Ghostrider Capacity Since Refurb (Loooong Waits)

sfmmlovernomatterwhaty'allsay's avatar

I was at Knott's a couple weeks ago and finally got to go on the redone Ghostrider. My whole group all had the same reaction: "HOLY CRAP!!" KBF did an amazing job fixing it up. A+ on the coaster itself. It even took one of my friends a whole week for her voice to fully recover from that ride (we were in the very last car \(^o^)/).

That said... the wait for it was awful. The upstairs in the station used only a very small portion of the queue (essentially, just to get us from the top of the stairs to the loading platform), the indoor downstairs portion was full, and the switchbacks just outside the building were full with the line ending just on that side of the Pan For Gold attraction. All told, we ended up waiting over 2 hours.

My questions, then, are: was its capacity always this godawful? Too, did the removal of the mid-course brake run negatively affect the overall capacity?

I loved this coaster and it has been on my mind almost constantly since I got to ride it. It's one of my top coasters, period. I just don't think I could wait that long again, though. I don't even mind waiting a long time, really, so long as the line moves fairly regularly. Standing in the same spot for minutes at a time is way ridiculous, though.

I'm not positive, but I heard that with the removal of the mid course brake, the state certified it for only two train operation, which frankly what it has been running most of the time recently. When it was new they could run three.

Maybe they were only running one train that day? When you say that you were in the same spot for a long time, it makes me think that maybe it was only running one train. They may still be working some of the bugs out of the ride.

Going from three trains to two trains could make a bit of a difference, but it shouldn't be huge. It would at worst a 33% reduction in ridership or so, but that assumes that the train never sits in the holding brake at the end, which for most coasters with three train operation is unusual.

sfmmlovernomatterwhaty'allsay's avatar

Nah, they were running both trains. I have no idea what was going on. All I know is it took forever to get on. Pity about the reduced theoritcal capacity, though. I wonder why they didn't keep the brakes and only use them for e-stops? That way they could've gone back to three train operation. :/

matt.'s avatar

I really doubt 2 vs. 3 train operation should have made a huge difference if they were loading in a reasonable manner.

Did you notice anything unusual in the station? At KK this past weekend, dispatches on Lightning Run were frequently several minutes apart because each train had someone who couldn't safely fit into the restraints. And instead of making a reasonable try to accommodate the passenger and then moving on, ride attendants were trying over and over to staple them into their seat. It was pretty ridiculous.

Has Ghostrider ever run three trains? I was under the impression the third train was so one could refurbished while the other two were running. (At least according to a Wikipedia article that needs some attention.)

When I was at the park in June it was the same thing. The park wasn't that crowded, other coasters were 5 - 30 minute waits and Ghostrider had up to an hour and 45 minute wait.

Three trains vs two trains can make a significant difference, particularly on relatively long coasters like GhostRider (4,533 feet per RCDB).

More importantly, however, are the operations and dispatch times. A third train doesn't matter if its sitting on the brake run for long periods of time waiting for the train ahead to leave the station. Sounds like that is the real culprit here. Symptoms tend to include weird loading procedures or a poorly trained crew. Sure wish parks would spend more time getting this part right, particularly after investing all that capital.

sfmmlovernomatterwhaty'allsay's avatar

There didn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary going on. They announced there would be a slight operational delay, but that only lasted for about 5 minutes. They were taking the full ride cycle to get the train loaded, not sending it out before the other train was at least in the final brake run. It just was ridiculous how long it took for us to move a relatively short distance.

You just answered the question of why the waits were so long. Operations are bad.

Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

If memory serves the old PTC trains were seven cars of four seats each - 28 seats total. The new Millennium Flyers have only 24 seats. I can't imagine that 4 seats would make that much of a difference, however.

^ if they do one dispatch every 2 minutes, that's a drop of 120 people per hour from 840 to 720 people per hour, which is a 14.5% drop in capacity.

Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

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