First, word leaked that Six Flags was considering banning same-day reentry to its parks. Most people, myself included, dismissed the story as a foolish rumor that had grown to Kingda Ka-size proportions. When I contacted a Six Flags spokesperson to dispel the rumor, I was astonished to discover that Six Flags was serious about the policy change.
Within hours of my conversation with the Six Flags rep, however, new chairman Daniel Snyder came to his senses and reversed his inane decision to deny reentry to guests. I had predicted the company would back off the ill-conceived policy soon after the parks opened for the season this spring and irate guests started revolting. I was off by a few months, but I'm pleased to see that the company did the right thing.
The goodwill that Six Flags would have squandered by banning reentry would have dwarfed any additional revenue the chain would have wrung out of hopping-mad customers by keeping them inside the park. As it is, the new Six Flags regime has squandered some goodwill for even suggesting the wacky policy.
And speaking of revenue, Six Flags may be pushing its ticket prices beyond the tipping point. The recently announced price hike to $59.99 at Six Flags Magic Mountain, for example, matches Disneyland's rate. Time will tell whether guests view the two parks as offering comparable value, or whether the increased fee delivers diminishing returns at the ticket booths.
Snyder and his posse have been promising major changes at the parks to make them more family-friendly and enhance the overall guest experience. I agree with many of the proposed changes (although I believe it would be crazy to downplay or do anything to jeopardize Six Flags' well-deserved reputation for its coasters and thrill rides, as Snyder has suggested), and I'm willing to give the new team the benefit of the doubt--but my doubt radar has been raised to Code Orange.