Are all SF parks like this?

Wednesday, April 9, 2003 11:16 AM
After visiting SFKK on their opening day this year, and SFWOA at the end of last year something really bugged me. Why do those parks only run one train on their coasters on less than crowded days? We waited about 25 minutes to get on Chang at SFKK with a line of only about 75 to 100 people. At SFWOA last year Batman, X-FLight, and Villian were the same way. I hate waiting in line especially on less than crowded days. I don't think I've ever had this problem at PKI unless one of the trains ran into a maintnence truck, or something.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 11:26 AM
No not all Six Flags are like that but the two parks you went to SFKK and SFWOA are notorius for running one train on their coasters even when its busy. A great example of a Six Flags park that always runs at or near full capacity is SFGAM. They almost alway run their near rides to full capacity. I know there are some other Six Flags that have a reputation for running one train on their coasters but I will let the others tell you. Six Flags parks when run properly are great parks but when run poorly like SFWOA it detracts from the park and drives people away to the competition for instance in this case CP if there is competition.

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Mike
Favorite Wood: Viper at SFGAM,Shivering Timbers
Favorite Steel: Magnum and Raging Bull

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 11:37 AM
Many parks on slower days run one train per coaster - whether it is Six Flags or not. I have been to SFWoA three times and have not had any problems with their operations - unlike what others say happens to them. It all depends on the days you are at a park.

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--George H
---Superman the ride...coming to a SF park near you soon...
Currency tracking experiment... http://www.wheresgeorge.com (Referring to The "George" on the $1 bill - Not Me)

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 11:54 AM
Being a former supervisor at SFGAM I can tell you that many things can factor into this. One thing that people don't realize is that it is a job for some people. There are days in that more than usual amount of people call in sick. As a sup we scramble to get the rides properly staffed. Not everyone can work the rides, you have to be certified and trained. To accomplish the training there basically needs to be days when you can spare people so they can get trained. If there are never days when people can get trained it makes it really hard to move people if no one can work the ride. I don't know what the situation is at these parks since I have never worked there and only been to SFWOA once (had no problems). This is just a possible reason. I do know that some days I had to actually work the rides while I was a sup because we had absolutly no one else that could do it.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 12:26 PM
And I will always maintain that John Q. Guest doesn't really care about who is sick or trained or whatever. That's an operational issue, nobody cares.

Parks make choices. Said Six Flags parks obviously don't care if they're guests wait. They spend all of this money on pointless queue management schemes (in part to get more money from you) when they don't run the rides efficiently in the first place.

My favorite park never does this, and you can get in line to ride at exactly closing time. I need not even go down this road again...

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
"The world rotates to The Ultra-Heavy Beat!" - KMFDM

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 12:32 PM

Six Flags New England doesn't sway to open rides on one train operation, unless there are mecahnical/physical issues. The way management has it going, SFNE opts to not open that ride until a certain amount of guest are in the park (or that area). Mind Eraser generally does not open till 11:00 AM while Cyclone is known to be down during it's tempered mornings.
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Lake Compounce-So Fresh and So Clean Clean
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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 12:46 PM
SFMW had two trains running on Medusa last Friday, but only one on Roar and Kong. Medusa was a near walk-on all day, the Roar/Kong waits were around 20-30 minutes at peak times, walk-ons otherwise.

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http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~bnoble/

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 1:09 PM
I was at Marine World on Friday and Medusa was not a walk on. Mind you the park was relatively empty. But they were seriously stacking trains. They would have a full train sitting in the station for God knows how long for no apparent reason before it is dispatched. I guess I was spoiled by Great Adventure where ops on Medusa and Nitro would scramble to get the restraints checked and the trains dispatched in no time. I am sure Great Adventure has staffing issues, (As seen by their ride closures) But at least they make sure that the operational rides have moving lines. This seems to be a problem akin to the smaller SF parks.

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Krimson n' Kream, Spr 98

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 1:17 PM
I do not get this unexplained praise of SFGAm and # of trains. I have seen the Raging Bull line completly queued and they opt to not get the 3rd train on the track (oh and I asked a ride op and it was not in repare). After the first year they chose to stack Viper, Shockwave I have seen run with one train on numerous occasions as well as Wizzer, AE, and Iron Wolf with sizable lines. If you are going to praise any park in the Midwest for ride capacity stick to CP.

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Summer 03-CP, HP, Canobie, SFNE, SFWOA, and SFGAm.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 1:27 PM
I remember once when even a Cedar Point coaster was running only one train. This was on closing weekend (2001) and the coaster was Mean Streak. Based on the fact that closing weekend in 2002 the coaster was running all three trains though, I bet it was probably a mechanical issue in 2001.

But with SFWoA, I remember even before it was re-branded, the park seemed to love to run only one train when it wasn't too busy. So I don't know if I can attribute the poor operations to Six Flags. What I will say though, is that the park was much better when it was Geaga Lake, as back then it wasn't trying to be something it was not. It was a great little local park, and it didn't matter much that coasters would run only one train, or that in general the park wasn't very good because it was OUR park. I didn't care about how crappy it was because I didn't expect better. You expected it to be worse than other, bigger parks, and it was cheaper anyway. Since Six Flags has taken over, they have tried to market it as a world class park, which it most certainly is not.

Sorry about the rant about SFWoA and CP, but since I was on a roll, I continued.

-Sam
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Avalanch Run - My first Roller Coaster.
Magnum XL-200 - The BEST Roller Coaster!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 1:44 PM
Six Flags New England is notorious for running one train on days when the park is not crowded, but by doing this it leads to a minimum of a 20 minute wait. I don't know why these parks feel the need to penalize those who brave the elements when it is cold or raining by forcing longer than necessary wait times for rides. Great Adventure to some extent is guilty of this also. At last year's ERT for season pass holders they cut the number of trains on almost every coaster making for very little ERT and quite a bit of Exclusive Wait Time. Maybe someday, Six Flags will get their act together, until then we'll just have to take what we can get.

My conspiracy theory on this subject is that in order to sell their upcharge Lo-Q, they want lines to be as long as possible, even when it is not crowded in order to get the public conditioned into using this awful system every time they come to the park. It's as if they don't make enough extra money with the parking, food, games, etc..

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Jim Hansen
Number of coasters ridden: 232

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 1:56 PM
How long has it been since you were at SFGAm Touchdown? Last year, I visited the park a total of 5 times, maybe not as extensively as you may have, but every time I went to the park, the park was moderately busy and within the first hour or two hours, Raging Bull had all 3 trains running. In all my years going to SFGAm (11 years) I have never EVER seen Iron Wolf with one train operating, and AE had the blue side with a 1 train operation for a time this season due to repair/renovation. I've never seen Shockwave run 1 train before either, but judging by the lines, it was inefficient to run more than one at times. And Viper stacking? Wow, you must have just had several bad visits or something, I've never witnessed Viper stacking and only experienced a one train operation on it the last day of the season last year when the line was within the station. CP gets to much credit for having a seemingly endless budget.

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Warning: I do not think like the average person. My remarks have plenty of thought behind them. Take it for what it's worth, if you disagree, please, feel free to express it, but don't put me down because of it.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 2:02 PM
Actually, Jim, I don't think SF is trying to get more money out of q-bot by running 1 train. Last Sunday we went to SFoG and used one of our free Qbot coupons just to see how it works. The park had 2 trains on Mindbender and Batman through early afternoon, then went down to 1. Around 3pm, I started seeing the Qbot entrances to Minbender, Scorcher, Thunder River, and Acrophobia closed off . Didn't bother me too much since everything was a near walk on all day anyway.

I did mention to the Q-Bot person that had I paid for the thing, then saw that the perk was not operating on some of the rides, I'd have been mad. Since it was free, and the only line we waited in all day was for the back seat of the Cyclone, we really didn't care too much. But in this case,. they didn't run 1 train in the afternoon to get people to use Qbot.

My question is how much of a difference does it make on a truly slow day? The one train ops I saw on sunday meant that I had to wait 10 minutes rather than have walk ons at every ride. Big deal. Griping about waiting in small lines at a park is like griping about the heat in the summer.

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I sing sometimes for the war that I fight, 'cause every tool is a weapon, if you hold it right. -Ani Difranco

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 2:10 PM
SF having worse capacity than other park chains is a myth. People constantly take the bad reputations of sfwoa and sfne and tar the whole chain. In fact, in my experience, SF has shown me the best capacity I've ever seen.

The fact is, running coasters below capacity is an annoyance found at all manner of parks but as always with park complaints people choose to highlight SF!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 2:35 PM
Cedar Fair parks are guilty as well. I once waited 45 minuts for Thunderhawk at Dorney due to one train opperation on a "not so busy day". A lot of parks do it, but I always notice it at certain parks more than others.

There is that crowd level that is not enough to run more than one coaster train, but too many to maintain a short line. I understand if the park doesnt want to run half empty trains, but it shouldn't reach the point of a rediculously long wait.

Parks should show appreatiation for people visiting on slow days by keeping the lines shorter than usuial if possible. This would help overcrowding on busier days.

Management should give this problem a higher priority, that's what I think.
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Think for yourself-Don't reley on someone else.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 2:51 PM
Touchdown, not everything can run perfectly. At SFGA ride ops wont tell you what is wrong with the ride or a train. They either lie or say I dont know. If the third train wasn't on at Bull there was a good reason for it. Stop complaining. My friend works at CP and I've heard plenty of stories about how rides don't run to capacity.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 3:05 PM
The past two times I have visited BGT they have always had at least two coasters with only one train. This past February Montu was only running one train and the ops were moving pretty slow, but they surprisingly had two trains running on Gwazi. On my previous visit Kumba and Gwazi were only running one train. Is this common for all Busch parks or just BGT?
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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 3:11 PM

Jeff said:
And I will always maintain that John Q. Guest doesn't really care about who is sick or trained or whatever. That's an operational issue, nobody cares.

Parks make choices. Said Six Flags parks obviously don't care if they're guests wait. They spend all of this money on pointless queue management schemes (in part to get more money from you) when they don't run the rides efficiently in the first place.

My favorite park never does this, and you can get in line to ride at exactly closing time. I need not even go down this road again...


Hey....me again....AGAIN? Like you had a choice...;)

Point 1: Righteous....exactly....*enthusiast #1* or John Q. Public, both notice wait times...and while JQP may never use the term *single-training*, you WILL hear "wow, this line moves slow"....;)

Point 2: Said it before myself, run AT capacity, THEN work on queue management *schemes*....and IF you need (or choose) to have Lo-Q/FP/FL what have ya, then add the extra staff necessary....it DOES take more people to operate multiple queues without creating chaos and hostility...

Point 3: The *chain* doesn't matter, it's the PARK....I've had some serious capacity issues at some SF parks, some CF parks, and yes, some Paramount parks, too. Can't say Universal or Busch is immune to this problem either. *Saving money* in this fashion, it WILL cost ya in the long run....hey, I'm an economist...;)
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Dr. Thrill IS my family practitioner
Guaranteed humorous or your money back!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 5:25 PM
In reponce to some posts, SFGAm was much worse in the recent past this year they were much better but I never spent a "whole" day in the park (only a couple of hours in the morning or night) hopefully this trend will continue but everything I have said happened 3 or fewer years ago.

And now for a question: How much money do you actually save not sending the maximum amount of trains out? I honestly cant think of any other cost besides the extra time mechanics have to check over the train and the extra electricty used for running the lift and brakes. It cant be that much!
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Summer 03-CP, HP, Canobie, SFNE, SFWOA, and SFGAm.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 5:49 PM
Wear and tear on million dollar trains, come to mind.

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I'm not an enthusiast, I just play one on message boards.

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