ZDT's announces Switchback won't open before the end of summer

Posted Tuesday, June 23, 2015 8:33 AM | Contributed by Raven-Phile

From ZDT's Facebook page:

Though we will continue to push forward, Switchback is no longer anticipated to open for the summer season. We will open this exciting, new, one-of-a-kind roller coaster as soon as possible! We will also continue to post updates on our progress until that time comes.

See the post on ZDT's Facebook page.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015 10:03 AM
rollergator's avatar

Still in good company with family-owned businesses that had delays in getting their wooden coaster up and operational (see: New Mexico Rattler, Ravine Flyer 3). Hoping ZDT's ends up with a similarly outstanding product that propels their park into a wildly-successful future.


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015 10:14 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Sometimes delays happen. Let's hope this one doesn't take 7 years :)

However, I feel strongly that if this were at Six Flags, the enthusiast community would be in an uproar.

Which leads me to this - do we hold corporate parks to a higher standard? Is that where the disappointment in operations and whatnot comes from? If so, why?


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015 11:29 AM

That's a good question. And I'm going to say yes, and I think that stems from our supposition that corporations have entire departments devoted to development, a large crew of trained staff members to oversee installations and maintenance, and most of all, huge pocketbooks. After all, the more money you have to throw at projects the better they should be. Right?

Then there's the Mom and Pops. There's what, four people in that office by the front gate? The man who owns the place, his wife who keeps the books, his daughter who answers the phone and sells tickets, and the son in law who looks after a maintenance crew of three. I exaggerate of course, but you've got to hand it to the little guy who grows his business slowly, as time and money will allow, and sees the value in adding fun and innovative family attractions. I wouldn't mind having a little park like that myself.

Last edited by RCMAC, Tuesday, June 23, 2015 11:30 AM
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015 11:30 AM
sirloindude's avatar

I think Six Flags gets the grief it does because there's a pattern of it happening with them.

I also think Six Flags gets the grief it does because section III, article 8 of the coaster enthusiast bylaws says I'm legally obligated to give them grief for it. ;)

Last edited by sirloindude, Tuesday, June 23, 2015 11:31 AM
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015 11:47 AM

RCMAC said:

That's a good question. And I'm going to say yes, and I think that stems from our supposition that corporations have entire departments devoted to development, a large crew of trained staff members to oversee installations and maintenance, and most of all, huge pocketbooks. After all, the more money you have to throw at projects the better they should be. Right?

Agreed with your whole discussion point. I don't think it is exclusive to the amusement park industry, either; at least it isn't for me. I'm more inclined to give a mom and pop store down the street the benefit of the doubt for running out of a product, but if a larger chain does I find it more confusing. If a chain restaurant puts out a new menu item that tastes like crap, I wonder how it got past quality assurance while a family owned diner gets a pass and a thanks for trying something new.

Switchback, meanwhile, gets that same pass for trying something new. Personally, no longer a fan of going backwards, but this seems like fun. Hope they have success with it next year.


If I were more clever, something funny would be here.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015 11:53 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

RCMAC said:

Stuff..

At that point, though, isn't the ride manufacturer in charge of contracting and building the ride? Unless you're Knoebels and do everything on-site, that size of park staff shouldn't matter when it comes to a construction crew.

At the same time, maybe it does. Maybe the ride cost $5 million with a 5-person team dedicated to building it, and $9 million with a bigger team? I don't know, but I don't think there's a reason for any sort of uproar when this kind of thing happens. It sucks, but it's life.

however, 7 years is too long. :)


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015 2:29 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Pretty sure this wouldn't have happened if Leo LaPorte and Kate Botello were still around...

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015 8:53 PM
LostKause's avatar

Oddly defending Six Flags here - Delayed openings are a noticeable pattern because practically every park in the chain builds a new ride or attraction every year or so. On the other hand though, since SF has so much experience with new rides, perhaps they should be held accountable for seemingly not using that experience to their advantage and opening rides on time.

This coaster is doing things that no other ride has done before. The individual gimmicks this ride uses have never been used together, which will create a unique experience. Maybe that has something to do with the delay. It's a very interesting ride, for sure.

Last edited by LostKause, Tuesday, June 23, 2015 8:54 PM
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Tuesday, June 23, 2015 9:20 PM
rollergator's avatar

^I would agree....but the trackwork isn't completed yet. The "gimmick" (like Flying Turns, I'm a little too much in awe to feel comfortable with the term) will be what happens after the track and holding brake are completed and installed. Those pieces may yet cause further delays.

And unlike Turns, Switchback isn't trying to utilize a new train design, so it won't take 7 years.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015 9:51 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

RCMAC and Uncle Coaster stole all my talking points :-)


Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
-- Groucho Marx

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 10:03 AM
Vater's avatar

Raven-Phile said:

do we hold corporate parks to a higher standard? Is that where the disappointment in operations and whatnot comes from? If so, why?

Big corporations are inherently evil in everything they do, while small, mom-an-pop family owned businesses are indubitably noble and can do no wrong. The question I have is, where is that magic line when business owners suddenly turn to the dark side?

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 10:33 AM

That escalated quickly.

I don't think wondering how a company like Six Flags, who adds rides to multiple parks every year for decades, still hasn't figured out how to get a certain percentage of their rides open with the park while giving smaller parks who may add larger, custom-designed rides once every 7-8 years a little slack, is anywhere close to cries of evil and dark side.

Hyperbole aside, the end game is little changed. I don't believe we're talking about a significant number of people changing their habits based on how large the owning body of any entity is. They may be more likely to file a complaint with management, have a quicker frustration zone, or complain online (the horror), but they'll mostly continue to go back.


If I were more clever, something funny would be here.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 10:58 AM
Vater's avatar

As with most of what I post here, it was said in jest.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 11:05 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Wait... So, you're not serious about that bran muffin thing?


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 11:25 AM

In all honesty, I've been lurking here at Coasterbuzz for over a decade and read the board multiple times a week...and I can't believe I still let myself respond to a meme-based reply in a thread I was trying to take part in.

Rookie mistake.


If I were more clever, something funny would be here.
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 2:35 PM
Vater's avatar

Raven-Phile said:

Wait... So, you're not serious about that bran muffin thing?

That was legit.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 2:53 PM

Yeah, you have to be on your toes around here. I've been here for just about fifteen years now, and I still get caught up on "stuff".

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 2:54 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Vater said:

That was legit.

OK, good. I didn't want to have to cancel the Amazon order for 1 truckload of bran muffins...


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
+1Loading
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 3:03 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Here's the thing though, I'm not sure Six Flags ever says their new ride will be ready to go on opening day. That's an expectation we put on them.

Most of the time it's just "New for 2016!"


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