why dont parks run coasters at full capasity?

Wednesday, June 26, 2002 8:33 AM
why dont parks run coasters at full capasity? i mean if a coaster has 3 trains why let 1 or 2 sit around while people are waiting 1 1/2 plus hours . this is my biggest pet pieve about parks i know it is not possible to always run three trains but parks do not do it enough

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I just want to ride as many coasters as posible

*** This post was edited by sfmm15 on 6/26/2002. ***

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 8:43 AM
to the GP, a big line means a popular ride - that's always been what I feel - and nice spelling by the way =)
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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 8:45 AM

Economics. Strange though it may seem, it's better for a park to have reasonable lines than to have no lines. The lines ensure that you stay in the park longer, which means that you are more likely to eat meals there, buy gifts, etc.

Also, the parks don't have a crystal ball. If it turns out to be busier on a particular day in 2002 than it was on that same day in 2001, they may not have proper staffing to run to higher capacity.

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Proud CB club member

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 8:46 AM

Harder for the crew members

More money

More maintneance

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 8:49 AM

All of the above are good reasons...

As to the Crystal Ball issue... it is not only from one year to the next, but from one hour to the next. I have often seen a ride lined up at say noon, but then pass that way an hour later to see hardly a line at all.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 8:50 AM

FULL capacity, I understand is not necessary all the time and it's silly to run empty trains for no reason. Why parks don't always run to "optimal" capacity, that's the real mystery IMO....

bill, thinking perhaps we have different definitions of "optimal"....single-training should be reserved for SMALL parks and SLOOOOOW days....

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 8:57 AM

A lot is based upon the crew members. I'm a A.H. at Busch Gardens and have cross-trained to work on Apollo's Chariot. When running the average two trains, 3 crew members are needed, and thats not including the ones who stand by the exit to collect loose articles, and the one at the main controls. For a three train operation, and extra person is required to check the harnesses. With Alpengeist, two extra cast members are required.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 9:08 AM

We had an interesting discussion about this a couple of weeks ago.

http://www.coasterbuzz.com/forums/thread.asp?ForumID=13&TopicID=20668

My take on the whole thing is that some parks (like CP) think keeping lines a short as possible is a #1 priority, even if it means large crews and extra maintenance on the trains. While other parks think it is acceptable for lines to be longer the necessary if it means they can save some money.

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Bob M.

*** This post was edited by RPMGuitar on 6/26/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by RPMGuitar on 6/26/2002. ***

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 9:45 AM

.....but what are they really saving.....employees at (let's be generous and say $10/hr)....wear-and-tear on the coaster...I just don't see how that stacks up when you're talking about people getting ticked about hour-long waits. When people wait a long time, they get restless, and irritable. They become more likely to vandalize, cut in line, litter, and generally become "bad guests". Lines that MOVE, even when there's a lot of people, don't have these kinds of problems.....

Saving a few hundred bucks in salary just doesn't add up in my mind.....the cost of a $15-20M coaster waaaay outstrips it. I guess I see things the CP way....if you get more rides, and have a better time, you'll buy more souvenirs (free advertising for the park), have a better time, come back more often, and recommend the park to others....

bill, still thinking it's a shame that other CF parks (MiA, KBF) aren't run the way CP is, and that profitability and guest satisfaction are inextricably intertwined....

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 10:44 AM

Mark: I don't get your logic. If you're standing in line longer, how does that cause you to spend more money? Aside from getting a soda in line, I can't say standing in line causes me to spend any more than I would ordinarily. In fact, if that were true, why would the parks all be trying to come up with schemes to get us out of line?

I still think it's just differing philosophy. Most parks think it's OK to make you wait a little longer to save a few bucks on maintenance costs. Others feel they should deliver what you pay for.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"We used to hate people, now we just make fun of them. It's more effective that way." - KMFDM, "Dogma"

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 10:53 AM

I initlially didn't see the logic in Mark W's statement either, and conurred with Jeff. However, I could see the reasoning that if one had to wait for all the rides, one would be more likely to stay in the park the entire day. Consequently, the guest may be more inclined to buy a couple more drinks, etc. between rides.

This would mean that the park is assuming a guest would more than likely split after breezing through all the major coasters in a few hours, and be less likely to spend extra cash on food and drinks.

I don't know if this is Mark's position, but I'm sure he'll let us know.

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"drop rides, not bombs."

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 10:54 AM

Agreed... if you are in line, you can't spend, Spend, SPEND!

Also, if I have stood in lines all day, and I am not and iritable, I may be more likely to leave the park early (especially if it is a more local park and not one that I have travelled a great distance to get to). Not only that, if I have visited a park and all I remember is the long lines, I may not be that inclined to return.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 11:17 AM

chris said:
"This would mean that the park is assuming a guest would more than likely split after breezing through all the major coasters in a few hours, and be less likely to spend extra cash on food and drinks."

I think this is a fair assement. I'm not sure that I agree that this is the real reasoning behing *why* parks do what they do but this is an interesting theory. I'm pretty sure this has some validity. If I have done everything I wanted to at a park, I'd feel fine leaving early. And if I feel I'm going to leave early, I might as well hold off on eating till I get home.

But if I've been the park several hours and have not yet hit all the rides I want, I could see myself being inclined to take a moment and eat. Then attack the rest of the rides. Like I said, interesting theory.

And Jeff, while parks may be trying to get people "out of line" they are not trying to "reduce the wait". The whole purpose is to keep you there as long as possible. Each moment you are there is an extra moment when they have the opportunity to get you to give them money. Once you leave, they cant get any more from you. So they may "be" some benefit to "holding you hostage" in the lines.

And, as I have said before, I think you so-called enthusiasts overestimate the "fickleness" of the average park goer. Sure, long lines is always a complaint of the customers (stop calling them "guests" because that is a LIE. "Guests" dont pay **** to come to my house!) but it alone is hardly a reason for them to decline a return visit. (Rudeness and cleanliness on the other hand...)

With the exception of the claims regarding SFWoA (ironically made from people who profess not to visit often) I've not seen any of the parks that run "below max q" suffer from any lack of attendees! Even SFKK and SFA (two of the worst offenders from where I sit) keep crowds.

I still advocate leaving the park running to those with park managing experience!
lata,
jeremy
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"To get inside this head of mine, would take a monkey-wrench, and a lot of wine" Res How I Do

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 11:20 AM

So to make the most money, the park wants it's lines long enough that it takes the entire day to ride everything. So they only run one train (this also saves on staffing an maintenance).

Then they put food and drink machines in the lines at typical inflated park prices. (why can't they put bathrooms in the line?)

Then they realize that people spend more money when walking around than when in line, to they come up with a queue management system.

Then they realize that people will pay to get out of line, so they charge to use the queue management system.

If all ths were true, then the Six Flags parks (SFKK in particular) would be the most profitable parks in the world... It seems to me you do all you can to keep lines as short as possible - this leads to happier guests - happy guests come back to your park to spend more money.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 11:48 AM

Jeff said:

In fact, if that were true, why would the parks all be trying to come up with schemes to get us out of line?



There could be some sort of trade-off involved, particularly when looking at SF. Since SF is the most often maligned perpetrator when it comes to ride capacity and the use of pay versions of "Fast Pass," "Fast Lane," "I'm Cutting Cuz I payed $10," or whatever you want to call it, there may be a correlation between the two.

One captive/guest/customer (guest A) may be willing to spend $10-$25 for the passes, while another (Guest B) may not. The park now has gA's cash in hand right off the bat, while still seeking out ways to scam gB for some more loot. While gA is hitting all the rides after spending their dough, gB is in line, a long line. What is guest B going to do to kill that hour? Besides smoking and cutting, she/he may buy some popcorn or a soda to ease the pain, forking over more hard earned cash to the man (SF). They'll get you either way ;)

chris - Conspiracy Theorist Extrodinaire. :)

"black man, white man, yellow man, black man, white man, rip the system." I'm an old goth/industrial kid, too.

*** This post was edited by chris on 6/26/2002. ***

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 12:06 PM

Just saw the angry bastards Monday night. ;) When did freaky chicks get so hot? (And how did the Bettie Page look get so popular without me noticing?)

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"We used to hate people, now we just make fun of them. It's more effective that way." - KMFDM, "Dogma"

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 12:34 PM

I don't know. It seems that those chicks keep getting hotter and hotter all the time. They're definitely not the girls I knew in high school, who were anything but hot. And if they were hot, they'd go out of their way to play it down.

I'm all for it, though. :)

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"drop rides, not bombs."

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 1:10 PM
All these theories are interesting, but a more probable reason is simply maintenance. My park pulls a train off (usually on the least busy days of the week) to perform a full inspection at scheduled intervals. I'm sure there are other reasons too, but this is the one I have been happen the most.
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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 1:14 PM

Chris, that's exactly what I meant. If you could ride all the coasters at a park like CP in two hours (which you most certainly could if there were no lines), then why would you stay for dinner? or buy multiple drinks, snacks, etc., during the day? You'd come at 10, leave at 12, and the park wouldn't get nearly as much revenue out of you.

Agreed, you can't spend money in line...but you can't spend money after you've left either.

EDIT: actually, if you think about it, parks aren't trying to make our waits shorter, Jeff...they're just trying to get us out of line so that we can spend more money while we're there. Freeway, Fastpass, Q-Bots...they make sure that we stay longer and out of line. It actually supports my theory, rather than dissuading it.

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Proud CB club member

*** This post was edited by Mark W. Baruth on 6/26/2002. ***

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Wednesday, June 26, 2002 4:23 PM

Sure, CP often have max capacity on most coasters almost all the time... but! they have litteraly hordes of maintenance guys (and women, lol) to take the extra hour to inspect that third train on Raptor or MF. Now, consider this: an average sized park doesn't usually have hordes of maintenance workers to check the extra trains so they can cut that 20 minutes line to 5 just by adding a train. In most parks view (and its worhwhile, IMO), those maintenance guys can instead make throughfull and complete maintenance of the trains, so that on the next busy day, that train well, doesn't have a nagging problem that keeps it from running and then force a 2 hours line...

Remember, all parks don't have the same size and pool of workers.

P.S.: Regarding the "extra work" on the ops, I know that the Vampire (B&M mirror BTR) ops at La Ronde actually found it boring when they only have 1 train running! Now, these days, the second train is usually running at 11:30 am-noon, not because they don't want before (usually, the ops want the second train 15 minutes after park opening!), but its because maintenance has not finished preparing the train.

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