Loading Times on VR Rides Always This Slow?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 10:29 AM
matt.'s avatar

Vater said:

Is it me, or does the CGI on the Superman ride look embarrassingly second-rate?

There's a pretty good discussion on Reddit about the technological tradeoffs.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016 12:00 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I imagine upcharge working like FOL access. Separate entrance, load riders onto trains as necessary. Don't load until they're strapped in and ready to VR.

You guys make things so complicated. ;)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 4:05 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Oh, I don't think it would be complicated at all. I just think it would kill capacity almost as much as the current implementation.

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."

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 4:16 PM
LostKause's avatar

A little change in the technology and maybe a little more attention to making it work right would probably go a long way. Don't these things get thought through before being offered?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 4:48 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Again, how much of a problem it really is, is yet to be told.

It's a perceived issue from the enthusiast standpoint. Just because the crowd that's way to aware and critical of these things sees it as an issue doesn't mean much. How the parks move forward with it will be telling.

Saturday, July 2, 2016 1:11 PM

UPDATE: Enjoy the original "Ride of Steel" So Six Flags is having a 4th of July special where pass holders can enter an hour early to ride a few of the coasters. I decided to see if the miserable loading times would improve with nothing but enthusiasts on board... ahh nope! I was on the first train at 9:40 a.m. and got out of my seat exactly at 10 a.m. That's a 2-minute ride, 18 minutes sitting in the train. On a good note it looks like management is getting lots of complaints about the waiting times! From 2-5 p.m. you can now enjoy the original "Ride of Steel". Lets hope next year I can enjoy it from 10:30 a.m. until closing!

Last edited by DoubleMeatTaco, Saturday, July 2, 2016 1:13 PM
Saturday, July 2, 2016 4:44 PM
rollergator's avatar

Gonch - If we were going from dispatch times of 120-150 seconds turning into dispatch time of 200-300 seconds, and wait times skyrocketing due to increased popularity, then I'd reluctantly agree that we're making too much of the issue. But reports from enthusiasts and GP alike (my sister in low, for instance) are that trains simply aren't leaving the station and weekday waits of 2 or 3 hours are the new norm for several of the VR rides (Kim waited for RoS @ SFA and waited a couple hours despite not doing the VR). If that was because there were thousands of people wanting to ride, then I'd be willing to consider the VRs a qualified success.

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Saturday, July 2, 2016 4:58 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I'm not saying anyone made too much of an issue about the wait. I'm saying the forums are notoroious for being out of touch with real world opinion. With all due respect, enthusiast forums are where the initial reaction to brand new multi-million dollar roller coaster additions are complaints about theorectical capacity.

The post above yours is exactly what I meant about wait and see. It must be enough of an issue that they're already running without the VR for the peak afternoon hours. That change already happening says the park isn't happy either with wait times, the response to those wait times or the response to the VR - or some combination of those.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Saturday, July 2, 2016 4:59 PM
Saturday, July 2, 2016 5:14 PM

Yeah I agree... It has nothing to do with the number of people in line however. I was at the park today under the absolute PERFECT conditions. One hour before the general public... there couldn't have been more than 50-75 people there. It didn't matter. The ride also now needs 12 employees to run the ride (I counted while waiting) when I think they had 4 before?

Saturday, July 2, 2016 6:50 PM

I had a real world conversation with a casual park-goer yesterday. We are hosting an event ( non-coaster related ) in Columbus this weekend that includes club members from around the country. Four of the guys from Houston came to Ohio a day early just to go to Cedar Point. They'd seen it on the travel channel.
I had the usual questions for them, "How'd you like it?" "What was your favorite?" "Did you get on... ?". And they had a couple of answers that sounded like "yeah, we walked by it but the line was long, so we thought we'd come back then we didn't".
Which led me to the timely reminder, and to Gonch's point, I think, that these casual park goers didn't care. In my mind these guys missed one of the most exciting coasters in the country. In theirs? Oh well.

So. Some park goers will either get in line and wait and take it for what it is or they'll pass by. But whatever, maybe they don't care if they ride each and every coaster every time. Like we do. In New England's case the ride is one of the most iconic and popular rides in the park. In Arlington and St Louis? Not so much.

I'm trying really hard not to use phrases like "too stupid to know better" but that may be the case for a certain percentage of park goers and the rest will complain. Or skip it all together.

My personal opinion, once again, is that it's a concoction of the Bad Idea Bears and it should go away forever.

Edit to add: btw, my friends from Houston absolutely loved CP and thought it was miles better than the Six Flags parks they're familiar with. For what that's worth.

Last edited by RCMAC, Saturday, July 2, 2016 7:25 PM
Saturday, July 2, 2016 9:12 PM

While Gonch has a point about the enthusiast community not necessarily representing the opinions of the GP, I simply cannot fathom that anyone could be satisfied with the experience after what I saw at Six Flags St. Louis.

When I was waiting for a friend to get off of Ninja, I was timing the dispatches. Despite the ride being one of the easiest to check (no seat belts, accommodating restraints), they were consistently hitting seven minutes between trains. Despite the crew trying their best, the biggest issue seemed to be the reliability of the headsets -- on every single train there were a number of people who had headsets that weren't working and had to be switched out, sometimes twice. Even with working headsets, the employees had to manually adjust each rider's headsets and point their heads at the stickers so the headsets would calibrate.

Mind you, while they were playing the headset hokey pokey in the station, the second train was sitting on the brake run for 5+ minutes, baking in the sun on days during which the heat index easily surpassed 100 degrees.

Even after the long wait, there's no guarantee that you'll actually end up with a VR experience. I was talking to people as they exited, and many of them commented that their headsets blacked out at some point during the ride. Some well-traveled ACErs noted that their success rate at various Six Flags parks was about 50%. My friend also failed to get the full experience, as his headset disconnected the moment the train left the station.

Last edited by PhantomTails, Saturday, July 2, 2016 9:13 PM
Saturday, July 2, 2016 9:21 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Well, that's another point.

There's plenty of reasons to hate it beyond wait time.

At any rate, if it sucks enough, it'll change. It's already happened to some degree in Massachusetts.

Sunday, July 3, 2016 1:44 AM

Like the 3D televisions of the last decade (remember those?), this may turn out to be a great idea that's just not ready for prime time.

My author website: mgrantroberts.com

Sunday, July 3, 2016 2:47 AM

I had the chance to experience "Kyary Pamyu Pamyu XR The Ride" at Universal Studios Japan two weeks ago.

What it is it? It is a retheme of the Mack Spinning Coaster at Universal Studios Japan where they disabled the spinning on the cars, rethemed the cars and introduced two new preshows. They have 19 8 passenger trains and to achieve capacity, they load the trains like the Haunted Mansion at Disney.

The VR component is done using the two forward rows on the train and they don't appear to use Samsung gear. You sit down, lower the lap bar and an operator come with a headset. They don't have a chin strap and they secure it to the car with a cable. End result? Capacity is halved due to using half the seats (960 guests per hour versus 1920 in regular conditions), but you don't have all the overheating phones and 8-10 minutes dispatch times seen at Six Flags.

The theme is beyond weird though... Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is a Japanese singer and the ride is a tour of her "dream factory". Of course, things go wrong and a giant purple monster start breaking things as you go around. Image quality was much higher than the sorry "New Revolution" I experienced on Goliath.

In case you're wondering what it looks like, this link has the first third of the VR experience. The song is what you hear onride from the onboard audio.


Sunday, July 3, 2016 11:50 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Ensign Smith said:

Like the 3D televisions of the last decade (remember those?), this may turn out to be a great idea that's just not ready for prime time.

3D was always just a gimmick...that the public still doesn't want. At this point it's basically a way to upcharge by adding a 'feature' to the TV. Which is exactly where this VR thing is likely headed.

Time for a Gonchback! Start right about here.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Sunday, July 3, 2016 11:51 AM
Monday, July 4, 2016 7:06 PM

Considering I live 15-minutes from the park.... I had to head back over to the park in the afternoon to see how the coaster lines were in the heat of the day on the 4th of July weekend during the 2-5 p.m. window where they got rid of the VR equipment. When I first arrived I have never seen the parking lot so full... I had to park in the overfill lot that I didn't know even existed... The park was so packed that I wasn't even planning on riding anything if the lines were too long..... I got to Superman and the line was running like a smooth oiled machine. I timed it and it was exactly 3-minutes between train #2 moving into the house after train #1 hit the lift. Prior to VR they would only run two trains on the BUSIEST of days.... like big weekends like Memorial Day, 4th, Labor..... Now that they have two trains running all of the time thanks to VR perhaps it will be a big bonus during this 3 hour window going forward..... The wait was no longer than 10 minutes for even the front seat. NICE..... I had to ride it at least twice and after today I have decided not to rip up my season pass....

One last thing.... On ride #2 the ride stopped going up the lift for about 10-minutes.... I had to pull out the phone and document in case I died... I didn't. WTF?!?!?

Monday, July 4, 2016 7:23 PM
Fun's avatar

I think the real question is whether the interest in the experience will warrant the cost necessary to keep this alive past a year or two. I don't think Six Flags is going to get any more out of their advertising than they will right now. So what do you do in year two? Do you cut the budget for maintaining these things? Suppose Samsung builds a better mousetrap next year and tells Six Flags "Look! We figured out how to make this work more reliably! It will only cost xx more to buy these headsets!" If I'm Six Flags, I tell them to go take a hike- UNLESS, attendance and ridership have a positive correlation that drives incremental revenue.

I think charging for this experience makes a lot more sense. If the demand is not there, you know right away. If this is a once and done concept, you know sooner than Six Flags is going to know.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016 11:23 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

PhantomTails said:

... I simply cannot fathom that anyone could be satisfied with the experience after what I saw at Six Flags St. Louis.

When I was waiting for a friend to get off of Ninja, I was timing the dispatches. Despite the ride being one of the easiest to check (no seat belts, accommodating restraints), they were consistently hitting seven minutes between trains.

There's the thing. You, an enthusiast, were timing the dispatches. The approximately 98.87592% of guests who are not enthusiasts were waiting to ride a ride. Whether a ride is dispatching every two minutes, every seven minutes or every time Donald Trump sends a tweet just doesn't matter to most guests.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Thursday, July 7, 2016 1:22 AM

if the wait time is 10-15 minutes, no they don't care. A 2 hour wait and nothing happening for 6 minutes at a time, they get that.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 9:18 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

Do they?

You're speaking, as an enthusiast, from extensive experience and a broad base of familiarity with how coasters operate under varying conditions.

For people who visit parks much less frequently, a six-minute wait with "nothing happening" has no context.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz


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