Very true Jeff, at least the music makes it a bit more enjoyable when friends want to go on for their first time with you. one of the rides I go on there the least and I go there a lot.
I'm a big UO fanboy and I can't for the life of me understand what they were thinking with that ride. The trains are beautiful and all (biased: I know the dude who designed them), but the ride is just so boring.
They shouldn't have cheaped out. They should have gone with B&M like USJ.
I feel like they focused too hard on the concept (which is a good one) and made the actual ride an afterthought. I only rode it once to Beastie Boys Intergalactic and I thought the music was fun as well as the vertical lift. Everything else was blah. A rough ride combined with some odd pacing killed the potential for a great ride.
Thank goodness they didn't make the same mistake with The Mummy which has one of the most immersive themes of any ride on the planet AND is smooth, fast paced, and enjoyable.
They did allow for special seat waiting on RRR on request. When we were there for our fifth wedding anniversary, it also was my 100th coaster (unfortunately). We got to wait for a front seat ride.
As much as capacity on a continuous loading/unloading cycle is increased, I'm not a fan. If people are doing their jobs filling a coaster, it shouldn't be necessary, and I think it undermines safety a bit.
I actually think the ride is fun but the roughness of the tracking makes it a once or twice when there is no line kind of ride for me. I think they could do a dozen remixes timed to the ride or based on speed and gravity and it would improve the experience.
Alexx Argen said:
#125 Pink Floyd's Great Gig in the Sky, Incredibly peaceful yet enjoyable for a coaster.
That was going to be my song selection for my second ride, although my second ride never happened. My only ride was to Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls."
I think I did something by Shiny Toy Guns, although it may have been another modern new-wavey band with a chick singer. It was a while back.
Hmmm...looks like they are experimenting with it, loading the train as it comes through the middle of the station to give them time to get everybody in and check all the lap bars and stuff before it gets out of the station.
It seems to me that the way the Universal coaster is set up makes more sense in terms of a functional way to do this, with the conveyors on either side (note: wasn't working when I was there....), and certainly it looks like Six Flags is losing out on some speed by only loading through one row. I think the way to do this would be to at least take out the shotguns and dump everybody at the back of the station, with lots of room to walk alongside the train to get into a seat just as quickly as one becomes available. It would be easy, then, to load even four or five rows at once. Of course, there are two limits on the speed the train can move through the station. The most obvious is the rate at which the other train(s) clear the ride. The other is the safe speed with which riders can "track" the train and get into it, which in the case of the NTG looks like it might be complicated by those "windows".
I don't know; I think the jury is probably out on whether it is worth the complexity and effort to load a big train this way or not. Gotta give them credit for trying, though!
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Yea. Loading more than one row at a time sounds like it would make more sense. I'm not there to see how well the way they are doing it right now works though, so what do I know. :)
They kind of do that already in the sense that the operator at the one opening points to a row and says, "Next two in this row." Once they are out on the platform and walking with the train, he's already pointing at the next row, even if the first pair hasn't sat down yet.
I don't know how much the complexity or staff requirements increased, but capacity was significantly better. 2 trains, each of which took less time in the station and no time on the brakes and fewer empty seats going out.Last edited by ApolloAndy, Wednesday, January 9, 2013 9:07 PM
I'm curious to know how they handled slightly larger groups. Or even smaller groups once the backseat of the train was reached. Were they splitting up groups between trains? That would suck for those groups that all just HAVE to ride together.
That's where the operations on HRRR (Universal Orlando) were instructive. Again, when I rode that one, the conveyors were not working. But in the absence of a shotgun (but the presence of three different entrance lanes: standard, express, and single rider), the operators were pulling people from all three entrance lanes and assembling a full trainload, then dispatching that whole group onto the platform to find their seats. From a practical perspective, it was more orderly than it sounds because people were lined up in pairs and a platform attendant was directing people to their seats, but functionally it was kind of like those big S&S swing rides, where everybody is lined up on a bunch of dots, then scrambles to find an open seat.
The key to the Universal system is that the first platform attendant was building full train-loads of people, and was keeping about two loads' worth of people on the platform. That provided enough time for the sorting and other adjustments that had to be made to keep groups together, handle special seat requests, and all the other incidental stuff that goes along with loading a roller coaster.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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