Rollercoaster Review and Marketing Lessons: Six Flags New England

LHeather, Ben, Dan, Krystal and I went to Six Flags New England for the day. So Six Flags New England is probably three quarters across the state from Boston. It only took about an hour and a half to get to Springfield, MA where Six Flags is located with just a straight shot along the Mass Pike.

We made it a goal to ride every rollercoaster because after all, that is the whole point of going to an amusement park right… the rollercoasters!? So here is my review of the rides. First of all it probably needs to be stated that I am extremely critical of my rides.

Rollercoasters

Batman – The Dark Knight: This ride allows you to sit in open facing chairs, and we had the pleasure of riding on the front row. Definitely enjoyed this coaster a lot, and I would recommend anyone that rides it to definitely get on the front row. 7/10

Bizarro (Formerly Superman: Ride of Steel): So in a common practice among amusement park rides the famous Superman coaster was rebranded during the offseason to be called the Bizarro who happens to be a Superman arch-villain. This rollercoaster is the crown jewel of the park and is simply the largest, fastest, most amazing coaster I’ve ever ridden. 10/10

Catwoman’s Whip: Ok so it’s probably not fair to include this “kids” ride in the rollercoaster mix, but it is technically a rollercoaster. Surprisingly entertaining for a kid coaster but nothing to really get your blood boiling. 3/10

Cyclone: This wooden rollercoaster definitely provides all the bumps and bruises that you would expect from an old wooden coaster. Nothing really outstanding to mention, but if you love rollercoasters with short lines this one definitely fits the bill. 6/10

Flashback: This fun little coaster takes you for a ride then runs you through the same short course backwards. Kind of reminds me of The Viper from back in the day at Six Flags Over Georgia. 6/10

Mind Eraser: This ride will bottom line knock the hell out of you. Your feet will dangle and it keeps you in a head harness that just doesn’t quite fit right so you keep banging your ears against the “pads.” Ouch. 3/10

Pandemonium: This fun little ride really kicked into gear because of the way the four person car can spin 360 degrees inside of the casing. Really adds a lot of fun to the whole experience. 8/10

Thunderbolt: So here is where I failed, and it turns out this is the one rollercoaster at the park that I didn’t ride. Sorry no review on this old time wooden coaster.

Other Rides

Houdini – The Great Escape: First of all I have no idea how they spun this ride into something called Houdini (once again lots of rebranding), but what an extremely mind bending, fun experience! I won’t tell you what happens because that would ruin the fun, but I couldn’t stop laughing my face off at the entertaining experience. 8/10

Scream: Unlike most towers that take you all the way to the top and drop you at the speed of gravity, this one shoots you up to the top extremely fast then drops you and does it a few times really fast. Definitely worth a scream or two. 6/10

The Marketing Takeaway

So if you happened to read the news, as my buddy Paul informed me, Six Flags filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy the the day we were at the park. That really doesn’t have anything to do with the marketing takeaway because the company is just filing for bankruptcy to handle the debt on the books.

Now what is interesting is how the Bizarro is practically the same ride as the Superman, and there are other rides at the park that simply get rebranded every few years. Although they aren’t new rides they change the name and the theme behind it to keep them fresh and entice people to come back and visit again. This happened with the Houdini as I noticed on the license plate in the building that it was originally called the Mad House I believe. So sometimes you don’t have to create brand new assets. Just rebrand the ones that you already have that are a little stale with some new paint and a fresh campaign. So although the Bizarro isn’t much more than the Superman rollercoaster from last year (just with a bunch of purple paint on top of the red paint), it helped reinvigorate the fans and provide some great marketing material to entice people to visit the park.

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