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Six Flags parks have better service than SeaWorld

Discussion in 'Sea World Orlando' started by Tom Morrow, May 30, 2017.

  1. raven

    raven Well-Known Member

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    I don't know where you are gathering this information from. Maybe just your personal experience? Could it be that you went to their parks with an extremely high expectation and already had it in your mind that you weren't going to enjoy yourself?

    I've been to MANY Six Flags parks and can say they are no comparison to Busch or Sea World. Both of those parks offer so much outside of their rides and shows. They are Animal based and Six Flags is Ride based. So comparing them to Six Flags makes no sense.
     
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  2. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    I'm only comparing the guest service aspect. In all other areas, the SeaWorld and Busch parks are definitely superior. But smaller changes like improving guest service could be made to put SeaWorld on the same tier of theme park as WDW and UOR.
     
  3. UCF

    UCF Member

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    I mean, if we're comparing SeaWorld to Six Flags, SeaWorld Orlando is the top park in the US that isn't owned by Disney/Universal... the top Six Flags park, even with Seaworld's drop in visitors has over a million more people a year visiting it. Along with Busch Gardens. Seaworld has very real issues obviously, but they just are still a top 10 theme park in the US, something no Six Flags park can say.

    I'd say its apparent that the biggest thing seperating Sea World from the class that Universal and Disney are is a lack of resorts. The fact they haven't built any with all the others building them is astonishing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
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  4. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    It does have the benefit of being open year round and being in Orlando, though. Almost no Six Flags parks are open every day of the year.
     
  5. Bairstow

    Bairstow Well-Known Member

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    The only Six Flags park I've visited is the one in Georgia, and the staff there positively redefine the word "unmotivated". Worst park operations I've ever seen anywhere.

    Last visited Sea World Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa this past October and thought the staff running the parks was fine. I witnessed a staff member at Falcon's fury responding appropriately to a guest who had tried to sneak a camera on board the ride and all coaster operations at both parks were being run very speedily. Kraken and Montu both could have used another staff member to check restraints, but as they were both basically walk-ons I didn't mind.

    In fact, I had an especially positive experience in Busch Gardens involving an upcharge service. I had purchased all our tickets online, including the mid-tier line-skipping service for Busch Gardens. When we got the park to exchange our confirmation for the passes, the lady at the counter said that unless the crowds became unusually heavy, we probably would not need them and could get a refund. Sure enough, we were able to ride everything we wanted that day without using the passes and when we came back to the counter they refunded the charges.

    Maybe things have gotten worse with Sea World's continuing spate of bad press and financial news, but 8 months ago I thought the parks were being run and staffed quite well.
     
  6. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    This is also what I would say the worst park I have been to for operations and service, but other Six Flags parks are better.
     
  7. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    Are Six Flags parks actually as bad as everyone says they are?

    I'm curious because we are Cedar Fair Platinum Pass holders and our park is extremely clean and friendly employees. I actually had a bit of Disney style magic on opening night at our local park. Trash on the ground is almost non existent, pretty landscaping, great kid's area, cute characters, decent shows, and fun petting zoo.
    No complaints from me.(except for the food prices lol)
     
  8. PiratesMansion

    PiratesMansion Active Member

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    Six Flags is the Walmart of theme park chains; by comparison Cedar Fair is Target.
    Many Six Flags parks have great rides but inefficient operations and they make no effort to maintain or improve park infrastructure, so each park has at least one area that looks like it's falling apart. Many of them would be very nice if they took care of them and operated them well.

    But most of the time you're better off with Cedar Fair.
     
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  9. hakunamatata

    hakunamatata Love Me Some Fast Passes Premium Member

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    So what does that make the carnival in the Walmart parking lot?
     
  10. PiratesMansion

    PiratesMansion Active Member

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    Dollar General.
     
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  11. Bairstow

    Bairstow Well-Known Member

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    See, I was going to go with "yard sale".
     
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  12. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    The Six Flags I grew up going to, Great America, was a much nicer park in the 90's than it is today. Granted, I was a child so my memory is probably a bit rose-tinted, but it was cleaner and had some semblance of theming and themed lands. The lands had theme-appropriate background music and some other touches. Today, and as its been for quite a while now, Six Flags litters it's parks with game booths in every corner they can fit one. They plaster billboards and advertisements anywhere and everywhere, even on ride vehicles. Area music is all pop music - and advertisements play on this loop too. They basically only have a handful of generic ride branding "themes" that they use, for example "Goliath" is a different type of coaster at every park where it exists.

    That said, This Six Flags, and some other locations that I have been to, at least have semi-efficient operations. I'm not saying SeaWorld parks need to be as good as Disney and Universal in this department, but they should at least be "above average."
     
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  13. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Went to SeaWorld today. Yeah I know it's the 4th of July. But I've been to every other Orlando park on the 4th and they all step up their game operation-wise by increasing staffing. Let's see what SeaWorld did...

    2 out of 3 trains and one station on Manta. Of course. 2 out of three trains on Mako. One train on Kraken. No attempt to properly group people onto the rides. Every train has many open seats.

    No attempt to take enough people from the Quick Queue line to make it shorter than the standby line. You know, even though people paid money for this.

    No attempt whatsoever to direct traffic in the parking lot. Even Disney does this on major holidays and yes I know that you can often get stuck in the Disney parking lots for a long time too but this is total chaos.

    Forget the comparisons to Six Flags. The bottom line is SeaWorld has absolutely unacceptable guest service and it WILL contribute to their own demise if they don't improve it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  14. Disneyhead'71

    Disneyhead'71 Well-Known Member

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    Sea World's ride ops are impressively slow.

    Six Flags parks are, in general, worse.

    I always get the feeling Bevis and Butthead work at Six Flags.
     
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  15. brb1006

    brb1006 Well-Known Member

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  16. UpAllNight

    UpAllNight Well-Known Member

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    We had a fair bit of experience talking to people across all the parks in Orlando and found Disney stood out and we had many memorable experiences with Cast Members that went above and beyond. I thought at Epcot and Animal Kingdom in particular the cast were exceptional and we contacted Disney to say as much, giving the names of a few. At MK, I would say the ride opswere more stressed....there was obviously added intensity in getting as many people through as possible.

    At Universal we didn't come across anyone exceptional (doesn't mean they're not there!) but ride ops were fast and efficient and everyone seemed nice enough.

    Seaworld was a complete contrast. We did one of the upcharge animal encounters and found the 2 people doing them were exceptionally passionate about their jobs, and left a good impression. We also had good discussions with many of the 'animal ambassadors' who seemed into their job. We spoke to one lady for ages and she was the nicest lady we spoke too all holiday. We then left that conversation to be served by the most miserable so and so I've ever seen at any park in the bakery. Ride ops are slow, other than Mako...but so much better than Busch where it was laughable at times.
     
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  17. ScoutN

    ScoutN OV 104 Premium Member

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    BGW would beg to differ.
     
  18. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Yeah, the people who actually deal with or talk about the animals at SeaWorld are great. It's the basic positions - sales, food, and operations - where SeaWorld falls far behind Disney and Universal.
    I haven't been there in quite a while. It's always interesting to me how different parks under the same chain can have completely different operations.
     
  19. disneygeek90

    disneygeek90 Well-Known Member

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    I went for the first time in probably 15 years. I'm not even joking, I waited 30 minutes for a (free) drink refill at a hot dog stand. The person working was, hate to say, not very bright, attentive, knowledgeable or even understanding of what was going on. There were some teens order hot dogs, which were apparently out. Instead of having them step aside while they brought the hot dogs, EVERYONE waited. He never mentioned the delay to the probably 10 people in line. One after one, there was an issue. The computer went down, he got the drink wrong, etc. The group of teenagers were literally at the front of the register for 20 minutes.

    By the time I had realized how long it was taking, it was too late to back out and I couldn't see another stand around. Literally took a half hour for a drink refill. I can't get past that, and I know that would have never happened at Disney, or even Universal.
     
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  20. Tom Morrow

    Tom Morrow Well-Known Member Original Poster

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    Nope, just like at Disney or Universal you will never sit in the holding area after your roller coaster ride for FIVE-TEN minutes while they're STILL loading the other train.

    Another example: walking in to Disney or Universal, the employees generally greet you or say something to you. Walking into SeaWorld, they completely ignore you but you might get to hear about the wild party they had last night. Don't get me wrong, occasionally I hear similar stuff at Disney and Universal, but this is also par for the course at SeaWorld. It's not a good look when the very first employees you encounter - the uncaring parking booth operator, the parking attendants who don't bother to direct you to any parking spot, the park greeter who flat out ignores you.
     

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