Gatekeeper anticappointment

Thursday, May 23, 2013 7:29 AM

When my middle school sister is with us, we always get the seat we want. People just can't say no to her. One time she asked to cut in front of somebody to allow her to sit in the same train as I. They let her.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013 7:57 AM

I got my first ride yesterday, I thought it was great. I sat in the back left side. However I think I enjoyed Wild Eagle more, I'm not sure why because it doesn't seem like it would be better on paper but I just really enjoyed it. I really enjoy the trees being close to wild eagle so maybe that has something to do with it.

Last edited by NitroRider, Thursday, May 23, 2013 7:59 AM
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Thursday, May 23, 2013 9:15 AM

Funny, my comment on Wild Eagle was "where's the trees?" Seemed like a ride on Bald Mountain to me!

And enfynet, my frustrating platform experience is the opposite. What I get all the time is people just ahead of me stepping onto the platform and freezing in place, not moving an inch. I can see my last seat lane sitting there empty and these folks are clogging the middle of the platform as if waiting for divine assistance or something. "excuse me. Excuse me... May I get thru?... EXCUSE ME, please... "

I think how the operations department staffs a ride most determines whether there's a platform nazi involved or not. I know CP has eliminated a ride op position or two in an effort to cut back, most notably absent is the line entrance position. Things get jostled around, tho, when FastLane is introduced. Maybe that greeter position comes back to direct guests. And certainly they need someone at either the merge point or the FL entrance point. Rides like FOF, which hasn't required a platform attendant in years, all of a sudden gets one. Even on a dead slow day like yours, Gonch, I'd bet they'd man that position on the off chance that a FastLaner rounds the corner- then they can stop loading the standby line momentarily, load the FL guests, then resume as usual and not piss anybody off. I saw it happen a couple times on the slow day we were at KI. They can't/won't let FastLane police itself.

A better solution for KI would be to position the FastLane entrance elsewhere, but on FOF those options are limited. Bringing folks in thru the exit then past that little place where belongings are dropped off (near the station turn around) might work. The merge would happen on the platform at the rear of the train, the standby folks wouldn't be affected at all, and the need to assign rows goes away.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:45 AM
Vater's avatar

SquareOne42 said:

I think being able to be relaxed about those things may have something to do with frequency of visits/access to the rides.

I agree that it's not fun to go to a park and get angry, however, you seem to be able to visit the parks much more often than someone like myself who lives in Canada. We are a five hour drive away from Cedar Point, and only get to visit max twice a year.

The last few years we've managed at most two park trips per summer (but usually only one). And I have practically the same attitude as Gonch, with the exception that in most cases I'll wait for the front if I'm allowed, just because I prefer to not have anything blocking my view. If I'm not, I don't...and I'm fine with that.

So frequency of visits, at least in my case, has nothing to do with getting bent out of shape about not getting to sit where you want.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013 11:12 AM
Carrie J.'s avatar

I actually prefer to sit wherever I want on a coaster. It's not going to ruin my day when directed elsewhere, but it does disappoint me...and depending on the coaster and my reason for wanting a specific seat vs the apparent reason they have for directing me, I may get irritated.

For example, if I don't want to ride towards the back because it's a "rougher" coaster that gives me a headache when riding further back and the station is light in terms of crowd and such, I'm not likely to appreciate being forced back there.

My husband and I stopped at Carowinds on our honeymoon travels and wanted to sit in a row on Intimidator that enabled us to be next to each other (you know, 'cause like we're in love and stuff) and we were denied when the queue was no more than a one train wait. I thought that was lame under the circumstances. (Btw, I think the design of those trains is ridiculous with the split seats in the second row of the car.)

So yeah, I'm not saying it's cause to be a defiant, belligerent fool or anything. But I can see why folks want to sit wherever they want.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:34 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeph said:

Seat selection can totally make or break a ride.

I couldn't disagree more - or maybe I just don't care nearly as much. It's probably the latter.

You may get a little different ride, but I have never worried about which seat I'm going to ride in. I'm not being facetious one bit with my 'shortest row' comments. It's totally my approach.

SquareOne42 said:

I think being able to be relaxed about those things may have something to do with frequency of visits/access to the rides.

Maybe. But I think it's more that I'm not into this, nor do I take it as seriously, as some of you guys.

Flat out, worrying about empty seats, trying to slip back in and seat poach, jockeying for a specific seat, trying to get as many rides as possible into my day - it all sounds stressful. I can't imagine having less fun at an amusement park. I'm the guy who doesn't even get all the credits at the parks I go to. Oh, I didn't get around to a couple of coasters - no biggie. We take time out of our day to do other things when we visit parks. We rarely get there at opening and rarely stay until close...and I could probably count the time on one hand that we've done both in the same day.

We went to Kings Island on Tuesday and I upoloaded photos all day long on the Coasterimage Facebook page. You can totally detail our day with the time stamps of the photo uploads:

10:18 - One lap Flight Deck
10:33 - Waited with my son while my wife and daughter did Drop Zone
10:53 - Exited Adventure Express after one lap
10:57 - In the station for one lap on Racer
11:11 - Waited while the kids took a ride on Monster
12:00ish - In line for Flight Of Fear
12:09 - Got the obligatory souvenir cup and sat in the shade for a few minutes
12:24 - One lap on Backlot Stunt Coaster
12:47 - Got a ride on the train
1:08 - Stopped at the new Hall Of Fame Grille for a sit down lunch.
2:19 - Took a couple of laps on Boo Blasters trying to one up each other's scores.
2:33 - Tothe top of the Eiffel Tower
3:02 - Two laps on Diamondback
3:32 - one lap on The Beast
4:03 - Back by Windseeker doing nothing in paticular
4:13 - The girls rode Firehawk, the boys took another lap on FoF
4:41 - Hanging out near Zephyr
4:49 - Nosing around the shops near the front of the park
5:10 - Viking Fury ride
5:20 - Chilled in the air conditioning at Festhaus for a few.
5:42 - Finished the day with two more laps on Diamondback (we did wait for the front seats on the last ride as it was just a 6-train wait)
6:27 - At the car ready to go.

That's a pretty typical day at the park with us. It's just not a sport to me. It's not that important. It's an amusement park. I just don't identify with the 'enthusiast' mindset on that level, I guess.

It's not you, enthusiast community. It's me.


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Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:41 PM

There are only certain situations where certain seats are needed for bonus fun:

Front Seat:

Vekoma Flying Dutchmen

B&M Flyers

B&M Inverts

B&M Floor-less/Divers

Front or Back:

B&M Wing Riders

Shuttle Coasters

Intamin Launchers

Back:

Most wooden coasters

Most Hyper coasters

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Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:24 PM

You say there are "certain situations" where that applies and then pretty much listed every type of coaster. *insert face into palm*

Count me on the list of seating choice matters not one bit. Can a coaster offer a different ride in the front vs. the middle vs. the back of the train? Sure. Is the "fun" factor that much different? Rarely. I usually go for the shortest row. I'm all about maximizing my time and waiting for a specific seat is rarely worth the trouble.


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Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:26 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Carrie J. said:

My husband and I stopped at Carowinds on our honeymoon travels and wanted to sit in a row on Intimidator that enabled us to be next to each other (you know, 'cause like we're in love and stuff) and we were denied when the queue was no more than a one train wait.

My wife and I have been married for 16 years. We try for those split seats. ;)


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Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:45 PM
CoasterDiscern's avatar

Bahahahaha, oh man that was funny. The days of sharing a milkshake or a box of french fries is over, isn't it guys?


Ask not what you can do for a coaster, but what a coaster can do for you.
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Thursday, May 23, 2013 2:08 PM
CoasterDiscern's avatar

I also believe too that its something an individual will grow out of in time. Being young full of energy, living carefree per say, has its expiration date for everyone in my mind. When you get older running around the park, well, in LG's words just seems stressful. For myself, it is just that. I personally want to take it easy at the park, taking in the sites, sounds and entertainment. As far as seat placement on the trains, well each to their own. I still enjoy the front on any coaster with a full view. Maybe not so much to wait an extra 30 minutes for it though. Common I could be eating a hot dog with that time. ;)


Ask not what you can do for a coaster, but what a coaster can do for you.
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Thursday, May 23, 2013 3:11 PM

Gonch, I didn't notice Graeters on your itinerary. Was this a mistake or did you simply not photograph while there?

Tyler, that's quite a list, but I think your seating choices are wrong.

I'm usually content sitting anywhere, but will move towards the front or rear given the choice.


RIP Geauga Lake 1888-2007
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Thursday, May 23, 2013 3:17 PM

I don't think you need to be an enthusiast to notice the differences of seat selection. Pick the wrong seat, and you can have some really rough, forceless, and viewless experiences...which can lead to some very mediocre rides. We're not going to ever see eye-to-eye there, so I'm going to let that one go.

I'm glad you finally got to experience a dead day at Kings Island though, Gonch. That place is so much more pleasant to be in without the crowds. Now I'll just wait for your opposing opinion that the crowds didn't matter, the park still sucked. ;-)

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Thursday, May 23, 2013 3:30 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

enfynet said:

Gonch, I didn't notice Graeters on your itinerary. Was this a mistake or did you simply not photograph while there?

No Graeters.

Jeph said:

I'm glad you finally got to experience a dead day at Kings Island though, Gonch. That place is so much more pleasant to be in without the crowds. Now I'll just wait for your opposing opinion that the crowds didn't matter, the park still sucked. ;-)

You know, I was thinking about going there. Wasn't sure it made sense to in a GateKeeper thread, but since we've gone this far, why not?

Yeah, a day like that just confirmed my opinion. It's the most 'meh' park in the world. It doesn't suck. Not even close. But it's not very great either. The coaster line-up is horribly average. With the exception of Diamondback, there's not a single draw at that park. There's nothing there that makes me think, "Let's go to Kings Island!" That's why this new coaster for 2014 feels important to me.

But you're right - it was much more 'pleasant' without the normal crowds. We enjoyed spending the day there. Right now my plans are to return for a day of photography sometime and again for BeastBuzz. If we can convince my son to try the Halloween stuff, I can see us going back for that. It'll be more than enough Kings Island for the year.


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Thursday, May 23, 2013 3:35 PM
rollergator's avatar

^Spot on. King's Island has a bunch of mediocre/good rides. It's a park I wouldn't visit alone, because of the lack of a "draw" (Personally, my last rides on Racer were better than my best rides on D-Back, but even those were *very good*). The park is extremely successful, so I'm happy that the locals are content....but for me, KI is a really good park with a bunch of really good (not great) rides. Better trains on Beast would be a huge improvement...

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Thursday, May 23, 2013 3:39 PM

I love KI. It has the Beast, which is better than any ride at Cedar Point. It also has Diamondback, a great ride. Then you add Firehawk, Flight Deck, Flight of Fear, and many other rides to that one two punch. That is a great park without the free waterpark. I love it, and thinks it gets too much hatred.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013 3:47 PM
Vater's avatar

I don't disagree with the "meh" assessment at all, but on a personal level I really enjoyed my one visit (by myself) in 2000, probably more than I would have if I didn't grow up with Kings Dominion as my home park.

I think the joy for me was seeing all the similarities and differences of the original park of which KD was a clone. But I did feel like I was done with the park by mid-afternoon, and the only thing I feel like I missed was a night ride on the Beast.

The Beast was the highlight, Son of Beast was the painful low point, and I didn't feel pressed to ride everything since I'd ridden their counterparts at my home park.

Aside from Beast (and maybe Diamondback now), I really don't get why there has always been this overall preference for Kings Island over Kings Dominion.

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Thursday, May 23, 2013 3:51 PM
matt.'s avatar

I grew up with KI as my home park. For that reason, I'm probably more sentimental about the place than any other.

But it's more or less always been the way LG and Gator describe, for sure. The 80s were a pretty good decade for the park as far as good quality expansions while still retaining the feel / vibe / theme of the park in the best way possible, and it's the time period for the park I'll always be most fond of.

But I remember being terribly, terribly frustrated with the place in the 90s, because the focus seemed to move toward branding and marketing and differentiating in the market - and meanwhile they forgot to build good rides. I appreciate Flight Deck more now but at the time of it's construction it just seemed tame and way too brief. Losing Adventure Village was annoying. Star Trek characters were everywhere that nobody liked. Days of Thunder was terrible and the simulator thing seemed like a lousy gimmick before it even started. Son of Beast was a debacle, FoF was a debacle when it first opened, Tomb Raider was a dud, Face/Off felt like a ride more suited for a 2nd tier SF park than the sort of grand, sweeping attractions a park like KI should have been building.

So yeah, I think all of this is why we had to suffer through so many years of the coaster nerds screaming "KI needs a B&M!" which was solely because KI really needed something, anything that was a world class ride that had high capacity and was really re-rideable. I think with DB and this next ride, though, we'll definitely be headed in the right direction.

It's just the park itself has been so, so lovely, but the rides have never lived up to that level of excellence. That's generally been my love / hate thing with the place in the past.

Last edited by matt., Thursday, May 23, 2013 3:53 PM
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Thursday, May 23, 2013 3:52 PM

The one time I went there when SoB was actually open was when I was seven years old. I chickened out when I was that age, but I wish I rode it. My dad rode it and said it was the most parinful experience of his life when he rode it in the back seat. It can't be that rough, right?

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Thursday, May 23, 2013 3:54 PM
sirloindude's avatar

I find that pretty much up until CF got their hands on those parks, all of them were in that camp. KD has had Grizzly and Volcano (along with a few other respectable rides), but Dominator and Intimidator 305 really made that place an annual staple. Canada's Wonderland wasn't really even on my radar until the two B&Ms arrived. Carowinds and Kings Island are in the same boat. I think all are above average for regional parks (I only went to KD and KI under Paramount ownership, but I thought they did a bang-up job).

Honestly, I think a great coaster collection is only a small part of what makes a park fantastic, but I do think that the park must be the stuff of legends to impress me without a good coaster lineup.

Last edited by sirloindude, Thursday, May 23, 2013 4:03 PM

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

www.grapeadventuresphotography.com

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