Final Update: Six Flags Suspends All Daily Operations, Opening Hours Erased

in Six Flags, Theme Parks

A large sign in front of a roller coaster reads "Six Flags Great America" with "CLOSED FOR THE SEASON" below it. Inset image shows the entrance sign for "Six Flags Over Georgia" with colorful decorations in the background.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Things are not looking to be going so well at one of the Six Flags theme park locations, as constant closures are plaguing the theme park.

knotts-berry-farm-six-flags-merger
Credit: Inside the Magic

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is a North American amusement park giant operating a collection of iconic parks across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Tracing its roots back to 1961, Six Flags began with the acquisition of a failing Texas park named Astroworld by Angus G. Wynne Jr.

Wynne envisioned a chain of interconnected parks offering a variety of themed experiences, and the Six Flags brand was born in 1961 with the opening of Six Flags Over Texas.

Over the decades, Six Flags expanded aggressively, acquiring existing parks and developing new ones. Examples of well-known Six Flags parks include:

  • Six Flags Magic Mountain (California) – Renowned for its collection of high-thrill roller coasters.
  • Six Flags Great Adventure (New Jersey) – Boasts the world’s tallest rollercoaster, Kingda Ka.
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas (Texas) – Offers a blend of traditional amusement park rides and a focus on Hispanic culture.
  • La Ronde (Canada) – Six Flags’ sole park in Canada, located near Montreal.
six flags
Credit: Six Flags

Six Flags faced financial difficulties throughout its history, often relying on debt-fueled acquisitions. However, in 2019, the company began exploring a potential merger with Cedar Fair, another major amusement park operator known for properties like Cedar Point (Ohio) and Kings Island (Ohio).

The proposed merger between Six Flags and Cedar Fair sent shockwaves through the industry. The combined entity would have created a dominant force in the amusement park landscape, controlling a significant portion of the market share in North America. However, the deal faced scrutiny from antitrust regulators concerned about reduced competition and potential price hikes.

In November 2023, both companies announced that their shareholders had overwhelmingly approved the merger. Six Flags shareholders, in particular, voted by a margin of 80% in favor of the deal. However, the deal remained contingent on approval from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

The merged company will include 42 amusement parks and nine resort properties across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada.

It will have an approximate pro-forma enterprise value of $8 billion, based on the debt and equity values of both companies as of October 31, 2023. Pending approval from the Department of Justice, the merger could be completed in 2024.

six flags magic mountain
Credit: Rich Fury / Flickr

According to Blooloop:

Six Flags and Cedar Fair’s proposed merger is expected to close soon, both companies have confirmed in their latest financial results.

Now, Six Flags and Cedar Fair have said the deal is still expected to close in the first half of this year. The same was confirmed in their previous financial results.

In Cedar Fair’s new results, president and CEO Richard Zimmerman said: “We were pleased that Six Flags shareholders overwhelmingly approved the merger-of-equals transaction, which we continue to believe will be completed before the end of the second quarter.

“We were also encouraged that our recent refinancing transactions were very well received by the credit markets, validating the strong financial profile and compelling growth opportunities of the combined company post-closing.”

Cedar Fair and Six Flags continue to work with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in its review of the merger, Zimmerman said.

“Teams from both companies are also working diligently to complete the initial phases of a joint integration plan that, upon closing of the transaction, will allow us to drive toward realizing the full potential of this strategic combination,” he added.

Medusa Steel Coaster, World's best steel coaster in 2018 at Six Flags Mexico
Credit: Six Flags Mexico

Is this merger a good idea? Based on one of the Six Flags operating schedules, it may not be.

Andrew Hyde took to X after noticing that Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags Over Georgia has shrunk its operational days, closing for up to three days a week.

Looks like Six Flags Over Georgia’s water park now only will be open 4-5 days a week this summer.

This comes after SFOT scaled back core park hours during the summer.

When we looked at the hours of operation on the Six Flags Over Georgie website, we noticed that during the summer, when the park is open seven days a week, Hurricane Harbor is closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.

In the past, these lengthy closures were not regular for the park, especially considering the theme park is seasonal, with its operations commencing late spring, with summer being the busiest season with kids out of school.

catwoman whip six flags over georgia
Credit: Six Flags Over Georgia

While part of the theme park will be shut down, the overall entrance fee will not change. So, if you are buying a single-day ticket to Six Flags Over Georgia this summer, take a look at the website’s hours of operations calendar to ensure you do not arrive with your swimsuit but are unable to use it.

When you do visit Hurricane Harbor, be sure to follow the appropriate attire request from the theme park, as stated on their website:

To participate in the water park activities, you must wear lined swimsuits. We don’t allow guests to enter the water areas wearing street clothes, cut-off shorts, denim shorts or athletic clothing. Because they can damage the rides, we also do not allow swimwear with buttons, snaps, rivets or zippers. But don’t worry — if you don’t have appropriate clothing, swimsuits can be purchased at Tradewinds Gift Shop! Here are more guidelines to help you pick out the best attire for your trip to Hurricane Harbor:

A colorful, winding water slide at an outdoor water park. The slide features multiple twists and turns, with sections painted in yellow, orange, green, and blue. People are walking up the stairs to the slide entrance, and a few are visible near the slide’s exit.
Credit:Six Flags
  • Footwear other than aqua socks are not allowed in any attraction.
  • Aqua socks are not permitted on body slides.
  • Infants’ diapers may be changed in restroom changing stations only.
  • Toddlers are required to wear swim diapers.
  • Swimsuits are only allowed in Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and must be appropriate for a family environment.
  • Shoes, proper shorts and cover-up attire are all required when returning to the theme park.

We have seen both Six Flags and Cedar Fair parks shut down their operations this 2024 season due to weather-related issues.

Inside the Magic has extensively covered the closures at Knott’s Berry Farm this year, which resulted in either a shortened day at the park for guests or the park not opening at all.

Even Dolly Parton’s beloved theme park, Dollywood, recently shut down on May 8 due to severe thunderstorms in the area. That being said, those examples of overall theme park closures have just been one-off situations, unlike the closure of the Six Flags Over Georgia water park.

What do you think about Six Flags adding multi-day closures to their theme parks this summer? 

in Six Flags, Theme Parks

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