six Flags park and I like both chains !

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Have to also go with Cedar Fair as I really like the direction they are going with Ouimet. More focus on theming, family attractions and overall, making the parks more well rounded than a lot of the Six Flags parks.

 

Edit: ^ Blue Turbo - has anyone told you look a LOT like Fred Armisen from SNL and Portlandia?

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Cedar Fair by a million miles. I'm not a great advocate for Cedar Fair, but it's way better than a company that is notorious for being low quality.

 

Also, SFMM does not show the best of Six Flags as I have never seen a park do so many inconveniences such as:

-Major rides not opening with the park (for whatever reason)

-The trams (buses) waiting in its spot for fifteen minutes (and departing from the station seconds after letting impatient people off)

-Inefficient security lines

-Multiple coasters running one train empty (probably not for maintenance reasons)

-Ride operators overriding the on-ride audio with extremely annoying sounds

-One train operation during Fright Fest despite there being two train operation in daytime hours

 

Also, I forgot to mention. All of this happened on ONE DAY! I'm fine with a few inconveniences per day, though when there is literally inconveniences after inconveniences, it gets out of hand.

Edited by XYZ
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I'm gonna side with Cedar Fair for a few reasons.

1) Cedar Point

2) Kings Island

3) Canada's Wonderland

 

Their 3 major parks within 4 hours from my home. Not to mention all three have over i believe 14 roller coasters. TONS of variety (Between thrill rides, family rides and kiddie rides) They have a lot of food options, various other attractions and they focus on customer satisfaction. Not just coaster enthusiast satisfaction. They work in shifts, some years, shows, some years kiddie rides and expansions, this year we got GateKeeper at the Point and next year Banshee at Kings Island! Sure they are huge rides but they worked on smaller things up onto that point. too off topic? Sorry...

 

Anyways, Cedar Fair has very pretty family oriented and thrilling all in one parks. With something for everyone. And they have amazing customer satisfaction! So in the end, Cedar Fair takes Six Flags and in the nicest way... Gently pushes them to the side so they can bask in the limelight!

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Cedar Fair by a million miles. I'm not a great advocate for Cedar Fair, but it's way better than a company that is notorious for being low quality.

 

 

I'm not trying to feud with you but SeaWorld Parks has been famous for quality and look at the parks this year. Have you visited a Six Flags park this year?

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Cedar Fair by a million miles. I'm not a great advocate for Cedar Fair, but it's way better than a company that is notorious for being low quality.

 

 

I'm not trying to feud with you but SeaWorld Parks has been famous for quality and look at the parks this year. Have you visited a Six Flags park this year?

 

I have been to Magic Mountain four times, Great Adventure once, and Discovery Kingdom once this year. Look above at my post about my visit to SFMM two weeks ago.

 

I had more problems on my 6 visits to Six Flags parks this year than my 23 visits to Cedar Fair parks this year.

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