We just got back from a weekend at CP. We have visited the past few years and always fret at the seat belt rule for Top Thrill and Millennium Force. This time a member in our party (who has ridden many times in past and last year) could not make the seat belt requirements. So I ask, would it be better to have OTSR on the rides to allow more people to ride it? I assume that Kinda Ka has the rule that the OTSR must just lock in place and there is no seat belt rule. Correct me if wrong. The person in question is not very large and even the workers said it is not the belly but the hips. So even though I do not like OTSR's, would a change to those allow more ridership on these rides?
Or... they could just get a sensible seat design... wait, that makes too much sense. Regardless, the OTSR's and rediculous seat belt rules are just covering up the main problem, which is that Intamin hasn't retrofitted these rides with better seating arrangements.
From what I have heard, TTD's seats are better, but still not what they should be. I don't understand how Intamin can just ignore this problem on so many of their rides (Perilous Plunge, Hydro, most of the hypers, the drop towers don't accomodate tall people).
The master of all things coasting, Schwarzkopf, proved that a sensible seating arrangement and lapbar is ALL that is needed to safely ride a roller coaster. I read somewhere that he actually parked a coaster at the top of a loop with people in it just to prove to insurance reps that it was perfectly safe. It doesn't make since that he realized this so long ago, yet Intamin is still covering up the problems with horrible restraints and stupid rules.
The "problem" is that Intamin is still acting to create the appearance that they're making the ride safer in response to the human error that led to the death in New England. I doubt any expert would concede that the changes make the rides safer.
The new requirements are to create the perception they care, not to make the rides safer.
I think that is part of the problem. Some of the rest of the problem is that Intamin is a European company that does not respect the fact that the average American is larger than the average Euorpean. They have a negative opinion about that and think that should be our problem and not something they should have to deal with. The rest of the problem is that parks like CP don't make them make the required changes. We are Intamin's customers indirectly, but the ones who should be really speaking up are the parks that shelled out the money to them in the first place. CP seems to think having someone to blame ("OH state law says we have to obey Intamin so we are not responsible to petition or negotiate with them...blah blah blah") is good enough. That final part of the problem is we the consumers allowing CP to get away with thinking that. Not only should CP be getting complaint letters (which they are), but they need to be sent a second letter after their response letting them know that we know that their canned position is a load of crap. They could buy larger seats if they wanted.
Then again, with enough complaints, Intamin could say "Okay, you'll have to put OTSR's on to accomodate larger guests" and by the above-mentioned law, Cedar Point would have no choice. Just saying complain if you want, but be prepared to reap what you sow.
CP should not just complain, they need to tell Intamin what to do. I don't know what is so difficult about this. You don't need to have authority to tell someone what to do. It is called "influence". I am sure there are enough successful people at CP that someone over there can figure it out if they really want to. *** Edited 5/31/2005 7:50:55 PM UTC by RavenTTD***
I think Intamin should just go back to their old seat belt lengths, it is the park and the persons call to make sure they are safe. Why is everyone attacking CP? they werent the park that was too lazy to make sure the guests were properly fastened
If Intamin went to OTSR's on MF and TTD, I would never go to Cedar Point again. I'd rather ride mindbender(SFOG) and shockwave(SFOT) all day than take one ride on MF or TTD with OTSR's. But that's just me :)
I could understand Top Thrill with OTSR's, but not Millennium Force. A hyper/giga-coaster with over the shoulder restraints would completely ruin the ride. They are made for airtime, and OTSR's really ruin that feeling.
^ How could you understand TTD with OTSR's? It has run this long with no problems, and the restraint system is completely adequate even with a longer belt length.
Human error, and idiocy, is what ultimately led to the problems on these rides. That being said, restraints shouldn't allow for these human errors to be made. If Intamin would adopt a Z-shaped seat with a simple lapbar (i.e. Schwarzkopf), their rides would safely accomodate people of many sizes, and be fully capable of traversing any path the coaster needs to take while safely restraining guests. The fact is - Intamin is lazy on this issue.
The fact that Six Flags just conceded and added OTSR's to Kingda Ka is proof to me that Intamin really isn't going to solve these problems unless forced to. They are going to continue on acting like it isn't their fault, and start adding OTSR's to rides that have NO need for them (i.e. Rita).
Because it would make more sense adding them on a ride of Top Thrill's caliber. I am not saying there is any problem at all with the current restraint system that is being utilized, but I wouldn't be uterly surprised if Cedar Point did make the (wrong, in my opinion) decision to add them to Dragster. I must conclude that since the incident on Superman at Six Flags New England, Intamin has been attempting to make the perception of themselves more positive by adjusting the restraint systems of several rides. (Perilous Plunge, all three Superman hyper coasters, among others).
Some of the rest of the problem is that Intamin is a European company that does not respect the fact that the average American is larger than the average Euorpean. They have a negative opinion about that and think that should be our problem and not something they should have to deal with.
I don't think a self inflicted(*for the most part*) national epidemic such as obesity is something that should be respected. Especially if those accomodations are going to in any way make the ride less enjoyable or safe- I'm not necesarilly saying this is the case. I'm not trying to be rude about it, but when you have a problem like obesity, the end solution is not larger pants-
My experience with Intamin's OSTRs, the flexible variety found on Storm Runner, was a very surprising(in a good way) one. They don't lock your head into place and restrict your freedom of movement like B&M's at all. Storm Runner gets awfully violent with the extreme sudden changes of directions/accelerations(performed in its own graceful way!) so I really think a ride like this the OSTRs are justified and very tolerable.
"I don't think a self inflicted(*for the most part*) national epidemic such as obesity is something that should be respected. Especially if those accomodations are going to in any way make the ride less enjoyable or safe- I'm not necesarilly saying this is the case. I'm not trying to be rude about it, but when you have a problem like obesity, the end solution is not larger pants-"
Smaller pants or smaller seats are not the solution either. Doctors and dieticains have to deal with the problem of obesity. Coaster manufacuters make rides for their customers. The problem here is that Intamin does not care about its customers and because they seem to care about an issue which is not in their field, they were ejecting too many passengers from their rides, and now they are rejecting too many passengers from their rides. When all the other coaster manufactures don't seem to have the same issues, it is quite clear that the problem we are dealing with here lies with Intamin. If you want to discuss the seperate issue of the health of Americans, I am sure there is a board for that somewhere. *** Edited 5/31/2005 11:40:03 PM UTC by RavenTTD***
While I don't think it was innapropriate for me to bring up the health issue since this whole thing is dealing with large guests fitting into trains, I can't really say I disagree with your points- That this issue should not be Intamin's concern. However, the issue is very significant for us, the coaster enthusiasts, who have to live with the decisions the manufacturers/parks make.
I agree with you for the most part RavenTTD, but I'll go one step further: The customer here that you talk about is not only the GP visiting the park but the actual park itself. Intamin has built 3 coasters at CP with a pretty hefty price tag on at least 2 of them, now having said that, CP is the paying customer in this instance.
I know that whole spiel everyone spills out about complying with Ohio State law and all and I agree with that but you know I have to wonder and scratch my head when I think about why doesn't CP put a little pressure on this manufacturer? They just spent oodles of money on these mammoth coasters in their park you would think they'd have a little power to say, "Well, we appreciate your directive there Mr Intamin representative, but we'll have to put further expenditures with your company on hold till we can work out some kind of arrangement with this seatbelt issue or possibly some form of retro-fit of our 2 largest coasters in the park"
--after re-reading your previous posts, I realize you and I are in fact on the same "page".
I'll say it again, since some of you aren't listening...
It's NOT an issue of size. While I think it could be successfully argued that the giant flume boats were indeed poorly designed, allowing lateral movement that would get you free of the lap bar, the giga coasters, even the first ones, were OK with a seat belt. Remember, the accident in New England found that the belts were all different lengths, not to Intamin's spec, and made worse by the obvious human error.