The SFA comment is the only one that confuses me. I've never been there, but I don't see how the addition of a Thomas Town makes it one of the best parks in the chain. As is, there's no possible way they could even be near the top of the list...they have to put at least a few big(ger) rides in for that. It's astonishing for me that a park so close to Washington/Baltimore hasn't added any sort of roller coaster, family or major, in 9 years, and it'll be 10 at the soonest if they're planning anything for 2011.
The thing about SFA is that, imo, a lot that park's future is more about what land there is available to them to expand. It certainly won't be the best park in the chain attraction wise, so maybe it's a question of the overall aesthetic appeal? Because it is smaller, it will not cost them as much to improve the overall infrastructure of the park, which is very important. 99% of the appeal of the Disney park experience is the decoration / theme, that isn't limited to the rides, but to every visible structure. In that sense, a completed themed out section of the park like a Thomas Town vs. a cul-de-sac, takes the park to another level.
Imo, the park with the greatest potential is SFGADV. If they would take the Wild Safari in the direction of say Disney's Animal Kingdom / Busch, that would take them closer to being the Disney of the north east.
Also, just from the call, the enthusiasts seem too focused on flat rides. For SF to go where it needs to go, that is not the answer. Flat rides just are too carnival. I think they are great for small pockets of usable space, but that is about it. SF is positioning itself as an alternative to the more expensive destination parks like Disney / Universal. To that end, they need to bring more of a similar experience to what those massively popular parks offer their customers. Going after carnival rides is aiming way to low. There have been positive developments like the refurb of Monster Plantation, Buccaneer Battle, Dark Knight, Glow in The Dark parade, attemtps at theming coasters (Terminator/Bizzaro), committment to live entertainment, etc..
The only problem is that SF has to split these attractions among so many parks, that each park feels incomplete or out of balance, some more than others. That is probably what enthusiasts are picking up on when they ask about additional flat rides. It's the diversity of the ride and attraction experience that guests are experiencing.
In future guest research for SF,they should ask what is your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd favorite attractions - after the roller coasters - at Disney and Universal? Then, for each park, fill in the appropiate gaps.
That's freaking unheard of in the industry. Not even Disney and Universal get those types of numbers. I get the feeling those numbers are skewered in some way (as in, Six Flags considers a guest satisfied as long as they rate something a 6 or higher on a 1-10 scale or something like that). There's no chance in hell 97% of guests are giving ANY park the highest rating, let alone SFA.
While I do not know how that is judged, the statistic was posted by SFA on their Facebook page a couple of weeks ago...
Josh Linn wrote:The SFA comment is the only one that confuses me. I've never been there, but I don't see how the addition of a Thomas Town makes it one of the best parks in the chain. As is, there's no possible way they could even be near the top of the list...they have to put at least a few big(ger) rides in for that. It's astonishing for me that a park so close to Washington/Baltimore hasn't added any sort of roller coaster, family or major, in 9 years, and it'll be 10 at the soonest if they're planning anything for 2011.
Best park, I'm guessing, doesn't have anything to do with the attraction line up.
I'm sure it's more about the park that has the best operations, best safety record, most profitable, best guest service, highest intent to return, and all those categories that makes a business successful.
SharkTums wrote:I'm totally going to hold him to the Parent Pass thing at ALL Six Flags parks!
That was the BEST thing at SFGAd, and I've asked SFMM to do it or something similar for years and they never have.
I am the person who asked about the parent pass on the Fan Call . I have three kids and one who is under 54 inches which is the main reason for my question . I LOVE the parent pass at SFGADV and when we visited SFNE this summer it was a pain to have to deal with no parent pass. Disney , Universal , Cedar Point and even Bush Gardens and Hershey Park all have parent swaps or have a better system then Six Flags Does . We are planning to maybe take our kids out to SFMM and Disney Land next year and I full well know that my son will most likely not be 54 inches tall by then , I do hope that he holds true to his word and gets the passes into each and every park . If I hear anything else on this I will let you know. I do however have to share that I did get an e-mail on Tuesday as a follow up so I am sure that this is something that will be taken care of !!!
^Great to have some other park enthusiasts/parents on the board!
I went to SFMM yesterday and they had not heard anything about the Parent Pass so I think Shapiro was a little ambitious in saying that every park would 'have it by tomorrow' but hopefully this gets done soon as it is VERY needed at SFMM and other parks in the chain.
AnEscapeArtist wrote:Nice interview, same song and dance, but we'll see how the plans hold up this year.
"We are continuing to invest in the parking lots as we do with the parks themselves; using much of the money we make charging for parking. We aren’t that much different (certainly cheaper) from basketball and baseball games with their parking pricing structures.”
Gonna have to disagree with this, as parking at Angel stadium is a pretty decent $8, and $5 if you decide to walk a little bit. $15 is a bit steep, in my opinion.
Its one thing if you're at Disneyland and you get a quiet, smooth tram ride all the way to the entrance of the park. But at Six Flags the trains are so old and the tram roads are so bumpy, that the trains rattle, bang and bump the entire ride to the park entrance! So if the park pulls 1000 cars, they're pocketing $15000, and I know Mark says it, but it certainly doesn't seem that they've invested that dough on parking lots very efficiently.
Angel stadium is the exception, not the rule. Dodger stadium is $15, Staples is anywhere between $10-100 depending on the event and lot, USC football games are anywhere between $20-100 depending on the lot, the Rose Bowl was $20 last year, and so on.
I believe SFMM also recently re-striped a big chunk of their parking lot as well.
Magic Mountain has also added a new POS system to the toll plaza in the past two years. When one considers they built the park when computers were anything but common place, it probably costs them a pretty penny to implement something like that.
Also, some parks don't have trams at all - its a long walk from the far reaches of the big Knotts lot across Beach Blvd.
So we’ve got one Super Fan Call in the can and I’m already looking forward to the next. Thanks again for your time, your questions and your feedback. Mark really enjoyed himself and has already requested we get another one on the books soon. A quick recap of some highlights (plus a few notes on what happened after.)
First, the Parent Pass. For the uninitiated, the Parent Pass is not a physical pass but a policy across the park. It works like this, parents and children go through the normal line queue but one of the children doesn’t ride for whatever reason – usually height restrictions but sometimes fear (I mean Kingda Ka?! I’m 27 and still get a little sweaty in that line). With a Parent Pass, one of the parents can ride while the other hangs back with the non-rider. At the end of the ride, the parents swap places so that everyone gets a turn without having to wait in line twice. Long story short (too late, I know) we had a guest ask why this policy wasn’t implemented across the board. That’s when Mark broke it down real simple, “You’re right, it should. This policy will become universal by tomorrow.” One of my Twitter dudes put it best, “Best part of the @SixFlags call- a lady asks for ‘parent passes’ to be available at every park, Shapiro says it will be done by morning. BOOM!”
Then there was Jason B.’s question on Great Adventure’s Congo Rapids. First off – THRILLED this ride was brought up. I’m a major coaster fan but I might even be more of a sucker for the water rides. Jason claimed some of the effects on the ride were shut down and it was losing a bit of its luster. Ditto Jet Stream at Magic Mountain. Despite this call happening less than 48 hours ago, I know for a fact that both are being looked into as we speak and I’ll have an update for everyone soon.
One of the most exciting things to come out of the Fan Call has got to be the return of Houdini to Great Adventure. That’s one you guys have been asking me for for months – and now it’s finally done. (Apparently Mark Shapiro yields a little more power at this place than I do. Go figure.) So, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Houdini will be up and running. I’ve also got it on pretty good authority that, if everyone plays their cards right, it’ll reopen for Fright Fest, as well.
And, yesterday, my boss sat in on a meeting where Mr. Shapiro asked the Head of Ops to look into a package of flat rides for Great Adventure. You GrAdv dudes sure are vocal about what you want.
Full transcript should be available soon. I’ll try to post it online as soon as I get it. Thanks again, guys. Your feedback is going to help make 2010 even better.
Mike Six Flags Social Media Agent
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
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