This past week, the girlfriend and I took a trip to Six Flags St. Louis for a nice little getaway from real life. Good thing we picked the hottest day of the year to go! Sheesh! It was terrible! The heat was so bad, I was so close to just peeling the sweat soaked clothes from my body, and run around the park naked the rest of the day. But, at least Six flags has a water park, which we did spend the earlier part of the day at. It was fun, but it was also the most crowded part of the park due to that God-awful heat.
I have been taking regular trips to Six Flags St. Louis since I was probably 5 years old. My family went there at least once every summer. As I got older and was able to drive, my friends and I would always buy season passes, and we'd go multiple times over the summer. After all, it's only an hour and a half from where I live. And you can't beat riding roller coasters and paying too much for food when you're bored.
Over the last year or so, I've noticed a steady change in Six Flags St. Louis. They have done quite a bit of remodelling. The park seems to be a tad cleaner. They are doing things now that they used to never do, or hardly o, such as parades. Loony Tunes and DC Comics characters are now constantly walking around the park. I used to never see characters as a kid. If I did, it was rare. But they are always out now. There are so many things that Six Flags is doing different, it immediately began to remind me and my girlfriend of another place. A place we both love and wish we could visit more often. A place we just visited in March. And that place is none other than Walt Disney World.
Yep. If you've been to WDW, or keep up on WDW park information, you'd notice it too. Six Flags is definitely taking a page out of Mickey's book. And while I applaud them for doing what they can to make their park a better, more enjoyable atmosphere, sometimes it just doesn't come off the right way. Let's take a look at some similarities.
We'll start with the characters. As I stated before, as a kid I rarely saw characters at Six Flags. They are now every where now. Marvin the Martian, Tweety, Daffy, and Bugs all the way to Robin, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash. you'll find them at various locations of the park, complete with a Six Flags employee by their side to help guide them around. They even have photographers following the characters around now who are there to take your picture, then hand you a little card that you can use to purchase the photo either at their photo booth, or online. If you've been to Disney, you are quite familiar with this process. I think it's all pretty cool, but my biggest problem is in the characters themselves.
For one, sometimes the costumes could be a little better. That one is directed mostly to the DC characters. Some of them just straight up look silly. Either the costume is just ugly, or the person inside the suit looks nothing like the character they are portraying. I don't need to see a pimply faced Flash, or a tubby Batman. Seriously.
My other issue is that the characters just don't seem to act, well, like the characters. In Disney, all of the character act as they would in one of their cartoons. They are lively, funny, and playful. At Six Flags, you can tell it's just some dude in a suit whose collecting a pay check. It immediately ruins the "magic" for me.
Another small similarity is Six Flags' version of Disney's Fast Pass, which the call the Flash Pass. This feature allows you to wait in line for a ride without actually standing in the line. Basically you are given a time to come back to the ride, and then you can walk right on. The only difference...SIX FLAGS CHARGE MONEY FOR THIS FEATURE! At Disney, it's free! Seriously, who is lazy enough to pay money just so they don't have to wait in lines. I just feel like Six Flags is really robbing people here.
The most pathetic encounter we had was when we walked in to one of the shops to find that it was a shop selling DISNEY MERCHANDISE! What?! on top of that, they were playing Disney music in the store. This store just confused me. Six Flags is a Warner Bros. park, right? Their icons are Looney tunes and DC comics, correct? So what's up with selling products of a company that could be considered your competition? Are they trying to snag some of their loot? Cash in on their success? That's what it seemed like to me. And I thought it was lame.
I probably look like this big jerk who hates Six Flags now. But I am far from wanting to light the place on fire or anything. I actually enjoy six Flags quite a bit. I just found myself comparing the place to WDW all day long. That may have something to do with my recent trip. Or maybe I need to lighten up. Who knows? But i do love me some Mr. Freeze. That coaster is...cool! Make sure you go back and read that sentence with an Arnold accent.
Oh, but one cool thing about Six Flags was The Wii Experience! All it was was a section set up in the park that had several Nintendo Wii's and a few Nintendo representatives there to tell you all about it's greatness! So, not only can you make yourself sick on the Shazaam!, you can now take a break to have a Wii Sports bowling game, or play some Twilight Princess! And it's FREE! Sweet!
OK, I think I've talked about Six Flags enough. A little off topic maybe? Nope, I talked about Nintendo. And it's my blog, so you'll read whatever I write. Booyah.