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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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Isn't it more likely the ride ops were booed for not letting her ride? I'm sorry, but I just do not see people in the station booing a child for getting measured or not being able to ride. This is my home park, and we wait on rides while children get measured and sometimes booted for being too short, and I have never, in my entire life at this park, seen the parents or child booed for any reason. Chicagoans, and Midwesterners in general, are friendly people. We don't get up in arms about waiting a few extra seconds.

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It honestly sounds like these operators get off when they decline a person to ride. There are some people in the world that seriously get a sick pleasure of making someone else miserable and that's exactly what this sounds like. 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.

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I also think the people were booing the ride ops not kt. I know we have been in line and people were booing the ride ops for not allowing a kid to ride that was just too short or vise versa we have cheered when they say the child is tall enough.

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Isn't it more likely the ride ops were booed for not letting her ride? I'm sorry, but I just do not see people in the station booing a child for getting measured or not being able to ride. This is my home park, and we wait on rides while children get measured and sometimes booted for being too short, and I have never, in my entire life at this park, seen the parents or child booed for any reason. Chicagoans, and Midwesterners in general, are friendly people. We don't get up in arms about waiting a few extra seconds.

 

I'd echo this. I've never witnessed a booing at SFGAm myself, but I would imagine (and hope) they were booing the ride ops, not a kid. The general public would always fall on the "let them ride" side of the fence, not the "let's be safe" side. Regardless, they really shouldn't be booing either way-they're either booing a ride op for trying to be safe or a kid, neither is good.

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Even if they were booing the ride ops, a kid is going to perceive it as potentially being directed at her, which is upsetting especially after a distressing situation. I only blame the operations people for making her go through that.

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Robb's FB posts were pretty depressing. I felt really bad that KT was denied to ride (BOTH times). As an older brother with 4 younger siblings, I can relate to their frustration.

 

Quick point regarding Viper's operations from my visit last week. Atrocious. Dispatches once every 4-5mins. It was at that point during my visit that I gave up and bought a flash pass.

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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.

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So grateful we have Whizzer It's one of the crown jewels of the chain.

 

Can you elaborate on this for me? I have seen you and others say this time and time again, but I simply do not understand.

 

Sorry for the delayed response, but it looks like a few others hit on what they love so much about the Whizzer. I'll add my 2 cents.

 

It's a nice long and laid-back ride; just enough thrill for anyone, but not too much. The seating is great; easily one of the most comfortable coaster trains ever. Ironic the Schwarzkopf looping trains are also super comfy - Anton knew what he was doing. Just enough to keep you very safe, yet still feel free and unencumbered. The design of the hills and curves sprawl all over the place. Nothing is rushed. The trees have grown thickly around the ride - especially that ground level/hugging curve.

 

Whizzer is a smooth, fun ride for me but nothing I would write home about. Is there something I am missing here that others see?

Probably not. Not everyone has to be in love with the Whizzer... but it certainly is special to many local folks who grew up on it (and coaster nerds, of course). For many of us, it was our first "big" coaster.

 

The same can be said about any Anton's really.

Anton coasters are rare. They feel and look very simple - and they kinda are. They are simple roller coasters. No fancy this or that; there is a little 'heartlining' in the design, but it's not overdone. One thing to note is the attention to detail. Where Arrow coasters were built with a bunch of tubes welded together, the Anton coasters had joints all over the place. Whizzer has hinged track at every support - similar to the hinges that have now shown up on RMC coasters. Mind Bender and Shockwave have ball-and-socket joints at nearly every support. There is a certain smoothness and movement to the rides that is unique. It's very subtle, but special.

 

During the 80s, when bigger and badder-assed stuff was being built, I would always give Whizzer a courtesy ride. But over the years, I've been bitten by the Anton bug and Whizzer gets more and more important to me as a coaster fan. Every Schwarzkopf coaster seems to get better with age (except for one on the west coast which is now covered in silly hardware; but I best not go there!) Mind Bender has never left my #1 spot.

 

We have all these great new steel coasters, but not one does what the Anton rides do. Designs these days feel rushed and even truncated. They don't have the same grace (or sprawl) that some Anton's do. Even the little portable models like Scorpion at BGT and Tig'ger at Indiana Beach have that special Anton magic to them. But like anything in life, you certainly don't have to love it. There are plenty of coaster nerds that could care less about the Anton coasters they've been on. I can understand that as I feel that way about B&M rides. I like em, but I'm not interested in spending much time on them.

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The denying her the ride a second time with the wristband was the biggest problem with what happened today in my mind.

 

I still, though, do not think KT was booed out of the station as was presented. The patrons at this park just don't act like that. The ride ops were being booed for a) making her get measured in the first place and/or b) denying her the ride. But, I was not there. Again, I am sure it upset her, but I don't think this makes the whole park look bad. It definitely makes the Viper team look bad!

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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.

I wasnt there so Im not going to say the ride ops took pleasure in denying someone. It's also possible that their managers have been cracking down on them out of an overabundance of fear about an accident involving someone who was let onto the ride when they were just short and they're trying to be extra safe. They probably could have moved a little faster to keep things moving and maybe the other guests wouldnt have booed (which they shouldnt anyway, thats despicable whether they knew it was a kid or not) but beyond that I dont blame them on the first attempt.

 

The wristband, though, is where I get angry. The entire point of the wristband is to have someone in the guest relations office to an official check and pre-verify the guest so the ride ops don't have to. I get that people are always going to try to game the system but if thats the case then either do something make the wristbands less fakeable or less removable or get rid of them completely. If the ride ops can just say "I dont care if you have a wristband I'm not letting you on" then the entire wristband system is bleeping pointless and does nothing more than to further aggravate the parent and traumatize the child and create a horrible experience for all involved.

 

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?)

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Sorry this is a bit off topic, but did anyone notice that the park re-themed the Cyber Cafe? I forgot the name but i was at the park yesterday and the building was painted mostly a green color and had a different name. They still have the same stuff that Cyber Cafe offered, but they re branded it.

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It is unfortunate that this situation had to boil over to such an inconvenient hassle due to an obvious gap in the understanding of the "official height" determination by guest services. However this remark is very ignorant in my opinion.

 

It honestly sounds like these operators get off when they decline a person to ride. There are some people in the world that seriously get a sick pleasure of making someone else miserable and that's exactly what this sounds like. 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.

 

I have denied children rides due to height requirements for four years in two different parks, and I have managed a few hundred ride operators over the past three years. Each and every time I have to deny someone I feel incredibly sympathetic. No one wants to tell someone or their family that they can not ride a roller coaster or any ride. I have never met an operator who gets a thrill out of denying someone for height. They are legitimately concerned for safety and their job.

 

To me, what happened at Viper seems be a result of poor training on the park policies for safety. I'm willing to bet that the operators Viper never go into their work day looking forward to turning people away.

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I'll give the benefit of the doubt for the first occurance. It's really robb vs the park as far as did they really press her head down so she wouldn't make the height requirement or was he just over exagerating. The part that gets to me hence why I believe they did press her head down is she got an UN TAMPERED wristband after and was STILL denied. That right there (plus their terrible operations from what people say) tells me these ops either get some sort of pleasure denying people or really just don't know how to do their job. As I said if she had the wrist band and they let her on without hassle ok maybe they were doing their job but denying someone after getting a wristband that was not tampered with something is very wrong. Trust me people with jobs they don't like (seems like a lot of people dont like their job at Six Flags) sometimes get a good feeling of ruining someone else's day unfortunately.

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some people are just naturally stupid. They should get fired. I mean, making a cute little girl cry! Thats about as low as you can get...

 

Let's say, hypothetically, a child was an inch too short (and there was no question about that), and the operator said no, and the child cried. Is that the employee's fault?

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some people are just naturally stupid. They should get fired. I mean, making a cute little girl cry! Thats about as low as you can get...

 

Let's say, hypothetically, a child was an inch too short (and there was no question about that), and the operator said no, and the child cried. Is that the employee's fault?

Well, Robb isn't one to stir up drama when it isn't needed, so I believe him when he says that the ride op pushed her head down.

 

And if the ride op didn't push her head down, that would have to mean that the measuring sticks around the park are inconsistent, which would be even more ridiculous.

 

SFGAM is a great park, but they have the worst employees out of any park I've been to (including Mount Olympus). I think the issue is training.

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some people are just naturally stupid. They should get fired. I mean, making a cute little girl cry! Thats about as low as you can get...

 

Let's say, hypothetically, a child was an inch too short (and there was no question about that), and the operator said no, and the child cried. Is that the employee's fault?

Well, Robb isn't one to stir up drama when it isn't needed, so I believe him when he says that the ride op pushed her head down.

 

And if the ride op didn't push her head down, that would have to mean that the measuring sticks around the park are inconsistent, which would be even more ridiculous.

 

SFGAM is a great park, but they have the worst employees out of any park I've been to (including Mount Olympus). I think the issue is training.

 

You think they have worse employees than Mt. Olympus? That's a complete joke, sorry.

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Having two young boys that are on the short end of the height range for their age, height restrictions play a large roll in a typical day at the park for our family. Two years ago was the first summer that my oldest was over 42" and finally able to ride a roller coaster at our home park SFStL. I measured him at home and had him around 42.75". Upon entering the park we went straight to guest services to get him a wristband. Most of the day was fine, until we went to ride Pandemonium. We boarded the car with no problems, but then one of the ops standing along the wall came over to the car to check his height. We showed him his wrist band and he really didn't care and made him go get measured. Not that big of a deal, but they had to stop the car (those of you who don't know, typically the cars move continuously through the loading station). I remembering asking him what the point of the wristband was if they were just going to measure him anyway and he just shrugged me off. We rode the coaster and my son loved it. The line was a walk on, so my wife and I switch places so she could ride with him and I took command of the toddler and the same jerk pulled the same exact stunt less than 10 minutes apart. That really ticked me off and still does a little to this day.

 

I've always wondered just how accurate the height measurement stations are outside of rides. I've seen several parks that have platforms there so that the ground is level for a more accurate reading, but often times I see them on uneven ground or it seems like it starts an inch off the ground. I've often wondered just how accurate they are since they rarely seem to line up with our at home measurements or even that of our doctor's office. When I was single or when we were married before children, height requirements didn't matter. Now with two young boys, it definitely plays a role in how you plan your day and even to which parks I'm willing to attend.

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I have a daughter who's borderline 36 inches, and we go to SFGAm a lot. She gets measured on a few rides, and we've never had any problems. The most annoying thing that's ever happened was on some kids ride where the one employee was measuring EVERYBODY, even children who were very obviously far over the height limit. Not the worst thing in the world I guess, but it made loading take forever.

 

Basically, I think (at worst) the situation that happened was maybe just one bad employee - and, really, without having seen what happened it's kind of debatable on how bad it was. Let's say the employee measured her the first time and was POSITIVE that she wasn't tall enough. When the same person came back a little later with the wristband, he might have remained so convinced that she wasn't tall enough that he disregarded the wristband. Probably not the best behavior in the world, but it seems a least possible that he was actually worried about her safety. There are two sides to every story.

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I've always wondered just how accurate the height measurement stations are outside of rides. I've seen several parks that have platforms there so that the ground is level for a more accurate reading, but often times I see them on uneven ground or it seems like it starts an inch off the ground. I've often wondered just how accurate they are since they rarely seem to line up with our at home measurements or even that of our doctor's office.

 

I always wondered that too then I worked a Disney for a year several years back and part of the opening procedures every morning for the ride was to take a measuring tape to the height sticks and check their height. I was surprised they took that much effort to ensure they are right - I doubt other parks do.

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This is an incredibly odd situation. I went to Six Flags New England on the 20th with my father and little brother. My little brother is right on the 54-inch mark, and I doubted the possibility of him getting on Bizarro. They measured him and said he was good to go, both at the entrance and in the station. If my little brother can get on those rides, why can't KidTums? Must be a Great America thing.

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I've always wondered just how accurate the height measurement stations are outside of rides. I've seen several parks that have platforms there so that the ground is level for a more accurate reading, but often times I see them on uneven ground or it seems like it starts an inch off the ground. I've often wondered just how accurate they are since they rarely seem to line up with our at home measurements or even that of our doctor's office.

 

I always wondered that too then I worked a Disney for a year several years back and part of the opening procedures every morning for the ride was to take a measuring tape to the height sticks and check their height. I was surprised they took that much effort to ensure they are right - I doubt other parks do.

 

I think it's safe to say that what Disney does =/= what is standard in the industry. We just went to Disney earlier this summer and knew which rides my youngest wouldn't be able to ride ahead of time and planned accordingly. We did check once on Mission Space and their measurements did seem to land exactly where I thought they would, just a tad short.

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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?

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I'm sorry to hear about your negative experience. This is nothing "typical" from what I have seen at the park (as my home park, I make frequent visits) and Viper's crew is usually (emphasis on usually because I know things can change from one crew to the next immensely) one of the best, with very efficient dispatches and very engaged ride ops. Sorry to hear you caught it at a bad time.

 

I've heard nothing about any crew in the park pushing down on someone's head to alter their height before this, usually they slip a straightedge and apply force only towards the measuring rule. Glad to hear it all got resolved but at the same time it's an unfortunate incident that ultimately shouldn't have to happen.

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