Craig Visits Frontier City - Safety Violations Galore!

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Sunday, June 24, 2007 3:39 AM
I'm working here at Oklahoma University for the summer and we got to drop by Frontier City for a few hours. First off, I was pretty impressed with the theming of this place. All of the buildings look nice, there is shade **cough** Cedar Point **cough**, and the park is fairly well maintained. We only got to ride three rides for the short time we were there (storm blew in).

We first hit the Schwartzkopf looper, Silver Bullet. I love Schwartzkopf rides and really wish I could have had the chance to ride some of his bigger installations. I have only been on Scorpion at BGA, Wildcat at CP, and now this looper. The lap bar-no seat belt configuration is actually pretty freaky when you stall over the top of the loop in the front seat. I started falling forward a bit and grabbed on...I wasn't going anywhere but it just caught me off guard! A great little ride and I got a pretty awesome pop of air before the final turn.

Next we went to the Wildcat wooden roller coaster. This is a NAD coaster but it looked to me like it was running three-bench PTCs...I wonder if it ever ran the NAD trains? The ride was incredibly smooth, with just a little bit of jackhammering at the bottom of the first drop. It goes into the woods but really has no airtime. As far as small woodies go, I'll take a ride like Jack Rabbit at Seabreeze or Kennywood over this installation. Nevertheless, it was a fun woodie geared for families (watch out for the hard stop at the end).

We decided to skip Eruption (S&S Vertigo) since it had a huge line, only took 6 people per cycle, and didn't really do too much (no seat rotation - looked like a Space Shot with no air).

My friends hit up the spin-o-matic Terrible Twister (I couldn't ride cause I had open-toed shoes) - they said it was ok.

Our last ride of the day was on the Sally dark ride, Quick Draw. I have to admit I have completely come around the corner on these dark rides. I was kinda eh about Scooby Doo and never liked Gobbler Getaway. However, once I got the hang of how to shoot the targets and I could actually hit some stuff I really started enjoying myself. I now love Gobbler Getaway, and I felt that Quick Draw was actually better than Gobbler Getaway. The theming was a little more realistic and less goofy; plus, there was a lot more movement of targets and just a lot more going on than on Gobbler Getaway. Either way, both rides are great and I think these rides are fantastic additions - relaxing but totally fun.

OK, now onto the awesome safety hazards at the park. On Wildcat, some of the metal trim on the PTC train had partially detached so it was sticking up a little bit. The metal piece could have easily rotated towards the riders during the ride, poking somebody in the eye or who knows. It was a sharp edge that was not secured...and better yet, each time the train came into the station the ops would just slam it down, and it would come back sticking up again when the train returned.

On their spin-o-matic ride there was a sort of viewing area - you would go up the stairs and could stare down on the ride. So, while the ride was running there was a girl just sitting on top of the ledge, looking down on the ride. She was not standing on the walkway but literally sitting on the ledge, right over the ride. She was also in full view of the ride operators. There needs to be some sort of netting or something so people can't climb up there and fall into the rotating ride.

And for the best of show...

On the swing ride (which was the slowest swing ride I have ever seen), there was a piece of wood with nails sticking straight up right to the inside of the ride. We kicked it off to the side as best as we could. When the ride slowed down it rotated pretty quickly on the ground and people could drag their feet...it would be too easy for someone who was swinging too much or dragging their feet to hit that board head on and lose a toe! Ugh, we got a picture of it and I am considering sending a letter to Six Flags Corporate about this one.

The shuttle loop and drop tower were closed today, quite a bummer considering they only have three coasters and not too many other big flats. Did Six Flags close all of their drop towers?...the one at Frontier City was definitely not an Intamin.

It pains me to see this ticking time bomb of safety at Six Flags parks...I feel like there are many injuries that are too easily preventable. Having worked at Cedar Point I really appreciate how far they go for safety there. Let's hope we see some of these practices cleaned up in the future.

Peace!

- Craig, who is convinced that the Voyage is ruining every other wooden coaster in the world

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Sunday, June 24, 2007 9:50 AM
This isn't a Six Flags park anymore. It was sold to PARC Management. See this http://www.frontiercity.com/parkinfo.php
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Sunday, June 24, 2007 11:05 AM
Didn't realize that...

The ride operators still have shirts that say "It's Playtime" so I made the assumption.

Thanks for the correction!

-Craig

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Sunday, June 24, 2007 11:27 AM
I cant believe that those tickets cost $32.99
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Sunday, June 24, 2007 11:51 AM
Eh, those safety issues need to be addressed, but they don't sound terrible. Well, except for the spin-o-matic thing, but in that case the ride-ops just need to start caring. But as for the other thing, they can just throw that board in the dumpster and glue the piece of metal down and everything will be fine.

You should have seen the park last year, it's improved massively since.

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Saturday, June 30, 2007 6:31 PM
Interesting that you mention a violation on the Swing ride at Frontier City...My mom, niece and dad saw the ride break, tilt over, and basically drag the people across the ground at an angle. It broke a little girls legs. This was two years ago and it was owned by Six Flags back then.

The strange thing is, nobody reported the violation in the news or anything...It's as if it never happened.

We still go about once a week with season passes.

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Sunday, July 1, 2007 7:29 PM
That's interesting because I swear that ride didn't look quite right...

Additionally, I thought it a bit strange that it swings at its full speed low to the ground (at the end of the cycle); I definitely saw people's feet dragging.

Do swing rides usually slow down and then lower? I haven't been on too many so I don't know for sure.

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Sunday, July 1, 2007 10:39 PM
If I remember right at KI Zephyr slows down and lowers at the same time, and CP's stops pretty much completely then lowers, but I could be wrong.
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Monday, July 2, 2007 1:07 PM
Yes, the swing slows and lowers at the same time. Hard to believe such a simple, boring ride could cause such devastation and debilitation. What do you know about the bungee cords on the Eruption--(Six person ride that flings passengers up and down on a few bungee cords.) How often do they check the cords for flaws? Since there is no back-up system, that ride would surely propel passengers to their deaths if even one of the bungee cords was compromised.

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Saturday, July 7, 2007 2:55 AM
Great tr. I will be hitting up FC next week. Looking forward to Diamondback, Tomahawk (Vekoma Air Jumper), and the Silver Bulet, as well as Spin-O-Matic and the Roundup if it's still there.
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Saturday, July 7, 2007 1:38 PM
^The Tomahawk was removed early this year, but everything else should be running better than ever.
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Monday, July 9, 2007 12:51 AM
Oh crap. Are they getting another looping ship in the future?
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Monday, July 9, 2007 1:06 AM
^I hope, but who knows. Tomahawk was pretty crappy anyway, it looked like it was fun, but it was never open due to constant mechanical problems. Apparently, either PARC didn't want to deal with it, or SF decided to take it with the sale of the parks. Either way, it's been rotting in the back lot for awhile now.
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