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Roller Coaster Etiquette


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Me and my buddy were at Hershey Park earlier today and we were in line for the front row of the Great Bear. It's a 4 across inverted roller coaster, I'm sure most of us are aware of it's type. So I noticed that there was a couple, about two rotations in front of us, who were immediately proceed by 2 groups of 3 people. I politely asked the group in front of me if we could squeeze ahead in line so we could fill the two seats left by the couple, and they were cool with it. Me and my friend move up and then I ask the next group right as the train that we would have been on rounds the corner on to the brakes. In the rudest possible way they declined us getting on the ride to fill out the row.

 

The way I've always been taught is if there's one person to fill an empty seat, you should be courteous and let one person get on and fill the row. I generally allow this to happen because it seems like it makes the line run a lot quicker. So I have a question, if a person or group is able to fill a row on a train, is it acceptable for them to be let ahead? If so, why? If not, why not?

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Yes, they should be allowed to! I really don't see the problem. Generally when I go to Elitch's, I'm the only one in my group who will ride the Intamin Drop tower. There are almost always 1 seat left open. I could be near the back and ask to take the seat and the employees will let me up. At one time they used to yell "Any single riders" and then you could take the seat. I don't see the problem in this...

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This involves two issues .... Efficiency and sociology ....

 

 

Clearly the most efficient way for a ride to operate is with all the seats filled.

 

The social aspect involves, communicating to the people around you of your planned actions and reasons for doing it.

 

So now we look at the lowest common denominator issue. You need to express verbally in a succinct matter your reasons for your actions. A good choice choice of words might be " hey buddy, I'm jumping in those empty seats" or "if you aren't going to sit there, I am"

 

Etiquette, unfortunately, goes out the window in situations with strangers in mass. Such is human nature.

 

So yeah, you are doing the right thing trying to fill those seats, but understand the folks around you might not feel that way. Etiquette is social protocol and only works if those around you are aware of the protocol.

 

 

...this after school special is sponsored by rich, creamy ovaltine.....

.....the more you know....

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The way I see it, the more seats filled the better. Makes the ride run faster on the track and in the queue. I always let people in front of me to fill the seats and have been asked if I want to move ahead or even asked myself. Every time it has worked with out any problems.

 

Sorry to hear about your run in, but some people's worlds only revolve around themselves

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I ask all the time if I can go ahead of people to fill an empty seat. I have never had anyone say no.

 

If the ride operators took intiative to fill up a train, then this flux would not happen.

 

The only ride I have ever seen that happen at except Disney parks is at Kingda Ka. If there is an empty seat or seats, they will ask for single riders to fill in those seats. I think it's because they want a full train to have less of a chance of a rollback.

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This issue really perturbs me.

When I am next in line, I have tried both asking the person/group and just getting on. Since no one has ever objected, nowadays I just get on the ride without asking, whether seating is 2-across or 4-across. However, I have heard of people who have actually refused to ride with a stranger. That's what I'm concerned about.

I think you're talking about when you're not next in line, which is obviously more of an issue. (What I described above is really more just me being paranoid.) I'm not really comfortable with asking to move ahead, but if someone offers to let me then I'll gladly do it. My only concern is if one person suggests it but other people in front of me don't understand and think it's wrong. That's never happened to me, though.

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Typically, at CGA riding Flight Deck (Same kind of coaster as Great Bear) all 4 seats are either full, or only 2 riders. People (in groups of 2) seem to not ride with other groups of 2 on 4-across seating. My cousin and I on the other hand will fill in the gap where possible. Say that 2 people ahead of me are sitting down, we'll grab the other 2. I know it won't do much to capacity but I figure every little bit helps. When my cousin and I are next in line, the other 2 seats next to us remain empty due to the idea stated above, or they have a group of 4.

 

As far as courtesy goes, people often ask "Hey, do you want to go ahead so our group can be with the group next to us?" (Happens on 2-across seating) so we'll go for it. We'll let people go ahead as well if they want to ride next to their group out of being nice. If larger than 2 of us, we'll do the same and let people ahead of us so that the rest of the crew next row over can ride with us.

 

And then there's the line jumpers we all know about...

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Yes, they should be allowed to! I really don't see the problem. Generally when I go to Elitch's, I'm the only one in my group who will ride the Intamin Drop tower. There are almost always 1 seat left open. I could be near the back and ask to take the seat and the employees will let me up. At one time they used to yell "Any single riders" and then you could take the seat. I don't see the problem in this...

We still do, and not just for single riders, but for groups of two also. On Mind Eraser, rapid ride/VIP groups often cause problems with groups of people riding in separate rows because when one of their rows become occupied by the VIP's, the family/group decides to all wait to ride together and leave empty rows. Quite often there will be a long line for the front and empty for rows behind because others in line don't notice the spots. In all cases, I call out for all rows to be filled and invite groups of one or two to ride in them. That can also improve someone's day at the park by being brought to the front of the line to sit in an empty row and reduce their time in line. We try to fill empty rows on popular rides like Ghost Blasters where there are 2 rows in a car, which the only problem I have ever seen is couples wanting a car to themselves, however guests in line have always seemed okay with this even if someone is being brought from the back of a long line.

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I always try to take advantage of empty seats on rides, it just makes complete sense. Not just because it's more convenient for myself, but because it benefits basically everyone in line, even if it only saves a couple seconds of wait time. When you multiply the few seconds to a minute or so of wait time filling saves by the amount of opportunities to fill seats, it could add up to ten to twenty minuets of queuing time saved, just by doing something so minuscule. The problem is that allot of people simply don't understand this, and I don't blame them either (since I realize coaster nerds barely account for a tiny percentage of the population. )

 

The point is that parks need to inform people better, simply by putting signs up that tell people to try and fill all available seats, and teaching the operating crew to realize the importance of seat filling, Since it's their job to be coaster experts weather they like it or not. This really shouldn't be a big deal, it should just be like clockwork for well operated parks.

 

The social aspect is a complexly different problem, however. Decent people shouldn't make a huge deal about it, and if they aren't sure a short, simple explanation is all that's really necessary. The problem is that just about anywhere you go your bound to run into stupid people, that's just the way life works. Allot of stupid people are either too rude or ignorant to listen to others and they think that after they've waited long enough to get on the ride, it's basically their turn to be as selfish with it as they want. If you run into rude people who won't listen just let the ride operators know and hopefully they will fix everything.

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This is the reason that Single Rider lines were invented.

 

Whenever I go to a park, 90% of the time, I'm all by myself. In order to not wait as long, I always ask to sit in an empty seat. But when I ask, I ask in the most polite way possible. So far, I've only been turned down twice (both times by teenage girls )

 

So yeah, it's perfectly ok.

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At Cedar Point, 9 out of 10 times this happens because of groups wanting to ride on the same train. The "waiting" group will usually ask another group to cut them though.

 

I have heard some ride ops saying, "Hey there are (x) seats open if you want to ride right now." They should really enforce this better, because I and many others have taken advantage of this.

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More attentive groupers, or any grouper at all in some circumstances, would alleviate most of this issue. You would expect that people in a civilized society would naturally understand how to work these situations out to the mutual benefit of all involved, but such is simply not the case some of the time. Far too many people are much more concerned with only themselves and their own group. All of us probably fall into that category to some degree at times.

 

Personally, I often enjoy the dynamic of being placed with other groups of riders, particulary on higher capacity ride vehicles like rapids rafts. After all, we all share the same goal of having fun during our day at a park. What's wrong with sharing that with a few more people than we might have otherwise? It really costs nothing more than a "hello" and a smile. The last time I checked, those were free.

 

The circumstances under which I feel it would be completely acceptable to let empty seats go on a vehicle would be when a person in a group suffers from a social disorder that may not be readily apparent. These types of things can sometimes be confused as rudeness on the part of the party that wishes to ride with only members of their group and it is really no one else's business what anyone's particular disability may be. Of course, that can also lead to misuse or abuse of a park's policy relating to such matters, so there is a bit of a catch-22 there. As long as someone isn't obviously queue jumping, I ordinarily have no issue with reasonably well thought out last minute adjustments to queue order that are mutually beneficial, or cause no unreasonable delay to the yielding party. (a train or 2 just isn't much in the grand scheme of things) At the same time, don't allow yourself to simply be pushed around by those who would try to take advantage of your kind nature.

 

I have been the beneficiary of people's good nature in such situations, and have also yielded to groups when it seemed appropriate. It's not like I keep score, but I think if you're reasonable and fair about it, it all comes out pretty close to even in the end. The main thing is to enjoy yourself and have fun while at a park. Don't let little things get in your way of that. Be courteous to those around you and karma (or whatever else you'd like to call it) will see to it that things work out as they should for you. Take some comfort that karma will also see to it eventually that those that would take unfair advantage of you will receive exactly what they deserve as well. You may not always see it happen, but it does.

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Yea I figured as much.

 

Another question, in a 5th wheel group, should relationships get factored into the ride pairing 100% of the time? I hate getting yelled for sitting with my friend's gf for the one ride she'd sit with me over him because I'm actually fun to ride with.

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^ Haha, that reminds me of last time I went to Elitch's with my friends. I went with 3 friends of 1 who had never rode the Mind Eraser (first time at the park, for that matter). So when we were at the station they started arguing over who could sit with me They all know of my super coaster fanaticism and like sitting with me cause I'm so experienced with coasters

The first time rider ended up sitting next to me.

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Yea I figured as much.

 

Another question, in a 5th wheel group, should relationships get factored into the ride pairing 100% of the time? I hate getting yelled for sitting with my friend's gf for the one ride she'd sit with me over him because I'm actually fun to ride with.

We do it more of who comes to the park less get to pick. So if a guest were visiting my home park as a group of three, they get the best seats and wherever they want to ride.

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Am I the only one that plays grouper too?

 

If there are going to be 2 seats available in my row (on a B&M for instance) I try to advertise that 2 seats are available.

 

Sometimes it works, sometimes the groups just stare at me like I have two heads.

 

And to me the last question is kinda crazy. If someone is so insecure abou their relationship with their girlfriend/boyfriend then they probably don't need to be out in public.

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