SFGAD JULY 6

Monday, July 7, 2014 3:15 PM

I couldn't have picked a better day to go to the park. It was much less crowded than usual, presumably b/c the majority of those who went there on the holiday weekend did so on Friday or Saturday. Ride queues were short with a few exceptions. I started the day with 6 consecutive rides on El Toro, without having to get out of my seat. For ride #7 someone was waiting for my row so I simply moved to another seat. Then it was on to Zumanjaro.

At the entrance to Zumanjaro I was delighted to discover that there is actually a single rider line! As a single rider, I was able to get to the head of the queue in almost no time. I must admit, however, that I had been dreading this ride b/c I thought that it might prove to be too intense for me to handle. After all, it is pretty extreme. Anyway, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated; in fact it was very good. Yes, it's intense, but not significantly more so than the launch on Kingda Ka or the first drop on El Toro. The scariest part, in my opinion, was being suspended 415 feet in the air with legs dangling and everything other than the top hat of Kingda Ka far below. The cars rise slowly but pick up speed the closer they get to the top. And the drop doesn't come totally out of the blue; the gondolas sort of rock, and that's how you know that here it comes! Awesome drop. I decided on a re-ride and by then people were already beginning to abuse the single rider line. Couples and others who were obviously together got in the single rider line. Park security was sensitized to this and deal with it by splitting the people up so that they couldn't ride together. I had hoped that there would be some interaction with Kingda Ka but the train that was on the launch track never moved while I was on Zumanjaro. I believe that the rationale behind this is that having Kingda Ka trains go over the top hat while there are riders on Zumanjaro poses a danger of things falling.

Even in midafternoon Batman, Nitro, Bizarro, Runaway Train and Skull Mountain were walk-ons. The only things I passed with a wait were Toro, Kingda Ka and the safari. I waited an hour for Kingda Ka and was 2 trains away from getting on when it went down and didn't look as if it was going to be running for awhile. So I got out of line and got back in an hour later, managing to ride in less than 30 minutes. As luck would have it, there was a single rider with a platinum Flash Pass in the front row so I rode with her and the ride ops left me stay on for a second ride.

By the end of the day I had managed 7 rides on El Toro, 4 on Zumanjaro, 2 on Nitro, 2 on Batman, 2 on Bizarro, 2 on Kingda Ka, 1 on Runaway Train and 1 on Skull Mountain. What more could I ask for?

I think I'd like to try the Daredevil Dive sometime. I wouldn't do it alone and the upcharge is much less ($11 per person) if at least 2 season pass holders ride together, so if anyone out there with a season pass would like to do this, please PM me.

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Monday, July 7, 2014 3:37 PM

I didn't know about Zoominator's single rider line. Thanks for the info.

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Monday, July 7, 2014 3:41 PM

I don't understand how it's abuse if the people are willing to ride separately. I actually do this all the time with my friends. We wait together in the single rider line and then ride separately when the time comes or occasionally together if we'e fortunate.

So did KK and Zoomanjaro every run simultaneously? It seems like a capacity nightmare if the rides have to wait for each other in order to dispatch.

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Monday, July 7, 2014 3:43 PM

Yeah, it's not really a situation of abuse and the distribution you saw happening wasn't an attempt to 'correct' perceived abuse.

It's a single rider line. Anyone that gets in that line will be potentially be riding alone and filling odd seats. Anyone is welcome with the understanding that you're there to fill seats as needed.

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Monday, July 7, 2014 4:15 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

Anyone is welcome with the understanding that you're there to fill seats as needed.

Roughly 65-70% of single-rider line stand-by guests understand this...but it's 100% in our household. ;~)

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Monday, July 7, 2014 7:08 PM

I get what Bobbie is saying. People see single rider lines and try to beat the wait.

Single rider lines work out especially well when there's an odd number of seats. Most groups are two or four so those odd available seats pop up more often.
She observed couples or groups heading to the single rider line hoping for the best. It's entirely possible that the ride op lets two or more through at once and then the "abusing" parties get to sit together anyway.
Zumanjaro seats what, 6 across per carriage? So if there's two seats left and the next couple of groups are 4 or more the op might then turn to the single rider line and let two through, then voila.

We went ahead and did the single line on Test Track willing and expecting to be split up, but wound up in the same car anyway. (they were treating that line more like a regular queue than anything) Then a nice guy who had seen us together offered to change rows with one of us so we could ride together. It saved us about an hour I'd say.

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Monday, July 7, 2014 7:14 PM

I actually get where it could be considered "abuse" or at least manipulation of the system. However, if you're quick enough to realize it and don't mind possibly splitting up your party, I guess it's an all's fair in love of riding.

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Monday, July 7, 2014 7:57 PM

I'm not sure how it's possible to abuse a line open to anyone willing to fill seats on an as-needed basis in exchange for a potentially shorter wait.

Seems like another case of getting hung up on semantics.

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Monday, July 7, 2014 9:16 PM

But it used to be everyone was in the same line. Now the splits and the split-nots are separated and the splits look down their noses as they walk past the split-nots.

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Monday, July 7, 2014 11:46 PM

It gives unfair advantage to coaster enthusiasts who obviously are loners and don't have any friends.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 2:23 PM

In answer to a couple of questions: 1) KK and Zumanjaro did not operate simultaneously during any of my rides on either one; and 2) each of the 3 cars on Zumanjaro seats 8 across. My perception was that the operation of Z was slowing down the operation of KK, which always has a longer wait than anything else in the park anyway. I never timed KK except to note that it's about 5 seconds from the time you hear the whoosh of air to the time that monster takes off but I doubt that the trains normally remain on the launch track for more than 15 or 20 seconds. On Sunday they sat there for considerably longer. The park had initially said that riders on Z would see KK trains launching at them but whether this will transpire remains to be seen.

As to the single rider line, I do still think that some people are using it unfairly but not always. I was talking with a couple of people in the single rider line, including a father and son who didn't seem to understand the concept of a single rider line but for their 2nd rides they made it a point to split up. There's a third line for Zumanjaro, a standby line, and I have absolutely no idea what that's for. My last two rides on Z occurred at twilight and a group of people showed up in the standby line, to the left of the single rider line. It was obvious that they were part of some organized group but beyond that I don't understand the purpose of the third line.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 2:54 PM

Forgot to address Apollo Andy's comment about it being a capacity nightmare if the trains have to wait for each other to dispatch. It's early days for the drop ride so the park has plenty of time to work out any kinks. However, let's say that the two were operating simultaneously and a cell phone flew out of someone's pocket on KK and hit someone on Z in the head. That would really be a nightmare.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 3:44 PM

What would be the difference between that and the same cell phone hitting someone else on the KK train?

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 4:00 PM

That someone on the KK train knows what they're getting into. :)

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 6:31 PM

From the cell phone graveyard we saw on the tour of KK last year, it appeared most of the loose articles were directly under the apex of the hill, so I think there's a lot more potential for riders on Zu to get pegged. Though I kind of always thought a 120+mph launch would rip stuff out of pockets much more frequently, that doesn't seem to be the case.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 6:42 PM

I'm always afraid of stuff flying out of my pocket on Top Thrill Dragster. But I recently started putting my wallet in my back pocket so I'm sitting on it. I'm afraid doing that will ruin my phone though.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 8:15 PM

^^That didn't help on my first rides on El Toro :(

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 9:03 PM

I assume that the 3 lines are single riders, fast pass, and standby (i.e. regular). At least that's what I've seen anytime there's 3 lines.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 9:50 PM

Am I the only coaster fan who wear zippered pockets when I am at parks? Zippered pockets really work well at keeping stuff from falling out while on roller coasters. :)

"Gay Coaster Guy" Billy takes it even a step further and brings safety pins to parks with him to pin his pockets shut.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014 10:08 PM

LostKause said:

Am I the only coaster fan who wear zippered pockets when I am at parks? Zippered pockets really work well at keeping stuff from falling out while on roller coasters. :)

*Virtual high five*

I started doing this after working at a park, you won't believe how many people came up to me after getting of the Voyage and asked me personally to walk out to get their phone and or wallet.

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