Coasters closed for "unusual" reasons

Monday, October 3, 2005 3:14 PM
I had an interesting experience at SFGAdv yesterday (sunday).

Two of their major roller coasters - Nitro and Medusa - were both closed for a rather unusual reason - wasp/hornet swarms.

My friend and I got there early and after a short wait for Kingda Ka, we headed over to Nitro. There was no line and we got right on the coaster, however, as we climbed the lift hill, we noticed a rather large number or wasps/hornets (we weren't able to tell which they were) along the entire length of the lift hill.

Our second ride a few minutes later we decided to count how many we saw, and lost track after about 50 or so, with the numbers seeming to increase. We informed the ops and they told us they knew and that maintenance was on its way.

We decided that even without a line, it wasn't worth riding Nitro at the risk of gettng stung or hit.

We headed across the park to Medusa, and experienced almost the same thing. First ride, we didn't see any, but our second ride we rode in the first row and noticed that there also, there was a rather large number of wasps/hornets flying around the top of the lift hill. This time both of us got hit - myself in the leg and my friend in the face.

Later that day we found that both coasters were closed, and ops said they were going to try and reopen them later in the evening.

In all my years of coaster riding, I've never seen a coaster closed because of insects, let alone two on the same day at the same park. Oddly, it was only those two coasters, and even more odd? Both coasters are non-inverted B&M's... Batman and Superman (and all the others for that matter) were fine.

Anyone else have a similar experience? Or experience a coaster being closed for perhaps an "unusual" (i.e. non-mechanical) reason?

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Monday, October 3, 2005 3:25 PM
For those who are regulars at the park...is this a seasonal thing, with the wasps and hornets? Does it occur every fall, or is this some freak occurence? I love both those rides...but I'm scared to death of bees and such...
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Monday, October 3, 2005 5:59 PM
It seems like I read that Windjammer closed at KBF once because someone's jacket got caught in a wheel. The ride actually valleyed because of it.

Am I dreaming...or did this happen?

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Monday, October 3, 2005 6:14 PM
Considering that Windjammer would close if a fly sneezed at Disneyland 10 miles away, I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that it vallyed because someone's cloathing got caught in the wheels... ;)
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Monday, October 3, 2005 6:16 PM
It happens quite frequently, actually. Many parks institute a policy where guests cannot ride with sweatshirts or jackets tied around their waists or held loose for that exact reason.
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Monday, October 3, 2005 6:23 PM
It's fairly common that Camden Park closes some of their rides due to hornets/wasps.

I have even seen ride ops cary around cans of bug spray. ;-) Thankfully they have removed most of the weeds, brush, etc.

Until they landscaped the area around the log flume, there were rumors of snakes and frogs inhabiting the water. :-)

-Tina

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Monday, October 3, 2005 6:24 PM

SVLFever said:
It seems like I read that Windjammer closed at KBF once because someone's jacket got caught in a wheel. The ride actually valleyed because of it.

Am I dreaming...or did this happen?


That happened on Jaguar, not Windjammer.

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Monday, October 3, 2005 6:28 PM
I guess PKI doesnt. Saturday, I rode FOF six times following the ACE ERT, carrying my jacket. I just stuffed in between me and the side of the seat.
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Monday, October 3, 2005 6:38 PM
The only time I've seen a ride closed because of insects is Acrophobia at SFOG. I had been to a commercial filming the week prior, and noticed a large swarm of wasps in the motor shed at the top of the tower.

That weekend the ride was closed because of it...

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Monday, October 3, 2005 6:39 PM
Well, I was at Kennywood in 1999 when the Jack Rabbit was "DDT": Down Due to Tree.

And of course, I was on the train out on the course when the Legend at Holiday World went down for an unusual mechanical problem at Stark Raven Mad 2001.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, October 3, 2005 7:26 PM

coasterqueenTRN said:
It's fairly common that Camden Park closes some of their rides due to hornets/wasps.

I have even seen ride ops cary around cans of bug spray. ;-) Thankfully they have removed most of the weeds, brush, etc.

Until they landscaped the area around the log flume, there were rumors of snakes and frogs inhabiting the water. :-)

-Tina


Heck, I was expecting to come face to face with a Gator or something on that flume.

Only flume I had to duck into the log to go through the tunnel of weeds.

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Monday, October 3, 2005 8:18 PM
I saw a sign at Top Gun: Jet Coaster at PCar this year that warned that in the fall months, bee swarms were present at the top of the lift and you shouldn't ride if you're allergic. Seems like there ought to be something they can do about this? I mean, if I can have the Bug Man come to my house, can't a park afford it?!!? ;)
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Monday, October 3, 2005 8:27 PM

SVLFever said:
It seems like I read that Windjammer closed at KBF once because someone's jacket got caught in a wheel. The ride actually valleyed because of it.

Am I dreaming...or did this happen?


No, you have two of the park's coasters (one now defunct) mixed up...Jaguar! was the one where a train jammed on the track because of a jacket that somehow found its way on a portion of the track.

However, Windjammer's infamous story is also interesting/funny/relevant enough to mention...It was reported by the park in the lawsuit against manufacturer Togo In't. a few years back that the ride had to close repeatedly in certain instances when trains would stall on the circuit in measly 10 mph winds and occasionally even breezes as slow as 3-5 miles per hour.

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Monday, October 3, 2005 9:52 PM
Hey, I hate riding rides with bees. A few years back, while riding the Steamin' Demon at Great Escape, I was stung after the vertical loop after the train went straight through a swarm that had a nest in the track. Since I was in the front, I was the one who was stung. Sound stupid? Well, You'd know for sure if you were one of the people there who saw my cheeks and forehead all swollen.

Never did file a suit though, I could've said I was allergic and gotten serious $$$$$... Wait, we're talking the Great Escape, nevermind.

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Monday, October 3, 2005 11:11 PM
yeah, during this time of year all parks tend to have this problem on ift hills of coasters, though i've never seen a ride actually close down or take care of the problem...
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Monday, October 3, 2005 11:28 PM
Well...both Medusa and Nitro are from Bee&M, right? ;)
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Monday, October 3, 2005 11:34 PM
How long did Apollo's Chariot stay closed after Fabio was hit in the face with that bird? It's a horrible thing to happen to anyone. I'm glad it was Fabio, though.

*** Edited 10/4/2005 3:35:39 AM UTC by Railshark*** *** Edited 10/4/2005 3:36:51 AM UTC by Railshark***

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Monday, October 3, 2005 11:44 PM

Mamoosh said:
Well...both Medusa and Nitro are from Bee&M, right? ;)

Tell me you didn't Moosh!!!

Apollo's Chariot opened almost immediately after they got Fabio and all the girls away from the platform. They pulled off the bloody train but it sat on the transfer track for sometime.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2005 1:46 AM
I forget exactly where.. I think it was SFMM.. but wasn't there a coaster earlier this year that was closed due to bee swarms at a part of the track? (I'm thinking Viper, but I don't remember)
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Tuesday, October 4, 2005 2:02 AM
SFMM's Viper has had a hornet nest at the ride's entrance inside the viper head and the ride has been closed because of it on occasion.
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