Six Flags makes strong family play with character flood
Written by Robert Niles
Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro has announced another change for the struggling amusement park chain: the addition of 1200 new costumed characters to Six Flags' theme parks.Tweet
For years, the only "rubberhead" one could find at a Six Flags park was an occasional glimpse of a tuxedoed Bugs Bunny. (Never mind that Bugs is the antithesis of a monkey-suited dandy.) This summer, visitors should expect to find many more Looney Tunes and Justice League characters roaming the parks.
Six Flags is also taking a cue from Disney and celebrating the 45th anniversary of its original park -- Six Flags Over Texas -- with a chain-wide, year-long marketing blitz.
Personally, I don't know how much promotional value Looney Tunes characters have with today's kids. Does Bugs appeal to anyone under age 20? It seems to me that kids love the Nick characters (Paramount, you will rue the day you sold these parks....) and anything from Pixar. Looney Tunes? Who are they?
The Justice League is a different story. My five-year-old son adores superheroes and now, for the first time ever, has a reason to visit a Six Flags park.
But will the family go this year? I doubt it. While my son would love the chance to meet Batman, the Green Lantern and Wonder Woman, there remains little else for him to do at Magic Mountain, our local Six Flags park. At his age, extreme coasters are years out of reach. And Magic Mountain's collection of kiddie rides differs little from Knott's Berry Farm's, where a one-day kids' ticket is $15 cheaper and he can meet Snoopy, whom he still loves too.
But this certainly is a welcomed step in the right direction for Six Flags' effort to win back the family market.
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