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Update on Six Flags Magic Mountain

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Alex Dobuzinskis of the Los Angeles Daily News filed an update on Six Flags California, and by extension, Six Flags.  He notes the family-friendly turn, which involves some prominent familiar brands.

Brand names are playing a big part in the new strategy. Cold Stone Creamery will dish out the ice cream, Kodak will do the photos, Heinz will be the official ketchup and the Nintendo Wii will hold the title of official video game console, which means park visitors can play Nintendo’s Wii for free.

Magic Mountain tops in the southern California area with coaster fans, bringing a lot of teens and childless young adults to to the park.

Along with bringing in new concessions, the park is getting a face-lift, cleaning up in hopes of attracting parents with kids and giving them reasons to come back. While teens have long made up the customer base, drawn by the thrill rides, the park wants adults who are likely to spend more on food and concessions.

Work on the park includes a complete refurbishing of a 95-year-old Grand Carousel and a resurfacing and striping of the parking lot.

Still no fancy parking structure.

For Six Flags, the cross-branding strategy is new. Before Mark Shapiro became the company’s CEO in December 2005, individual parks handled their own corporate alliance agreements, and the only company-wide deal was with Coca-Cola, Goldberg said.

Shapiro is a Disney veteran, though not with the theme parks.  He’s from ESPN.  (Also on the Board of Directors – Harvey Weinstein.  Yes, that Harvey Weinstien.)

Six Flags California was recently spared from being shut down or sold off.  Not mentioned in this article is last month’s announcement that Chairman of the Board Daniel Snyder’s Red Zone Capital would buy Johnny Rockets, a 1950s-themed diner chain.  Flagship park Six Flags Over Texas is getting a Johnny Rockets, and so perhaps Six Flags California will get one, too.

Why California Adventure doesn’t already have a 1950s area complete with a diner (with television sets playing the Disneyland TV show and opening day TV special) is beyond me.