# Question for Ride Ops that check height req.

Sunday, February 22, 2004 5:25 PM
My little cousin is really excited to ride Batman and luckily she is tall enough with most her shoes. The ones that make her the tallest though are flip flops. She is 53 1/2 inches without her shoes and with her flip flops she is almost 55 inches. I would rather her wear the tallest shoes so we would could account for the margin of error. My question is, for inverted rides do you make kids get measured without their shoes if they have on flip flops? If not we will probably just buy taller tennis shoes, but it would just be more convenient if she could just get measured with the flip flops.
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Sunday, February 22, 2004 6:38 PM
If she's really 53.5 inches with no shoes, then she'd probably make 54 inches even with a normal pair of shoes. At CP, we keep an eye for bigger shoes. Those ones with the skates on the bottom and big sandals are usually a big problem as well as people stuffing the shoes. We can ask the child to take off their shoes for the measurement if we judge the shoes to be too big or if we think they're stuffed. If someone in your party has a normal pair of sneakers, we'll let the child stand in those for a measurement, but as you can see, it gets to be a big pain for everyone involved. My best advice would be don't spend extra money on big shoes. Just wear a normal pair of shoes and hope she makes it. I honestly wouldn't recommend flip flops anyway because they can get uncomfortable after walking around for a whole day.

There really shouldn't be any margin of error in the measurements. I guess it all depends on the park and the ride though. At some parks, she might not even be measured.

As for your question about the flip flops, I guess it would depend on the park and the ride. For example - on CP's water rides, if you're going to be riding without shoes (flip flops in this case), then you have to be measured without shoes. I'm honestly not sure if the same applies at Raptor or not, but someone could probably tell you.

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Sunday, February 22, 2004 6:53 PM
At SFOG inverted coasters, we check you without your flip flops on, because you won;t be wearing them during the ride. But even if someone makes a mistake, and checks you with them on, when you sit down in the seat, and we see that your head doesn;t go up all the way between the shoulder pads, we'll tell you you can;t ride.
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Sunday, February 22, 2004 10:30 PM
If she is 53.5 inches tall barefoot, any shoes will put her at the 54 inch mark as MDOmnis mentioned.

If you are referring to the Batman at SFGAm, just take your cousin into Guest Relations and have them measure her. If she is 54 inches with shoes on, they will give her a stamp on her arm.

Save yourself the trouble of the ride ops measuring her.

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Sunday, February 22, 2004 10:46 PM
The easiest thing to do is get her measured at guest services.

Ive always made kids take shoes off if they appear to make the kid too tall, meaning if they are huge making the kid 3 or 4 inches taller then what they normally are.

If she is 53.5" without shoes any shoe will make her tall enough. Its always better to wear tennis shoes to parks IMO. Besides by the time the season starts she might be 54" without shoes.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 12:11 AM
<opinion>
I think on a lot of these rides, there needs to be an alternate requirement to be met. Much like what johnclark1102 mentioned about noting how high the rider's head is in the seat. The height limits are a good quick check, but there is no magical change that happens between 47.5" and 48.0" or whatever. There are also people who are tall enough for certain rides, but who are proportioned in such a way that they should not be riding, just as there are people who are not tall enough who can easily ride safely. I think there ought to be some flexibility built in to the system to allow for this.

It was at Camden Park where I noticed that the ride operators were not checking heights at all on the Big Dipper, but when a small child wanted to ride unaccompanied (almost any kid can ride with a parent) the operator had the kid sit in the seat, and made sure that the kid's legs were long enough to let him sit back in the seat and put his feet on the floor. It's a far more accurate measurement than overall height in terms of the dynamic requirements of that ride. Likewise, at Kings Island, there was no height requirement for King Cobra, just a test seat that any potential rider had to be able to straddle with feet flat on the ground.

Height requirements are a good guideline, but in the interest of ride safety, I think all rides should have specific dynamic requirements, and operators should be aware of those requirements and why some riders may or may not be able to ride, regardless of height.

(Knowing that the 60"/48" height requirement on Cedar Point's Enterprise is because Huss specifies 12 years old/8 years old might be useful, too...)

</opinion>
--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 12:32 AM

RideMan said:
<opinion>
...there is no magical change that happens between 47.5" and 48.0" or whatever. </opinion>

I say the following with all due respect.

I do agree with that statement 100%, but...

Then can it also be said that no magical change happens between 47' and 47.5"?

46.5" and 47"?
46" and 46.5"?
45.5" and 46"?

I think you see where I'm going with this.

The point is that eventually the 'magical change' has to happen. You have to draw the line somewhere.

So 47.5 is more than likely safe. So (play along with me here) the height requirement is changed to 47.5 inches. But my kid is 47" - I'm sure it's safe. So now the park goes with a 47" height requirement. Ok, my friend's child is 46.5" - one little half inch isn't going to change things.

I think this is exactly why conservative height requirements are made. It compensates for error such as kids who are 'close' and slip by and it draw the line in the sand. If the guy behind me sees my kid get through because she's only 1/2 an inch below so it's still safe - then he has a solid arguement that it's probably safe for his 47" child.

Basically the line has to be drawn somewhere and what park/manufacturer in there right mind isn't going to be relatively conservative with drawing that line?

I know that really wan't the point of your post, Dave - but it always gets me when someone says "a half inch isn't going to hurt".

And more on the topic of your post - it makes sense, but parks got to keep it moving. I imagine lots of reduced capacity if checking on an individual basis. The height requirement draws the line on the fact (assumption?) that people of the required height will land in the correct "proportions" to safely ride.

Yours are thoughts I agree with, but wouldn't expect to see in practice much.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 12:40 AM
Rideman, I agree. While height can be used as a guideline, I've found that kids are a lot taller now. An average three year old is as tall as what a five year old was twenty years ago. Body proportions are critical, but I believe maturity is also. Just because somebody measures up to the line doesn't mean they can handle the ride experience emotionally.
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Monday, February 23, 2004 8:36 AM
As a ride op (which goes back a long way now) I really hated when people argued with me about height requirement. To me it is like the smoker who uses the excuse that his grandfather smoked his whole life and died at 90. That doesn't make it safe, does it?

The whole country seems to attack the industry when there is someone hurt or killed. However, they become blind to their own attacks when they are trying to keep their kids happy.

If the kid doesn't measure up, wait until next year. In the case of driving you are either 16 or you are not. In the case of ride measurements you are either 54" or you are not.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 9:46 AM
I don't think there's room for flexibility. The requirements are I'm sure set high in most cases (really high in the case of Cedar Point), which accounts for varying body proportions. Ride operators don't have the time or knowledge to interpret these variables because they just need to get people on the ride quickly and safely. The park as a whole doesn't need these judgement calls either, because if they make one bad call that results in injury, it's their asses on the line. Why invite that?

I agree with Wahoo, the kid has the next 70 years of their life to ride.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 10:14 AM
Checking rider height is a fast and effective way to keep capacity moving, while ensuring rider safety. if somebody is too short, the easier for them to get jostled around in the restraints and slip out, I agree that checking height is the quickest way.
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Monday, February 23, 2004 10:45 AM

Chitown said:
Save yourself the trouble of the ride ops measuring her.

But see, this is *exactly* my point....why does ANY kid have to get measured (and potentially disappointed) 10-15X during what SHOULD have been a FUN day at the park? Ride ops should *theoretically* be too busy loading/unloading, checking restraints, and ensuring that there are no "loose articles".

To MY mind, checking height on the kiidies is something that should happen ONCE, and only once, during a park visit.

Here's a novel idea: Check your kids height ONE time at park entrance (maybe while the adult carrying ALL the families' worldly possessions is being strip-searched?), get a hand-stamp, wrist-band, or SOMETHING that clarifies the child's *official height* one time....only once. Then the family is free to enjoy their day at the park and NOT have to endure little Jimmy's tears on the loading platform after a long wait only to find out Jimmy ain't getting on that ride anyway..."he's got a blue hand-stamp, ma'am, he can't ride anything that requires 48"". End of discussion, case closed, no "isn't he close enough", or "he rode it earlier today", none of that which ALWAYS ends up leaving the family with a bad taste in their mouths at the end of the day...;)

Of course, the BEST way to implemet this, IMO...adjust the admission price based on the child's HEIGHT, instead of their age....what 5-year-old has ID anyway, LOL...cheaper admission certainly would get the parents to *buy in* to the idea...:)

Someone hire me before I give all my best ideas to your competitors...;)

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Monday, February 23, 2004 11:13 AM

rollergator said:
[To MY mind, checking height on the kiidies is something that should happen ONCE, and only once, during a park visit.

Here's a novel idea: Check your kids height ONE time at park entrance (maybe while the adult carrying ALL the families' worldly possessions is being strip-searched?), get a hand-stamp, wrist-band, or SOMETHING that clarifies the child's *official height* one time....only once.

Most park do only check ONCE but you have to ask for it. All the Six Flags I have been to check and stamp the kids hand. Paramount parks give you a colored wristband.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 11:18 AM

RideMan said:

Height requirements are a good guideline, but in the interest of ride safety, I think all rides should have specific dynamic requirements, and operators should be aware of those requirements and why some riders may or may not be able to ride, regardless of height.

I took my son to Knott's Berry Farm over Thanksgiving and He just made the 52" height requirement for Excelerator but was not allowed to ride due to the fact he was to skinny and the lap bar did not touch him when pushed all the way down.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 11:51 AM
Rollergator,
I am surprised that has not been done yet. It makes the most sense to do it at the gate and charge a customer based on height....IE: under 48" price one, 48-53.99" price two, over 54" full price. It makes sense. Almost too much sense.
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Monday, February 23, 2004 12:36 PM

Most park do only check ONCE but you have to ask for it.

Yes, we do this with our kids.

There was one SF park (and it's escaping me as to exactly which one it was right now - been to too many parks and the trip memories are starting to cross in my mind :) ) that had a station set up where they'd measure your kid and give them a colored wristband based on height.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 1:10 PM

rollergator said:

Here's a novel idea: Check your kids height ONE time at park entrance (maybe while the adult carrying ALL the families' worldly possessions is being strip-searched?), get a hand-stamp, wrist-band, or SOMETHING that clarifies the child's *official height* one time....only once. Then the family is free to enjoy their day at the park and NOT have to endure little Jimmy's tears on the loading platform after a long wait only to find out Jimmy ain't getting on that ride anyway..."he's got a blue hand-stamp, ma'am, he can't ride anything that requires 48"". End of discussion, case closed, no "isn't he close enough", or "he rode it earlier today", none of that which ALWAYS ends up leaving the family with a bad taste in their mouths at the end of the day...

Of course, the BEST way to implemet this, IMO...adjust the admission price based on the child's HEIGHT, instead of their age....what 5-year-old has ID anyway, LOL...cheaper admission certainly would get the parents to *buy in* to the idea...

Someone hire me before I give all my best ideas to your competitors...

What if one knows they're not quite tall enough, but wishes an attempt, anyway? Are you going to force a wristband auto-measurement indicator upon all visitors? How is disappointment up front different from disappointment at an individual attraction?

Regarding admissions based on height: what parks do you visit? An all but exhaustive search of the Six Flags, Cedar Fair, and Paramount Parks web pages turned up two parks with purely age-decided ticket ranges -- Knott's and Paramount's Great America. Knott's price structure is most probably to achieve some sort of parity with the Mouse. And their junior age range (set two years higher than Disney's, by the way) leads to quite a deal, considering a majority of parks sets the bar for their "adult" prices at 48 inches.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 1:20 PM
At Cedar Point you can go to the Park Operations office (near Kiddy Kingdom) and get an "official" measurement that will be good for the day. I think they give you a wrist band or something like that.

But, that is only good for responsible parents. A good number of people want to beat the system and get their kid on the ride no matter what. So if they are turned down at one maybe they will get lucky at the next.

There is nothing you can do with your kid that hasn't been tried before. Spiked hair, shoe inserts, etc. "But wait, they let him ride THAT ride and it is the same height."

Disappointment is part of life. Kids are allowed to be disappointed, contrary to popular belief. I remember the year that I couldn't get on the Corkscrew at Knott's. I felt bad. But, I also remember the first time I COULD ride it and I felt great.

I have an idea. Take your kids safety seriously and wait until next year, you morons.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 1:41 PM
My son had ridden Raptor at CP several times, passing the height restriction at the entrance and twice earlier in the morning on a particular day. Later in the day, a different person was at the entrance, and said he wasn't tall enough. That irritated the hell outta me only because he was tall enough for his previous two rides that morning but not in the afternoon. This particular op insisted the bar on top of his head "shouldn't move".

So I fully understand the "they let him ride THAT ride and it's the same height!" because I've been there, although in our case, Raptor had the tallest height requirement at the time.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 2:38 PM
But again, if it is that much of a concern, that is the reason CP offers the service of getting an official height measurement at Park Operations.

Problem is, if Park Op says no then it is no for the day. If you take your chances then you may or may not get by with it. I think it is best to be sure and err on the side of caution.

It is kind of like the one click rides. Either the bar is down all the way or it isn't but the manual says it must be.

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