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  1. #46

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    I'm psyched too, trust me. it will be nice to FINALLY have a decent woody in California. At least until the next earthquake.

    That back corner of the park is cursed, I'm sure of it.
    Ah, glad there are others who appreciate a new classic like this thing. You're definitely right about Roar, Colossus, Grizzly - but I certainly enjoy the Giant Dippers at Belmont and Santa Cruz. Not exactly the same adventure of the recent GCI's, but certainly classics.

    Haha, you might be right about the placement, except for one thing. That Deja Vu is the last surviving original installation! Well done, SFMM!
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  2. #47

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    I actually like Roar, or at least, I did 4 years ago. Need to get back up there again sometime.


  3. #48

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    It hasn't aged well, I'll say that. It's still tolerable for a ride, in the front, early in the day. After that, it's headache town. The MF trains are great, nice and soft too, but it's not got more in common with Gwazi than Thunderhead. Still a million times better than Grizzly though.

    Oh, and I forgot one - Ghostrider. Yeesh. What the heck happened?!
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  4. #49

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    Just having read through everyone's comments, a few things I noticed as themes with quick rebuttals:

    1) "They are all coasters with nothing else." -- No, SFMM is, but look at the market that they are in. Within less than two hours from the park gate, you can go to Disney, Knotts, and Universal. In business, you have three general paths to success -- be cheaper, be better, and be different. For the family market, how could Magic Mountain ever compete with Disneyland? For the adult demographic, Universal does some amazing stuff. Knotts used to be a sort of 'slightly older family' demographic. Six Flags made Magic Mountain to be the 'extreme' park in the area to be different and differentiate itself from the other parks around, which I think they succeeded on. I like Disneyland a lot more, but when I used to just ride coasters Magic Mountain had an attraction like few other parks.

    2) "They need to do what Cedar Fair does." -- I've owned stock in Cedar Fair for a number of years. I like the company, but Cedar Fair as a company understands how to run Cedar Point and not much else in the chain. Nothing else grows, and the Paramont acquistion so far seems to have been a disaster in my opinion as a shareholder and a guest at some of their parks.

    3) "Cedar Point should be their template." -- I don't know what people like Cedar Point so much, as it is in no way a 'family park'. It's a park with a bunch of coasters plopped everywhere. It, along with Magic Mountain, is coaster nirvana if you like that sort of thing, but I find it lacking otherwise.

    4) "All that Six Flags does in install unthemed coasters." -- Short history lesson here: In the mid 90s, Six Flags was owned by Time Warner who built extensively themed sections to the parks and did keep the parks themed. They sold to Premier Parks, which started rebranding a lot of their smaller properties and adding a bunch of unthemed coasters everywhere thinking that was the right business plan, and it was for one year until people realized the experience sucked and stopped returning. Near the end of the Premier management running the parks, they started to claim they were trying to get families to the parks because Daniel Synder and his investment company were trying to get new management placed at the parks. In 2006, this new management has come in, and the focus has most definitely changed from the parks I have visited before and after. With few exceptions, there hasn't been any major extreme thrill rides added anywhere, and there has been kid areas, family rides (including family style coasters) and shows added and improved. A lot of the parks that I couldn't stand in 2001-2005 that I have visted in the last couple years are a night and day difference in operations inside the park. They are cleaner, they are attentive, and they are actually nice to visit.

    The problem for Six Flags is that the Premier management lost money at an extremely fast rate, and while the new management seems to have turned things around to the point that they may not be paying off their debt, but they are actually starting to turn a profit as a chain, it may not be enough to catch up.

    If Six Flags goes belly up, it will be interesting to see what happens to a lot of the parks, as I can't see many people wanting to buy them in this economy, and I also can't see the land they sit on being worth enough money to tear them down. Some I'm sure would survive just fine, but it would be an interesting time, to say the least. I hope they can survive though, as if the last three years are any indication to where they are actually heading, they are about halfway through an amazing turn around.

  5. #50

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    Explain Six Flag's definition of theme though because calling a ride Riddler's Revenge and painting it green doesn't make it so. It's not even in the Gotham City Backlot is it?


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  6. #51

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    I think the prime example of the theme that took place during Time Warners stay at the park is Batman and the Gotham City Backlot. They did ALOT to that area, and Batman was/is very well themed, for a coaster.

    Granted, Universal kind of perfected that with Dueling Dragons, but what can you do.


  7. #52

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    Quote Originally Posted by goatdan View Post
    Just having read through everyone's comments, a few things I noticed as themes with quick rebuttals:
    Hmm, I'm not sure where these quotes comments came from, it helps to use a quote to the post so we can get some context behind what the person was saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by goatdan View Post
    1) "They are all coasters with nothing else."
    I'm not sure what you're trying to rebut here. You comments essentially say that this is the case, which is pretty hard to deny.

    Quote Originally Posted by goatdan View Post
    2) "They need to do what Cedar Fair does."
    I'm not sure who made this comment, but it's been the general concensus that CF has not exactly had the best track record, despite being a notch above Six Flags.

    Quote Originally Posted by goatdan View Post
    3) "Cedar Point should be their template." -- I don't know what people like Cedar Point so much, as it is in no way a 'family park'.
    I think it's odd that you think it has to be a family park for people to like it. You may personally find it lacking, sure, but it's pretty obvious why it's so popular. Primarily because it goes beyond what SFMM does - just dropping in coasters. CP not only does an amazing job integrating their rides with their environment, but they also surpass SFMM in almost any measure of guest experience. I'm confident when I say that SFMM would be much better off if they used CP as their template.

    Besides, the coasters, CP has TONS to do, dozens of family/kiddy rides, several childrens areas, mini-golf, a water park, the beach. In fact, the only reason I ws able to convinve my parents of a trip to CP as a child was because there was so much to do BESIDES just coasters.

    Quote Originally Posted by goatdan View Post
    4) "All that Six Flags does in install unthemed coasters." -- With few exceptions, there hasn't been any major extreme thrill rides added anywhere, and there has been kid areas, family rides (including family style coasters) and shows added and improved.
    That certainly is the trend still today, as is evidenced by more than a handful of recent coasters: Evil Kineval, Tony Hawk's Spin, Goliath, El Toro, etc., etc. I'm not sure which SF parks you've visited in the past 3 years, but the turn-around has yet to take shape. I'd agree that things seemed to have stopped getting worse, but that's not saying much.

    Quote Originally Posted by goatdan View Post
    they are actually starting to turn a profit as a chain, it may not be enough to catch up.
    Umm, technically they have turned a profit, but that barely covers the interest on their debt. I realize one can use the excuse of "it was like that when they got there", but I don't have that kind of sympathy for a place that is dranging down the standards of what used to be some of the best, most unique parks in the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by goatdan View Post
    If Six Flags goes belly up, it will be interesting to see what happens to a lot of the parks, as I can't see many people wanting to buy them in this economy, and I also can't see the land they sit on being worth enough money to tear them down. Some I'm sure would survive just fine, but it would be an interesting time, to say the least. I hope they can survive though, as if the last three years are any indication to where they are actually heading, they are about halfway through an amazing turn around.
    I agree with all of that, except this "amazing turn around". I just don't see what you are apparently seeing.
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  8. #53

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    I think Cedar Fair get's the "notch above Six Flags" based SOLELY off of Cedar Point and Six Flags bad reputation. I think this is VERY unfair.

    From all accounts, every park that Cedar Fair has owned for more than 10 years OTHER than Cedar Point has gone to crap. I'm talking about Knott's, Dorney, Worlds of Fun, etc.

    Also, not all Six Flags parks went all "Xtreme". Prime example is Six Flags Fiesta Texas. I'd put the theming of that park on par with Sea World. Nicely landscaped, well situated, nice employees, coasters (obviously) but some nice themed rides and queues. And this was 4 years ago, I'm sure it's probably just as nice now.

    I know right now, I'd MUCH rather spend a day at SFMM, SFFT, SFOT, SFOG or SFGAdv than Knott's or Dorney. And it's not EVEN close. I would be more excited to head up north to see the positive changes at SFDK than I would be to go ride the two new rides at Knotts. Heck, even the now-closed Astroworld would get my vote over Knott's right now. And everything in that park (save a few rides) were relocations from other parks.


  9. #54

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    Uhh, positive changes at SFDK? You may want to spare yourself the trip if that's what you expect!

    Hmm, guess that's a matter of opinion. Was just at Dorney this past year, and Knott's last - had pleasant visits. SFOT, SFOG, and SFMM, SFDK were really unimpressive, and I hit those all in the past two seasons as well.

    I, for one, was most certainly NOT basing it on Cedar Point only, for what it's worth. Also went to Geauga Lake before it got dismantled, and before CF took it apart, it was pretty pleasant.

    So, I see no problem with that as my opinion, though maybe I should resist from calling it a consensus.
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  10. #55

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post

    Also, not all Six Flags parks went all "Xtreme". Prime example is Six Flags Fiesta Texas. I'd put the theming of that park on par with Sea World. Nicely landscaped, well situated, nice employees, coasters (obviously) but some nice themed rides and queues. And this was 4 years ago, I'm sure it's probably just as nice now.
    Discovery Kingdom is another example of a family friendly Six Flags park, it's mostly a zoo with a bunch of small rides and about five or six big coasters, with the newest one being a wild mouse type coaster that actually spins.

    I hope Six Flags doesn't go under I love Discovery Kingdom.

  11. #56

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    Never made it to SFFT, but I agree with you on SFDK...kind of:

    Quote Originally Posted by sarki7 View Post
    I'd say SFDK is still a good notch below SFMM on the god-awful scale. At least there is a fair amount of activities for kids in families there, especially all the animal stuff. Granted, the employees, operations, and guest experience is still abhorrent - but I don't find myself fearing for my life nearly as much there as when I'm at SFMM.
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  12. #57

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    Quote Originally Posted by sarki7 View Post
    Hmm, I'm not sure where these quotes comments came from, it helps to use a quote to the post so we can get some context behind what the person was saying.
    I was quoting the themes that people had stated. I'm not going to spend all day finding and quoting exact quotes.

    I'm not sure what you're trying to rebut here. You comments essentially say that this is the case, which is pretty hard to deny.
    My comments were that Magic Mountain is basically all coasters, and there is a darn good reason that it is. The rest of the chain is not at all like Magic Mountain from the other park's I've visited, even after Premier did what Premier did to them.

    I'm not sure who made this comment, but it's been the general concensus that CF has not exactly had the best track record, despite being a notch above Six Flags.
    You said, and I quote, "Their model should be Cedar Point - essentially no themeing whatsoever, amazing coasters, and a staff that cares."

    I think it's odd that you think it has to be a family park for people to like it. You may personally find it lacking, sure, but it's pretty obvious why it's so popular. Primarily because it goes beyond what SFMM does - just dropping in coasters. CP not only does an amazing job integrating their rides with their environment, but they also surpass SFMM in almost any measure of guest experience. I'm confident when I say that SFMM would be much better off if they used CP as their template.
    I've been to both as a coaster rider, and I find the designs at Cedar Point utterly boring, while the rides at Magic Mountain are actually extreme rides that are much more intense to ride.

    I don't think a park needs to be a family park to necessarily succeed, however do you have any idea how expensive it is to install large coasters to try to build every park up as a 'coaster' park? And on top of that, large coasters attract the teenage element that others have mentioned (and I would agree with) don't spend the types of money necessary to draw just them in, and generally degrade the park experience either through behavior or vandalism (as a group, not all).

    Six Flags *did* use Cedar Point as a goal between 2000-2003, and it dang near ran them right out of business. Most people who have really watched the chain during that time agree that the large coasters they were installing were big mistakes, and rides to draw in families would have worked better in almost all of their properties -- excluding Magic Mountain, as mentioned.

    Besides, the coasters, CP has TONS to do, dozens of family/kiddy rides, several childrens areas, mini-golf, a water park, the beach. In fact, the only reason I ws able to convinve my parents of a trip to CP as a child was because there was so much to do BESIDES just coasters.
    That's only if you're staying more than a day though. Six Flags (and the Cedar Fair chain to a large extent) market themselves as regional parks where you will probably only be there one day. The mini-golf and water park are upcharges, and they don't have many rides the entire family can ride together. They removed their dark rides and most of their water rides to add coasters.

    And that's great. Cedar Point, like Magic Mountain, focused their attentions on becoming coaster bliss for those who want to ride coasters and are by far the most 'destination-like' parks in their respective chains. But it isn't a winning formula for all regional parks.

    That certainly is the trend still today [unthemed coasters is all they install], as is evidenced by more than a handful of recent coasters: Evil Kineval, Tony Hawk's Spin, Goliath, El Toro, etc., etc. I'm not sure which SF parks you've visited in the past 3 years, but the turn-around has yet to take shape. I'd agree that things seemed to have stopped getting worse, but that's not saying much.
    Okay, using your examples, Evil Knevial is a spectacular family type ride which while having a rather weak theme still has a theme. And is is rideable by everyone. Tony Hawk's Big Spins are the same sort of thing. Yeah, the theme isn't super deep, but it's there. Goliath at Fiesta Texas was a transplant of a ride from a closed park, not a new installation. El Toro was signed before the new management came in.

    Now, if you look at the other things that Six Flags has installed over the last few years, multiple kiddie areas, a practically Disney-quality "Glow in the Park" parade at a couple parks, an upgrade to the X coaster at Magic Mountain to give it somewhat of a theme and improve the ride, two themed immeserive mice coasters, water slides at multiple parks, and if you look at what they are installing next year that theme continues.

    From what I've seen from the parks that I have been in, the new management is trying to balance the parks and make them into destinations that the whole family can enjoy, while still understanding that coasters did make them popular, so they aren't totally stopping building them -- just making them family friendly and cheaper to install, both big positives.

    Umm, technically they have turned a profit, but that barely covers the interest on their debt. I realize one can use the excuse of "it was like that when they got there", but I don't have that kind of sympathy for a place that is dranging down the standards of what used to be some of the best, most unique parks in the US.
    Let's look at their debt for just a second though, because you can't fix everything without making money. So (parenthesis mean negative):

    2001 (shortly after Premier takeover) - "Profits" of ($84,617,000)
    2002 - "Profits" of ($127,668,000)
    2003 - "Profits" of ($83,683,000)
    2004 - "Profits" of ($486,777,000)
    2005 - (run by Premier, but tookover at end of year) - "Profits" of ($132,908,000)
    2006 - (transistion year as chain was reorganized) - "Profits" of ($327,558,000)
    2007 - (first year of full new management stuff) - "Profits" of ($275,129,000)
    2008 - (second year of turnaround) - Actual Profits of ?????

    Also, the 1999 and 2000 profits were negative, but I don't tend to blame the 'new' management for those since many things were in place before the Premier takeover. Those losses however were less than any other Premier year.

    While the 2007 year was the third most unprofitable in the last 10 years, as an investor and park-goer the argument is that in 2007 the current management team put into place what they thought would fix the parks for the future, and in 2008 for the first time since the parks were released by Time Warner, they actually will have netted a profit.

    Considering the economic downturn in 2008 started in full swing, turning a profit the (really) second year of the new management is a *huge* accomplishment, and is *extremely* important if Six Flags wants to be able to add more themed and detailed experiences in the future.

    I agree with all of that, except this "amazing turn around". I just don't see what you are apparently seeing.
    See above. The parks are also definitely cleaner then they were a few years ago, they are painting rides a lot more to make things look good, and things like the bathrooms are completely cleaner than they were.

    It's a tough industry, and if their claims of making money this past year are true, a swing of $275 million plus in revenue is a *huge* step in the right direction.

  13. #58

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    Quote Originally Posted by Coheteboy View Post
    Explain Six Flag's definition of theme though because calling a ride Riddler's Revenge and painting it green doesn't make it so. It's not even in the Gotham City Backlot is it?
    Riddler's Revenge was a 1998 addition by Six Flags back in the Time Warner days. While the theming has degraded (or disappeared) since that point, the essential theme as I recall was that the Riddler was tricking people into going up to this creation using mind control technique (developed in Batman Forever) and includes the NygmaTech "box" that he developed in that movie for tricking people.

    I'm not sure if the ride is technically in Gotham or not, but it is adjacent to Batman: The Ride at the park. Those rides were also Time Warner themes, with the theme being that you enter in a park where Bruce Wayne's philanthropy is shown, but you soon enter the seedy underbelly of Gotham City and see a shot out cop car, a bunch of junk and hear gang wars. Knowing that the city is in trouble, you enter the Storm Drain tunnel thing where you discover Batman's lair. When you enter his lair, "emergency detectors" detect that you need to get out of there, so they send an "emergency vehicle" to rush you away, and you board the train and do what you do.

    The rides themselves both once you left the station were essentially just concrete and steel creations, but the queue line theming was (when they opened) on par with a lot of the queue line theming nearly anywhere else -- including Disney. The rides themselves weren't themed, but the argument I think is that by being more extreme in nature, the rides stood on their own. From my experiences there, I'd totally agree.

    When Premier took over, the theming stopped and you got rides like Superman (insert ride here) that were painted red, blue and yellow but featured no noticable theme beyond that. It seems that new management is experimenting with fixing that, as I'm *really* curious to see what they do with the Superman ride in New England.

  14. #59

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    While I disagree that the theme was ever comparable to Disney, your post taught me a whole lot more than I ever got from riding those rides all those many times years ago.


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  15. #60

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    Re: Six Flags in more trouble???

    Quote Originally Posted by sarki7 View Post
    Uhh, positive changes at SFDK? You may want to spare yourself the trip if that's what you expect!
    What didn't you like about SFDK? That is probably one of my favorite Six Flags parks overall as the animal experiences that are there are quite good, and although the coasters are all unthemed, I enjoy just going to that park and not even bothering to ride the coasters, Medusa excepted. This is probably the most family park in the entire Six Flags chain.

    I, for one, was most certainly NOT basing it on Cedar Point only, for what it's worth. Also went to Geauga Lake before it got dismantled, and before CF took it apart, it was pretty pleasant.
    Geauga Lake for all practical purposes while Cedar Fair owned it was the remains of the park Six Flags built up there. Cedar Fair didn't add anything to the park the entire time they owned it, and only dismantled what was already there. The general consensus from people in the area now is that Six Flags was by far the better operator, although admittedly my trip to that park I thought it was a pretty substandard overall park (yet much better than my trip to Cedar Point the day before, where some of the stupid Cedar Fair policies were in full force).

    So, I see no problem with that as my opinion, though maybe I should resist from calling it a consensus.
    I would suggest you don't call it a consensus, as every 'enthusiast' board I can find as well as myself has found marked improvement in *every* Six Flags property in the last two or three years, and marked decline in *every* Cedar Fair park. Amongst those who don't believe that parks "owe" them a large coaster every year, the new management team at Six Flags has been a big hit.

    And, although I can't say my investment in them has done well at all, I really do believe it will improve, which is the other very important thing. I guess we'll have to see what happens!

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