New Restrictive Ride Policy at Great Adventure

Sunday, April 16, 2017 9:35 PM
Bobbie1951's avatar

Since 2010, when I took up roller coasters as a hobby, I’ve been visiting parks in cargo pants or shorts, all personal items secured in zipper pockets. I never carry a bag b/c 1) the queue to enter the park is shorter for guests without bags or strollers and 2) I’d rather not deal with the expense and inconvenience of renting a ride locker. Whether I got launched 128 mph, inverted 7 times or propelled through a zero-g roll backward, my stuff went with me. This had never been a problem until today. When I approached the entrance to Kingda Ka a security guard stopped me, advising me of a new policy exclusive to KK and El Toro which prohibits all personal items on the ride. I tried to plead my case, pointing out that my pockets were extremely secure and I’d been riding this way for years without ever losing anything or causing injury to another rider. He wasn’t buying it, pointing to the sign that had been put up and telling me that I would not be permitted to ride unless I emptied my pockets and placed the contents in a ride locker or gave them to a non-rider. He also mentioned that this applied equally to El Toro and suggested that incidents on that coaster were probably the reason for instituting this policy. Obviously, there have been incidents on El Toro, notably one last summer when a young woman had her front teeth knocked out by an inanimate object that hit her. And just as obviously, there are a lot of morons without any concern for ride safety. I’ve found myself sitting next to people who whipped out cell phones to videotape the ride after dispatch and there was nothing I could do about it.

Anyway, I paid for the effing ride locker - $8 (outrageous) which was supposed to be transferable to another locker but wasn’t - and now that I was certified as fit to ride, guess what? Half a dozen people ahead of me in the queue were holding cell phones! I asked a couple of them how they managed to get past security and they said that no-one ever noticed they had them. Of course it would be easy to hide one and with some people the fact that they’re carrying contraband is less noticeable, especially if the person is burly. So what’s the point? The point is that the new policy completely fails to eliminate the risk of foreign objects getting loose and falling on riders insofar as this group of people had no problem getting their cell phones past the entrance. Furthermore, it singles out people like me who do care about ride safety and allows those who don’t to go about their business without having to follow the rules. Interestingly, they don’t seem to be quite as aggressive about enforcing this on El Toro. Although the same sign is up as the one at the entrance to Ka, the announcement that keeps repeating says no cell phones or keys. Whatever, it still means having to rent a ride locker and that is something I have gone out of my way to avoid. What’s tricky about a ride locker is that the rental time expires and it’s difficult to gauge how long it will take to get on a ride or how long it will take for a ride in shutdown mode to resume operation. (El Toro down today for about 2 ½ hrs.) At least a ride locker at El Toro is cheaper than one at Ka.

Great Adventure seems to be tightening up security in general. I always thought them very lax in enforcing the line jumping policy but today there were two line jumping incidents on El Toro and security dealt with them expeditiously.


Bobbie

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Sunday, April 16, 2017 11:24 PM

/r/rollercoasters has been talking about this since the policy was found on the Great Adventure website. I agree it is just plain stupid, worse than Universal's ridiculous policies only because Universal at least GIVES you the locker.

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Sunday, April 16, 2017 11:27 PM
Jeff's avatar

Did you complain about the inconsistent enforcement and ask for your locker money back?


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

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Monday, April 17, 2017 1:35 AM

My travel plans this year don't include Six Flags Great Adventure. And I'm good with that.


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Monday, April 17, 2017 7:32 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

Agreed, I would have ridden but my next 'ride' would have been the Guest Services Ride to express my disappointment about the policy.


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -- Groucho Marx

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Monday, April 17, 2017 7:54 AM

If they aren't consistent about enforcing the rule, it comes across as a money grab. $8 for a temporary locker is ridiculous. If they are gonna run this scam they should at least have digital lockers where you pay one price for an all day code and can use any locker in the park.


But then again, what do I know?

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Monday, April 17, 2017 11:57 AM

Something like this would honestly make me not visit a park. Universal's new policy can be a hassle, but it's tolerable with the free and readily available lockers. If you aren't going to let me have personal belongings in my fully secure cargo pocket AND you plan to charge me to put them somewhere while I am on a ride, I really don't think I am going to that park.

And on the flip side, I will never forget the time I rode Rockin' Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios just a couple years ago and the guy in the row behind me had a medium sized rolling suitcase sitting in his lap and was permitted to ride. For everything Disney over does with safety, I am always amazed at their relatively non existent loose articles policy.

Last edited by BrettV, Monday, April 17, 2017 11:57 AM
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Monday, April 17, 2017 1:16 PM

ShaneDenmark said:

If they aren't consistent about enforcing the rule, it comes across as a money grab. $8 for a temporary locker is ridiculous. If they are gonna run this scam they should at least have digital lockers where you pay one price for an all day code and can use any locker in the park.

Last time I was there it wasn't just the locker charge that was annoying - it was the fifteen minute queue to rent one.

http://www.bannister.org/coasters/trips/2016/0704.htm#six_flags_great_adventure


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Monday, April 17, 2017 3:01 PM
Bobbie1951's avatar

BrettV's point is a good one that hadn't occurred to me. Of course the park should provide free lockers to those with fully secured personal items in cargo pockets now that the new restrictions are in place. I suspect that there was a glitch with the ticket kiosk at Ka, as I don't think that $8 is the standard rate, but I checked my bank statement later (paid with a debit card) and sure enough, $8 for locker rental had gone out of my account. (At El Toro there was a flat rate of $1, which I paid in cash.) I did register a complaint about the new policy on the park's website and I suppose the next step is a letter to the new president. I do know people in the PR department but they don't make the ride policies so it would be a waste of breath. In addition to constituting the height of absurdity for those whose personal items are secured, the policy is basically unenforceable unless security resorts to patting everyone down - and obviously, they can't do that without opening themselves up to a number of lawsuits. After all, they aren't TSA agents. Anyway, the whole thing creates an unnecessary hassle. One thing the park could do, as this idiotic policy applies only to Ka and Toro, is to reopen the shortcut from one to the other that was closed off either last year or the year before. upsdownsandupsidedown.com


Bobbie

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Monday, April 17, 2017 5:35 PM

Never say never. Universal has airport style magnetometers at the entrance to Hulk, Dragons, and Rip Ride Rockit. And they have it set to a level to catch pretty much everything. It's particularly annoying on Dragons because they are located fairly far into the outdoor queue area, so when people who assume they are above the policy get caught, it's a decent trek back to the lockers.

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Monday, April 17, 2017 5:42 PM

i have velcro custom sewn into the cargo pocket of my riding shorts so there's no chance of anything getting out just because I don't want to lose my stuff. No way would I pay $8 to rent a locker for one ride. That's over hourly minimum wage where I live.

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Monday, April 17, 2017 6:18 PM

May be true for you. But what about the person who isn't as meticulous in creating their custom cargo pocket? Maybe they use old Velcro they had around the house. Or can't sew as well. Or how about the person who gained a little weight since they bought their shorts (though in reality they would likely say the shorts just shrunk) and thus items in their pockets are effectively pinned in and cannot fall out?

Maybe there is market for coaster/ride safe clothing. Or parks could offer something like TSA precheck which would allow someone to get their pockets certified safe for riding. Probably would only appeal to a small group of enthusiasts so not worth it.

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Monday, April 17, 2017 8:55 PM

I don't think having to pay for a locker for something that can be secured in a pocket is going to be appealing to a lot of people either. Thankfully that's not my home park.

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Monday, April 17, 2017 8:57 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Last time I was at Uni Orlando, as I recall you got X minutes for free with the locker, if you left items in the locker longer than that you'd be charged.

Paranoid customer me thinks parks are betting that having spent $XXX getting to the park, and $XXX staying at the hotel that Great Adventure would have if it needed one, and $XXX on admission to the park, eight bucks here and there won't matter to most customers; they've already spent so much money, it's effectively pocket change. (Which you can't take on the rides.)


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -- Groucho Marx

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Monday, April 17, 2017 9:04 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I don't get that though. I've spent small fortunes getting to, staying at, and getting into the Disney parks and even on my most "Enh, we're on vacation, who cares about the price?" days I'd still balk at $8.


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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Monday, April 17, 2017 9:34 PM

It is supposed to be $1 for a 1 time rental and $8 for the day that lets you get a locker at all ride lockers but still with the 2 hour limit each time. It sounds like a glitch that you got charged $8 and weren't able to transfer it to another ride.

I feel like the park wouldn't have had to have this policy if they enforced their loose article rules. Signs in the queue and announcements are made that if a phone is taken out on a ride, the person will be ejected from the park. I have never seen it happen and usually the person gets a warning if anything. One time I saw a person with a camcorder on Blackbeard's Lost Treasure Train and even then after they refused to put away the camera after 1 lap, the ride stopped and they were removed from the ride but nothing else happened and people see they can get away with taking their phone out.

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Monday, April 17, 2017 10:45 PM
LostKause's avatar

It sounds a lot like the park charges admission to the park, and then charges admission to ride the rides. If you're tall enough to ride those two rides, your probably old enough to be carrying a wallet and cell phone, and maybe even keys.

I think $8 a day is too much, because a locker is something I wouldn't need if there wasn't a rule to begin with. It's a hidden cost.

Don't get me started on how terrible of a park SFGAdv is. Many parks nearby are so much better.

Last edited by LostKause, Monday, April 17, 2017 10:46 PM
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Monday, April 17, 2017 11:17 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

ApolloAndy said:
I've spent small fortunes getting to, staying at, and getting into the Disney parks and even on my most "Enh, we're on vacation, who cares about the price?" days I'd still balk at $8.

I work with the public on a daily basis. You and I and probably everybody on CoasterBuzz are "exceptions to the rule", but many people, based on admittedly anecdotal experience wouldn't blink an eye at the cost.


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -- Groucho Marx

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:00 AM

slithernoggin said:
Last time I was at Uni Orlando, as I recall you got X minutes for free with the locker, if you left items in the locker longer than that you'd be charged.

Universal has it set up where the free time corresponds with the queue time. If the posted wait is 30 minutes, the lockers are free for 45 or 60. A few weeks ago when Rockit was a walk on one night, the lockers were set to 45 minutes. And the few times over the years when the line took longer than the locker time, they have never enforced the charge. Which is good, because my wallet is in the locker!

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:23 AM

Let me start out by saying I'm a dinosaur.

I keep my I.D.,money and credit cards in my wallet.

The wallet is in my back pants' pocket.

I never had a problem with it.

Personally,I don't like the idea of having to put something that valuable in a locker.

I've worn cargo pants with velcro and buttoned pockets for years.

Again,never had a problem.

I can see prohibiting cell phones,That seems to be what this is aimed at,especially since they never seem to enforce their own policies about kicking people out of the park for using them on a ride.

Beyond that it seems like classic overkill.

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