Six Flags Entertainment Corporation has relented!
When we first got our Six Flags membership, I was able to take my big camera in. I was able to photograph the Safari and everything else. Honestly other than the safari, or pics of the NinjaBaby, I didn’t use the camera much. In fact, other than the safari, most the pictures I took would have been very decent, if taken on my phone. Especially the Samsung Note 8 that I have now. It has a very capable image sensor, and a few software and hardware tricks that give it a good boost over many phone cameras. They even let me bring in my mono-pod (never tried a tripod). But my point was that when we first started going to six flags, there wasn’t much I WANTED to take pictures of, besides the Safari.
But last year, they put all kinds of new rules into place. These rules included the following.
- No Monopod/Tripod
- No Cameras with Interchangeable Lenses
- No Cameras where the lens extends more than 2 inches off the front of the camera.
Now that may seem like it’s not a big deal, since I mentioned I didn’t really take that many pictures with my big camera and the phone would have worked fine, but the thing is, I REALLY loved taking pictures of the Safari, and even though I didn’t use it much, some of my favorite pictures came from random moments at Six Flags, Great Adventure.
So sure, I took it as an challenge, and managed to take one of my favorite pictures at Six Flags Great Adventure during these camera restrictions. But I just didn’t have as much pull to go to the park.
So this year, we actually closed our membership. After being a member for two years, we just decided to close our account. Right before the park re-opened for the year. Recently, while speaking with friends in a photography group, we did some research and found out that Six Flags Great Adventure (and it appears also, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom) seem to have relented and removed the camera restrictions. My only guess since it seems to be in place in other parks, is that this is either a trial run, or possibly only a thing because of the Animal Safari ( and similar Animal attractions at Discovery Kingdom). So with this news, we decided to open a new Membership account.
Today was our first day in the parks this year, and while we were only there for 3 hours, and not everything was perfect, we were not left disappointed in ANY way. It appears they have done a lot of small upgrades in various places. Things that many places tend to forget to upgrade (like in the restroom facilities) as well as re-facing and re-painting several signs and ambiance items which had previously shown their age.
There was also a noticed increase in the feeling of safety and security. Part of this was the upgraded security barriers at the front entrance, the new bag-scanners and increased number of non-bag entry (for those going minimal), and just an overall increased security presence.
As for guest services, it was very guest centered. There were a couple small hiccups, and they were treated with an attitude that made us feel that there was a problem with the system and not a problem with us. When we got to the processing kiosk, we were asked if we wanted NinjaBaby to use the biometric sensor, or we could get a picture ID for him. So we chose the Picture ID. They scanned our voucher, and told us to stop by Guest Services on the way out. We made a note of where it was and continued on. Our first stop was for food at the Johnny Rockets in park. When we got to the register, we made our orders. I will say that we checked the menu before we got there, and saw there was a kids meal of mini-corn dogs, and that is what the NinjaBaby said he wanted to eat, but when we got to the counter, it wasn’t on the menu and we almost had a mini-meltdown. But the cashier assured us it existed and let us order it. When it came time to scan our passes for Dining Plan, we of course didn’t have a pass for the NinjaBaby. As such the manager came out, and when we explained the situation, he just comped our meal, even A and my upgrades, and wished us a happy day.
I was amazed and dumbfounded as this is the kind of service I have learned to expect from other places, but decidedly NOT Six Flags Great Adventure. As our limited time continued, we had a similar incident. We went to grab our snack, knowing we would need to buy one for the NinjaBaby, and when the POS system had a glitch, they fixed it by comping our snack order.
While this is not the first time we ever had a great experience at Six Flags Great Adventure, this is the first time where it felt like the rule, instead of an exception. And I need to take this moment to truly commend Six Flags Entertainment Corporation for having the courage to take such steps to put the customer first, while still making upgrades and improvements. It can’t be an inexpensive thing to do, but it has left me WANTING to use my camera more, and not just on the safari. Before I used to think we went to Six Flags because it was close, and not super expensive. Now I think I’m going to start recommending it for the experience I’ve had so far this season.
And now, for the part of this post that most of you have come for. NinjaBaby Pictures!