Disney vs Six Flags

My family has been to Disney World twice (each one just for a day or two in the parks). And we had the opportunity to go to Six Flags for the first time this past summer.

While we love any kind of vacation together -- whether it's driving a thousand miles to visit family, or going to a park -- I noticed that Disney created a better experience than Six Flags. Here is what stood out to me about what Disney does best:
  1. Communicate well.  Disney's "Have a magical day" is cheesy, but at least it makes sense and fits the theme. But on this past summer's trip, we heard "Have a Six Flags day." I'm not sure what that means.
  2. Have vision buy-in.  At Disney, smiles appear genuine from everyone, even for the poor lady dressed up as Ariel, who has to take pictures for hours as she sits in her mermaid tail and clam-shell bathing suit. Everyone greets you warmly. But not at Six Flags. Sure some of the people wave and smile. But most don't even try to fake it. Maybe "Having a Six Flags day" means being grumpy and being half-hearted.
  3. Do the little things with passion. My last experience at Six Flags was waiting 30 minutes for vomit to be cleaned off a ride. The worker was obviously disgusted, and he let it be known. And they didn't even have the proper materials on-hand to clean it up; someone was gone for 10 minutes getting the materials needed. I have a feeling that at Disney, no one would have even known about the incident. They're magical like that.

Let me know in the comments: Which are your favorite amusement parks? Why?

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  1. As a person who has worked in the amusement industry, (2 summers in college,) I think you are comparing apples and oranges. Disney is a theme park, and Six Flags is a thrill park.

    Thrill parks appeal to thrill seekers, people who want to ride lots of coasters and other rides in one day. Of course, the thrill parks have family elements and kids and family rides, because families spend a LOT more money in a park than the teenage and adult thrill seekers do.

    To answer your question though, as an adult (and a major thrill seeker,) my favorite theme park is Universal Islands of Adventure. The rides are more mature (and cater more to a thrill-seeker) than Disney, while carrying strong themes through the various islands. If you're looking for the magical experience though, I don't know that Disney will ever be beat.

    As far as thrill parks go, no park will ever beat Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH in my mind! It has more roller coasters than any other park, and is set on beautiful lake Erie. It has 3 of the top 10 steel coasters in the country, and has won the Golden Ticket Award (top amusement park honor) for best amusement park for 13 straight years! I am also biased because I worked there for 2 summers in college, and grew up going to Cedar Point every summer as a kid!

  2. Vanessa --

    Joanna said the same thing as you did, that I am making an unlike comparison (great minds . . . ). But I still feel like customer engagement is always important, no matter what field you are in.

    I have heard great things about Cedar Point. So, I'll allow your vote even though you are biased. :)

  3. I've been to Six Flags once or so, never to any of the Disney parks, but I think one of my favorite places so far is the Renaissance Festival in Crownsville, MD (there are other locations nationwide, but that's the one I'm local to). I find the atmosphere fun and I think it's neat getting to see merchandise available for sale that is authentic to the period. I like that it is available to all ages (though some stuff is definitely catered to a more mature audience) and that not just the people who work there, but a number of patrons get really elaborate with their costumes.

    1. Yes, our family has also enjoyed cultural experiences like Festivals and International Fairs.

  4. I agree i think disne world is better than disney world. I have been there and my whole family loved it!

    1. Great! Thanks for reading. I hope you get to go again.

  5. but is better? disney or 6 flags?\