Six Flags Introduces Its New Advance Reservation System

May 13, 2020, 11:18 AM · Six Flags has introduced its new system for visitors to make reservations to visit the company's amusement parks. Reservations will be required to visit a Six Flags park during the 2020 season, and those reservations must be made online via the Six Flags website.

The system is not live yet, as Six Flags has not yet announced a reopening date for any of its parks. But when the system does come online, Six Flags' membership and seasonal pass holders will have first dibs at reserving dates and times to visit. Six Flags announced earlier this month that it would require advance reservations when its parks reopened in order to limit capacity and promote social distancing as businesses worldwide look to slow the spread of Covid-19. Today's reveal provides more information as to how visitors will be able to make those reservations.

The system will be not just for specific dates, but also for specific times on those dates, so that Six Flags can limit the number of guests at the front gate. Visitors may stay for as long as they want once they enter the park, but if they arrive early, they will be asked to wait in their cars before coming to the entry gate.

Guests also will have to pre-pay for their parking online before visiting, as Six Flags looks to eliminate another point of physical contact as people return.

Guests will have to enter their ticket, pass, or membership number when making a reservation, then watch a video detailing Six Flags' new social distancing and sanitation procedures. They will then have to acknowledge that they understand the park's new health and safety rules in order to complete their reservation.

Six Flags also will use to reservation process to sell the required pre-paid parking passes as well as face masks, though today's announcements does not say whether masks will be required to enter the park. Six Flags said that it will announce the details of its "wide-ranging safety measures" at a later date.

Guests may cancel their reservations up until 8am on the date of their schedule visit. But if they no-show, Six Flags may subject them to reduced system priority and blockout periods. Members and season pass holders will get top priority to make reservations, based on membership level, with daily ticket holders getting the lowest priority in the system. Six Flags said that all dates for 2020 will be available when the system goes online, but that additional inventory for those dates will be made available over the course of the season.

The online system will allow each pass or ticket number to make one reservation, though membership and pass holders may be additional reservations through Guest Services at the park. Details on that are to come. Guests are advised to make a reservation for their entire party, rather than doing so individually, to ensure that everyone can get in.

If guests cannot get into the date and time that they want, they can join a wait list for that reservation slot. Guests can join multiple wait lists via the website, but as soon as they get a reservation, all their other wait list positions will be canceled.

At this point, though, Six Flags' parks remain closed until further notice.

Replies (5)

May 13, 2020 at 12:21 PM

This is really the only reasonable way for SF to move forward. I do think Six Flags has an advantage over Disney and Universal because almost all of their attractions are outside. However, I think it's important that SF be crystal clear with their policies and procedures, particularly when it comes to penalties for no-shows. I'm also curious how SF will handle food service. At the end of last season, they were starting to advertise the ability to order food through the SF app, but that functionality never came on line (though some parks did have self-serve kiosks where you could order instead of waiting in line at a cashier). I think mobile ordering (including the ability to use your season dining plan and/or vouchers) along with designated drink refill stands, will be essential to eliminate crowds around food service locations. Anyone who has visited a Six Flags park knows that food service is dreadfully slow, which in turn causes people to gather in close proximity.

I also anticipate that Six Flags will keep this reservation system in place even after the threat of coronavirus has passed. It just makes sense for SF to know how many guests are going to be in the park on a given day to allow for appropriate staffing and resource allocation. Guests will get used to this system pretty quickly, and Six Flags will undoubtedly appreciate the advanced planning data that it provides, so I think it's pretty unlikely that we'll see the company want to go back to guessing how many people are going to show up on a given day.

May 13, 2020 at 12:47 PM

1 reservation per member? Definitely a huge downgrade in the value of a membership, with a key benefit touted by Six Flags marketing being unlimited park visits, and makes me question why anyone would want to continue their membership.

May 13, 2020 at 1:16 PM

I think 1 per membership is where they'll start, and perhaps that may change as Six Flags gets a better idea of demand. It may also vary by park, which is complicated by the fact that members and pass holders can visit any park in the chain.

Aside from extremely busy days (summer Saturdays), there will almost assuredly be availability to members/pass holders within 24-48 hours of a planned visit. Let's say you want to visit on Friday, so you make a reservation today. Then, once you actually visit on Friday, you can make another reservation for Sunday (might even find a reservation for Saturday). It might devalue the pass slightly in that you just can't show up whenever you want. However, if the end result is a park that's not nearly as crowded, meaning shorter lines and you're able to experience more attractions in a single visit, I think the slight inconvenience is worth it.

Let's see how this actually works and if SF make any tweaks to the specifics as they gather more data about demand.

May 13, 2020 at 3:30 PM

Members can make as many reservations as they'd like, but the online system is only accepting the first reservation, at least initially. Guest relations can make the additional reservations once the parks reopen.

I would not be surprised to see Six Flags add multi-reservation functionality to the online system at some point, but they're developing this in house and the first priority has to be to get the system working for initial reservations first.

May 13, 2020 at 4:40 PM

This seems like a good system to start with, and presumably further tweaks will come over time as conditions change. I'm a little surprised they're opening up the full year right away since very few Six Flags visitors plan their trip more than a couple weeks out, but I guess it means everyone will be able to claim something even with caps in place. Also glad they're limiting it to one active reservation at a time and putting a no-show penalty in place. Honestly, I'm expecting pretty much any major park to put a similar system in place, at least as long as capacity restrictions remain a necessity.

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