Published: May 11, 2014 at 3:00 PMAt least when I've looked at the Six Flags Magic Mountain numbers, I find the Membership option to be much more valuable than the Season Pass option.
Biggest thing that bugs me about the normal season passes is that no matter when you buy it in the year, it expires at the end of the year. Often it does get cheaper later in the year, but you're still paying for only part of a year.
The Membership is the same price annually (at least as compared to buying earlier in the year, like right now), but is good for the full year.
It also helps that Magic Mountain is open year round (just often only on weekends).
The one downside is that you do indeed need to take action to cancel, instead of action to renew.
Published: May 11, 2014 at 3:03 PMI'm a frequent visitor to Six Flags Magic Mountain, having logged roughly 67 visits in 2013. I thought about switching over to the new membership, but honestly, I don't trust them with my financial information. Security breaches are far too common these days and I'd rather not give Six Flags permission to dip into my bank account each month. I also don't want the hassle of having to remember to update my banking information with them every time my credit card renews. I'd rather make a one-time cash payment and be done with it for an entire year.
Published: May 11, 2014 at 6:49 PMThis is the same as the Busch Gardens "monthly payment plan". And it works the same way, making you forget that you have it. Or -- because of price increases -- you want to keep it, because if you cancel, and then change your mind, you will forever pay more for the same thing.
Published: May 11, 2014 at 8:20 PMAs far as I know, Magic Mountain is the only park open all year round. Fiesta Texas looks to have its last weekend November 15-16, and its Wikipedia page showed "March to January" operating calendar, so it's open most of the year, and probably more than any other Six Flags outside of Valencia.
Published: May 11, 2014 at 10:00 PMTony, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, and Six Flags Mexico are open year round. Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Six Flags Over Texas, and Six Flags Over Georgia are close to year round (late March to early January). The remaining Six Flags parks are March-May to October, with a shorter season as you get farther north.
I've always gone with a Season Pass over a Membership and will continue to do so as it is not that expensive and my visits to my local Six Flags (Magic Mountain) tend to vary in frequency. Some years, I've gone six or seven times, plus visited Six Flags parks in other areas of the country, while in other years I've only gone once or twice. As a general rule, if I don't anticipate four Six Flags visits in a year (total, not just SFMM) I don't buy a pass and just pay per visit (with discounts, $30-40 per visit is not uncommon).
Published: May 11, 2014 at 11:06 PMI only regularly went to Great Adventure and they were open generally from Easter to Halloween. But that NJ with bad winters.
Published: May 12, 2014 at 11:22 AMThanks for writing this article. It's made me reconsider the options. I never really thought about purchasing a membership - I've purchased a season pass for the past several years - but insofar as I paid roughly $103 for a gold season pass, a basic membership (parking not included) at my home park (Six Flags Great Adventure)for $6.67 a month or $80.04 a year might be the better option IF I continue to use New Jersey Transit as my means of access to the park. If, on the other hand, I borrow my dad's car to get to the park, a gold season pass works out to be slightly cheaper than a gold membership.
Published: May 12, 2014 at 12:08 PMWhen I purchased my membership last year I spoke with someone on the marketing team who told me proces would be rising for membership soon and when you buy, it locks in the current price. I also was able to lock in hurricane harbor, gold and parking at the regular price as that was the current promotion. No the monthly membership is #3 mor per month for what I already have. I appreciate the membership recognition of this new program.
Published: May 13, 2014 at 3:43 AMAs others have mentioned, the real benefit of Membership vs the Season pass is price lock in. This of course only works if it's a park you're going to go to year after year. I've had the "membership" at Busch Gardens for several years now at the Platinum level (similar to the 6F Gold) . With the price increases that have happened since I'm now paying $60/y less that if I was buying the same level seasons pass, and only $25/y more than buying the standard level season pass.
Published: May 14, 2014 at 12:32 AMI buy a season pass every year so membership has little to offer in my case. Additionally, my local park (Georgia) has typically offered its best price for the next year's season during Fright Fest which I usually buy then and be done with it. I cannot complain about the pricing - which has remained essentially static for years - especially since SFoG is adding a Hurricane Harbor water park (free with admission) and has also announced the addition of Holiday in the Park (first time since the 1993 season), extending the season by 26 days into January 2015. I really do wish the SF chain would get away from the 'Spirit Airlines' business model though. Passes should cost considerably more, but food and parking should be more affordable. And those mandatory ride lockers should either be complementary or removed altogether. And while they are at it, spend a few extra bucks to refresh the theming once in awhile.