Loading Times on VR Rides Always This Slow?

Thursday, July 7, 2016 11:03 AM

There are people in the GP that at least think "I haven't seen it go in awhile, maybe it's broken down." So some GP are at least somewhat smart on the topic

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

Thursday, July 7, 2016 12:35 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Well, there's a difference between a coaster not going "in awhile" and a six-minute wait.

You say some of the GP are "somewhat smart" on the topic. I say some of the GP just doesn't care about the topic.

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

Thursday, July 7, 2016 4:00 PM

Lets not discount the intelligence of the General Public. Just because some people do not care does not mean most of the GP do not care. I believe most of the GP is smart enough to know they paid admission to ride, not stand in line or sit in a break run. It is not like we are talking about quantum mechanics here.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 5:14 PM

Then again, I've heard some GP say that Valravn was the tallest, fastest, longest and most inverting roller coaster in the world...

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

Thursday, July 7, 2016 5:38 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jscll said:

I believe most of the GP is smart enough to know they paid admission to ride, not stand in line or sit in a break run.

They're definitely smart enough to know. They're also most likely not anal enough to care...or at the least be nearly as sensitive to it as those who discuss on the forums are. I think that's the point here.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 6:00 PM

I believe many do care, I know many people who will not go to an amusement park again after being less than impressed with a parks operations. Some people are not like us addicts and will stop giving business to companies that do not give them a good experience.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 6:23 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Nobody goes there anymore. They're too crowded.

I believe many do care too. I'm also positive that many, many, many more aren't as sensitive to capacity and wait times as coaster nerds are.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 8:15 PM
Fun's avatar

If you think the average guest doesn't notice wait times, just talk to anyone who has worked in guest services at a theme park. Guests absolutely do care, but they don't use the same nomenclature. When people's day doesn't turn out the way they had hoped, you better believe they are going to mention how they could have run the rides better.

None of us are TSA enthusiasts, but I'm certain most everyone on here has an opinion on how well run that operation is.

Last edited by Fun, Thursday, July 7, 2016 8:16 PM
Thursday, July 7, 2016 10:30 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

But the handful of guests that turn up at guest services on any given day don't represent the "average" guest. The "average" guests are out and about in the park enjoying themselves regardless of whether SuperMegaLooperCoaster is dispatching trains every 3 minutes 14 seconds or every 6 minutes 39 seconds.

Hell, I've been a card-carrying member of ACE since the 1980s and I don't pay any attention to how often trains are dispatched. They go when they're ready to go.

Also, what Lord Gonchar said.

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

Thursday, July 7, 2016 11:41 PM

I'd first be inclined to say that most park-goers are there for their "Once-a-year day" and make the best of what park conditions are on the given day. And don't stress about it.

Then I'm reminded of the crazy amount of season pass business Six Flags does, so it stands to reason, on that same given day, that repeat or frequent customers abound. Do those patrons notice and react negatively to dispatch time? Probably. Will they make another visit? Well, yes. So they probably fall into the "Eh, next time" category as well. Anecdotal evidence: Last summer we had only one day at SFNE and to my dismay it was bring a friend day and free parking day or something. Anyway, it was nuts busy which was a concern to me as I wanted to (read: needed to) try it all. I spoke about it to a lady I shared a park bench with and she said they came all the time so they didn't care how busy it was and on days like that the kids went around and she just sat on the bench happy as a clam.

So it's clear I don't know. And before I argue with myself further I'll point out that Cedar Point, in trialing VR on Iron Dragon, seems to have come up with a 'good' operating procedure. Reports are that limiting the time, taking reservations, instructing and prepping riders carefully, and making sure all's go before boarding has made the process smoother. It's still lengthy, but it sounds at least like they're keeping an eye toward overall guest satisfaction around the product whether the customer is using it or not. Which makes me wonder if they know something about how Average Family perceives dispatch time that we don't.

Historically, CP has been a stickler for throughput and their operations are often as streamlined and regimented as you can find. (Six Flags not so much, am I right?) And it's not because they're trying to work their kid's asses off, but because they want as many guests to enjoy their attractions as humanly possible. And it's not off base to think that they want to keep their customers happy. So,... maybe it really matters after all.

Friday, July 8, 2016 12:46 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

I think it all depends on who the target audience is. The season pass teenagers being babysat by Six Flags do not care one bit. They are there only to hang out with their friends and maybe ride some stuff. The family of 6 who drove from Chicago for a weekend at Cedar Point absolutely do care. They've been advertised and sold a premium product that they went out of their way (and pocketbooks) to visit, despite there being closer options. This could be the reason CF is watching and waiting on the VR thing. They actually care about the impression it will leave on their guests more than a cheap gimmick. At least they have the sense to do it on one of the least ridden, yet still high throughput, rides in the park.

You can stop reading now, I'm just going to ramble below. TLDR: LaRonde sucks!

As an example of wait times, on my one and only visit to LaRonde, I witnessed the absolute worst park operations I'd ever seen in all my years of being a coastertool. Single train, long dispatch ops on every single ride, save the B+M Hyper. The teens in the line (who made up the majority of the crowd) did not care one bit. They just casually sat on the concrete, texted one another, and every 7 minutes, got up, moved 10 feet forward and sat back down. I, otoh, certainly noticed. After a few hours of getting nothing done, I left the park early, leaving credits on the table. Perhaps I didn't care much because, let's face it, LaRonde is a credit only park, nothing there worth a special trip. Despite staying in downtown Montreal often for work, I've never returned to that park, and have no desire to ever do so again.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 5:46 PM

Cedar Point has provided more details about Virtual Reality on Iron Dragon:


It seems that their system should help control the line.

Dale from Dayton

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 11:43 AM
Thabto's avatar

I did VR on Iron Dragon yesterday. I thought it was a really neat experience. It added a nice touch to a tame ride. I think that was the perfect ride to do it. I wouldn't want to do it on Millennium Force, Maverick, Valravn or any other coaster. The loading process wasn't too bad, but they operate exclusively for VR users after 6PM. I was in and out of there in about 10 minutes.


Wednesday, July 20, 2016 10:28 PM
cmingdayton's avatar

Ninja VR line at Six Flags St. Louis is horrendous. I did not end up riding it because of the length of the line. If the VR is not that dazzling, stay away from this Vekoma looper.

Cole Mingo

(AKA Barry Allen and Niles Crane amalgamated).

Thursday, July 21, 2016 1:01 PM

I've got in line for VR Ninja twice and bailed twice. Once was on the ride's "passholder preview day", so since it was the first day I just chalked it up to that. Second time was a week or so ago, and things were just as bad. Seems like the only time the line moves is when the people in front of you get out.

And on top of that, the queues for the Ninja are ridiculously narrow - about 24" apart...and they are all crammed together under the station. Absolutely miserable line to have to be in.

I'm going to get to the park some day right at opening so I can finally get on...but from what I've heard it isn't anything to write home about. And the Ninja was a ride where it helped to know which way to brace yourself, lest you face the wrath of the OTSR's...having a screen strapped to your face makes that tough.

I wonder how these phones are faring this week since the temperatures are nearing 100...?

I have no signature...
Monday, August 1, 2016 3:27 PM

The lines, waits, and time it takes for the Superman at Six Flags America have been really bad. Bad enough that they now have a time between 2-5 each day to run without the VR. I went when it first came out and the lines were short, and it was ok, but I have no real desire to do it again. I timed it the last time I was there and it takes 12+ minutes to run one train.

My 10 year old daughter has been interested in riding the ride for a month or two now, but we've gone twice to stand in line and left both times because it was taking more then 30 minutes to run two trains. They now stop the line from going into the station, so at times they don't even fill up an entire car with riders. It's really badly run, and they haven't tried anything to get it going faster in the last couple of months. I've seen plenty of people not wait around for the ride because of it.

I went to Six Flags New England in June and the wait for Superman there was 2+ hours. I have two kids, one doesn't ride, and I didn't want to make them stand in line for that long. Lucky, at the end of the night they had stopped running the VR and the line was only a few minutes long.

They have the same problem at the Great Adventure in Lake George, it takes a good 10 minutes for a 40 second ride. My 10 year old wanted to ride it more, but she bailed because of the wait times.

I'm hoping that they either get rid of it all together, or make certain times for just VR but a much smaller amount of time.

My daughter did end up riding Superman at SFA during the non-VR times and loved it.

Sunday, August 7, 2016 4:13 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

My suggestion at the beginning of the summer was "wait & see" to get an idea of how well the VR thing was working out.

Looks like Six Flags is stepping it up for Halloween.


According to Six Flags, its guests have really enjoyed the existing VR rollercoaster experience — the company describes their reception of them as being ‘outstanding’ — and therefore it is refreshing things with a new storyline and scenery. Speaking about it, company President and CEO John Duffey said, “Just like the Superman and New Revolution VR Coasters currently operating in nine of our parks, Rage of the Gargoyles will be another first for our guests.”

Saturday, August 20, 2016 2:43 PM

Six Flags America - Superman Ride of Steel UPDATE

They changed the Virtual Reality ride times once again.

  • It started out VR all day long.
  • Then they switched it to "Enjoy the classic coaster VR free between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
  • It's is now VR from 10:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. then classic coaster, no VR from 4:00 p.m. till closing.

The window is getting longer. Hopefully the next step is "VR riding time: NEVER"

(Time corrected.. thank-you)

Last edited by DoubleMeatTaco, Saturday, August 20, 2016 4:03 PM
Saturday, August 20, 2016 2:55 PM
rollergator's avatar

What is the point in screwing up the capacity of your STAR attractions...if you really feel the need to "enhance the experience" - then do it to rides that need enhancement, not to the rides that are already the stars of your parks...

edit: If this rant sounds familiar, then you might remember it from historical "enhancements" to rides like S:RoS at SFNE getting onboard audio...I'm recycling it to help save the environment.

Last edited by rollergator, Saturday, August 20, 2016 2:57 PM

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

Saturday, August 20, 2016 3:58 PM
LostKause's avatar

DoubleMeatTaco means 10:30am - 4pm, I'm sure.

Gator, you make a really good point. Cedar Point did that. They "enhanced" Iron Dragon, one of their less popular coasters, with VR. That makes way more sense than to do the VR thing to your most popular coaster.

I still think VR on a roller coaster is a stupid idea. I also still think augmented reality, in which the rider sees non-reality characters interacting within the real environment around him, is a really great idea on a roller coaster. That's where this VR experiment will lead to, hopefully.


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