I got the answer for the "glasses" policy at knotts.

Monday, August 9, 2010 1:07 PM


I have had an issue with the glasses policy at knotts for some time now. I was always baffled why I could not wear my glasses with straps on xlerator or pony express.

After sending a few emails to them about it, I got a response the other day. Here it is.....

Hi Dave,

I am sorry that having to remove your glasses to ride was an inconvenience.

Here in California , we are mandated to strictly follow the ride manufacturer’s requirements by state laws. The State of California mandates that if the manufacturer uses the words “should” or “recommends” in their manuals, then we need to define it as a “must”. This means that if it is listed in the manufacturer’s operating manual as a requirement to ride, we must enforce it. Unless it is changed by the manufacturer we cannot change the rider requirements. If we do not follow the requirements, the State of California can shut the ride down or place fines on the Park.

Magic Mountain , Disney and Great America all need to follow the same California state laws and may have requirements listed in their manufacturer manuals that allow glasses to be worn. It is each individual ride manufacturer that dictates the requirements and each Park, at least in California , to strictly enforce those requirements.

You are correct that Xcelerator and Top Thrill Dragster are made by the same manufacturer. In the manufacturer’s manual we received for our version it stated that eyewear, even with a strap, is not allowed. In the Top Thrill Dragster manual it states that eyewear can be worn with a strap. We have been asking the manufacturer to change our requirement, however, our requests have been denied.

California has the strictest laws when it comes to amusement rides in the country. So, in the Pony Express manufacturer’s manual it is recommended that glasses not be worn, we have to enforce it as a must not be worn.

I agree with you that sometimes having the lack of vision can take away from the ride, especially since I too wear glasses to see and I am also required to remove my glasses to ride, even when we are not operating to the public.

Again, I apologize for the inconvenience.


Joey Toyoshiba

What do you guys think about this?

Last edited by crazy horse, Monday, August 9, 2010 3:03 PM
Monday, August 9, 2010 1:10 PM

Seems reasonable, if annoying.

Last edited by djDaemon, Monday, August 9, 2010 1:10 PM
Monday, August 9, 2010 1:33 PM

I like that it places the responsibility squarely in the lap of Intamin.

Monday, August 9, 2010 1:35 PM

"It's not our fault! Blame Intamin!"

It's interesting, though, that California requires "should" and "recommend" to be interpreted as absolute. I'm not sure how much I buy that.

Monday, August 9, 2010 1:41 PM

Thank goodness Anton's manual says glasses could be worn...LOL!

Pony Express was my 700th - sure do wish I could have *seen* the ride while riding...

Monday, August 9, 2010 1:54 PM

I'm not sure how much I buy that.

It isn't really uncommon. I know just in the field I work in, in some states, when the fed's guidelines say should or recommend, the state has ruled that it should be a 'must', where other states do not rule the same way. And this is for Food Stamps and Medicaid, so I can see that being the case in California for rides.

Monday, August 9, 2010 2:18 PM

^Totally agree, Clint.

And Joey T. gets major points from me for being the first KBF employee to actually take the time and ANSWER this question after about a decade of questions regarding the policy. Props to Joey! :)

Monday, August 9, 2010 2:48 PM

The question is, if they can't get satisfaction from Intamin and Zamperla, why don't they work a little harder at getting some relief from the State? The AHJ is empowered to make any exceptions it wants, especially in a case where they are creating a demonstrable safety hazard for some riders......

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Monday, August 9, 2010 3:30 PM

Im surprised they just didnt say there is an invention called contact lenses so you dont have to worry about your glasses. LOL

Monday, August 9, 2010 3:36 PM

Well, not everyone can wear contacts. And no park wants to be rude to guests.

Monday, August 9, 2010 4:18 PM

Plus, contact lenses afford no protection against dust, high wind, or flying shards of shredded launch rope and broken train hood.....

--Dave Althoff, Jr., who remembers that back when Millennium Force was new, the Intamin guys always wore safety glasses while riding...

Monday, August 9, 2010 10:24 PM

Put me down under one that can't wear contact lenses

I hope they can get this silly rule changed, but knowing intamin, it probaly will not..

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 7:40 AM

Don't forget there's a Zamperla in there with the same rule, possibly a B&M (can't remember what Silver Bullet's rules are, as I *can wear contacts).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 10:38 AM

KBF rides I've been asked/required to remove glasses: Xlerator, Pony Express, and Hammerhead - that last one was midway thru the cycle when they e-stopped so they could get me to remove them.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 10:43 AM

Ha! Well, clearly that was in the interest of safety!

Last edited by Carrie M., Tuesday, August 10, 2010 10:43 AM
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 10:47 AM

^Since the station op had clearly SEEN them when checking my restraints, I honestly thought my "secured" glasses were OK on that ride. When it e-stopped, everyone was looking around to see what had gone wrong. Wow was I surprised to know I was compromising the safety of the other guests - thank goodness the board op was paying attention ;)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 12:57 PM

Perhaps the station op needs glasses?:)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 3:01 PM

I remember when I was denied a ride on Pony Express with glasses on, and I was pissed. I believe the explanation I was given had to do with manufacturer requirements. It was not as in-depth as what you had posted here, but it was enough for me at the time.

I like Dave's point when it comes to shrapnel though. I prefer to have the protection that wearing glasses gives you, even though I do not yet need to wear glasses for activities such as driving. However, since my glasses flew off while riding the Dumpster(n) last fall (while wearing a strap), I no longer feel "safe" riding my glasses on certain rides and/or in high wind situations, as I now get scared that the strap won't keep them from flying off.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:08 PM

I wish I could ask intamin what they base the policy on.

There is no rule about this on maverick, dragster, superman...ect... So I wonder what the factors are that they go by to recomend the glasses policy?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 4:35 PM

Probably they are just covering their rear end. I imagine they are tired of dealing with CAL OSHA/DOSH.


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