SFGAm 5-4-2003 - Great Customer Care

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Monday, May 5, 2003 10:37 AM
I wasnt going to write a seperate trip report with the dearth of them all talking about the new ride Superman, however, I have a completely different item to talk about in my trip report, so this one will be posted seperately.

Lets get over the specifics first, the rides. If you want reviews of the rides, they are all over this site. As always Raging Bull was running great, so was Viper, and Superman was a fun ride but not a great ride.

One note on Raging Bull, they were only running two trains. The train not running was the teal train, which was the one that carried the 11 year old girl that died the day before. Could be a coincidence, might not, but it didnt run all day, take it for what you want. Also I noticed that they are getting really picky on not letting overweight people ride on Raging Bull. I have never seen anyone denied on that ride before and my first ride of the day on it they kicked two people off the ride, people that I know would have been able to ride in prior years because they were both about as big as I was last year. I think they are requiring the restraint to make more clicks.

Now, onto what I really was writing the report for. A few weeks back someone started a thread about ride ops and how hard their jobs are. I responded back to the thread that I tend to go to guest relations when things are really good as well as when they are really bad and that more people should go to guest relations when things are really good because these employees that did really good will be more motivated to do really good in the future.

I never really thought that customer service at Great America was all that bad. In fact, when compared to most parks, it is stellar. There are a few parks that I have visited, not mentioning any names here, and then visit SFGAm the next day and I suddenly think the entire park sucks because I am used to the service from the other park. Conclusion: the park had good service, but there is always room for improvement.

I dont know if it was just opening weekend enthusiasm but the ENTIRE park seemed like a different park on Sunday. It was almost like I was at one of those other parks. Ride ops were enthusiasticly pushing out trains, making small talk with the guests. I had a ride op on Iron Wolf ask me how my ride was and she smiled sympathetically when I told her I didnt enjoy my ride and she told me that she hoped the rest of my day would be better.

Every employee, when passed by, would acknowledge our presense while in the park. Every one of them, including the sweeps, security, ride ops going from ride to ride, all of them. Some would just smile at us warmly, others would say hi, and I had a few, including a SECURITY GUARD, ask me how my day was going at the park!!!!

The park was clean the entire day, albeit that it was pretty dead that day so it probably wasnt all that hard to maintain the park.

Oh, and other Six Flags parks should be taking notes on the ride operations of the park. The park was a freaking ghost town in the morning, yet they were still running two trains on Iron Wolf, two trains a side on Eagle, two trains on Demon, two trains on Viper, two trains on Batman, and two trains on Superman. The only ride that wasnt running all of its trains (Eagle might not have been either, but I dont think they have run 3 a side in years) was Raging Bull and for some reason they werent putting that third train on the track all day no matter how busy it got. Why can't all the other parks do this? Why must they continue to run one train all the time even when it is busy?

Lastly, I will close this trip report with a moment of poetic justice. I was waiting to get onto Superman in the morning right after the park gates had opened. They still hadnt let anyone into the queue yet, so we were all standing in a nice orderly line outside the ride exit. An employee came around and told those with backpacks, purses, ect... that those had to be left in a locker. The girl in front of me was told TWICE to do this. Did she listen? No. Didnt think the rules applied to her. Common attitude among the youth of our country now a days. Anyways, at 10 am, they let everyone in and when she gets to the gate to the ride, the employee there tells her she needs to put the backpack in the locker. The girl has a fit, and says that she is keeping the backpack with her and they cant tell her different. The employee tells her that she isnt riding. As if to add emphasis, the same woman who asked her twice to stow the bag came along to guide her out of the line. The girl's boyfriend asked if she could just catch up to him in line after she stowed it and the employee stated that there was no line jumping allowed and that if he wanted to wait for her that he would have to exit the line with her and rejoin the line at the very end of the line. Let me tell you he was pissed. Not at the park. He was very polite in his acceptance of his fate with the employee, he really let his girlfriend have it though. Such fun, such fun!!! If I was him, I would have been like, "see you when I am done!!!"

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Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

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Monday, May 5, 2003 11:22 AM
I also noticed that they park employees were in a nicer mood on sunday. even a security gal smiled
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Monday, May 5, 2003 11:48 AM
Good to hear. (Except for the part about Bull requiring more clicks).

Thanks for writing. I have been contemplating not getting a season pass this year due to, in my opinion, poor customer service in the area of ride operations (hmm..which rides am I talking about...take a guess), but more good TRs like this may persuade me otherwise.

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Buy "Stereotype Be" from Kevin Max at Amazon.com

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Monday, May 5, 2003 6:11 PM
It was a great day. I'm glad the weather held up for the most part. It started to drizzle lightly as we were nearing the station for our last ride on Superman, thankfully, it stopped just as suddenly as it had began. Aside from Superman, which had a 45 minute wait both times we rode (kudos to the staff) we were treated to walk-ons on V2, Viper, Eagle, and Batman, just as the ride was re-opening. I had lots of fun, glad you did too. :)

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Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 8:17 AM
Sigh, all these reports of how well the SUF crew is doing with two trains makes it that much harder to swallow how horrible the SFoG SUF crew is.

I sure miss the ride op attitude toward capacity and friendliness at SFGAm down here at SFoG. :(

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Top Thrill Dragster -- The most intense, unbelievable, and spectacular fifteen seconds on any coaster, anywhere, ever.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 10:22 AM
Question on Bull clicks, were you near to any of the people who got kicked out? I ask because their is a little red line at the bottom of the shaft attached to the restraint and if you see the red line then your good to go, and if you arent you cant, at least that was true in past years. Happen to see if any kicked off were able to see the red line?

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Summer 03-CP, HP, Canobie, SFNE, SFWOA, and SFGAm.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 10:58 AM
I dont know anything about the red line. One of the guys that got kicked off was in my row. Funny thing was he claimed to have ridden the ride on Saturday just fine. The main operator was basically calling out row numbers and then they would have to unlock that row and get the person out who was too big and then recheck the row. They must be able to tell from the main control panel. Like I said, one of the guys was the same size, if not smaller than I was last year and I had no problems at all last year. The fact that the one guy was able to ride fine on Saturday and not Sunday makes me wonder a bit if the death on the ride just has the crew being over cautious right now. I have give props to the guy in my row though. He handled it with a lot of grace and left the ride in a very orderly fashion and did not argue their decision.

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Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 2:49 PM
Is the train even on the monument yet?

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"Jessica, you're turning me into a criminal, when all I want to be is a petty thug." -Bart Simpson

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 2:55 PM
Nope, the monument stands as just that, a big piece of ugly green steel.

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Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 5:15 PM
I'm planning a midwest Six Flags tour (plus CP) in July, and would like a little better idea about this size thing. I have a 52" chest and have a 42" waist.

Saturday I rode Wildfire in the front row and fastened the belt by-my-self-thank-you. Usually my daughter will reach over and push the OTSR down... doesn't take much. Same thing on Alpie & B:TR. I got one click past the line on AC, but didn't try to go farther. What are my chances?

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 5:35 PM
I think the monument actually compliments the nearby Farmer's Market. The bright shade of green seems to bring out the best of it. :)

On a related note, did anyone notice the stairs to Deja Vu were lying dissasembled to the side? I didn't get a good look, but I first noticed it from Batman's lift, and then got a quick glance at it when we were passing by.

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Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 6:00 PM
I really dont think anything has changed on Raging Bull. They definitely wouldnt have changed it due to the accident because the fatality had nothing to do with the restraints.

If you can see the red stripe on the restraint pole, you should have no problems riding.

What I did notice is that the test seat for RB is not at the entrance. Anyone know why that is missing?

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Arena football has arrived in the Windy City. Go "Chicago Rush"

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 6:02 PM
I was also there on sunday and I totally agree! The superman crew was the best ever. When I was waiting for the front seat in the morning the ride broke down. As soon as this happen they had about 10 people tring to fix it. They fix it very fast to. Also even for the second day they were running with very fast load times. Then at night I went on 4 times with out getting off once. The whole time when ever they checked my lap bar they made conversation asking how many times I have been on that day ( 8 Times). Over all a great day!
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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 6:07 PM
I was a little dissapointed in the fact that there were no storage bins in the station to place hats. When it gets hat I want to be able to wear a hat in line and be able to put it in the station so I don't lose it on the ride.

The employees were graet on Saturday too.

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All who think Mean Streak needs a match taken to it say I.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2003 7:56 PM
Hey...Bob...the monument, if nothing else, is attractive.

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Buy "Stereotype Be" from Kevin Max at Amazon.com

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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 5:55 AM

Kevin Max said:
Hey...Bob...the monument, if nothing else, is attractive.

That is if you consider neon lime green and electric blue to be good colors!!! ;)

A note to what CoasterDude38 (why are there so many coasterdudes on this site and why do they all claim SFGAm as their home park? Conspiracy? hehe): I think I know what break down you are talking about. The train I got off of got e-stopped at the top of the lift on it's next lap. I talked to some people that were on that train because they were waiting in line behind us all morning and we ran into them later in the day and they said they were stuck for like 10 minutes and the park gave them exit passes without them even having to ask for them. I cannot remember SFGAm ever doing that. Another step up in customer relations????

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Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 6:10 AM
It wasnt an exit pass but my daughter and I received a couple of free drink coupons after we were stuck on the Eagle for about 15 minutes. The ride supervisors were passing them out to us and also apologizing for being stuck.

I never really have any problems with SFGAm when it comes to customer service.
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Arena football has arrived in the Windy City. Go "Chicago Rush"

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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 6:12 AM
Nah, SFGAm usually gives out exit passes to stranded riders if they waited somewhere on the rides course for any lengthy amount of time. I'm assuming since you're in a "different" position on SUF, they gave them the passes because of that.

But they have always given passes out if you were stranded on a coaster/ride for a long while*.

*Long while is determined by rides sup or full time staff, not the guest. :)

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Top Thrill Dragster -- The most intense, unbelievable, and spectacular fifteen seconds on any coaster, anywhere, ever.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 7:06 AM
Yes, Bob, I do consider those colors attractive.

I particularly enjoy looking down at DJV from the lifts of Eagle and RB.

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Buy "Stereotype Be" from Kevin Max at Amazon.com

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Wednesday, May 7, 2003 7:23 AM
I was there on Sunday as well, and I have to give the park a lot of credit. My oldest son was about 1/4 of an inch to short to ride (even though he measures 54 inches right on the money). The staff at superman took him and my youngest (1 1/2" to short) to measure him. They did it quickly and professionally. He was bummed when he got to the park, but got over it. Hopefully in a month or so, that next 1/4" will come.

The park did seem different. The staff was extremely friendly, to the point that I didn't know what park I was at. The ride op's on Superman and Bull were top knotch. Still my biggest complant about the park is the lack of offereings for Season Pass Holders!!! I don't want to beat a dead horse, but come on, almost every other park is offering perks!

After a opening day visit like this one, I am looking more forward to go back then ever. Hats off!

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Why?
*** This post was edited by Coaster Art Guy 5/7/2003 11:26:41 AM ***

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