Confused/surprised by the "loose" article policy on Voyage (Holiday World)

Monday, July 27, 2009 11:02 AM

My girlfriend and I visited Holiday World on Sunday, July 26th, and we discovered something about the "loose" article policy on Voyage that really surprised and confused me at the same time. I am not posting this to complain, as much as to try to understand the policy.

Let me say from the start that we love Holiday World and that The Voyage is our favorite coaster. We have currently ridden 350 different coasters across North America, and The Voyage remains our absolute favorite for 3 years now. We also love the park, from the cleanliness of the grounds, the friendliness of the staff, and the fact that it is a family owned park, which is becoming all too rare among parks these days. I also want to say that we are in complete agreement that safety is the most vital and essential aspect of riding coasters, and we have always been extremely respectful of policies that are designed for our safety.

We always prepare for coaster riding by making sure that we do NOT carry cell phones or cameras with us while we are in the park, that my glasses always have a safety strap on, and that pass our hats and bags to the attendent so they can place them for us in the bins at the station, and we make sure we do not have anything like jackets or fanny packs around our waists, because I know they are not allowed and I understand the staff needs to make sure we are safely restrained in the trains.

One thing I have always done is make sure I wear pants with pockets that can be zipped shut, just so I can carry my wallet, and a small container of medicine with me while we are in the park, and perhaps the park map. My girlfriend carries a tiny wallet and small plastic container of hand sanitizer that she also carefully tucks away in a zippered pocket in her shorts.

We always ride The Voyage in the front, and we did so several times on Sunday. In every case, when as we were getting in our seats, the ride attendants told us we needed to give them what was in our pockets. (They never asked what was in the pockets, they just noticed we had VERY small bulges there and proceeded to ask for the contents, which felt a little odd to me.) We showed them what the items were (wallet, small medicine container, and tiny bottle of sanitizer) and showed them how our pockets zipped shut. These tiny items in our pockets were also not interfering with the seat belts or lap bars in any way. They still insisted we give them the entire contents of our pockets. We have been riding the Voyage for three years, always with the same items in our pockets, and this was the first day it was ever been a problem.

Now I know it says no loose items should be on the ride. I also understand how any cameras and cell phones should be removed from your pockets, even if they are initially secure, because people can be careless or tempted to remove them during the ride. But how can a wallet, non-breakable container of medicine and/or a small plastic bottle of hand sanitizer in a zippered pocket be considered a "loose" item? We read all the signs, and no where does it state that a loose item is anything in your pockets at all, regardless of what it is or if it is in a zippered pocket. However, when we asked the young attendent at Guest Relations, she told us the official policy is you can not have ANYTHING in your pockets at all. I was really surprised by this (and noticed many other people who obviously did have wallets in their pockets who were allowed to ride with them, but since they were not riding in the front, they were not as easily seen.)

One more thing. When my girlfriend was told she could not have her small bottle of hand sanitizer in her zippered pocket, they did offer to place it in a locker for her and give her a key. We saw other people storing their items in a free locker and given a key. It was wonderful that Holiday World offers these free lockers. But the people with the keys were allowed to place them around their wrists and hold them during the ride. So it appears that a sharp key around the wrist in a ride where people are holding their hands in the air is safer than a small bottle of hand sanitizer in a zippered pocket?

Has anyone else experienced this, and has anyone explained the reasoning behind it? We are happy to agree to all rules, and will abide by them, because we respect the park. But we are just confused as to why a small item in a zippered pants pocket is considered "loose" and how it could be dangerous. If it is true that all pockets need to be empty before riding, the signage in the queue should perhaps be changed to state this, so there is no confusion. The signs now only say no loose items, and I think most people will assume it is okay to place their wallets and stuff in their zippered pants pockets.

Thank you for listening.

Last edited by Mikewhy, Monday, July 27, 2009 11:08 AM
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Monday, July 27, 2009 11:34 AM

I always have my wallet and keys in a zipped up or button compartment on my cargo shorts. I even did last year during the Fall Affair. I would not be happy about putting my wallet and keys in a locker. I think that is a little excessive. In all the parks I have been too, I have never been asked to take my wallet and keys out of my pocket and put into a locker. I am interested in what is going on here and hearing more from other members if they are experiencing the same this year. If this is the new policy we might decline to go to the Fall Affair.

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Monday, July 27, 2009 3:23 PM

The best answers are going to come from the park. You should have spoken to someone else at the park.


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Monday, July 27, 2009 4:05 PM

I did in fact inquire about this as Guest Relations, and they told me you are to have nothing whatsoever in your pockets when riding their coasters, and it has always been like this. I was just confused since before it was never a problem, and I was looking to see if anyone else has experienced this, and if anyone else was able to get a better explanation as to why. When I asked why at Guest Relations, they told me because loose articles were dangerous. When I pointed out that car keys and wallets in a zippered pocket in your pants were not technically loose, they basically shrugged and said that empty pockets were the policy, and placing items like wallets in zippered pockets were still illegal.

So I was unable to get a better answer than that. I thought I would share this here, since I assume others will encounter this issue in the future. I also know that Paula from Holiday World sometimes posts here, and it would be nice to hear from her what the official policy was and perhaps why...

As I stated, I want to follow the rules, and always will. I was just curious why a wallet in a zippered pocket was still "loose" and therefore unsafe for the ride...

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Monday, July 27, 2009 4:36 PM

Can anyone point me to a time where a wallet came out of someone's back pocket (where most people keep them) and hurt someone?

This policy just seems way too extensive to be necessary.

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Monday, July 27, 2009 4:40 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

Happened to me on Zeus's double down.

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Monday, July 27, 2009 4:41 PM

It's their park, and they can make whatever rules they want. This does sound a tad excessive though, IMO...


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Monday, July 27, 2009 4:46 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I often carry things in my pockets (phone, keys, money, credit cards, etc) that I absolutely would not leave at the station, yet usually don't require a locker at most parks.

Has this always been policy? I ask because I've most certainly ridden the coasters at HW with items in my pockets in the past.


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Monday, July 27, 2009 4:47 PM
rollergator's avatar

For me, a zippered pocket is at least as secure as a strapped pair of glasses. And trust me, I can't make it far without my glasses. Or my wallet. I think someone got a little overzealous about the loose articles...or HW has drastically changed their policies.

FWIW, I do recall "chained wallets" being an issue at the HWN events - but my understanding was that the issue was with the chain, not the wallet.


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Monday, July 27, 2009 5:37 PM

Funny that this is being brought up because I had my wallet and keys in my front pocket (yes stupid on my part) while riding Voyage last year at Holiwood nights and they both came out of my pockets and went under the seat in front of me! Luckily my keys and wallet didn't fall off the train and I was able to get them back from the people sitting in front of us. I felt so dumb for not securing my stuff and underestimating the greatness known as the Voyage roller coaster! Now I always make sure my keys and wallet are in a zipped up pocket or strapped in my cargo shorts pocket. I still find it hard to believe that Holiday World wouldn't allow you to have a wallet/car keys in your pocket if they are secure. Like most parks say, "secure all loose articles." If they are zipped or strapped in your pockets then I could consider that secure.


Collin Aynes

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Monday, July 27, 2009 5:53 PM

I can't wait to read the official response from these questions.


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Monday, July 27, 2009 5:54 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

At this year's HWN event during Saturday night ERT on Voyage I witnessed someone getting their wallet handed back. It was caught by the guy sitting behind him.

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Monday, July 27, 2009 7:02 PM

My policy is that every park, and it's ride operators have a better chance of seeing god before I ever give up my wallet. It's simple, If my wallet has to go, then so do I. No coaster is worth the park policy of, "Not responsible for items left in the station", when that item is a wallet.

Last edited by Coasterphan, Monday, July 27, 2009 7:04 PM

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Monday, July 27, 2009 7:03 PM
LostKause's avatar

I would ask for a refund and leave the park before I handed some kid I don't know my wallet to hold for me while I ride a roller coaster. I'm not going to leave it in a locker, which can be easily broken into, either. Is HW prepared to replace everything if it's gets lost or stolen, like hundreds of dollars in cash (that I saved up for the trip) and my cell phone?

Secure lose articles? A walletand cell phone is not a lose article when it is in a pocket, especially a zippered or buttoned pocket.

I am very aware of the items in my pockets while on a coaster or other ride. I almost always wear cargo shorts or cargo pants at the parks (there has been times that I didn't need to take anything but my wallet and cell). I am very familiar with my pockets and how well they work. I would be offended if this happened to me.


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Monday, July 27, 2009 7:31 PM

Along with the bins, Holiday World's coasters do offer lockers with locks on them in the station. I know that I was asked to give up my wallet this year - I had no issue with it being put in a locked locker (to which I was given the key) for 3 minutes.

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Monday, July 27, 2009 7:58 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar

It's annoying, but perhaps there's less backlash from forcing people to give up their items vs. letting them lose their items on the ride then expecting the park to return said items despite all of the warnings that say the park is not responsible.

Personally I'd rather be responsible for myself than expect someone to do it for me, but this is the world we live in now.

Last edited by Acoustic Viscosity, Monday, July 27, 2009 9:41 PM

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

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Monday, July 27, 2009 8:07 PM

I know I had the normal stuff you would have in your pockets when I rode their coasters at the beginning of the month.

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Monday, July 27, 2009 9:37 PM

Mike--

Sorry about that...

Would you mind emailing me (fun@holidayworld.com)? This isn't our policy and we'd like to investigate the situation.

Thanks, Paula


Paula Werne
Holiday World

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Monday, July 27, 2009 9:46 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

Wow.. Totally Cool.. Now thats customer service!


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Monday, July 27, 2009 9:56 PM
DantheCoasterman's avatar

Wow...

I could understand this if you had a phone with you, and had it out while in line (which has happened to me before, and I can understand why they asked to take it), or if you had your keys out, swinging them around as you were about to board the train. However, eying over people's pants, looking for bulges in their ZIPPERED pockets...that's just ridiculous.

I love Holiday World; I visit multiple times every year, and enjoy myself on all the rides, am thankful for the reasonable prices, and make sure to leave a positive comment at Guest Relations each time before we leave. However, if a ride-op asked me to give up my wallet (that was in a zippered pocket), it would offend me. But, if they asked me to leave it in a locker, I would be outraged.

What would I do with the key? I could put it in my zippered pocket...but wait...isn't that considered a loose item? I could wear it around my wrist...but then, what if I accidentally jab someone in the eye with it when we hit a sharp turn? What if the key flies off my wrist? I could put it in a storage bin...but what if someone steals the key? Then it's no different than someone stealing my wallet! The whole situation is completely hypocritical.

I'm really not as angry as I may seem...I am just really confused. What is the deal with this policy? (I really want to see what Paula has to say about this. :))


EDIT: Oops...she already had something to say about it. ;)

Last edited by DantheCoasterman, Monday, July 27, 2009 9:57 PM

-Daniel

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