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Horrible Park Operations


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For a park of its size, Hershey seems to have poor operations. Not exactly horrible, but most ops seem unhappy to be working and slowly mope around. It's really a problem on Skyrush when you're left sitting on the brake run.

 

Six Flags in general isn't pretty good however. Only a couple out of the handful of parks or so I have visited have had good operations.

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I hate to say this because I normally am the parks biggest supporter, or defender, but Six Flags America has pretty crappy operations. So even when you look past the some of the comments about the guest (which seem like coded remarks about the large amount of black people that visit the park) it seems very obvious that that the park is way more invested in the wet part of the park.

 

1. They normally are running one train two at the most no matter how long lines are

2. The staff almost alway seem unhappy and disinterested

3. Their maintenance of some of their older rides like 'The Wild One" is questionable.

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Alright... I went to SFFT during Christmas Break to HiP. They were running 4 Trains on Batman (Okay), 1 Train on Poltergeist (Okay, since there isn't much popularity for this one.), 2 Trains Roadrunner (Like what? It had no line) 2 Trains on Goliath (Same story as Roadrunner) and then there was Iron Rattler... It was running One train both times I went there, easily the line could have been 30 min, but it turned into a 1:30 hour line because of the crappy one operations and the Ride ops were the most incompetent people I have seen in a while.. they even encouraged line jumping! Oh well, still worth the wait. It's an amazing ride.

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Alright... I went to SFFT during Christmas Break to HiP. They were running 4 Trains on Batman (Okay), 1 Train on Poltergeist (Okay, since there isn't much popularity for this one.), 2 Trains Roadrunner (Like what? It had no line) 2 Trains on Goliath (Same story as Roadrunner) and then there was Iron Rattler... It was running One train both times I went there, easily the line could have been 30 min, but it turned into a 1:30 hour line because of the crappy one operations and the Ride ops were the most incompetent people I have seen in a while.. they even encouraged line jumping! Oh well, still worth the wait. It's an amazing ride.

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I was surprised how disappointed I was in Kennywood's operations, mainly at the beginning of the day. Kennywood was the last major park in a long road trip through Pennsylvania with stops at MiA, CP, and SFGAdv. There were a couple things that were really odd/puzzling/frustrating for me at the beginning of the day. The first thing that was weird to me was that they opened up the park, but didn't have any of the rides operating until 1/2 hour after the park opened. This may have been mentioned on the website or elsewhere, but I did not see anything about it and is the only park I've been to where they open up the park to the GP and don't have any rides open.

 

The second and most frustrating park procedure is that they opened all of their coasters with one train...including Phantom's Revenge. I went on a gorgeous Friday at the end of July...peak season and they open up their star attraction with one train? Apparently this is normal operating procedure for them, which is mind boggling. What made matters worse was that when they finally put the second train on, the ride went down for over an hour. Overall, I liked the park and their collection of classic woodies, but it was surprising to see these odd procedures at such a major park.

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Well last year in September with my Uncle Watt, we went to SFOT, on the first day in night, he asked the ladies working when does the park open, they said 8:00 AM, and said okay but on the second day, we got to the main driving gate, my uncle asked the guy that was working there what time does he park open, he said 12:00 PM, and we said WHAT?, but on the chart it said 8:00 AM what the ladies told us, & guess what my uncle said, (HE DON'T KNOw S...!).

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I went to SFMM for the first time this past year and I could not believe how horrible operations were there. For being such a popular park you would think they would care more, but no, they don't. Not one ride had good operations. I thought BGT was bad on their off days, but BGT at its worst is probably better than SFMM at is best.

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  • 8 months later...

Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Great America had some very slow operations in 2014 when I was there. They were running two trains, but with how slowly they were dispatching, I thought they were only running one train until I got to the station and saw that they were stacking every train for at least a few minutes.

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2 years ago when I first visited SFMM,

 

Everything was running fine, I had a good experience at the park except on Scream:

 

There was no line and I've never been on a floorless. I was able to get in the car without any wait (the gates were still open) and I was waiting for the Op to lock the restraints but there were 4 people working on Scream and all of them were just chatting at the op booth. The car wasn't even half full and all of us were yelling at the ops to do their job. We got their attention and they locked the restraints and checked them, but instead of dispatching the cars, they went BACK to chatting at the booth. We yelled again but they ignored us. One on the guys behind me threw a shoe or something at them to get their attention. The dude at the booth glared at him and dispatched the cars. It took 15-20 minutes to dispatch the car. Even worse, after the ride, we were sitting on the brakes and they were STILL chatting without dispatching the second car. It took us even longer to get back in the station than it was to leave it. The WORST operation I've seen in my life

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Alright... I went to SFFT during Christmas Break to HiP. They were running 4 Trains on Batman (Okay), 1 Train on Poltergeist (Okay, since there isn't much popularity for this one.), 2 Trains Roadrunner (Like what? It had no line) 2 Trains on Goliath (Same story as Roadrunner) and then there was Iron Rattler... It was running One train both times I went there, easily the line could have been 30 min, but it turned into a 1:30 hour line because of the crappy one operations and the Ride ops were the most incompetent people I have seen in a while.. they even encouraged line jumping! Oh well, still worth the wait. It's an amazing ride.

 

I need to defend them about the 1 train operations. During Holiday events, it's very common for parks to pull trains. Since they're extending the season they still need time to rehab trains. At Great Adventure they pull a train off of all of the major coasters too, leaving 1 on Green Lantern, Superman and Batman and taking Nitro down to 2 trains.

 

This also helps them keep trains weighted down in cold temperatures as the rides aren't always a major draw and prevents them from having to send empty trains at the end of the night when it's cold and a valley is likely.

 

1 Train is better than no trains which is what we used to have in December so I'm not about to complain.

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Alright... I went to SFFT during Christmas Break to HiP. They were running 4 Trains on Batman (Okay), 1 Train on Poltergeist (Okay, since there isn't much popularity for this one.), 2 Trains Roadrunner (Like what? It had no line) 2 Trains on Goliath (Same story as Roadrunner) and then there was Iron Rattler... It was running One train both times I went there, easily the line could have been 30 min, but it turned into a 1:30 hour line because of the crappy one operations and the Ride ops were the most incompetent people I have seen in a while.. they even encouraged line jumping! Oh well, still worth the wait. It's an amazing ride.

 

I need to defend them about the 1 train operations. During Holiday events, it's very common for parks to pull trains. Since they're extending the season they still need time to rehab trains. At Great Adventure they pull a train off of all of the major coasters too, leaving 1 on Green Lantern, Superman and Batman and taking Nitro down to 2 trains.

 

This also helps them keep trains weighted down in cold temperatures as the rides aren't always a major draw and prevents them from having to send empty trains at the end of the night when it's cold and a valley is likely.

 

1 Train is better than no trains which is what we used to have in December so I'm not about to complain.

 

Yeah, SFFT's operations really aren't that bad. They've had some awful moments but are generally above average.

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Worst operations is Darien Lake, it seems they intentionally make lines longer and slower than they need to be. The park has no shade and very few places to cool down. One train on all coasters including ROS unless that changes by next season if they get another train. Now most days they don't need more than one train on each coaster except for ROS, which absolutely needs 2 trains, but you get those occasional horridly crowded days where everything that goes wrong on a park visit that can go wrong happen and having one train operations just makes it all that much more painful. Its on these days when you do not want to be anywhere near this park, problem is you don't know when those days will happen. This park also has staffing issues especially when the kids go back to college so if you go in late August or during September you will have problems. If you utilize the kiddie rides (under 48 inches only) at the park then there is usually one operator to staff a few rides, so your kids will have to go on rides in the order they are being run instead of being able to ride what they want when they want.

 

The locals just don't know any better, they don't know there are better parks out there since DL is pretty much the only option in the area for a park that at least acts like a mega-park, once you experience 2 train operation on a coaster you realize how much faster the line moves and how much smoother things go and you think to yourself my if this park only had this it might actually be worth what I paid to get in and park at this park.

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See, I agree that the one train on everything policy is maddening but I've seen other parks run 1 train on everything and be much slower. At least when the one train comes back at Darien Lake the ride operators do a mediocre job checking and dispatching it. At parks like La Ronde, Great Escape and Six Flags America (to a lesser extent than the other two) can take 5 minutes to get the train out of the station once it comes back.

 

Darien Lake is bad but it could be much worse.

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The Florida Busch parks, BGT and SWO, have always had really slow operations. Oddly enough i've been going to these parks for 15+ years and it's always been that way. Maybe Disney and Universal get all the good people and Busch is stuck with the rejects. The park in Virginia never seemed to have this problem.

 

Some of these parks I haven't been to in a long time but here are my thoughts from when I was there.

Mt Olympus and La Ronde were in the "so bad it's funny" category. Mt Olympus all the coasters only have 1 train (which isn't that big of a deal for a small park) but the attitude of the employees is poor as well. They send the train, sit on the track and wait for it to come back, yell at people, only have 1 ride op on all the rides except for Hades (which has 2). I also found it odd how none of the rides had fences around them so a little kid could easily just walk onto the track and get decked by a train.

La Ronde everything was just slow and the ride ops on all the rides were on their phones not paying any attention at all to try and dispatch trains in a timely manner. The park was also filthy with no one making any attempt to clean (seems to be a French culture thing).

 

Ocean Park had slow operations due to the phones as well. We sat in the station on Hair Raiser for at least 3-5 minutes watching them play with the phones, waiting for them to dispatch a train.

 

When I went on a tour of the SF parks a little over a decade ago (Kirean Burke era) they ALL had really bad operations except for Great America where the operations oddly were really good. A couple years later we toured all the SF parks again and they shaped up, and now are usually "normal" to hit or miss. Oddly enough Great America has some of the worst operations now.

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See, I agree that the one train on everything policy is maddening but I've seen other parks run 1 train on everything and be much slower. At least when the one train comes back at Darien Lake the ride operators do a mediocre job checking and dispatching it. At parks like La Ronde, Great Escape and Six Flags America (to a lesser extent than the other two) can take 5 minutes to get the train out of the station once it comes back.

 

Darien Lake is bad but it could be much worse.

 

If you hit a day where there isn't much of a wait then its not really an issue however again it depends on the crowds, if the park is massively crowded everything goes to pot. The last time I went the ROS wait was posted at 25 min so it was not an issue and this was with being directed to the overflow lot for parking, times before that, ROS wait was well over an hour. You can't really judge the crowd by the parking lot when you pull in, the parking lots at DL are a complete disaster with a very confusing layout and things get stolen frequently from cars there, in fact I wouldn't recommend going if you have a nice vehicle and you don't want it broken into. This is common sense but DO NOT leave anything in plain view at this park in your car, this includes an open charger port on a vehicle and marks from a GPS unit, wipe them off before locking your vehicle, yes you really need to be this paranoid there.

 

Absolutely avoid any concerts at the park unless its someone who you are dying to see and you have no other options for seeing them, it will take you 3-4 hours just to get out of the lot after the concert, you WILL get stuck in a 3-4 hour traffic jam that flat our does not move at all. If you are going to a concert, plan on leaving early, like in the middle of the concert early, or tailgating after it to avoid the crowds. Eat or drink before the concert because on the concert grounds everything is $10 or more including a single beer. Or stay at the campgrounds or hotel to avoid this situation completely so you can just head back after the concert.

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Worlds of fun has been having a very bad couple of years in ride operations. Around the time prowler opened, their operations on most of the rides were near the speed that carowinds is now. But nowadays, they're even worse than most six flags operations.

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When I went to Tivoli Gardens in August operations on Dæmonen were awful. Running one train, nearly three and a half minutes for each dispatch (with a small floorless train) and because one of the two guys checking the restraints would also let people in the station and assign them rows most of the times the train would just stop for a while before the station until he came back and pressed the button. On the following day we went to liseberg and it was sooo much better (50s dispatches on helix)

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Worlds of fun has been having a very bad couple of years in ride operations. Around the time prowler opened, their operations on most of the rides were near the speed that carowinds is now. But nowadays, they're even worse than most six flags operations.

I completely and totally disagree. No, Worlds of Fun is not as good as Silver Dollar City or Cedar Point, and they're nowhere near Disney (but honestly, who is?), but they're better than SFStL and much better than a lot of parks. The only day this entire season when everyone was truly moving slowly was back in August when it was about 160 degrees, and I frankly didn't want to move very fast either.

 

Take a trip down to Magic Springs. I guarantee you will never complain about WoF's operations again.

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they're nowhere near Disney (but honestly, who is?)

 

Just because it's my job...

 

Damn you, Bill, why must you keep reminding me that I haven't been to the greatest amusement park in existence? Seriously, though, I'm really going to make an effort to get there next year. I mean it; I've been looking at flights to PHL today. It's going to happen.

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