Monday, June 27, 2005 4:43 PM
The revival of the Mantis topic got me thinking about something that irks me about stand ups. While I usually really enjoy them with the excpetion of PGA Vortex, the most discoraging part is the slow moving lines. It seems to take ops a really long time to check a train. I've worked at a number of different types of coasters, but never on a stand up. I know there's a bit more involved but seems to take forever for them to get a train out.
My current home park is PCW and I really enjoy the Sky Rider. Problem is even if line is inside the queue house and just the chutes are filled..it's generally a 30 - 45 min wait. The ride ops seem a bit lethargic but also looks like it's not really designed to be all that efficient. The B&M stand ups seem to be designed to be a bit more effiient than the Togo or Intamin but could also be since they're fairly new.
In my ride experience I've found Arrow looper trains the their Vekoma cousins to be the easiest to check. Most annoying are Arrow Mine Train and PTC with seatbelts. (Floorless and Inverted can be hard on the legs due to guests that excitedly kick thier legs as you check their restraint) Again never worked at a park with a stand up so curious about this.
Monday, June 27, 2005 4:51 PM
I worked on Chang a couple of times. The only thing that really takes a long time (at least at my park) is if I'm checking the restraints, I have to constantly have the op open certain cars' restraints and ask people to stand up (one would think that people would stand up on a stand-up coaster). Another reason is that most of the people that I work with just don't really care about their job (it's SFKK after all) and that helps to cause long lines.
Monday, June 27, 2005 11:28 PM
Here's something I found in the *suggestion box* here at HQ:
Design the control system so that one row LOCKS at a time. Have the attendant walk down the row, instruct people to *STAND* and, only then, close the restraints for that row. Proceed to next row, do the same....
Having the entire train lock at once then having to UNLOCK each row and re-check restraints for each *non-standing* guest, just CRUSHES the capacity on those things...
Not that Chang is something I need to ride again though, LOL. SkyRider, OTOH....that really DID give me that King Cobra feeling...:)
Tuesday, June 28, 2005 12:18 AM
'Gator, that's what Vekoma did with their flying coasters. The foot pedal on the platform locks the restraints for the corresponding row. Remember, on those things, the lap bar *positively* locks in place, so once it is locked it can't be opened *or closed* without releasing it.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005 12:50 AM
And one of the nice things about the Flying Dutchman is that you can lock, unlock, and what's called "embark" each individual coach from the control panel. Whereas on a B&M coaster, the rows are locked and unlocked in rows of two.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005 1:34 PM
The one and ONLY time I rode a stand up (Riddler's Revenge) they just said "your seats will be locking on my count of 3, 2, your seats are now locked"....standing in the station I was like wow. The entire time I was in the station they never unlocked rows...maybe they didn't care and were being lazy?
I never quite understood the whole lets unlock two rows at the same time thing. B&M, uses shorter platens to release/lock restraints...why not make them even shorter for a single car? *** Edited 6/28/2005 5:37:34 PM UTC by haiderodes***
Tuesday, June 28, 2005 1:47 PM
I will note that the Mantis crew seems to be much more efficient this year. I'm not sure if that's because the crew is better, or the guests have finally figured out that one stands on a stand-up coaster. My money is on the crew.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005 11:23 PM
Thanks for the input on this. The fact that folks tend to sit down I can't imagine is a whole lots worse than folks that can't figure out how to use a seatbelt. Or dealing with a seatbelt kink well with the exception that you have to work closely with the panel operator to release the seats.
Interesting how a recent trip report to PCW also noticed this the slow throughput on Sky Rider. I guess thre's a combination of under staffed, under motivated there. At other coasters in the park usually see two loaders and unlaoders. Never seen more than one of each as Sky Rider. Oh well possibly operations will figure this one out.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005 1:12 AM
'Gator, that's what Vekoma did with their flying coasters. The foot pedal on the platform locks the restraints for the corresponding row.
Thanks Dave, gotta love it when Vekoma is "leading the way", LOL...:)
Now that you mention it though, being "unable to lock the row" is what put the first train out of order on X-Flight. ;)
Then the new guy tried to walk us out thru the maze, ROFL...we had to show HIM the way to the other side of the station....good times! :)
Stand-ups require better ops, more of them, and most especially good signage and *clear, LOUD, and instructive directions* to maximize capacity and operations...it's the price you pay for having a stand-up....but if you get one like Scorcher or Skyrider, then you're just way luckier than the people who got stuck with a Vortex...or WORSE! ;)
*** Edited 6/29/2005 5:18:18 AM UTC by rollergator***
Wednesday, June 29, 2005 2:00 AM
[stuck with a Vortex...or WORSE!
Not sure how much worse it can get from Vortex. I've given Vortex a two or three attempts in a handfull of visits to PGA. It's the only stand up that get gets me in mostly in the head, but also man parts and neck. I can remember shortly after being upper cut on the first element, cringing as I'd see elements arriving on the course. At least it's blessedly short -so kind oflike getting a tooth pulled, then having the dentist chair collapse and the dental tool tray fall on you.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005 9:36 PM
I think one of the things that must be challenging is that you have to get the guests to stand up properly. It's probably not good for the rider if they are slouching. One thing that was interesting, and yet annoying at the same time, is that on Vortex at Carowinds the seats all pop up at the same time after the other guests have all departed the train. That means that you have to keep the seat down until they lock it, and for us guys, it's not the most comfortable thing to do since it keeps riding up your crotch.
Wednesday, June 29, 2005 10:44 PM
^ very simple solution to that problem... just stand up and hold the shoulder harness down on your shoulders by pressing down on the top of them with your hands. Works everytime, and alleviates any trouble that you may be having with your male area.
At Carowinds they also do the "seats locking in 3...2...1... Locked" spiel as you are getting on the train. It is very helpful, but they still usually have to unlock one or two sets of rows each time. I don't know, maybe the sign that says "Stand Up Straight" is just too complicated for the GP here in NC/SC? That's probably the problem....
Thursday, June 30, 2005 12:24 AM
I tried pushing down on my harness to get the bike seat down on Mantis... but a few seconds later the ride host came and shoved it up. So I guess they want the bike seat to be up as far as possible. Sometimes I think the operators don't understand what they are supposed to be doing either. The bike seat is not there for support. It is there so that if you start to bend your knees or slouch, the seat prevents you from going further.
Thursday, June 30, 2005 5:13 AM
The sign on the stairs at Mantis used to say "Stand up straight with your knees slightly bent."
Then operations of the ride changed, requiring you to NOT bend your knees, but the sign didn't. It took about two years to change the sign.