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Old 05-19-2008, 06:40 AM   #16
eliza61

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Originally Posted by Kathi OD View Post
That's why I never understood people complaining about the cost of counter service meals at WDW......I keep thinking, "Have they never been to Six Flags?"
Evidently not.

We don't go to Six Flags any more. The last time I was there was almost 10 years ago. Even then the parking was $10. The food was outrageously expensive, the lines were horribly long, and the place was desperately in need of maintenance. Admission for adults was somewhere around $35.

IMO, Disney has always been the better deal.

Kathi,
I am so with you on this. Six flags NJ is ridiculous.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:35 AM   #17
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That's our basic strategy. I've added up what it would cost for a day to go to our local Six Flags, and it just isn't worth it.

At WDW we pay the same price, or often less, and get SO much more. I'd rather save my money for that.

Not saying that all local theme parks are bad, I've just experienced the same thing and that's how I personally decided to deal with it.
Same here...we don't go. In the past when we have gone (years ago), we spend most of the day comparing Great Adventure to Disney and how GA's experience pales in comparison. The food....awful, the customer service...pitiful, the grounds maintenance terrible. And then throw in hoards of roving obnoxious teens bused in from all over the place and you have the makings for a pretty miserable day.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:27 AM   #18
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I worked for Six flags Great Adventure here in NJ for six years. 1996-2001. Just a tip that will help with the high food prices. When I worked there if you dropped any of your food on the ground you could go right to the front of any line that sold the food you got and tell them what happened and they will give you new food to replace the food you dropped free of charge. This is great for families where the kids drop food by accident and then the parent get upset (that food cost alot) cause they don't know they can just get new food. Now that they are using alot of name brand food places I am not sure if this still holds true so you might want to ask when you go. But this was a tip they didn't want people really knowing cause it is a thing that can be abused but they will honor it no questions asked. Just as at your local six flags next time you go.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:31 AM   #19
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Six Flags in San Antonio is insane, also.

We were having a reallllly bad day, so the kids got ice cream and I got a beer for me and dh. He paid for the ice cream, so I don't know how much that was (nor do I want to), but when I went to pay for the beer -- 2 regular size bottles of Heineken, it was $15!!!! Wha????? I said, no, I only got 2 bottles. And the cashier said, yes, $15. I nearly fell over. That's worse than any sporting event!

Plus, most of the rides were broken and we got stuck on EVERY SINGLE ride, including the freakin' TRAIN, for 20 minutes! At that point I kind of flipped out and demanded to speak to a manager. We got a 6 free meal certificates and some front of the line passes. But, ugh, not really worth it. Disney spoils us.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:47 AM   #20
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They have those prices because they can. What are people going to do not eat? How much at WDW CS? (I can honestly say I don't know because we have done the DDP and never really look at the prices.)
But, evidently it is those prices that are driving people away from the Six Flags parks. And to answer your question, yes, not eat at the park. Last time we went, I told the kids we would go to McDonald's down the street afterward. They were happy and I so was I.

Charging exhorbitant prices, just because you can, isn't always the best business practice, especially when it comes to people's discretionary dollars. As previously noted by another poster, Six Flags is having serious financial difficulties. I wonder how much of that has been caused by their pricing? People who feel unduly taken advantage of will generally find other places for their entertainment dollars.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:49 AM   #21
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Kathi,
I am so with you on this. Six flags NJ is ridiculous.

Amen to that!! We used to have season passes. Then season parking got crazy..they then took away the season pass entrance and season parking lot. The coupon book got worse, and the rides..well my kids are under 12, so they got too big for the kiddie ones and too small for the other ones. They liked the water section in the new area, but still, not much there. We really really like Hurricane Harbor...great water park. But the parking is insane!! It's not worth the money..we just stopped going. Also the sort of people the parks bring in...well not the nicest groups around.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:05 AM   #22
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We've had season passes to the Six Flags here in Dallas for the last several years. The types of price increases they've made this year have truly offended me. You have to put all your stuff in lockers before you get on the big coasters, AND YOUR STUFF IS CONFISCATED if you are not back to claim it by the time your locker expires (yes, you only get to rent the locker for short periods of time!).

So, this year we are not buying the refillable cups. Like at Disney, they have to give you small cups of water for free. I'll stop and get one of those between every ride, thanks. None of us needs to drink soda so badly we have to buy it there. I'll get my Route 44 drink from Sonic for half the price once we leave. I'm still wearing my belt bag (have to carry sunscreen, lip balm, car keys, phone, etc., SOMEHOW) but those are allowed on the rides. The kids can't wear any hats that can't be folded/crushed small enough to go into DH's cargo pants pockets, because those have to go in the lockers too ( ).

Yes, the food is expensive. What's worse for us is that there is NOTHING in the way of main-meal food (just snack food) that my DH can eat (he's got digestive problems). We have looked at the menus of every single restaurant in the park, and there's nothing there he can eat. If we're going for the full day, you'd better believe we pack our lunch in a cooler in the car. Our park at least has a nice shady picnic ground we can use. If we want to eat at a restaurant, we walk across the street. Honestly, we still walk way less on a day at Six Flags than we do on a day at Disney, so it's not a big deal to go "off campus" to eat.

Even with all the restrictions, it's still cheaper for our family of four to go spend a day at Six Flags than it is to go to a movie. Now, movie prices are INSANE!
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:14 AM   #23
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I don't think I'll be back to Six Flags St. Louis after our experience last year. I could list 10 thinks that were WAY wrong with the trip. To the point of this thread we paid 13.95 for a "meal" at one place. It was a double cheeseburger(2 think patties-stake and shake size) and fries. To get a soda was another $3.00. We ended up getting 2 dbl cheeseburger meals and one soda to feed all 4 of us and it was somewhere around $32.00! On the way home the 8 of us (we were with another family of 4) stopped at Pizza Hut and got 2 large pizzas, 2 orders of bread sticks and 8 sodas for $32.00! The 8 of us ate and had a little leftover for cheaper than the 4 of us had had our lunch (which was more of a snack)

But again that was just one of the many problems. I think the biggest one was when a boy stopped a worker and said "my dad went on the Ninja and told us to wait here, but it's been an hour!" The worker (who didn't look much older than the 'lost' kid.) shrugged his shoulders and walked away. My wife and I were in shock. We went over and asked the kid if there was anything we could do for him, lend him a cell phone or something. But he was content to wait longer.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:15 AM   #24
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we live 30 minutes from SixFlags and we do not go unless the kids get those free reading tickets because as everyone said the quality and the quantity is just not there. The parks are primarily staffed by surly teenagers (no offense teens) when you have been spoiled by the Disney magic and have seen where your money can take you there is just no substitute. I think for most of us Disers this park wont add up

People ask us all the time why do we go 400 miles away when we have attractions right here. It is like for the price, quality and just sheer enjoyment for our family it is really comparing apples to oranges. I dont like being demanded to spend my money on inferior products.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:18 AM   #25
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I used to perform at SF in Georgia and in San Antonio. I was normally backstage with the other show people but when i would venture into the 'normal' part of the park I was always so shocked at how rude the employees were. It is no wonder they are doing so badly.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:24 AM   #26
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We had season passes last year and we also brought a packed lunch and ate in the parking lot. The St. Louis Six Flags has plenty of shady areas for picnics. But we didn't renew our passes this year. I thought the parking was outrageous and the park is just too run down.

We have decided not to waste our money at Six Flags this summer and just save up for more trips to Disney. The only thing I will miss is the water park but not too much because it is always too over-crowded.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:27 AM   #27
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Ds just went to GA here in jersey on Friday. I gave him money for lunch and maybe a t-shirt. He told me lunch was $16. THey also don't allow backpacks on rides so they charge you $1 for a locker for these rides. The best deal he got was a t-shirt for $20. And is was not a GA t-shirt but a blues brothers one.

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Old 05-19-2008, 10:52 AM   #28
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$3.75 for a bottled water?! That's disgusting. Once it gets summer hot, they are going to have guests dropping like flies from dehydration and heat stroke.
Do they at least give you free cups of ice water like at WDW? I mean bottled water isn't cheap at WDW either, but at least you have other options, like bringing in your own or the free ice water at counter service.

It's been a looooooooooooooooooong time since I've been to an amusement park like Six Flags or Cedar Point. The last couple times I did go, they were so dirty and just "unhappy" places, I decided I wouldn't be back and that was mostly before my yearly Disney trips. Reading this thread I know I won't be going back for sure.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:57 AM   #29
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When we go to SF here, we pack a cooler and leave it in the car. When hungry, we get our hands stamped and then have a picknik in the parking lot. As for water in the parks, water fountains work just fine, or if we want pop we'll just buy the largest size one they have and split it, it's way too much for one person anyway. The trick is to have everyone agree on a flavor!
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:22 PM   #30
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We had season passes last year and we also brought a packed lunch and ate in the parking lot. The St. Louis Six Flags has plenty of shady areas for picnics. But we didn't renew our passes this year. I thought the parking was outrageous and the park is just too run down.
When the current ownership group took over several years ago, they talked about how they were going to improve the Six Flags parks and make them a better experience. One of the first things they did to "improve" the customer experience was to raise parking prices. Although they have made some minor improvements, the owners still seem to favor the bottom line far more than customer experience.

At one point, there was talk about the owners trying to force people to eat in the parks by preventing them from going to their cars to eat lunch. To stop the parking lot picnics, they apparently considered not allowing people to leave the park and then re-enter on the same day. Fortunately, this idea was never implemented.
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