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$250 for a one-day Six Flags ticket? Yes, if you go VIP

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Published: March 14, 2007 at 12:43 PM

One of the recent trends in the theme park industry has been the addition of VIP programs, extra amenities that parks offer guests who are willing to pay extra for frills. Disney's long offered guided tours at its parks. Universal Studio Hollywood offers a hosted tour, with front of the line access. And the SeaWorld parks offer animal encounters, under the watchful eye of park trainers.

But Six Flags now is trying to out-do them all. The amusement park chain has announced a VIP ticket program that includes a slew of amentities for guests with extra cash to spend.

  • Special parking space
  • Unlimited front of the line access
  • Reserved seating to all shows
  • All meals
  • Snacks
  • Games
  • A private meet and greet with Looney Tunes and Justice League characters of your choice. With photos
  • Visits to the adjacent Six Flags water and animal park
  • A private tour guide for the day, who will coordinate all of the above according to your interests.

    The cost? $249 per person, plus tax, at Magic Mountain, Great Adventure, Great America and Discovery Kingdom. $199 per person everywhere else.

    The upshot of all this is that, for a thousand bucks, a family of four gets to do exactly what everyone in the family wants to do, without waiting for any of it.

    I've been pricing a summer vacation up to the Bay Area this year, and after looking at $200-$300 nightly hotel rates in the tourist areas, a $250 theme park ticket no longer seems bizarre to me. Especially with all that's included here. (I can envision plenty of parents tempted by the thought of buying their elementary-aged son some one-on-one time with Batman and Superman, too.)

    Thoughts?

  • Readers' Opinions

    From Mark Freedman on March 14, 2007 at 1:24 PM
    A Six Flags VIP is an oxymoron. I doubt even the gangstra's who usually inhabit Six Flags parks will bite on that sucker's package.
    From Christine Benyon on March 14, 2007 at 1:36 PM
    With food and such, plus the fact that for a bigger park during the busy days you would need a two day pass to see everything. Plus you get all the perks.
    From W.G. Overman on March 14, 2007 at 1:48 PM
    I do not want to pay any more for a ticket than they already charge. And I already hate when a bunch of Q-bots get to jump in line ahead of me.
    From Erik Yates on March 14, 2007 at 3:41 PM
    That really is something I see other parks picking up on...like Disney. Imagine if they did this? Good god...it would be a million dollars a person.
    From Chris Walton on March 14, 2007 at 4:59 PM
    LoL, Mark says, "Six Flags VIP is an oxymoron."

    Yeah, I agree, it's like the McDonalds of theme parks. So whooptie doo! Why pay a small fortune for second-rate entertainment with a few "extras"? A "tour guide" ha ha, what a joke! Now USH's VIP experience is $100 dollars less and you receive a 6 hour hands-on tour of a working Hollywood studio backlot, with an opportunity to see popular stars, you don't meet a nobody in a Pepe LePew costume. Sure, with the USH tour you don't get free meals, but who wants to pay $250 for Six Flags "cuisine"? And are the adjoining water parks really worth it? I'll stick with Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon (heck, even Water Country).

    From Robert OGrosky on March 14, 2007 at 7:08 PM
    Get a season pass at SF, which is usually pretty cheap. Dont go to the park on week ends, but go during the week early in the year and late in the year and you get most of the same benefits without shellling on the big bucks!!! Just tour the parks in a educated manner and this scam isnt needed.

    Now if I pay this price for lets say SFGAM does that mean, if I choose that I can do a marathon on Raging Bull and ride in the rront row for several hours straight on the busiest days, becausae if I wouldnt be allowed to do this then this is false advertising.

    From Chris P. on March 14, 2007 at 7:25 PM
    In completely unrelated Six Flags news, Magic Mountain has been making some noticeable improvements lately. Ninja has received a new paint job, new paint has started going up around the park, Psyclone is totally GONE, Thrill Shot has FINALLY opened, and much more!
    From Derek Potter on March 14, 2007 at 7:55 PM
    I'll give them an A for effort. There are a lot of parks doing this nowadays, but there is currently a small problem with Six Flags offering. The quality doesn't reflect the high price. Yeah the foods free...but is that really a deal? Yeah you can cut to the front of the line...but only if the ride's open right? When Six Flags fixes all of the operational problems and increases quality of experience, then they may see some sold packages. Keep in mind though that even the most reputable and successful parks in the business do this, and pretty much across the board, these packages aren't a large portion of revenue. The price is just too high for the vast majority of patrons.
    From Mike K on March 14, 2007 at 7:56 PM
    Cedar Point has been doing this for the past two seasons, but only charging $350 per person for parties larger than four. It does not include as many perks, but when you factor in Cedar Point now has 17 coasters and is the best park on the planet, this is the only way to truly get everything done in one day. Last summer was the first year they actually promoted it and let people know it was available and it was extremely popular.

    http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/visit/vip.cfm

    From Anthony Murphy on March 14, 2007 at 8:26 PM
    I personally think its a great idea!


    Maybe because Great America in IL is decient, but that definatly has some pretty big perks for $250. The way I see it, there is a very large possiblity that a trip there would cost close to that amount of money. They do not hide the fact that they are taking all your money as well as the other big parks like Universal and Disney


    Why not? It can't hurt and I would buy it!

    Its also not nice to look down on patrons at Six Flags! Those same people are at all the parks of the world! Stop being such theme park elitist....oh wait....... LOL :)

    From John F Crowley on March 14, 2007 at 11:21 PM
    Whew! This is kinda steep. For this kind of dough I want a behind the scenes tour, you know how the works work!
    From Eric Malone on March 15, 2007 at 6:43 AM
    Interesting. That definetely ups the ante..
    From Deidre Dennis on March 15, 2007 at 10:28 AM
    When we go on vacation, we don't go to "save money," in fact, we usually splurge. Last year we went to Disney World for 11 days and during that time we also went to Universal Studios Orlando. We "splurged" and bought the front of the line pass and got to do everything AT BOTH PARKS before the day ended. We planned on taking 1 full day at each park, but we didn't have to. It was awesome. Yes it sucks to watch the people passing you by but if you can afford it, why not? If it meant it'd save me time, especially with younger kids who sometimes tire out quickly, I'd do it at every park that offered it. To me, that alone is worth it. The experience was awesome at Universal Orlando.
    From TH Creative on March 15, 2007 at 6:15 PM
    It's the theme park business. If your gonna survive you gotta toss the dice once in awhile, no?
    From Scottland Jacobson on March 15, 2007 at 6:58 PM
    For something like Great America and Magic Mountain, I'd be tempted. I usually like to ride Raging Bull 10 times when I visit SFGA, so I'd certainly consider this option. But I wish it was $200 for season passholders or something like that to reward those who already attend their parks frequently.
    From RANDY TAYLOR on March 16, 2007 at 5:48 AM
    I think it's great that Six Flags is trying to upgrade its
    clientelle, as well as its image in the industry. I hope that the general public will give Snyder and co. the chance to do so. It is very easy to critisize them for their past mistakes and we all know that there have been many, but lets give them some time and see what happens. I think that Six Flags fills a necessary void in the industry for those who cannot afford to get to Disney and spend that kind of money on a vacation. Their parks are located near urban ares and tend to attract a younger, unruly crowd, but lets face it, jerks can be found among "gangsters" as well as "preppies".
    From JIMMY TOVAR on March 17, 2007 at 7:07 AM
    I THINK IT'S GREAT. ABOUT TIME THEY COME UP WITH SOMETHING LIKE THIS. IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY TO SPEND, WHY NOT? ANYTHING FOR THE YOUNG ONE'S. A CHILD'S SMILE AND LAUGHTER IS WORTH MORE. I WOULD DEFINITELY BUY IT FOR MY KIDS.

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