California theme park visitors frustrated complaining of over 3 hour waits

Credit: Six Flags Magic Mountain

It seems theme parks everywhere are experiencing an interesting phenomenon where “slow season” seems to be a thing of the past.

Six Flags Magic Mountain
Credit: Six Flags Magic Mountain

Whether you’re visiting a tourist destination like Walt Disney World Resort, or perhaps a more local park like Knott’s Berry Farm in California or Busch Gardens in Tamapa, it seems the amount of crowds that visited during what is generally considered a slower season has only increased. The Disney CEO just noted that the theme park just had its financially biggest second quarter, and it looks like the demand isn’t stopping. Crowds and wait times continue to rage during times of the year that would generally be considered much less busy.

Six Flags Magic Mountain
Credit: Six Flags Magic Mountain

After the holidays, many guests often take a break because they have just spent a lot of their money on Christmas. Other than that, after taking time off from work and school during vacations, taking a vacation right after is often not the desired choice. Due to school hours and holidays, we are often able to detect when tourist destinations will be busier. The summer months are often busy at any theme park as the children are out of school, as well as holidays such as March Break, Spring Break, Halloween, etc. This means that all intermediate moments are generally “slower”. Well, it seems that even at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California, “low season” is no longer in effect.

Six Flags Magic Mountain
Credit: Six Flags Magic Mountain

A Reddit thread recently started discussing the current crowds at Six Flags Magic Mountain with hour-long waits.

Xsipkis said:

What makes the parks so crowded? I thought it was off season?
Over the past two weeks or so, I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about the crowds at some year-round parks. I think people have a right to complain, but it shocks me that the parks have the same level of crowds as in the summer?

Is there a special phenomenon or even happening that drives the crowds so crazy? For example, I went to Universal and Disney last July and the crowds were heavy, but manageable.

But I keep seeing people talking about these parks having posted 2-3 hour durations for almost every attraction, and my mind is completely blown.

What is going on?

What makes the parks so crowded? I thought it was off season? of the theme park

Related: Six Flags Coaster set to reopen after derailing mid-course

A good point, as frito11 pointed out, might be the desire to travel after the pandemic held so many people back for so long.

tiredness covid.

my perspective as a post covid park fan is only in california mostly at my home parks here in the bay area but they have all been much busier than they were before covid when they were open. Now that the seasonal parks around the state are closed, people who want to go to the parks are, I’m sure, flocking to the larger parks year-round, especially on weekends.

TheFigment seemed to agree, noting:

Request refused. All the holidays that have been postponed, often several times over the past two years, are finally happening.

laurencbrown88 compared the park to Disney, where they noted it was also incredibly busy.

I went to Hollywood Studios on a MONDAY this month and it was packed, felt like spring break. I don’t understand it either.

Credit: Six Flags

grandmarquis84 talked about Universal Orlando Resort, where they commented that the wait times weren’t too terrible. Interestingly enough, we recently visited Universal Hollywood where the wait times were non-existent.

Spending this week at Universal and although it gets busy the wait times aren’t that bad. Hagrid hit 90 minutes a few times and Flight of the Hippogriff can be long, but everything else stayed close to half an hour or less.

universal hollywood crowds
Credit: Inside the Magic

ImaginaryDisplay3 noted that there is a good chance that Park Guest boosts will continually increase.

It is true that part of it is just the pent up demand from covid, but the bigger problem is that visitor numbers have increased dramatically over the past 15 or so years without a substantial increase in capacity.

Disney in particular is way behind on adding capacity and really struggling to figure out how to deal with it. In the short to medium term, if they add a new route, they are actually increasing overall ridership more than they are reducing it, and the new route has to replace something (and therefore does not actually add overall capacity) .

They don’t have any other good short-term options; they could double the prices and it probably wouldn’t change attendance much. This seems like a good thing for them, but it means the crowds will continue to be out of control no matter what.

Universal is tackling this problem in the most efficient way possible, by simply building a massive new park.

Learn more about Six Flags

Six Flags Magic Mountain now has a Flash Pass, much like Disney Genie‘s Lightning Lane pay-per-ride options.

Much like Disney Genie, guests can book the passes on their phone and must arrive at the attraction at their return time. Considering the cost can be as high as $25.00 per person per ride, Six Flags has crossed Disneyland’s threshold of $20.00 per ride, which we can see with Rise of the Resistance right now. It seems that the rising costs implemented at Disney have now influenced Six Flags. Since the theme park has been closed for over a year, it looks like they’re jumping on the Disney bandwagon to get their money back.

Related: California Theme Park Destroys Iconic DC Universe Coaster

One-way Flash Pass prices range from $5 to $25 per person and vary per trip per day. Twisted Colossus and West Coast Racers were priced at $12 per person each way while Full Throttle and Goliath were $14 on Martin Luther King Jr. National Day on Monday, January 17. The new Skip-the-Line Flash Pass program will be available at Magic Mountain for the foreseeable future, according to Six Flags officials.

What do you think of the crowds in the park lately? Let us know in the comments below.

Let Academy Travel’s team of experts help you plan your next magical vacation at Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks – Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios – and the shopping and dining district of Disney Springs!

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