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No more Great adventure for me

Six Flags Great Adventure: I experienced a very degrading and embarrasing situation.

From Christine Murphy
Posted July 23, 2007 at 4:10 PM
On July 23, 2007 I experienced a very degrading and embarrasing situation. I attended the theme park for my nephews 17 birthday. They traveled 2 hours to meet me at great adventure. I was a season pass holder for many years. After about an hour at the park, a security guard ask my sister and I for an ID, did not tell us why until after writing sitations. When he was finished writing, we were advised that we had to be escorted out of the park for smoking. My sister does not school and even though I do, i did so in the designated section. Al, the security guard was extremely rude and very loud. I pleaded with him advised him of our situation. said "he didnt want to hear it. Although there were two other guards, Elane and John with him who admitted they did not see us smoking. Our three children were left inside. He did not give me a chance to talk to them. We asked for management and were told there was no management on duty, which we later found out after calling guest relationsions (CarolAnne) that there is a manager on duty by the name of Alice. We made numerous calls in our innocence. Guard after guard were sent out to talk to us. Outcome being his word against mine. Besides the treatment I received by this quard, I did not get a chance to even speak to management, the guards decision was final. This was one of the most humiliating experiences ever. I am a law abiding citizen, respect rules and would never risk ruining my childrens day. We decided to leave the children and sat outside for three hours trying to reach someone other than security to resolve our issue. After this experience I dont think I or my family will ever visit Jackson Great Adventure again. I am expressing my feelings truthfully and plan to pursue this further to whomever I need to contact.


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

From Lawrence Smith
Posted July 24, 2007 at 3:08 AM
Something doesn't make sense. If you were smoking in the designated area, why would security remove you from the park?

From John Smith
Posted July 24, 2007 at 5:55 AM
when a person goes to any theme park, most don't realize that the park is private property and are subject to the rules that are in effect. just because a person pays the admission price, it doesn't allow them to do whatever they want. now, as for the guard saying that there was no managment on duty, that sounds like load of you know what. that guard flat out lied. what you should do is call the park, ask to speak to the park manager. that's the head honcho of the whole park. keep calling until you get to speak to them. if that doesn't work, call six flags headquarters in new your and ask to speak with mark shapeiro. he's the CEO of six flags

From Audrey Hamlin
Posted July 24, 2007 at 6:51 AM
Regardless of whose property or what the rules are, that was a rather extreme means of handling the situation. What about a warning or directing guests toward the designated area? I could see it being a problem if a guard repeatedly caught the same person violating the rules, or if the person was blatantly refusing to move.

From John Smith
Posted July 25, 2007 at 9:51 AM
audrey, you are right about the directing guests to the area. i know at magic mountain, the areas are posted on the guest map, signs are posted at the smoking areas saying that is a designated smoking area.

From Bob Mackay
Posted July 27, 2007 at 10:29 AM
My friends and I encountered a security guard who wasn't all that nice. As the park was closing, we settled on a bench to finish our funnel cake & ice cream.

A guard approached and asked, with some attitude, "Can I help you folks?" I said, "Nope. We're just enjoying our snacks. Thanks for asking, though." Then he said, "Well, the park's closed. You'll need to move along now."

Apparently, since our chosen bench was near a pathway toward some of the rides, the guard decided that we shouldn't sit there.

What was most annoying about this was that it was 10pm on the nose, and even though rides were closing, certain snack areas were still serving - and we were sitting directly across from the one we had bought our treats from. We seemed to be in a perfectly legitimate area, but we were forced out, and in a surprisingly brusque manner, to boot. Of course, on our way toward the exit, we passed numerous gift shops and eateries that were still open, with several people lounging about near the fountain, even though the guard claimed that the park was "closed." I suspect that he just didn't feel like sticking around to monitor that area and make sure people didn't try to wander into restricted areas, so he would instead cleanse that whole section of park guests & make his job easier. I wouldn't have minded so much if he had given a good reason beyond saying "the park's closed," which wasn't true, and not starting with that attitude-infused "Can I help you folks?" That's a personal pet peeve of mine & it brings out my sarcastic side. ;)

From Adrienne McDonald
Posted July 27, 2007 at 1:52 PM
If you can't get ahold of someone on the phone, send emails & letters. Surely there's someone who'll take notice if they care about business. As for the other rude security dude, I wudda just said "oh? what time does the park close, according to my information I have here, it's such & such" but that's just me. If you saw others sitting & enjoying treats, you shudda sat down somewhere nearby & if he trys that again just ask "are you going to tell all those people to leave the area as well?"--but that's just me.

From John Smith
Posted July 27, 2007 at 5:04 PM
as in politics, there are 2 sides to every story. and that old saying, "walk in my shoes". my point, is have anyone posting on here worked in a theme park?

From Joe Jackson
Posted July 27, 2007 at 6:21 PM
When I went at the beginning of June, there were plenty signs explaining the smoking policy and it was past as an ordinance in Jackson, N.J. that smoking is illegal in a amusement park.

From Dave Chariot
Posted August 12, 2007 at 4:59 PM
You are lucky you only got sent out and not fined. He did you a favor. It is against the law to smoke in SFGA.

From Mostly Anonymous
Posted August 13, 2007 at 8:38 AM
Particularly because the sister - who doesn't smoke at all - also was kicked out for smoking, I can't help but wonder if this was a case of mistaken identity.

This is a good reminder of how difficult it can be for parks to find the right balance. In this case, the park tried hard to enforce the rules, and decided to believe the employee's story vs. the guest's story. In doing so, they made a mistake and lost a loyal customer.

In many other cases, the park takes the approach of "the customer is always right", which means that bad guest behavior often goes unpunished, and loyal employees feel disrespected because the guest's story is believed over their own. Good, rule-abiding guests also get angry because rules about smoking areas and line jumping, etc. aren't being enforced.

I imagine it's very hard to find the right balance. I tend to think that an employer should believe their employee's point of view over that of a guest, but an employee can make a mistake. In this case, the punishment was clearly extreme - the names on the IDs should have been noted, a warning given, and then one more infraction should have led to being removed from the park. Taking note of the ID when the warning is given helps prevent cases of mistaken identity.

From Tabitha S Sorenson
Posted August 25, 2007 at 5:22 AM
As to every story there are 3 sides (his, hers and the truth).

I really hope that SFGA does not kick patrons out for "suspection of smoking", because in the next 72 hours our entire family (all 8 of us, 5 that smoke) will be taking the 4 hour trip there. I'd hate to have 5 kicked out, leaving me the only non-smoking adult with all the kids :(

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