Tuesday, October 13, 2015 11:33 PM

It was the big guy who slowed the ride down. He came to relieve the other guy just as my cycle was starting. And my ride was full of good citizens who didn't snap. Deliberately, anyway. :-)

Truthfully, I'm not understanding this sport of snapping. I guess it adds something to the experience, but for me that something is the sense of being out of control and the feeling that the thing could easily fly off or break. When I ride a Scooter I like to see how high I can go without snapping the cables. On a great, long ride like the Flyers it's particularly challenging, because eventually a really high and fast swing will cause the cables to slack on the way down. It takes a bit of quick maneuvering to pull out of that and make a smooth transition to the next upswing. I like it. And even though one can still pull some serious outward g's it feels a little safer than all that bouncing.
But personal preference aside, and somewhat in the park's defense, I can see where constant snapping could lead to maintenance and safety concerns. Couple that with ride operators who are lifers, sometimes double as maintenance workers, and really own their jobs. Catching renegade riders is probably what some of them live for, but who knows? By the time PPP rolls around they've had a whole summer of riders to deal with.

I overheard two young female ops on Friday afternoon at Impulse and it went like this:
"Don't forget, the thrill seekers will be here tonight"
"Who?"
"You know, the thrill seekers. The ones who like to do things"
"Oh, you mean like sit in strange positions and stuff?"
"Well, they like to ride over and over"

I tried really hard not to laugh, they were seating me in the ride, (in the regular position), but it made me wonder just what park employees think or what they're told when a bunch of us are about to show up. We've all been to park events, sometimes very late into the night, where the employees seem genuinely happy to be part of our fun. But you have to know there's a percentage that think we're just a pain in the ass, too. Especially those of us who are pesky cable-snapping thrill seekers.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015 11:35 PM

The guy running the Flyers at the end of the night on Saturday kept it running full speed with the insane snapping going on. I only watched, because that ride scares me even without the snapping. People were snapping the tubs like I have never seen. I thought for sure someone was going to get hurt. I screamed a few times. LOL

And I had three different people at three different time that night ask me if I was Penn from Penn and Teller. One guy asked me if I was "Zombie Penn and Teller." I suppose I'm not skinny or lanky enough to pull off a good Frankenstein. :D

Last edited by LostKause, Wednesday, October 14, 2015 2:06 AM
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015 11:58 PM

I did hear that the Flyers op Saturday night was being generous. And yeah, the big guy would slow it down at the first sign of snapping, then run it slow the rest of the time. One time he barked, toward people waiting in line, "To those of you who like bouncing the flyers, look at the size of this child [getting off the ride]. You're scaring him. That's why I slow it down."

I'm with RCMAC in that I prefer to see how high I can swoop without bouncing. Sometimes if there's a gust of wind it's hard to avoid (especially at Cedar Point). Isn't it Carowinds that actually gives an extra cycle to the person with the most 'stylistic' flight?

Last edited by birdhombre, Tuesday, October 13, 2015 11:59 PM
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015 12:03 AM

RCMAC, your style sounds like someone who likes to hypermile in a Prius. Sure, it presents its own unique game, and can be a unique challenge, but wouldn't you rather tear around a track in a Hellcat and let the tail hang out a bit? To me, snapping *is* the challenge. To see if I can get higher, or just crazier than last time. It's one of very few thrill rides where you can actually control the ride and not just sit and ride the rails like you do on a coaster. And truth be told, even though the tubs may look out of control to bystanders, they are (almost) always in complete control. In fact, it's very much like the track example above. When you see someone taking the corner with the rear end hanging out, you can rest assured that the car is doing exactly what the driver is asking of it. Same thing with the Flyers. As crazy as I can make them go, they are doing exactly what I'm asking them to do.

As for what Knoebels management wants... all they have to do is ask. If they came out and asked us "Hey guys, these things are old, they require lot of upkeep, and our insurance won't cover snapping, so please don't do it or we'll be forced to tame/scrap the ride." Then you can be sure (almost) all enthusiasts, myself included, would honor their request.

And yes, it says "Do not whip the sails" but I don't think that means the same thing.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015 2:11 AM

I'm sorry, but I edited out the part about what management wants, so I do not get the ride operator in trouble. He did a great job, slapping fives to people as they cycled slowly for the seat belt check. He was personable and made everyone feel special. Kudos to him.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015 10:16 AM

Preparing to get pilloried or worse....

If Knoebels really wants to reduce the snapping, what they need to do is pretty clear to me. The center of gravity on the B-R skooters is far back, putting most of the weight of the rider and tub on the back cable. You're virtually snapping from the moment the ride starts. Putting a foam cushion behind the rider, moving them forward only 3-4", would help transition the weight so that it rested more squarely between the two cables. Sure, you could still work to transition your CG to the point where it would swing from one cable to the other, but you wouldn't have so much assistance from sitting SO far back.

Not 1000% on this, but it makes complete sense to me.

I do expect to be beaten severely should KG act on this strategy...

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015 12:54 PM

Even easier, restrict the throttle lever. The lever moves as far forward (fast) as the slot allows it to. Welding in a tiny piece of metal is all it would take to reduce the travel of the lever. Or even easier than that, tell the ops "only move the throttle 3/4 of the way full, no more."

My point is, I'm not sure where the official position on the matter is. No one from KG has come out and said anything. (That I've seen anyways) AFAIK, every time the ride fires up, the throttle is moved full forward. It is then up to the individual ride op to decide what to do from there.

This guy that I spoke badly about above did not even say anything. Before or after any of the rides he gave. Sure, he can't pick us all out, but if he sees a guy in a coaster t-shirt, or a repeat offender, a simple "take it easy, ok" would suffice. After the ride, if he simply came up to me and said "The owners have asked us to tell you guys that we can't do that anymore." that would at least mean something.

Yes, I realize that I'm the one coming off like an entitled douche here. Perhaps I'm living in the past, but "back in my day, sonny, we were allowed to snap Phlyers until the cows came home. And sodey pop was only a nickel."

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015 8:45 PM

I think the simple physics of the ride prevent simple solutions like Gator's cushion. The issue is that if you get the ride oscillating radially, conservation of angular momentum will turn that oscillation into forwards and backwards movement. If you get your radial oscillation anywhere close to the resonant frequency of the forwards and backwards movement, all hell is gonna break loose.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015 2:56 PM

I'm surprised no one has talked about the lack of a ride combo package this year. Perhaps I missed the news or something, but my friends and I were completely shocked to find out there was no "PPP Combo package" like there has been in past years. For the past twelve years we've always bought the "Saturday night/Sunday afternoon" combo package that enabled us to ride both days, as well as get a packet of coupons.

This year? No such thing. There was a discount ticket package for Saturday night for $27 that started at 5, but you weren't allowed to but it in advance (which annoyed us because we went to the ticket booths at 3:30-ish and were told we couldn't buy anything until 5). And once you bought the evening package, you got..... nothing. No tickets, no pizza, squat.

And Sunday was the same. You had to pay another $27. If we had bought both days (like we were able to get with the past combo packages) it would be been $52, and no coupons. In the past, this package was $35-ish and came with coupons. Honestly on Sunday it just made better sense for us to buy regular tickets and use them as needed.

I fully understand parks are completely within their rights to offer (or not offer) whatever the heck they want when it comes to ticket pricing and packages, but we were all very disappointed with this change. If it was about money, why not just up the price of the combo package and coupons to $40? or $50?

This change won't stop me from going to Knoebel's PPP by any means - it's too much a tradition and one of the highlights of my Fall, but next year, we'll be a bit wiser.

Anyone have any thoughts/feedback/insight into this change?

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Thursday, October 15, 2015 4:26 PM

I've done the Sat night/Sunday combo package for at least 3-4 years myself. Typically spend an hour or so getting to the park from Danville. Get in ~1pm, have some food (RibBQ = yummy), a frozen sweet tea (also yummy) - then get about finding some peeps. After coordinating a group photo for 50 or so, then it's time for the "memorials" - tribute rides and games to those no longer with us. It's 5pm before I can even think of really riding on Saturday, so the PPP/Sunday package was awesome.

We did get the pizza/drink/game/Haunted Mansion tix when we bought our PPP (Sat nite) POPs - you got them *if* you told them you were an enthusiast and showed them a valid card. We also bought ours around 2:30-3pm, so again, not a lot of what might be deemed "consistency."

On the plus side - Impulse was really sweet, despite the vertical lift. Twister was running great, Back Diamond and Haunted Mansion are both kept in perfect condition, and I got 3-4 laps on the Crazy Dazy (Tea Cups my eye). The downsides - I only got one trip down the Spiral Slide, (something I'll rectify in 12 short months if not sooner). And yeah, the usual confusion over how the event will go down THIS time...wouldn't be PPP if the staff all told the same story.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015 4:42 PM

I'm not experienced with this change, because this was my first visit to the park in a long time. I can tell you though, in order to get coupons, it is my understanding that you had to be registered with a coaster club, like CoasterBuzz and you had to present your club card and driver's license when picking up your coupon book.

We bought the after 5pm POP plan. Because it was so busy, I don't think we got our money's worth. Let's see:

Twister - one ride - $3

Phoenix - one ride - $3

Impulse - one ride - $3

Black Diamond - one ride - $2.50

StratosFear - one ride - $2

Flying Turns - one ride - $3

Add $2 for the Haunted Mansion not included in the POP, and I paid $29 for rides that would have cost me $18.50 without the POP. I paid an extra $10.50 for the benefit of not having to rip tickets.

The park was way to busy, but that wasn't what kept me from riding enough rides to make it worth it. It was that my buddy wanted to be in the parade. That cost us valuable time.

I wanted to be there all day, so I could get everything done that I wanted to, but I had to work. I am transferring departments, and most of my weekends will be free, so maybe next year I will get to do more. I still had a blast. Knoebels is become a really great park.

Last edited by LostKause, Thursday, October 15, 2015 4:55 PM
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Thursday, October 15, 2015 6:22 PM

Yeah, the park really could have been more clear about the changes in pricing this year, especially as it had been done a certain way for a long time (at least since 2005, I'm told). I don't fault them for changing it, only for not making sure phone-answering and Facebook-invitationing employees all knew the setup, and effectively communicating it on their website and Facebook.

Their word choice implied that you had to be a coaster club member and register online to ride rides Saturday night. In reality, it was open to anyone, but being a club member got you the pizza and Haunted Mansion tickets, plus the Friday night Impulse ERT with free food. They were using the term "Phunfest" to mean coupons, whereas most of us use it to mean Saturday night rides.

And as Tigger said, no more Sat. night + Sunday option. If this is to be the system from now on, I think what I'll do is only buy the Saturday evening ride plan, and use tickets for earlier in the day and Sunday. Incidentally, that's the only way to get the handstamp that says "Phunfest" now. ;)

Again, I don't really care how they switch around the ride plans and pricing, I just wanted accurate info so I could plan my weekend.

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Friday, October 16, 2015 2:58 AM

I had an issue with their verbiage on their Wednesday night deal a couple years ago.

Large bold letters: $10 Ride Pass
Big Letters: names of popular rides
Normal text: not included

Also, as we approached the ticket booth from the back side, we never saw the huge sign with the details.

It came across as deliberately misleading. The employees were less than empathetic about the confusion. I'm hoping this was a one-time fluke occurrence, because I really like the park. But it seems like there is still this lack of communication between the park and it's guests. That is disappointing to hear.

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Friday, October 16, 2015 11:32 AM

Speaking of signs, as a graphic designer I was both amused and pleased that this random sign at the campground used the standard Knoebels fonts:

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