If you're heading to Six Flags St. Louis, or any other Six Flags park for that matter, you can't just load up the family and go. Six Flags has unveiled a reservations system they want guests to use when buying tickets so the theme park company can better manage daily attendance levels and avoid overcrowding in the park.

Six Flags CEO Mike Spanos, according to the company's press release says:

We are excited about reopening our parks and getting back to the business of fun; however, we want to do so in the safest possible manner. By having guests pre-register before they visit, we can plan ahead with proper staffing and sanitization measures, including ensuring that guests and team members maintain safe social distancing throughout the day.

So how does this reservation system work? Every guest who wants to go to the park, regardless of what kind of pass or ticket they hold will need to go sixflags.com/reserve.

Once on the site he or she will need to enter their ticket, order or season pass number. And then choose the date he or she is attending along with the time they wish to enter the park. He or she will then be asked to watch a short video outlining the social distancing and sanitation procedures the park has implemented and acknowledge his or her understanding of Six Flag's health policy. And be prompted to purchase parking.

Six Flags press release says the whole process will take between five and seven minutes. There will be a liberal cancellation policy that allows people to cancel their reservation without penalty before 8:00AM local time on the day of their visit.

While sixflags.com/reserve is not yet active, there's plenty more information and a FAQ on the reservation process and how the parks will operate for the 2020 season.

I think reservations for theme parks like Six Flags are here to stay. Beyond helping the parks' manage capacity limitations and make social distancing for guests less challenging. It's possible, reservations will allow smoother park operations every day they're open. It can help management set staffing levels. And better serve the guests that do show up, while potentially saving money for the company.

And let's not forget dynamic pricing. Dynamic pricing is where what you pay is based on supply and demand. Airlines and hotels have used that model for years. A reservation system could make that easier to implement. And let's face it, many more people are going to want to visit Six Flags St. Louis on a summer holiday weekend vs. the last operating weekend in October.

At its best, a reservation system like the one Six Flags is implementing, post COVID-19 has the potential to make guests visits much more enjoyable if it's used to better staff the park and help manage guests' experiences when the park is busy. At it's worst, it's another tool the parks have to separate you from your hard earned dollar.