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The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

P. 639: Montezooma's Revenge major renovations announced!

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Hopefully this addition is the pre cursor to a larger installment at Knott's, the likes of which hasn't been seen for 11 years. Obviously Voyage will be a hit with the GP, but with the way enthusiasts see right through it (quality wise), it could mean that something big is on the horizon.

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I would imagine that the combination of Oceaneering and Sally will produce much better results. I would also imagine Six Flags put more money into those rides...

 

Reports from the park today was that the line was moving ridiculously slow to the point that it moved quicker from people leaving the queue than people loading onto the ride. Hope they can get that part dialed in to get close to the theoretical max (which I guess is 800pph).

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I had no idea the capacity was going g to be so bad. Why in the world would they have installed a ride with crap capacity? I've not been to KBF in 10 years, but I do remember it getting quite packed.

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I had no idea the capacity was going g to be so bad. Why in the world would they have installed a ride with crap capacity? I've not been to KBF in 10 years, but I do remember it getting quite packed.

 

They're still have problems with the ride.. My friend who is one of the RO's said it went down 4 times today, and that there's something about the ride system that is making loading and unloading specifically a huge pain (didn't get the details). TrioTech told the park (and Cedar Fair) that the capacity was 800/hr, which is pretty decent. It just seems like that was a very idealistic estimate.

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I was honestly surprised about Iron Reef, because I had no expectations left, back then when I heard it'll be "a game" more than a ride. Actually, it's more of a true dark-ride than WGM. So don't take my comment as a heartless bashing toward KBF or Trio-Tech or anyone. Just me being nitpicky.

 

Ok, so the first physical scenes are really cool, however some details are really bothering me (spoiler: I'll talk about the projectors).

 

The doors, oh-my, the doors. At least the second one as a nice metal-thing patern printed on it... But seriously, look at their bottom! The black sheet, and even more the company logo is just so out of place...

 

Iron0.jpg.3c2bd1bd1402c777c5491026d6333f80.jpg

watch?v=6Ox3wSrgnQk

 

I'm happy for you Rytec, but come on...

 

Then, my biggest questioning is about the diving room. Why on Earth can we see underwater before our dive???

 

Iron1.jpg.4305f64fe938469a30fee4d7e01deee2.jpg

watch?v=6Ox3wSrgnQk

 

A third door would have been welcomed in here, plus you'd be fully enclosed, and that'd makes you feel in a submarine more than a corridor. At least the on-screen video is really cool.

 

Then the mist curtain is really neat, I love it!

 

But then...

 

Iron2.jpg.e294f2852847e24fe630ffdf753c3e36.jpg

watch?v=6Ox3wSrgnQk

 

Oh come on. How can you dare to say you have to turn around and really be looking for it to see the projectors? You're basically looking at a bland wall (the artwork looks nice, but it's not highlighted at all), and you have two strong lights facing at you. It's not only visible, it's eye-catching! If they were only visible, it wouldn't matter that much (actually the others are not bothering me).

 

The last flaw I see in this ride is the intergration of the screens. In the end, I don't know if that was a good idea to set the screens into some physical rockworks. On those rides, there are two kind of screens:

- The window-type, that does basically what a windows would do ; gives you a peek of what's behind it. It is set in a space.

- The virtual world-type, that is like a movie screen. You're not in the ride building anymore, but fully immerged into the screen.

 

And Iron Reef mixes them both. Their settings is making them looking like windows : ok, so you're looking through a hole in the rocks, you're still physically in the set - but then, their content is like a virtual world, where it induces a motion, a movement.

In the end, and from POVs only, I find WGM to be more immersive on the CG side, because the surrounding of the screens is pitch-black, and thus you're fully immerged into the screens.

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I was able to ride Iron Reef during the employee party and I was impressed despite all of the issues. My only real complaint is that I wish it was darker inside. It feels like you can see too much and doesn't really feel immersive. Aside from all the other problems let's hope for the best because as of now the ride has become a thorn in the side of most of the RO's and team leads up there. Apparently yesterday they had only one train operation with a 3 hour queue.

 

I'm just saying this the curse of "rides 25". All of the other rides before Iron Reef that had the radio code rides 25 were Perilous Plunge and Windseeker and look what happened

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Capacity issues were on full display yesterday. Not only was the queue terribly long and slow, with three hour wait reported by ride staff at mid-afternoon, but the disabled access queue moved at a glacial pace usually only seen at overcrowded ERs. The poor ride ops stuck managing that queue needed the patience of UN diplomats to keep everything civil.

 

The worst problem? Anyone and everyone who was using a blue card was required to access the load/unload area via the elevator along with those using a wheelchair or ECV. Up on the 2nd level, the holding platform the elevator lead to was not big enough to hold more than a dozen or so riders. If there were any wheelchairs or ECVs brought up to the 2nd level, that number would be cut in half. This low capacity compounded the low ride capacity that needed disabled parties only boarding every third or fourth train that went by, or else the regular queue simply wouldn't move. As a result only a couple disabled groups were sent up the elevator at a time, with period of 45 minutes or more going by with no movement in the queue at all. Then after a supposed ride breakdown earlier in the day, some disabled groups were escorted through the queue or around it and sent up the elevator by ride staff. With no way to see or understand any of this, some waiting in the disabled queue began loudly voicing complaints at the ride staff, started accusing other riders of violating the rules regarding max number of accompanying riders, etc. Some parties began splitting up sending some to sit and wait nearby or taking kids into the arcade to pass the time only to attempt to rejoin the remaining members of their party reached the front of the queue, further angering those around and especially behind them.

 

The ride staff handled this pretty well IMO. They were patient and willing to explain as best they could to any guest who would come and ask. I even saw them provide a folding chair to one guest with a mobility issue who couldn't stand for all that time but couldn't sit on the concrete either. It was clear to me that they were doing their best to make the best of the bad situation they were placed in.

 

The biggest problem to me was the issue of requiring EVERYBODY to go through the elevator. When there was a stairway built for FastLane that hooked up to that same queue free and clear of obstruction, there really was no reason why some in the disabled queue that didn't need the elevator couldn't have been sent up that stairway to join the regular queue. I was told by the ride staff that wasn't allowed because of the additional wait on the second level, but the alternative was requiring everyone in the disabled queue to stand and wait on the ground level and not move at all for much longer than that additional wait would have been. Despite this, no riders except FastLane were ever allowed up that stairway yesterday. I hope this is something the park management will recognize as a potential solution should the disabled queue be similarly overwhelmed in the future.

 

 

On the topic of solutions to long waits because of low capacity, to restate, this ride DESPERATELY needs a Single Rider Line! It really can't come soon enough.

 

 

As far as the ride itself goes, everybody seemed to have favorable reaction to the ride despite the long slog in the queue. I didn't hear one complaint or mention of visible projectors. Kids seemed to enjoy it. Parents were talking about similarities to Midway Mania at DCA. I think once the newness wears off, this ride will essentially be the Midway Mania of Knott's, especially with its capacity issues. Most likely 30-45min waits during the day. It's a solid addition to the Knott's ride lineup. It might not be at the top of the list of the most thrill-seeking battle-hardened ride enthusiasts out there, but it's great for families and those just looking to have a fun time while visiting the park.

 

Also, to restate, this ride DESPERATELY needs a Single Rider Line.

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Each train can hold a max of 8 people. At a 1 minute load time that will be 480 people per hour. The load times will need to drop to 35 to 45 seconds for the waits to be under 2 hrs. It's a good ride and worth riding over and over. It just has a very poor capacity.

Edited by Jerome
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Each train can hold a max of 8 people. At a 1 minute load time that will be 480 people per hour. The load times will need to drop to 35 to 45 seconds for the waits to be under 2 hrs. It's a good ride and worth ride over and over. It just has a very poor capacity.

 

My RO friend said that the goal is 25 seconds, but between slow guests and the ride computer being spazzy with opening/closing the car, they're not making it.

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Each train can hold a max of 8 people. At a 1 minute load time that will be 480 people per hour. The load times will need to drop to 35 to 45 seconds for the waits to be under 2 hrs. It's a good ride and worth riding over and over. It just has a very poor capacity.

 

My RO friend said that the goal is 25 seconds, but between slow guests and the ride computer being spazzy with opening/closing the car, they're not making it.

It great to have that goal...But 25 seconds does not seem possible.

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Each train can hold a max of 8 people. At a 1 minute load time that will be 480 people per hour. The load times will need to drop to 35 to 45 seconds for the waits to be under 2 hrs. It's a good ride and worth riding over and over. It just has a very poor capacity.

 

My RO friend said that the goal is 25 seconds, but between slow guests and the ride computer being spazzy with opening/closing the car, they're not making it.

It great to have that goal...But 25 seconds does not seem possible.

 

That's kind of what I thought too. If it was a line full of people like us, 30 seconds would be easy, but with GP and Blue Passes... ya, no.

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What's involved in loading and unloading? Just opening and closing the front part? Seatbelts or something?

 

The ride ops have to move the entire nosecone containing what's "under the hood" and the blaster holsters of each car during load/unload. When the car returns to unload, the ride op has to pull it back so guests can get out and the next guests can get in. Then the ride op has to shove it back forward and secure it for the next cycle.

 

Moving it forward is awkward because of the clearance. There's a metal bar that runs horizontally attached to a bulkhead beneath it with the blaster holsters above it facing the guests. I'm 6'2", not exactly far outside average size, and the only way my knees can make it under the bar without the bulkhead hitting my shoes is if I cross legs at the ankles. So I have to get in, sit down, and immediately have to get under the bar and make sure the bulkhead underneath doesn't get me, or else the ride op has to stop so I can get out of the way. It's pretty awkward and can take an extra little bit of time to get it right. I'd imagine many others are experiencing similar issues, which can lead to a diminished throughput number. 25 seconds to load/unload? Not bloody likely.

 

There's also all the moving parts involved in getting that front panel to move back and forth each load/unload cycle. During the preview I saw issues with the panel sticking and the ride ops having to exert extra effort to get it to move. I'd imagine these little parts/pieces are under heavy wear & tear and are going to need replacing on a pretty consistent basis.

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I wonder how this will effect the prospects of Cedar Point getting a similar dark ride as rumored. I imagine that if capacity is this big of an issue at a park like KBF, it would be an absolute disaster at Cedar Point. I'm surprised there is not more talk of issues with WMG's capacity as it has an advertised 650pph.

 

One thing that I know about Cedar Fair is that they seem to take things like capacity seriously. Knotts will be looking for a solution to the capacity problems. I don't know enough about the ride to know what those fixes may be.

 

Obviously the ride just opened, and I sure as heck haven't ridden it. I am basing my opinions off of the reviews posted.

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^ of all things, I think the capacity issues strike me as "what were you thinking?" Will be interesting to see how and if it ever is fixed

 

I think the blame goes to TrioTech for that. The manufacturer estimates the rides capacity and then tells the park during the bidding and design process. Seems like TrioTech wasn't using a very realistic loading time when coming up with their capacity estimate. If it really was 800 riders/hour, that would actually put it on par with Silver Bullet. Xcelerator's absolute max is around 500/hour, so if Reef can get up to 600-ish, I think it'll be okay.

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^One HUGE difference between those rides and Iron Reef is that there are height requirements. Marquee new ride+anyone can ride=disaster for the park.

 

To borrow a phrase that was used in this thread already to try and justify the obvious creative flaws, "they got what they paid for." Sure it's easy to blame TrioTech, but Cedar Fair is just as much to blame for choosing to partner with TrioTech in the first place. Cedar Fair got a good deal and had to look past the fact that TrioTech was a company that specialized in 4D theaters/interactive experiences that seemingly fell into building rides by default ("hey, we sell these things to lots of parks/tourist attractions...maybe we should try a ride?") & TrioTech had to choice but to go all in after landing their biggest contract yet.

 

Ultimately it's a gamble that I hope works out for both groups. Hopefully as they keep building them, they'll find ways to improve the ride system, better integrate the projections (yes, I know I'm nitpicking--but that's what I do as a theme park person!), and so on...

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