- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 18, 2007

Some of those people cutting to the front of the line at Six Flags America this summer aren’t going to get into trouble.

For $199 per person, visitors to the Largo theme park will get to go to the front of the line on rides under a VIP program. They also will get a private tour guide, meals and snacks and a private session with a costumed character, among other perks. Admission and parking are included.

The package, clearly for people with deep pockets, is new at the theme park this year. It’s the latest in a series of moves Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and his management team have made since taking over the New York theme park operator last year.

Last year, Chief Executive Officer Mark Shapiro said he hopes to make each Six Flags park into more of a family destination, similar to Walt Disney World, rather than the teenagers playground that it had come to be known.

“We don’t expect the average parkgoer who has a season pass to use [the program],” said Karin Korpowski, a spokeswoman for Six Flags America. “Some of the bigger businessmen who want to treat their family … or people who want to come out and do the park for a special occasion, birthday or a child who did really well at school [would use it].”

General admission costs $49.99 (same as last year), which includes a season pass when purchased at full price. A ticket purchased online now costs $39.99. Children’s tickets cost $34.99; children younger than 3 are admitted free.

The park is scheduled to open April 6 for weekends, as well as the entire week after Easter. The park will open fully on May 25. Its Hurricane Harbor water park will open Memorial Day weekend (May 26 to 28) and start full operation on June 2.

Kings Dominion opens with new owner

Kings Dominion theme park is gearing up for its first season under new ownership and has lowered its admission price for the first time for the occasion.

Last year, CBS Corp. sold its subsidiary, Paramount Parks Inc., to Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., a Sandusky, Ohio, theme park owner. With the sale comes new ticket prices.

General admission to the Doswell, Va., park is now $44.95, down from $49.95 last season. It’s the first time the park has lowered the cost of admission since it opened in 1975.

Kings Dominion instituted a Starlight admission: a $29.95 ticket to enter the park after 4 p.m.

The park also has created junior/senior pricing: a $49.95 season pass or $24.95 one-day ticket for children no taller than 48 inches and adults 62 or older. A season pass for others costs $79.95.

“It’s brand new, for grandparents who like to come out but paying for a season pass is too expensive, or parents with young children,” said Susan Storey, a Kings Dominion spokeswoman.

The park also has three new water rides in an $11 million investment to the WaterWorks water park: Tidal Wave Bay, a second wave pool; the Tornado, a large funnel-shaped water ride; and the Zoom Flume, a rafting ride.

Kings Dominion has retained the rights to CBS-owned characters such as Dora the Explorer, Scooby-Doo and Nickelodeon’s Rugrats, even though the park is no longer owned by the company.

The park opens March 31 for weekends and spring break. Full operation starts May 26.

• Retail & Hospitality appears Mondays. Send news to Jen Haberkorn at [email protected] or 202/636-4836.

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