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Child falls off Idlewild roller coaster


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While the changes that enthusiasts complain about, that won't affect anyone else's enjoyment of the ride (barring comfort issues, etc.) are what hit me hardest as a rider, what seems even more disappointing overall is the move toward higher height restrictions--that's no fun for people in the rides' target audience.

 

Yeah, I agree that the height requirement is disappointing. Safety is clearly #1, but I wonder if all of the steps are cumulatively a bit of an overreaction. I'd think that seat belts and mandatory adults (not slightly older children) riding with younger children would be OK. I just took a four-year-old on the Log Jammer at Kennywood, without any seat belts or anything, and we were certainly, well, "responsible" and fine. That's a much larger, faster ride than the ol' Rollo Coaster. The inspectors also flagged the coaster for some loose dirt or debris around its footers -- come on, now -- that's just nitpicking.

 

At the same time, following the steps gives the park a clear path toward PR recovery from this accident, a child was hurt, and since Idlewild isn't a carny operation, modifications or a permanent closure were going to be the only options. I know we love to bang on the "I hate stupid people" drum, but I just feel bad for the toddler. Continuing with the train that was the scene of a kids' accident would be bad juju and keep a stench around the ride; it was a lovely vintage train, but PTC will get some business and cook up something new. I'd like the new train to be plush and not hard foam, but ultimately I just hope that the child is OK.

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I barely allow KT to ride with Garbels...no way would I let her ride with another small child!!!!!

 

I probably wouldn't even let my son ride with another adult in a single rider line until he's in his teens. I remember seeing some young moms and dad's on a Korean rapids ride with a baby strapped to their chest. Apparently, they took the no minimum height restriction with an adult way too seriously and decided that made it ok.... it's not a very intense rapids but still seems like a really stupid unnecessary risk to ride together, especially at night when it's not warm. Even stupider throwing in the line was 10 minutes and there was no reason not to split the group.

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  • 7 months later...

I've heard (but not seen a picture) that the new train has a front car of 2x2 but then 3 more 1x2, interesting. The real bummer is the person said the lap bars are ratcheting... I mean, if that is true, that really sucks. Wouldn't a standard PTC kiddie train (like Little Dipper at SFGAmerica or Comet at Waldameer) been sufficient as they have locking lap bars?

 

Hoping this isn't true. To go from one of the most charming, throw-back coaster experience on the planet to those heavy overkill trains, ugh. Horrible the kid fell out (with minor injuries?) but the ride has been running those old-style trains for what, 7 decades?

 

EDIT - I did a little looking and seems the toddler spent 2 months in the hospital for a head injury. I shouldn't have assumed it was minor injuries.

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^Me too, that coaster was one of my favorites just for the uniqueness and charm alone. I preferred it over it's bigger but younger brother, Boulderdash (which I always find overrated, anyhow). But I do feel horrible for that toddler that fell out.

 

Couldn't they have just added seat belts or locking lap bars? How about the PTC trains that run on the other junior coasters? Seems extreme.

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  • 5 weeks later...

^Or something!

 

I wish I would have got to the park more. Rare and unique coasters always seem to be my favorites. Oh well, we still have a few classic trains left.

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We've seen giant theme parks and resorts themed to Mickey Mouse, but never before have we gotten the fantastic opportunity to ride between his ears! I love the Disney parks but I was always disappointed when not a single ride let me ride between Mickey's iconic ears. Thankfully, Idlewild is filling in this gap beautifully, and I can't wait to finally sit between Mickey's ears and ride this incredible experience! IMO, this is absolutely the right move for Idlewild, and I think more coasters should follow this example!

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^It's such a shame. I keep hoping things will start to swing the opposite way... you know, common sense. Not just with parks and coasters, but with everything.

 

Hey, at least Revolution is running with out the dreaded shoulder bars again. Texas Cyclone had it's stupid wrap-around headrests removed in it's final years. Small glimmers of hope!

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It's really kind of sad because a park that really caters to families with small children now has no roller coaster for the under 42" group. All because one kid had an issue because a parent couldn't be smart about riding with their child. Too most younger kids this would have been a perfect first Coaster, and now that won't be the case for most. People need to stop blaming others for their mistakes and problems and have accountability for their own actions and choices. I know I'm preaching to the choir but it's all true.

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I suspect insurance had a lot to do with them getting new trains. As far as things on the side two things about them. First of all we really need to come up with a name for them. I suggest toilet lids because they look like them and are crappy. Seems like they are there to keep people from reaching over the edge of the train. Second I wonder if PTC does something like this for all new trains. I know Le Monstre has something for the same purpose. Anyone know of any other newer PTC trains out there and whether or not they have something on the side.

 

If PTC wants to keeps arms in there is a much better option and that is simply put plexiglass at the side. It does not take away from the ride and it keeps hands in. New Texas Giant uses this and it works fine.

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I just checked their website and the height requirement is now 42" with a max weight per row of 265 lbs. Those under 48" must be accompanied by an adult. Is that more restrictive than before?

 

These are the old requirements:

The park currently operates two coasters -- Rollo Coaster, with a height requirement of 36 inches, and Wild Mouse, which has a 48-inch requirement.

 

Cars on the Rollo Coaster do not include seat belts. Riders who are under 48 inches must be accompanied by an adult.

 

The 265 pound weight limit per row is new and serves to limit the total train weight, since the new trains are much heavier than the old trains.

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Just as I thought PTC trains couldn't get more ugly.....

 

Very interesting design with the two-bench car followed by single bench cars. The combined weight restriction of 265 pounds will also be interesting. I know they cater to families with small children, but based on the size of some adults and children these days, that might get surpassed when the red light comes on. But hey, good to see the coaster will be up and running again.

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Very interesting design with the two-bench car followed by single bench cars.

I suspect that the front also car acts as the pilot / trailer / zero car a la Millennium Flyer / Timberliner, because the back single-row cars only have one set of wheels. It looks super-weird but it means that they don't have to waste a whole row in the front.

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Even if you take the tact that the guards are necessary because of the clearances, you have to at some point say, "wait, could no one have built a lighter train?" GCIs and GG trains are reputed to be significantly lighter than PTC's. If I had to guess, PTCs are better equipped to be set up cheaply for the weird Rollo Coaster track sizes, and the others would required a lot more reimagining that costs money.

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^ GCI did add those mini Millennium Flyers to Legoland's Coastersaurus so there is a precedent for them being added to non-GCI coasters or coasters with smaller track gauges.

 

Having said that, PTC did originally design Rollo Coaster and even though that was a long time ago, they would be the most familiar with the ride.

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