My question is this. Why is Six Flags quitting on Magic Mountain? I can see dropping the other parks, but this is the park they've invested millions and millions in with state of the art rides. Of course that's pretty much all they invested in, but still they put a lot of money into it. What the park always lacked in my opinion was good management. Too much money into rides...not enough into keeping them in top shape...not enough into smaller family attractions...not enough into food, gift shops, shows, employees, or operations itself. Building coasters took precedence over guest experience, and people were too busy standing in line waiting for one train operations to actually spend money elsewhere in the park. Trip reports of people leaving the park to eat lunch at McDonalds, arriving to find a good portion of the top attractions closed, and overall bad experiences have been in abundance the past few years, and they tell the tale of a park that should have been a lot more successful than it was. Hypothetically the solution would be to replace those responsible for poor performance, but they want to get rid of it? There has to be a little more to the story. Perhaps somebody wants some real estate and has a lot of money.
The cure to make this park a great place to visit?? Cedar Fair. They've proven with Cedar Point that a thrill ride haven can indeed be highly successful when it delivers a great guest experience. The magic words for Cedar Fair...guest spending. Heres a little fact disclosed last week. Paramounts Kings Island entertained 200,000 more guests last year than Cedar Point, however, Cedar Point's revenue last year was double that of Kings Island. Through the use of things like hotels, great restaurants, and over the top gift shop items, they got guest spending up in the face of a small attendance decline. Why? because people love the place. It has a cult-like regional fan base, and has become a destination. Magic Mountain tried to copy the formula, but didn't realize that coasters are only part of the equation.
With the acquisition of the Paramount Parks, Cedar Fair does have a handful of debt, but the success of the Paramount chain will compensate and enable Cedar Fair to make it's money back quickly. Adding Magic Mountain does give them some work to do, but the park is a great fit, and it's solution is the management of Cedar Fair.
Despite my disappointment with this park, I hope it remains open with somebody. I remember seeing that park so many times in movies and on TV. In fact, that's really what made me want to go. It would be a shame to see it close due to someone running it into the ground. I can only wish I had the means to buy it. Anyone want to back me on a large business venture, because I'm telling you, it could be a real winner.
But I'd also think that Busch would give Magic Mountain a long look. Its first park was in the L.A. market, and many wish it'd never closed Busch Gardens L.A. Rebranding Magic Mountain as Busch Gardens Magic Mountain... or Busch Gardens L.A... or Busch Gardens Asia... would send a strong signal to burned locals that the park truly was under new management -- a management with a strong rep in the theme park business and one that many locals retain fond memories of.
This park, with its location, easily could pull in four-million-plus per year. But only with a strong, family-friendly management and a healthy mix of rides, shows, dining and events that appealed across generations. I think Cedar Fair might be able to do that. I know Busch could.
Another potential benefit would be the potential for a multipark AP with Sea World. Here in Florida my pass is good for Busch Gardens Tampa, Adventure Island (water park across street from BGT) and Sea World Orlando. If they picked up magic Mountain they could easily do a similar deal for Californians. For me, it's the only AP I can still afford to own (with Disney and Universal out of my current budget), and it's always great for a quick getaway for a whole or partial day of downtime.
That means that Six Flags would drastically have to get guest spending up at it's other parks. Raising prices would be a quick fix, but there are plenty of parks out there that are providing a better experience for less money, and consumers will catch on if they haven't already. Look at the DC market. You have a Six Flags there, but down the road a little ways you have Busch Gardens, and you have Kings Dominion, soon to be under Cedar Fair management. Customers wanting to go to an amusement park will take their money elsewhere if there's a better value closeby. Money needs to be spent on improving the guest experience.
That's what happened to Magic Mountain, families stopped going there and instead went to places like Knott's, where the food and rides are good, the kids admission is dirt cheap (9.99), and the rides are open all the time. In the meantime, Magic Mountain appears to have become a sort of babysitter for teenagers. Not that teenagers are necessarily a bad thing, but teenagers without their parents attached in an amusement park usually translates to lower guest spending. The parents have no reason to go, and no reason to take any youngsters who aren't big enough to ride the mega coasters. That's what the park is sorely missing, along with good operations. You can have all the coasters you want, but there has to be something for everyone else too. Take the 25 million they were going to spend on the next new coaster, and spend it on a kids ride package, a couple of real restaurants, a couple of shows, landscaping and maintenance, property repair, better gifts, marketing to fix the trashed image, and (GASP)..better pay to employees...preferably the little guys and ones who do their job well, not undeserved bonuses for the management. In this case, money spent that way would go miles further for profit than any ride ever would.
That being said, I still think Magic Mountain is something that can be fixed and improved, and if Six Flags really thinks it can't be fixed, well than perhaps the wrong person is running the show.
The previous poster's comments about coasters is right on, too. At Six Flags NE, I'm guessing 2/3 or more of the park attendees will never even want to ride the Superman coaster. The parks spend countless millions building these things, they break down constantly, and they are not an attraction to many. The parks need to ruthlessly close down the old and unreliable rides, stop building coasters, and start adding 2 or more new and original family friendly rides each year. If you are retiring the unreliable rides, it makes room for newer ones, there is less maintenance expense and effort, and parents are happy because they don't have to constantly placate children who are unhappy because the ride they were looking forward to riding is shut down.
Also, no one has mentioned the EVIL electronic fast pass systems. This is a real kick in the groin to familiy visitors; you pay and outrageous amount to get into the park to begin with, and then instead of the park operating the rides to move people through at a good pace, they have the gall to charge you for a device that is almost necessary to avoid the huge waits. Worse, if you are a family and don't want to spend for the devices, you lose because the "wait is xx minutes" from here signs are now useless because they don't take into account the constant groups of teens barging in front of you to ride. You enter a queue thinging it will be 20 minutes from where you are, and it ends up being 60 minutes.
Any company who has a rapidly deteriorating product and customer service is seriously deluding themselves if they think that can *raise* admissions and expect to make more money.
Why is this business so difficult for the owners to figure out? Lower the admission prices, stop charging even more for parking, don't charge $30!!! for a large cheese pizza. Fix your rides, close unreliable ones. Stop building coasters, spend the money on family friendly rides, hiring and training english speaking staff, and enforcing park rules that make it friendly for families! Pick up the trash, and stop raping guests for necessities like bottled water.
Did we need to spend millions of dollars on Tatsu, I don't think so. What we could have done with that money instead is updated the computer systems we use to sell tickets! Food service all have touch screen computers, while we at the front have teeny tiny screens little bigger than the size of a playstation game case. We could have used the money to build new ticket booths that don't have duct tape covering holes in the walls... again not joking. Or how about actually tearing down Flashback for God sake! That ride has been "being repaired" since i was about 10, I don't actually remember it ever working... yet there it sits.
On to ticket prices. Yes even I think they are outragous and I sell the damn things. Look, a regular season pass sells for $69.99 ten dollars more than a one day ticket, but it doesn't include a coupon booklet. To get said coupon booklet you have to pay $89.99... twenty dollars more than a regular season pass and thirty more than a one day ticket, and if you buy a one day ticket for full price and decide later you want a season pass you have to pay $40.00 for the upgrade.. paying a total of $100.00 for a regular season pass that again doesn't come with a coupon booklet.The price to park is crazy as well, $15?!?! Please... park down the hill at the Red Lobster, Marie Calenders, or Wendy's parking lots and walk up the hill. Sure it takes a little longer and in the heat its not that great but save the 15 bucks for the overpriced food inside the park... Obviously I could go on and on with an insiders opinion but I think I'll stop here... and hope none of my Supervisors see this..
---back on subject.Six flags is already doing construction in the front by the hill, do any of you know what that is? Rumors say its going to be a "City walk/downtown disney" type of thing. Anyways the park yes, indeed needs alot of work done with paint on the trakcs and theming, I think they should take down Flashback and perhaps add a auditorium for a 3d That park has so much potential but there not doing anything with it, the new owner said that it would be more family orientated, even if it mena to close magic mountain down for a few months... But the whole park is SWAMPED with teenagers never will you see a family waiting in line with you like you do at universal studios/disney parks. You see teenagers/kids and or adults. The place where you get a job interview is a pack up and go trailor. For any of you that work(ed) there can you please explain orientation to me, if I get scheduled for orientation that means im hired right?
They could probably find better ways to sell food and water than hiking up the prices. You can get a gallon of gas for the same price as a liter of water. Maybe they should get a fast food chain like McDonalds or Burgerking to go in and sell food.
And I love all the coasters, but they spend more money trying to break records than they do getting people to have a good time when not riding the coasters. People spend most of the time not n a ide, but walking or eating or just looking around. Adding scenery would help and taking care of trash on the paths.
And last, a few family rides for the little ones would help the balance in customers. You spend money wisely to make money. Instead of 25 mil on a coaster that will hold a record for a few years, build a ferris wheel, some better little kid rides. Don't copy Disneyland, they have family friendlyness, that is what disney is about. Six Flags is about Building roller coasters and thrill rides. But disneyland has some good thrill rides for it's teen crowd, it's focus is kids and families. Six flags should have some kid and family rides and still focus on the main crowd that they get.
Last is Breakdowns. They should tear down flashback and sell the steel or something, because it isn't actually operating. And I hear that breakdowns and ride lines are bad, bud when I went there on June 6, 2006, as far as I knew every ride was operating and the longest lines were goliath, 1 and a half hours and X, 2-3 hours. I heard deja vu has long lines but I didn't ride it and from reviews didn't bother with psyclone. But I rode every other coaster, excluding flashback, psyclone, deja vu and the kid coasters, so if that is a problem, I think they fixed it. THen again, it was Tuesday.
Aside from those, I think magic Mountain is fantastic. If they sell to real estate I think that it would really stink. The management either doesn't know what it's doing completely, or is just out and out ignoring it's guests.
Magic Mountain's real problem has been its refusal to operate all of its rides, and to run its operating rides at a fraction of their capacity. This has led to ridiculous wait-times, and has resulted in conflicts in queues, as rude impatient visitors (not just teens) try to jump the line. But that's a far different situation than gang-bangers taking over the place.
That said, from readers' reports since the RedZone takeover of Six Flags, this season the park has done a far, far better job of getting its attractions running and keeping them closer to capacity. (The fact that its two newest coasters are from B&M, perhaps the industry leader in reliability, has helped, too.) This park could be turned around. But Six Flags, it appears, does not have the money to do it, without making massive cuts elsewhere. Some major park in the chain had to go -- from the chain, if not from the industry entirely. With six other parks in SoCal and a hot real estate market, circumstances appear to have dictated that Magic Mountain would be it.
anyways Six flags is indeed improving great start and as an empl,oyee ill do anything in my power to ensure quality customer service
As far as the gang aspect, I knew that had come to an end when I went with a youth group on a Church night at MM. My son, and his friends, were into Punk Rock and dressed accordingly. When we arrived, they were singled out, taken to an area next to the entrance and were searched by security. I got to hold onto the items that the kids were not allowed to have (lighters, some spikes, chains). Since this was a night where Church groups were the only ones with tickets, it seemed a bit overkill, but it showed me that they finally ment business and were cleaning up the park.
I hope that the park can be salvaged. It is the best in the area for fast thrilling rides. I say dump the water park and use the proceeds to revamp MM.
"Even now, going into the Monday news update, I can’t hide the fact that I’m still in shock over the very idea that Six Flags would even think about selling Magic Mountain. Over the weekend I had some time to think about it, and the only logical conclusion I’ve been able to come up with is... perhaps Shapiro and crew are bluffing. Here me out here... Synder is a ruthless business man and one shark knows another which is why Shapiro is calling the shots right now. Shapiro has past history with Disney and their management, so he’s seen first hand how the master theme park spin doctors work and has made no secret of trying of the fact that he wants Six Flags to start going after Disney’s audience, which is family groups. Six Flags Magic Mountain, which has marketed itself over the last several years as the planet’s top Xtreme Thrill Park has had abit of a problem. Goliath, which opened for the 2000 season, was perhaps the park’s last big success story. The park would build a new coaster at least every other year and attendance would soar and things. In 2001, things changed. The park promised too much that year when they announced Deja Vu and X. Deja Vu was the first to open, but from the start was plaged with technical problems and low throughput numbers that still plague the ride even today. X, the highlight of the year, failed to even open until January of 2002, and then was hit with it’s own technical and throughput issues as well. In short, a lot of people were burned by the park those years on top of the 9/11 crisis that made it harder to attract tourists from far away, leaving the park to focus entirely on the drive-in market. In 2003, they wanted something more reliable and went back to B&M for Scream, but the crowds never came. After this, no major new thrill rides were added to the park for 2004 or 2005 while attendance continued to dwindle. This year, Magic Mountain has opened one of their most impressive rides to date... Tatsu, the world’s biggest flying coaster. However, it’s too early to know what the overall effect is going to be on attendance, but I’m going to guess that they are still failing to bring in the family groups that the new management is seeking. This is understandable though, given the fact that Disney is still flooding the local market with the second summer’s worth of their big 50th Anniversary celebration. So management had to be asking themselves what they could do to bring these guests back to the park again, including the many of which were perhaps burned by bad experiences in previous years. If big new rides weren’t enough, in typical SFMM style, perhaps they needed to try something a little more Xtreme. Thinking back to Disney’s history a bit... one of Disneyland’s biggest marketing successes was promoting the demise of the Main Street Electrical Parade. A parade so old that everyone had ceased caring about it and Disney really had stopped marketing it in favor of their new big nighttime show, Fantasmic. But once Disneyland started their ads about how the Main Street Electrical Parade was “glowing away forever” at the end of the year, the local SoCal public went completely nuts. It seemed as if everyone you knew had to get back to the park and see the parade one last time... to relive those childhood memories one last time before they were gone forever. Of course it ended up as a giant marketing ploy while they sent the parade to Walt Disney World for a few years. The parade came back to Disneyland a few years later, though across the walkway at California Adventure instead, but the year it left Disneyland, they had one of the top 2-3 all time attendance years as a result of a remarkable marketing campaign that pulled on just the right strings. So, as sneaky as it is, I’ve got to wonder if Six Flags’ management may just be attempting a similar bluff on the public to get everyone to do whatever it takes to visit the park again, just in case the park closes for good. Even in articles with the press, they mention specifically that they may just reinvest in Magic Mountain and keep it, but they’re just not sure. Why? Just because I still can’t fathom them really going through with closing the park. Sure the park has a ton of rides, but most aren’t worth selling or moving. Most of the flat rides are so old, that you can find them at just about any carnival. The flume rides have been custom built to the mountain terrain of the park itself and really can’t fit in anywhere else, and you’ll find the same problems with most of the park’s coasters. I can only see four of the park’s coasters being saved or sold: Batman, Riddler, Deja Vu and Scream. The rest would all end up as scrap because they have been custom made to fit the park’s unique terrain or they are just not anything that would likely sell on the marketplace (ie: Flashback, Psyclone, Viper, etc). Maybe I’m crazy and it really will just all comes down to simple greed and knowing just how much they can sell the land under SFMM for. The land is just so high priced right now that no other amusement park operator could even attempt to compete in a bidding war against land developers. But that isn’t the reason the park was build years ago... it was build out in the middle of nowhere as a theme park, not as a placeholder until the land value rose to an insane cost. I’ve got a few wild ideas as to how they can really fix the park to bring it back in line with their new company focus, but I’ll save that one for a future article."