- May 13, 2008
I will never go to this park ever again. I am so upset about my experience there yesterday.
I planned a homeschool "field trip" to this park as the "end of school year big event" for my kids and a few buddies. We arranged to have group tickets (went fine, no big deal we bought online).
The hotel (not owned by six flags, but the main business is obviously park guests as they are across the street) was a Best Western in which I had booked 2 rooms like a month in advance asking that they be side by side, and connecting if possible as my husband and I were to be in charge of six kids (not all related).
They were totally booked (as it was a holiday weekend) and one room was on 1st floor on one end of hotel with other room being on 3rd floor on other end. The desk clerk was completely unwilling to do anything to help, we asked if he had suites (he did but would not upgrade or even offer the option). So we took the 2 standard rooms.
The next day after paying fifteen dollars to park (yeah, I know everyone pays for parking now) we got to the front gate and reviewed the map and broke up into 2 groups the "riders" who wanted to hit the roller coasters and the "animal lovers" who wanted to check out the wildlife. I took the animal lovers and we proceeded to ask a staffer for directions to a petting zoo area. She said "I don't know" and walked away without any further conversation! I asked a second person who directed me to a supervisor "down the hill," the supervisor disappeared before we reached him. I asked a third staffer who informed me there was no petting zoo (true, but why didn't the first 2 know that?).
I noticed several staff wearing bright neon polos which had the following pronouncement on the back, "Please keep the park clean, my family comes here too." I thought this an odd way of encouraging guests to clean up after themselves but was downright irritated when a small child in front of me dropped an ice cream wrapper and a staff member wearing one of these shirts stepped on it (as I was bending to pick it up) and kept walking with the wrapper stuck to her shoe! Why should guests make more of an effort than the staff do?
There was no effort on the staff's part to make the day memorable for guests or to go above and beyond. If you wanted anything "extra" it seemed to be that there is a culture of "you get what you pay for" in that everything had an extra price tag. There was a "line skip" pass that reminded me of fast passes, until I learned that you pay for the privelege at this park. You also pay to feed the seals, dolphins and giraffes (I only went to this park, because of the animal encounters they advertise. It turns out those are not included in the price of admission). You also pay extra for an elephant ride or to try out the go karts. Roller coasters, kiddie rides and shows are the only thing included and at each of those guests are inundated with advertising from a myriad of sponsors.
At lunch my husband bought food enough to feed the 8 hungry folks in our group and then asked for cups of water (tap water for goodness sakes) and was told that he could only have one! When he questioned the restaurant manager he was informed that "We are supposed to sell the bottled water." My husband pointed out that he had just paid upwards past sixty dollars for a hamburger lunch and that a cup of water should not really be a problem as he was already a customer. He got the water, but left with a bad taste in his mouth (not from the food).
At the end of the day, both hubby and I felt that we would not be returning to a Six Flags park again. Even if the tickets are cheaper, they nickel and dime you so much on the "extras" (like water) and treat guests so badly, that we'd rather pay more travel further and have a good time at Disneyland or Animal Kingdom in Orlando!
Nice try Six Flags, but you just don't get it!