Big Chief doesn't care about your safety / my trip

Associated parks:
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Sunday, June 22, 2003 8:58 PM
Went to the Dells today. Had a pretty good time, for the most part.

Rode the Robocoaster...it kinda sucked. $10 to be tossed around violently. Nothing like a coaster at all. You're just strapped to to robot arm, and jerked all over the place. Lot's of potential however. I hope the company eventually tries to make it more like a simulator...maybe with a VR dome and some sound effects or something.

Rode the Skyscraper for the first time. Lots of fun. Wish it were less expensive.

Last but not least...Big Chiefs. All they care about is your money. What a bunch of greedy f**ks ! They don't maintain things worth a crap. The coasters were very rough & the trains needed to be painted. The ride operators at their best, are complete zombies & lazy - at their worst, they are all that and rude as well.

Worst of all - they don't seem to care one bit about your safety !!! On Zeus, they had two people working. All they do is visually look at your lapbar to see if you closed it. They don't check your seatbelt, and they don't pull up on the bar to see if it's locked. They just casually walk near the full seats, and glance to see if the bar is down. If there was an empty seat, they didn't even close the restraint - they let the train leave with open restraints !!! If there had only been one person working, I bet they wouldn't have even gone that far.

On the double down drop, on the return trip, I was almost standing. My legs were 100% straight. If I hadn't put my lapbar down far enough (I was probably at 3 clicks), or if my belt had come undone, there is a good chance I could have come out. I like loose restraints and airtime, but I have never pushed it "too far", and I have always had attentive ride ops to serve as "backup" to what could be poor judgement. Remember, this unsafe operation was on a coaster manfactured by the same company as the Raven, and using the same trains and restraints. It doesn't have the same violent air as the Raven's 5th drop, but that double down is pretty close.

On Cyclops, there was only one person working. She didn't even leave the control panel before dispatching the train. She just looked to see if I had closed the lapbar and then dispatched the train (this is just a single position, old school buzz bar). She had no idea if I had fastened my sealtbelt or not. This is on a ride that is known to have serious ejector airtime on the main drop. I know they are not busy there, and it probably gets boring for them, but damn, how lazy can you get ?!?!

I also didn't see any current "Wisconsin Amusement Ride" inspection stickers (or whatever they are called) on any of the rides. The newest stickers were dated for the year 2000.

Someone is going to get hurt at Big Chief unless they change their policies. Between their high prices, their poor maintainence, boring, careless and rude operators, I feel that they don't deserve our business.

I will be contacting the proper Wisconsin Amusement Device regulation office (or whatever it's called) as soon as I can locate an address or e-mail. I'll also be writing Big Chief with complaints about their staff and policies, but I bet they won't care.

Can someone please open a proper amusement park in the Dells ? Such wasted potential. They are such great coasters...Big Chief doesn't deserve these beautiful CCIs :(

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Current favorite coasters:
Wooden: 1) Beast 2) Raven 3) Son of Beast 4) The Boss 5) Timber Wolf
Steel: 1) Raging Bull 2) Millennium Force 3) V2 4) Wild Thing 5) Deja Vu / Mr. Freeze (tie)
*** This post was edited by Joe Carroll 6/23/2003 1:05:27 AM ***

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Sunday, June 22, 2003 9:06 PM
You know, there is this certain restraint system called Your Own Common Sense.
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Sunday, June 22, 2003 9:26 PM
Granted, most of us would use that system, but there's also the problem of the criminally stupid. Some people will just take too much of a liberty and make it a game of trying to beat the op...

If you need any proof, there was that Raven incident.

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"Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation." - David St. Hubbins, Spinal Tap
http://www.loopscrew.com

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Sunday, June 22, 2003 9:27 PM
Yea but your own common sense should be check by employees!

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#1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!! My top 7 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Montu 3. Yankee Cannonball 4. Kumba 5. Gwazi 6. Cyclone (SFNE) 7. B:DK

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Sunday, June 22, 2003 9:30 PM
You sound surprised. Big Chief has *no* training or safety program in effect. It's basically, "here's the ride, here are the buttons, now do your job." CoastaPlaya does bring up something of importance, though, and that is the common sense of the riders. If you're not smart enough to restrain yourself, perhaps you shouldn't be riding.

Additionally, it is *not* dangerous to dispatch a train with the restraints open (provided there's nobody sitting in those seats). Do you really think it matters if lapbars on empty seats are open or not? No, it does not.

That aside, I do agree with much of what you said (that is, I've observed much of the same). However, I absolutely can *not* agree that those rides are rough! Both Zeus and Cyclops are *well* maintained and run flawlessly. I don't know what you were riding, but it wasn't the rides I've been riding for years. The trains look fine too.

-Nate

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Monday, June 23, 2003 12:52 AM
Yes, I agree with the concept of common sense. In fact, I strongly approve of it - natural selection, I say...but after the Raven death, I would think that parks would be a little more careful. There is also the fact that children, who may not use their best judgement, are the primary people attending this park and riding these coasters. The ride ops are worthless.

As for the restraints on empty seats being unsecured - it isn't unsafe, per se, but that's not how it was designed to be used. I wouldn't think it would be beneficial for them to be bouncing around while the ride is in motion. Could this perhaps wear them out faster ? They don't even close the restraint on an empty seat, next to a full seat. That could be a little unsafe, as a rider could hit their arm on it or something (not really a big deal, but whatever). Most of all, it just shows how lazy and careless the ride operaters are.

As for the condition of the coasters. It wasn't unbearably rough, but it definitely seemed more rough that when I rode them at the beginning of the season, and definitely more rough than last year. I guess you could simply chalk that down to age, but as we all know, wooden coasters must be maintained if you want them to age well. There was a lot of shuffle going on...more so than many coasters that I've ridden that are 20+ years old. It wasn't as hard on the butt as the Screamin' Eagle @ SFStL was last year, but there was a lot of bone jarring going on @ Big Chiefs. I might have overstated the condition of the trains a -little- bit, they didn't look too bad, but last year, there was a lot of "duct tape" repairs, vandelism, and overall filth. I didn't stay that long, nor did I ride in various seats, like I did last year, so I didn't "inspect" them all that much. I just wanted to get away from the mindless, rude ride ops, so I got in my 3 rides, and got the hell out.

Despite my feelings about the park, and how it is operated, I still love these coasters. I just feel they deserve a better home with more loving care, and enthusiastic operation.

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Current favorite coasters:
Wooden: 1) Beast 2) Raven 3) Son of Beast 4) The Boss 5) Timber Wolf
Steel: 1) Raging Bull 2) Millennium Force 3) V2 4) Wild Thing 5) Deja Vu / Mr. Freeze (tie)
*** This post was edited by Joe Carroll 6/23/2003 5:01:06 AM ***

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Monday, June 23, 2003 12:56 AM
Sorry about initially posting this in the "General" forum. It was initially intended to be a statement about their lack of safety proceedures & my concern, rather than a trip report. Thank you to whomever moved it.

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Current favorite coasters:
Wooden: 1) Beast 2) Raven 3) Son of Beast 4) The Boss 5) Timber Wolf
Steel: 1) Raging Bull 2) Millennium Force 3) V2 4) Wild Thing 5) Deja Vu / Mr. Freeze (tie)

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Monday, June 23, 2003 6:08 AM
I've seen people leave the station on Zeus with the lap bars completely open. There's a reason I refer to the place as 'the lawsuit waiting to happen.'
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Monday, June 23, 2003 1:55 PM
Sadly, none of this comes as a surprise to me. Last time I was there, about 2 or 3 years ago, I was waiting in line for the front row and this girl in front of me asks the ride op a question. "Can I push the buttons?" The ride op laughs and replies with "Why not?" The girl, who looked to be around 13 then proceeds to the control panel. He briefly explained things to her, then walked away to speak with a former employee and she did her thing. Nice, eh?
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Monday, June 23, 2003 2:57 PM
Holy smokes! I've never heard of such behavior. (maybe I never read any other Big Cheif's TR's) If everything that you all are saying is the truth, somethig has to change, and SOON before we are reading about another coaster related death.

About the restraints not "needing" to be down and the seat belts buckled for a dispatch... EVERY coaster I have ridden, the ops make sure emptys are down and locked. There must be some reason for it.

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SCREAM with me... in 2003!

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Monday, June 23, 2003 3:08 PM

Zues and Cyclops are both a rough ride in the back seat. I don't know what they are like in the other rows, I've never ridden there. I went there last week and the ride ops just did a visual check, no physical lap bar check.
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Riding the Bull anywhere but the back is merely going for a walk.
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Monday, June 23, 2003 4:19 PM
With the restraints, my guess would be that they will close in the course of the ride anyway so they close them at the station.

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Please visit the small parks. We don't know what's happening behind the scenes
Woodencoaster.com

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Monday, June 23, 2003 5:39 PM
I rode Zeus about a week ago in the back seat and it was smooth as ever. I'm sure I'll be back this weekend so we'll see.

There really is no good reason to close lapbars on empty seats. The seatbelt needs to be fastened because otherwise they get ripped up in the wheels and such, but it does no harm to leave the lapbars up. They don't bounce around, because once they ratchet down they won't go back up until they're released in the station. It's just as if a heavier person were sitting in the seat. There is no damage to the lapbar, nor any danger to any rider.

As for the op letting a guest push the buttons, there really isn't that much danger in it. I'm not endorsing it or saying it's not a problem, but it's not going to kill anyone. Any idiot can operate a manual ride like that; as long as the lapbars are locked before the train dispatches nobody is in any danger except for some minor whiplash in the brakes. It is most definitely agains the law, however, as ops must be 18 in WI.

-Nate

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Monday, June 23, 2003 5:42 PM
One credible reason I've heard for securing the seatbelts / lap bars is the buckle on the end of a long loose seat belt can get caught against the edge of the station as the train returns (supposedly witnessed by an enthusiast I was talking with... can't provide evidence, but his claim makes sense).

Securing the belts might also prevent the buckle from striking an occupant in the neighboring seat during a violent ride.

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Monday, June 23, 2003 5:56 PM
yeah i have never really liked that park.you basically pointed every thing out that i have a proablem with that park. When ever i go there which is like one a year. I never buy anything besides a tickets to ride.the rides would be cool if the ride ops were nice, and fun, spoke english lol. If they really hate there job let me do it i would love to ride op.

I wish like Cedar Fair would bulid a qulity park in the dells.The dells just keep adding more water parks i have nothing against them but i want coasters.

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http://groups.msn.com/kylecoasterworld

choose thy fate: freeze or burn

Fly with the Man of Steel in 2003
SFGAm

"THE DEMON HES GONNA GET YA"

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Monday, June 23, 2003 6:30 PM
I go to the Dells with my family every summer and I also go to Big Chief most of the time. I mostly go on the go karts but those are pretty fun but expensive. It is like 5 bucks a ride i think, maybe more. I went on Pegasus once an that was it. Yeah they should have better safety I think.
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Favorite Coasters(in order)
1. Mean Streak 2. Shockwave SFGAm 3. Shivering Timbers 4. Magnum XL-200 5. Batman: The Ride SFGAm

I haven't rode any of em'

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Monday, June 23, 2003 6:36 PM
Strijder, I specifically pointed out that belts need to be latched but it's not necessary to ratchet lapbars down. Big Chief employees *do* secure the belts, but not the lapbars. It's not a problem.

-Nate

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Monday, June 23, 2003 6:54 PM
No offense, Nate, but check the timestamps on the posts. I take time to compose my posts; your post wasn't showing when I typed my reply to Soggy. Take it easy ;)

As long as the seat belt is short enough, the lap bar probably doesn't need to be secured. But some parks loop the seat belt around the bar because there would still be enough loose tail left to catch on things. I don't know Big Chief's coasters well enough to comment... I'll leave it up to you.

I think the issue Sky Whirl had was with this:


"Can I push the buttons?" The ride op laughs and replies with "Why not?" The girl, who looked to be around 13 then proceeds to the control panel. He briefly explained things to her, then walked away to speak with a former employee and she did her thing. Nice, eh?
I could imagine (but not approve) a ride op letting the girl push the button to start and stop under his direct supervision. But walking away and expecting a 13 year old with several seconds of training to operate the ride is awful.
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Monday, June 23, 2003 6:56 PM
Seatbelts should be secured so they don't someone get onto the track and cause damage. I was at Cedar Point riding Magnum and they stoped the train 1/3 up the lift hill becuase the ride op forgot to buckle the belt behind me. I had a feeling he forgot to do that while leaving the station. When the op came to secure it one of the CP regulars said "I'll walk down" to which the ops said "No you won't" and got the ride started up about 3 minutes later.
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Monday, June 23, 2003 7:15 PM
I have heard that park needs some serious overhaul. I haven't been there since 1996, which, at that time, it was expensive (like every other tourist trap in Wisconsin Dells) but I don't remember it being real poorly run.

However, the thing that disgusts me more than rude ops, is that they have the nerve to post a "Ride at your own risk" sign! That blows me away, from that sign, I would assume that the rides are not insured and if there was a death/serious injury which it is certain there will be if they continue operating as they are, you probably won't be able to get a whole lot out of them. No doubt you'll probably get a lot of cash, because you didn't sign a contract that states you will ride at your own risk, but the park is really in horrible condition.

I'm disgusted to hear your reports, and I can only hope that they turn their act around, charge reasonably, and give something worth going for.

BTW, what's the scoop on Triton?

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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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