Diamondbacks SRL-stay or go?

Sunday, May 17, 2009 12:56 AM

How long do you really think that's going to last?

Until about 30 minutes after Kinzel steps down as CEO, and someone else who understands why technology might deliver ROI takes over.


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Sunday, May 17, 2009 1:13 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Aww. You stole my punchline, Brian.

But yeah, '5 minutes after Kinzel' seems to be the over/under. If I were a betting man, I'd take the under.


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Sunday, May 17, 2009 5:28 AM

CEO Shapiro = New Hotness

CEO Kinzel = Old and Busted.

If you saw Men in Black 2, you know what I am talking about. :)

Last edited by Chitown, Sunday, May 17, 2009 5:32 AM

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009 8:54 AM

Cedar Point resorts still handle resort charges with forms-in-triplicate....


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Sunday, May 17, 2009 7:52 PM
LostKause's avatar

I agree with you 100%. I suspect that the grouper position at the top of the steps will be cut after Diamondback's popularity dwindles. It is possible, however, that the new coaster will help the park's attendance enough that the position would never be cut. I'm interested in seeing how that position plays out a few years form now, and how adding such a fantastic, successful ride will benefit the park in the future.


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Sunday, May 17, 2009 9:37 PM

Brian Noble said:

How long do you really think that's going to last?

Until about 30 minutes after Kinzel steps down as CEO, and someone else who understands why technology might deliver ROI takes over.

With Jack Falfas likely becoming the next CEO of CF, I don't consider it that much more likely. From my observation, Falfas doesn't think mucher further outside the box than Kinzel.

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Sunday, May 17, 2009 10:14 PM
LostKause's avatar

Maybe Falfas understands the "goodwill" that would be undermined by allowing people to line jump. Maybe it's a company wide ideal that Cedar Fair shouldn't profit by allowing some people to break the rules. It could possibly be part of the Cedar Fair philosophy.

I'm not saying that there's no chance in heck that they'll ever buy into the scam. I'm saying that Cedar Fair takes line jumping very seriously.

On the other hand, Kenzel may be the sole reason that the so-called vurtuial-queue-technology hasn't been allowed to ruin the park experience.

I think Cedar Fair does pretty well with the ERT perks that they do allow. It doesn't affect the regular guest as much when they allow early access to the more popular rides as it would if Lo-Q would be allowed to come in and let everyone cut in front of everyone else all day long.

Kudos to Cedar Fair for keeping the guest experience almost completely free of line jumpers.


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Sunday, May 17, 2009 11:51 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I think you're forgetting that Cedar Point did have a VQ setup in the early part of the decade.

(nevermind the fact that it never got more advanced than colored handstamps)

Regardless of who is causing the lack of tech in the company, it's pretty well known that they still do a lot of things the hard way. I'm fully of the belief that an electronic VQ system doesn't exist only because of the technological aspects. There's too much revenue potential.


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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 12:00 PM

The SRL on Everest at Animal Kingdom worked very well too. Saved us quite a bit of time but the downside was that I sat next to a guy who insisted on "spoiling" the experience for me. "Uh oh! The track's broken, it's backwards time!!!!"

Apparently not even the groupers know the concept behind the SRL. I was solo on Maverick once but bypassed the SRL because I wanted to get a ride in the front. So I waited with everyone else and when I got to the platform, the grouper tried to treat me as though I'd come through the SRL, putting me whereever he needed a single to fill. It took quite a bit of explaining on my part as to why I should be able to pick a premium seat like every other group that had waited but eventually he let me wait for the front with a rider from the SRL like he was supposed to.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 1:26 PM

There have been some minor changes to the SRL at Diamondback.

Chief amongst them - the tickets are gone! So is even trying to fight the battle of preventing groups from entering the SRL. Basically the gate is open so if you want to opt for it, go on ahead.

Enforcement is pretty rigid at the top of the station stairs, who are also cool when it comes to groups "You aren't going to get to ride together, end of discussion" basically. KI actually manages SRL the best I have seen. You can have whole trains go by with no one advancing from SRL (rare, but it happens), or you can have a train where it seems like 8 people get through from the SRL. It's purely when an odd number group comes up, they send them to their rows, and admit one single. "Go to rows 8 and 9, single rider go to 9" Since they always send the single to the higher numbered row if a party takes up multiple rows, it does give you a slightly better chance at the back row. There are times when they get to row 16 (or 15 if somebody has already claimed 16) and the next party size is 3 or 4. Some groupers will call out "Group of 2?", others will not miss a beat "Row 15 - Two single riders to row 16"

I've found this to be very fair, and much better than the way Disney does it which is I think they have some pressure to keep the SRL moving, merit or not, and sometimes send 2 or 4 people out of the SRL every now and then just to keep it moving. Look at Test Track where they take anybody waiting in SRL and put them into the preshow (segregated from the mainstream line), at the end of the preshow the sRL people continue on to a SRL line between pre show and loading station, there isn't that much room in that line, which gives the loaders pressure to keep that line moving.

Some more notes about Diamondback, I think they have a treshold, like when the SRL backs up to the point where turns the corner to go underneath the track, they close the SRL gate until things settle down a bit.

Also, some groupers are more fair than others, the ride is genrally assigned seating, and they make it quite clear there is no holding out for your seat of choice. However, some groupers are more tolerant than others about seat requests. I think there are some tolerances, like they will let one group request Row 16, then thats it, if another group requests back of train they MIGHT offer then 15, 14, and so on forward. Then again they might not. But the rule I have observed is row 16 is fair for the asking, but once someone asks, thats it until it clears out again. I think for Row 1, they are a little bit more flexible, they may let 2 or 3 trains wait build up before they refuse requests. Again the groupers are cool about that, we got unlucky enough to get behind two groups that both asked for row 1. I said "How about row 1?", and the grouper said "How about row 3?"

Then there are some groupers who take the no preferred seating thing quite seriously, and rows 1 and 16 are treated as regular rows, no waiting.

Just some observations after 47 rides in a month :)


David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville
My Blog -> http://coasterville.blogspot.com

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 1:31 PM

How do they deal with people like me, who would simply ignore the seat assignment, if I had already decided on a front-row ride?


Brandon | Facebook

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 1:32 PM

Look at Test Track where they take anybody waiting in SRL and put them into the preshow (segregated from the mainstream line), at the end of the preshow the sRL people continue on to a SRL line between pre show and loading station, there isn't that much room in that line, which gives the loaders pressure to keep that line moving.

I'm under the impression that there is a pressure mat at the doors from the SR Preshow room to the SR queue. If someone is standing on that pressure mat, the doors can't close, and the preshow won't cycle again. That *should* eliminate this concern, but perhaps it doesn't.


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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 2:17 PM

a_hoffman50 said:
There are rarely any empty seats on The Voyage on busy days. There is not a seat assigner there nor is there a single rider line.

How true. This says volumes on how Holidayworld are commited to customer service. They also let you pick your seat.

It's a big turn off to me to be told what seat to take, especially after waiting in line for a long time.

It's really cool that CF haven't let people (recently) pay to get ahead in line, like SF - but Holidayworld (and a few other parks) are still heads and tails above the rest in operations.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009 2:30 PM
The Mole's avatar

Brian Noble said:

Look at Test Track where they take anybody waiting in SRL and put them into the preshow (segregated from the mainstream line), at the end of the preshow the sRL people continue on to a SRL line between pre show and loading station, there isn't that much room in that line, which gives the loaders pressure to keep that line moving.

I'm under the impression that there is a pressure mat at the doors from the SR Preshow room to the SR queue. If someone is standing on that pressure mat, the doors can't close, and the preshow won't cycle again. That *should* eliminate this concern, but perhaps it doesn't.

I've never noticed on there and have had the doors somewhat close on people in the line. I'm pretty sure they just use cameras to see if the lines are low in the SRL to cycle the preshow.

As for SRL's, it was started back in the day on Test Track as a back door entrance to the ride (quite literally) to fill up the gaps in the odd vehicle seating arrangements since the lines were very long all the time. The 6 person seating arragnements meant that many "typical families" would have a seat or two left over. It's also the reason why M:S's SRL sucks so much...

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:20 PM

Not having been to KI this year, I can not comment on the Diamondback situation, but overall, I have liked the SRL at every park I've been to, from Busch Gardens to Disney. Traveling alone, it lets me bypass the wait and get on the train faster, and at Disney, it cut a 45 minute wait by more than 50% for Test Track. Most people go to a park in groups and want to ride as a group. But, in my case, if my wife doesn't want to ride something (or, now, if my daughter isn't tall enough to ride) the SRL speeds the wait up tremendously. I'm just glad to hear CF put this in. It's long overdue.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 7:26 PM
rollergator's avatar

I'd like to throw out just a couple additional benefits to the SRLs. Ya ever notice how many people comment on all the empty seats when a train that holds 32 is only carrying 26 or 27 people? Well, this solution puts an end to that (valid) complaining...

Also, it makes the waiting shorter for those NOT riding, whether it's mom who doesn't enjoy/can't tolerate them, grandma/grandpa, or a son/daughter not quite tall enough. And there are a TON of people in that situation...so those of us who DO ride can take a spin without taking too long to do so... :)

Last edited by rollergator, Wednesday, May 20, 2009 7:30 PM
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Thursday, May 21, 2009 2:33 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Plus, on those jammed days when everything is an hour, it gives you the chance to actually ride something.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 3:08 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

I love the SRL at KI. But the first thing to relize is that it is not designed to be a direct benefit to the single rider. The benefit is that they can send trains out at 100% capacity or near that. The fact that this is often a much reduced time to the single rider is secondary to the reasoning for a SRL. Thus allowing groups to use the SRL is not a big deal as long as they are only filling single seats where they are assigned.

In reality the SRL allows the main queue to move faster as there is less empty seats than there would be if all single riders were in the main queue.

The seat assigners are key to making this work. IMO assigned seating makes the ride much easier to manage when you have a group of more then 2. We were at CP last Sunday and Maggie did not have assigned seating. The station was a zoo and there was no way to tell where to line up so you could be on the same train. We ended up staying in the same line and having part of our group on one train and the rest on the next.

Dave

Last edited by DaveStroem, Thursday, May 21, 2009 3:09 PM
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Thursday, May 21, 2009 6:26 PM
D_vo's avatar

^Yeah the flood gates were open at CP on opening weekend. Magnum's station was an atrocity on Sunday. And even on MF, there was an attendant sitting there, but he wasn't doing anything.


I call Cedar Point my home park even though I live in the Chicago Suburbs.

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