Interval Count Down Timers

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 2:44 PM

I thought this was interesting. Cedar Fair seems like they're focused on increasing rider throughput this year. They have removed the seat belts from Flight Deck and Backlot Stunt Coaster, and they added a 45-second interval count down timer visible to all at the front of Leviathan's station.

I initially thought the timer was brilliant. What a cheap way to instill some urgency in getting riders and the crew moving. Why not install large timers at the front of all coaster stations where capacity is important? It was mentioned here that riders and the crew tend to linger at some parks more than others, and a timer might be a simple fix.

Then, I thought about the negative aspects. Why don't parks already have these? Maybe it would appear to guests that their safety was being jeopardized for speed. Also, amusement parks are supposed to be fun, care-free days. Would timers add unnecessary stress? What are your thoughts?

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 2:47 PM

I like the count down timer. It keeps guests moving.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:17 PM
Jarrod L.Thorne's avatar

Six Flags should follow suit.


J-rod

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:25 PM
rollergator's avatar

At SFA, they have sundials... ;~P

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:37 PM

Then all I have to do to get the employees moving is to move the sun! Where's superman... Oh, at the park.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:44 PM
WildStangAlex's avatar

Jarrod L.Thorne said:

Six Flags should follow suit.

Raging Bull at SFGAm has had one in place for several seasons now.


"We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."
-Joseph Campbell

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 3:58 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

So has Titan, though everyone (crew and guests) seem to ignore it.


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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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 4:14 PM

That's exactly what I was wondering, Andy...if they'd actually help or be ignored. Do any parks have them across most of their coasters, or is it just the occasional exception?

It seems if you made a large sign front and center, "Please move quickly" with the timer counting down, and it was consistent ride-to-ride, it'd have a positive impact in capacity over time.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 4:25 PM
Carrie J.'s avatar

I guess I didn't realize that guests have a tendency to just be flagrantly slow. I've seen them struggle with belts or have trouble getting in to the car or get bogged down traversing the crowd to put their stuff in the bin, but I can't say that I really see folks intentionally doddling. Most appear to be excited to ride especially if they've waited in line. And if that's the case, then I don't see a timer helping them.

It does perhaps, though, add a certain amount of accountability to the ride ops to keep things organized and moving so that the issues I mentioned above don't slow folks down as much. Don't know.


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

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 7:21 PM
Jeff's avatar

Guest behavior seems to be influenced by operator behavior. If the uniforms are moving fast, most tourists keep pace.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 7:31 PM
rollergator's avatar

Employees hustling encourages guest hustling.

I'm also a fan of the MiB less-than-subtle clocks, spiel, and general "Times-A-Wasting" feel of the boarding area. Of course, being in the AC doesn't hurt...

Have to mention, since TRs are coming in, how the VQ implementation and queue management (SR lines, station filling scheme, etc.) affect both train rider-count and dispatch intervals. Well-done, you can easily hit good intervals with 90-99% capacity. Poorly planned and/or executed, you can destroy throughput. Finally, it's early in the season, and parks used to be able to learn on-the-fly with small crowds at this time of year. No longer true.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 10:09 PM

Kind of like McDonalds where I've noticed they have a timer to tell them how long the customer has been at the window or the counter since their order was taken. There's an objective, I'd guess, as after so long the thing flashes, turns red, explodes, or something. They probably get dinged every time they go over.

Which leads me to a potential negative associated with a timer on the loading platform. If it actually "counts" then safety procedures may go by the wayside in the interest of an acceptable time. I have a feeling it's just a friendly reminder though.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 10:26 PM
blasterboy6500's avatar

It's kind of my thing to joke around and fumble with the seat belt at times and make a big deal out of it just to stall and piss people off. Some of you might remember what I said about pulling out a nail on NTAG. I'm expecting to be raged on in the next couple of posts.


You don't need a parachute to jump out of an airplane. You need one to do it again.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:16 PM
sirloindude's avatar

If you're expecting to be raged on in the next few posts, why make the post in the first place?

Also, why would you intentionally try to stall the loading process? To be cool?

Do you know what I do when I get on a roller coaster? I buckle my seatbelt and pull down my restraint like a normal human being.

Congratulations on being psychic, by the way.


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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:24 PM
blasterboy6500's avatar

Thanks, I take great pride in that achievement. I don't do it often, only when me and friends get on a sugar rush or something of that kind. Also, I do it just for the laughs. I sort of exaggerated with the fumbling with the seat belt thing. That was for real, not a show, a couple years ago. Most of the time, it's just something like asking the operator if the ride is safe or if I'm going to fall out. I usually just ask him or her, "Is this tight enough?" followed with multiple "Are you sure?"s. I can't imagine why anyone would think of it as being cool. It's just an inside joke between and my friends. And trust me, I'm anything but a normal human being.

Last edited by blasterboy6500, Tuesday, April 30, 2013 11:27 PM
You don't need a parachute to jump out of an airplane. You need one to do it again.
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:26 AM

Jarrod L.Thorne said:

Six Flags should follow suit.

Goliath at Six Flags Over Georgia, does have one.


Are you MAN ENOUGH to ride this ride ?
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Wednesday, May 1, 2013 12:27 AM
LostKause's avatar


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Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:32 AM
Carrie J.'s avatar

blasterboy6500 said: It's kind of my thing to joke around and fumble with the seat belt at times and make a big deal out of it just to stall and piss people off. Some of you might remember what I said about pulling out a nail on NTAG. I'm expecting to be raged on in the next couple of posts.

Honestly, it just sounds to me like you are starved for attention and need to bring it to yourself...both at the parks and here in the forums.

I see that kind of behavior all of the time at the parks. Kids asking if the ride is safe, acting like they can't get the buckles, screaming in the station out of mock fear. They are the kind of people I hope to avoid when riding.

I can't imagine doing things like that just to intentionally piss people off.

Last edited by Carrie J., Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:32 AM

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

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:37 AM
Vater's avatar

I'm sure the ride ops appreciate the originality, too. I can't imagine they would ever get tired of such hilarious shenanigans.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013 9:44 AM
LostKause's avatar

"GET OFF MY LAWN!"

Being obnoxious is a form of humor that I enjoy witnessing sometimes, but I see your point, Carrie. I think a lot of older people or more serious people just don't get it, and that's okay. People don't do things like that to piss other people off. They are parodying stupid people.


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