Hopefully that creepy dancing guy won't be there
June 9, 2005 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way I can find attendance statistics for amusement parks? Planning a trip to Six Flags here in Maryland. My theory: July 5th would be a good day to go. It's my belief that people are more likely to take off Friday for a 4 day weekend, than a Tuesday, and other's would be lees likely to take a day off, since it's just after a holiday, so July 5th would be less crowded than normal. Everyone else seems to think I'm crazy and that any day near a holiday would be a mess. If no one knows where I can get statistics, I will certainly accept opinions on the validity/insanity of my theory.
posted by emptybowl to Grab Bag (10 answers total)
I can't answer specifically to amusement park attendance but I can tell you that when one day of the week is a holiday (e.g. July 4) then many people are likely to take that entire week off since by using only 4 vacation days they get 9 days off in a row. I can attest to this much based on different corporations I have worked at.

So, that factor, for one, would be working against you.
posted by vacapinta at 1:55 PM on June 9, 2005

I agree that week will and the prior week are vacation hell weeks. For example any manufacturing associated with automotive all but shuts down as US auto manufacturing shuts down.
posted by mss at 2:48 PM on June 9, 2005

Why don't you call them and ask? They're at (301) 249-1500. If you wait until July 11th, you could catch Praise in the Park!
posted by atchafalaya at 2:54 PM on June 9, 2005

In all honesty, I suspect there are almost no noticeably quiet days at big amusement parks. The cost of operation is significant enough that they go to considerable effort to keep lines long every single day.

While the nature of the crowd may change a bit from day to day due to typical work week schedules-- nonholiday summer weekdays are popular for groups of teens and organized groups; weekends and holidays tend to bring in more families -- I doubt there is an optimal day to go to a theme park and avoid crowds. There are, of course, pessimal (maximally non-optimal) days, and those are holidays and three-day weekends.

Mostly you're crazy. Any day near a holiday would be a mess. Many people with children take 9-day weekends instead of 3-day weekends in the summer since the cost to the vacation bank is low.
posted by majick at 3:14 PM on June 9, 2005

In all honesty, I suspect there are almost no noticeably quiet days at big amusement parks.

Actually, that's not true at all. Visiting the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on a weekday in the fall is very, very quiet. Visiting the same place during the week between Christmas and New Year's is hell on earth. (I speak from experience, I live less than two miles from Disney property)

Anecdotally, I can confirm what others have said: when there is a major holiday, the two weeks surrounding that holiday are busier than average. For your example, I would hit Six Flags on Tuesday, July 12th or thereabouts.
posted by Lokheed at 4:03 PM on June 9, 2005

Your insane emptybowl.

I worked for years in the Shows department of Six Flags Great Adventure and the day after July 4th was one of the busiest of the year. In fact, the whole week of July 4th we saw attendance probably 30-40% more than the mean.

My advice. Go on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday on a week without a holiday and when its cloudy.

You'll have the park to yourself. Even if you have to wait out a couple of showers, you'll be able to ride more and see more than any other time.
posted by PissOnYourParade at 4:08 PM on June 9, 2005

From experience:
any holiday-containing week is bad.
any weekday in fall is good.
any day during which it is supposed to rain, or drizzle, or be cloudy is good.
super bowl sunday is good.
posted by plexiwatt at 4:54 PM on June 9, 2005

While this doesn't exactly help you answer your question... I was told by an employee of Hershey Park that the absolute best summer weekend day to visit is Father's Day Sunday.
posted by paulychamp at 6:03 AM on June 10, 2005

Best day to go to an amusement park in Southern California: The day after an earthquake. No kidding. It's like a ghost town.
posted by gnz2001 at 10:08 AM on June 10, 2005

I've only gone to Adventureland (near Des Moines) about 3 times, but I did notice that the first time we went was by far the least crowded. Why? The Iowa State Fair had just opened up in Des Moines. So if there is a similarly powerful attraction near Six Flags at some time during the summer, that might be a good time.
posted by bricoleur at 11:00 AM on June 10, 2005

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