Eating your way to financial security???


I have to admit, this is ingenious – and an example of real “outside-the-box” thinking.

Hungry for financial flexibility, a California man named Dylan shelled out a measly $150 a year to eat every meal at Six Flags Magic Mountain in order to save thousands, pay off his student loan debt, get married and purchase a house in Los Angeles. 

“You can pay around $150 for unlimited, year-round access to Six Flags, which includes parking and two meals a day,” Dylan, 33, explained … “If you time it right, you could eat both lunch and dinner there every day.” 

. . .

“One of my co-workers said she spent $1,500 a month on eating out. I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m not going down that road!,’ ” said Dylan, who works as an electrical engineer. He’s eaten an estimated 2,000 meals at around 50 cents per sitting at Six Flags for the past seven years.

“That entire first year, I don’t think I ever went to the grocery store,” he said. “I timed it so I was able to go there during my lunch break, go back to work, then stop back for dinner on my way home.” 

And all the while he was able to stash his cash. 

“It was crazy — I was saving money, paying off student loans,” Dylan claimed. But while his pockets were getting fat, so was he.

. . .

“They’ve got decent options now,” the cheap-eating enthusiast explained. “Still a lot of bad food, I mean it’s theme park food so you can’t expect too much from them. But you find the options that aren’t terrible — stuff like tri-tip sandwiches and vegan options like black bean burgers and meatless meatball subs.”

There’s more at the link.

The economics of this kinda boggle my mind.  Did Six Flags ever stop to think that someone might do this?  Even at minimal cost to the venue – buying food centrally in bulk, preparing it as cheaply as possible, and so forth – Dylan must have recovered the expense of his annual ticket in just a few weeks.  After that, it was all pure profit to him, and all pure expense to Six Flags.  He probably cost them several thousand dollars every year, just by being canny and using his head!

Of course, now that the story is out, I expect Six Flags to change their annual ticket benefits at once, if not sooner.  I daresay it’ll soon exclude free meals, or include some kind of meal-counting system whereby, once you reach a certain number, your meals are at your expense instead of theirs.

I wonder how many other entertainment venues offer similar deals?  How many of them are being used in the same way?  I daresay bean-counters everywhere will be checking that at once, if not sooner . . .



  1. I bet they make no changes. They're probably going to have a bunch of people buy in for this, use it a dozen times then never again; just like a gym membership.

    I would also bet they make a LOT more money from this program overall that one guy using it to get cheap food could ever burn up.

  2. I'm surprised that ANYONE in the US offers anything like this anymore… So many places are worried about squeezing every penny from their customers, especially places with a captive audience such as amusement parks.

  3. LOL, reminds me of a crew I had on det once. They 'grazed' off the free munchies in the hotel for two meals a day, saving their per diem for serious stuff like booze…

  4. Most theme parks I've been to lacked any sort of food with seasonal tickets. Still, I doubt this type of deal is generally a problem for a park, given travel times and all of the hassles involved with getting to and into most theme parks. Even if you lived in walking distance of the park I imagine this would get old fast, doing this twice a day. For the park, though, I suspect the losses from the few who might exploit such an option are probably outweighed by the profits from the vast majority who don't, and the people who are attending with a daily ticket and paying the inflated food prices.

  5. Not gonna lie, if there was a Six Flags near me, I'd be paying the 150 for annual unlimited visits, even if I had to shell out 600 for the family, we'd make it back in just a few visits with the cost of food and parking.

  6. I'll bet the park makes big bucks off the season pass…

    Speaking of 'per diem money'.. At a CG school I went to my roommate at the hotel filled the sink with hot water and tossed a package of hot dogs in for his dinner to save his money for more important spending.

  7. He's an outlier, and happens to live close enough to a Six Flags to take advantage of it. And want to.

    Good for him.

    Most parks just give you a passholder's discount, maybe 10-25%, so nothing like that would work anywhere else, nor even for 99.999% of Six Flag's passholders either.

  8. FYI, someone I follow on YouTube goes to the parks frequently and recently has to stand in line for an hour to get drink refills, so you might spend your entire lunch break waiting in line these days and never get your food before you have to turn around and go back to work.

  9. Shades of Dilbert’s dad, who apparently lives in a booth in an ‘all you can eat’ restaurant in the mall.

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