robbalvey wrote:The only real constructive feedback I can give for the ride was in the operations department falling under the "ride rules" category. We had one of our riders who was RIGHT on the edge of not being able to to ride. The first time he rode, he was able to get the bar down and he fit just fine. The second time he rode, he was having more trouble so I went to push down on his bar to help just like I would on every other ride in the world, and this angry older ride op named "Al" came over and shouted at me "DO NOT TOUCH THAT BAR HE HAS TO DO IT ON HIS OWN IF YOU TOUCH THAT BAR AGAIN YOU ARE NOT RIDING THIS COASTER ANYMORE!!!!!"
I'm sorry what? Excuse me? This ride is already difficult enough for people to get on and you want to make it even HARDER for people? No, sorry, that's not cool with me. I cannot think of another ride anywhere in the world where you couldn't give the guy next to you literally a "nudge" on the bar to make it down that TINY extra to get the green light especially when the guy JUST RODE the coaster. The ride ops would NOT help anyone push the bar down on Lightning Rod, yet they had no problem pushing the bar down and helping on Thunderhead or Wild Eagle. This needs to be fixed, IMO.
This feels like something I'd read in a Six Flags TR and never in a trillion years did I think that I'd read it in a Dollywood TR. As a ride operator, anyone could need help with the restraint for whatever reason, be it medical or size. This seems like a bad situation for everyone on top of the ride's reliability (or lack thereof). Does anyone have more information as to how long this policy has been in place? But I refuse to believe that this is done without rhyme or reason, be it some obscure park/ride policy, or RMC recommendation.
Agreed 100% on your take of Lightning Rod, Robb. It's hands down one of the top two or three most bat-guano insane coasters I've been fortunate to experience...and live to tell. Ejector air is my thing and it delivers in spades. So glad you all got to enjoy it on this trip!
Reading these comments about the ride operations policies on Lightning Rod are making my blood boil. Why? It's not as if someone is jumping up and down on the lapbar. Since when do riders close their own restraints? I'm a big guy but I've never had a ride op not close the lapbar or restraint for me. Hell, at Carowinds I've seen the operators help a guy by having TWO people push down his B&M clamshell. I'm sure the employees got read the riot act so I don't blame them, but RMC needs to do something about their trains if this is such an issue.
1. Intimidator 305 2. Maverick 3. Bizarro at SFNE 4. Millennium Force 5. Raptor 6. Batman & Robin: The Chiller (defunct) 7. Nitro 8. Apollo's Chariot 9. Afterburn (Carowinds) 10. Lightning Racer
Great report. I absolutely agree about the relaxing feel of Dollywood. It's so nice to walk up Craftsman Alley and just stop in the different stores. It honestly doesn't even feel like an amusement park at times, just a small town. The employees are always so wonderful. I've missed Lightning Rod my last four visits, and Mountain Sidewinder doesn't open until summer, so I've missed that too. One of my favorite rides in the park, just super unique. i'm excited to keep reading what ya'll are up to next.
Glad to hear someone else talking about a night ride on Lightning Rod. Mine last month was by far my best coaster experience ever. It makes The Beast feel tame by comparison. When (if?) LR runs consistently, a night ride on it needs to be on every coaster lover's bucket list.
willh51 wrote:Reading these comments about the ride operations policies on Lightning Rod are making my blood boil. Why? It's not as if someone is jumping up and down on the lapbar. Since when do riders close their own restraints? I'm a big guy but I've never had a ride op not close the lapbar or restraint for me. Hell, at Carowinds I've seen the operators help a guy by having TWO people push down his B&M clamshell. I'm sure the employees got read the riot act so I don't blame them, but RMC needs to do something about their trains if this is such an issue.
This "stand by and watch" policy on LR is really bizarre and ride op Al's nasty reaction to Robb is totally uncalled for. Usually on a ride with that much airtime when checking the restraints they push down more and almost staple you in. On El Toro it's not usual to have 2 or even 3 people bouncing on the restraint to try to get the green light. I've also seen 2 ops pushing OTSR's down on Wicked Twister on multiple occasions.
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