James Koehl

Published: February 8, 2014 at 5:12 AM

Wow, Martin! Very impressive article, very informative. I've had season or Platinum passes for Cedar Fair for years (with just a few gaps for especially busy years in my life). Fortunately I live about 1hr from Cedar Point and 3 hrs from Kings Island. My biggest complaint about the Platinum Pass benefits is that they aren't written anywhere other than in the website, and even that has been hard to find in recent years. Supposedly you can go to Guest Relations and get a list of discounts available, but I never think to do so, and no place that offers these discounts ever asks if you have a Platinum Pass and are eligible. There have been many times that I have missed a discount, deal, etc. because either I didn't know it was available or forgot to ask for it until an hour later and I was in line for Top Thrill.
I used the installment plan this year for our passes and I get an email monthly informing me that the payment was made. This is the first year I've used this, and so far it's working fine. I can't wait for opening day at Cedar Point!
Anthony Murphy

Published: February 8, 2014 at 7:43 AM

Is that a picture of Great America?
Martin Lewison

Published: February 8, 2014 at 11:28 AM

James, that's a great question. It definitely makes sense to print out the website information. In addition, when you get your pass processed this Spring, ask them for a comprehensive listing of the discounts, deals, and privileges available with your Season Pass. Hopefully they're prepared to give you something like that. If not, try Guest Relations. If they can't help you, I believe that a letter to Corporate is in order.

And Anthony, the Editor-in-Chief added the photo, but I recognize the Great America carousel roof so that is definitely Six Flags Great America.

Anthony O'Neal

Published: February 8, 2014 at 7:49 PM

I've been largely "making my living" at the Six Flags parks since like 2007. When I lived in Michigan, I hit SF Great America multiple times a year. Now that I'm in Texas, I've been going to SF Over Texas, and managed to get into SF Magic Mountain in 2012, as well.

In addition to that, I've hit Kings Dominion (a Cedar Fair property) three out of four years.

Lots of great rides, lots of fun. If you're going twice to the Six Flags park, the pass is worth it.

Russell Meyer

Published: February 10, 2014 at 7:45 AM

We always buy season passes for all of our local park chains (DC Area). When Cedar Fair went to the Platinum Passes a few years ago, we didn't initially get them. We decided we would only purchase the Platinum Passes when we have a big trip planned. For instance, we went to Knotts last spring along with Cedar Point and Kings Island over the summer. We got Platinum again this year because we're planning to go to Canada's Wonderland, and probably will hit Dorney Park and possible Kings Island again this year for Banshee. The one thing that was not noted about the Cedar Fair Platinum Passes is that they offer discount for kids and seniors, which are not offerred on the Gold or Silver Passes. With a 4-year old, having a kid's Platinum Pass is only $50 more than a standard gold pass (regardless of age) instead of an adult pass, which is over $100 more.

We also get passes for Six Flags. They keep tweaking the rules, but still don't understand that they really should charge more for passes that are good at any Six Flags Park. A few years ago they did it with the parking, making season parking passes only good at your home park, but changed it back last season. Even though we're only a family of 3, we have bought a 4-pack of passes and sold the extra pass. Last year we were able to sell the extra pass right outside the gate shortly after we bought them. This year, we still have a pass available, so if anyone out there that wants to buy a Six Flags America 2014 Season Pass, just let me know.

Busch Gardens has really increased their prices in recent years. However, about 7 years ago, they introduced the EZPay system, which was one of the first theme park season pass payment plans. We had been Platinum Plus season passholders for a number of years before they introduced EZPay (Platinum Plus gives holders access to every Sea World Park for 2 years, excluding Discovery Cove), and the monthly cost was just a few pennies different than the lump sum cost of the pass. We provided the park with our credit cards, and they have dutifully charged us $11.24 every month since. However, that $11.24/month payment is now far less than it would cost for the same pass today (which is nearly $300/year).

We look at our passes as investments, and guaranteed savings for our summer entertainment.

Bobbie Butterfield

Published: February 10, 2014 at 12:26 PM

As one who goes to Six Flags Great Adventure at least a dozen times a year, I find it extremely economical to buy a season pass. And the good news is that this year the price of a pass with parking has actually dropped, despite the fact that more is being offered with the package deal. Last year I think I paid about $120 for a season pass with parking, and while that included admission to all Six Flags parks, it did not include parking for any park other than SFGA. I was pretty pissed off at having to pay $20 to park at Six Flags New England. Anyway, for this year I got a season pass with admission AND parking for all Six Flags parks for $99. (The price has since gone up to $104.99, which is why it's a good idea to buy a season pass during the Christmas/New Year holiday season.) Another thing I did, which I should have done long ago, is apply for a Discover card and use the card to buy my season pass. (Anything - from admission to food to merchandise - is discounted by 5% at Six Flags parks when you use a Discover card.) Two months to go before SFGA opens! I suppose I'll have to go there the first weekend and ride the damned drop tower in order to write an article about it for Theme Park Insider.