Assigning seats

Has anyone else noticed the unreasonable amount of seat assigning going on throughout the park? I know this is common on new, popular coasters, but it's not just Steel Vengeance this is happening on. For example a Gatekeeper worker was assigning seats at 6:00 with a < 10 min line. Obviously this is not necessary and takes away from the overall enjoyment of the ride. This is the first season I've noticed this, is it new this year and why?

Dvo's avatar

In my experience, there's often someone assigning seats on multiple rides throughout the park, including Gatekeeper, Raptor, Rougarou, etc. For the most part, they're pretty flexible though. If you really want to ride a seat and ask politely, they'll usually let you wait for it. And personally I don't think it takes away from the enjoyment of the ride. I'd rather have a nearly-empty station where I'm getting on the next train or two than deal with the chaos of a flooded station.

As for the "why," I imagine it has to do with the station design. All of those ride queues enter the station in the middle, and aren't very "deep." So if one seat's line gets long (Raptor's front row, for instance), it blocks the station entrance, and there's potential for people to not enter, leaving empty rows.

380 MF laps
Smoking Area Drone Pilot

Paisley's avatar

Haven't experienced it this year but I remember when that was just how thinks were done on pretty much any coaster everyday.

If the ride host is willing to take seat requests, I have no issue with them assigning rows.

Maverick since '99

I think the person assigning seats serves several purposes. They make sure all seats are filled, pair single riders, regulate the fastlane, and regulate the amount of people in the station. Some crews do this better than others. I'm not sure why stations are not designed to handle the lines. It should be possible.

Edit: I forgot they also measure kids.

Last edited by Front Seat Rider,

Say NO to Maverick!

Kevinj's avatar

I have indeed noticed this (and frankly I'm thankful they have the employees up there), and I have also made two other related observations: 1) The queues seem to have been much better managed so far; granted this is anecdotal from our own visits, but something we noticed regardless, and 2) whenever we have asked politely to wait for a seat the employee was happy to oblige.

Be patient, be polite, and remember they are doing the job they were asked to do.

Last edited by Kevinj,

Promoter of fog.

Yeah the employees have given me the row I ask for on every ride aside from SV where I didn't bother asking. I understand managing the station but I'd rather the allow people to choose their row and moderate if need be. some of the stations this year have become pretty Magic Mountain like.

I appreciate them regulating how many people can be in the station at once, especially at Magnum where the station design makes it difficult to get to the front 2 cars. I don't think assigning seats is necessary -- just make sure there are a few trains' worth of people in the station and they'll sort themselves out.

But early in the season, when employees are few in number, it makes me scratch my head that they have someone regulating the line while income-generating food stands are closed for a month and a half.

ImpulsivePhoenix's avatar

Hey to me it's nice we have plentiful staff that they can do this right now. We all know the understaffing topic will spring up once again come HalloWeekends.

Sacrificing playing video games to ride roller coasters.

birdman said:

But early in the season, when employees are few in number, it makes me scratch my head that they have someone regulating the line while income-generating food stands are closed for a month and a half.

They are income generating. They manage fastlane. The rest is just a bonus.

Say NO to Maverick!

I'm quite often a single rider. Assigned seats work great for me. I do appreciate the stations not being jammed as well.

There’s nothing worse than waiting in a moving line only to reach a huge loading platform with long rows in front of each seat. It seems to suddenly increase your wait, then you endure those that are busy trying to time their ride so they can go with others in their party. Offenders in this category that I can think of are Mine Ride, and KD’s Grizzly. Magnum can be that way as well, especially in the evening. No wait until you get to the load platform then it’s a jam.
If I were a smart loader, and if policy dictated, I’d keep my eye on what was happening at the train and decide what to do. That seems to work well at Maverick, although I hear a lot of complaints about FL+ distribution. (not from me).
I don’t necessarily fret over my wait time. If I want to go I’ll go, and I’m a frequent FL+ customer when then situation warrants. What I do like is observing the load policies and how they vary from ride to ride/park to park, and I always make note of how things might go quicker.

Having said that, I also appreciate it when I can either walk to my chosen seat or politely ask for a certain row. I don’t necessarily gravitate to the most popular, either. I’m usually happy with the front seat of the last car or the front seat of the second car, so my request is usually accommodated, and that premium ride experience is pretty darned close to the same.

Assigning seats is a waste of time and effort that mostly has the effect of aggravating people who care where they sit, and especially annoying people like me who might not really care that much, but really hate being sent to the middle row “shpx you” seat on every single ride. I’m looking at you, Banshee and Mystic Timbers ...

What makes a whole lot more sense is to have someone *directing traffic* on the platform, encouraging people to spread out and making sure there are *at least two* loads in the shotgun. Most people don’t care that much where they sit, and if you direct them towards the empty rows they will fill in. And if they would rather wait for favorite seats, that becomes their problem.

The other problem with assigning seats, again, a big problem on Mystic Timbers, is that when the crowd control person is too involved with assigning people to rows, he can’t load the platform fast enough to keep up with the ride. The train ends up going out with empty seats because the crowd controller was being too detailed about filling rows and didn’t let enough people onto the platform. And that’s why there should be *two* loads in the shotgun, so there is always someone ready to fill a seat when the gates open.

—Dave Althoff, Jr.
(Did you notice I didn’t have any examples of seat assignment failures from Cedar Point?)

/X\ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _____

Dave, last week I was part of a failed seating assignment on SV. Row 11 was left completely empty and no one was ever even directed back there. The ride host was not pushing people into the station quickly at all.

Maverick since '99

jimmyburke's avatar

^^Dave, well put, I especially agree with your emphasis on *at least 2* at the gates. At rides such as MF & TTD and others recently it appears as though the platform & gate areas are very sparsely populated while a long line is eagerly waiting for entrance. Then they rush to get seats filled when they could have had sufficient riders in place. On the other hand, with no attendant in place at MF the platform becomes a hot mess in a hurry.

MF has a large number of rows to fill and does so very rapidly so keeping a good flow going is vital to a full train. TTD has quite a long time between loadings so it should be no problem ushering people to rows.

RideMan said:

make sure there are *at least two* loads in the shotgun

That's what she said?

Loving Maverick since 2007!

ImpulsivePhoenix's avatar

I totally agree with two loads in the shotgun. Station still isn't out of control and pretty much most of the time people will fill out empty rows if they see one. If SV gets 3 train operation, even more seats will be missed if they get too focused.

Like I always say, Maverick does have the nice balance of station control and freedom to pick where you want to sit.

Sacrificing playing video games to ride roller coasters.

Seat assignments are necessary on rides like Valravn (at all times). If you ever worked crowd control at Valravn, you would definitely understand. At times, Gatekeeper needs it during those slower times when all seats need to be filled but everybody is huddled at the front and back.

With rides like Millennium, TTD, Maverick, don’t need to do it because the GP is just so eager to board the ride.

GL2CP's avatar

We got lucky with ki lines all being walk ons so minimal line control. Would have been less fun there with assigned seats with it being the first visit in 16 years. I dont wanna see it take hold at cp. I do like them controlling the amount of guests in the station but not which row we sit.

First ride; Magnum 1994

We had the same issue at Mystic Timbers late Saturday evening. They were hustling one round of people in at a time, starting at the back. We asked to go to the front; they said no, it’s too busy, go to row 11(? second to last seat). Not the end of the world but there was nobody currently assigned to the front row, and I kinda thought the back might be a bit too wild for the boy (we had ridden several times in the middle). I was right; she’s a different animal in the back, and the boy didn’t like it. I would have understood if there was a line for the front but like I said there was nobody there yet...


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