CAPACITY! Kind of Long, kind of Ranty.

Associated parks:
None

Monday, May 13, 2002 6:12 AM

For the second weekend in a row, I journeyed to SFWoA & CP in the morning, where my wonderful riding partner (yes, soulmate/female/stop wondering if she's going to READ this, she's NOT!!!) processed her pass. She had never visited a SF park and was indifferent when departing for the Point.

Superman = pure enjoyment for me, a suffering experience for her. Her words: "You will NEVER get me on that again, MY GOD!" LOL! She also said, it was a complete rush, but found the Villian more her liking. We basically stayed 4 hours too long. And I'll explain this by phonetically pronouncing the noun, Capacity, for you by explaining it in 3 separate words.

CA-PAC-I-TY (n) (taken directly from Webster)

CAP: (n) being on top, to complete, to surpass. AC:(pronounced ass) For how I was feeling after spending time in a park that was not running to the 'fullness' of our desired word. CITY: Sandusky, NOT Aurora on this day, May 11th. Basically: Top city to put your A@* in = Sandusky.

Our focus word for the day was rudely ignored by SFWoA. I completely understand about weather and rollbacks (Villain during weeks tests), but Batman ran two, Villain, Big Dip, RWB running one and X-Flaw having mechanical failures most of the afternoon. Most people will ask why I continue to frequent WoA. Answer: WoA equals most thrills: you have a first time rush and you want it to be as good as the last (season). I'm just praying for the buzz to come back, and SOON! Plus, WoA has 3 coasters unlike any at CP (Villain, Batman, X-Flight). Many people rant on the Trip Reports, it's just my turn and don't accuse me of being a "Six Flags Hater", since my second and fourth favorite parks are SFMM and SFGAm. I'm torn between waiting until June to go back when I know most rides are in working order..........ie: A Case of the Early Season Blues.

Taking the hour and a half trip to CP.....yes, a flat tire on the Turnpike adds 30 minutes to the trip and I don't work on Jeff Gordon's Pit Crew.......to find a 20 minute Season Pass wait. No problem. It's cold, blowing and miserable....Ughhhh! Frostbitten, I ask my her for one lap on Raptor... she complies... Thank you adrenaline. Because now she wants to stay the remainder of the evening.... so I complied.

Quick Tour: ALL coasters available were running to CAPACITY. Exceptions: MF until later and Gemini (Red) rolled back on the first hill. Hey, does anyone know if it valleyed on the morning test? Magnum was the surprise of the day and "Rainy Day Coasters Always Make Me Smile" (new Carpenter's hit!)

Overall, we made the BEST of the day. Horrible weather and coasters in the rain......uh...... I think I like life, it's not so bad.

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There's nothing like a woodie...

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Monday, May 13, 2002 6:38 AM
Look's like you had a good day!!!

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-Sean Newman
80 coasters and soon to be more
Life is a roller coaster Ride It!

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Monday, May 13, 2002 9:59 AM
So, umm, let me ask a few questions:

1) a: Is Big Dipper still using skid brakes?
B: Was it raining (or rain threatening)?

If both answers are yes, then you *saw* BD running at the max capacity. They refuse to chance the final brakes not fully stopping the train (see Beast last season). If either answer no, disregard above.

2) How long were your waits? If it was less than say 15-20 min, IMO, they didnt *need* any more trains than they ran. I understand that CP has this mentality of cycling half empty trains, but I find that to be an exception, rather than the rule. BGT, IOA, SFGAm, PKD, HP, etc., all seem base their numbers on the in-park crowds. Now, if your waits approached an hour, again, disregard the above :)

3) More of a comment than a question, but dont you think the problem with X-Flight is, not that it's not running at "Max Q", but the fact that Six Flags bought Bat-Flight in the first place?
lata,
jeremy
--who notes if he combined them the *other* way would yield "X-Wing"

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Monday, May 13, 2002 11:47 AM

2Hostyl said:

2) How long were your waits? If it was less than say 15-20 min, IMO, they didnt *need* any more trains than they ran. I understand that CP has this mentality of cycling half empty trains, but I find that to be an exception, rather than the rule. BGT, IOA, SFGAm, PKD, HP, etc., all seem base their numbers on the in-park crowds. Now, if your waits approached an hour, again, disregard the above



I disagree. IMO, it is the wait that was not NEEDED. I say that if there is ANY wait over 5 minutes or so and they have the ability to run more trains then they should be doing so. Why should I wait 20 or 30 minutes when they can be running another train and my wait would be 10. I don't think CP has the mentality of sending half empty trains. Gemini usually opens with the one side (3 trains) and then goes up to 6 trains at around 11:30 during the middle of the summer. Rides like Magnum start with three in the morning to avoid the downtime and guest dissatisfaction of having to transfer on in the middle of the day when it gets busy. Even if all three aren't needed for the first hour, it's easier to have them on so the ride does not have to go down to transfer on. I guess its a difference in operating philosophy, but its not one your going to get me to say Cedar Point is wrong about in a million years. Why make people wait in line when they don't have to. They could be out on the midways riding other rides, riding again, or even more importantly, spending money on food, souvineres, etc. If the capacity is there - use it! Honestly, I couldn't imagine anything more boring than being a ride-op on a coaster with one train op. Magnum: May 30-August 24 2001- all three trains all the time (except for one 15 minute period for a mechanical issue on blue).

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-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew

*** This post was edited by MDOmnis on 5/13/2002. ***

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Monday, May 13, 2002 1:52 PM

1) a: Yes, still skid brakes. b) Overcast with no rain in site from 10am until 5pm. Thus: Disreguard.

2) If I have to wait for a B&M for 20 minutes that has a two train operation, then it's too long. Oh yeah, you probably like pickin' up chicks in line.....I see.....you just need the extra time.........JUST KIDDING, Jeremy!! LOL! And the "mentality" thing for CP......no, I'm thinking it's just good ol' fashion customer service. Villian had a reason, Big Dipper......maybe, BUT Batman and Raging Wolf Bobs had no excuse unless for an unforseen mechanical problem where none of the Ops knew of any. Again: Disreguard.

3) Batwing, hmmmmm.....a little park favoritism, perhaps? SFA is a solid park, I feel lucky having a clone near me.

Take care, Jeremy and don't pick up anything.......

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*** This post was edited by Woody on 5/13/2002. ***

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Monday, May 13, 2002 4:45 PM
Hmm Xflight was having problems. That happens, but for very short periods of time. Usually only 10 minutes. Line are rarely more than 45 minutes on the past two saturdays. As for the other rides. I see no need to be all pissy about a 20 minute wait. Thats pathetic.

*** This post was edited by LTLWcbYbe on 5/13/2002. ***

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Monday, May 13, 2002 6:50 PM

I do see a reason. If you've ever had the chance to marathon a coaster, you know what I'm talking about. I've done dozens of rides on Magnum, or even Millennium Force and Raptor during Millennium Mania two years back. That's what I call service, even with empty seats. That's the expectation a lot of us have, and it's that silly difference that makes us come back again and again.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Tuesday, May 14, 2002 7:39 AM

LTLWcybbha;lhf: Oops, sorry, I was tired of going back and forth trying to write out your handle..... but.....hmmmmm......let's ponder on some thoughts then. (1) I only become 'pissy' when my fries are cold and I miss a meal. (2) Why is it that if I tell the truth or explain a fact, that I'm crucified for becoming "pissy" or that extra trains are "not needed"? I'm really confused by both of your posts. Do you both enjoy standing in lines so that your day is full of faces and not the 'blur of faces'? I have waited in my share of lines, but the reason was illogical for me to wait on this particular day.....and both of you would agree. LTLWc: Weren't you just estatic that you had to wait for 20 minutes with me for Batman? Uh......I wasn't, while the 3rd train sat vacant on the transfer.

(3) To reiterate and if you read closely in the TR, I explained that I waited 20 minutes for Batman, running 2 trains on an average crowd Saturday. While an hour away, I waited 10 minutes for Raptor running 3 trains at a park that had more peeps. (4) I'm sorry to offend you about X-Flaw. I realize that this prototype will continue to have problems......I expect it, but if you are waiting in line and it breaks down 2 times at 10 minutes a pop.....then,......well, you do the math. Pathetic, isn't it?

"Being a math teacher has its ups and downs, I just make sure I'm riding a rollercoaster while grading papers."

"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- J. Friday

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Tuesday, May 14, 2002 9:34 AM

Jeff said:
"I do see a reason. If you've ever had the chance to marathon a coaster, you know what I'm talking about. I've done dozens of rides on Magnum, or even Millennium Force and Raptor during Millennium Mania two years back. That's what I call service, even with empty seats. That's the expectation a lot of us have, and it's that silly difference that makes us come back again and again."

Then that is the discord that I have with many so-called enthusiasts: the whole marathoning/power riding bit. Perhaps it is my unmedicated (actually undiagnosed ;)) ADHD, but I get bored way too quickly to want to ride that many times in that short a period. Granted, that's me, but that disposition makes it very hard for me to see the validity of a complaint about a 10 minute wait.

And while we are on it, CP WILL cycle half empty trains, despite what you say Matt. Since you work(ed) there I'm sure you've seen Blue Streak and Corkscrew mostly dead in the late afternoons. Where some parks would remove a train to reduce the wear and tear, CP chooses to keep it on. Whether you choose to praise them for this on not is your choice (and IMO irrelavent to my point). But the fact of the matter is, CP is an anomaly is this respect. Almost every other chain correlates the number of trains to the number of expected guests. That's a fact, anything further said is opinion.

And Woody a comment and a question Comment: You never actually said what the wait times for the rides were. You alluded to the B:KF wait, but were silent regarding X-Flight. Question: Just what is it you are warning me against "picking up"? ;)
lata,
jeremy
--who is becoming more partial to the name "Candy Floss"

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Tuesday, May 14, 2002 1:19 PM

2Hostyl said:
Then that is the discord that I have with many so-called enthusiasts: the whole marathoning/power riding bit. Perhaps it is my unmedicated (actually undiagnosed ) ADHD, but I get bored way too quickly to want to ride that many times in that short a period. Granted, that's me, but that disposition makes it very hard for me to see the validity of a complaint about a 10 minute wait.

And while we are on it, CP WILL cycle half empty trains, despite what you say Matt. Since you work(ed) there I'm sure you've seen Blue Streak and Corkscrew mostly dead in the late afternoons. Where some parks would remove a train to reduce the wear and tear, CP chooses to keep it on. Whether you choose to praise them for this on not is your choice (and IMO irrelavent to my point). But the fact of the matter is, CP is an anomaly is this respect. Almost every other chain correlates the number of trains to the number of expected guests. That's a fact, anything further said is opinion.



This issue has nothing to do with being an enthusiast. I don't even know if I consider myself to be an enthusiast. I do know if there's a great ride and it has no line and I can keep running around over and over and riding it, I get "enthusiastic" about that! :) I'm sure any member of the GP would rather wait 2 minutes for a ride than 10 even if they weren't reriding. And if you can honestly say that you'd rather wait 10 minutes with a train or two sitting on the transfers than 2 minutes with all trains running, then yes, you are abnormal. Let me tell you - its the 10 rides I can get on Magnum from about 7-8PM that make me go back to CP over and over. Its also the half hour wait on Superman at SFDL when there is hardly anyone in the park and they're running 1 train with a 5 minute dispatch interval that makes me say, "I'm not going to bother going there this weekend even though it's only an hour away." Why should I go freeze my ass of in an empty park and still have to wait half an hour to ride when I could be waiting half that if they jacked the other train on. Guest service baby - that's where it's at! And speaking as someone who's worked a coaster - it'd be darn boring to run one train! Sure there are times when the pressure of running three on Magnum sucks and we'd have rather run two (can't set up with two), but the majority of the time the fast pace is fun. And if you can't handle it, you go to Camp Snoopy!

Its not about conserving wear and tear. CP probably has as good of maintenance on their trains as anywhere (hey I hear Maggie's lapbars are fixed!). Trains are designed and are bought to be used. They are rebuilt from the ground up every winter anyway. Don't give me the wear and tear stuff. CP correlates operations to the number of guests as well. They just don't cut back to the point where the guest suffers. Take Gemini for example. Yes, they cut down from 6 trains to 4, 3 or 2 at night, but I bet you've never waited more than 2 trainloads for Gemini when they were running at less than capacity.

If there's a safety issue (brakes, rain, etc), fine. If there is not enough people in the park to fill a train even with one train op, fine. If there's a maintenance problem with a train and it needs to be fixed and they are actually fixing it, fine. Run at less than capacity. But if there's a wait and there doesn't need to be, that's unacceptable.

Enthusiast or not, people want to ride with as little wait as possible. I am supporting the park by going there on a day where attendence sucks, the weather might be bad, etc. They should support me by making sure I have a great time so I'll come back.

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-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew

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Tuesday, May 14, 2002 9:51 PM

well, I may not have a *strong* desire to marathon on a particular ride, and 10-minute waits will never kill me.....but that being said, if you can keep the trains filled, (and running safely), there's NEVER too many trains on the track. Call me a "cap whore", but I yam what I yam.... Leave single-training to the shuttle coasters.....

edit: SFoG gets props for multi-training all the coasters Sat AND Sun on our visit.....thanks to MisterX....;)

*** This post was edited by rollergator on 5/15/2002. ***

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Wednesday, May 15, 2002 7:19 AM

Jeremy, are you sure you don't 'stand in' for Keanu Reaves? You play the Devil's Advocate so well.......A-N-Y-W-A-Y-S......ok, now stop. With your ADHD, wouldn't it be wise to have shorter lines for you? Wait, ride, move on.....that's where it's at for the attentively challenged. With my own attention span, I get the Heebies just waiting in a crowded, hot,sweaty line........Ewwwhhh! (And now, the rest of the Coasterbuzzers are saying, "but Woody, we are in that line!?!?!") You all know what I mean!

Secondly, what is THIS all about? "Where some parks would remove a train to reduce the wear and tear, CP chooses to keep it on." C'mon J---you can do better than this, seriously, you had such promise as a political genius who could manipulate the masses. LOL! What do I mean by that? Most parks initiate strict maintainence on their vehicles......if they have to "rest" their vehicles like a Major League pitcher, then I don't want to be 20 feet from riding those trains. We better call Markey, Jeremy has a point here! Aren't the trains built and rebuilt every winter to withstand the pressure of being used EVERY day for 5-6 months in the north and ALL year in the south? Then, WHY would they "rest" them? These are machines built for this. RC's should actually become fine wine with all of the work that CP puts into their coasters in the off season, and I better believe that Six Flags does the same. Then, why rest?

Lastly, the marathoning thing. I, for one, enjoy crowds of all sizes, but when the crowd is as low as it was at WoA Saturday, then why do I have to wait for coasters that are not running to capacity? That's all I ask, but I guess that's too much to ask since I must visit these (SF) parks on the wrong days......when you own a season pass, it happens all the time!!! (btw: before the SF's people get"pissy'' about my last comments, it wascompletely in jest.....any amusement park is incredible, but when the truth be told, I be tellin' the truth.)

Have a safe and prosperous weekend on the coasters, everyone! You, too Jeremy.........I'm beginning to like these conversations with you.....have fun at SFA this weekend!

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Wednesday, May 15, 2002 9:39 AM
First of, I'd have been a *much* better replacement for Mr. Reaves. Why? For one reason, I actually *look* like I could be smart enough to be a counselor, not some bush league boob who looked extraordinarily out of place.

As for the "wear and tear" bit, it is notoriously well known in the coaster/amusment park art that coasters wear down parts with continual useage. The most noticeable of these parts being the wheels. For these boards alone one could determine that the ride given by "worn out wheels" is significantly different that on "fresh" wheels. Therefore, there can be a savings (the cost of replacement parts) by not running that particular coaster train. In the case of cutting a guests queue time from 20min to ten min, I would supect that "in the aggregate", the impact on the guests is minimal. So the question becomes, why put the extra mileage on the train if it wont have much impact on a(a average) riders day?

Dont get me wrong here, if we were taking about slicing an hour's wait to a half an hour or even forty-five minutes down to 25, I'd be all for you guys. But cutting 20min to 10, 10mins down to 5? It is my opinion that most guests would not be greatly influenced by that decision. I dont think that the majority of customers would decide that their day was *bad* because they waited "10 minutes longer than I should have". I think you guys overestimate that.

And Matt, I'd tend to agree that you are correct. In light of our "instant gratification" American mentality, I'm sure that, given the option, more people would choose the "2min" wait rather than the "10min" wait. But you know what? I dont believe that is the right question to ask. The more revealing question would be to simply ask their feelings about a 10min wait abosolutely (i.e. sans it's relativity to the 2min wait). I would be suprised to learn that most people say that is "too long". On the contrary, I believe most would be pleased with such a short wait!

Furthermore, I'd tend to agree with your statement "They should support me by making sure I have a great time so I'll come back. " Where you and I differ is that you belive that this issue we are talking about is of such paramount importance that it could make or break a day. Obviously, for some people it will (based on the rants and raves that are showcased on these and other pages). But 1)I dont think that it often rises to the level of future park avoidance and 2) Those rare, anomolous occasions where it *does* give rise to 'boycotting' are so relatively miniscule that the 'wear and tear' cost savings probably cover it! (Well, at least I hope so otherwise there would be *no* real benefit to shacking the extra train at all now would it? ;)).

Paramount does it. Busch does it. Universal does it. Hershey does it. And by admission even here on this page Cedar Point does it. So my question to you is: What time of wait is "too much" to justify the reduced capacity? Two minutes? Five? I'm willing to give 20, what's your limit?
lata,
jeremy
--who is suprised that Woody is just *beginning* to like these conversations; I thought they were "An essential part of every balanced 'Buzz visit" (TM)

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Wednesday, May 15, 2002 10:18 AM

I'll send you a response when I get home from practice tonight.....there's just not enough time right now......LOL!!!!

Too funny, Jeremy, way too funny....

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There's nothing like a woodie...

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Wednesday, May 15, 2002 11:10 AM

So the question becomes, why put the extra mileage on the train if it wont have much impact on a(a average) riders day?


I think that's where there's a difference in operating policy between Cedar Point and, well, most everywhere else. Worn parts are the cost of doing business, and that's the way they do business. Hey, with 96% up time, I'm sure they'd take the Pepsi Challenge to any park with that figure. When I look at it that way, it's hard to make excuses for other parks (especially when you consider the other park in this case is notorious for half-opening a park).

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Wednesday, May 15, 2002 11:50 AM

I speak the truth when I say that I thought about going to Six Flags Darien Lake this weekend but I have decided not to. The reason: I'll have to wait half an hour for a single train op on Superman when there are probably less than a couple thousand people in the park. I go to Darien Lake with one ride in mind and that is Superman. I ride others, but I am not interested in marathoning them and quite honestly the park doesn't have enough quality rides besides Supermen to keep me entertained for an entire day. I could ride just Superman all day and be perfectly happy. What doesn't make me happy is waiting 30 minutes for a line that barely makes it off the platform into the queues. Cedar Point can move probably around 800 people through a Magnum or Raptor queue in half an hour while I'm sitting here at Darien Lake waiting half an hour with maybe 200 people max in front of me. 30 minutes is by no means an excessive wait, but when there's hardly anyone in the park, the weather probably sucks, I don't want to stand there doing nothing freezing my ass off. I think they can do better than that to ensure people have a good time.

Before you say I'm lame for skipping a park for this reason I should probably let you know that I've made trips there every spring and fall for the last 2 years (being at school in Rochester). But the latest I've ever stayed was about 3PM because it is boring to stand in a line watching the Superman crew dispatch a train every 5 minutes while the other one sits on the transfer. I don't think it's always the crew's fault either because on a couple of the visits, it was pretty obvious that the second train wasn't "ready to go." I am not "boycotting" but I just don't feel like it is worth my effort to drive out there and have them not try their best to show me a good time. On the other hand, I'm going to drive 5 hours to CP next week where I know balls will be busted to keep everything running efficiently so that the few souls who bother coming out to the park on a Tuesday in May have a great time.

I agree that there are a few things that are wrong with our "instant gratification" mentality, but the attitude of not wanting to wait in a line that is made excessively long by half-assed operations is not one of them.

This is kind of fun! Too bad more than 3 or 4 people didn't chime in! I think the majority would not side with Jeremy on this one though.

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-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew

*** This post was edited by MDOmnis on 5/15/2002. ***

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Wednesday, May 15, 2002 12:11 PM

Funny you mention SFDL as an example because I've been in that boat now both times I was there, and I agree it is so insanely irritating.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Thursday, May 16, 2002 8:27 AM

2Hostyl said:

And Matt, I'd tend to agree that you are correct. In light of our "instant gratification" American mentality, I'm sure that, given the option, more people would choose the "2min" wait rather than the "10min" wait. But you know what? I dont believe that is the right question to ask. The more revealing question would be to simply ask their feelings about a 10min wait abosolutely (i.e. sans it's relativity to the 2min wait). I would be suprised to learn that most people say that is "too long". On the contrary, I believe most would be pleased with such a short wait!

Sure, if you asked someone would they mind waiting 10 minutes, they would say that’s OK. But if you asked them would they ride more then once (in a row) with a 10-minute or more wait, they would probably say no. And for some people, that can make the difference between a good day at the park and a great day. How many time have you seen kids exiting a station, excitedly asking their parents if they can ride again? If the wait were minimal, they probably would get back on. And those kids will go home and tell their friends how they rode Gemini (or Magnum or Blue Streak or what ever) 5 times in a row!

I guess that difference is that most parks are operating at the expected capacity while CP is trying to go that extra mile for their customers.

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Bob M.


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Thursday, May 16, 2002 10:20 AM

RPMGuitar said:
" Sure, if you asked someone would they mind waiting 10 minutes, they would say that’s OK. But if you asked them would they ride more then once (in a row) with a 10-minute or more wait, they would probably say no. And for some people, that can make the difference between a good day at the park and a great day. How many time have you seen kids exiting a station, excitedly asking their parents if they can ride again? If the wait were minimal, they probably would get back on."

I'll address this last point first. Since when is a 10min wait *NOT* minimal? (Heck, for that matter, when did a 20min wait become "long"?).

As for your hypothetical situation, I have to strenously dissent. I believe that most *would* re-ride with a ten minute wait (assuming of course it was a ride they wanted to ride again in the first place). Moreover, this is not just a belief of mine, but I've seen it work in practice. On MANY occasions, I've seen people hop back into the S:ROS line @ SFA when the line exceeded twenty minutes. I've seen that happen both when they were running with a single train and when working at 'Max Q'. Again, since it's already been established that ALL parks will reduce capacity if business is (relatively) "slow", I invite someone to tell me what amount of wait is 'acceptable'.

And futhermore that "extra mile for their customers" bit only goes so far. One could say that the Paramount Parks (and many SF Parks too) go "that extra mile" by allowing the guests to remain on the trains as long as no one else is waiting. Hell, you could get real silly and say that adding lemon scented toliet paper to the bathrooms would be going "that extra mile". However, I doubt many people would be so impressed by that notion to say "Hey honey, this is great toliet paper! Come over here and smell my lemony fresh ass!" Likewise, I dont see many people being so much more pleased with a 2min wait as opposed to their admiration with a 10min wait.
lata,
jeremy
--That's aiight! I dont need no help!

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Thursday, May 16, 2002 10:46 AM

It's all relative for me. If the park is ass crowded, a twenty minute wait for Raptor is like a mirage. WAY too good to pass up.

However, if there's no one in the park and Raptor has a twenty minute wait because they're running one train, I'd be pissed. It's all relative.

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Fiesta Fest Weakest Link contestant wannabe.

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