In November 2023, two of the largest theme park operators, Cedar Fair and Six Flags, announced an agreement to merge. This groundbreaking move promises to reshape the landscape of entertainment and leisure for families and other park guests.
We’re long-time season passholders at Cedar Point, one of the most popular Cedar Fair properties and frequently visit the Buckeye State’s other premier Cedar Fair park, Kings Island. As huge fans of those and other Cedar Fair parks, we’re anxious to see how the merger of these amusement giants plays out.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Cedar Fair and Six Flag merger.
Cedar Fair, known for its iconic roller coasters and family-friendly attractions, and Six Flags, synonymous with adventure and excitement, are coming together in a strategic merger of equals. The agreement was announced on November 2, 2023.
The aim of the merger is to combine their strengths, resources, and expertise to create an unparalleled experience for amusement park enthusiasts. The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2024.
For the official word straight from the source, read the Cedar Fair Official Press Release.
What They’re Saying
Both companies have expressed enthusiasm and optimism about the merger. Cedar Fair’s CEO remarked,
“This merger is a transformative step for Cedar Fair and Six Flags, bringing together two industry leaders with complementary strengths and a shared commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences.”
Similarly, the CEO of Six Flags stated,
“Joining forces with Cedar Fair will allow us to expand our footprint, innovate faster, and provide even more memorable experiences to our guests. We are excited about the future as a combined entity.”
The Impact of the Cedar Fair and Six Flags Merger
The merger between Cedar Fair and Six Flags is more than just a business transaction; it’s a fusion of two entertainment giants that will hopefully bring about:
Broader Reach: The combined entity will have a larger geographic footprint, making it easier for more people to access their parks.
Enhanced Experiences: With combined resources, the parks can introduce more innovative rides, attractions, and entertainment.
Operational Efficiencies: The merger can lead to better operational practices, potentially resulting in improved guest services and satisfaction.
How Does The Merger Affect Park Guests in 2024?
It’s unclear if the merger between Cedar Fair and Six Flags will change much for guests visiting Cedar Fair and Six Flags parks during the 2024 operating season. Because of the timing of the merger, 2024 season passes were already advertised and sold for most of the parks. It would be difficult to implement changes to season pass pricing, perks, and policies, at least ones with a negative, without resistance. Chances are more sweeping changes are in the works for the 2025 operating season.
Keep in mind that each park operates differently and has different operating schedules. Parks like Cedar Point and Kings Island have a shorter operating season than parks located in warm-weather regions like California and Texas.
We may see some overall policies implemented immediately to improve guest experiences at certain parks to bring them up to company standards. It’s unclear if all of the parks will survive the merger or if the companies will close lesser-performing parks and consolidate attractions.
Cedar Fair Parks
Cedar Fair is renowned for its well-maintained parks and world-class coasters. Here’s a list of current Cedar Fair parks.
- California’s Great America & Boomerang Bay: Santa Clara, California
- Canada’s Wonderland & Splash Works: Vaughan, Ontario
- Carowinds & Carolina Harbor: Charlotte, North Carolina
- Cedar Point & Cedar Point Shores: Sandusky, Ohio
- Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom: Allentown, Pennsylvania
- Gilroy Gardens: Gilroy, California
- Kings Dominion & Soak City: Doswell, Virginia
- Kings Island & Soak City: Mason, Ohio
- Knott’s Berry Farm & Soak City: Buena Park, California
- Michigan’s Adventure & WildWater Adventure: Muskegon, Michigan
- Schlitterbahn New Braunfels: New Braunfels, Texas
- Schlitterbahn Galveston: Galveston, Texas
- Soak City Palm Springs: Palm Springs, California
- Soak City San Diego: Chula Vista, California
- Valleyfair& Soak City: Shakopee, Minnesota
- Worlds of Fun & Oceans of Fun: Kansas City, Missouri
Six Flags Parks
Six Flags is famous for its thrilling rides and diverse entertainment offerings. Six Flags parks include:
- Frontier City: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- La Ronde: Montreal, Quebec
- Six Flags America: Bowie/Mitchellville, Maryland
- Six Flags Darien Lake: Darien Center, New York
- Six Flags Discovery Kingdom: Vallejo, California
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas: San Antonio, Texas
- Six Flags Great Adventure & Hurricane Harbor: Jackson, New Jersey
- Six Flags Great America & Hurricane Harbor: Gurnee, Illinois
- Six Flags Great Escape Resort & Hurricane Harbor: Queensbury, New York
- Six Flags Magic Mountain & Hurricane Harbor Los Angeles: Valencia, California
- Six Flags Mexico & Hurricane Harbor Oaxtepec: Mexico City, Mexico
- Six Flags New England: Agawam, Massachusetts
- Six Flags Over Georgia & White Water Atlanta: Austell, Georgia
- Six Flags Over Texas & Hurricane Harbor Arlington: Arlington, Texas
- Six Flags St. Louis: Eureka, Missouri
- Hurricane Harbor Concord: Concord, California
- Hurricane Harbor Oklahoma City: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Hurricane Harbor Phoenix: Phoenix, Arizona
- Hurricane Harbor Rockford: Rockford, Illinois
- Hurricane Harbor Splashtown: Houston, Texas
As the merger progresses, both Cedar Fair and Six Flags will work closely to integrate their operations, cultures, and visions for the future. While the full impact of this merger will unfold over time, the immediate focus is likely on ensuring a smooth transition and continuous enhancement of guest experiences.
The merger between Cedar Fair and Six Flags marks a significant moment in the amusement park industry. By joining forces, these two giants aim to create a future where the thrills are bigger, the laughter is louder, and the memories are even more magical. We’re hopeful that the merger will provide improved experiences and more value to park guests and season pass holders.
Kevin Payne is the budgeting and family travel enthusiast behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com. He’s also the host of the Family Money Adventure Show podcast, where he helps families learn to manage their money better so they can afford to do the things they love.
Kevin is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance and travel. He is a regular contributor to USA Today, Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Fox Business, Credible, and CreditCards.com.