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What other Six Flags Parks do better...

Talk about anything that has to do with Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor here.
Postby anewman35 on June 17th, 2019, 8:01 pm
Just got back from a visit to Six Flags New England yesterday, and couldn't help to notice some things that I wish we had and I thought it might be an interesting thread. Not really talking about rides or things other chains do, these are things that presumably Great America could do and just decided not to for whatever reason?

- Their Dining Pass lunch goes to 4 instead of 3:30

- A bunch of interesting food items we don't have - kettle corn, brisket sandwich, fried dough (with sugar or pizza sauce, gelato, others). Mostly on the dining pass, too.

- Regular size popcorn on the dining pass (not just the refill)

- My wife thought their landscaping was a lot better

- I saw one location with four freestyle machines. Not sure if any other locations has them, but that's already more than our whole park has...

- There was this one 'drink refill station' that in addition to normal Coke Products had about 5 different types of Iced Tea

- their 'whole park Wifi' actually exists...

- Most (if not all) rides had a sign stating info like when the ride was built, who made it, capacity, speed, etc. My guess was it was state required or something, but still interesting...

So, anybody else have any ideas of things Great America could borrow from it's siblings?
Last edited by anewman35 on June 17th, 2019, 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby IssaCoaster on June 17th, 2019, 8:03 pm
Idk about the other parks, but I would definetly say that our Six Flags needs better food service in general. Ridiculous to wait an hour for a crap burger.

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Postby ChicagoCoasters on June 17th, 2019, 8:45 pm
And food options. I always see and eat phenomenal food at other parks that isn’t typical theme park food. Some variety would be amazing. Add in some more BBQ and make Dippin Dots on the dining plan for gods sake.


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Postby anewman35 on June 17th, 2019, 9:11 pm
ChicagoCoasters wrote:And food options. I always see and eat phenomenal food at other parks that isn’t typical theme park food. Some variety would be amazing. Add in some more BBQ and make Dippin Dots on the dining plan for gods sake.


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That reminds me, SFNE did have a 'kiddie size' Dipping Dots on on the plan too. The Dining Plan could be so much better if instead of having particular items, it had everything (or at least everything up to a particular value, if that's the issue). So many of their decisions seem to make very little sense.
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on June 18th, 2019, 7:28 am
^ For what it's worth, you can get ice cream in SW territory for a snack with dining pass.

I wish our dress code policy was actually enforced! I've seen people with profanity on their T-shirts, pants hanging off rear ends, etc. I saw none of that stuff at Dollywood.
Last edited by CoasterRiderSC on June 18th, 2019, 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby UnclePennybags on June 18th, 2019, 9:26 am
anewman35 wrote:
ChicagoCoasters wrote:...and make Dippin Dots on the dining plan for gods sake.

That reminds me, SFNE did have a 'kiddie size' Dipping Dots on on the plan too.

Jiggidy was at Six Flags St. Louis (SFSL) last weekend and took a picture showing that a Kiddie size Dippin' Dots was on the Dining Plan; a Regular size was a $2 upcharge. SFSL still has footlong chili dogs, and some meals are served with homemade-type potato chips instead of waffle or regular fries.

I'd like to see all these items on our Dining Pass.
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Postby cliffhanger on June 18th, 2019, 10:46 am
ChicagoCoasters wrote:And food options. I always see and eat phenomenal food at other parks that isn’t typical theme park food. Some variety would be amazing. Add in some more BBQ and make Dippin Dots on the dining plan for gods sake.


A couple years ago, they had some delicious pulled pork and brisket sandwiches. Wonder why those never came back. It's nothing but burgers and nachos now.
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Postby JT2002 on June 18th, 2019, 6:08 pm
Compared to other major theme park companies, like Seaworld/Busch Gardens, Disney, Universal, Merlin, and Cedar Fair, Six Flags has much less variety and quality of theme park food options. Great America in particular has struggled with food quality, but they have made many improvements like adding "local favorites" like Italian food at Capone's and Lou's Italian Beef, and more mexican food options in Southwest territory. Compared to the real deal, this food kind of sucks, but it's better than you can get at a County fair or something. It'd be nice if the park had a signature food item, like Knott's has Boysenberries, Universal has Butterbeer, Disney has Dole Whip. And more seasonal options are cool too, like what they had for the Last Call Fall festival (Brats, Chili in a bread bowl, and Cheese curds).
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Postby Sven18 on June 18th, 2019, 6:50 pm
JT2002 wrote:Compared to other major theme park companies, like Seaworld/Busch Gardens, Disney, Universal, Merlin, and Cedar Fair, Six Flags has much less variety and quality of theme park food options. Great America in particular has struggled with food quality, but they have made many improvements like adding "local favorites" like Italian food at Capone's and Lou's Italian Beef, and more mexican food options in Southwest territory. Compared to the real deal, this food kind of sucks, but it's better than you can get at a County fair or something. It'd be nice if the park had a signature food item, like Knott's has Boysenberries, Universal has Butterbeer, Disney has Dole Whip. And more seasonal options are cool too, like what they had for the Last Call Fall festival (Brats, Chili in a bread bowl, and Cheese curds).


What tiny improvement SF is trying is getting dwarfed by what Cedar Fair, BG, SEAS and other chains are doing. SF was behind and are falling further, as they took 1 step forward, the chains that were ahead are taking 2 steps. Ie... Cedar Fair is making a concentrated effort on food for several years...the new BBQ places at KI, CP,(ribs, fresh brisket cut as you order,rotisserie half chicken meal, etc.. )and the entire Carowinds Harmony Hall complex puts SF to shame. Capones Italian is school cafeteria level food compared to the new Hugos Italian at Cedar Point....fresh made stromboli, calzones, fresh pasta, chicken parmesan sandwich, varieties of specialty stone oven personal pizzas, multitude of pasta salads with thing like chicken added, etc..
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Postby JT2002 on June 18th, 2019, 7:44 pm
Sven18 wrote:
JT2002 wrote:Compared to other major theme park companies, like Seaworld/Busch Gardens, Disney, Universal, Merlin, and Cedar Fair, Six Flags has much less variety and quality of theme park food options. Great America in particular has struggled with food quality, but they have made many improvements like adding "local favorites" like Italian food at Capone's and Lou's Italian Beef, and more mexican food options in Southwest territory. Compared to the real deal, this food kind of sucks, but it's better than you can get at a County fair or something. It'd be nice if the park had a signature food item, like Knott's has Boysenberries, Universal has Butterbeer, Disney has Dole Whip. And more seasonal options are cool too, like what they had for the Last Call Fall festival (Brats, Chili in a bread bowl, and Cheese curds).


What tiny improvement SF is trying is getting dwarfed by what Cedar Fair, BG, SEAS and other chains are doing. SF was behind and are falling further, as they took 1 step forward, the chains that were ahead are taking 2 steps. Ie... Cedar Fair is making a concentrated effort on food for several years...the new BBQ places at KI, CP,(ribs, fresh brisket cut as you order,rotisserie half chicken meal, etc.. )and the entire Carowinds Harmony Hall complex puts SF to shame. Capones Italian is school cafeteria level food compared to the new Hugos Italian at Cedar Point....fresh made stromboli, calzones, fresh pasta, chicken parmesan sandwich, varieties of specialty stone oven personal pizzas, multitude of pasta salads with thing like chicken added, etc..

It's kind of sad, but I think many people have come to expect a lack of quality from Six Flag's food concessions. I can get better food at a ballpark in Chicago, for a lower price.
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Postby ChicagoCoasters on June 18th, 2019, 7:49 pm
JT2002 wrote:Compared to other major theme park companies, like Seaworld/Busch Gardens, Disney, Universal, Merlin, and Cedar Fair, Six Flags has much less variety and quality of theme park food options. Great America in particular has struggled with food quality, but they have made many improvements like adding "local favorites" like Italian food at Capone's and Lou's Italian Beef, and more mexican food options in Southwest territory. Compared to the real deal, this food kind of sucks, but it's better than you can get at a County fair or something. It'd be nice if the park had a signature food item, like Knott's has Boysenberries, Universal has Butterbeer, Disney has Dole Whip. And more seasonal options are cool too, like what they had for the Last Call Fall festival (Brats, Chili in a bread bowl, and Cheese curds).


Don’t forget Kings Island and their blue ice cream. I just wish it wasn’t burgers, pizza, chicken tenders, nachos, and funnel cakes


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Postby coasterlove on June 18th, 2019, 10:11 pm
The few Six Flags parks I've been to (SFGAm, SFStL, SFWoA, SFKK, SFOT), none have impressed me with food service that I can remember. Many of the SF parks have good to great rides and coasters and this isn't to say that no employees try but their customer service or service in other areas like food services has always been lacking to me. It's to the point where I wish they would just get a lot of local popular restaurants to open seasonal franchises and let those businesses run it and Six Flags either just charge a rent or get a percentage of sales as agreed upon.

I'll just use the Chicago area as an example. Imagine getting quality pizza and true Chicago style dogs, Italian beefs, great burgers, etc. And since these would already be from existing successful restaurants and let them be in charge of running it, their employees, prices, rules, etc.
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Postby UnclePennybags on June 19th, 2019, 2:23 am
coasterlove wrote:...It's to the point where I wish they would just get a lot of local popular restaurants to open seasonal franchises and let those businesses run it and Six Flags either just charge a rent or get a percentage of sales as agreed upon.

I'll just use the Chicago area as an example. Imagine getting quality pizza and true Chicago style dogs, Italian beefs, great burgers, etc. And since these would already be from existing successful restaurants and let them be in charge of running it, their employees, prices, rules, etc.

I didn't know it till I read it, but I'd be OK with the above. We're talking about a park a stones throw away from Chicago and we don't have food items like deep dish pizza or Chicago style dogs? In Milwaukee, frozen custard rules; I'd love to see some served at the park.

Yes, I know: cost versus benefits. The park has already run the numbers for us. The resultant menus and food prices are being driven primarily by the park's need to improve/ensure profits from their food sector. I get it, but it sure makes for a drab palette of food options. It'd be nice to add a few regional signature items to the menu, even if they may not be as profitable as a generic burger or chicken tender.
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Postby Sven18 on June 19th, 2019, 9:53 am
SF had a Investor Presentation at Stifel Insight Conference 6/10 and claimed they increased significantly the Capex on food services over the last 1 to 2 years. They also said of the 8M active pass base(5.8M passes & 2.2M members) they sell 1M season dining plans. Penetration rate of dining is thus around 12.5% and they want it much higher. Members buy dining plans about twice a much as pass holders is what SF said in the past.
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Postby Falcon on June 19th, 2019, 10:13 am
Good luck selling more dining passes. Considering how over priced and shit the food is I'm surprised the numbers are that high. I went to the park 5 times last year and avoided buying any food. I'll either bring a sandwich or use my free parking pass to go off property to a fast food restaurant
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on June 19th, 2019, 10:57 am
About dining pass, I'm still amazed that they actually make money on the dining passes! I went 15x last year and got all my meals and snacks. I know the COGS of the food is way less than what they charge, but at some point, I have to believe they lose money on many of the people who go often. Even if they take the revenue from the dining pass and invest it and earn 10% or more I can't see them making money on frequent users.

Also I agree with statements above about food quality and the long wait times. I'm actually debating on whether or not I want to keep buying the dining pass! It's a question of waiting at least 45-60 minutes in line for mediocre food OR go to the car and eat and then spend time re-entering the park. If the waits continue to be long, then that is a "cost" that is more than the "benefit" of convenience (not having to leave the park to eat). However I usually arrive early and get great parking, so the only real variable in terms of time cost for eating at the car is the re-entry period.
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Postby Sven18 on June 19th, 2019, 12:15 pm
CoasterRiderSC wrote:About dining pass, I'm still amazed that they actually make money on the dining passes! I went 15x last year and got all my meals and snacks. I know the COGS of the food is way less than what they charge, but at some point, I have to believe they lose money on many of the people who go often. Even if they take the revenue from the dining pass and invest it and earn 10% or more I can't see them making money on frequent users.


Dining passes are comparable to all you can eat restaurants. If a person can "pack a lot of food away", it's bad for all you can eat place. The fact is for every 1 person that does that there are 10 that eat a normal amount, thus the price point works. SF does not make money on a 15 time park goer, that eats 30 meals & 15 snacks on a $80 dining pass. However, most people don't go much. Overall SF's avg season pass holder goes 2 to 3 times a year, assume a dining pass holder, which sell more to members goes more. SF probably still makes money till you hit 8 or 9 visits. Cost is like under $3/meal and under $1/snack at the scale they run at including labor. Like all products that are all season & pre paid they products assumes people will not go too much, but the patron still feels they are getting their value. A meal out of pocket is like $13-$15 each and a snack item $5 or more, a drink is like $4 for 16 oz. 2 meals, snack, drinks out of pocket would be minimum $40 out of pocket.

The SF dining plan is really just a convenience factor. There is not a restaurant that I am looking forward to or make sure to go to like at certain Cedar Fair parks or Busch Parks.
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Postby Carlo on June 19th, 2019, 5:20 pm
I did not buy the dinning pass this year. I was very frustrated with all the lines that I have given up on them. Waiting 60 min to get food is not acceptable. Especially when the food is ok at best. Food service could be so much better if they saw it as an experience. Instead it is like they forgot people need to eat and slapped some food together.

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