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hollyferry

2020 Season and Dealing with COVID-19

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It seems Governor Murphy is attempting to get everything partially open again by Memorial Day the earliest. I'd expect Murphy to try and re-open Great Adventure not too much later than July 1st, since he seems to be very optimistic about summer openings at the moment.

 

I think this reservation system is definitely a smart method of going about park openings, even if you can no longer make spontaneous visits for the foreseeable future. If park capacity is around 50,000 people or so, I'd expect them to let in close to maybe 5,000 pre-registered guests (mix of pass holders, members, and general public) and then however many employees and other staff members they would need? 

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Murphy extended the stay at home order for another month. He will drag his heels with reopening stuff. The reservation sysyem is going to backfire.

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Murphy isnt going to reopen anything , anytime soon.  Businesses  have taken such a hard hit already, this is going to cripple them. Like the Master said, he will drag his heels. The summer is shot at this point. I want my money back for my season & dining passes . I will not be renewing for the first time in...omg 16 yrs? 

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A reservation system and limits on daily attendance just doesn't sound like it could be profitable for many of the parks.  For it to work at Great Adventure I would think you'd have to have maximum daily limits on attendance and ensure those limits are reached each day.  Think about how difficult that would be to do consistently in a park like Great Adventure where so many of the park's costs are fixed.  I have no idea what daily attendance needs to be generated at the gate in order to break even these days, because parks have a vast number of revenue streams that they did not have before the advent of the digital economy.

 

I just don't see how making it more difficult for your target market to get to you and experience your product could ever be a good thing for a business.  And, when you read some of those articles about the public not planning on attending theme parks until the virus is gone, a vaccine developed, or the population developing immunity, without sounding too depressing, I think the theme park industry is going to have to search long and hard to find some means of operating profitably.

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But if its what needs to be done then its better the no opening at all! Disney and others do it for special events. And it will work. They may only open from say 11am to 7pm each day. but its better then nothing.

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The reservation system is a good idea. I don't think they will be opening any time soon, maybe sometime in July, but they are going to have to put a strict capacity at the park to ensure people can social distance. But frankly, at that point, are you going to be wiping down the trains each time new people use it? Are you going to space people 6 ft apart in lines? Will everyone be required to wear masks? All of these things seem like a must do if the park wants to open, but is it worth it and is it profitable? Idk. Even if the park does open this summer I doubt I will be going due to the risk of exposure because I don't see this virus going away anytime soon. 

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It will be interesting to see which rides need to be closed in order to be profitable with limited attendance and staff.  I would imagine most of the east side of the park, all indoor rides, and the Congo Rapids would be closed.  If New Jersey follows a plan similar to Illinois and New York, I don't think the park will be allowed to open until 2021.

 

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For this to work, the park will likely need cops in full riot gear stationed there every operating day. I feel bad for park employees trying to tell rowdy people from Philly, North NJ, and NYC to obey all these new safety rules without getting punched in the face. What if a million people without reservations show up at the park gates? That is a clusterscrew I would not want to be any where near. 

 

In the retail market, there are increasing reports of store employees being attacked for trying to enforce safety rules on customers who are not following them. Fights between customers who follow the rules and those who don't are also on the rise. Just think how bad that would be inside a theme park. Sadly we will probably see scores of smaller parks and other small businesses fail from the lockdown. The mayor of LA predicts there could be more lockdowns this year, and many business can't withstand reopening, closing, reopening again, closing again, reopening a 3rd time, etc. I would not be surprised if the lockdown is extended again. Cuomo is pretty much calling the shots and the other northeast governors such as Wolf, Murphy, and Carney hop whenever he says so. 

Edited by The Master

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Personally, I believe that imposing these "lock downs," especially the longer they go on, will eventually be declared unconstitutional.  It's not as if every person who contracts the virus dies from it.  We are actually increasing the period of time that it will take to develop an immunity to the disease by maintaining these lock downs.  Now, keep in mind that I'm taking this position living in Long Beach, CA.  I still have my father and a sister and brother and their families living in NJ and my sister and her husband own a seafood restaurant there.  They want to reopen their seafood restaurant (which is take-out only), but because the restaurant is enormously popular, county officials will not permit them to reopen.  That, to me, is just ludicrous and quite frankly, unAmerican.  We know the risks associated with this virus at this point.  I don't see how, knowing the risks involved, anyone should be prevented from going out and associating with anyone else willing to associate with them.  From the start, we have been told that the point of all of these stay at home orders was to slow the virus, not to stop the virus.  We have slowed it.   We will not stop it until we've cured it, developed a vaccine, or developed an immunity to it.  As morbid as this may sound, we will all die one day and none of us will have chosen when, where, or how we died.

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https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200513005240/en/Flags-Introduces-New-Guest-Reservation-System-Ensure

Quote

Six Flags Introduces New Guest Reservation System to Ensure Proper Social Distancing

Process Designed to Help Manage Park Capacity

 

May 13, 2020 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world’s largest regional theme park company, and the largest operator of waterparks in North America, today announced the launch of an innovative, new guest reservation system. The user-friendly process will allow parks to manage daily attendance levels and avoid overcrowding in accordance with Centers for Disease Control recommendations on social distancing.


Six Flags announces a new guest reservation system to create a safe experience for everyone when parks reopen.

 

“The health and safety of our guests and team members is always our highest priority and in the current environment, we certainly want to take extra precautions to create a safe experience for everyone,” said Six Flags President and CEO Mike Spanos. “We are excited about reopening our parks and getting back to the business of fun; however, we want to do so in the safest possible manner. By having guests pre-register before they visit, we can plan ahead with proper staffing and sanitization measures, including ensuring that guests and team members maintain safe social distancing throughout the day.”

 

Every guest with a single-day ticket, group ticket, Membership, or Season Pass will be required to make a reservation for a specific visit date at sixflags.com/reserve. The process will take about 5-7 minutes, during which guests will complete the following steps:

  • Enter their online order number, ticket number, or Membership/Season Pass number;
  • Select the date they want to visit, and the approximate time they wish to enter the park;
  • Watch a brief video that describes new social distancing and sanitization procedures;
  • Acknowledge their understanding of the company’s health policy; and
  • Order pre-paid parking, if they do not already have a pass.

If all reservations for a particular date are taken, guests will have the option to join a waitlist and Six Flags will contact them automatically if additional inventory is released or a guest cancels. Guests will be contacted electronically (either by email, text, or both) the day before their scheduled visit to confirm their intent to visit and to remind them of the company’s health policy. Guests may cancel their reservation without penalty any time before 8:00 a.m. (local time) on the day of their scheduled visit. Diamond and Diamond Elite Members will automatically be added to the priority waitlist, and all Members and Season Pass Holders will receive booking priority over single-day ticket buyers.

 

Guests are required to utilize the reservation system in order to visit any Six Flags park; those without advance reservations will not be allowed to enter. The process is quick, simple, and will ensure a safer and exciting experience for guests of all ages.

 

The new guest reservation process is currently not enabled. The system will be activated to accept reservations when specific park reopening dates are confirmed. To learn more about Six Flags’ reservation system and detailed FAQ’s, visit sixflags.com/reserve.

 

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This sounds like a mess. Try again next year I suppose (If we do indeed get to carry season passes over for a couple months into the next year).

 

In all fairness, it's the best that they could possibly do.

Edited by mkj3322

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I don't think I will be  attending this summer (frankly, even with the measures I don't know how safe it really would be, I'd have to read more about the exact measures and rules they have), so hopefully they allow 2020 season passes to be good for 2021 as well, or I may have to try and get my money back. 

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I wonder if one pass holder can list the number of people who will be arriving at the park together. I have 4 passes in my house and we normally have a member who comes with us. Will I be able to make 5 reservations or will we have to make 5 separate reservations?

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I can see the waitlist becoming very long and backlogged for GAdv. Let's face it, the theme park industry is probably ruined after COVID-19. 

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Here's a video with a lot of answers about what to expect and how it should work. I'd expect some fine tuning on this as things actually happen.

 

 

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On 5/8/2020 at 12:49 AM, fetish911 said:

 I want my money back for my season & dining passes . I will not be renewing for the first time in...omg 16 yrs? 

 

I emailed the park telling them I'm going to keep my memberships going to support them but that I'd like my money back for the dining passes and was told no refunds because they are extending the dining passes for however many months they are closed. 

 

I normally renew the dining pass every September during the labor day sale but I won't be doing that this year. I still might inquire again about a refund since I don't plan on going back to the park at all this year and it's a decent chunk of money for something I have no plans on using due to no fault of my own. Worst case we could try a charge back on them for it but that's really not something I want to do so I'm hoping they just refund me. 

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That's why I'm thinking they're going to take a hit next year. I'm not renewing my season pass next year for the first time in a long time since this year is completely waste of money and I've been going less to begin with. Maybe I'll go once next spring if they do indeed give us a couple months back for our season pass. We'd all be asking for refunds if they started allowing it.

Edited by mkj3322

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For every 1 operating day the park is closed in 2020, the 2020 season pass (and add ons) will work that same amount of days in the 2021 season.

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They just need to extend it the whole year, and so do Magic Mountain pass holders get a lot more days on their pass? What if I use my Great Adventure pass in February 2021 at Magic Mountain?

Even when the parks do open we are getting ripped off, if I bought a pass knowing what was going to happen this year I wouldn't have bought it, I wouldn't even go to a restricted park.

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We booked our visit for Sunday June 7th. This weekend wouldn’t have worked well and I figured it also gives a weekend for the park to get used to operations. Never did the drive-thru back in the day so we are really looking forward to it!

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I can see the park needing reservations on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays throughout the summer as it is normally very crowded.  However, during the weekdays, is Six Flags really going to turn away a paying customer who does not have a reservation if the park is not at the COVID specified capacity?   The logistics seem off to me.

 

 

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