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Six Flags attempts to increase Park's revenue

By Erin O'Connor

Staff Writer

AGAWAM -- Six Flags New England will launch a new child themed area in their park this spring called, "Wiggles World" as part of a recent initiative to increase sales by placing more emphasis on family atmosphere. The Wiggles currently have a show on the Disney Channel.

Six Flags Public Relations Manager Melissa Pinkerton did not comment on whether Six Flags Parks are taking on more of a Disney influence.

Other national newspapers have issued reports of the Six Flags Inc. facing financial trouble that surfaced in 2005. The company began considering a possible sale and appointed Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, as non-executive chairman. After the Associated Press reported Six Flags to be faced with $2 billion in debt in 2005, Mark Shapiro, formerly of the Disney owned ESPN channel and currently second in command for Six Flags Inc., announced that more emphasis would be put on customer service and family atmosphere.

"There are always opportunities out there," Pinkerton said to Reminder Publications.

Pinkerton said that at the end of February Six Flags will make more announcements on expanding their family entertainment. "Today's announcement represents Six Flags New England's continued focus on family entertainment," Larry Litton, Six Flags New England's park president said.

The Wiggles are said by Pinkerton to be the most popular children's entertainers in the world, and she said "Wiggles World" will be designed to leverage their vast recognition and status among children ages two-six.

The Wiggles originated approximately 15 years ago and hail from Australia. ` The new area of the Park is said to feature themed rides and attractions that will include: The Big Red Car ride; The Big Red Plane ride, Dorothy's Rosy Tea Cups; Wags Doggie-Copters; and the S.S. Feathersword Pirate Ship. The area will also include retail locations selling Wiggles merchandise and a restaurant, the Yummy Yummy Caf . "Wiggles World" will be populated by The Wiggles' cast of supporting characters: Dorothy the Dinosaur, Captain Feathersword, Wags the Dog and Henry the Octopus, who will pose for photos and perform in daily shows. The Wiggles themselves Anthony, Sam, Jeff and Murray will make an appearance and perform at the park in 2007.

The "Wiggles World" theme will also be present at New Jersey and Chicago.This aspect of the park will be included with admission.

In 1961, Six Flags Over Texas opened their first park to the public. In 1991 and 1993 Time Warner purchased all of the Six Flags Theme Parks. They sold their ownership to Boston Ventures in 1995. In 1998 Premier Parks bought the Six Flags management company and many of the Six Flags parks.

Six Flags will not lose the Time Warner characters such as Bugs Bunny and Superman instead these characters are being increasingly emphasised as well.