The new train has a 42" height requirement (previously 36), and a 265 pound weight limit per row. Guests will be weighed Flying Turns style before boarding the ride. The most unfortunate result of these restrictions is that many parents won't be able to ride with their children... an average 6-year old child (~50 pounds) and average adult male (~200 pounds) would nearly max out the scale. The trains have the same restraints as adult PTC trains, and to add insult to injury have giant "wings" on the sides.
Chalk up another nice thing being lost thanks to lawyers and insurance companies.
I think I’m my lifetime I’ve never seen a more ludicrous, ridiculous, over-wrought alteration of a ride. Especially on one that would at best be from the family category, and has operated as such for 80 years. It’s a shame they had to jump through those hoops.
Yes, it is a shame, but I'm not blaming the state or the insurance company for it. This unfortunate incident was a case of what was obviously human error of the operating staff. Idlewild had always been rather laid back in operating procedure, and it finally caught up with them.
Absolutely. And these changes might do more to prevent human error in the future, and then again might not.
Those wings, though. It seems to me that they’d lower visibility for the ride ops, especially if the train is full of youngsters.
It’s clearly a back-pedal attempt to ensure the notion of “safety” in the public’s eye. And an expensive one at that. That weirdly designed custom PTC train (yuck, btw) couldn’t have been cheap.
I have always thought that in this world, we learn from our mistakes and make corrections. I know many people (myself included) miss things like buzz bars and lament the loss of ride experiences such as the old Cedar Point Blue Streak trains or the Geauga Lake Big Dipper trains. But, over the decades, safety awareness and knowledge has increased and parks equip their attractions with the safer hardware, even at the loss of the "old school" ride experience.
But this... this just looks ridiculous and an over correction in response to the tragic accident. Better and more enforced policies - awareness of riders by employees - and perhaps seat belts or a different lapbar would have likely been practical. But those wings and extreme weight restriction? Yikes.
The ride has an unusual setting, to say the least. I’ve called it the Boulderdash for the junior set and it “disappears”, if you will. Ride ops can’t observe what’s happening out on the course, but much of the track follows terrain closely and is accessible from ground level.
I liked this ride a lot. The nostalgic historian in me totally grooved on the trains and the layout was surprising and even mildly thrilling.
And I can also think of several fixes that wouldn’t have been so altering and obtrusive.
TAER it down!!! (jk)
I'm assuming the wings are due to close clearances on the ride, though I don't remember anything that seemed tighter than any other ride I've been on. I've got to wonder how much of the weight restriction is due to the heavier cars. I would have thought there might have been a set of PTC junior cars that would have worked better.
I thought about a PTC junior train too, but I’m not sure what the track gauge is on this ride or how it compares to a junior coaster. Or what the standard was back in 1938 for that matter.
This does seem awfully severe.
My author website: mgrantroberts.com
In a video, Jeff Croushore mentioned the new weight restriction was due to the new, much heavier, cars. He also mentioned that they are looking at structural modifications to strengthen the ride and increase the allowable combined rider weight.
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