Seat Poaching on Coasters

Saturday, May 22, 2004 4:22 PM
GregLeg and I had a pretty good discussion about this last Sunday at PCar and I told him I was going to post something to see what everyone thought about it.

First, by Seat Poaching, I mean the practice of riding a coaster, then when the restraints open, watching for any empty seats and hopping in without walking all the way around. The kind of response I would like from you guys is whether you think this is "bad form" as Captain Hook would say and then go through the scenarios and see if any of these sway you.

Let's assume that if a train pulls into an empty station and the ride op asks if you would like to ride again that everyone would. That also doesn't fall under my definition of poaching. Ok, here goes.

A : Train pulls into station with several rows having folks waiting to ride. Your row does NOT have anyone waiting and instead of asking the ride op if you may ride again, you wait quietly in your seat hoping no one notices you.

B : Train pulls into the station with several rows again with folks waiting to ride. Your row DOES have waiting riders, but the row directly in front or behind you does not. Without asking, you quietly move out of your present row and into the empty adjacent seats again WITHOUT asking a ride op for permission.

C : Train pulls into a full station. Your row is full of people waiting to board. You stand to exit but notice there is confusion as the waiting passengers in YOUR row are busy trying to coordinate riding with their buddies in line ahead of them or behind them seating-wise. Folks behind them would more than likely gladly board but as the confusion continues, the airgates close and you're staring at an empty row. Without alerting a ride op, you sit quietly and ride again.

D : Train pulls into a full station of a B&M style coaster (4 across seating). This time, you happen to be riding as a single. All queing rows are jam packed waiting to board. As the restraints unlock, and you disembark the train, you notice there are only 3 people boarding the next train, leaving an empty seat. You fill the empty seat.

As HONESTLY as you can answer, give me your responses. I will post later with my honest responses, but I would like to see what everyone else would do first. Hey, I started this thing :)

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Saturday, May 22, 2004 4:41 PM
Normally I'll try to chat with the ride-op and just ask them. Sometimes they're fine with it.

I don't make a habit out of it ....But honestly, I've done all of those one time or another...mainly at closing.

I do realize that we probably look like wierdos to the GP when doing this...they think it's unfair most of the time...especially case D) where you steal the edge seat or have to sit betweeen people.

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Saturday, May 22, 2004 4:48 PM
A - I see what the general flow that's already been established is. I've been at parks where trains weren't being filled many times. Depending on the park, they're either ok with re-rides (SFGADV, Carowinds) or they're not (Dorney, Cedar Point). If the park doesn't permit it, I move on - no reason to be greedy and a jerk. If the park does allow re-rides, it's usually an unspoken thing between riders in figuring out how to move around to fill the train. If it's even close in someone waiting not being able to board, you move on. If empty seats are abundant, you stay.

B -Same as A

C - You move on, anything less is being an ass.

D - Same as C. (although admittedly, that's the grayest area of all the examples and I could probably argue either side, however if in that situation I always move on)

It all seems like common courtesy to me :)

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Saturday, May 22, 2004 4:58 PM
I saw someone doing something more slick on Wild Thing. The station was full and there was a line outside it. He waited a bit in his seat and when the air gates opened, he exited the train on the wrong side. Lost in a mess of people, he went back thru the open air gate and got in line for another seat. That was definately wrong, but by far the best line jumping I've seen.
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Saturday, May 22, 2004 4:59 PM
I do all of those all the time. I can rack up 50+ rides pretty easily on Medusa West in one day, although it only really works good on B&Ms. Usually I get permission from the crew though.

One of the few times I was sneaking into the empties I got kicked out of the train- Coasterpalooza on Top Gun. Even though there were only two people waiting for the row, I apparently wasn't aloud to sit in one of the empty seats. Oh well, doesn't matter to me. At least they let us do it at Solace.

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Saturday, May 22, 2004 5:16 PM
hey ravenTTD, when did u see this person do that on wild thing, cuz i have. lol. Not only once, but twice, the second time was on power tower a year ago, all i did was walk around in a circle and walked through the gates and said there wasnt room for me. So i got to ride twice. *** Edited 5/25/2004 2:02:51 AM UTC by Maxil223***
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Saturday, May 22, 2004 5:34 PM
It was either on last Sat or Sun but I think it was Sat. edit: I am sure it was Sat...there was no line outside the station on Sun. *** Edited 5/22/2004 9:35:08 PM UTC by RavenTTD***
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Saturday, May 22, 2004 5:55 PM
This is the reason why Six Flags New England waits until everybody is out of the station before opening the gates. Guess its a pretty good idea.
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Saturday, May 22, 2004 6:17 PM
I think that all four are wrong if you do not ask permision. I think that C is wrong all the time. A and B are ok it the park and the ride ops are ok with it. D would only be ok if you asked the group boarding the train if you could ride with them.
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Saturday, May 22, 2004 6:18 PM
A - May have tried this before, gotten away with it once or twice, but usually I ask.

B - "WITHOUT"? Nah. Not me. I'd ask...or quickly kinda motion with my fingers to a ride op, if he nods or gives me a thumbs up, somehow tells me to go ahead, then I'd do it.

C - Just plain wrong. Sorry, move on!

D - Ok as long as you ask the people if you can sit with them, and clear it with the ride ops as well. If I were one of the three, esp. the one you'd be sitting next to, most likely i'd say yes.

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Saturday, May 22, 2004 8:12 PM
I say yes to all of them. C is a little sketchy though.
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Saturday, May 22, 2004 8:17 PM
Since me and my brothers, who are usually with me on coaster trips, want to maximize coaster rides during a visit, we will always ask ride ops if we can hang out and see if there are open singles.

Some parks (like SFNE and CP) don't allow re-rides under any conditions. Others, like PCar, BGW, and IOA have been very open to this, although it always depends on the particular crew and patience. We have had some incredible luck re-riding the likes of Top Gun, the Hulk, and Apollo's Chariot.

However, a REALLY good crew will fill in to the exit side of the ride and solicit singles or doubles to fill in holes. Last time at IOA they were doing this masterfully on Fire Dragon. No opportunity for re-rides, but the sight of full trains leaving the station is a beautiful thing.

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Saturday, May 22, 2004 9:03 PM
The answer to all scenarios is:

"Comply with local rules and customs. If you have questions about these conditions, consult the Authority Having Jurisdiction."

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Saturday, May 22, 2004 10:35 PM
With scenario A & B, I have and would have no problem with doing this but but only with the permission of a ride op. Scenario C, I would just move on. Scenario D, I would do but again only with a ride op's permission and only if it wasn't one that had a single rider line being used (like Apollo at BGW).
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Saturday, May 22, 2004 11:39 PM
I usually consult the ride-op to see if I can hang around the exit and fill empty seats. Nine times out of ten he'll say yeah, go ahead, it looks good to have a full train.

C, of course, is just plain dumb. Even I don't do that.

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Sunday, May 23, 2004 12:06 AM
Brian, can't you just start a simple LOVE thread for once....always the controversy, ROFL...:)

Am I gonna see you *at all* between Solstice and PPPPP? ;)

Oh, and Iguess I *hafta* say something topical: 1) I take the fifth, and 2) It's not possible on coasters with separate load/unload, like MF and FoF...which kinda stinks...;) 3) BGT is okey-dokey with re-rides on empty rows...which *almost* makes row 7 the best row on Kumba....:)

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Sunday, May 23, 2004 1:21 AM
C: Did once on BBW, our group had split up and I happened to have gotten on two trains ahead of the last part of my group noticed that no one in my row line wanted to get on. I got the express consent of the two people in my row line (there was no one else behind them) so I stayed, the ride op blazed through the safety check and I was locked and on my way before I could ask.

I normally ask the ride op, my record having been 12 straight rides on Kumba (during normal operating hours) and 7 straight times without haveing to change my seat.

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Sunday, May 23, 2004 8:21 AM
The only time I do this is if the row I am sitting in is completely empty. Last year at SF:WoA I went on a day where the park was a ghost town. Since no one was there I could re-ride almost anything. This year however the ride ops at Geauga Lake do not allow this, they always say "go around the gate and get back on" even when there is no one in the station, and they dispatch the train with no one on it.
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Sunday, May 23, 2004 12:50 PM
I agree with Rideman.

I've seen everything for no reriding at all even during light ERT to sitting in a middle seat for 10 rides in a row with an occasional roll through when no one was waiting at all. I can live with any of them.

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Sunday, May 23, 2004 1:16 PM
Although I think Rideman's answer is the "textbook" answer, I think it's also a cop out ;). I posed to question to see if people would honestly answer. EVERYONE knows that you SHOULD walk around every time... et al.

My answer is simple and it's based ENTIRELY on a few certain criteria :

1. How far I live from this park.

2. How kick azz this coaster is.

3. How long I'd have to wait if I went around.

4. How far I have to walk from the exit to ride again (ex. Phantom's Revenge horrendous walkaround)

5. How many times I have ridden it already.

Hate to say it, and although I'm not gonna cut off some poor defenseless child to ride again, when I travel an extensive distance and my time is limited, my ethics might suffer as a result.

GENERALLY speaking though : Yes to all except C.

Edit : Down with confusing duplicate letters. :/ *** Edited 5/24/2004 12:18:59 AM UTC by Homey G.***

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