At Six Flags Magic Mountain, for example, visitors can buy a Play Pass, which admits them to the park every day it's open in 2010, for $54.99 - the same price as a one-day ticket. (The Play Pass differs from Six Flags' annual pass at some parks, though not at Magic Mountain, in that it does not include the coupon book, free tickets or other perks of the SP. Both the Play Passes and the Season Passes include admission to all other Six Flags parks.)
But Shapiro said that the discounts will not last through the season, and the Six Flags anticipates raising ticket prices by as much as $20 as the summer progresses. Shapiro did offer some wiggle room, saying that if the economy did not improve and the market did not support increases, Six Flags would stay put.
But he encouraged visitors to buy now to lock in the discounted prices, which makes sense for a company trying to hold on to market share. Get those folks to buy now - instead of giving them any reason to wait, when they might decided not to buy.
Update: FWIW, Shapiro said that Six Flags has a deal to bring Mrs. Fields into the parks this year. More calories! :-) He continued that he'd like to add more outdoor cooking options, like those offered at Dollywood, but that local restrictions at some parks preclude that. But they will add where they can, in the future.
He also said in response to my question that he doesn't anticipate creating an in-house attraction design team, a la Disney's Imagineers and Universal Creative, at any time in the near future, though he paid them great credit for what they do.Tweet
Great roller coasters are going up and will continue to to be built around the country in many parks, but I think that the time is now for all coaster rich parks to take a different angle in growing their business by improving the quality of what's around the coasters. Case in point...if Six Flags Magic Mountain would spend the same kind of money on flat/dark/childrens rides, shows, food, and scenery as they do on some of those coasters, they would have a lot more success. The same goes for the rest of the Six Flags parks and also the Cedar Fair parks. Kings Dominion and it's coaster collection would be a real threat to Busch Gardens attendance if they were to heavily invest in "non-coaster" entertainment, food, and shows.
That parking thing kills me Anthony. I know it's the big city and all, but $65 to park for the season still seems high. Either there is a mighty parking/admission tax, or Six Flags just wants your money. I guess I'm just used to my Cedar Fair pass including free parking.
Good luck Six Flags. I hope you can right the ship and see some success. The potential is there for sure.
If I lived anywhere near a worthwhile Six Flags, I'd take up that offer pronto. However, the only Six Flags relatively close to me is Six Flags La Ronde, which is a bit of a letdown.
Front lot: $25
Parking pass gets you into the front lot so three times pays off including going for Coasters after Dark and spending zilch except for gas.
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Now thats more than the one day pass, but not by much!