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TopThrill182

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Everything posted by TopThrill182

  1. ^ Thanks for the insight! Other than “laziness,” is there a reason why the ride went down to two trains after the refurbishment? And are two always in service, or does the ride reduce to one train ops during the off season for maintenance reasons? For such a busy year-round park, I’m surprised CF wouldn’t have invested in three trains if it could’ve meaningfully helped. Even CP’s converted Rougarou got three new trains, which is two too many most days. Still, even before Ghostrider’s refurbishment, the line always seemed to crawl to me.
  2. Great to hear the park is continuing to tweak the SV queue setup/flow. Not flooding the pre-locker tunnel and both station staircases with standby guests is a big improvement for FLP users. Hopefully the park finds a way to make that stick. To me, the best option is still to keep the tunnel clear but keep the (longer) right staircase filled with guests so seats don’t go out empty.
  3. @anonymouscactusHow’d you manage to get on SV in 10 minutes?! Has the park figured out how to reduce the FLP line for that ride, or did you just luck out somehow?
  4. I totally agree! I've never understood why the park seems so insistent on keeping the entire MF ramp filled at all times. The seemingly simple change of telling the merge attendant to only partially fill the ramp (e.g. up to a certain visual landmark, like the rear of the unload station) would vastly improve the ride's FL value at times throughout the day/season. It would also allow standby guests to spend more time waiting under the shade canopies in the main queue. Similarly, I think the best solution to SV's queue at this point is as follows. Utilize the right station pathway/staircase exclusively, for everyone. Aim to fill all the space after the metal detector. It seems to hold at least two trains worth of people, not counting the one train worth typically waiting in the station, so not having enough people to fill each train shouldn't be an issue. As space allows, send ~24 people from the merged tunnel to the lockers, and then through the metal detector onto the right pathway/staircase. As space allows, send an additional ~24 people (~12 FL and ~12 standby) to the merged tunnel to wait to proceed to the lockers. Aim to not let the tunnel line go past a certain point. This way, FL users would only wait ~4 trains to ride after the merge point. While I would welcome a FL exclusive staircase, this strategy would allow the park to avoid the potential hassle of having to re-split FL and standby guests (which, I admit, worked on opening day but did seem a bit clunky), while making the one remaining pathway to the station flow more evenly and quickly. The park could also eliminate the second metal detector staff position. As has been said, the lockers themselves seem good. They're free, easy to use, and occupy an attractive mini plaza. I think adjusting the flow of guests through the locker area is what needs to be improved.
  5. I realize there are bigger problems in the world, but as a Fast Lane Plus user, I also have to voice my annoyance with SV’s new queue setup! My opening day FL experience was decent: I merged into the pre-locker tunnel, which wasn’t very full. After putting my phone in a locker, I was sent to the left FL staircase, which was mostly empty. I didn’t time it, but I felt like I got on the ride pretty quickly. Today, however, the merged tunnel was much more full, and I was sent to a jam packed right standby staircase, which I realized is significantly longer (in distance) than the left one! I waited a full 45 minutes to ride, 30 after the merge point. That’s without using the lockers, since I stored my phone prior to riding, and on a day when the park was not overly crowded. The party in front of me in the pre-locker tunnel was sent to the left staircase, and they got on the ride almost 10 minutes before me. (They even took time to use the lockers.) I thought maybe I was being too sensitive, but I overheard a non-FL party behind me in the right staircase complaining about the same thing. There also seemed to be more guest confusion today leading up to the lockers. Some guests thought they needed to “cut” the merged line to get to the lockers and then double back. Some large parties didn’t understand why employees were forcing the entire party to go to the lockers, rather than just one person. Finally, and I’m not sure what caused this, but the FL line today was barely shorter than the standby line for my first ride, and exactly equal with the standby line for my second ride. The end result is a quick FL ride on SV seems to be a thing of the past. The merge point is now so far back from the station, it’s hard to see how the FL line will ever be less than ~30 minutes. That’s not too impactful on very crowded days, but on uncrowded days, or at times with few FL users, the FL value for this ride has diminished significantly. TL;DR: My main suggestion at this point is to fill less of the merged tunnel before the lockers and/or use one staircase only (for everyone). I realize the park wants to ensure a constant flow of guests to the station, but I think the park can accomplish that by frequently sending small groups of riders to the lockers from the merge point, thereby still providing a meaningful FL experience. I’m sorry for my rant! I really do appreciate the park finding a way to allow guests to keep their phones in line without compromising safety or the ride’s capacity. I just wish it didn’t come so much at the expense of FL users. Lol
  6. ^ I agree completely. The labor shortage isn't new news, so I don't totally understand why the park didn't better anticipate this scenario and publish a reduced operating calendar to begin with. Yes, operating hours are subject to change without notice, but from a customer relations perspective, adding days at this point would've been much better than removing them. I feel especially bad those who already had vacations planned for these dates with non-refundable elements (e.g. time off from work, rental car fees/airfare, etc.). I hope the park finds a way to do right by them. But the $20 an hour wage is great for employees! If I lived closer to the park, I'd definitely take advantage of that for a weekend job.
  7. ^ Three train operation for Goliath?! When was the last time that happened?
  8. Can someone elaborate on how employee scheduling worked before the pandemic? As intense as it sounds, I thought most employees generally worked open to close five or six days a week, even rides employees assigned to popular coasters that would cycle super late (e.g. July 4th 2010, when the park closed at 1 or 2am) and open early the next morning (e.g. 9am for early entry or even earlier for a special event). Or were there multiple shifts?
  9. Yesterday was my first opening day visit to Cedar Point. After last year's dreary closing day (and what felt like an especially long winter), I felt great being back at the park and really enjoyed my visit. BRTeller captures a lot of my thoughts well, but a few additional/reinforcing points (all from the perspective of someone with Fast Lane Plus): Most guests were unmasked outdoors (including on rides), but masked indoors. Virtually no one social distanced, and the midways felt packed. I didn't mind, but as BRTeller says, people should understand what they're getting themselves into and understand that the park doesn't seem to be enforcing masks or social distancing at all. Interestingly, employee mask usage was very inconsistent. Many employees were wearing masks outdoors, but many weren't, and mask wearing almost seemed to vary by ride crew. I wonder what the official employee policy is. I didn't wait in any, but the food and beverage lines all looked insanely long, longer than I've ever seen before. Maybe it's an opening weekend phenomenon with so many enthusiasts at the park, but Fast Lane (Plus) seemed oversold. It seemed like almost half of all riders had it, defeating its purpose. Steel Vengeance's new locker system allows riders to keep their phones in line without reducing the ride's capacity; however, the Fast Lane Plus line is now longer than it was before (due to the addition of a Millennium Force ramp-like merged line), and the process of merging and re-splitting the FLP and standby lines feels clunky. But the park looks to have invested a lot in these modifications, so I expect them to stick. Beware: the early ride closures are no joke, at least if opening day is any indication. It seems like the park wants to cycle all riders off all rides by park close. I got off Skyhawk 8 minutes prior to park close and immediately started running to find something else to get in line for. I managed to pass several rides in those 8 minutes, but not only were all the lines already closed, most of the lines (e.g. Maverick, Millennium Force) were already nearly empty. Some rides (e.g. Iron Dragon, Derby Downs) had already seemingly powered down! I entered what seemed like an open and short Power Tower line 2 minutes prior to close, but an attendant immediately ran out to shoo me away. I understand this is an unusual year for the park with limited staff (and money?); however, I think the park needs to be more upfront about and consistent with these early closures, especially considering it's such a shift from the park's pre-pandemic policy of keeping all ride lines open until 5 to 10 minutes after close. For example, the park could post "this ride closes [x] hour(s) before park close" at ride entrances, or simply shorten the park hours. But saying the park closes at 8pm when there's little to do after 7pm seems dishonest to me, and if the overflowing Guest Services line is any indication, bad for customer relations. Also, it may be a coincidence, but this was the most congested exit (park and parking lot) I've ever experienced outside of Halloweekends.
  10. Did anyone else get a SF Membership email offering to pause their membership until "the park re-opens in the spring"? Not sure if it's a blanket email for all the closed parks (which I know are mostly seasonal) or a true indication that SFMM will be closed for several months more.
  11. One of the webcams shows Maverick running currently. I'm most interested to see if TTD will be open on Sunday. It's been closed the past two Sundays, despite being open on the preceding Saturdays, which seems weird to me.
  12. Does anyone know if SFMM currently hires people to work weekends only? (I hope it's OK for me to ask that here.) I have a full time Monday through Friday job, but I've always wanted to work at an amusement park and am interested in doing so on the weekends.
  13. What a mess! I have a feeling there will be a lot of angry USH customers by the day's end (if not already). I went to CityWalk early this morning to see a movie. At ~10:30am, the digital sign at the Lankershim entrance indicated the park was sold out. The line of people waiting to get into the park stretched back into CityWalk. When I exited the theatre at ~1:30pm, I walked by the park's front gate to hear that the park was at capacity. Except for re-entry guests, no one was being allowed in--including people with pre-purchased tickets. The entrance plaza was full of frustrated would-be guests. Walking down the hill back to Lankershim, mobile digital signs alerted drivers that parking was also at capacity. It appeared cars were being diverted directly to the Cahuenga exit. Still, the line of cars hoping to park filled all three lanes of Universal Hollywood Drive and backed up Lankershim in both directions. And apparently some people didn't get or accept the "at capacity" message now displayed on the Lankershim billboard because a huge flood of people were walking up the hill to the park. It appeared the park had to deployed extra personnel in various locations to communicate and discuss refunds (for both tickets and parking) with guests; however, I thought some of the employees sounded a bit gruff/uncaring talking with guests, and the park seemed completely overwhelmed. It's nice to see the park do good business, but i hate to think of all the families turned away today and potential PR problems for the park moving forward. Hopefully the park can find a way to avoid this situation moving forward--either by working to encourage more people to visit during off-peak times or further increasing the park's capacity. A few photos are below. I'll be curious to hear what the experience was like inside the park! Looking down Universal Hollywood Drive Lankershim billboard Looking up Universal Hollywood Drive Line of cars stretching down Lankershim
  14. Yikes. That was a long time for people to be stuck. I assume some people couldn't wait so long to use a proper bathroom... Could this incident affect the ride's future at Knott's? If I remember correctly, wasn't the Windseeker incident the beginning of the end for that ride in CA?
  15. Didn't the park purchase some kind of business interruption insurance after the last water main break? Too bad this had to happen on a Saturday night, though. I'm sure many will be upset.
  16. Wow. Didn't Riptide just reopen at the end of last year after a months-long rehab?! When did it last operate? I expected the ride's days were numbered but didn't think the ride would be removed so soon. Knott's is a beautiful park, but the recent removals of Perilous Plunge, Windseeker, and now Riptide--without anything very thrilling being added to replace them--are making me feel increasingly less inclined (as someone without young kids) to visit Knott's over SFMM. Of course, given how Knott's supposedly had a record-breaking year last year, I'm becoming increasingly dubious new thrill rides will be part of the park's future.
  17. Just got back from the park following the Friday "After Party" event. Considering the $45 I paid for my ticket (a discounted night further discounted thru my employer) and the light crowds, I enjoyed the evening. I entered the park a little after 7:30pm, and by 1am (park close), I had done all the mazes (including three of them twice) and scare zones, the Terror Tram, Jurassic Park, Transformers, and Minion Mayhem. Crowds seemed pretty light. The waits for Insidious, The Walking Dead, and Halloween occasionally hovered around 35 / 40 minutes, but I never saw a posted wait time longer than 40 minutes. I personally never waited longer than 30 minutes, and most mazes had lines less than 15 minutes long for the majority of the evening. Simpsons had a decent line all night, but most other rides were walk-ons. First, the bad: I thought This Is the End was a disaster. I had no idea what the story was given the hodgepodge of characters and props (granted, it's been a while since I've seen the film), and the entire maze looked like a cheap afterthought to me. Nothing in this maze made a positive impression on me. I like the idea of a lighter, "its more weird than scary" maze, but I felt this missed the mark. I thought all the other mazes were very good. Insidious was probably my favorite due to the combination of visually interesting sets and actors that seemed eager to frighten you in ways other than popping out of a curtain. Crimson Peak featured some intricate costumes. The mirrored room in Halloween with a few actors planted among identically dressed mannequins was cool, too. In my opinion, though, none of the mazes had a signature scene or truly standout moment. (Alien came closest with its final scene featuring the large creature.) In years past, I feel like most mazes offered at least one really memorable moment, something this year's mazes--while highly competent--seemed to lack, making one maze feel a bit too much like the other. I enjoyed all of the scare zones. The actors were universally excellent and seemed to possess tremendous stamina. The Dark Christmas zone was my favorite and felt really unique with some thoughtfully assembled mini sets. Exterminatorz was also a lot of fun, and I felt like the sets in this zone also succeeded in telling a compelling story. The Terror Tram felt a bit messy to me (there's just too much dead space on that route to compose anything compelling). I agree it may be time to rethink that attraction entirely. Transformers provided a cool, surprising realistic experience. Minion Mayhem was somewhat fun, but I felt the attraction fell short of the engaging and lovable (or so I'm told) characters it had to work with. Perhaps due to the ongoing construction, I thought the flow of the event seemed a little weird this year. The Upper Lot felt rather sparse. And while well organized, having to take a tram to two of the mazes was a bit of a hassle, for example. Overall, I thought the event was very good but fell short of excellent. While certainly worth the $45 I spent, I'm not sure I would have felt quite so satisfied had I paid $85 on a peak night to wait in 2+ hour lines. (The amount of queues set up for these attractions was scarier than the some of attractions themselves!) I'd love to see the park increase the quantity of mazes and work to further differentiate them from one another. While I realize the park wants to build the mazes around NBCUniversal franchises (many of which I don't follow, admittedly), I think the scare zones prove the park could find success in building a few mazes around more original content. Thanks for a fun evening, USH HHN!
  18. The extension is interesting to me. I wonder how much demand there'll be the week after Halloween, especially since I would think most will have gotten their visits in by now / already purchased tickets for this weekend and that of the 31st. Tickets look pretty cheap for the two additional nights. I may try to go on one of them and hope for lesser crowds!
  19. Even if the park did own some of the above mentioned perimeter land, It seems like the park already has more space than it can adequately maintain. Cyclone Bay has a ton of dead space presently (e.g. Deja Vu's old spot, the abandoned Cold Stone Creamery building among others, etc.), and much of what's left could be razed without offending anyone (e.g. Apocalypse is in a bad state currently, the log ride looks like a leaky maintenance nightmare, and the deforested Ninja could be nearing the end of its lifespan). When you add in the abandoned stunt show stadium, monorail station, and whatever that circular building was by the entrance to the log ride, I feel like the park has plenty of room to work with.
  20. ^ My understanding is that, while the ride's fountains used to soak the entire gondola, they've since been reduced to a decorative, non-soaking feature only due to maintenance problems the water was causing. I remember watching riders get drenched on the ride when I visited in 2006, but I think that hasn't happened for quite some time.
  21. Have anyone canceled their current Membership and re-purchased it at this weekend's pricing? I purchased a Membership during last year's Flash Sale and am paying $5.85/mo. Given how I'm out of the 12 month contract, though, I'm worried my monthly fee could go up. I'm wondering if I should cancel that membership and purchase it again to (presumably) receive the current $5.99/mo. pricing for at least the next 12 months...
  22. What a pleasant surprise! This should vastly improve the ride experience. I never expected the "renovate Revolution" pipe dream to become a reality. But for all the criticism this park gets, I think this decision deserves a lot of praise. It seems the park listened to its customers and took an opportunity to enhance an existing attraction, which they didn't often do before Twisted Colossus. Two remaining questions: Will Twisted Colossus's 4th train be shipped with the new trains for New Revolution? And after New Revolution, will the park send the painters over to Tatsu?
  23. I'm glad to see Cedar Fair move beyond the Soak City name. I always thought it was such bland branding--especially with multiple parks having the same name.
  24. I feared this would happen... I bought my Membership during last year's Labor Day sale, too, and am currently paying $5.85/mo for Gold level privileges. In reading the fine print of the Membership agreement, I wondered if the park might exercise its right to raise that price at the beginning of my second year, and I guess the email you received confirms that. While I admit $6 is ridiculously cheap and empathize with the park for wanting more from me, the following line from Six Flags' website--taken from the Membership FAQ page--feels misleading in the face of perpetual price increases. "Memberships let you keep receiving special offers or discounts forever. When you buy a Season Pass that includes free parking or a free upgrade to Gold, you only retain that free upgrade for one season. With a Membership, you get to keep the benefits of the free upgrade as long as you keep your Membership. A Membership purchased with free parking will always have free parking." While I concede the literal benefits of my pass (e.g. water park access) will presumably stay the same, doesn't the "special offer" / "discount" change if the park begins charging me more for the same benefits? To me, the above line almost suggests you'll pay the same price for your membership "forever." I understand that's not actually the case when you read the fine print; however, when you sign up for cable, the cable company makes it very clear that the price you're receiving is (typically) a one year promotional price and that normal rates will go into effect after the year is over. If a Six Flags Membership operates much the same way, I feel like the parks need to make its long-term pricing clearer. Will Memberships always be charged the current going rate for the park in question's base pass at the time of their 12 month renewal (including free parking, water park access, and the like where applicable)? Will prices go up only once per year, or could they be raised more frequently? I'll be curious to see if / when I receive an email and how much I'll be asked to pay.
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