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The Knott's Berry Farm (KBF) Discussion Thread

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

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^ Can someone please contact Cedar Fair and tell them if they are going to send Demon Drop anywhere to send it to a park that DOESN'T already have a mondern drop tower attraction...like Michigan's Adventure.

 

Seriously, can someone let Cedar Fair know?

 

I get the feeling they are using an iPhone app to pick where rides go. They input the name of a ride, shake the phone, and the park where it's going to go is displayed.

 

--Robb

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^ Can someone please contact Cedar Fair and tell them if they are going to send Demon Drop anywhere to send it to a park that DOESN'T already have a mondern drop tower attraction...like Michigan's Adventure.

 

Seriously, can someone let Cedar Fair know?

 

I get the feeling they are using an iPhone app to pick where rides go. They input the name of a ride, shake the phone, and the park where it's going to go is displayed.

 

--Robb

 

"We own a park in Michigan?"

 

-CF

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^I'll suggest it to Jack next time I see him strolling around the Berry Farm

 

Maybe suggest some Timberliners for GhostRider too.

Yeah, but after that whole "let's demote as many supervisors and alphas as possible" stint he just went on, do you think he'd listen well to operator suggestions?Then again, I've never met Jack.....I've just heard he's a bit of a hard-ass...but when you're hired to run an entire company, I guess you have an excuse.

 

OT: BTW, C is the new Rides 12!!! I've heard people are SOOOO excited! There goes MY wanting to get cross-trained....

 

^ Can someone please contact Cedar Fair and tell them if they are going to send Demon Drop anywhere to send it to a park that DOESN'T already have a mondern drop tower attraction...like Michigan's Adventure.

 

Seriously, can someone let Cedar Fair know?

 

I get the feeling they are using an iPhone app to pick where rides go. They input the name of a ride, shake the phone, and the park where it's going to go is displayed.

 

--Robb

 

"We own a park in Michigan?"

 

-CF

 

ROFL. Too true!

 

The screamin swing is way to low capacity to be free.

 

True story. Do you know HOW MANY Signal 13s we would get from guests getting all mad that we were telling them where to direct the line?

 

Guest: "But I'm IN LINE, STUPID!!"

Me: "Sir, I don't know if it's escaped your notice, but there's a very large steam train on your right.....it's much larger than you are." (The part I don't say, "Because it's required by my management, I'm doing what I can to ensure you don't get run over. If I were left to my own devices, however, I'd let Darwinism decide what to do with you."

Guest: "Oh......." *grudgingly moves*

 

And THEN we'd get guest complaints about us NOT HAVING SIGNS telling people where to go if the line overflowed the queue area (which, given Swing's queue size, it would), rather than the guests FIGURING OUT FOR THEMSELVES (can you imagine it?) that we do NOT want them standing on the railroad tracks.

 

~Zen

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Do you know HOW MANY Signal 13s we would get from guests getting all mad that we were telling them where to direct the line?

 

About as many we got at Xcelerator for giving the safety and delay spiel all in one breath.

 

"Riders, heads back, feet flat hold on tight and enjoy your...(brake fins pop back up as RTL light comes on) ...and at this time Xcelerator is experiencing a temporary delay in operation..."

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Do you know HOW MANY Signal 13s we would get from guests getting all mad that we were telling them where to direct the line?

 

About as many we got at Xcelerator for giving the safety and delay spiel all in one breath.

 

"Riders, heads back, feet flat hold on tight and enjoy your...(brake fins pop back up as RTL light comes on) ...and at this time Xcelerator is experiencing a temporary delay in operation..."

I hear you.

 

I hate running one train at Pony, and giving a delay spiel as the people in line watch the ride complete the cycle, the train pull into the station, and the restraints release without any issue. "There's nothing wrong with the ride! They're not stuck! Let us on!" Granted, most of the time it's an RTL that just needs a simple reset, but still.....we can't run the ride until the reset occurs.

 

Or people who hear the delay spiel and are all, "Ok, what does that mean?" and then get all mad when I say, "It means we're experiencing a temporary delay in operations. Please check back later." They're mad that we don't give them details, but they don't take into consideration the fact that they wouldn't understand what was going on even if we DO tell them the nature of the problem.

 

I LOVE the GP....guh....

 

~Zen

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^Like if you explain to a guest that every five cylces on Xcel the PLC measures the weight of the train by the tension of the cable when it drifts back, to ensure it launches at the correct speed, and you end up with a "light" train (children or half empty) the ride will have to adjust on the launch, which 90% of the time causes a "Catch car overtravel" and an RTL. (Which is why it's 50/50 the ghost train wil RTL at the end of the night if running two trains.

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^Even saying that would make people think the ride is "broken," "not safe," and "going to get them stuck." No matter what you say to the GP, they'll formulate their own opinion and idea of what's wrong with the ride, because they're idiots. So being vague is the only way to go.

 

Plus, if it ends up being a problem that takes longer than resetting the launch, then you won't end up looking like a jackass who told the GP it would be a 5 minute wait and ended up being 30 minutes. Then the GP asks for supervisors, asks for refunds, etc. They don't need to know specifically what's wrong with the ride, just that it's down and will be back up as soon as possible.

 

Most times, the operators themselves don't even know specifically what's wrong with the ride, so they aren't even authorized to give such information out to people who know even less about it. The operators may have an idea of what the problem is, but only maintenance knows 100% what's going on.

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Sometimes when a ride is down and I want to find out what's going on, I'll throw out a technical term or two, and usually the "vague" explanation suddenly becomes more detailed. That's because the ride op realizes that I know what I'm talking about, and I also approach in a calm manner. I will always leave them alone when it appears that they're overwhelmed or if they just can't say anything. I understand that. When they do fill me in, they do so as a courtesy, not because they have to.

 

Eric

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^ That's what I'll do as well. Even if I don't understand all the way at least it opens the door to a better understanding of the operations of the ride. I've even made some good friends talking to ops while a ride is down.

 

I've been on Xcel many times since it opened and I guess i'm lucky but i've never seen it go down. I guess I'm just lucky. And probably just jinxed myself once its finally back up.

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Most times, the operators themselves don't even know specifically what's wrong with the ride, so they aren't even authorized to give such information out to people who know even less about it. The operators may have an idea of what the problem is, but only maintenance knows 100% what's going on.

 

You are 100% correct on this. Even though we sometimes know what a certain problem may be with the ride, even then we don't know half of it until maintenance shows up and does whatever needs to be done before they hand us over the downslip. Also, I hate it when the guests tell us to fix the ride yet my simple response is "I just push the buttons. I don't fix it, maintenance does." I get the 'bad look' after that remark but I tell it like it is.

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Is it necessary to know what is going on? If a ride operator says technical difficulties and to check back later, why isn't that good enough? You don't want a time to return that may not be accurate, nor do you really need to know that "fault #28344353454 just occurred. We are replacing the flux capacitor."

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I've been on Xcel many times since it opened and I guess i'm lucky but i've never seen it go down. I guess I'm just lucky. And probably just jinxed myself once its finally back up.

 

Funny, many times a day I hear someone say it's never been open when they visit.

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Sometimes when a ride is down and I want to find out what's going on, I'll throw out a technical term or two, and usually the "vague" explanation suddenly becomes more detailed. That's because the ride op realizes that I know what I'm talking about, and I also approach in a calm manner. I will always leave them alone when it appears that they're overwhelmed or if they just can't say anything. I understand that. When they do fill me in, they do so as a courtesy, not because they have to.

 

Eric

 

The next time this happens, report that operator to their supervisor.

 

WHETHER OR NOT you know anything about how rides operate or how maintenance is done, you NEVER need to know the reason a ride is down. I find it highly rude that you consider yourself above the rules we set for the general public, and would even DARE to "throw out a technical term or two", when a CONSIDERATE coaster enthusiast would simply nod and smile at the vague terms, respect the jobs the operators have to do, realize they don't need to add pressure to what we do by continually demanding an explanation or trying to weasel one out of us, and just check back later.

 

A considerate enthusiast would recognize that we get about a bajillion people coming up and saying, "What's wrong? Is it broken? Why are people stuck?" and know that we can only answer them by saying, "All I can tell you right now is that we are currently experiencing a temporary delay in our ride operations. Feel free to check back with us later." They would not feel it necessary to their experience AS A GUEST to know every little detail about what happens with the ride, whether they "know what they're talking about" or not.

 

[/rant]

 

~Zen

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^sigh, you said it. Try working at CGA on the day Invertigo stalled for 4 hours. I got so many people asking me what was wrong and why that area of the park was closed. Working with the GP is no cup of tea, especially when they're inclined to throw the tea right in your face.

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^That seemed a little un necessary. It should not be that big of a deal to tell someone why a ride is down. At Disneyland they at least tell youhow long a ride will probably be down and stuff. Last time I went to knotts the I asked the ride op how long accelerator would be down(this was in june) and she said "how should I know" and that kind of pissed me off.

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^Actually, I wish we were allowed to tell people at least how long it might be. I know that there are people that won't freak out if we tell them basically what's wrong as long as it can be fixed. It's just that there are a lot of people that will assume that the ride is "unsafe" because it got stuck for a little while.

 

Of course, what happened on Xcelerator and Invertigo were freak accidents and nobody could have predicted them. But normally, if it's just a minor fault that's easily repaired by a mechanic, I wish we could give people an estimate. Usually I'll tell a person, "We're not sure how long it will be until the ride reopens", when I can assume that it will be ready in 5 to 10 minutes or so.

 

I'm waiting for my own amusement park where I can manage things the way I see fit. Too bad the world isn't that perfect.

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"The next time this happens, report that operator to their supervisor." (Zen)

 

Whether that's against the park rules (which I didn't know), I will never tell on an employee just for being honest.

 

I never demand explanations. Sometimes they don't tell me. And that's OK. But most of the time they do simply upon asking because of how I approach them. I never bug anyone. I don't doubt you have to answer eleventy thousand questions from anxious, angry guests.

 

Also, it seems you missed this part of my post: "I also approach in a calm manner. I will always leave them alone when it appears that they're overwhelmed or if they just can't say anything." I don't always ask; sometimes it's plain obvious. I can fully understand someone all hyped up running up to you and wanting to know NOW! HURRY UP! TELL ME! ...and not getting an answer.

 

Curiosity about a malfunction is just part of the hobby of amusement parks.

 

Eric

 

EDIT: More stuff for your inconvenience: Many times, I've been at a ride when it broke down and various ride ops/attendants were standing there. If they were in a position for me to ask them, then I would. If they were clearly focused on helping to solve a problem, I said nothing.

 

This is like my interest in railroads. I do know more than the "average" person, and it's frustrating to make a comment that I know is fact only to get "YOU DON'T KNOW THAT!!!" from someone who doesn't know when in fact I do. Many of us here at TPR may not be park employees, ride designers, etc., but we're experienced or knowledgeable enough to know what we're talking about.

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I asked the ride op how long accelerator would be down(this was in june) and she said "how should I know" and that kind of pissed me off.

 

Yeah, that is a crappy response. I look for motion, if the ride is in motion chances are it's going to reopen soon. Motion is a good thing

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It should not be that big of a deal to tell someone why a ride is down. At Disneyland they at least tell youhow long a ride will probably be down and stuff. Last time I went to knotts the I asked the ride op how long accelerator would be down(this was in june) and she said "how should I know" and that kind of pissed me off.

 

Fine. It's no big deal, if you can answer me this:

 

WHY DO YOU HAVE TO KNOW?!

 

We are TOLD as ride operators, that there is NO REASON the general public needs to know why a ride is down, and that's one policy I agree with. As a guest, I don't need to know what went wrong. I (stupidly, apparently) believe that the park will do what's in the best interest of all the guests. If a ride will be down temporarily, that's all I need to know. I don't need a specific return time (a là Disneyland) because there is no guarantee that's when the ride will be fixed. For example, at Pony a few months ago, we had an issue where the launch trolley was not at the home position when the train went to the launch and the ride faulted. Generally, all maintenance would have to do would be to manually adjust the train's position on the launch block until the trolley has locked in place, and then send a few cycles, which would result in the trolley setting itself in the home position automatically. However, when maintenance showed up to FIX the issue, the guy (who will go unnamed except for his first initial...let's call hiim "G") screwed up royally. See, at Pony Express, we have a light on our panel called the Idiot Light. This light tells anyone in dispatch that ONLY AN IDIOT would try to move the train if the light was on. This light is attached to the sensor on our station's air puck, a small cylinder that releases pressure to the restraint system to open or close them, as needed. When the light is on, it means the puck is in the up position, and the restraints on the train in the station are open. The light comes on to tell the maintenence staff (the ONLY people who can move the train while the puck is up) that the restraints need to be locked, or the puck will be "sheared".

 

So G completely ignores the unlocked restraints on the train in the station, and begins to back the train from the station to the brake block. A few seconds' worth of sickening grinding sound later, and we discover that G has sheared THE LAST PUCK WE HAVE ON PROPERTY.

 

A 15-minute downtime (which DISNEYLAND would have given you) turns into a FOUR AND A HALF HOUR CLOSURE, RESULTING IN THE CREW GOING HOME EARLY BECAUSE WE DO NOT HAVE A REPLACEMENT PART.

 

Giving you NO DETAILS WHATSOEVER saved our asses that day. Had we done what DISNEYLAND would have done, we would have had Signal 13 after Signal 13 about how guests were "quoted" a certain time, and not only was the ride not up at that time, it took HOURS to find out that the ride wouldn't be opening at all!

 

Also, not to discredit your experience, but I know from PERSONAL EXPERIENCE how few female ride operators there are at Xcelerator (even from June), and ALL of them know their jobs well enough (since they got cross-trained to Xcel) to know better than to even THINK about responding to a guest question with, "How should I know?"

 

So it's not that I don't believe you, but....I don't believe you. And I'm sorry if you're upset by what you're hearing and you think my frustration is unnecessary, but this is a part of my job I take very seriously, and I don't like "entitled guests" thinking they need to be involved in every aspect of my job. If you hate Knott's so much and are so against our policies and the way we do things, fine. Be an agent of change. Get hired, show everyone up with your superiority, get in with management, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

 

Don't just piss and moan from the sidelines at those of us who aren't catering to your every whim just because you throw out a technical term or two, or think you can do our jobs better. Wanna show me up? Put on my suspenders and my hat. Wear my badge for a day. We'll see how you handle it when you're on my end.

 

~Zen

 

Thank you for being honest with me, now let me tell on you and get you fired."

 

Curiosity about a malfunction is just part of the hobby of amusement parks.

 

Eric

And not telling you about these malfunctions is just part of our jobs as ride operators. No matter how you approach the situation, YOU ARE ASKING US TO RISK OUR JOBS FOR THE SATISFACTION OF YOUR CURIOSITY. That's the issue here.

 

If you REALLY know about amusement parks, you know about non-disclosure agreements. You KNOW we can't give you details about what's going on with the ride, and you should respect the person you're addressing enough not to even put them in a potentially compromising situation.

 

If you really respect the amusement park industry, then you'll let us do our jobs while we're there, and when you go home, you can Google "ride malfunctions" or "ride accidents" and read about them like everyone else does.

 

You don't need to know why the ride went down while you were there. It's not essential to the theme park experience.

 

~Zen

 

Many of us here at TPR may not be park employees, ride designers, etc., but we're experienced or knowledgeable enough to know what we're talking about.

 

But I still don't understand something. You claim to know what you're talking about, but you still admit to blatantly disregarding what most coaster enthusiasts (at least the ones I speak to) know as fact: YOU NEVER TRY TO GET DETAILS REGARDING DOWNTIME.

 

I don't care for your motivation. Curious or not, most people (even the GP...can you imagine?) understand that when they get the same answer to more than one question ("We're experiencing a temporary delay), they understand that's the only answer they're going to get/we're allowed to give, and THEY BACK OFF. NO ONE (except CalOSHA, maintenance, and Rides Supervision) needs to know the details about why a ride went down. As an operator, some times all I'll get is "we need a part, so don't load this seat until we clear you to" or something similar, with no details whatsoever. Ride ops get their directions from higher ups, and we pass on what we're allowed to to the general public. That should be enough.

 

~Zen

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That's all well and fine and I was a ride op and completely understand the issue of only letting the GP know certain information about a ride downtime...BUT, there is absolutely NO REASON for the op to make a rude comment to the guest that ultimately pays their wages. The op should have handled the situation better by using some tact in a POLITE way. When this happened and I didn't/couldn't say how long it would be I would just tell them that, politely, never in a rude or indifferent manner.

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