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Six Flags to ban same day reentry?

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Published: January 13, 2006 at 7:40 PM

It seems that Six Flags is about to make the most insane move in theme park history. While it had started as a rumor, it was discovered that Six Flags New England has added a new policy to its park-specific website that prohibits same-day park re-entry. It has been traditional for theme parks to allow guests to have their hands stamped so that they can re-enter the park that day. However, it appears that the policy has been changed at Six Flags New England, and is rumored to be changing at all of the other Six Flags parks for 2006.

Is Dan Snyder nuts? He has been known to nickel-and-dime his customers, but this would be the ultimate insult to theme park patrons. No more leaving the camera in the car, leaving a change of clothes or your lunch in the car, or heaven forbid leaving the parking lot to grab a bite to eat at a slightly more affordable and higher quality restaurant. Those practices may soon be history at Six Flags, and guests will have to bring everything they may potentially need into the park with them and rent a locker to store everything, at an extra charge, of course. Six Flags may have found a way to increase revenue by locking guests into the park with nowhere else to go without having to pay a second admission to get back in the gates of the park, but how many people will just not bother going in if they can't leave to take a rest or change their clothes?

LET THE COMPLAINING BEGIN....

Readers' Opinions

From Robert Niles on January 13, 2006 at 7:51 PM
This seems to me a rather transparent attempt to get people to spend the extra $10 or whatever to upgrade their one-day ticket to an annual pass.

"Oh, you want to go get a change of clothes for your baby? Well, you'll have to buy another ticket for $42.99 if you want to get back in. Or... you can spend just $12 to upgrade to a Season Pass and come and go as you please all year long! So, which would you prefer, ma'am?"

From Robert Niles on January 13, 2006 at 8:13 PM
Or, the alternate explanation would be that Six Flags has accepted that it is essentially an under-21 club, and is installing a no-reentry policy to keep the kiddies from imbibing in the parking lot. If that's the case, I'm searching to find a way for Snyder to turn this thing around. The only way, it seems to me, to get the per-visitor spending up is to attract fewer teens on their own and more families. And to increase the number of visitors on one-day tickets, as opposed to season passes. This policy, intuitively, would appear to fail on both counts.
From Pete Brecht on January 14, 2006 at 9:50 AM
I didn't see any reference to this new policy on SFNE website. Did they change their minds, or have they just not gotten around to updating the website?

Also, if this is a new policy, it's certainly possible that season passholders will be subject to it as well, so I wouldn't necessarily assume that this change is intended to convince people to get season passes. More likely, they want to force people to buy their expensive, crappy food instead of picnicking in the parking lot.

From Chris P. on January 14, 2006 at 10:24 AM
This is would be an extremely ridiculous move for the six flags parks.What happens when you forget something in your car and have to go back?Let me guess,pay another $45 to get back in. I don't think same day re-entry will be allowed with season passes either, because the majority of visitors have season passes, so it wouldn't make any sense at all to allow season pass holders back in .
From Russell Meyer on January 14, 2006 at 10:53 AM
This move has been rumored since Snyder got his hands on the company. SFNE is the first park to officially post this rule as part of their park policies. However, the rumor was that Six Flags would prohibit same day re-entry into the parking lot, basically forcing guests to bring a picnic lunch or eat the overpriced Six Flags food.

I think what Robert is saying is that gusts can purchase a season pass, and return on another day if they do want to spend the whole day locked in the park, and don't want to spend $45 to come back.

Six Flags has also increased season pass prices at its more popular parks for the 2006 season (Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Great Adventure, and Six Flags Over Texas).

From Robert Niles on January 14, 2006 at 1:20 PM
Yep, SFNE has taken the sentence about no same-day reentry off its site.

FWIW, I was assuming in my first post that the same-day-reentry-ban would not apply to season passes, but just to one-day (or, rather, one entry) tickets. Otherwise, Six Flags would have to check at the turnstyle to see that a season pass had not yet been used that day when admitting a passholder.

From Anthony Murphy on January 14, 2006 at 9:46 PM
I do not think this will work very well in Illinois with our Six Flags Great America. Because of the area it is in, people use the same day and next day thing very often. In fact, some people in Chicago make a mini vacaion out of it! Of course, they really do not have very much competition except Gurnee Mills. Personally I think Six Flags is very overpriced, but thats what you get from theme parks!
From Derek Potter on January 16, 2006 at 3:02 PM
I guess I misjudged the capabilities of the management. I didn't think Six Flags was capable of hosing it's guests any more than they already have. I was wrong. It's a new low in the amusement industry when a park won't permit a guest to reenter after paying for a ticket. There are plenty of other ways to get your crowds to stay in the park besides locking them in...such as good restaurants, good shows, shopping...etc. I sure would like to know how the suits came to the conclusion that this was a good idea.

Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if this was a test message to feel out the marketplace. I guess the only way to find out how people will take it is to leak it. I sure hope it doesn't happen for the paying publics sake.

From RANDY TAYLOR on January 17, 2006 at 12:18 PM
If the way that Snyder manages my Redskins is any indication, soon Six Flags will be the most expensive theme park ticket in the country with the most expensive parking (20.00 to park at Fed Ex Field for a Redskins game). He is ALL about the money first. And don't you DARE try to smuggle a bag of chips or a bottle of water in. You will be treated like you were carrying a biological weapon! This move by Snyder dosen't surprise me at all. Stay tuned for more price gouging as the cost of EVERYTHING in his parks go as high as the first hill on Kingda Ka!

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