CP - Force Seat Belts & T Bar Restraints

Saturday, May 15, 2004 6:16 PM
I've noticed that some have asked about what CP is doing to inforce saftey issues on MF. Well, from my experience this morning they are being much more careful.

Eventhough all three trains on MF were running this morning the ride was still stacked for the morning. The ride ops are being much more attentive to the guests fitting into the ride restraints. There does not seem to be a seatbelt lack rule as others have posted.

They simply ask you to tighten your belt as tight as possible and they mash the T-Bar restraint into your mid-section as snug as possible. I was pretty much stapled into the coaster this morning.

They did remove a single rider this morning for not being able to "fit" within the confines of the restraints.

I am 6'2 and 240 and fit very snug into all of the attractions. But the tight fit seems to make for very good rides.

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Saturday, May 15, 2004 7:44 PM
I rode Monday with a lady who fit into the seat and had the seat belt fastened and the ride op did not want to let her ride because he could not get 1 1/2 inches of slack out of the belt. He wound up letting her ride after some discussion. I questioned CP about the new rules, but have not received a reply yet. There was a big discussion over at GTTP the other day.

There were a lot of people that were forced to leave the train Monday because they did not fit and it really slowed things down with two train operation. I wish that they would do a little better at having large people try the test seat. I quess the new ops are still learning and will get better with time.

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Saturday, May 15, 2004 9:25 PM
I'm beginning to feel very uneasy about this growing exclusionary policy toward bigger riders. I went twice to CP last year, and the first time (in May) I was unable to ride either MF or TTD because the seatbelt was 1 inch too short for me. I returned with a friend on my birthday in late Sept. and was able to get on MF (although the ride op assisted me in securing my seatbelt); TTD is still a lost cause.

While being very happy for all you thinner types out there, and acknowledging that this gives me incentive to lose weight, I am not THAT big, and I'm beginning to think the question here is how big is too big for the parks? Where do you draw the line? These new policies are going to disappoint and exclude a *large* segment of the park-going public, all in the interest of safety (not that I'm knocking safety, mind you, but I have never felt ill-secured on any INTAMIN coaster before - if anything, fitting more tightly onto the ride, I felt that I was *more* secure than if I had been smaller!!).

I personally feel that the reconfiguration of restraints on SROS at SFNE is totally unnecessary - I have ridden that baby MANY times and always welcomed the larger seatbelts in the front seats, which were *adjustable* for tightening; the lapbars ALWAYS fit securely against my thighs, or just above. I will continue to feel that the REAL problem in that incident was ride attendant negligence, but even that amazes me, because I have NEVER seen SROS attendants fail to check restraints before. There was not a D*** thing wrong with those belts & t-bar restraints - thousands and thousands of guests have ridden SROS over the last several years, and not once has one of them been ejected from a properly secured restraint. I suppose the state had to come up with something to placate Markey & his minions....

Perhaps CP's decision on MF not to reconfigure the T-bars in a similar fashion (the seatbelts are already shorter) may indicate that they have full confidence in the integrity of that restraint system and that they consider SFNE's accident to have been due to ride attendant negligence.... just my gut feeling...

Ahhhh well, those are just my thoughts... I'm still feeling very down, having waited through a very difficult, very long New England winter, only to be told that SROS is down and that even when it comes up I won't be able to ride it again.... That is my #1 ride.

:''(

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Saturday, May 15, 2004 9:28 PM
CP...I agree with you. There is a test seat at the entrance of the attraction. The person admitting people to the line should heavily suggest that a guest that may fit beyond the perameters of the ride to sit in the seat. But....then you have an issue with the park getting politically correct. They could upset those that are heavy set at the park.

BTW...if a potential guest scrolls through the park website or reads the park pamphlet..it mentions height and waist restrictions. Weight riders should be under 250 lbs and have a chest no larger than 48". At least I remember seeing that on last year's park guide and website.

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Saturday, May 15, 2004 9:46 PM
I hear your point, HOWEVER I have seen many instances where the test seat belt was shorter (or longer!) than what was on the actual ride; it is a guideline, I suppose, but not foolproof.

I'm under the weight /chest size restrictions by a good bit, but I guess it all boils down to the old adage "you can't please all of the people all of the time... " The park knows this - CP's canned response to any of this would be that safety is their first concern, as it should be, of course... but I don't think they *really* want to deal with the issue. INTAMIN must be designing these rides for the average European rider, not the average American park guest... Last year I watched this one larger guy try out the test seat for TTD, only to walk away in obvious disgust (he had no doubt just paid his $40+ admission to the park- for my part, I had just purchased my first season pass to the park last year - I did *NOT* repeat that mistake this year).

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Saturday, May 15, 2004 10:03 PM
CFVT..I think that even if you are under the height/weight-restriction/guideline there is always potentional for not being able to get on an attraction.

Intamin design...if Intamin designed these coasters to fit the American guest , which is much fatter that most Euros, wouldn't it be possible to compromise the integrity of the coaster...saftey, perfomance, cost. Imagine a wider seat for TTD..that thing has enough issues getting over the top hat...add wider seats...wider cars...there is an entire new science involved with the evolution of the ride. There could be too much wind resistance for that ride...it costs more to research..it would need to harness more energy for the launch...the end result..a higher gate price.

I elected to renew my park pass this year. But knowing that I have to maintain an approriate weight so I can ride and not compromise safety is good incentive not to eat poorly. I used to complain that I was not able to fit on attractions years ago..but I elected to lose the weight. Believe it or not...dropping to 240 from 265 makes a world of difference.

However, I did notice today that I had a bit more of a struggle fastening myself into MF in the front seat. The ride attendant had to help me fasten the belt. But I had no difficulty fastening the belts further back in the train. Go figure.

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Saturday, May 15, 2004 10:34 PM
MCCF - I don't think all the belts on MF are exactly the same length, believe it or not. I've had similar experiences. For Coastermania 2003, during ERT, I had absolutely no trouble fitting on MF, but when I returned in Spring of 2004, I tried to board and was turned away. I was told by CP that, per manufacturer instructions, the belts on MF had been replaced at the beginning of the 2003 season (which shouldn't have affected my 2004 ride), but I also think that some of the belts were shortened a bit since then as they became frayed, etc.

I *do* agree with you that the basic design of a ride may dictate a shorter belt, or more confining restraint. But I never quite understood why MF (vs S:ROS, with EXACTLY the same type train & stadium seating) couldn't have longer belts in the front as S:ROS always had?? Someone once told me that the longer front belts on S:ROS had been a mistake, but I have no way to verify that. Even when they were gradually replaced over the last season, longer ones were replaced with newer longer ones, so go figure....

I'm not an unreasonable person, but YOU know, I'm sure, that losing 40-50 lbs (or even 20 lbs) is not something that happens overnight, particularly if you're not 20 or 30y/o any longer and your metabolism isn't raging. It's a long process. I often wonder how some of the thinner park guests would feel if they were told that they were too THIN for a ride, and that they needed to pack on at least 50 lbs before the end of the season if they had any hope of riding. It's so easy when you're sitting at the top of the mountain to look down and pontificate to one who is at the bottom struggling to the top... I vote that compassion and consideration be extended to our fellow coaster enthusiasts who are larger, because I *KNOW* how difficult and daunting the weight loss road can be...

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Saturday, May 15, 2004 11:13 PM
Speaking of weight issues:

Did you know the number #2 reason people go to weight loss centers and pay thousands of dollars is "They can't fit on a roller coaster!" Number one is because of their husbands.

It's very sad, and I do feel for people. I've been up to CP 5 out of 7 days so far, and it's amazing on MF and TTD. Just Tuesday on MF alone, on one train, one ride, they had to let FIVE people get off of the train because they couldn't fit. I was amazed. Not only just at the time trying to dispatch the train but the efforts of the crew and the people trying to make them fit.

I'm pretty sure that MF seatbelts are shorter or have less slack then TTD. I was only able to briefly measure them using just my arm, but It seems that MF has about 3 to 4 less inches than TTD. I also see A LOT more people having to leave the ride on MF.

I wonder if there is a way to modify a row on Intamin rides that would allow for larger folks (ie. change the side bars, T-Bar, seat belt, etc), in order that they can safely ride. I think it can be done, but at what cost that everyone can ride safely. I know most BM have certain seats that accomodate larger folks. At GL it helps out A TON on Dominator.

It seems also on MF they are actually helping you get fastened in this year (last year, at some points, they said that you have to be capable of doing it) but I think they have a fixed point on the T-Bar and where it latches that it has to come even with or pass. There were a few times that I saw it "lock" but they said it has to come 2 more inches past the "locked" position. *** Edited 5/16/2004 3:34:55 AM UTC by RollerCoasterGod***

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Sunday, May 16, 2004 12:35 AM
The lap bars on Intamin coasters will lock in any position. Any position at all from full-open to full extension.

That seems to be part of the problem.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Sunday, May 16, 2004 12:46 AM

RollerCoasterGod said:
Speaking of weight issues:

<<I'm pretty sure that MF seatbelts are shorter or have less slack then TTD. I was only able to briefly measure them using just my arm, but It seems that MF has about 3 to 4 less inches than TTD. I also see A LOT more people having to leave the ride on MF.>>

I actually was able to fit on MF last year on my b-day (maybe the ride op made a special effort knowing it was a special day for me and it was my first-ever front seat ride on MF - she was very nice about it) ... but the test seat on TTD was hopeless. I didn't even try to stand in line because the test seat belt didn't even come close to closing (by about an inch or 1.5 inches. But, as you say, maybe on the ride itself the belts are more forgiving.)... Part of me wishes I had stood in line and at least made the effort, but that's 20/20 hindsight at this point. I think what made me walk away is that the CP employee by the test seat told me the seatbelts on the ride itself were even shorter, so I figured, why waste the time?

As for the lapbars on INTAMIN coasters, RideMan from my experience you're absolutely correct - on S:ROS at SFNE even if the lapbar is locked far too high, you always have the option of lowering it more while going up the lift hill, but you can't push it upwards.... is that right?


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Sunday, May 16, 2004 1:24 AM

RideMan said:
The lap bars on Intamin coasters will lock in any position. Any position at all from full-open to full extension.

That seems to be part of the problem.


You're absolutely right, I should specify more clearly. It seems that when the lap bar does come down, if the person is of bigger size, it seems that the employees have a "sight" or "spot" they are watching that the lapbar comes down to in order for them to ride. I don't know what that would be though? Maybe the lower part of the T-Bar has to come even with the side seat bars or something? The statement I kept hearing is, "Your lap bar has to come down just an inch more." Do you Dave, or anyone else, know if the trains have sensors on them that stop the train from moving if the lap bars are in the up postion (even though they are locked?) It would seem that some type of sensor should be on the trains/boats as another backup. *** Edited 5/16/2004 5:24:54 AM UTC by RollerCoasterGod***

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Sunday, May 16, 2004 1:52 AM
For a lap bar to function it must be on your thighs and therefore keep you in the "Z postion" if it is on another part of your body (your stomach) then there is a chance that your stomach can lurch up with airtime and then your legs are free to squeeze through the space between the lap bar and you fall out. If the bar is on your thighs and your feet secured so they dont rise up above the train floor then your body is locked in position and you are safe.

The lap bars locking in any position is not the problem on these rides, they are designed so that the riders are in that "Z position," seat belts are not an adiquette test of weither or not a person is fit to ride. A better test would be to make sure the lap bar was snug around your thighs but seeing as that is in percise we have the seat belt. Rides where the rider is not in the Z position (like BM hypers) need to have a safety point before they lock Intamins dont

I am a larger rider and I despise the Intamin company. While I do have somewhat of a large stomach I can (or at least used to under the old trains) barely fit on all of their hypers, that includes MF and TTD. Trust me when I say that my body did not move an inch and I felt safer in those restraints then in PTCs.

That is not my main gripe with Intamin though. On top of my larger stomach (which admitantly I can change) I have large upper body that prevents me from riding allmost all of Intamin's Inverts (the exception being Volcano where one side has longer belts and S:UE due to a freak accident of me finding a rather streched belt once unfortunatly when I came back later in the day they had replaced it). This is due to my sholders (I can stick my hand though the space in my OTSR by my stomach when I pull it down as far as it can go) I can fit on normal BMs with a little dificulity and Verkomas are a snap. If the other two companys can fit my body size they should, I cant change that part of my body demensions and its not like I am a giant (6' 2") the human race gets taller with each sucessifive generation please plan for us taller people.

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Monday, May 17, 2004 8:07 AM
I had to add this after my NEW experience yesterday on MF with the parks even newer policy:

Sunday, May 17th was SOOooooOooo BAD!!

Those that I have talked to have all ready heard me talking about TTD and MF restraint system this year. This past week it wasn't to bad but now CP has a NEW RULE! I rode it fine, but other's are a WAY different story. TTD according to MF ride op's haven't had to use this rule yet.

The rule is SOooo strict that according to one of the girl ride op's I was talking to 1 in 15 people CAN NOT ride MF and have to be asked to leave the ride!! Oh it gets better...

MF is running 3 trains now. Problem is the wait between trains trying to load people under this new rule. I got to spend QUITE a bit of time waiting in the exit walkway by the station flyby while waiting for some friends. Down there I got to talk to the op while she was on break.

The things I saw...Every time the MF train took more than 5 minutes to load I knew what was coming. Next thing I knew a girl would coming SOBING HYSTERICALLY down the ramp...and this didn't happen just once. MANY TIMES! It wasn't just girls either, I saw many men come down just holding their head a little down. I felt SO bad for these people. And most of them weren't even fat! According to the MF op she said usually an average of 2 people per train can't fit. She said she has seen as many as 5 people on one train not fit! That's unreal!

The new ride policy is that EVEN IF they seatbelt is buckled the operators MUST be able to see one inch of black extra strap from the left over red strap. As MANY of you know the belts we're REALLY shortened due to that red strap already (and that eliminated most large people.) Now with this new rule it's estimated that those around a 36-38 inch waster or higher can't fit on! That's most average people!

CP needs to change something NOW!!

I know the past situations that have happened. CP and Intamin better have a new design for their rides cause this isn't going to work...succesfully.

Small print isn't going to that. The train seat at the front isn't going to that! Heck, most people know the lapbar will come down over them. No one mentions the seat belt rule! SOOooo Many people waited for 1 1/2 hours on Sunday just to sit down on the ride...be embarassed (nicely by ride ops)...have people in the station LITTERALLY laugh at them...then be asked to leave. And I'm not kidding in the slightest. The ride op at the beginning of the que line now needs to do MORE than just check for carry-ons. Heck, get two people up there if they have to. I had to go to Guest Praises over something else that happened yesterday that was awesome...but the complaint line was out the door!

Think about 1 in 15 people coming off MF with their WHOLE day pratically ruined and going onto the midway...the effect that has in mind boggling.

As for why I'm so passionate about this...It's just so sad to see this happen at one of the happiest places to be and to expect to be happy. At ANY park this should not happen. CP is going to be getting WAY more than an earful on this...and it's not going to be from me.

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Monday, May 17, 2004 9:09 AM
While I don't doubt you (they were looking kind of questioningly at my Dad's seatbelt on Saturday, and he's by no means large; 5'10" and 175, maybe a 38" waist), I would like to see some sort of confirmation of this policy. I too noticed that there were a LOT of people being turned away who were't even that big - even people that were really muscular were being turned away. If that really is the policy, I think it's a horrible decision in light of just shutting down the ride for a week or two and installing some sort of restraint that the park feels more comfortable letting larger (if a 40" waist is large) people ride in. If it's true, this is going beyond paranoid ...
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Monday, May 17, 2004 9:17 AM
like many things in this world, this new rule has taken things to the extreme. something bad happens and people freak out. this "wont somebody think of the children" mentality really bugs me.

although i feel bad for the man who died on SROS, this knee-jerk reaction is probably the LAST thing he would have wanted to see.

seems like (from what i'm hearing anyways), that things have swung intirely too far in the other direction. extreme actions like this are not good for business. how many of those turned away will never go back to CP and how mant people will they tell to not go there?

why not just start weighing and measuring people before they even enter the park??

that would certainly end the on-platform embarassment.

guess i'll tell my BF to keep losing the weight. too bad too cos he's fine where he is now. he's just 6ft 3in and 200 lbs. guess thats too big. *** Edited 5/17/2004 1:19:05 PM UTC by LadyLegolasGreenleaf***

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Monday, May 17, 2004 9:43 AM
Wow... so Cedar Point is finally doing something more stupid than the first year of Freeway. This takes the cake for all things stupid.

I feel bad for the crew in this case as well. I know three of them pretty well, and they're intelligent, good people that are obviously having to do with the most stupid thing the park has done with this ride.

Knee-jerk reaction is an understatement.

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Monday, May 17, 2004 10:34 AM
Why not just install new belts? They ran 2-train operation pretty well opening weekend, just take one train off at a time and put something in there they trust.

I've already cancelled one trip in the last 25 minutes because I know the person I was going to bring won't fit on the Force now (42-44" waist). I might have a pass, but that's already $42 plus food lost because of a knee-jerk reaction to a situation that's never been a problem at the park.

What's happened to the Point the last couple of years? Guess you can't stay at the pinnacle of things forever ...

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Monday, May 17, 2004 10:48 AM
I took a friend with a 42 or so inch waist and he was able to ride. He got kicked off once because he couldn't get the one inch but he could fit his hands under the belt at that time. The belts are just hard to cinch up from the rider's position. He figured out that he needed to get the 1 inch of length and then buckle the belt. He rode 2 more times after that. He had no problems on dragster at all.

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Monday, May 17, 2004 11:15 AM
Was at CP over the weekend, On MF the seat belt was shorter on the train then in the test chair. Luckly I was able to get locked into the belt for a ride with help from the ride op, but, if anyone was at C.P. Saturday morning in line for MF at 10am will note, there was someone stuck in the seat. That would me me. Sorry. The ride OP, pulled the restraint so hard that it jarred on the pins on the restaint. So the had to unbolt me from the ride. So my first time on MF was very noteworthy.
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Monday, May 17, 2004 11:16 AM
why not ADD a couple of inches to the belts?? you know, more to grab on to and more leverage to pull it really tight??

shortening the belts is not helping things. its making it worse!! like for me, my hands dont work very well. how am i gonna get any strength to pull that belt tight when theres hardly any belt to work with?

even if the belt was longer, no one says you still couldnt require the inch of slack or whatever they want.

this would aid the guests AND the ops in pulling the belts tight enough...

belts made longer by a couple of inches are not gonna let someone who is insanely extremely large ride. it would just make things easier to adjust for those deemed thin enough to ride.

this is just taking the body image ideal thing of "never being too thin" WAAAYYYYY too far, IMO.

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