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Best and Worst Rides for Maintenance

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Another ride I want to add is the S&S Sky Swatter. Six Flags New England just removed their's this year (Catapult) and now the only one left is at Thorpe Park. While the ride was fun, the restraints were kind of painful and it was frequently closed. I overheard employees by the ride talking about how much the park's maintenance staff hated Catapult and found it a pain in the you know what. I wonder if this is the main reason S&S stopped making them.

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It still baffles me how SFGAm ops can double stack a ride that only has seatbelts.


Watch the ride operate really carefully next time (NOT when you are on it) and you might get a hint about if it is because of the ride ops or maybe something else...


As for what you guys are saying, it sounds like you're looking more at it from a "what has the best up time / down time?" I general, I think of a bad ride to maintain as those that cost the most to keep running, and unless you're privy to the budget for various parks, it's hard to make generalizations. If Intamins go down more often, but it is a $10 part that can be quickly replaced versus a B&M that would go down and it is a $5,000 part, I'd tend to say that the Intamin would be better, even if it did whatever it's problem was 10 times for every one B&M problem.


Having said that, I have heard that the rides with the best cost per ride to maintain are easily B&M coasters. The worst are Vekoma. Obviously, it depends on the ride itself, but that is what I've heard in general. I've also heard though that the more complex the ride system, the more that it costs to maintain, so something complex (launch versus chain lift, for instance) is going to cost a magnitude more.


Finally, to whomever mentioned it was generally the brakes that were messed up on certain types of rides, there are only a limited amount of things that *can* go wrong to begin with - essentially, you have brakes, switches, train errors, and the lifting or launch mech. The older the ride is, the less complexity in generally the majority of the ride (trains, lifts), so it sort of magnifies any other problems with the other parts. It is extremely rare for regular maintenance to be performed on the track of non-wooden coasters, so that really limits where maintenance needs to be done.


It doesn't necessarily mean it is cheaper though, as was already mentioned keeping old rides with obsolete systems operating can be very costly, which is why parks will sometimes invest in modernizing the ride controls, even though that adds a much higher level of complexity for things potentially going wrong.

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Chance makes a good flat ride in my opinion. All of our Chance flats at Waldameer are very reliable (Sea Dragon, Wipeout, Giant Gondola Wheel, Merry-Go-Round). Even the C.P. Huntington train runs well despite the wide array of components. Rarely do these rides experience downtime more than a couple hours, if that. Also, all of these except the train are approaching or over 20 years old. Rarely does maintenance complain about being plagued with issues on Chance rides.


Contrary to Chuck's post about Holiday World's former Eyerly Spider, "Paul Revere's Midnight Ride," our model is actually very low-maintenance to keep running properly. Periodically, the clutches need tightening for the spinning and oscillation, but that's about it for heavy work. Downtime on Spider is very rare and short the few times it occurs. The mechanic in charge of that ride absolutely loves working on that ride as it's easy to access components and maintain them. Operating Spider can be very challenging though.



As for the worst rides when it comes to maintenance, the Zamperlas can be pretty moody. Even the smaller rides like our Rockin' Tug and Tea Cups like to nickle and dime us and get caught up in more hours of maintenance than average. Thankfully, Zamperla's service is excellent which has made repairing these rides less painful.


Lastly, S&S Frog Hoppers stink. This simple ride is very temperamental, and likes to mysteriously not operate properly for operators, but runs just fine when maintenance runs it. It always seems like the Frog Hopper is up to no good.

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^Now that you mention Chance, I'm not sure if the Chance Chaos has been mentioned yet or not. Most that ran were nightmares. At Darien Lake, the biggest and most problematic ride currently is Ride of Steel. Even something as simple as a person being to large to ride can have a ten minute delay. Just my last visit, a mechanic was trying to manually release a train from the brake section. Something shot out at him and cut him badly. Then the passengers were evacuated via ladder.

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I would have to say the best rides for maintenance are S&S Shot Towers, they do not have as many moving parts, and the longest I ever remember Big Shot at Stratosphere being down is a week at most, normally annually. And that is not bad for the rides location.


Worst I would say are aging coasters, so many spot welds etc. You can look at any older coaster and see weld marks and sometimes even additions to the coaster ties. Track pieces on steel coasters are replaced more often than we may think.

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Montezooma's Revenge at KBF seems to break down daily when I'm working. Not looking forward to that when I start operating it haha.

Almost every time I go, it's up and running well. I've only been to the park maybe once or twice when it wasn't operating...maybe I'm just lucky.

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I've been to Cedar Point twice this year, and both times, it seems that Gatekeeper is a bit of a lemon already

Agree with this. Gatekeeper broke down six times in total during my three-day visit this summer. There was once the train stuck on the lift hill and riders were going down from the catwalk. Also the Dice Machine at Happy Valley Shanghai was a maintenance nightmare.

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Having worked for a BG park, I would say B&M has some of the best for maintenance.

Worst-many water-related rides. The pumps, the ride/track area, the lift and the control units. The ride vehicles require ALOT of maintenance in the off-season to keep them running efficient during the peak season. It is amazing at the amount of off-season work BGW goes through to get the rides ready for the next season.

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