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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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 3:08 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I agree. I mean, really, what's the difference between this as Goliath at Great America?

They were both not complete for their park's opening days, and still being worked on/built. They are both exciting concepts, etc..

Last edited by Raven-Phile, Wednesday, June 24, 2015 3:09 PM
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 3:55 PM

I also find it funny how we always blame the park, rather than the company supplying the product. Seems more of a GP move to me.

When's the last time a B&M opened late within ANY chain, mom and pops, or anywhere else?

Last edited by John Knotts, Wednesday, June 24, 2015 3:59 PM
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Thursday, June 25, 2015 7:57 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Raven-Phile said:

I agree. I mean, really, what's the difference between this as Goliath at Great America?

They were both not complete for their park's opening days, and still being worked on/built. They are both exciting concepts, etc..

The difference is that Bobbie hasn't bought her tickets yet.


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 8:38 AM

Lord Gonchar said:

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!"

I think that's irrelevant. If Six Flags (I'm using SF as a talking point) were to say, "Opening In June 2016" right from the start, there would still be backlash and questioning why they couldn't have rides ready for opening day when other parks can.

While I stand by the points I made earlier, I do agree that ultimately the responsibility is on the consumer to know what to expect. For whatever reason, certain parks don't get their new rides ready for opening day on a rather consistent basis and eventually it is up to the parkgoer to figure it out and adjust their expectations. Part of me looks at Six Flags Great Adventure this year and shakes my head at how they couldn't get a Ring of Fire ready for opening day when fairs can taer them down and have them back up and running a few states over in 2 days, while part of me also looks at Great Adventure having a new ride ready by the middle of May and thinks, "that's early". So, whatever.


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 9:02 AM

If you ever been in construction, you'll know that's it's never easy and delays are common. While I don't have any coaster experience, I've been involved in waterpark and waterslide construction. Weather and unexpected surprises can wreck havoc on your schedule. On my last project in '12, severe hail and flooding delayed the waterpark opening. Our crew struck tons (and tons) of old concrete which had to be ripped out. Also, very poor soils (actually muck) were encountered delaying river and slide construction.

Thus, being said construction can be difficult and delays happen. While, I have only followed Switchback's construction via photos, I can guess they encountered a surprise or two. Even the smallest issue, can lead to problems. Also, if you've been to the wonderful ZDT's, you will notice it's a very compact park with a handful of old but beautifuly renovated buildings. Switchback's path squeezes by an existing attraction and a handful of buildings. Not to mention an epic ground-hugging curve through a building. Go to www.bing.com and see the "Bird's Eye View" in order to see the ZDT's compact footprint.

Also, don't hesitate to visit the park before the coaster opens. This is awesome place, a handful of attractions (go- karts, waterslides, silo climbing rock wall, etc.) and a free arcade. Everything is included for one price. Also, it's family-owned, with active owners and a great staff.


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 9:29 AM

Note; the central Texas region (San Antonio, Austin, Seguin, New Braunfels) was hammered twice by rain in May. I was in New Braunfels on Memorial Day weekend, where I experienced severe rain on both days. I would expect that ZDT's, about 25 minutes south, experience similar rainfall.


Astroworld.....Gone But Not Forgotten

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Thursday, June 25, 2015 11:48 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Uncle Coaster said:

Part of me looks at Six Flags Great Adventure this year and shakes my head at how they couldn't get a Ring of Fire ready for opening day when fairs can taer them down and have them back up and running a few states over in 2 days...

All the more reason to believe that opening day isn't their goal.


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 11:51 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

I thought everybody knew six flags was inherently evil?


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 11:59 AM

You also have to keep in mind that sf parks open a month earlier than cf parks. I can't speak for all sf parks but sfne always opens new rides memorial weekend and they have opened on time for the last few years.


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 12:02 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

Uncle Coaster said:

Part of me looks at Six Flags Great Adventure this year and shakes my head at how they couldn't get a Ring of Fire ready for opening day when fairs can taer them down and have them back up and running a few states over in 2 days...

All the more reason to believe that opening day isn't their goal.

Absolutely. Must not make much of a difference to them between opening day and a few months later. Still, doesn't mean the consumer has to think it's a great goal.

Last edited by Uncle Coaster, Thursday, June 25, 2015 12:03 PM
If I were more clever, something funny would be here.
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Thursday, June 25, 2015 12:20 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I just can't get excited about a park not opening a new attraction on opening day.

I'm fascinated by what seems to be a sense among some that a park's announcement of a new next year attraction carries an implied promise that it will open on opening day.

If a ride isn't ready on opening day, I assume the park is making every effort to get the ride open -- no business chooses to disappoint customers -- and roll with it.


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 12:44 PM
LostKause's avatar

Perhaps some parks have figured out that if a new ride is not available when excited park goers visit early in the season, they are more likely to return for a second visit when the ride is open.

I do like the honesty when an announcement or advertisement tells wheat season a new ride is expected to open, like, "OPENING SUMMER 2015!" It seems a less dishonest.

People see a commercial showing what they think is the completed ride, but is actually a similar ride at another park 2000 miles away. When they get to the park, they realize the ride has not even began construction yet. They feel disappointed, get over it in a few minutes, and go enjoy the rest of the park. Then they return in a few months to ride the new ride that they missed.

Two visits are more profitable than one visit. Staffing 10 construction workers is less expensive than staffing 20 construction workers.

When a park advertises a new ride, I add a year to the year they claim it will open until I know otherwise. Watching on the internet is helpful.


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 12:48 PM
Jeff's avatar

Opening days and seasons. That's cute.


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 12:50 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

slithernoggin said:

I just can't get excited about a park not opening a new attraction on opening day.

I'm fascinated by what seems to be a sense among some that a park's announcement of a new next year attraction carries an implied promise that it will open on opening day.

If a ride isn't ready on opening day, I assume the park is making every effort to get the ride open -- no business chooses to disappoint customers -- and roll with it.

Who are they disappointing? Only those that assume a "New for (insert year here)!" ride is going to be open on a certain date. I suspect it's a much smaller issue in the real world than it is on enthusiast forums. You're right, no park would choose to disappoint its customers...and yet SF keeps opening rides when they're good and ready.

We keep looking at their behavior and saying it's wrong when we should be looking at their behavior (and especially it's consistency) and be deducing that it's intended behavior.

I still think it's an arbitrary expectation set on season parks because with a defined opening and closing date, it somehow makes sense. But people atyear round parks seem be able to handle the idea that a ride opens "sometime during the year" without confusion and disappointment.

LostKause said:

Perhaps some parks have figured out that if a new ride is not available when excited park goers visit early in the season, they are more likely to return for a second visit when the ride is open.

I do like the honesty when an announcement or advertisement tells wheat season a new ride is expected to open, like, "OPENING SUMMER 2015!" It seems a less dishonest.

People see a commercial showing what they think is the completed ride, but is actually a similar ride at another park 2000 miles away. When they get to the park, they realize the ride has not even began construction yet. They feel disappointed, get over it in a few minutes, and go enjoy the rest of the park. Then they return in a few months to ride the new ride that they missed.

Two visits are more profitable than one visit. Staffing 10 construction workers is less expensive than staffing 20 construction workers.

When a park advertises a new ride, I add a year to the year they claim it will open until I know otherwise. Watching on the internet is helpful.

Same as above. You're looking at the behavior an applying judgement instead of looking at the behavior and reaching conclusions.

All of the things you mention just have no basis in reality. It's simply not how it's playing out in real world situations.

Jeff said:

Opening days and seasons. That's cute.

Yeah, but you live in Florida, so we still win.


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:04 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I don't know, Gonch. In FL, it only rains for 5 minutes or so at a time. Here in Ohio, we get 5 days.

Florida is looking pretty good right about now.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:04 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
Who are they disappointing? Only those that assume a "New for (insert year here)!" ride is going to be open on a certain date.

Exactly. What I was trying to say was that when this whole business of "Ride X wasn't open on opening day!" comes up, there sometimes seems to be a criticism of the park for not making a deadline that never existed.

I suspect it's a much smaller issue in the real world than it is on enthusiast forums.

In the words of Gia Gunn: "Ab-sah-loot-ley." Though I might go with a "miniscule issue in the real world".

We keep looking at their behavior and saying it's wrong when we should be looking at their behavior (and especially it's consistency) and be deducing that it's intended behavior.

Thought about this for a moment. While the enthusiast forums light up with complaints, I wonder... Six Flags may well be planning for Ride X at Park Y to open near the end of May, and Park W's Ride Z will open in mid-June. They're opening the rides on schedule, but not one based on their operating schedule.

Always nervous replying to Lord Gonchar.... please be gentle :-)


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:24 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Don't be. I think you're dead on.

There's no reason to believe SF worries or intends to have new rides operating when the park opens for the season. Their history simply doesn't suggest it matters to them. And if it doesn't matter to them, you have to infer it doesn't matter to their customer base...or at least affect their business in a significantly negative way.

Opening Day is an entirely abitrary construct.

"Great it's opening day. New ride will be done in late May/early June. And then it will operate here for the next 20 or 30 years."

Those couple of weeks a park is open (which are usually limited hours and smaller crowds) at the beginning of the season before the new ride is ready don't matter one bit in the big picture. They only matter to the kind of weirdos that visit parks solely for one attraction and plan to travel at weird off-peak times to experience that one attraction as soon as humanly possible.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, June 25, 2015 3:46 PM
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Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:39 PM
LostKause's avatar

slithernoggin said:

Always nervous replying to Lord Gonchar.... please be gentle :-)

Gonch usually makes a lot of sense, but he has never torn anyone a new one when someone states a differing opinion, that I can recall. He knows what not to say, and that makes his posts awesome!


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 2:07 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

And then it will operate here for the next 20 or 30 years.

This was also rolling around in my head. We enthusiasts tend to be small picture -- when's the new ride opening? -- and parks are always looking at the big picture.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Thursday, June 25, 2015 3:45 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yes. That's a perfect way to put it.


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