Wham! Bam! Ka-Pow!
A bruising brawl involving comic-book superheroes, Saturday morning cartoon characters and extreme sports icons will change the ride and roller coaster landscape of Six Flags' 11 U.S. amusement parks in 2011.
An intellectual property housecleaning at the amusement park chain has left Bugs Bunny, Superman and Scooby-Doo victorious and Thomas the Tank Engine, The Wiggles, Evel Knievel and Tony Hawk vanquished.
In a sudden about-face, Six Flags is undoing several licensing agreements established since 2007 for 60 amusement park rides and attractions. The extensive slate of name changes and thematic makeovers are expected to begin in early 2011. The cost-cutting move comes in the wake of a Six Flags management overhaul after the company emerged from bankruptcy earlier this year.
Six Flags will re-theme the Thomas Town kiddie lands, based on the children's television show "Thomas & Friends," as unbranded Whistle Stop Depots, amusement park officials confirmed.
Since 2007, Six Flags has added Thomas Towns at Six Flags Magic Mountain (Valencia), Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (Vallejo), Six Flags New England (Massachusetts), Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags America (Maryland). Six Flags America opened its Thomas Town in June 2010.
Six Flags also plans to de-theme the Tony Hawk Big Spin coasters at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags St. Louis, officials said.