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  1. #1

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    Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney


    Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro. Photo courtesy www.NABShow.com.

    In a keynote address at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas yesterday, Six Flags Inc. CEO Mark Shapiro discussed plans to make the amusement park company less focused on roller coasters and "rides on cement" and more about thematic character and story elements similar to Disney's theme parks.

    In the coming months, Six Flags will introduce its own cast of characters to promote its 21 parks and entertain visiting guests.

    "Approaching Six Flags is like building Disney, backward," he said. "The focus and the root of all and everything we do is the storytelling itself."

    According to Shapiro, Six Flags has spent $100 million to reinvent itself as an entertainment company, including purchasing a half interest in Dick Clark Productions Inc. last year.

    Source: AP/MSN Money

  2. #2

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    I REALLY like the changes he's made already. Six Flags is no longer the laughing stock of the theme park world. That distinction goes to Cedar Fair now I think.


  3. #3

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    It's true. If he can bring Six Flags above Knott's, I might even visit.

  4. #4

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    I do like what i have been seeing from Six Flags lately. Cedar Fair does need to pick up their game and start to improve. They do not want to be compared to the old Six Flags.

  5. #5

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    ^ Sadly the comparisons are startling.


  6. #6

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    Mr. Shapiro shouldn't try to overextend himself. It would be appropriate to say that he wants Six Flags to be cleaner, more polite, and less focused on scuzzy teenagers running from one mega coaster to the next. But to suddenly try to remake his image into a collection of regional Disneylands? That's laughable.

    I went to Magic Mountain last Fall. The place was a dump, the employees were some of the worst service industry employees I've ever encountered, and the park was aging badly all over the place. Those are the fundamentals, and Mr. Shapiro isn't going to sprinkle pixie dust over the punky kids in sagging pants operating Goliath and make it into Pirates of the Caribbean.

    Mr. Shapiro may talk a good game at a big convention, but he is still stuck with a collection of dirty, decaying amusement parks operated by rude, sullen kids in baggy pants. End of story.

  7. #7

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    I don't think anybody REALLY expects Six Flags to be like Disneyland. It's NEVER going to happen. But when you are looking to improve your parks, you want to be more like the best. That's Disney.

    Remember, he said "Like Disney" not "Be Disney".


  8. #8

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    I don't see how making up a bunch of characters is supposed to convert SF into something evenn remotely like a Disneyland.

    Six Flags would do well to buy Marvel comics and have those characters walk around their respective roller coasters. Make up their own? Didn't they try that already once?
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  9. #9

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    ^ Dude, tell me you wouldn't want the Six Flags Trolls to come back.


  10. #10

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    ^ Dude, tell me you wouldn't want the Six Flags Trolls to come back.
    Sounds better than the micechat trolls.

  11. #11

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    Yeah... I'm basically seeing very little of the character stuff succeeding unless they get Dick Clark Productions to make some TV shows or something featuring them.

    Not saying that character recognition with original park characters can't happen, it's just hard to get people to remember the character when they get home. If they can't say the right name of an attraction when they're looking at the sign, what's the chances of them remember much about the character?

    I haven't been to a Six Flags in years... did the Warner Bros. contract expire?
    -Tim

  12. #12

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    Quote Originally Posted by aashee View Post
    Sounds better than the micechat trolls.
    What? I can't be better than you just because I live under a bridge and eat goats?!







    -Tim

  13. #13

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    The Dark Knight coaster which is opening at a couple of Six Flags parks this year looks like a good way to create themed family entertainment. Each Six Flags park needs to amp up their dark ride collection, put in a motion simulator theatre, and build some well themed family thrill rides (which is what The Dark Knight looks like it will be). My local Six Flags (Over Georgia) is opening Thomas Town next month, and considering it family entertainment. I'm sure small kids will love Thomas Town, but I wouldn't call it a family ride because it will likely bore teenagers and adults by themselves. Flat rides aren't family rides IMO. Rides like Scramblers and Tilt-a-Whirls were the rides I was most likely to ride by myself as a child (they made my parents sick).

    Family rides=POTC, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain, Indy, Mr. Toad, Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin, Jungle Cruise.

  14. #14

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    Quote Originally Posted by aashee View Post
    Sounds better than the micechat trolls.


    Quote Originally Posted by FrumiousBoojum View Post
    Yeah... I'm basically seeing very little of the character stuff succeeding unless they get Dick Clark Productions to make some TV shows or something featuring them.

    Not saying that character recognition with original park characters can't happen, it's just hard to get people to remember the character when they get home. If they can't say the right name of an attraction when they're looking at the sign, what's the chances of them remember much about the character?

    I haven't been to a Six Flags in years... did the Warner Bros. contract expire?
    No, they still have the Warner Bros. Characters, and Justice League.


  15. #15

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    Re: Mark Shapiro Says Six Flags Can Be Like Disney

    Quote Originally Posted by FrumiousBoojum View Post
    What? I can't be better than you just because I live under a bridge and eat goats?!


    That's a bonus. And it makes you eligible for an award!

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