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Companies of Knott’s, Magic Mountain conjoin

Thrill Rides Galore: Consolidating under one singular entity, Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags are two of California’s most popular amusement parks for thrill coasters and live entertainment. (Photo by Chris Yarzab)

Cedar Fair and Six Flags, the companies behind Southern California’s Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain, agreed to merge into one $8 billion company under the single entity “Six Flags” on Nov. 2. Effectively creating a theme park monopoly spanning their twenty-seven amusement parks, fifteen water parks, and nine resorts across North America, the singular company promises new features such as rides and seasonal passes that combine the best of the two brands. 

Raking in millions of visitors in pre-pandemic years, Knott’s and Magic Mountain reside in the top 20 of the most popular theme parks in North America. However, as the theme park industry struggles to rebound from the pandemic era, where many parks were closed or operated under restrictions, the merger aims to increase profit for both Cedar Fair and Six Flags as companies, as well as bring new benefits to two of California’s most esteemed amusement parks.

In a conference call announcing the merger, the company promised to invest further resources in improving the quality of their theme parks by providing new rides for both Knott’s and Magic Mountain. Other developments set for the unified company include dual season passes and optimized fast lane tickets for both brands, potentially enabling guests access to the merger’s entire network of amusement parks across the continent. 

“[This] merger will allow us to grow our new company into a global brand. Our combined Season Pass, a loyalty [program], will make this deal even sweeter for our most loyal guests, providing enhanced access and additional perks,” Selim Bassoul, Six Flags’s CEO and the merger’s executive chairman, said in the conference call.

The distinct creative differences between the two parks’ atmospheres are also put into question following the union, as Knott’s is famous for its historical theming, restaurants, and live entertainment, while Magic Mountain prides itself mostly on its vast number of thrill coasters. Upon consolidating the two companies, prospects point toward Magic Mountain adopting better quality shows and entertainment aside from roller coasters as it enters the same creative sphere as Knott’s — though both parks project a diversified guest experience outside thrill rides.

“For guests who want to make a pitstop, go on a day trip or plan a weekend away the combined company will have offerings to meet every interest,” Richard Zimmerman, CEO of Cedar Fair and the combined company, said. “Whether they prefer cooking under the stars, or playing all-star athletes for the day, roller coasters or lazy rivers, they will find one of these at one of our properties.”

“We expect to take the best practices of both businesses: the best operating team and the most innovative team, and [bring] them together with the best parks in the industry,” Bassoul said.

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About the Contributor
Haley Nguyen
Haley Nguyen, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Haley Nguyen is a M.I.D. (majestic, intelligent, and delicious) junior and is going into her third year of Gamut. For this 2023-2024 school year, she will be Gamut’s A&E editor as “it’s more interesting than the other sections” and is looking forward to getting to know the new additions to the Gamut family. Haley is also involved in Key Club and VSA (Vietnamese Student Association), which she danced for at the annual International Show. Aside from school, she is super big on typology such as MBTI and is an ENFP, a Word Hunt Fiend, and a chronic afterschool napper. Her prized possession is her light blue HydroFlask, which you might see her carrying around. Although it’s dented, can’t stand up straight, has a hole at the bottom, and more, she treasures it as it’s been with her through thick and thin since seventh grade.
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