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Flash Pass at Six Flags- A good thing?

Six Flags America: For all the people who choose not to upgrade to flash pass- should they feel cheated since their waits are now extended?

From Mike Bianucci
Posted May 19, 2007 at 1:45 PM
I've been to Six Flags Atlanta and Texas this year on "off Peak" days and yet the waits have been too long. I think this is due to all the people "cutting line" via the flash pass. Is the flash pass a good thing for all the six flags patrons or just the 3-5% that purchase it? I think the 95% trying to ride the rides who are on regular admission are getting a lousy deal because of "flash pass" and VIP.

I would like to see other people's comments.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Christy Shuman
Posted May 19, 2007 at 3:48 PM
I personally hate the flash pass system. Its as if they dont charge you enough already for admission. I could understand having it for the new coasters and such but otherwise its not fair to everyone else. I wont even attend a six flags park b/c I have heard how crazy the lines are and how poorly the parks are run.

From steve lee
Posted May 20, 2007 at 10:28 AM
Nope, I love the system and I refuse to buy into the argument that it seriously has an increase on standby waits. At Disney, I'm sure the FLASHPASS system does have a negative impact because, well, everyone can use it. But I don't believe for one moment that there's ever enough QBots in the park to have more than a five minute waittime differential. And even if there are, the odds of every one of those people being at the same attraction at the same time are extremely low. When I've used a QBot, there's never more than 3 or 4 other users in the line at the same time.

Do I feel like there's some sort of "status" issue between Flash Pass users and non-Flash Pass users? Possibly. I've received plenty of nasty looks from people when I've bypassed them in line. Same applies with a FASTPASS at Disney or a room key at Universal.

But I certainly don't feel a bit of guilt over this. Everyone has the opportunity to use the systems. If $30 for a Flash Pass is going to break you, I think you'd be better off maybe not spending the exorbitant amount you paid to park and get into the park in the first place.

Oh - Christy. I can only speak for SFOG but they do offer a more "ride specific" flashpass that is only good for one or two separate rides. I don't really see the logic there, since it's not that much of a price bump for the full service. And the lines at Six Flags are no worse than the lines at any other park. You're doing yourself a disservice by not going to them (okay, I can't speak for SFA).

From Jessie Phillips
Posted May 20, 2007 at 2:28 PM
I was at 6 flags over texas yesterday and since the park was very over crowded, I was going to buy a qbot .... usually the qbots are all sold out, when the park is this crowded but they weren't yesterday. They have gone up to $32 for a single rider qbot... 6 flags is still showing that they will go at any length to try and gouge people for every penny that they can. I am seeing 6 flags going under in less than 5 years... on their present course of overcharging, under serviceing and generally bad management decisions presented at the top levels.

From steve lee
Posted May 20, 2007 at 3:05 PM
Yes, because crowded parks are usually an indication that the company is in trouble.

I give them Disney parks about 12 more minutes.

Seriously, they charge what they charge because people will pay it. If the park was crowded, then clearly they've done something right. If the QBots are usually sold out, that seems to be working for them. Six Flags is doing nothing but increasing their bottom line while getting rid of the element that's not going to spend money in the park. Do I think it's the right thing to do? No. But they're digging out of a hole, and they're not going to make it out by cutting prices.

Obviously this has a massive potential to backfire, as people get more and more pissed about the prices. Yeah, 15 bucks to park is highway robbery, for example. Only time will tell when and if this backlash is going to happen, but from what you're reporting, it hasn't hit yet. But when it does, holy crap it's going to be interesting to watch.

And I guess $32 for a QBot doesn't faze me since I get the Gold QBot at SFOG. That's just the way I roll.

From Christy Shuman
Posted May 20, 2007 at 6:23 PM
LOL thats just the way you roll huh? Well I think I will just stick with KD, BGE, and Carowinds(parks that control crowds very well) until Six Flags can learn how to run a park. I have seen KD very busy with waits up to 2hrs long but never 3&4hrs like almost every six flags park. Heck its almost like they run the rides at a low copacity just so lines will be outrageously long, so people will pay the extra for a qbot.

From steve lee
Posted May 20, 2007 at 9:30 PM
I've never seen a line longer than two hours at SFOG. And I only saw 120 minutes on the day we went when there was some kind of Christian music thing (yeah, great planning there).

I don't know which parks you're seeing 3 or 4 hour waits at. Maybe that's when they open brand new coasters like KK or El Toro. New coasters should have long lines.

But don't listen to me. Believe whoever's feeding you information about how poorly run Six Flags parks are. Ooh, maybe they can tell you about how the parks are crawling with gangs because someone got shot within a mile of the park entrance.I don't own stock in the joint, so I really couldn't care less.

Sorry if that sounds insensitive or rude, but you're pretty much making judgments about parks you haven't been to and that's very disingenious. SFOG is heads and shoulders above parks like Carowinds and King's Dominion (I will stop there, however. BGW is on a par with the real parks down in Florida).

From Christy Shuman
Posted May 21, 2007 at 6:25 AM
Well lets take Dollywood for example, Mystery Mine is a brand new ride this year, 45 minute wait- tops. DW also has a fast pass system too with new rides and shows for 10$ thats alot more reasonable than 30$. Lets try 8$ for parking as opposed to 15$. I am not trying to put down your favorite parks but I'm just saying I wouldnt go b/c of their high prices and what I have heard as far as the way they are run. I am sure it is fun as long as you have the funds!

From steve lee
Posted May 21, 2007 at 2:03 PM
I see the comparison to Dollywood, but I think we're looking at different demographics here.

There's a reason you need to ride a tram just to get across the handicapped parking lot...

And SFOG isn't necessarily one of my favorite parks. On the big list, it places around 10th or so. So no, it's not like I'm Ryan slamming anything that's anti-CP...

From Mike Bianucci
Posted May 24, 2007 at 10:16 AM
In my opinion Six Flags has to be careful not to alienate the "regular" customers by extending their wait. My last time there I had a 70 minute wait for Acrophobia and I would estimate that one third of each load was flashpass, which means my wait was extended by one third, almost 25 minutes. It was similar on other rides. It will get to the point that the "regular" paying customers will choose not to come to the park anymore. The more flashpass and VIP they sell, the worse it is for me and everybody else, and there is no profit in the system if enough people elect to stay at home instead.

From Dale Phillips
Posted April 15, 2008 at 12:20 PM
FastPass or qbot is simply legalized line jumping.

From Jason Matthews
Posted July 27, 2008 at 7:03 PM
I think that if the service at Six Flags Fiesta Texas at least stayed the same from year to year, then people could handle the 15 to 20 percent jump on prices of everything at the park. The problem is every year as the prices go up the service gets worse. This season there are three rides that have been broken since the park opened. We don't spend our hard earned money to look at broken rides that we can't ride

From J Whetzel
Posted July 28, 2008 at 7:21 AM
There's no logical reason to complain about the fastpass system. EVERYONE has the chance to buy it, and it's your choice not to buy one.

As far as Six Flags goes with the price gouging, every big name park does it. Also, to the person who predicted that Six Flags will go under in 5 years, the parks being extremely busy are a good indication of that correct?

From Bill Thelen
Posted July 28, 2008 at 7:26 AM
I've been on both sides of the issue. When Geauga Lake was a Six Flags park I always had a seasons pass, so I never used Flashpass. When I travel hundreds of miles or more to a park that I will only be at for a couple of days I always buy a Flashpass. If I have just spent $1000 on a flight and hotel I will easily spend more to guarantee that I'll get a ride, and not just wait in line. You get what you pay for. I spent ~$60.00 for my 2008 season pass, I expect to wait some for my ride. Flashpass does not buy a ride, it buys time.
I'm going to SF Great America soon. I'm getting a Flashpass so that I don't spend too much time in line.

From Eli Katzman
Posted July 28, 2008 at 12:32 PM
Hey, Bill, do you have any 'Six Flags Ohio' merchendice? You know, like the ONLY year it was, before 'Six Flags Worlds of Fun'? Well, if you do (only 'SFO' stuff, no 'SFWF' stuff), I'm telling you that it is really rare and worth a lot. I would say sell it if you have any... or, keep it and cherish it.

From Chris Walmer
Posted June 22, 2009 at 1:15 PM
Regarding the Flash Pass... Is there or should there be a status quo issue... NO... You do not have to have a sizeable bank account, or significant wealth to get one. Basically, you just pay twice as much as you would for a normal ticket. You then get to ride 20 times the # of rides during your day. When you average out the rides per cost.. and wasted time... To me, I would believe you have to be filthy rich NOT to get a Flash Pass. We only got one because my wife knew I would be very upset watching people ride the same ride 3 times while I was in line waiting 90 minutes just to ride once. Best thing we ever did!! We would actually pick someone in the back of the line as our mark and ride the ride as many times as we could until that person made it through the line. On one ride.. we rode the coaster 4 times and our mark had only made his way through 2/3 of the line. Buy the Gold Flash Pass, and bring your own water.. Lay off the soda and it'll pay for itself. If you can't afford an extra $35... quit smoking for a week.

From Jeff Toohey
Posted August 8, 2009 at 2:26 AM
You people are pathetic and thats that. If paying an extra 30-50$ can avoid a 1-3 hour wait on line, pay it!! If you that broke, stay home, or be one of the sweating, broke, bored noobs standing in line for 90% of your day at the park.

From steve lee
Posted August 8, 2009 at 7:02 AM
Hi, Jeff! Welcome to Theme Park Insider. Thank you for joining just so you can tell people that they're pathetic (or more to the point, that they were pathetic, since the most recent post that was anti-Flash Pass was over a year ago).

I look forward to reading more insightful, relevant posts from you. You're off to a great start, and you've certainly done a splendid job of introducing yourself to everyone. What other gems of wisdom will you bestow upon us? We're all waiting!

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 8, 2009 at 10:20 AM
Yeah, not off to a good foot.

The question at hand is the worth of paying extra.

Compared to Disney and Universal, their versions are free.

However, people gotta rememeber, its cheaper to go to Six Flags Parks.

Don't call people pathetic because thats a little, well pathetic

From steve lee
Posted August 8, 2009 at 8:07 PM
I wouldn't call Universal's system free, Anthony. Those folks are paying a ton for the hotel rooms.

From Eli Katzman
Posted August 8, 2009 at 8:48 PM
Just so you know, Jeff, you're basically calling all non-spoiled kids (me, at least that I know of :D) broke. You just made my day.

From Alex Russian
Posted August 10, 2009 at 11:50 PM
Hi, I'm Alex and just registered with TPI tonight.

Looks like this thread has gone on for a while so just glad to see my first post isn't a "bring-back-from-the-dead" post.

Just my opinion on it. I live about 2hrs from SF Magic Mountain and given the gas i'll spend to get there, drive time, admission cost, etc. I'll buy a gold flash pass just because I figure i've invested so much already I might as well spend the extra $65 to ensure that I can maximize my time in the park. For those people that live much closer then perhaps a flash pass wouldn't be the most economical choice but certainly a season pass would.

BTW if any of you are in or know of a roller coaster club then shoot me an invite. I'm new to roller coasters in general(25yrs old, first went on them at Knott's Berry Farm about a year and a half ago and have been going over and over ever since). Never had time to go and finally experienced what I was missing and wish I had started much sooner(10 years sooner!).

From Eli Katzman
Posted August 11, 2009 at 4:59 AM
Well, Alex, welcome. We actually started around the same time, but I'm 13. :D um... coaster fanatics is a good site, where you can rate coasters you've ridden, and compare those, and also respond to blogs, like this. coaster gallery is awesome. I know the guy that runs it, and he goes around taking pics of these coasters, and he knows SO MUCH. just read the captions! Um go over to park reviews, and rate and comment on coasters THAT YOU'VE RIDDEN. Please don't mess up the rides on accident. Like just to post a comment, you're marking it as a 5/10.

Ok, hope this helps! I hope you get as much knowledge as I have! (Way too much for my age)

From Nick Markham
Posted August 11, 2009 at 7:49 AM
Also, firstly, have you been to Disneyland Resort? As if you have not ridden the coasters there, do so immediatly. Plus, California is a great place to start your love of coasters because you have so many parks. You can go up North around San Francisco for Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and California's Great America, or further South for Sea World, Belmont Park, and Legoland. And then don't forget Revenge of the Mummy at Universal. So, if you have not been to any of these, visit them as soon as possible!

And as for coaster sites, I am on this one, of course, as well as Thrill Network, Roller Coaster Pro, and, then there is my own site, Roller Coaster Insider!

From Anthony Murphy
Posted August 11, 2009 at 8:43 PM
Well the question at Universal is it worth the price to stay there and get the Express Pass. I thought it was cheaper than Disney.

I personally like Disney due to it letting everybody get a chance, but instead lets its hotel guests in early/late.

From steve lee
Posted August 11, 2009 at 8:44 PM
If I was foolish enough to go to Universal during a seasonal spike, I...y'know, I still wouldn't stay onsite unless I had money to throw around. Universal is great, but I don't honestly think they're full day parks - especially when front of the line is involved. If it was a first time trip, then I think it's a great overall value, especially since all three resorts are immaculate.

Alex - welcome to the boards, and you may want to look into ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) while you're researching clubs. It's not the cheapest group in the bunch, but I've found membership to be a very good value, and you can't beat exclusive ride time...

From Alex Russian
Posted August 11, 2009 at 10:05 PM
So lets say on a weekday Tues/Wed/Thur. Would I need a flashpass for any ride? X2 and TS:The Ride included? Or would the wait be reasonable? I'm looking for less than 15 minutes wait each ride since I can't make it out to SFMM more than maybe once or twice a year.

From James Rao
Posted August 12, 2009 at 6:25 PM
If you follow Kevin Yee's work on MiceAge, he has recently written two articles on ride reservation systems. One was about possible changes to Disney's system, and another about the merits of Flash Pass. Seek them out if you are interested, as the articles are both very good.

As for the question above, I find the best thing to do at Six Flags St Louis (3.5 hours from home) is get to the park bright and early and gauge the crowd. If it looks like it is going to be a busy day, I get a Flashpass. If not, then I roll with it. On really busy days, I could be SOL because all the FPs will be sold already, but then, it is probably best to leave and come back another day, anyway. SFSTL does not handle large crowds well at all.

However, if I were traveling to a place like Magic Mountain that is 24 hours from my home, I would probably pick up a FP ahead of time just to make sure I was able to accomplish everything I wanted on my visit.

From Jeff Schafer
Posted October 18, 2009 at 7:31 AM
I agree with those who have said that the prices for the Gold FLASH passes are extreme. I went to SFMM yesterday (a Saturday) and paid for 3 of the Golds. I was taking my 10 YO son and his friend to the park for the day. I knew it would be crowded on the weekend and I also knew that the 10 YO boys were not going to be happy waiting 60-120 minutes or more for the good rides (it was about 90degF). For the first part of the day, I was somewhat regretting my decision to buy the Gold FLASH passes because the lines were just building up. Later on, I was glad to have them because it made 2 hour waits into 10 minutes waits. They are expensive for a reason. If they were of a reasonable price, too many people would buy them and it would defeat the purpose and it would put too much added delay on those patrons who decided to pay the regular amount to get in the park (which would be a bad situation). The one thing I really did not like is the added fee $10/person/ride) to have the Gold FLASH pass work on X2 and Terminator.

From Eli Katzman
Posted October 18, 2009 at 10:01 AM
Well played, Jeff... Yeah, that's what happens at huge and busy SF parks. They're kinda empty at opening for a few hours, and then it picks up, ESPECIALLY during fright fest. I just wish it was something like $10 less... would that be too cheap from $75 bucks? :D

From nicole jones
Posted June 6, 2011 at 1:27 AM
me and my friend were going to go to six flags over texas this summer and i have already spent alot on the tickets; i really dont wanna spend any more, but this flash pass sound like a good idea so i dont have to wait as long.... it sounds too expensive,but i really dont know if i should get it or not. should i get it?

From Nick Markham
Posted June 6, 2011 at 6:22 AM
You shouldn't buy it until you see how the lines are. The only reason to buy it is if there are long lines and you really want to ride everything, but if the lines aren't long from your point of view, then there is no need.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted June 6, 2011 at 8:52 PM
I have bought them. Sometimes its good, sometimes its bad.

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