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Skycoastin' Steve's 2012 Season Extravaganza!!


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It's a shame the operations are so horrid because that is my only gripe with the park (that, and Skyrush's station), and it's a HUGE gripe. Fantastic job with the pictures! I'm a sucker for closeup shots of rides capturing the facial expressions of unsuspecting riders, they really show Skyrush's true colors. Though I'm wondering if the floods of happy riders is because a lot of the visitors that Saturday were coaster enthusiasts who live for airtime. I know I ran into so many that day. But yeah, I couldn't agree more with layers of SSSOA stamps for Skyrush, awesome report.

BTW, the pictures of the socks blow my mind!

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^Honestly though, I have to say, the entire ride (in my opinion) is kinda ugly. I mean, it looks like it rides absolutely AMAZING, but the yellow track with blue supports looks pretty terrible, and the lift structure is very industrial looking.

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Great report! Did you let the park know your concerns about capacity on Skyrush? It's really *OK* if we, as coaster geeks (whether or not we are representing a coaster club) take the time to give the park constructive criticism. It could HELP them. If they don't get letters, calls and probably most importantly those filled out forms at guest relations - then they will remain complacent.

 

There is a way to complain in a very polite and nice way. Fill out the forms, write the letters. Don't be in the "Well... I don't like to complain" lemming/spineless crowd. Let them know. Trust me, you would be doing everyone a favor.

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Thanks for the report and pictures!

 

Slow, uninterested ride ops, idiotic procedures (like the wait till the station empties of every last living soul before opening the gates for the next train, although that's nothing new), zero ability to adapt to situations like guests being too large for noodles (we watched as the Roller Soaker crew took probably 5 minutes to figure out what to do when someone was too big).

 

This is what I experienced all day, on nearly every ride during my first and only trip to Hersheypark a few years ago. And I'm sad to see that nothing has changed. Who on earth is training their operators?

 

On the subject of filling as many seats as possible on a 4-across coaster, I realize it can be difficult to do. But at the very least, they should have a grouper directing traffic and making announcements over the PA system for waiting guests to form groups of 4. I imagine with 2 different types of seats to choose from, this becomes all the more difficult, as guests try to wait for specific seats.

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I am about 100% sure that if they had a single rider queue (the kind where you sit where you are told, and that's that...) they would have full trains continuously. Some people don't care, they just wanna ride...

 

Couldn't agree with you more. A single rider line would help fill in the gaps, but where would they put it in an already cramped station? How could they even change it so that you could exit on the other side of the station. The transfer track for the train maintenance bay is in the way, and the lift hill stairs are to the front. I was talking with a ride op, as I was buckling into my seat (back row, left side, wing seat...most intense ride I've ever had on a coaster), and he said that the single sided station is miserable. Those storage carousels don't work right either...nice idea...just fails on the execution.

 

Great trip report Steve!!

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What were they thinking with that single-sided station? Unless there are separate load and unload zones you have to have both sides. There is no possible way to make a single-sided station with a combined load and unload zone work as efficiently as a double-sided one or one with separate load and unload zones.

 

Excellent TR, though!

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I really liked your report Steve. It sounds like the park hasn't changed much since I last visited for Storm Runner's inaugural season. Which is not a good thing.

 

Man the coaster looks "naked" around the lift hill section. It reminds me of a coaster in No Limits in great need of supports, but I'm glad they didn't tear out any trees for it. Shame about the employees because I've been dealing with unhappy coworkers at work (Steve, I know you work at Outback too, so you probably know what I'm talking about). They constantly whine about everything and it; of course, affects their tips. Amusement park employees are another breed, but I'm sure management needs to step it up for better operations.

 

Keep it up man.

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When I rode it I noticed the lap bar pressure is a little less sitting in the middle compare to the wing seats. But yeah as was said, they were waiting until everyone exited and cleared the station before letting the next group on=long dispatch time. I did like the lazy susan bag drops they put in though. But I wish the lapbars didn't cause so much tightness. I mean it's so good a ride in hurts and the air is great but maybe this could be a good nickname for it........"Thighcrush".........

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I think they only option would be to somehow turn the currently holding block zone before the transfer and station into a unload station. They would have to extend a platform around that part. The section would still function as a block but also an unload. Riders and get off the train and the train will then advance into the load station similar to the way Manta at SWSD does with the restraints already up. Of course, ideally, they would have to design a path that leads straight to the photo booth before letting guest back into the midway. The current unload path can then be turned into a single riders line. Now that I am thinking though. I wonder if the reduction brakes would then have to be modified to actually be able to stop the train completely... It looks like it already can do that, im just not sure because the train in the videos I've seen, continues through it with some speed. Chances of such happening, probably never. But HEY, one can hope.

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I think they only option would be to somehow turn the currently holding block zone before the transfer and station into a unload station. They would have to extend a platform around that part. The section would still function as a block but also an unload. Riders and get off the train and the train will then advance into the load station similar to the way Manta at SWSD does with the noodles already up. Of course, ideally, they would have to design a path that leads straight to the photo booth before letting guest back into the midway. The current unload path can then be turned into a single riders line. Now that I am thinking though. I wonder if the reduction brakes would then have to be modified to actually be able to stop the train completely... It looks like it already can do that, im just not sure because the train in the videos I've seen, continues through it with some speed. Chances of such happening, probably never. But HEY, one can hope.

 

This would work. With 2 trains and a really fast ride time they wouldn't need any more blocks. This is assuming they use the same program now where the train follows the previous one into the station as it goes up the lift so that the unload area would be clear by the time the train climbing the lift reaches the top.

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^True.... So I guess this would solve the problem. Granting them ability to be mor efficient in terms of filling seats with single riders and guest not complaining about sitting and being stappled. This also means that the current Loose Article bins would have to be retired. But IMO, I don't think they should've let them into the line in the first place. They should just have free lockers. So hopefully HP can cough up some money and buiding second platform, have Intamin come back out some slight re-programming, and WALAA! They certainly have the space behind the station to build this plaform and it wouldn't have to be as big.

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I think we can all agree that something has to be done about that station. I even wonder if there's a way they could build a staircase off the back of the station for people to use as an exit. I didn't look that closely at the back of the station to see if it's even possible, but I find it impossible to believe that there's absolutely no way they could have people unload on the other side and still make it work.

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^The problem is that the far side of the station is taken up by the lift stairs, the operator booth, a maintenance hallway to the transfer, and the transfer track behind it. There's really no place a stairwell can be built easily, though I'm sure they could make some big modifications.

 

The only problem with an unload station is that they'll need to rework the brake runs a bit - they would need to be able to bring trains to a stop before the unload station, then have room for the unload station before the transfer track (the train currently stops over the transfer section). That might require some reworking of the preliminary brakes and the turn over Comet, but if Intamin can redesign the I305 turn, they can redesign this too.

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^The problem is that the far side of the station is taken up by the lift stairs, the operator booth, a maintenance hallway to the transfer, and the transfer track behind it. There's really no place a stairwell can be built easily, though I'm sure they could make some big modifications.

 

The only problem with an unload station is that they'll need to rework the brake runs a bit - they would need to be able to bring trains to a stop before the unload station, then have room for the unload station before the transfer track (the train currently stops over the transfer section). That might require some reworking of the preliminary brakes and the turn over Comet, but if Intamin can redesign the I305 turn, they can redesign this too.

 

They can have the exit platform on the left side of the track and the unload station area can still be used as the transfer.

 

Also, here is the front and back of the station for reference. No room for stairs anywhere:

 

 

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^That whole brake run can park 2 trains, I've seen a picture. I think this would be a fantastic idea!

 

Two trains with one on the transfer, or two trains with both far enough back to allow the transfer to be free to slide over when needed?

 

They can have the exit platform on the left side of the track and the unload station area can still be used as the transfer.

 

Riders on the right side still need a platform to step down onto before crossing to the left to exit. That platform can't be in the way of the transfer piece, so any unload station would need to be located probably 10-20ft before the small turn into the station, which then cuts into that stretch's ability to hold two trains if need be.

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A single rider line would be great, but only if used effectively. There has to be a somewhat dedicated person to quickly spot and assign empty seats.

 

With ride operations how they are, I don't think Skyrush could handle a single rider line.

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