Visiting an amusement park like Disney World is intended to be an escape from reality. As part of that departure, few people don’t think about the calorie-heavy carnival food that sustains them inside the gates. But one man has made his nutritional pyramid almost exclusively out of the menu at Six Flags.
In a terrific profile by Quinn Myers for MEL magazine, Myers introduces readers to Dylan, an electrical engineer living in Santa Clarita, California—and who, understandably, was reluctant to give his last name. For the past seven years, Dylan has made regular stops to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia for lunch and dinner on the premise that a season pass to the park is just $150. That includes free parking and two meals daily. (Currently, Six Flags offers a $95 season pass plus a $110 two-meal dining pass add-on, making the total cost $205.)
Based on some quick amusement park math, the quoted $150 fee works out to a daily meal cost of roughly 41 cents, or just 20 cents per meal. Looking to pay off debt and save for the future, Dylan opted to ravage his insides.
"It was crazy," Dylan said. "I was saving money, paying off student loans. One of my coworkers said she spent $1,500 a month on eating out, I was like, 'Yeah, I’m not going down that road!'"
This alternative, angioplasty-laden road was made feasible by Dylan’s office being just five minutes or so from the park, allowing him to duck in and out for burgers, pizza, something called “chicken balls,” and other foods that are not intended to be eaten daily—but those prices!
Dylan says the menu at Six Flags evolved over time and now includes slightly healthier options like meat-free meatball subs.
This exploitation of corporate policies is nothing new. In 2015, an unnamed man in China used his first-class airline ticket to access the VIP lounge, consume the free food, cancel his ticket, and then repeat the process all over again. He was successful 300 times before being caught.
To find out why Dylan has reduced the number of his visits to Six Flags and if he ever stops to check out a ride, head over to MEL.
04/01/22 Update: MEL reports that Six Flags is doing away with their unlimited dining pass and that their other annual pass options now have limits on free meals. When MEL reached him for comment, Dylan was sanguine. "All good things must end, I guess," he said.