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Posts posted by netdvn

  1. Destination parks like BGW, though, simply have too many people coming through the gates. I'm not knocking the ride itself at all. I have yet to ride one but they look awesome and everything I've heard is positive EXCEPT the capacity.


    Plenty of destination parks have added low capacity rides in the past. Wonder Mountain's Guardian has a dismal 650 pph and CW easily pulls far more numbers than BGW does. Same could be said for rides like Roller Soaker and Firehawk. All have terrible capacity and all at major parks that get significant attendance.


    Side note...this is literally the biggest information leak I've EVER seen for a new ride. Not only the ride, or the blueprints, but literally everything down to the Height requirement sign has been leaked. How the hell. Seems fishy


    The site managed to get its hands on all Verbolten's information too right down to the shape of the leaf props in the building and all the signs in the queue house. Its nothing new. They pretty much have good hookups on the inside.

  2. If the wristbands are on the arm tight enough to where they can't be removed or swapped then there should be no questioning it. The only way an operator should deny the guest is if they think the wristband has been tampered with or removed, otherwise they should have no authority to deny it and no responsibility for allowing the guest to ride. Guest Services has already verified the guest's height, isn't that the whole idea? I want to say "What kind of a mickey mouse operation is this" but it occurs to me that is a silly saying as a "mickey mouse" operation would never let something like this happen. (Where did that saying come from anyway?)


    This is how we did things at our rides when dealing with situations like this.


    - Kid too short slips through entrance and entrance isn't fast enough to catch it, so the info is relayed to the platform crew.

    - Platform crew is required to check the person's height regardless of wristband or not if its iffy. If they're clearly too short to ride (wristband or not), they cannot. If they're close enough, but don't make it to the line, its usually a judgement call by the attendant. Like I said, you'll encounter ops that are by the book and ops that let things slide if they're close enough.

    - If its consistent or the parents give trouble, the info is relayed to other attendants. "Parents look like ____ and are wearing _____. Kid looks like ___ and is wearing ____. If they come back, make sure the kid doesn't ride because they're too short." If the situation gets out of hand, call security.


    Like I said, anything can happen in the time the person first gets their height checked till the time they ride. They could've changed shoes, shrank a little while walking around, or been too short but were close enough to slip through at other rides. It happens.


    Whether or not kids slip through also depends on the attendant. Some are by the book and others are more lenient. Still there are those that could care less about their job and let everyone pass regardless of height.


    Oh and the whole pushing down on the head thing, you're kinda supposed to do that to get an accurate measurement of their height. Otherwise you're measuring their hair along with their height. You're not supposed to cause physical pain to the child but you're not supposed to be so lenient, you let them pass because their hair meets the requirement but they don't otherwise. I'm pretty sure most manufacturers won't let a kid pass based on their hair, so why should the operator do the same?

  3. No it wasnt the ops that booed her Robb said it was the other guests in line who were apparently unhappy with waiting for them to measure KT's height.


    You really can't blame the park because a few guests decide to act like complete assholes in public. It the ops fault for not taking care of the situation before it got out of hand, but not for doing their jobs and looking out for someone's safety.


    The operator pressed her head down and they still declined after she got a wristband. I'll bet the only thing they look forward to every morning before going to work is how many people they'll deny the ability to ride.


    Do you know how often people try sneaking their kids the wrong colored wristbands just to get them on bigger rides? It actually does happen. Fortunately, in this case, it just so happened to work itself out, but I've seen situations where kids that were too short to ride still trying to sneak in, people hiding casts underneath sweaters to avoid being seen, people pulling out cameras/cell phones at the last minute as the train is being dispatched, and people trying to game disabled access/fastpasses and throwing fits when they can't get their own way.

  4. From personal experience, if the manufacturer says a person has to be of a certain height to ride, then they have to be at that height. Even if they're 1/4th of an inch off of the mark. If an incident were to happen and there were injuries, if the ops let someone who was too short onto the ride, the park could be liable for lawsuit - especially because they went against the manufacturer's safety requirements.


    Even then ops still let people who are barely below the mark onto the ride. Some ops give some leeway while others are typically by the book.


    As for this situation, I'm not sure what to think. Maybe she was wearing tennis shoes and switched to flip flops, maybe KT shrank in her shoes while she was walking around the park (yes it does happen). Assuming she was checked at both Eagle and Goliath and cleared, perhaps Viper's height stick is a little off. I dunno.


    - Did the ops physically boo her off the ride? There's no excuse for that.

  5. So trip was pushed back to the original date (Sunday August 17th).


    I'm planning to arrive at rope drop and book it straight to Ka. Then work my way around the park from there. I still wanna do the safari, so I considered just doing that last thing in the evening (assuming we leave early to make it back to VA in time) so I can get some great sunset shots and the animals should be back out and about by then.


    My biggest worries are Ka and Toro since those seem to get the worst lines. Zumanjaro will be hit-miss based on the lines since I have a nasty fear of heights.


    Sunday crowds mid-August should be manageable right? I know crowds can be messy with families planning last minute trips before school and the weather getting cooler around that time.


    - So bummed I couldn't make it last weekend.

  6. Does anyone else think Ka's capacity would be helped if they open up the second station now that capacity is cut in half?


    First station is loaded normally and maybe have the second station reserved for disabled access/Flash Pass and then pull people from the main line/single riders to fill empty seats so the lines aren't held up in the main station or load them both at the same time and have them dispatch similar to Storm Runner's set up.

  7. without OTR restraints?. . . I'll never get on Skyrush again.


    No... The ride throws you around way too much to be rideable with OTSRs. You'll literally be banging your head in every turn.


    I did not feel in the least bit "safe"


    I actually love how Skyrush makes you feel vulnerable. It adds to the thrill factor, something most coasters just don't do well anymore. Most coasters now feel too controlled, so the thrill factor is lost.

  8. Less than a week till I'm in Jackson, but we need a place to crash. Anyone know of any clean, reasonable places to stay in the general area?


    Also I need a good attack plan for the park. First thought is to book it to the safari at rope drop then work my way to Toro/Ka to get those out of the way. Then Bizarro, Mine Train, Log Flume, Houdini, skyride across the park for Skull, Nitro, Rapids, Sky Screamer, Ferris Wheel, and Batman. It'll pretty much be straight rerides afterwards unless lines are too long.


    Or skip the safari and head to Toro/Ka and work my way to the Nitro side from there.

  9. Hey I am gonna be there too I have the exact same question. Plus can we just up out stuff in the station while we ride rides or do we put them in metal boxes that lock.

    It keeps changing what I'm trying to say to the gooey bunny thing


    Bags have to be left in a locker or with a non-rider for all the coasters. I believe you can take your stuff with you on the water rides at your own risk. DarKastle and all the flats allow bags.


    Weekday crowds during hot season tend to be pretty slow. You won't have to worry about lines much. Just keep an eye on the weather as that usually determines crowds.

  10. We did the Freedom to the same itinerary a few years ago. It was nice. If you've sailed with other lines before, you'll be disappointed but its not bad for a first timer.


    Holland has really nice ships, but like everyone said, they cater to an older crowd. They have all the typical cruise activities onboard so its not a bad thing.


    I'd personally suggest Holland if your fam really wants to do Aruba/Curacao. Both places are amazing. Plus you can do a side trip to the Orlando parks afterward.

  11. Alright trip date has been pushed forward to the end of July either on a Thursday or Friday. I'm still worried about crowds but I'm assuming they will be pretty manageable during the height of the hot season.


    How have the lines for the safari been so far this year? That is a priority but if I have to sacrifice rides on Ka and Toro to ride it, I'll skip it.


    I'm also worried about water ride lines. Is capacity pretty good with those?

  12. HP has quite a bit of Boardwalk room to expand for the time being. My suggestions...


    - LIM slide on Roller Soaker's old spot above the sprayground. You could re-purpose the old station and have it travel along the border of the park and back over the sprayground.

    - Remove Tidal Force. Those rides are going the way of the dinosaur anyway. They're typically high maintenance and it sits smack dab in the middle of the Boardwalk area. Stick a few dropout slides like Snake Pit and add a few new water features for kids. You could probably add another restaurant and possibly another water slide in that area.

    - Remove Wildcat. It's a pretty crappy coaster filled with potholes and rough turns, especially toward the end of the ride. There's enough real estate back there for a few large, high capacity, family-style slides. A combo slide like Colossal Curl and/or a mat racer would be perfect for that spot. Stick another eatery and a few more water features and you have a complete water park.


    The Boardwalk area still seems fairly cramped for the stuff they have. The lines looked unbearable last July (easily the worst lines in the park first thing in the morning - later in the day, it got worse).If there were at least more high capacity attractions, it probably wouldn't have a huge problem.

  13. I spoke too soon. All the B&Ms shut down at least once today. Griffon was down for the majority of the afternoon (ride kept getting stuck on the lift), Alpengeist went down while we were in line (the lost my phone in the drop ), and Apollo was stuck at the top of the lift all day long. Met up with a TPR member from PA and his family was disappointed.

  14. Of all the parks I've been to in the past 2-3 years, I've had a B&M shut down on me twice, both visiting new parks. Three times at my home.


    At my homepark...

    - Apollo broke down on me 2012. I was stuck on the brake run for about five minutes before maintenance got it running again. Everyone was escorted off and the ride was closed.

    - Got evacuated off the lift on Alpengeist last summer. Ride was down for 20 minutes.

    - Howl O Scream media night, Apollo was down for half the evening.


    Other visits

    - Sheikra was down for most of the morning on my visit to Tampa in 2012. Got lucky with Sea World. None of the coasters broke on me.

    - Great Bear shut down for an hour on my visit to Hersheypark. Thankfully it cleared out the line so I only had to wait 30 mins instead of the posted hour wait it had all morning. As for Antons, Sooperdooperlooper was down all day on my visit - huge disappointment.


    Despite this, all the Intamins I rode were running fantastically well with no shutdowns at all. Maybe I got lucky with those.

  15. Finally, after a long off season, I hit the park this past Saturday with two TPR members. I had a wonderful time!


    Ate like a disgusting pig at Food & Wine. The food was really good, but the cruise food and the dishes I chose last year were better IMO. The beer, however, was fantastic.


    Got my coaster fix on everything except Loch Ness. Rode Griffon and Apollo at least 10 times that day. Minimal crowds on everything, even for an 80 degree, sunny Saturday. Everyone was on the pathways or enjoying the food booths more I guess.


    Banbury looks amazing at night. During the day, it looks alright. Didn't get to see London Rocks, but I have a whole season to do that.


    Got tons of new ride swag. Thanks Alex and Zach! I'm looking forward to seeing more TPR peeps at the park this season!

  16. ^ It's not really that shocking TBH, Canada's Wonderland has always been on top in regards to attendance. It doesn't surprise me to see it so high up since it's typically the highest attended regional park in the country. Kings Island on the other hand... was the park in the top 20 under Paramount ownership? I don't recall it being that high up on the list before. It'll probably overtake CP this year with Banshee in the mix.


    Hersheypark just so happens to be in a perfect spot, so attendance is bound to be pretty high. It's surrounded by Pittsburgh, Philly, DC, Baltimore, and New York, it's located right in the middle of Dutch country (which means it's already surrounded by major tourist attractions like Gettysburg), and it has the Hershey name attached to it. And did I forget to mention it sits next to a concert venue, and has a zoo/waterpark combination inside? All those pretty much contribute to the park's popularity.


    MM getting a small increase was a surprise to me. I'd expected Throttle to draw a few more people, but I guess it didn't pull the numbers that they were hoping for. This year's new family area doesn't seem like it would pull huge numbers either. Seems like Gatekeeper pulled bigger numbers for CP.


    Seeing BGW and BGT's numbers dip doesn't come off as a surprise to me, especially after the massive budget cuts both parks had to face, plus neither park had any new rides to show off. In Williamsburg's case, the park had almost no advertising (even for Verbolten since a lot of locals I talked to seem to have no idea the park even got a new coaster to begin with).


    Seeing a drop at SWO despite the new ride and surrounding parks getting a serious boost from new attractions surprised me somewhat until I remembered the whole Blackfish controversy. Maybe the parks took a bigger hit than expected - still the parks got decent numbers enough I guess.

  17. Just found this thread again! Sounds like you're doing a LOT of bouncing around the country.


    LA and Vegas shouldn't be more than 3 hours apart from each other by car. You could move your Vegas trip toward the beginning and fly out from there to the eastern half of the country.


    Toronto - you should be fine in terms of CW if it's open for Labor Day. Crowds should be pretty low on the holiday itself.


    New York - Unless you plan to visit both GAdv and HP in one weekend, I'd stick with GAdv since it's a lot closer to the city. I'd check on the operating hours for GAdv since a lot of parks are typically closed for private events the weekend between Labor Day and Haunt kickoff.


    Orlando - Unless you're willing to drop the $100 gate price at the MK, I'd suggest going to Sea World instead. I know Uni has a package deal with both Busch parks, so I'd look into that.


    You're gonna probably need a day to adjust to the local time differences on your West coast to Toronto leg. Just as long as you're hitting town on Labor weekend, you should be good.

  18. Numerous sources told me most of the land the park owns can't be developed because the city won't allow it. That's probably why most of the park's new attractions were built on site of past attractions. The city doesn't like the park removing too many trees for new rides. I don't really see why the park would build a coaster near the lake when they have the Chiller and Rolling Thunder spots to expand upon.

  19. Even though I was busy catching up on TV for the past few weeks, I watched a few new movies on my cruise last week.


    Captain America 2 - Really fun to watch. I'm honestly not sure if it's better than the first one, but I really enjoyed watching it. Compared to the other Marvel movies I watched, it's probably one of the better films. (5/5)


    Jack Ryan - A fun action movie. I managed to catch it halfway through both times it showed on the ship, but I don't think I missed any real action. Nothing too mindblowing but I enjoyed it for what it was. I'd probably rank it above average. (3.5/5)


    12 Years A Slave - I wasn't really sure what to think about this movie. It was definitely emotional and had some good moments, but something definitely felt missing from the movie. Maybe it was because I just watched Django Unchained, I expected the main character to flip out on the owners. Or maybe it was seeing Sherlock Holmes as a slave owner. Or maybe I found the story a bit hard to follow. Or the ending that left me satisfied but a bit cold on the inside. I dunno. it was still a good movie though. (4/5)


    Saving Mr. Banks - This is probably my favorite movie of 2013. It had a great, emotional story (even if it was a tad confusing at first with the flashback sequences and all), the acting is fantastic, and it's already based off the making of a good movie. I loved it. (5/5)

  20. Last week my parents decided to surprise us with our second cruise this year. Wow! After sailing with Holland America twice before and loving every moment of it, my parents decided to settle on sailing the Veendam from Boston up to Quebec. We initially considered staying with the ship back to Boston making it a 14 day affair, but because of time constraints and the fact that it's still frigid up there, we opted for the weeklong trip and Quebec-Montreal stopover instead.


    The ship itself is pretty much the same design as the Ryndam. Small and intimate, however, there were parts of the ship that definitely felt worn down (mostly on the exterior in the less frequented parts of the ship). The back of the ship had a huge Jumbotron, but because of the nasty weather, it was left unused. The boat rocked pretty hard on the high seas, but once we hit the rivers, it was relatively calm out.


    Nightly entertainment was solid at best. I've seen better shows at Busch in some cases. One of the actors had an annoying voice. The guest stars were phenomenal. We had a local band play traditional Gaelic music the second night and a master pianist the fifth night. Both actually got standing ovations. The ship played first run movies all week as well - none of the obscure stuff that the Ryndam had, which was nice.


    Service was a bit of a miss, especially after stellar service we got from the other two HAL ships we did (and I'll throw in the three Carnival sailings we did as well). The housekeeping staff and the entertainment staff were the only ones that really showed the extra effort. Everyone else was nice, but nobody went out of their way to know our names or any of the extra little things that make these trips better.


    The ports of call were great. This was the first cruise where we actually left the port for everything. One thing I love about these northern ports is that they're located just out of town, so you don't have to travel far to see everything. My biggest problem with this trip was the cruddy weather we got. Of the seven days on the boat, we only had 2 sunny days.


    Bar Harbor ME - A lovely little tourist town. We missed out on going to Acadia, but did check out Bar Island (and nearly got stranded due to the rolling tides). We ended up walking barefoot through frigid water just to get off the island - it was a memorable experience indeed. Next time I should pack water shoes in case we do get stuck so we get to see more of the island. There's a walking tour that goes around town along the waterfront which has a breathtaking view of the ocean. The town has the usual touristy stuff. Small and charming indeed.


    Halifax Nova Scotia - Prince Charles and Camilla were in town for Victoria Day and they did a cool meet and greet right outside the cruise terminal. The tugboats along the water put on a special show for them too. That was awesome. We walked the boardwalk along the harbor and into the heart of downtown. The old fortress (because we have to climb a fortress every time we cruise) provides a fantastic view of the entire city from above and it's in a pretty good location next to the hockey arena. A beautiful city.


    Sydney Nova Scotia - This is basically a smaller Bar Harbor. The cruise terminal has a museum and a craft fair inside and the worlds largest fiddle right outside. The city itself doesn't have much outside of a few random historic sites. Next time we visit, I'm taking a tour outside the city.


    Charlottetown Prince Edward Island - if you combine the big city feel of Halifax with the small town charm of the other two ports, you get Charlottetown. We saw the Parliament building, the theater, and a beautiful cathedral. I also scored a vintage CNE postcard with the wooden coaster in one of the antiques shops. At port, there isn't much outside of a craft market and a few gift shops, but there's tons to do in town. Hopefully we'll see more next time.


    Quebec City (overnight) - One of my favorite stops on this trip, we went to Quebec last October, but that trip was a complete bust. This time we walked all over the city seeing everything we could in the two days we had. Old Quebec is beautiful. Like the small towns we did, it's definitely charming. The downtown has its fair share of cool things to do too. Walked into the Parliament building, which is nice, but I'd recommend going on a tour to see the whole thing. We also walked along the battlefield park on the river and went through the holy door of the Notre Dame cathedral, which apparently only opens once every 20 years for special events. Checked out the Chateau Frontenac, but it's just a fancy hotel with a view. Overall, loved it - can't wait to come back soon!


    Did a side trip to St Anne's Cathedral the day we walked off the boat. It's a beautiful setting and a lovely attraction, but the stuff around it gives off a tourist trap feel.


    Montreal (yesterday) - Another amazing city, I caught a quick glimpse of Goliath from the Molson factory. Even though I've visited twice before, this city never gets old. Revisited St. Joseph's Oratory, which is a must for anyone visiting, then hung out around the botanical gardens and the Olympic park. The gardens were slammed from the tulip festival and we didn't wanna wait in the four hour line to get tickets. Couldn't walk into the stadium at the park either because everything was locked down so we took our photos and left.


    Overall, I really enjoyed this trip even though I didn't walk off the boat choking from tears like I did the other trips. I'll definitely do it again in a heartbeat (even with Holland America). Now my folks are considering a third cruise this year. It's gonna be quite the year for trips.

  21. I rode Kumba four times. Twice in the middle and twice in the back (both times rightmost seat) and pretty much got the same ride every time. I still rank HP's Intamins and most of the B&Ms I've ridden ahead of it.


    Storm Runner is FAR more intense than Kumba will ever be. Nothing can beat the gut-punching launch, back to back snappy inversions, and truly killer snake dive. Not even Kumba's supposed "killer zero G roll" which pretty much felt like a normal zero G roll. As for Fahrenheit, I got loads of unexpected airtime in places I had no idea airtime could even exist on that. That's definitely one of the most underrated (and I'll even go out on a limb and say forceful) coasters I've ridden. Kumba had a nice pop of air before the cobra roll, but nothing like what I got on Fahrenheit.


    That being said, Kumba has a solid layout, great setting, an amazing roar, and I love the queue line. It seems Tampa can pull far better looking queue lines than Williamsburg (sans Verbolten and Alpengeist). Even Gwazi's queue was beautiful.

  22. Count me on the boat that felt kinda underwhelmed by Kumba. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the ride, but I didn't find it all that relentless or intense at all. Compared to Hersheypark's Intamin trio, it's practically a kiddie ride. I found Montu and Cheetah Hunt more forceful - Montu with it's incredible batwing and excellent pacing, Cheetah with it's fun pops of airtime and twisty Rhino Rally segment.

  23. I'm personally more partial to the Williamsburg park than the Tampa park.


    Coaster-wise, here's my ranking: Montu, Apollo's Chariot, Alpengeist, Verbolten, Cheetah Hunt, Kumba, Sheikra, Griffon, Loch Ness Monster, Wild Maus, Scorpion, Gwazi in that order. I'll give Tampa the edge for having a solid number of good coasters.

    Theming-wise, Williamsburg wins out. It's got a better setting and the theming is beautiful.

    Ride-wise, Williamsburg again. Even if Mach Tower and Europe in the Air are duds, Tampa's ride collection is seriously lacking. Plus the bumper cars are horrible.


    The safari and all the animal exhibits are a huge plus for Tampa. There are so many cool exhibits, not to mention the train/skyride are enhanced when rolling through the safari as opposed to Williamsburg's train going through mostly forest. I'll rank Williamsburg's skyride on par with Tampa's though. Going over the river and through the coasters is breathtaking.

  24. No, the bag policy has been around for years. GADV strictly enforces its bag policy so absolutely no one is allowed to leave any bags on the side of the station unless it's a medical bag. We do occasionally have grouper people in the station that only height check. They usually deal with people who brought bags up but that's usually only on busy days where we are staffed for that. You'd actually think explaining the bag policy to people who slip by would be simple but it isn't actually always with the city people the park attracts. haha I've gotten a lot of attitude from people who slipped bags through the entrance. This one dude who was a Six Flags America local actually got furious with me and told me his home park was better just because I told him he couldn't ride El Toro with his fanny pack or leave it on the side.


    Take it from someone who's worked at a roller coaster that had a completely different bag policy from every other coaster in the park, it's difficult to manage something like that without the proper staffing. GAdv needs to either have the proper staffing to manage the policy or drop the policy altogether and allow people to leave their bags on the side. The way everything is set up now seems to be counteractive of what the park wants (instead of making the lines move quicker, people getting in fights with employees holds the line up for everyone).


    It also helps to work as a team in situations like this. Have one person explain the policy and have the other coworker as backup in case the guest gets into an argumentative mood.

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