Six Flags food service – another thrill ride?
While we remain in the midst of negotiating with Applebee’s to learn more about their food allergy beliefs and practices, I wanted to share a surprising and disappointing experience I had with my family last Thursday.
Summer vacation is just about over so my wife and I decided to take our older kids to Six Flags New England. I haven’t been to a Six Flags in over 2 decades, nor am I a fan of roller coasters, rides where you drop, things that make you go upside down, or basically anything beyond what you would find in the Wiggles section (where I brave the 2mph cars with my 3-year-old).
In any case, when my wife and kids get tired of the thrill rides, and I start to accept the fact that my 8-year-old is braver than I, we decide it’s time to eat.
Six Flags New England has a lot of food kiosks, but one central food area – so we go there. Of the many “cuisine” choices, we opt for good old reliables – burgers, dogs, fingers, fries, and pizza (not all my kids are food allergic).
One problem: we find out Six Flags cooks their fries and other foods in peanut oil! Good thing I asked (which hopefully all of you do all the time). Meanwhile, the serving area is like a high-throughput cafeteria. You don’t give them your order and have it filled. They simply pass plate after plate of whatever food they’ve just finished making to the front of the counter and you grab what you want. That brings us to problem #2: they put fries on most plates and there’s food everywhere, so we can’t even take the dishes my two allergic boys could theoretically eat due to possible cross-contamination.
Anyway, the point of this entry is not to whine about our experience. We were finally able to get the attention of someone behind the counter and have them make 3 hot dogs – no fries, no buns, no nothing. Fortunately (or unfortunately), my kids are used to this happening occasionally and are really great about accepting that this is just part of their life.
What really surprised me was that a theme park that caters to a mass audience, 4% or so of whom must have food allergies, hasn’t figured out yet that peanut oil may not be the best idea for their foods (or their profits). Further, as I walk the grounds of those braver than I, I realize that this is really a thrill seekers park aimed at older teens. Now, my oldest just hit 13, so I don’t yet have teens of an age where they will go to Six Flags with just their friends; however, I’ve been told and read often enough that many food allergic teens don’t want to carry their Epi-Pens due to social pressure and fear of embarrassment. Does anyone else see the red flags?
I told my kids that I don’t want to be there when they’re tall enough to ride the monstrous roller coasters because I don’t even want to watch. Now I have to wonder if I can afford NOT to be there.
Anyone have thoughts on this? Are all Six Flags similar in their cooking practices? Are you surprised that this one uses peanut oil? Is it true that teens will deliberately go out without their Epi-Pens? Should I toughen up and get on those coasters? (Oops, scratch that last question.)
Please click Reply or Comments below. We want to hear from you!
And while amusement parks are not yet on the core AllergyEats site, please remember to rate any restaurants you’ve recently dined at by going to www.allergyeats.com. Remember that each new rating increases the value of AllergyEats for everyone.