The Future of Six Flags/Cedar Fair merger and Haunt Events? | Inside Universal Forums

The Future of Six Flags/Cedar Fair merger and Haunt Events?

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Rideguy70

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Feb 17, 2016
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Los Angeles
Not quite sure where to put this discussion (mods, feel free to move if you feel another forum is better suited), but I just started thinking about this.

I just saw in the Six Flags Magic Mountain forum that Fright Fest is possibly looking to add Nightmare on Elm Street to their line up. Now, whether that's true or not, it's a fact Six Flags already got Saw and Conjuring as properties... so clearly they are trying to up their game in the IP haunt world.

And Six Flags already has a pretty comfortable arrangement with Warner Brothers given their extensive use of DC characters... so it could make some sense that SF could relatively easily (?) extend that to other WB properties for future haunts.

Now, with the upcoming merger between SF/CF, could we possibly see CF parks get IPs for their haunts? If so, this could seriously cause some interesting results. In areas away from Universal properties (Texas, Ohio, East Coast, Mid-west, etc.), SF/CF could quite possibly dominate the haunt market by being the only presence with IPs.

Orlando HHN would likely be unaffected, as there aren't really any SF/CF parks nearby. But in Southern California, things could get very interesting... especially with Magic Mountain and Knott's being relatively close to each other, not to mention their combined direct competition with USH HHN. Would we possibly see the start of Knott's Scary Farm lean into IPs more in future events? If so, how will they balance the properties with SFMM? And would all of this make it even tougher for HHN to snag IPs in the future?
 
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Not quite sure where to put this discussion (mods, feel free to move if you feel another forum is better suited), but I just started thinking about this.

I just saw in the Six Flags Magic Mountain forum that Fright Fest is possibly looking to add Nightmare on Elm Street to their line up. Now, whether that's true or not, it's a fact Six Flags already got Saw and Conjuring as properties... so clearly they are trying to up their game in the IP haunt world.

And Six Flags already has a pretty comfortable arrangement with Warner Brothers given their extensive use of DC characters... so it could make some sense that SF could relatively easily (?) extend that to other WB properties for future haunts.

Now, with the upcoming merger between SF/CF, could we possibly see CF parks get IPs for their haunts? If so, this could seriously cause some interesting results. In areas away from Universal properties (Texas, Ohio, East Coast, Mid-west, etc.), SF/CF could quite possibly dominate the haunt market by being the only presence with IPs.

Orlando HHN would likely be unaffected, as there aren't really any SF/CF parks nearby. But in Southern California, things could get very interesting... especially with Magic Mountain and Knott's being relatively close to each other, not to mention their combined direct competition with USH HHN. Would we possibly see the start of Knott's Scary Farm lean into IPs more in future events? If so, how will they balance the properties with SFMM? And would all of this make it even tougher for HHN to snag IPs in the future?

One of the things that I believe was established incredibly early on when the merger was announced; was that they viewed IP as a integral element towards that of their future, and wanted to strengthen and grow their use of IP further. I think it certainly makes sense that because of the connections Six Flags has to WBD--that in the midsts of hashing things out legally that it could allow more WB/NLP IP to come to the parks.

It's certainly possible--we're seeing that already with the upgrades Saw got for SFMM's Scream Break (and as far as I am aware; they have not taken down the house at all); and while Conjuring has left the parks, I do think the DC event is a sign of them strengthening their bonds with WBD.
 
At least for Knotts and Six Flags MM my vote is this

Knotts gets Original Houses and Six Flags starts trying to get IPs that Universal doesn't want to use

I think this would make most people happy, Knotts gets to keep doing what it does best and Six Flags making IP houses should help them push for better quality
 
I guess I have a couple thoughts on this:

You’re almost certainly right that regional parks without a direct competitor (Cedar Point, Kings Island, Worlds of Fun) would dominate the local haunt landscape. But don’t they largely do so already? I don’t doubt it could increase interest and revenue, but I’m not sure they face much big time competition anyway.

Jerrod is onto something as far as offering differentiated products between Magic Mountain and Knott’s. On the other hand, these parks are really not that close to one another and so I wonder how much they compete head to head anyway.

And I’m not sure any of this impacts Horror Nights unless: a) Knott’s really gets in on the IP game or b) either Knott’s or Magic Mountain significantly ups its game. Right now, Knott’s competes on the basis of its history and vibe, the latter of which many prefer to what you get at Horror Nights. It also is competitive on price, although not as much as it used to be.

Which is a long way to say, I’m not sure if adding IPs to the mix actually moves the needle all that much for many of these events. We’ll see, though!
 
IPs really aren't that "new" for SFMM....

Way back day they had Alice Cooper's Brutal Planet (long before the Murdy era of HHN)

2016-2017 saw the Suicide Squad sz/photo-op in DC Universe

2018 saw the Hellfest overlay of Vault 666

I'm sure I'm forgetting something in their 30 year history, but too lazy to check. I'm sure they'll be keeping SAW for 2024/2025 since SAW XI comes out in 2025.

They've incorporated IPs randomly for promo stuff even for day-ops in the past because yay marketing (fancy decal wraps on a coaster train! Woo). So I wouldn't be surprised to see at least 1 or 2 IPs used for Fright Fest every year or every other, but I think they'll still focus on original content.

Same for Knott’s, they've had IPs in the past so using one every so often for one-two years wouldn't be too much of a stretch since 90% of the event would still be "original".
 
You’re almost certainly right that regional parks without a direct competitor (Cedar Point, Kings Island, Worlds of Fun) would dominate the local haunt landscape. But don’t they largely do so already? I don’t doubt it could increase interest and revenue, but I’m not sure they face much big time competition anyway.

True, but I think it could further increase attendance. As we often argue for HHN, one of the things that makes it stand out is it's use of IPs. Now that won't be true as much. I think it'll draw out even more people to their haunt events.

IPs really aren't that "new" for SFMM....

I didn't know about Alice Cooper or Suicide Squad, though I do remember Hellfest. But these movies are certainly on a much larger scale.

I do remember when Knott's had Grudge and Beaowolf... but having 1 or 2 "major" properties would certainly help their draw.

The big question for me is, will/would Knott's lean into any IPs if they had access to them? If, because of the merger, SF/CF had nationwide advertising for a bit IP, it could get quite a bit of buzz. Especially if they are, comparatively speaking, cheaper than HHN.
 
I'm not against Knotts having IPs but....I like they don't have to. Just makes them feel unique and I think they kill it most years