Vandalism, Graffiti and Litter.

Thursday, June 12, 2003 10:20 AM
One problem UK parks suffer from is the amount of vandalism, graffiti and litter that occurs over the course of the season.

Take for example the UK's most famous ride, Nemesis at Alton Towers. For the uninformed Nemesis is a subterranean B&M Inverted built in a huge rock crater blasted out of the quaint Staffordshire countryside. The line for this ride weaves its way slowly down from ground level to the bottom of the "pit" where the entrance to the station is located. The theming around this area is sublime with some great touches such as a crashed bus, red "blood" waterfalls and a huge alien monster which acts as the station.

Problem is though, UK park goers don't seem to appreciate all these extras and have over the years turned Nemeis's pit in to a trash hole. The queue line and the blood waterfalls have become dumping grounds for all kinds of litter and the alien station has had it's fiber glass moudlings pulled to pieces. Queue line fences everywhere have had graffiti daubed or etched on to them.

These problems are typical for a lot of rides and parks across the UK, and whilst some parks do react to the problem and get it fixed up promptly, most seem content just to leave it there and forget about it, which is a shame.

Now all this got me thinking about the American parks which I've visited, which were all spotless and free from vandalism, litter and graffiti. Of course, I've only been to parks in Florida and realize that all the park chains operating there have very high standards in presentation and "show", but even so, why weren't these parks visibly affected by all these above problems?

Is it a case of the parks being quick to respond to these problems (maybe even on a daily basis) so that we don't see any problems because they are dealt with so quickly, where as in the UK problems are left to build up? Or is it just that Americans simply have more respect for their parks and don't trash the places?

Is the high standards of presentation and cleanliness at the Florida parks typical of those throughout the rest of the USA? Or do parks such as Cedar Point and Magic Mountain also suffer from these problems?

What about your local park? Any ideas that us brits can use to keep things looking a bit nicer? I think simply adding more trash cans would be a great help, but here in the UK we seem to be a bit reluctant to do anything useful.

Thanks for reading.
Mike.

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Thursday, June 12, 2003 10:28 AM
The overload of trash cans definitely helps. Cedar Point has more garbage cans than guests I think, Kennywood has a lot, and Knott's had a bunch too. Six Flags parks (that i've been to) vary in their trash can population, but the more they have in an area, the cleaner it is. People won't just toss their trash if its convenient to put it in a trash can, but if they have to walk more than a few steps, forget about it. It's really hard to control this in queues since their very nature doesn't really allow many trash cans, but some places do manage to squeeze them in there, and those places are definitely the cleanest in the park.

As far as vandalism and graffiti go? I think that's the clientel of the park, and there's not a lot you can do about that other than security guards who are tough on people.

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Thursday, June 12, 2003 10:29 AM
The only park that suffered greatly from vandalism was SFWoA. The station and que walls were just carved with writing.

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Thursday, June 12, 2003 10:30 AM

The whole KD park.I didnt read the whole psot so if you psoted these already sorry for saying them again. I just think that anywhere a public shouldnt be should be blocked off. At KD theres alot of building you can go behind and alot of areas that theres nothing but a small wood fence from running right up to a track of a roller coaster.There need to be alot more trash cans at KDand they need to jsut have a litte more servalence.
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Thursday, June 12, 2003 10:31 AM
There was always some vandalism at CP but it was more of an occasional name carved in a hand rail or something of that nature. of Course it's been a while since I've been there but I would assume it's still the same.
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Thursday, June 12, 2003 10:31 AM
The only parks that I have visited here that were sans graffiti were Busch Gardens and Knotts Berry Farm. All the Six Flags parks that I have been to have some form of "artistic expression" all over the lines and the bathrooms. Even my beloved Great Adventure had markings on the Nitro queue within hours of its opening. Like Alton towers, that is probably the least of their problems in the grand scheme of things.



*** This post was edited by Antuan 6/12/2003 2:33:21 PM ***

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Thursday, June 12, 2003 10:44 AM
The dirtiest (in terms of trash and graffiti) park that I have ever been to is SFKK. That place is a pit; plus there is chainlink fencing and barbed wire everywhere. It is a very unattractive park. Now, that I have been there and ridden all the coasters, I have no desire to return to that place.
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Thursday, June 12, 2003 10:53 AM
I have to say the cleanest park that I have EVER seeen is Holiday World. At one point, while sitting and waiting for a couple of people from our group to arrive. We counted four more garbage cans (12) than there were tables (8) outside one of the restaurants! --And that was in a 80 foot span of sidewalk!

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Thursday, June 12, 2003 11:16 AM
I notice a lot of newer queues are being built with the rails away from walls. Look at PKI's Flight of Fear for an example. I think this cuts down on the graffiti and gum walls.

I think the most disgusted I've ever been in line is the small section of the Villain's line that goes through the shed. Every inch of that thing was covered in gum, spit, Skoal and profane graffiti. I put my hand in some spit.

The year Mean Streak opened, I remember the wooden ties above the end of the line were covered in graffiti. Some of it was pretty funny, too.

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Thursday, June 12, 2003 3:43 PM
The most disgusting things at PKD are the areas in Volcano - the gum wall and when the queue snakes down into the departure area - gum and just plain dirt. I love the ride, but standing in line turns my stomach.

BGW is just about trash and graffiti free.

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Thursday, June 12, 2003 4:40 PM
I'm a sweeper at knotts, and our territory (midways, eating areas, trash cans, restrooms) is usually spotless, with the life expectancy of a popcorn spill being around 3 minutes. Should be around 1 minute when a few of us turn into rollerblading sweepers.
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Thursday, June 12, 2003 4:49 PM
Usually I don't mind grafitti as long as its pretty grafitti, not a carved name, but something actually artistic. But what I can't stand is when it is done to a Roller Coaster. I mean I can see people getting bored and having nothing better to do, but destroying something that cost several million dollars isnt an excuse.

One of the grossest q lines Ive ever been in has been PR at Kennywood. The bridge over the putt putt golf course has got to be the most disgusting thing ever. everywhere there was half eaten food and everything.

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Thursday, June 12, 2003 4:55 PM
Honestly, every park I've been to except for Florida ones have graffiti on every avalible surface. Batman at SFGADV is just horrible.

What can you do about it? Aside from searching for pens on every person and having the shops stop selling them you can't do anything about it. My question is why don't the parks paint/cover them up? Is it money or sloppyness?

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Thursday, June 12, 2003 5:15 PM
Believe it or not, while i was waiting in the station to board Hypersonic i stepped into some gum someone spit/dropped on the ground. The entirely sad part about the whole thing was that there was a trash can probably no more than 5 inches from where i stepped in it! This just goes to show how much people dont care about where they dispose of things.

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Thursday, June 12, 2003 5:24 PM
There seems to be an AWFUL amount of graffiti all around the B:TR Queue and station. (Insert winking smiley face here.)
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Thursday, June 12, 2003 5:47 PM
At Six Flags Fiesta Texas, they actually do search for pens. This came from one of the people in guest relations. There isn't a single piece of graffiti in the whole park, and trust me, we looked for it. As for the worst, most have already been named—Volcano at PKD, B:TR @ SFGadv. and B&R the Chiller also @ SFGadv. The solution is to not enclose the station as seen on the newer designs seen on S:UF, Penguin's Blizzard River/Diablo Falls, Batwing etc. Then there are no surfaces to tag. Of course, you lose themeing options this way.
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Thursday, June 12, 2003 6:01 PM
SFWoA is a mess at times.

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*** This post was edited by jkpark 6/12/2003 10:02:01 PM ***

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Thursday, June 12, 2003 6:36 PM
Six Flags America's River Rapids Ride station has names carved all over the wall once you enter the station, i admit i did write my name on there :)

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Thursday, June 12, 2003 6:51 PM
I don't think it will ever stop. Maybe if parks had their security patrol the lines as well as the Midways it may cut down on it. Maybe even if they put fake cameras up in the queues it would cut back on the graffiti. I think the main reason people do it is sheer bordom of standing in line. If the parks placed things in line to read (facts about the park, coaster stats, etc.) That might keep peoples minds busy long enough to keep the pens in their pockets.

Only if someone actually invented the wall like in that Naked Gun movie. When the vandals spray painted the wall it sprayed them back. That would be funny walking thru the park and seeing several people coated in paint!


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Thursday, June 12, 2003 7:13 PM
I'd say that most people are just self-involved idiots who will continue to deface private property without ever thinking about it. I'd also wager that the problem is essentially the same everywhere, the only difference being the actions taken by maintenance to undo the marking.

Case in point, there used to be a gum tree in the line for Iron Wolf at SFGAm. I haven't seen gum on the tree in the past couple of years, simply because I'd bet the cleaning staff has taken on the problem and undone the effects.

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