Being stuck on a ride

Tuesday, July 7, 2009 11:39 AM

Outside of sitting on a break run or, in TTD's case, on the launch track (which I don't really count as being "stuck"), my experiences in over 40 years of riding have been extremely few and only once for longer than 10 minutes. The worst was on the back spike of Face Off only because I was pushed forward in the restraints. (It's also why I was a bit leery of riding Deja Vu when it was having "issues").

On my trip to CP a week ago, Chaos stopped midway during the rise, settled back down and was restarted. On the same day, Iron Dragon stopped on the second lift. A young girl in front of us started freaking and asked "is this normal" to which both the fellow riding next to me and I said "yes". I can't imagine being "stuck" on a coaster with a freaking out girl. It started back up after about 2 minutes.

My worst nightmare would be having to be evacuated from either MF or Magnum with my fear of heights.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009 1:58 PM

So who's going to be thinking of this thread anytime you're going up a lift hill in the next 3 months?

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009 3:38 PM

Never been stuck on a ride myself but I have had a few family members who had some rather close calls on flats.

Back in 1974 my parents were at the Clarke County, VA Fair only to get stuck on the scrambler. The story they told me was that the ride got stuck on full blast and the operator couldn't shut it off so for 30-45 minutes they were on the ride going full blast and of course they couldn't get off. Now why wasn't the power shut off to the ride? That I don't know. I do know my parents ( both gone now ) for the longest time refused to talk about that experience and nor did they ever ride anything ever again even though they had no problem letting us kids ride.

About 15 years ago my brother was riding the Tribant at a carnival in Virginia. While he was on the ride, the Tribant caught fire and flames were shooting out under the ride. As I recall someone with a weird sense of humor thought it would be "cool" to throw fireworks under the ride and there was some gasoline invloved too. The joker was of course arrested. My brother escaped being injuried but I believe some of the other riders did suffered from minor burns.

Interesting footnote to the Tribant incident. Among those who were riding the Tribant just before my brother got on was actor Dan Ackroyd and his wife, actress Donna Dixon.

Last edited by Chriscub, Tuesday, July 7, 2009 3:41 PM
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009 3:54 PM

Ive been stuck quite a few times

B:TR @ SFGAm back in 1993 stuck in the final break for 45 min
Magnum: On the lift, brake after the 3rd tunnel and final brake multiple times, but all for less then 15 min
Space Mountain @ WDW: Actually evaced off of that one, from the brake just before the lift flyby on the Alpha side
ToT @ WDW: Right after the Twlight Zone intro portion 30 min
BTMRR @ WDW: On the third lift (the one that has the effect of the train swaying back and forth) 15 min
Splash Mt @ WDW: By the buzzards, heard the entire soundtrack there, 45 min.
S:UF @ SFGAm: Final brake run for less then 15 min
Maverick: Rollback from the tunnel launch and stuck for 10 min
TTD: Double Rollback

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009 4:19 PM

Chang, had just crested the lift hill. My son and I were in the front row, hanging pitched forward for about 15 minutes. And it started to rain. But no evac, darn it.

Small World, WDW. A downpour started while we were in the ride and people at unload wouldn't leave the building. Our boat was stuck in the backlog for 45 minutes listening to those little animatronic !#$@ sing that song over and over and over for about 45 minutes.

Those are the most memorable. Never been evac'ed but enjoyed extended rides on a few things over the years.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009 4:29 PM

Last Tuesday at Indiana Beach we got on Tig'rr and we stopped half way up the lift we than went the rest of the way up and after we left the chin we hear a lout Pop several loud bangs and slams and look to see the chain flying all over the place. We got grabbed by a break just before the first drop not sure if it was auto or manual (Can anyone answer?) we sat ther about 15 minutes before it released us and we finished the course with chain everywhere. Before being greated by a station filled with employees and managers. I was surprised we were not E-Vaced. But if the track is clear and other parts still operate would be easier.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009 4:29 PM

To answer your question, I am guessing that there is no hard and fast rule, other than some basic common sense.

For example, I was evac'd off of the 2nd Beast hill in the late 80s. It was in the mid-90s that day and the humidity very high. They tried to restart the lift but it would not go (there was a second train at the top of the lift, we were at the phone booth). Within a few minutes, the decision was made to evac us, and I am guessing the weather was the determining factor. They had cups of ice water waiting for us at the station, which we were taken to in a van after coming off the lift.

I was also evac'd off of the brake run on Mamba (after the mechanics pushed our train far enough so I could get out of the back seat...there was only 3 people on the train) during their haunt event. Fog used for the effects had blown into the station, and the sensors were reading a train in the block ahead. Actually, walking along the catwalk in fog thick enough where you had trouble seeing your feet at times was actually 'interesting'. I am guessing if it had been a full train, we might have waited there longer to see if they could fool the sensors or manually move us to the station. Being just 3 people on the train, I assumed they figured it was just easier to evac us.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009 4:31 PM

Got stuck at the top of the lift on Drachen Fire which, in and of itself, was no big deal. The downside was there was a bee's nest somewhere there at the crest of the hill (I'm thinking in the phone box) and the bees were swarming us pretty severely.

Was happy when, about 8-10 minutes later, we got going again and I did not get stung.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009 5:39 PM

Must be a Busch thing... :) The day I rode Griffon in '07 there were hornets (like, the size of Buicks) swarming the highest point of the ride just before the holding brake.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009 6:37 PM

Well....I was one of the fortunate ones, to get a walkoff, from Powder Keg, during the Con. We were about 15 feet from the top of the lifthill, when the ride stopped.

I don't think that they were even gonna try and figure out what the problem was, due to how hot it was that day, because one of the ride ops came up with bottles of water, for all of us, in about 5 minutes after it stopped.

We were off the ride, and back on the ground in about 20 minutes. I'm completley guessing here, as I'm afraid of heights, and that walk down those stairs wasn't the best part of the whole experience for me.

It was the ultimate kegger, as we got 3/4 of a ride, a walk off, and a behind the scenes tour, all in one.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 1:13 AM

I've had a few "interesting" rides.

Been stopped a few times on Iron Dragon's second lift, Magnum's safety brake outside the last tunnel, Cedar Creek Mine Ride second lift, Millennium Force lift hill. Those are more or less normal.

A couple of times I've had to wait on the Mine Ride in the tunnel (old unload platform). That's not so bad unless you're in the train with the extra-tight lap bar. I never understood why the attendant couldn't release the lap bar at least ("I promise not to go anywhere...").

I got a ride on Superman: The Escape where I didn't get evacuated, but I didn't get to go up the tower either. Two of us in the car, instead of a launch, we roll out to the base of the tower at a slow walking pace, wait a while, then come back. "How was your ride?"

I've never been taken off a coaster mid-course or from the lift hill, but I have been evac'ed from station-side holding brakes a number of times. First time was the Mine Ride at Cedar Point, but that barely counts since that location was intended to be an unloading platform. But I exited the Legend at the safety brake because someone had dangled a very large bell over the track leading into the station. I've exited Magnum XL-200 at the transfer table because I was on the last train of a very windy night. And I had to exit the Santa Cruz Giant Dipper from the safety brake because the other train was electronically stranded on the loading brake.

And finally, many years ago I was the only rider, in the back seat of the *** ****** at ******* **** when the operator pulled the handle a little too hard on the station approach trim and got the train stuck. That time, the operator let me out of the train on that back brake, then while he held the trim brake open, I stood on the track ties behind the train and pushed the empty train into the station. Which is why the date, the coaster, and the park shall remain safely anonymous, even though the park technically doesn't exist anymore. :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 12:33 PM

^I would have paid five dollars to do that last one. Just to say I pushed a coaster train into a station. Me = nerdy enthusiast.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 1:33 PM

Is it me, or is there one too many *'s in that last park name? ;)

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 1:42 PM

Maybe Dave was just being abnormally vulgar... :)

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 3:03 PM

Vater said:
Must be a Busch thing... :) The day I rode Griffon in '07 there were hornets (like, the size of Buicks) swarming the highest point of the ride just before the holding brake.

Its the area.. Welcome to Williamsburg.

I asked one the Animal Curators about that one day and she told me its the resonating of the coaster structure that oddly attracts them there. For a few years they stayed around Apollo's as well when the weather was right.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 3:15 PM

So steel coasters have a built-in bee mating call? Sweet... :)

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 3:45 PM

When I worked on Delta Flyer at Great America, CA, we had folks stranded for 3 hours once. I forget what the problem was nor what they couldn't use the auxiliary VW engine to reel in the guests, but it was later afternoon and a cold foggy breeze rolled in off the bay.

I felt bad for anyone afraid of heights or who had to go to the restroom or who didn't have a jacket (or all 3), in spite of the free snazzy GA jackets, dinner vouchers, and park tickets handed out when the problem was finally resolved.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 4:21 PM

The last time I was on a ride that e-stopped it was X-Coaster at Magic Springs. For those unfamiliar with how the ride operates check out this video (this is not video of our ride). At about the :35 mark the train stops on the lift and is then slowly lowered back to the station. It was at that point that the ride e-stopped with us stuck 100 feet in the air on our backs, facing the sky. Some riders were worried...Mikey and I just sat there and talked, completely relaxed.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 7:44 PM

obxKevin said:
Is it me, or is there one too many *'s in that last park name? ;)

Nope, that is exactly the right number of characters. I just double checked. Which means you are thinking of the wrong ride in the wrong park. I even think I know which one you are thinking of, but I never pushed that one.

I did leave another hint up there, but it is VERY subtle.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009 8:01 PM

Ah. I figured it out. At first I thought you were talking about one, then I realized you were talking about the other one a ways south, that used to be run by the same company. :)

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