Why Six Flags is Going “Down Hill”

Yesterday we took a group of students to Six Flags Saint Louis.  (Seriously, we need a church bus.  I’m tired of taking three or four cars on every trip we go on.  We are always having to ask people from the church who have vans to borrow them.  If your reading this and go to HCC please help me get a church bus.  Please, I’m begging you, write a letter, buy one, whatever it takes.  I don’t think people understand how important trips are.  More importantly, I don’t think people understand how meaningful the ride to the destination can be.)  Anyway, like I said before we took a group of students to Six Flags.  Bethany and I took a group of high school students earlier this year as chaperons for a choir trip so we knew the park was getting bad.  However, it’s getting worse.

If your planning on going to Six Flags, plan on shelling out some dough.  There are a lot of things they don’t tell you about and some rules that don’t make sense.  Let me see if I can clarify what happened on our Six Flags experience and why what their doing is killing the park.

  1. Insane parking cost – With gas as high as it is, is it really necessary to charge $15 bucks to park?  We spent a total of $45 parking three vehicle’s yesterday.  (church van?)  Even though everyone might pay kids prices right now, for a family of four to come to Six Flags to park their car, after they pay to park it would add $3.75 to their ticket price. (Do the math, 15 divided by 4 equals… yup you got it!)  I can see (not really) $10 but $15 is insane.
  2. No bags in line on coasters – Really?  Are you serious.  We went to get on the new Evil Knievel coaster that just opened this year (as well as other coasters that make Six Flags what it is) only to be stopped at the start of the line by people wearing bright green jackets shaking their head.  They told us that bags can not be brought in the line.  I know you can’t take your bag or purse on the actual coaster but seriously, how hard is it to drop your bag off to the side before you ride and then pick it up when you get off.  Also, how many women in this world don’t carry a purse?  Six Flags told us what we had to do was take our bags to the locker at the front (because the lockers by the ride are only two hour rentals) which cost us $9 to get for the day, for a small locker!  This makes absolutely no sense to me.  “Hey I sure had a blast on that coaster!  Look theres pictures of us on the ride!  I’ll buy one!  Wait, no I can’t because my purse/bag is shoved in a locker at the front gate.”  or how about, “I’m thirsty mom.”  “Sorry buddy but you can’t have an over priced lemonade because moms purse is shoved in a locker in the front.”
  3. Ride regulations – I hate it but the list goes on.  We sat on a ride (like a carnival ride) for ten minutes waiting for more people to get on.  The guy running the ride told us that you, “have to have two people to a seat in order for him to run the ride and there are people who are sitting by themselves.”  Really?  I rode this same ride for almost three years straight, by myself, and now your telling me that I have to have someone next to me?  What if I’m alone and no one in my group wants to ride this ride with me?  Not only did some ride regulations make no sense but when asked nicely we didn’t receive an honest answer or a polite response to the question asked.

I was so thankful that my students displayed an attitude of Christ all day.  They were great sports about everything despite the repeat frustrations we faced.  Our group always understands that we have to generate the fun to have a good time and they come through with flying colors.  The students are great about not letting anything rain on their day.  It was one of the better trips we have taken with students.  I am glad we went and grew together as a group.

If your looking for a youth trip that’s relatively cheap trip Holiday World in Indiana, or if you want a great  coaster experience, try Ceder Point in Ohio. Next year we are passing on Six Flags.

Thanks for the memories.



2 Responses to “Why Six Flags is Going “Down Hill””

  1. 2 anonymous August 2, 2008 at 5:33 am

    Hi there.

    I’m not certain why everyone is so surprised that the park has to charge so much for parking; why does everyone in the nation get to complain about costs rising except for corporations? Six Flags is no exception, and since they dropped their ticket prices by $15, I think paying a bit more to get in for parking is a great exchange. If you buy three tickets in, you’ve saved $45, but you’re only paying $3 more from last year to park for an entire car full of people. That seems to work out, to my math.

    There are a lot of reasons for the lockers at the four major roller coasters. Ask Guest Relations; they will tell you all the reasons why. They aren’t doing it for revenue – they’re barely breaking even on the locker rentals after paying for upkeep and the leasing of the locker attendants/workers. Had to be done, and is done all over the nation. You can’t drop your stuff next to the ride because of the mass amounts of stolen articles at this park in particular, and because it adds well over an hour a day to the que lines. The research has been done; before, everyone was complaining about three things (lost articles, stolen articles, and ride lines). Now they’re complaining about one – the lockers.

    And yes, of COURSE Disney World doesn’t do these things – they have a multi-million-dollar movie company backing them up, along with tons of other resources – Six Flags doesn’t. They can’t afford the kind of staff and perks Disney can. Unfortunate, but true. And Holiday World is one park that gets to keep its revenue – Six Flags parks don’t.

    And finally, ride regulations are for safety. Those regulations change if research suggests it should. This is the same in every park in the nation. New policies aggravate people, but once they are used to them it gets easier. And if you ask ride operators and they don’t know the answer, that isn’t exactly surprising – after all, you can use a car but be completely unable to assemble a motor. You can safely operate a forklift but be unable to build one. That is not surprising; but a ride operator not knowing the answer to “why do I need a partner on this ride?” is strange?

    I have worked for the park in the past, and understand your questions and concerns. Did you address them with the park, or just write here on your blog instead? The park has to know what’s going wrong to fix it; not telling them, but then complaining at large, is dangerous. Please consider addressing your concerns with them first, as they can’t change anything if you don’t tell them. Blogs like this are written daily, so it’s impossible for them to read all of them and then act – they need to be told. Thanks.

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