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I made a trip to Kings Dominion this summer and experienced one of the scariest/most careless things at an amusement park I have ever experienced in my life.

 

I was riding Anaconda and they had two attendants who were each checking one side of the train and a third running the control board. As far as I could tell what happened was, the attendant on the left side finished checking his side and gave a thumbs up. The one on the right got half way through the train and tried to signal the man behind the control board to unlock one of the cars. He saw this signal as a thumbs up and dispatched the train with half of the people still not having their restraints checked (myself included). The female who was checking the right side seemed to have frozen/started to panic and had trouble getting the man's attention. After a few seconds the female got his attention and the E-stop was pressed.

 

She finished checking the train and everything was fine, but it sure scared me half to death.

 

Has anyone else ever had a similar experience?

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The female who was checking the right side seemed to have frozen/started to panic and had trouble getting the man's attention. After a few seconds the female got his attention and the E-stop was pressed.

 

She finished checking the train and everything was fine, but it sure scared me half to death.

 

Has anyone else ever had a similar experience?

 

Don't these Arrow coasters have a second dispatch button that the attendant has to push in sync with the main booth to dispatch the ride?

 

And, regardless of the incident, you wouldn't have died if no one had checked your restraint.

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^Most coasters only have one secondary dispatch button. So it is the responsibility of that team member and the main Op to make sure that everyone else is in their safe zone.

 

Yeah, sorry, I meant that. Even with one secondary dispatch button, couldn't the other attendant at least see that his/her colleague hadn't reached the end of the station?

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Most rides if they have been built before 2000. If the ride operator lifts off the dispatch button while the ride is dispatching, the train will stop advancing. But scary none the less, we would call this an operational at Cedar Point and the person at fault would go to crowd for the rest of the day and get a Step (a document showing what happened). I'm guessing this happens here too, since it is in the same chain.

 

 

^^^they must check the every harness in case it is malfunctioning since the last dispatch.

 

^they should but this wouldn't of happened if the just took the split second to look, and the order of clears was messed up if they dispatched while people were checking the train.

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Out of the two European parks I have been to this year (Europa and Gardaland) they didn't check the restraints on any of the coasters. From what I can tell it is your responsibility to make an attendant aware if you think there is something wrong with the restraint. If a ride attendant doesn't check me, I just wiggle the restraint and if it stays there I'm fine. This has happened to me on Nemesis @ AT when I was sitting in the middle seats...

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Well, this works in Europe just fine. I too went to Europa Park this summer and it's amazing how everybody just knows what they have to do (board, pull down bar, go - simple, huh?). But I guess that America works differently and people might freak out because tradition tells that if you are going on a roller coaster, your restraint will be checked or else something is going wrong.

 

Is there any American park that does NOT check restraints on their rides?

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^I think a big part of it is because we're a "sue-happy country". I would put my restraint on myself and just waive for help if I had any problems. We would have much shorter lines in the US if we checked our own restraints, but we have a lot of dumb people here who expect everything to be done for them and people who try and break the rules by not putting on restraints (which could kill them). The only place I've been to in the US where they didn't check my restraints was Matterhorn at Disneyland. The ride dispatched before I put on my seat belt and I had to put it on going up the lift hill. At the Indiana Jones ride also at Disneyland, they dispatch the car and then it stops briefly and a cast member points a flashlight at all the seat belts to make sure they're on, which is pretty trusting of their guests compared to most ride restraint checks.

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Most rides if they have been built before 2000. If the ride operator lifts off the dispatch button while the ride is dispatching, the train will stop advancing.

 

This is mostly different by manufacturer. All the Intamin rides at CP, once you push the button, there's no stopping the trains without hitting quick stop. On most/all others, you just need to lift your finger off the button. B&M insists on the latter for every one of their rides, and what sucks even more is you have to hold the button the entire time the next train is parking too.

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It is arguably a better design to have to continuously hold the buttons. On my ride, you wouldn't believe how many times we have to stop the train because a guest tries to enter the station platform while a train is either dispatching or advancing into the station. For me it's a peace of mind thing. I've just seen many situation where if I had to push another button to stop the train a guest would have been seriously injured.

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I have to admit that even though I know better than to panic, especially since Anaconda is one of the only Arrow coasters to my knowledge that has seat belts that attach to the restraints, it still caught me off guard and just seemed odd that ride operators would be so careless.

 

I believe all Arrow rides under Cedar Fair ownership have extra seatbelts. However, the reason why ops don't check them themselves is the positioning of them; they instead ask riders to pull on them themselves.

 

Although, I was on Rotting Lumber one day when the train overshot the brakes. However, these kids in the back messed up the order, leaving some people with nowhere to sit. Additionally, the ride ops didn't even notice it had happened. That pretty much sucks.

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A couple I can think of...one could have costed a life, the other, I knew I was safe. I've shared this story plenty of times about my Drop Tower incident when we were seconds from being dispatched when my friend noticed we were not actually locked. The restraints did have quite a bit of resistance to pull up/down at the time so we really didn't realize. They don't spring up like a B&M's restraint. My friend shouted and they responded. We were then checked and finally dispatched.

 

The other was riding Wipeout at SCBB without any kind of check. I did however know I was safe as I heard the lapbar system engage. What had happened was that a kid didn't want to ride so they unlocked the restraints to let the kid off, re-locked the restraints and the ride was then started up. Again, I knew I was safe as I heard the locking mechanisms engage and heard the traditional 'ratchet' sound when I lowered the lapbar.

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At the Indiana Jones ride also at Disneyland, they dispatch the car and then it stops briefly and a cast member points a flashlight at all the seat belts to make sure they're on, which is pretty trusting of their guests compared to most ride restraint checks.

 

The Jeep will not dispatch until all seat belts register clear.

 

Most rides if they have been built before 2000. If the ride operator lifts off the dispatch button while the ride is dispatching, the train will stop advancing.

 

This is mostly different by manufacturer. All the Intamin rides at CP, once you push the button, there's no stopping the trains without hitting quick stop. On most/all others, you just need to lift your finger off the button. B&M insists on the latter for every one of their rides, and what sucks even more is you have to hold the button the entire time the next train is parking too.

 

This is true. B&Ms are pretty much all the same in terms of dispatch sequence. Intamins can vary. One Intamin I operated was programmed to where once you pressed the dispatch buttons the only way to stop vehicle movement is the emergency stop or ride stop (Same aftereffects as E-stop). The other Intamin I operated you had to press and hold the dispatch button but you could release to stop vehicle movement however if you released the buttons at the wrong point it would cause a fault that maintenance has to reset.

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^I was going to say that. When I'm checking restraints and someone is scared I say that Flight Deck goes 55 miles per hour so it goes slower than a car on a free way. That usually calms their nerves, if it doesn't I continue on with stats and if they really don't want to ride I let them off. I do know that some ride ops do joke around because when I was coming back from lunch a kid was coming off of flight deck and was told he went 100 mph. I didn't say anything because it was amusing and I needed to clock in.

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Boomerang at SFDK ride operator said something to the effect of: "Welcome to Boomerang, the oldest and most dangerous ride in the park."

 

Silver Bullet at Knott's ride operator before dispatch: "I have three last words for you: Final Destination 3!"

 

I think ride operators are completely out of line to refer to their rides as anything except "completely safe."

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