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Small News From The Theme Park Industry

cookie

Hyper Poster
I dunno but the person has deleted the post now…

So I’m wondering if I made a mistake and should delete the screen shot above :/

This is why I never share the things I hear here… Always wonder if I’m doing the right thing 🙈


Never mind he hasn’t deleted it… But it WAS posted 4 days ago!!! So I was a little slow to share. :)

And to your point, the same person has been posting about it constantly going down and back up again lately… so that does match what you are saying.
What did the screenshot say? I can’t see it on mobile for some reason.
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
What did the screenshot say? I can’t see it on mobile for some reason.
Just that Pulsar would be down indefinitely and that there are other wet rides to refresh you instead.

But it seems it has been down and back up a lot lately, after diving further into his profile… They seem to be, as @TilenB pointed out, having a horrendous time keeping the coaster running lately.
 

cookie

Hyper Poster
Just that Pulsar would be down indefinitely and that there are other wet rides to refresh you instead.

But it seems it has been down and back up a lot lately, after diving further into his profile… They seem to be, as @TilenB pointed out, having a horrendous time keeping the coaster running lately.
It did supposedly sustain the most damage out of all the rides during the floods… Perhaps they’re holding out on replacement parts from Mack?
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
It did supposedly sustain the most damage out of all the rides during the floods… Perhaps they’re holding out on replacement parts from Mack?
Hadn’t considered the floods at all!!! Good point.

Though I can’t help but see the ironically funny side of that situation. 🙈😂
 

davidm

Strata Poster
Probably not small-news in the scheme of things, but Di$ney have announed their replacements for FastPass etc at the US parks ; App-based "Genie" and "Lightning Lane" queues. Hmmm.



...and not even a year in, it's changing (a bit) - will no longer be able to pre-purchase Genie+, only buy it on the day "subject to availability"


Needs to change a whole lot more IMHO to make it work tho' ;)
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
...and not even a year in, it's changing (a bit) - will no longer be able to pre-purchase Genie+, only buy it on the day "subject to availability"


Needs to change a whole lot more IMHO to make it work tho' ;)
Any idea what happens to those already pre ordered as part of packages through ticketing sites?

So for example, we’ve booked the top Orlando freedom ticket with Genie+ through Attractiontickets for sept… Haven’t cleared the balance yet so tickets not issued (and presumably not booked by the provider) Will that be honoured? Or should I pay the balance before June 8th so that they are fully booked?
 

davidm

Strata Poster
I thought all the news sites were saying that already booked ones are OK (would remain booked) - I'd check with the provider though.
 

Nicky Borrill

Giga Poster
I thought all the news sites were saying that already booked ones are OK (would remain booked) - I'd check with the provider though.
I saw that. Think I’m going to pay up though. My worry is that, as tickets aren’t issued until final payment, I fear that they do not actually put the order in with Disney until that point.
 

Matt N

CF Legend
Six Flags’ financial report for Q1 2022 recently came out, and there was some very interesting stuff in there: https://blooloop.com/theme-park/opinion/six-flags-q1-2022-strategy/

In terms of their financial stats:
  • Total Q1 attendance was 1.7 million, which is an increase of 25% on Q1 2021.
  • Revenue was $138million, which is an increase of 68% on Q1 2021.
  • Spending per capita increased by 34% compared to Q1 2021.
  • Revenue has increased 8% since 2019, but attendance has declined by 19%.
Some other, more interesting things were raised, however, in regard to Six Flags’ future strategy and some future ideas for the chain. These include:
  • An improvement in “ride efficiency and convenience” is being aspired for. Selim Bassoul, Six Flags CEO, was shocked that nearly 30% of roller coaster seats in the chain were going out empty due to inefficient loading of groups. In order to combat this, single rider queues are gradually being added to rides.
  • Park wide Flash Pass programs have been scrapped in favour of single Flash Passes.
  • Six Flags is focusing on park beautification within the next few years, with improvements to front entrances, ticketing areas and restaurants being planned. More “premium brand” restaurants are also planned.
  • Six Flags’ current dining plan is being scrapped due to it being “very unprofitable”. This decision spawned from viral videos of people talking about how they’d saved thousands of dollars by going to Six Flags just to eat dinner using their dining plan.
  • Season pass and day ticket prices will be increasing, and a plan to improve the overall guest experience will be implemented long term. A model of lower attendance and higher pricing is being pursued; it is felt that the pre-pandemic figure of 30 million guests per year chain-wide, caused by low pricing and free ticket offerings, “suffocated the parks” and made the guest experience suffer. Six Flags’ initial aim is for an attendance drop of 10-15%, but with higher pricing, so that the guest experience improves.
I think some of that is very interesting reading! What do you guys think?
 

Furiustobaco

Mega Poster
Ooooohh very interesting. I feel honestly their old model was perhaps a little unstable, especially in covid times where people really do not want to be packed in like sardines. Exploits like the dining plan and if somebody used their passes weekly really did not help.
The park improvements would be nice- i believe Six Flags will retain their current image but perhaps keep their parks a little more well kept. I have only visited two Six Flags Parks, and both were pretty well kept (Over Texas and Great America). Though both of those parks are on the better end, so i do not dare to think what the truly bottom tier ones look like.
 

opivy028

Roller Poster
Six Flags’ financial report for Q1 2022 recently came out, and there was some very interesting stuff in there: https://blooloop.com/theme-park/opinion/six-flags-q1-2022-strategy/

In terms of their financial stats:
  • Total Q1 attendance was 1.7 million, which is an increase of 25% on Q1 2021.
  • Revenue was $138million, which is an increase of 68% on Q1 2021.
  • Spending per capita increased by 34% compared to Q1 2021.
  • Revenue has increased 8% since 2019, but attendance has declined by 19%.
Some other, more interesting things were raised, however, in regard to Six Flags’ future strategy and some future ideas for the chain. These include:
  • An improvement in “ride efficiency and convenience” is being aspired for. Selim Bassoul, Six Flags CEO, was shocked that nearly 30% of roller coaster seats in the chain were going out empty due to inefficient loading of groups. In order to combat this, single rider queues are gradually being added to rides.
  • Park wide Flash Pass programs have been scrapped in favour of single Flash Passes.
  • Six Flags is focusing on park beautification within the next few years, with improvements to front entrances, ticketing areas and restaurants being planned. More “premium brand” restaurants are also planned.
  • Six Flags’ current dining plan is being scrapped due to it being “very unprofitable”. This decision spawned from viral videos of people talking about how they’d saved thousands of dollars by going to Six Flags just to eat dinner using their dining plan.
  • Season pass and day ticket prices will be increasing, and a plan to improve the overall guest experience will be implemented long term. A model of lower attendance and higher pricing is being pursued; it is felt that the pre-pandemic figure of 30 million guests per year chain-wide, caused by low pricing and free ticket offerings, “suffocated the parks” and made the guest experience suffer. Six Flags’ initial aim is for an attendance drop of 10-15%, but with higher pricing, so that the guest experience improves.
I think some of that is very interesting reading! What do you guys think?
While I’ll miss the cheaper tickets/season passes, it’ll be nice if higher cost means less congested parks. This hopefully means season passes aren’t used as much to allow parks to be teenager hangout havens all summer long. Maybe instead of season passes they have something like a 10 admission pass with some food and parking discounts (not that free stuff lol). I dunno I’m no marketing/business person, but I think they’re heading in a good direction.
 

ChristianPalsson

Mega Poster
I understand getting rid of the dining plan, that's sensible. What I don't understand is the price increases. For a long time SF has been the discount chain. Lower quality for a lower price, makes sense. But in my opinion it seems unreasonable to raise the price before raising the quality. Most of the SF top coasters are around 20 years old. Pushing into that price category directly puts you up against CF and SW. Those chains invest heavily in new rides and Free Spins and Superloops cant compete with massive B&Ms and Intamins.

Unless there is some serious capex, then both revenue and attendance will drop with the higher prices. Especially as the themepark business is massively shifting to a experience based industry. Customers demand something instagramable, something they can brag about online. When the local Six Flags park gets too expensive to be the teen hang out spot a yearly trip to Florida might become the better option instead of 10 trips to Six Flags. Instagram posts from Galaxy's Edge or Harry Potter are certainly more popular than the local SF Justice League or Free Spin.

I am a SF shareholder so I am not particularly happy with this.
 
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Matt N

CF Legend
Most of the SF top coasters are around 20 years old. Pushing into that price category directly puts you up against CF and SW. Those chains invest heavily in new rides and Free Spins and Superloops cant compete with massive B&Ms and Intamins.
In fairness, I think Six Flags is arguably pushing towards this direction already. Dr Diabolical’s Cliffhanger certainly bodes well for their future coaster investments, anyway; Six Flags working with B&M again and doing something so story-focused is something you wouldn’t have necessarily expected!
 

Youngster Joey

Strata Poster
In fairness, I think Six Flags is arguably pushing towards this direction already. Dr Diabolical’s Cliffhanger certainly bodes well for their future coaster investments, anyway; Six Flags working with B&M again and doing something so story-focused is something you wouldn’t have necessarily expected!
Dr. D's is an investment at a Major top tier SF park. Seeing how things got for the mid to bottom tier parks will be far more indicitive of whether they're pushing their parks and additions to the premium priced experience the CEO wants.
 

Furiustobaco

Mega Poster
I understand getting rid of the dining plan, that's sensible. What I don't understand is the price increases. For a long time SF has been the discount chain. Lower quality for a lower price, makes sense. But in my opinion it seems unreasonable to raise the price before raising the quality. Most of the SF top coasters are around 20 years old. Pushing into that price category directly puts you up against CF and SW. Those chains invest heavily in new rides and Free Spins and Superloops cant compete with massive B&Ms and Intamins.

Unless there is some serious capex, then both revenue and attendance will drop with the lower prices. Especially as the themepark business is massively shifting to a experience based industry. Customers demand something instagramable, something they can brag about online. When the local Six Flags park gets too expensive to be the teen hang out spot a yearly trip to Florida might become the better option instead of 10 trips to Six Flags. Instragram posts from Galaxy's Edge or Harry Potter are certainly more popular than the local SF Justice League or Free Spin.

I am a SF shareholder so I am not particularly happy with this.
I went to Great America in 2019 and spent peanuts on a season pass, even though i was only there for a few days. Honestly it was SO much cheaper than Cedar Point, though honestly that to me spells out that maybe it was not the best business model? I think for us enthusiasts it sucks raising the price, but to the average person and for SF as a whole, it makes sense. I would of paid an extra $20 for that pass happily. Great America is a brilliant park.

I think this will still fufill its identity as the 'discount' chain, but just a little bit pricier, and with the occasional B&M/Big Bucks investment and a bit more of a focus on the parks looking less a concrete jungle.

Like if you think about it, Cedar Fair is a lot more stable chain and its a bit pricier business model is very strong. Merlin interestingly did a similar thing with their parks and prices this year.
 

opivy028

Roller Poster
I understand getting rid of the dining plan, that's sensible. What I don't understand is the price increases. For a long time SF has been the discount chain. Lower quality for a lower price, makes sense. But in my opinion it seems unreasonable to raise the price before raising the quality. Most of the SF top coasters are around 20 years old. Pushing into that price category directly puts you up against CF and SW. Those chains invest heavily in new rides and Free Spins and Superloops cant compete with massive B&Ms and Intamins.

Unless there is some serious capex, then both revenue and attendance will drop with the lower prices. Especially as the themepark business is massively shifting to a experience based industry. Customers demand something instagramable, something they can brag about online. When the local Six Flags park gets too expensive to be the teen hang out spot a yearly trip to Florida might become the better option instead of 10 trips to Six Flags. Instragram posts from Galaxy's Edge or Harry Potter are certainly more popular than the local SF Justice League or Free Spin.

I am a SF shareholder so I am not particularly happy with this.
I think the hope is for a healthy redirection; Six Flags did massively unsustainable growth in the late 90s/early 2000s then had to regroup completely. Since then they’ve been much more modest in their expenditures and have pursued that “discount park” route, and now it seems they see a path to higher revenue with a more pleasant park experience. They by no means *have* to be discount parks to see growth in their revenues, and I know I’d be more likely to visit more if they classed up the joints a bit lmao. A modest redirection to higher prices and higher spending to improve the parks could be a home run (or really more like an RBI double; swinging for the fences is what got them all screwed up in the first place imho).
 

ChristianPalsson

Mega Poster
I think the hope is for a healthy redirection; Six Flags did massively unsustainable growth in the late 90s/early 2000s then had to regroup completely. Since then they’ve been much more modest in their expenditures and have pursued that “discount park” route, and now it seems they see a path to higher revenue with a more pleasant park experience. They by no means *have* to be discount parks to see growth in their revenues, and I know I’d be more likely to visit more if they classed up the joints a bit lmao. A modest redirection to higher prices and higher spending to improve the parks could be a home run (or really more like an RBI double; swinging for the fences is what got them all screwed up in the first place imho).

As I said. I am totally for the higher prices if it comes with higher spending but we haven't yet seen the higher spending. High prices and same spending will fail massively.
 

Indy

Mega Poster
As I said. I am totally for the higher prices if it comes with higher spending but we haven't yet seen the higher spending. High prices and same spending will fail massively.

The question is what are they going for though. Sure, parks typically increase their price slightly when they open a big new attraction, but if Six Flags is trying to make wholesale improvements AND major capital investments, then they can't just drastically increase their spending on the gamble that massive adjustments to their pricing structure will result in recouping the money they've already sunk. You earn money and then spend it. Not vice versa.

Frankly, I have no issue with all of the price increases. I might feel differently if in a few years if I don't see improvements with the parks though. And those improvements don't even have to come in the form of major ride installations. I've been sorely disappointed with the general appearance of every Six Flags park I've been to in the past several years. If increasing the prices means that the parks are better maintained, then I'll be satisfied. Besides, $50 for a season pass never made a ton of sense to me.
 
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