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Memberships: Deal or No Deal

Talk about anything that has to do with Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor here.
Postby Sven18 on August 24th, 2019, 2:10 pm
Looking at the current Flash Pre Sale Memberships aren't necessarily a deal but are really preying on the fact people don't have to pay in a lump sum, since SF is the only chain that doesn't offer payment plans on passes.

Comparisons:
Gold Pass
Gold Pass(free upgrade from regular is $67.99
Add Deluxe dining(free Premium Upgrade gets drink bottle) $78.99
w/ tax and processing fee total is $165.80 for a year at the park

Bonus now is 1 Golden ticket, 1 skip line next visit, 1 HITP free ticket. free ride photo, free game play, 20% of merchandise. $50 discounts.


Gold Plus Membership
Membership $7.15/mth ...$85.80/yr
Add Dining plan at the same level to above is $9.50/mth or $114/yr...really killing Gold+ people on dining
Total payments are $16.65/mth and with tax $17.75 which is $213/yr and there is a $20 deposit or you pay $1 more a month which then makes it $225/yr.

So at best one is paying $47 more per year plus $20 deposit or $59 more no deposit

Bonus is all the same stuff as Gold Pass and adds 3months free membership at the end after cancellation, 500 rewards points

Benefits over Pass are really the members entrance, season fast pass discount 20%, 1 free ICEE upgrade, 1 double ride on paid attraction. These things were essentially all on the old Gold Pass.


Platinum Membership
Membership 9.15/mth or 109.80/yr
Add Deluxe dining 7.05/mth or $84.60...even with discount cost more than equivalent pass dining plan 78.99
Total payments are $16.20/mth and with tax $17.27 which is $207.24/yr and there is a $20 deposit or you pay $1 more a month which then makes it about $220/yr.

Same bonus as the other memberships during sale and the only real benefit is higher % of discounts, so you're paying more to get a discount on spending more on grossly over priced SF merchandise.

It's cheaper to buy a Platinum membership over a Gold Plus, which takes away the bluster on SF conf call on more people buying a higher level than lowest level, the pricing structure causes that. Even then, this membership is just over $37 more for the same Gold Pass, Dining benefits, and you're paying upfront for discounts to buy more, a members entrance and access to a yet to be clearly defined rewards program.

in my opinion, the true benefit people are seeing to memberships are the payments over the lump sum, especially true on meal plans as you need to get a Diamond Membership to get an equivalent level top meal plan at a cheaper price than the season pass Premium Dining cost of 78.99. The same meal plan for Gold PLus is 114/yr and Platinum it's 84.60

The actual added benefits are really little to the old 2018 and before Gold Pass.
Last edited by Sven18 on August 24th, 2019, 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JaminOut on August 24th, 2019, 2:25 pm
I don’t see why you’re looking at buying a pass to Six Flags because you’re always complaining about the park... but I think memberships make sense if you buy them the first time you visit the park in the 2020 season, then cancel it at the end of the 2021 season. That’s two years of passes ($330) while only paying around 18 months of membership ($329).

I, personally, am skipping out of a pass for the 2020 season. I’m heading to the University of Minnesota today to move in and I can’t say I was overly impressed with my visits to Six Flags this year. Instead, I’ve opted to purchase a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass. Valleyfair is 30 minutes from my dorm and I plan on taking a trip or two out to Ohio and maybe a trip to Knott’s or Carowinds/Kings Dominion.
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Postby JackGlass on August 24th, 2019, 2:42 pm
I'll just stick with the Gold season pass. I also hope Cedar Point keeps this Gold pass around after their 150th anniversary. $100 is a great deal for unlimited parking and unlimited visits.

For less than $200 I'm able to go to Great America and Cedar Point as much as I want next year. That's one hell of a deal, lol
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Postby Sven18 on August 24th, 2019, 2:47 pm
JaminOut wrote:I don’t see why you’re looking at buying a pass to Six Flags because you’re always complaining about the park... but I think memberships make sense if you buy them the first time you visit the park in the 2020 season, then cancel it at the end of the 2021 season. That’s two years of passes ($330) while only paying around 18 months of membership ($329).

I, personally, am skipping out of a pass for the 2020 season. I’m heading to the University of Minnesota today to move in and I can’t say I was overly impressed with my visits to Six Flags this year. Instead, I’ve opted to purchase a Cedar Fair Platinum Pass. Valleyfair is 30 minutes from my dorm and I plan on taking a trip or two out to Ohio and maybe a trip to Knott’s or Carowinds/Kings Dominion.


I rarely go to SFGAm, twice a year at most. Last year it was once and it was in the fall. I go to Cedar Fair parks around 20 days a year, some years over 25 days. I have had a CF platinum since it came out, as well as all park dining, drinks and will be buying the all park season fast lane now too. I normally buy 6 to 8 FL+ a year at various parks so this just makes it easier. I have been sending CF emails about all park FL+, since they introduced season Fl+ at individual parks.
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Postby Sven18 on August 24th, 2019, 2:57 pm
JackGlass wrote:I'll just stick with the Gold season pass. I also hope Cedar Point keeps this Gold pass around after their 150th anniversary. $100 is a great deal for unlimited parking and unlimited visits.

For less than $200 I'm able to go to Great America and Cedar Point as much as I want next year. That's one hell of a deal, lol


Cedar Point Gold Pass is going to cannibalize their platinum sales a bit. Some people who only go to CP bought platinum passes b/c a regular pass plus parking pass or paying for parking made no financial sense. You rarely see regular passes at CP. The Gold will probably stay around, as they are the only park that didn't hvae it. The price point is too low as Gold is $120 at Knotts,$117 Dorney, $107 Carowinds, $105 WOF $104 KI, $102 KD, Cedar Fair is going to have to raise the CP gold price and close the Wonderland loophole. especially since they have all park FL+
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Postby UnclePennybags on August 24th, 2019, 6:52 pm
Season Pass is still the better deal for me. Just looking at the raw numbers and not taking into account miscellaneous benefits, the annual costs (w/o security deposit) are:

$147 Pass + Dining
$207 Platinum + Dining
$215 Gold Plus + Dining
$231 Diamond + Dining
$287 Diamond Elite + Dining

As you add additional items, Diamond Elite becomes more attractive relative to the other memberships, but not compared to the pass. For example, if you add in a Season Platinum Flash Pass, you get:

$376 Pass + Dining + Platinum Flash
$486 Diamond Elite + Dining + Platinum Flash
$491 Diamond + Dining + Platinum Flash
$506 Platinum + Dining + Platinum Flash
$534 Gold Plus + Dining + Platinum Flash

It probably still comes down to benefits. Some people can make use of them, others not.
Last edited by UnclePennybags on August 24th, 2019, 11:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby ilrider on August 24th, 2019, 7:20 pm
We considered the membership for the first time this year but decided to just stick with gold passes since they are cheaper. Our lump sum is kind of big with 6 passes, but we don’t get the dining pass, so I decided the lump sum is better than a higher monthly budget. I hate adding new monthly payments to our budget. I like to have the cost in the rear view mirror.
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Postby Falcon on August 25th, 2019, 4:52 pm
I'll just keep rocking the gold pass with free parking.

The membership discounts on food and merch are meaningless to me. The food quality is horrible given the price and I don''t have any interest in buying a shirt, cape, etc. If they still had cool souvenirs like ride blue prints or decent/affordable food, maybe I'd consider it.

The really shoot themselves in the foot with the free parking and not keeping the park open past 8. A lot of times when I go to the park with my friends we just go for the afternoon. We're all pass holders and have been on every ride a million times, so what's the point of taking a day off of work? I'll save vacation days for going to real parks like Dollywood, Disney, and Universal. Since we have to leave at 8 we just avoid the overpriced burgers and stop at the oasis on 94 for a bite to eat on our way to or from the park. If it was open later, and had a better environment for just hanging out I'd probably eat there more. The few times a year we do get hungry during the day we just leave the property and go to McDonalds. Like, I can't believe I'm saying this, McDonalds is somehow better quality food, way cheaper, and might be faster given the service times at the park. Then since we have free parking, we just go right back in the lot.

On the topic of parking, has anyone else noticed that they don't even bother manning the parking toll booth past like 2 p.m.? I got to the park around 2:30 yesterday and we just drove right in. And this isn't the first time I've just drove right in.
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on August 26th, 2019, 10:23 am
ilrider wrote:We considered the membership for the first time this year but decided to just stick with gold passes since they are cheaper. Our lump sum is kind of big with 6 passes, but we don’t get the dining pass, so I decided the lump sum is better than a higher monthly budget. I hate adding new monthly payments to our budget. I like to have the cost in the rear view mirror.



I agree with you 100% about having the cost in the rear view mirror! I hate monthly costs and try to avoid them as much as possible!

I re-upped the premium dining for me and this year got it for my 9 yo. I spent 465 on 4 Gold passes, and 2 Premium dining passes.
I waiver on whether the dining is a good deal because of mediocre food quality and slow service. But it is slightly more convenient than going to car to eat and having to re-enter the gate. However, if food service keeps being super slow I might revert back to bringing food and eating at car.

I also agree with most on here about the membership benefits being of no value or use to me. With the Premium dining pass I already get 20% off merchandise and I don't buy photos or play games . And to me, the entrance for members doens't seem like a huge benefit because they have 2 sides open for non-members.

Also, I've entered the park at least 1x this year in back entrance after 230 pm and there was nobody there!
Last edited by CoasterRiderSC on August 26th, 2019, 10:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on August 26th, 2019, 10:23 am
JackGlass wrote:I'll just stick with the Gold season pass. I also hope Cedar Point keeps this Gold pass around after their 150th anniversary. $100 is a great deal for unlimited parking and unlimited visits.

For less than $200 I'm able to go to Great America and Cedar Point as much as I want next year. That's one hell of a deal, lol



When does Cedar Point offer Gold pass for $100 for unlimited parking and visits? Is it good only at CP or all Cedar Fair parks?
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Postby rct2123 on August 26th, 2019, 10:29 am
Just CP. It just got announced, it's available now.
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Postby Sven18 on August 26th, 2019, 8:40 pm
rct2123 wrote:Just CP. It just got announced, it's available now.


In park ads for it claim it's limited time offer. I tend to believe it b/c the price is way undervalued and CF unlike SF does raise prices after limited time sales. SF will keep the ride announcement flash sale for months and then re offer it again for Black Friday, Xmas, and in the spring
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Postby Sven18 on August 26th, 2019, 10:56 pm
SF is now showing the Flash Sale prices for everyone, the big Pre Sale was $1 off Gold pass, $1 off dining and everything else is the same as Pre sale. Btw, might see a lot of Fast Pass people this fall as it's $229 for Platinum for everyone and it's good rest of 2019 as well as 2020, just like any pass or membership bought now. However, it does appear SF did stopped the dining pass bought now being good for rest of 2019, like in past years.
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Postby Sven18 on August 26th, 2019, 11:25 pm
SF is now showing the Flash Sale prices for everyone, the big Pre Sale was $1 off Gold pass, $1 off dining and everything else is the same as Pre sale. Btw, might see a lot of Flash Pass people this fall as it's $229 for Platinum for everyone and it's good rest of 2019 as well as 2020, just like any pass or membership bought now. Dining plans free desert in 2019, that's a promo not used in past years. That was also in the pre sale bonus in case people missed it. I have a feeling most people didn't notice it thus will not use it the rest of the year, as desert is not something associated normally with the plan. Some across the chain tidbits is for dining passes for pass holders there is uniform price across the chain of 39.99 for basic and 79.99(deluxe with free premium upgrade). Previously there was up to a $10 spread depending on park for top end dining pass for pass holders. Picture passes are up $5 to $20, only a few parks held 2019 rate.
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Postby Jodon on August 27th, 2019, 12:53 pm
According to the fine print, it does look like a 2020 dining pass can be used for the rest of 2019.
From the website fine print: IMPORTANT NOTES: *Only Season Pass Holders and Members may buy and use Season Dining Passes. To receive this incredible offer you must buy during our Flash Sale. Deluxe Dining Pass savings is calculated off the Full Price of a Premium Dining Pass since when you buy during this sale, you get a free upgrade to Premium. Free Dessert promotion is valid through the 2019 season only (though your 2020 Season Dining Pass is good for 2019 and 2020).
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Postby launcher330 on August 28th, 2019, 5:18 pm
If I have a current dining pass and buy Another one during the flash sale does that give me double meals on that pass for the rest of 2019?
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Postby UnclePennybags on August 28th, 2019, 5:53 pm
launcher330 wrote:If I have a current dining pass and buy Another one during the flash sale does that give me double meals on that pass for the rest of 2019?

In past years it did, but you had to enter the park with your new pass first, then reenter with your old pass. If you read the fine print on this year's pass page, things might be different this year:

'Free food for the rest of 2019 applies only to new Season Dining Pass holders only. Nothing nefarious going on here -- it's just that if you already have a 2019 Season Dining Pass then you've technically already paid for your 2019 food. It would be incorrect for us to claim that it is "free."'

I'll try again this year and see if I can still get double-food.
Last edited by UnclePennybags on August 31st, 2019, 12:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Jodon on August 28th, 2019, 6:52 pm
UnclePennybags wrote:
launcher330 wrote:If I have a current dining pass and buy Another one during the flash sale does that give me double meals on that pass for the rest of 2019?

In past years it did, but you had to enter the park with your old pass first, the reenter with your new pass. If you read the fine print on this year's pass page, things might be different this year:

'Free food for the rest of 2019 applies only to new Season Dining Pass holders only. Nothing nefarious going on here -- it's just that if you already have a 2019 Season Dining Pass then you've technically already paid for your 2019 food. It would be incorrect for us to claim that it is "free."'

I'll try again this year and see if I can still get double-food.


I'm wondering if that's more for Memberships. SFGAm usually gives every season pass holder a new card when they scan the tickets at the front gate. If that's the case, I can't see how they would know if that season pass holder already has dining on their old/current pass.
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Postby anewman35 on August 28th, 2019, 9:43 pm
UnclePennybags wrote:
launcher330 wrote:If I have a current dining pass and buy Another one during the flash sale does that give me double meals on that pass for the rest of 2019?

In past years it did, but you had to enter the park with your old pass first, the reenter with your new pass. If you read the fine print on this year's pass page, things might be different this year:

'Free food for the rest of 2019 applies only to new Season Dining Pass holders only. Nothing nefarious going on here -- it's just that if you already have a 2019 Season Dining Pass then you've technically already paid for your 2019 food. It would be incorrect for us to claim that it is "free."'

I'll try again this year and see if I can still get double-food.


They've had that same wording for a few years. I'm sure you'd still be able to do the same thing of entering twice, I don't think you're really 'supposed' to do that though so they're not promoting that...
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Postby RobSFGAm on August 30th, 2019, 5:12 pm
I did notice that they added for the Dining Pass Flash sale only:
"Free Dessert in 2019 - Get dessert for FREE every visit in 2019!" when you add a dining pass.
Not sure what desserts are included, but a little additional perk I guess.
I am assuming I now get lunch, snack and now a dessert too (I did not get the dinner option this year).
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Postby ribsinbacon on August 31st, 2019, 11:54 am
So they are not issuing new cards if you're already a 2019 season pass holder now - I was directed to go to member services and they attached next year's pass and dining onto my current pass- so no more double dipping in dining during fright fest
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Postby anewman35 on August 31st, 2019, 6:23 pm
ribsinbacon wrote:So they are not issuing new cards if you're already a 2019 season pass holder now - I was directed to go to member services and they attached next year's pass and dining onto my current pass- so no more double dipping in dining during fright fest


Any idea what's considered a 'dessert' for the 'free dessert in 2019' thing?
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Postby ribsinbacon on August 31st, 2019, 6:25 pm
anewman35 wrote:
ribsinbacon wrote:So they are not issuing new cards if you're already a 2019 season pass holder now - I was directed to go to member services and they attached next year's pass and dining onto my current pass- so no more double dipping in dining during fright fest


Any idea what's considered a 'dessert' for the 'free dessert in 2019' thing?


Here is a screenshot of what it says on the app

Image
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Postby ribsinbacon on August 31st, 2019, 6:28 pm
ribsinbacon wrote:So they are not issuing new cards if you're already a 2019 season pass holder now - I was directed to go to member services and they attached next year's pass and dining onto my current pass- so no more double dipping in dining during fright fest


My girlfriend got a different card (like they have been doing every season) I guess it depends on who you get when presenting your ticket/phone bar code. I personally would have liked getting a new card. So if you want a new card- don't bring your 2019 card with you or don't have your card/lanyard present and showing.
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Postby ilrider on September 2nd, 2019, 11:56 am
We just got new cards yesterday at the entrance without the guy even asking if we had our old ones on us, which we did. Nice to not have to go to pass processing.
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