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The Six Flags Magic Mountain (SFMM) Discussion Thread

Page 2228 - Wonder Woman Flight of Courage REAL POV!

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^Agreed 100% The park has improved significantly. They still have a ways to go, but they are definitely going in the right direction. It's not like they can snap their fingers and have everything perfect overnight. It takes time, and quite a bit of it. It's extremely unfair for anyone to say that the park hasn't improved. Dealing with the employee issue will be one of the biggest obstacles to SFMM's improvement IMO, and I certainly don't expect it to happen overnight. The park is slowly but surely improving in just about every aspect, and I'm extremely happy with everything they've done so far.

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SFMM has indeed improved overall. But some ride crews could certainly step it up a bit. There's no excuse for five-minute dispatches on coasters.

 

I've already previously stated what I think ought to be done, so I won't say it again.

 

Eric

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Everyone has great examples of how and what slow down dispatches. I do have to say, there are other parks that have slow dispatches, not just the Six Flags logo. But the difference is how they look at their dispatches and how it affects their ride. Some parks see slow dispatches as something that MUST be outdone with, even on slow days. I was at Disneyland just this past week. Space Mountain was seriously at a WALK ON! Yet, the employees insisted on rushing people and telling people to move up to a certain spot. I pondered for a second why would they push themselves and others to this, but then I realized that we did almost the same at Universal. And what it really came down to was leads and managers trying to keep the attractions overall perception a good one. I learned from Joey when he was training me to be a ride op that one person, one single guest, can make or break the overall perception of your establishment. If ONE guest has a good time, and I'll quote Joey's powerpoint, "they will tell about 5 to 10 other people. But if they have a discouraging time, the number of people told is doubled."

 

I'm sure that if one lead or manager at an attraction came up to each employee and talked to them personally for a secod just to say "Hey, today we're going to work on quicker dispatches," or "Hey, today we're going to work on our 10-5 and guest interaction," it would improve the ride's overall perception. It all depends on the willingness of people to TRY to change.

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I was at Disneyland just this past week. Space Mountain was seriously at a WALK ON! Yet, the employees insisted on rushing people and telling people to move up to a certain spot.

 

I am also amazed by the way Disney has their employees on "go, go , go" all of the time. There is no doubt that this is a missing element at Six Flags. There are exceptions on certain rides but I'm not sure why. Most of the time the crews on Goliath are moving. The ride ops up there always seem to be having fun. I rarely see the "Tatsu Stroll" on Goliath.

When comparing to Disney though I think the single biggest difference is the lack of guest confusion. Every major Disney ride has at least one greeter. This person's only job is to make sure that the guest knows where to go and what to do. This is why dispatches are so great during ERT's at SFMM. Everyone knows what to do.

Is comparison realistic? No. Disney has a bigger budget and can afford to hire an extra mature person to work independently to greet guests. At MM I suspect that it would be seen as the plum assignment for a teenager to get in a few extra texts.

Another big difference is the rides. Most Disney rides do not require everything to be bolted down. This simply is not an option at SFMM. Disney is like taking the train downtown while Six Flags is like taking a plane across state. It's a lot faster to jump on the train with all your crap than to get on a plane with all your crap.

Next time you are at Disney take a look at all of the stuff people leave sitting in strollers. Would you leave your stuff sitting like that at SFMM?

As sad as it seems, I think that the crummy economy will be creating an improvement in operations this year. The parks should have a slightly better pool to choose from. I just hope they have the willingness to hire a few "older" folks to manage the ride operators.

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^I completely agree with you. But I remember last year at WCB, MM was really trying hard on the bigger rides to have the whole quicker dispatches down. The problem is, they were doing it on rides that really didn't need it because the lines are just not that big. We went on Riddler's and Scream, and they had people at the locker station telling everyone to use to lockers. I thought this was GREAT that they were doing it. It showed their efforts being put to use! And they were even getting mad at my friend's mother for walking with all of our bags, even though we throuroughly had explained to the employee that she was our bag holder, and just going to walk across to take pictures for a website. It really showed that the employees were in fact putting in that WOW factor that Jay Thomas so much loves. Same thing went for Riddler's that day. As soon as we got to the locker are, we had employees telling us about bags. It was great to see that they were not only having moreguest interaction, but they were helping with the overall dispatches. I do have to say, the dispatches were quicker on those rides. But what sucked, is that they had those people at the locker area, instead of one at the locker area, and one at the entrance greeting people and forewarning people that they would have to place their bags and items into a locker once they got closer. That deffinately would've been way more convenient(especially because the big huge surprise was that you had to pay to get a locker, which would totally suck for you if you had no money).

 

I saw this also done on X2's opening day. But the whole problem with telling people about the locker situation AT the locker area, instead of in the front of the ride is that you get this huge clusterload of people at the locker station, and those stations are not that big enough to hold all those people at once, ESPECIALLY on a hot day. Yes, the nation is suffering a huge budget crisis, but there have been times where I've seen employees in front of the attraction greeting people to come in. Granted it was a once in a blue moon thing, but it has been done before, and I'm pretty sure that it can be done again! I do know that Six Flags is hiring right now, because I just got an e-mail from some job announcement website. If they hire at least 16 new ride ops, I know of 16 rides that would work a whole lot smoother!

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I'm sure that the environment at Magic Mountain will indeed change for the better over time because everything does actually take time. I still have faith in the new management and I'm sure that Magic Mountain will continue its steady improvement.

 

But I also agree with TheRealTinkerbell, I do think that if they hire a few more people, those rides that the people are staffed at will run a lot smoother.

I am also curious about whether or not Magic Mountain will have a better selection of people applying for jobs due to the current state of the economy and job loss. It seems horrible to think about but Magic Mountain could possibly benefit from this current condition (if people will actually come to the park).

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With regard to the general knowledge on the GP's end regarding boarding procedure, the whole problem could be fixed with in-queue videos explaining the procedure. Both Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm have these videos that explain the procedure to everyone, and while they may be annoying and very cheesy, they do manage to speed up load times. SFMM should invest the small amount of money necessary to produce and install some videos on at least the rides that have more unique loading procedures (ie Tatsu, Riddlers, and X2). I know that on Riddler's the loading times are always longer due to a couple of people who hop up and down on their seats before they get locked down because they aren't aware that that is how their seats will be for the rest of the ride. This would also inevitably save SFMM money in not necessarily having to pay someone to oversee the lockers and tell guests about the locker policy, as the video can do the work for them.

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For those of you that ever went on these great coasters between the late 70's and early 90's know that these WERE great coasters. Revolution added un-needed shoulder restraints and Colossus removed some great camel hills mid-ride to add a block braking section that destroys the excitement of the ride. Lets all be pro-active and restore these coasters to their original greatness! Who's with me?

 

-Matt

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Hey there Matt,

 

While I appreciate your enthusiasm about the history of these two rides, it's been made very clear from management at Six Flags Magic Mountain why the changes on these two rides needed to happen and that it is not possible for them to return to their former selves.

 

If you want to attend West Coast Bash this year, I have a feeling it will be discussed again.

 

I'm going to go ahead and merge this thread with the SFMM discussion thread since we already have another topic about anything and everything SFMM related.

 

--Robb

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I was wondering if SFMM was going to close due to rain. We were watching the news yesterday morning and they were talking about the Grapevine being closed and all the folks waiting up in Castaic for it reopen.

 

Although not directly related, we went to USH yesterday and had a pretty good time. There was rain for the first half of the day, but I was pleasantly suprised at their rain plan! Free hot chocolate/coffee, free ticket to return for one day ticket holders, cheap ponchos, relocated shows, etc.

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^I remember being pleasantly surprised by Universal's Policy as well! In fact, I think it even applies to cold days, not just rainy days! I'm sure Joey can fill us in more.

 

It's little things like that that impress me about parks.

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I didn't know that USH did that. That is indeed a great way to keep people in the park. Of course, USH doesn't have many outdoor rides, coasters, etc. like other parks.

 

But offering free hot drinks and a return ticket is a great way to build a repoir with the public.

 

About SFMM...I usually check the website before heading out there to check the hours, or, if rain is a possibility, whether it's open. Usually (in my experience), the park hours will note that the park is closed because of rain.

 

Eric

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^^That's partially true. Rain is the only time it is a given that shows (Universal Animal Actors and Blues Brothers) will be moved indoors and tickets will be given out (1/8" inch of rain by 2:00pm=ticket). The hot chocolate, coffee, and show/character relocations usually happen when the forecast calls for it to be cold all day...but they are not guaranteed.

 

Especially now with competition so fierce for entertainment dollars, it's nice to know USH does something like that for the guests.

 

As far as I can remember, many of SFMM's rides can actually operate in the rain. I know rain shuts down S:TE, cold weather gets ninja, and wind gets Sky Tower/Thrill Shot. Severe rain will get Goliath and RRv (the drive tires can't grip as well, causing overshoots if rain is really bad). What else am I missing?

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I've had two experiences with rain at SFMM...

 

First was November 1997. Only noticible effect was that some of the rides closed during the brunt of the storm, we used that time to eat. Afterwards pretty much everything reopened except Superman. I think Freefall was closed due to Riddler construction, but Psyclone was awesome after the storm!

 

Next was last January (2008). It was the weekend of that big winter storm that hit SoCal. While it never rained while we were at the park, it was pretty cold (40 degrees at opening). Everything was running sans Ninja, Deja and Rapids - x2 was still in rehab mode. The park was pretty empty so around 12 noon they announced the park would be closing at 3p instead of 6p due to the approaching weather. That was all fine and dandy because we had managed to get all the rides we needed before 2p anyway.

 

Oh yea, one more thing about Universal. There is a free coffee/capuccino/hot chocolate machine at the valet area. Way cool! We just had to take a picture with it while waiting for the car.

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^ X2 in cold, winds, or both. There's a procedure for warming up the trains to get them ready to go asap, but X does have a history of valleying, so a bunch of precaution is taken with it.

 

Riddler's doesn't close anymore, as it has a "rain mode" to accomodate slippage. Goliath does less and less, depending.

 

Most rides will cut down the number of trains depending on the ride or how hard the rain is.

 

 

 

While rides CAN be operated in the rain, the experience is really compromised, in my opinion. But that's just my personal take.

 

-Jahan

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I had a question about X2. I went Super Bowl Sunday and I rode X 3 times, all in the front. They were great except for the third time. In the middle of the lift hill the music cut out. Then at the bottom of the hill instead of doing a front flip, it went back to the normal position. Also the ride was quiet a lot rougher than the first two times. What do you think happened?

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I had a question about X2. I went Super Bowl Sunday and I rode X 3 times, all in the front. They were great except for the third time. In the middle of the hill the music cut out. Then at the bottom of the hill instead of doing a front flip, it went back to the normal position. Also the ride was quiet a lot rougher than the first two times. What do you think happened?

 

If your seat actually did something different than the first 2 rides, like you say...something went really wrong, as that's not even supposed to be possible. But, I'm not quite sure what you mean anyways....what "hill" are you referring to?

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Now YOU can help keep Magic Mountain's bathrooms clean!

 

Operations: Park Service Attendant

 

Job Duties will include maintaining cleanliness of all park restroom facilities, keeping counters dry, mopping bathroom floors, cleaning bathroom mirrors and keeping all bathrooms well stocked and organized.

 

All applicants must be 18 years of age. Pay rate: $8.50/hr. Contact: Apply for this job online.

 

So bathrooms are a priority to this park, as long as they only have to pay the person(s) cleaning them $8.50/hr...

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^^That's partially true. Rain is the only time it is a given that shows (Universal Animal Actors and Blues Brothers) will be moved indoors and tickets will be given out (1/8" inch of rain by 2:00pm=ticket). The hot chocolate, coffee, and show/character relocations usually happen when the forecast calls for it to be cold all day...but they are not guaranteed.

 

Especially now with competition so fierce for entertainment dollars, it's nice to know USH does something like that for the guests.

 

As far as I can remember, many of SFMM's rides can actually operate in the rain. I know rain shuts down S:TE, cold weather gets ninja, and wind gets Sky Tower/Thrill Shot. Severe rain will get Goliath and RRv (the drive tires can't grip as well, causing overshoots if rain is really bad). What else am I missing?

 

Totally agreed about USH's policy. We were quite impressed with it when we were there on a rainy day in December. Plus they had that room open across from T2 and they were showing movies and stuff in there (it was Grinch because of xmas). It was a nice place to warm up and get free hot chocolate.

 

I can remember riding B:TR in the rain in the past. It was fun.

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