CP: No help for bigger people anymore?

Monday, October 1, 2001 8:26 AM
Had a great, very-short-line visit to CP yesterday (15 min for MF twice!) and noticed something new (or maybe old - this was my only visit this year).  The entrance attendants were stopping people at several rides and making sure they fit into the test seat and could fasten everything themselves.  In the past, I've seen the ride attendants squeezing people into the restraints on Raptor, MF, etc., but they wont do that anymore due to a "new policy" (according to the ride attendant).  I was wondering if this change was due to a specific incident, or just a general policy change.

BTW: This is a GREAT site!

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Monday, October 1, 2001 8:43 AM
If I had to guess, it's related to the death at Knott's Berry Farm (Cedar Point's sister park) where a woman was tossed from Perilous Plunge, a boat ride with seats similar to those found on Millennium Force. Quite a thread has erupted about it on GTTP, and frankly, I side with the park. Forcing large people to fit into a restraint that's too small is like trying to get a square peg through a round hole.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"From the global village... in the age of communication!"
Watch the grass grow!

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Monday, October 1, 2001 8:48 AM
Cedar Fair employees have had this policy of not forcing people into the restraints for awhile, at least a year or so.

It was pretty funny watching the larger ACErs try to squeeze onto the Road Runner kiddie coaster at CoasterCon in Dorney this year, the employees refused to bear down on the restraints out of policy.

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Monday, October 1, 2001 8:59 AM
Let's be honest everyone. It is all about avoidance of legal liability for the park. Anyone who says differently is insane. Sure safety for the rider is another way of saying we (the park) do not want to be sued if an incident or accident occurs. CF should just be honest about what its liability insurance carriers are telling it regarding riders and rides at their parks. Just post a sign that states: "Our insurance carrier requires us to have riders be able to fasten their own seatbelts in order to ride". Its simply a matter of avoiding a lawsuit for the park. Cedar Fair is concerned with avoiding legal liability for any guest who does die.
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Monday, October 1, 2001 9:22 AM
I've never had a problem as far as fitting into any restraints (many are tight... but I have fit into all), I will say that having a way to measure a person before actually getting to the station is a good idea. On Hersheypark's Wildcat I have seen serveral people who could not ride because of the restraints. Having the "test seat" at the start of the queue will do two things (aside from asure safety)... 1) a person will not waste their time waiting in line for a ride they can not ride... 2) it will save a whole lot of enbarassment (its kind of obvious when a person does can not fit into a seat in the station, but not as obvious with a test seat up front).

On the other hand... how much of a "zero" tollerance will this cause? Will a person be denied a ride if the restraint does not "fall into place?" If just a little extra push is need to get it to lock, will they be denied? If this is the case... I think that is a bit too strict.
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"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

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Monday, October 1, 2001 9:26 AM
I agree with Jeff 100% on this one, pretty sure it's a CF thing.  I'll add one incident I saw at CoasterCamp (PKI) this year:  ride-ops trying, DESPERATELY, to squeeze a "big guy" into SoB.  They did everything in their power to get the poor guy into the restraints (and then some) before determining they could NOT get the bar to latch.  Everyone was cool about it, but it was funny (at least then it was, now I see it a little differently).
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rollergator - intent on improving the "guest experience" - coming soon to a park near you
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Monday, October 1, 2001 12:37 PM

Fierce Pancake said:
Cedar Fair employees have had this policy of not forcing people into the restraints for awhile, at least a year or so.

Not at Cedar Point.  I am not sure about other CF parks, but I know I used almost everything I had to get the seatbelts to buckle for a couple of guests on Magnum this summer.  I definitely understand this policy from a liability standpoint.  I just hope that common sense will prevail and the ops will still buckle the belts quickly for people who are obviously not too big.  I am being totally honest with you when I say that there are a lot of people out there (who are of normal size) who have great difficulty figuring out how to buckle a coaster seatbelt.  I know - most of them are just like a car, but some people have trouble!   The ops should still be buckling the belts in obvious cases so capacity is not diminished.

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-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew

*** This post was edited by MDOmnis on 10/1/2001. ***

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Monday, October 1, 2001 1:28 PM
And Magnum has the easy ones. You want to see people who can't figure out how to fasten a seat belt, go to Mean Streak or Blue Streak!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Who thinks the seat belt buckles on Mean Streak and Blue Streak are a terrible design.

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Monday, October 1, 2001 2:12 PM
Haha - good call Dave! :)  Or Gemini!  Not even two people trying to figure out the one belt helps!!! :)

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-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew

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Monday, October 1, 2001 4:43 PM

gatorwoodie said:
I agree with Jeff 100% on this one, pretty sure it's a CF thing.  I'll add one incident I saw at CoasterCamp (PKI) this year:  ride-ops trying, DESPERATELY, to squeeze a "big guy" into SoB.  They did everything in their power to get the poor guy into the restraints (and then some) before determining they could NOT get the bar to latch.  Everyone was cool about it, but it was funny (at least then it was, now I see it a little differently).
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rollergator - intent on improving the "guest experience" - coming soon to a park near you

You'd think someone 34 years of age wouldn't find such an experience so funny. By the way, gatorwoodie I was that guy and the reason I didn't fit well was more my height at 6'6" than my weight. I did eventurally ride SOB on the next train although I wish I hadn't. I ended up badly bruised from the ride. Some rides also discriminate against taller individuals rather than just heavier individuals. If the seatbelt buckles someone is not going to fall out of MF or any other ride at CP. I think CP would be better served helping people buckle their belts and avoiding any chance of a belt not be completely fastened and having someone fall out of the ride. I smell a Class Action suit on behalf of handicapped and other individuals unable to buckle their belts on their own due to arthritis or other hand problems and therefore being denied equal access to all the rides.

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Monday, October 1, 2001 4:47 PM
Good thing i'm a male, 15-year-old 105 pounder :)
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Formerly SFMMANIAC
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Monday, October 1, 2001 8:04 PM
coasterking, I meant no offense at all.  I was sitting directly behind you, and IMO it was definitely the length of your legs that cuased the problem (boxy fronts to those awful trains).  The ride-ops were what I found somewhat amusing, as they refused to give up, and I praise all of you for stick-toitiveness(?).  I'm glad you DID get to ride, though.  SoB bruised us all pretty bad I think (Jill rode only once on ERT, by choice)...seriously though, no offense was meant AT ALL.

Deja Vu has a height restriction at 6'4", which I thought was kinda unreal, considering Runaway Reptar CAN hold a 6'4" person. Personally, I hate the clip-type buckles like on MF.  I got a pretty decent blood-blister (ouch!) riding, of all things Woodstock Express, because of those clips.

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Son of Drop Zone - PKI CoasterCamp I Champions!!!

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Monday, October 1, 2001 8:38 PM

SLFAKE said:

On the other hand... how much of a "zero" tollerance will this cause? Will a person be denied a ride if the restraint does not "fall into place?" If just a little extra push is need to get it to lock, will they be denied? If this is the case... I think that is a bit too strict.

This is what I am worried about. How much is too much? I undestand and agree that pushing a way to big person in may be a safety problem. On Raptor it is tough enough to get in and most above average people may require just a little push. I hope common sense dose prevail in this matter and the fasten the belts of people they will know will fit safely.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2001 5:50 AM
I meant no offense either gatorwoodie.......I was just a little upset regarding the wording of your first post. Although, I am not thin the bigger problem I find on most rides is that I am so tall. I can fit MF at CP, although sometimes I find it easier to have some help buckling the restraint. My height makes it impossible to ride Raptor at CP, however I can ride other B&M rides with "big boy" seats because they allow two more inches for shoulder height. Thanks for your second post though gatorwoodie, it was kind of you to straighten it out.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2001 6:33 AM
"Part of the fun/part of the problem" with posting to the web is that we don't get those little F2F cues and nuances that we get from ordinary converstaion!  Does make it interesting, though.  I wish at enthusiast events that ACE/parks/whoever would try to get our web-posting names so we could "put a face to a name" a little better.  That was one FUN event, though, even if a bit disorganized at times (most of the park stuff seemed to know little/nothing about our being there)  Luckily, Jeff S. was one of those guys everybody recognizes - his enthusiasm was abundant, to say the least!!!
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rollergator - intent on improving the "guest experience" - coming soon to a park near you
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Tuesday, October 2, 2001 7:32 AM
My hubby is 6'4" and the only ride he has trouble with is Mantis which he finds extremely uncomfortable. With a 44" waist, he's never had trouble with seatbelts at CP. We found that not to be the case at MIchigan's Adventure. He had trouble with the belt on Shivering Timbers, and could not fasten the belt at all on Wildcat. I'm wondering if this is a CCI design thing. At any rate, I've seen ride ops at both parks helping riders with belts.

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I'd rather die living than live like I'm dea

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Tuesday, October 2, 2001 8:42 AM
The belts on most wood trains are generally installed either as an "after market" accessory or by the people who build the trains, which these days is either PTC or Gerstlauer for the most part. Dave would probably know if the belts are standard these days on PTC's.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
"From the global village... in the age of communication!"
Watch the grass grow!

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Tuesday, October 2, 2001 8:56 AM
CPLady - The belts on Wolverine Wildcat at MA are very short.  I've never had any problem with belts (other than the infamous HP Wildcat belts), but couldn't get that one by myself.  Hmmm...what's with these Wildcats and their short seat belts?   I've ridden ST in about every seat, and have never had a problem.  I did notice that the belts differ in length from seat to seat, and that 1-2 has the longest ones.  I've seen the ops redirect larger people to this seat many times.  The belts in the back seat are also longer than the front. 
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Tuesday, October 2, 2001 9:10 AM

That's probably why he had an easier time when we sat in the back of ST on our second ride than he did when we were closer to the middle. We were in the front seat on Wildcat and there was just no way he could get that seatbelt to fasten. I'm lucky to be short and somewhat thin. I can ride most anything.

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I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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Tuesday, October 2, 2001 1:11 PM
PTC supplies individual seat belts as standard equipment on their trains these days. Whether the belts that are in the trains actually match the ones that PTC supplies, though, is a bit of an open question! :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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