When I went, I thought that the price of the season pass would be 49.99, like it is online. However I was not aware that it was just an online price, and the price at the park was 59.99, so I had to pay 10 dollars more than I thought. When I went up to guest relations, they were kind of brief and said I could not get a rebate, or pay the 49.99 online price, so I had to live with paying 10 dollars more. Not the biggest deal, but they did not seem accomendating, or even sorry for the inconvience or confusion.
However there was more not so hot customer service to follow. I went on the water ride Penguin's blizzard river rapids, and I had with me these season pass coupons that you get with the season pass (like bring a friend free). However on the ride they got wet, and were not ruined, but I thought it would not be a bad idea to exchange them for a dry one. So I went to the season pass processing pass, and asked if I could exchange them for a new one. I was quickly answered with a no, and the employee did not even ask her supervisor or anything like that. I am not sure what the big deal is in exchanging a wet coupon packet for a dry one, but they seemed like it was a big deal.
Also Change was only running one train, and even though the park was not packed, its line was very long. Greezed Lightning was not open when I was there, and several shops, rides, and stuff were closed besides that. Consdiering this was sunday (july 3) and july fourth weekend, this seemed not acceptable. The park actually did have some people there, and although I did get on the wooden coasters with virtually no lines, the other rides had long waits. So I skipped Change.
Just recently I went to a weekeday (tuesday) at Paramount Kings Island, my home park and had a great time. All the major rides except for Delerium were opened, and running the maximum number of trains, even though the park was not that crowded. Italian job with 3 trains, really moves people and capacity wise might be close to the Beast, or other decent capacity rides at the park.
However the difference in customer serviecs, is shown in this following example. I was thirsty after riding the Italian Job, and wanted to relax before a Beast night ride. So I decided to get an ICEE and relax for a little bit. I gave the guy my 3 dollars, but they were having trouble with the register. So since it was taking a while to put my money in, he gave my money back and said it was free. I was not expecting that, and was greatly appreciative that he would do such a nice gesture. It just shows the difference in philosophy in both parks, and how they differ on values when it comes to guest experience.
I ended up using the money for fries and a drink, so the park still ended up getting my money , and actually a little more. I rode the beast front seat, and it was good like always. Actually had a shorter line than expected, so walked by and went on Adventure Express for a night ride on it.
I think 80 percent of guest, our repeat guest, meaning that this is not the first time in the park. So it seems that Paramount, Disney, Universal, Busch, and Cedar Fair understand that, and value the guest experience, knowing that it will effect if and how many times they visit the park again. Six Flags does not realize this, or is just beginning to understand this. Perhaps it could explain their not so great attendance, while other parks are doing great.
Both Paramount and Cedar Fair run on such a higher level that that is a major reason why Six Flags stock is selling for $4.00 a share and Cedar Fair's is up over $30.00.
Alot of the complaints with Six Flags parks aren't the lack of rides, they have tons, but the customer service.
Beast Fan said: Italian job with 3 trains, really moves people and capacity wise might be close to the Beast, or other decent capacity rides at the park.
I will admit that IJ moves relatively quickly, but has nowhere near the capacity of the Beast. IJ runs 12 riders per train; Beast runs 36. I doubt that IJ gets 3 trains through in the time Beast gets 1.
I agree that Paramount service is better than SF though.
It's been a while since I clocked the Beast, but when I've measured it, it was running at around 900 PPH. When I clocked Italian Job with two trains it was running 600 PPH easily, and with three they were getting out very close to the 45-second interval. If they make that interval, they'll move 900 PPH.
It takes less time to dispatch an Italian Job train than it takes to move a train on The Beast from the ready brake into the station. I expect the capacities on the two rides are very close. Next time I go, I promise I'll clock them both. :)
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
On most of my visits to SFKK (none recent), Chang (no 'E') was running one train....no biggie to me, I think it's rough (lots of people disagree, and that's cool, I'd rather wait in line for Thunder Run (which also *should* be running two trains, LOL)...
The service at PKI is much better, and all of their rides are great. Especially SOB in the front seat.
I also liked the fact that we were asked each time about our rides (not on the loud speaker, but personally to myself and my usband. We did geek out this weekend with wearing the varied coaster t-shirts, but it's that they notices, and seemed to care!).
And in terms of night and day, that staff at IJ:ST are incredible. They are nice and organized and seriously have the line control thing down. There is no way that that, and the loading platform ride could work at any SF park.
Any numbers for The Beast?
The formula is: (3600/i) * r
where i = dispatch interval [seconds]
and r = passengers per dispatch [people]
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
The reason why I would say that , even though the skids could only stack one train on the bridge (brake run), was that blocks 2 and 3 were not grouped. So a train could be going over lift one, as long as the train ahead was up around halfway up lift 2. However now the train ahead has to clear lift 2, before the train can go over lift 1. So that is why lift 1 is so slow, because it is waiting for the other train to get over lift 2. Once it does, you will notice that it speeds up, but then goes over slowly over the top, like it does regardless of the position of the other train.
Italian Job with a good crew working might be able to cycle 3 trains before the Beast does 1. Considering the ride is probably a minute, and 30 seconds to unload, and 30 seconds to load. So that gives a cycle time of 2 minutes. So that is 90 cycles of 12 a person, or a theoretical capacity of 1080. The best I did with the Beast when I was working there was 30 cycles and 1020 people or so. So I think they are around equal, but then again, perhaps someone that works there or knows more about this could comment.
I know what you mean about the new Beast blocking. I guess the mid-course brake shed was once a block brake. I don't quite understand why they require that the train clear the second lift before the next train can clear the first lift; in theory (and in fact I think this is how Adventure Express was, if it isn't now) the block between the lifts could end about half-way up the second lift. The problem with that is that it would be possible to get two trains on the second lift, which could get messy. But it wouldn't be unsafe.
But then, that isn't nearly so mystifying as the blocking rule that prevents a train on the holding brake from entering the station until after the train that just left the station passes the switch. Once the train leaves the station, it isn't coming back; they should close the station brakes and let the next train start coming in. Perhaps refuse to open the brakes for parking until the train ahead passes the switch, but it takes long enough to get from the holding brake into the station that it shouldn't be a problem under normal conditions.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
SF Darian Lake also likes to make you wait 1 hour or more to ride Superman and run just 1 train. Run the 2nd train Please!!!
SFGAm just seems to get it right in the SF chain. On a consistent basis, the coasters at this park run like this:
Whizzer: 2-3 trains
Demon: Always 2 trains, sometimes 3
Viper: Always 2 trains
Raging Bull: 2-3 trains
Deja Vu: duh, 1 train
American Eagle: 2 trains on both sides
Iron Wolf: Always 2 trains
Spacely Sprocket Rockets: duh, 1 train
Vertical Velocity: duh, 1 train
Batman: The Ride: Always 2 trains
Superman: Ultimate Flight: Always 2 trains unless one of them has problems.
Ragin Cajun: between 4-5 cars.
Bottomline: Unless the coaster is just set up for one train, this park will run multiple trains even on light attendance days.
I do want to get back up there, still need Spacely & Whizzer (hopefully), and they've added 4 new ones since I've been. Plus I miss Raging Bull.
SFGA on the other hand was awesome, they kept all their lines open right up until the park closed at 10pm and allowed everyone to get their ride. They generally hit their intervals, when I timed Batman they hit interval to the very second.
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