Which parks would make good Six Flags parks?Tweet
If the question were "which parks would benefit from not being a Six Flags Park?" i'd go with all of them.
Other than like super small parks across the nation no park would benefit. But even so, Six Flags Great Escape is already a small park and gets no love at all.
For the "bonus question", I'd say Cedar Fair could take all of SF's parks.
Actually, I would not dismiss this too quickly, though I would suggest that water parks might make more attractive targets for the chain right now. SF is all about driving membership sales right now, and more properties help increase the perceived value of memberships.
However, the maintenance cost of adding new parks can outweigh the sales benefit of bringing new parks into the chain. Water parks, with their lower cost of operation, can provide a better fit at the moment. But I don't follow smaller water parks closely enough to offer specific recommendations.
Maybe I should re-start the rumor that SF is planning on a new park on the Gulf Coast north of Tampa. The real estate market has gotten a little flat.
I can think of three that might both benefit under Six Flags ownership and would make sense for Six Flags to buy given their business strategy...
Wild Adventures: If Six Flags acquires a full theme park in the near future, this would be the most likely candidate. It is a bit remote, but is well positioned to draw upon North Florida (which could pave the way for a waterpark acquisition deeper in the state). The park itself doesn't get a lot of love from Herschend and doesn't appear to be among their more popular properties, so they'd probably be willing to part with it for the right price and Six Flags would likely invest more in the park.
Worlds of Fun: I doubt Cedar Fair would part with this park willingly, but it would allow Six Flags to expand their midwestern footprint and capture another major regional market. The park is close enough to St. Louis that there might be some shared visitation between the two, and Worlds of Fun probably receives the least capital of the three parks listed here, so they'd certainly benefit from the strategy Six Flags uses. The downside would be a decrease in the guest experience...despite the lackluster lineup, the place is a fairly nice park, and Six Flags probably wouldn't maintain the same standards.
SeaWorld San Antonio: This one might sound crazy given that Fiesta Texas is right nearby, but if SeaWorld were to go bankrupt it would be a prime opportunity for Six Flags. With two parks, they could make SFFT into the thrill capital of Texas while maintaining SWSA as a family focused alternative. While the park isn't exactly starved, they don't get the same amount of investment as the rest of the chain, and the park could be improved by rounding out their offerings just a bit.
Of course, the most likely (and most sensible) acquisitions are the decent sized waterparks within 100-150 miles of one of the big parks. However, it's not unreasonable to think one of the above might be snatched up by Six Flags should they come to market.
As for Cedar Fair, I don't think any park in the Six Flags chain would really mesh with their profile, but Darien Lake is probably the one that comes closest as its more of a resort than just an amusement park.
Hopi Hari in Brazil would benefit a lot. Both already have DC and Bugs Bunny, and it would benefit a lot from used coasters from other SF parks.
On the other hand, Merlin could buy Six Flags. The combination of SF with Legoland and small Merlin's attractions would drive membership sales and help increase the perceived value of memberships. I would became a must have membership.
Cedar Fair has been willing to sell Worlds of Fun for over a decade. Even though I live closer to it than Silver Dollar City, I consider SDC my local park as WoF has gone downhill. It's not that its a dirty park by any means, its just that Cedar Fair has had no interest in improving the park. The last major ride built was the Prowler wooden coaster over a decade ago (about the time Cedar Fair was looking to sell).
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Oh and as a bonus for fun, Which Six Flags Park should Cedar Fair take away from Six Flags in the name of competition?