Knott's Berry Farm, Buena Park, California, USA
On Sunday, I grabbed my wife, 6-year-old, and brother and sister in-law and headed out bright and early so that we could grab some fried chicken and eggs from Mrs. Knott's before hitting up the park. The restaurant wasn't particularly busy and that proved to be a sign of the way things would be throughout the day.
After a quick walk-on for Sierra Sidewinder, which is fantastic by the way, we headed towards the Windseeker. My wife "chickened out" and took our son on the carrousel. We only had to wait one cycle to get on. The loading process seemed a bit rigid as the operator would assign arms to guests as he counted people into the bull pen. I guess this is helpful for long lines, but didn't seem necessary for Sunday.
Also, I didn't realize that I was not supposed to go into the bull pen, and the few guests gathered near the turnstyle seemed unsure of whether they wanted to ride, so I walked past them and into the bullpen and was quickly reprimanded by the operator. A locked turnstyle would have helped.
When we boarded, I was asked to remove my glasses. I was really bummed. What is the point of that ride if you can't see anything? For a moment, I thought about slipping them into my pocket and putting them on once we went up. Anyway, I can *kind* of understand the rule for a coaster (but not really), but it seemed excessive for this type of ride. Also, a number of kids kicked off thier shoes from about 100' up when the ride was descending. So why ban glasses and not shoes?
OK, rant aside, from what I could kind of see, the ride offered a nice view of the park and surrounding area. I don't think I'll go again until I get lasik surgery, which will be never. And aside from that minor issue, the rest of our stay at the park was fantastic. Most rides were walk-ons and the employees were great. Also, when I went to purchase water, I was initially a bit miffed by the $4 price tag, but was VERY happy to hear that I could get a free refill from any soda fountain. My hat goes off to Cedar Fair for this (and not just because they won't let me wear it on their coasters).
And we didn't bother with Ghostrider. *sigh*
My wife and I participated in the Fox 11 media shoot last Weds. on Windseeker. We found it to be an imposing ride from a visual standpoint, but if you don't have a problem with heights it's really quite a nice ride. It's apparent that they are still trying to work out the operations procedure with it between the glasses thing,and nervous ops that were going around multiple times stapling the restraints was encountered that morning. As far as the ban on wearing glasses goes, it's been pointed out elsewhere on these forums that the if the requirements set forth by the manufacturer give the new owner some leeway, (i.e.should secure glasses), DOSH interpets secure as remove. Yeah it's really irratating, as I like a lot of people that are near sighted get motion sickness when forced to take off my glasses.
The bullpen is used to help balence the ride, much like you would balence a Ferris Wheel (twelve o'clock, six o'clock, three o'clock, nine o'clock and so forth). They have a board with the seat numbers on it. From there they the op at the turnstile assigns you to a seat, checking it off on the board. That's why there is two loading gates past the turnstile, one fills to the right the other to the left.
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