Lake Erie Eagles: Capacity Nightmare?

Saturday, December 21, 2013 2:25 AM

I rode Surfside Gliders at Knott's for the first time this past Wednesday. The ride was a lot of fun, and it was my first time riding a flying scooters ride since my trip to CGA close to 10 years ago.

I am, however, concerned about the ride's capacity (or lack thereof) and how accessible this new attraction will be at CP given the park's heavy crowds.

While I suppose each scooter has a technical capacity of 2, I very rarely saw people doubling up on the version at Knott's. In fact, most of the kids I overheard in line were intent to ride in their own vehicle. The result was that only 8 to 10 riders were likely to ride at a time.

Adding to this was the fact that unloading was incredibly inefficient, with the ride operator having to visit each scooter individually to stop it from swinging and unlock its seatbelt(s).

Is this ride really a good fit for CP? From what I saw at Knott's, few CP guests will actually be able to experience it considering that only 10 or so people can ride every 5 minutes. Granted, I haven't paid much attention to how this ride operates at other parks, so perhaps others can chime in with how capacity and demand function elsewhere.

Thrills Around the Corner!

Saturday, December 21, 2013 6:05 AM

I have thought the same thing and it will have low capacity compared to any other flats they have added in recent years. Loading/unloading time will be easily reduced during peak times and until popularity declines by using multiple ride hosts. It will hold a long line for its first season give or take and they can maximize capacity by paring up single riders( not sure if the park will) but long term it's lines shouldn't be too rough.

Saturday, December 21, 2013 6:47 PM
Jeff's avatar

I think you guys are overestimating the number of people who will want to ride it.

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

Saturday, December 21, 2013 10:50 PM

Jeff said:
I think you guys are overestimating the number of people who will want to ride it.

Laf, exactly. The only way I'd ever ride this is if it were a) walk-on and b) not keeping me from something better.

Of course I said the same thing about the Giant Wheel, then it started taking Fast Lane and all was right with the world.

Saturday, December 21, 2013 11:03 PM

I see where you are both coming from... But as a new attraction it will have a line longer then other older flats... Half hour wait for a flying scooter? I can wait

Monday, December 23, 2013 5:40 PM

TheRealMaverick said:
Loading/unloading time will be easily reduced during peak times and until popularity declines by using multiple ride hosts.

Multiple ride hosts? For a flat? At CP?

Have you ever ridden Troika!? ;)

Monday, December 23, 2013 8:56 PM
Dvo's avatar

Yeah, there's plenty of flats with pretty low capacity. See Witches'Wheel, Monster, etc. And to reiterate what others have already said, I don't expect a ton of people to be waiting in line for it.

370 MF laps
Smoking Area Drone Pilot

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 7:08 AM
thedevariouseffect's avatar

Monster doesn't move people, no doubt. Witches Wheel actually can move people with a good crew on her. Two people per car, 20 cars, two minute full cycle. The biggest problem with capacity I felt was people not pairing up (I want my own, I want to be by the front (because that mattered), people swinging the cars or having their phone out not letting us start the cycle (theres bars all around it's ok if I'm on my phone...sigh), and lastly guest illness.

However if Chuck Norris is shining down on Cedar Point that day, and guests do what they're told, and don't get sick, no lines, or a very short one.

Corkscrew, Power Tower, Magnum, & Monster/ Witches Wheel Crew 2011

Thursday, December 26, 2013 9:43 PM

I still don't understand why Larson's rides have only 8 tubs. Bish-Rocco's park model had 10, and when Chance made their bad copy (Aviator), they bumped it to 16.

Granted, Chance's ride was a colossal screw up from the get go, but at least they had the right idea on the capacity.

Larson's seat belt covers are also a capacity-killing bad joke. Not to mention technically in violation of ASTM F2291:6.3.8 but that's a technicality...

That said, the 10-tub model at Kings Island, a park with similar crowd size but lower total hourly capacity, was able to handle the crowds well enough, so I am not terribly concerned. They do need to figure out how to avoid Troika-scale load/unload times, though...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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

Friday, December 27, 2013 7:43 AM
thedevariouseffect's avatar

The biggest things I honestly see contributing to the lines are:

Cross checks on platform, but those are required and I don't want those to go.

Fast Lane--Make them wait a little, jumping right on next cycle, yeah that's the point of fast lane, but a good day of fast lanes I've literally watched as almost a whole cycle was loaded of just fast lane. Do say, one arm fast lane, one arm regular riders. The regular riders waited in line, fast lane gets the perk of waiting maybe a cycle or two max, better than normal waits.

Condition of the ride. Our control cables (for what I was told) were bad when I first got to the ride mid season. They ended up replacing them (or something related to controls, it felt nice and stiff and worked after). After the controls were super touchy, but once you learned how the ride liked to move again, made stops and brakes so much faster. If they keep it in that condition, all is well. I remember however when it wasn't You'd have both rotation & eccentric stopped in the middle, the ride still spun a bit, and reverse on that ride is a nice slow crawl. So it's either spin again, or go slowly backwards.

Corkscrew, Power Tower, Magnum, & Monster/ Witches Wheel Crew 2011

Sunday, December 29, 2013 8:56 PM
Pete's avatar

Does anyone remember when CP actually had high capacity on the flat rides? They used to staff at least two people on each ride, many actually had three. While the ride was running, they counted riders and placed them into a staging area on many rides, similar to what they do on MaXair today. But they did this on rides like Witches Wheel, Dodgems, Troika, etc. They really moved people through those rides back in the day.

If CP wants to spend the money on staffing Lake Erie Eagles like they used to staff flat rides, I have no doubt that the wait in line won't be bad at all.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

Sunday, December 29, 2013 11:37 PM
thedevariouseffect's avatar

Rides that can or do run 2+ Ride ops

Calypso (I believe)
Matterhorn (can run one or two)
Monster (Runs w/ 3, can run w/ 2 however)
Witches Wheel (Can run w/ two ops)
Ocean Motion (Almost positive)
Power Tower (runs with alot, normally 12)
All the car rides
Etc. etc.

Many the problem isn't in ride ops. The problem stems from the rides themselves. Monster isn't going to be a high capacity ride, it was never designed to move people. Rides like Skyhawk & Windseeker are, and they are staffed and run as such.

The rides still move people, maybe not as much as say GK, Magnum, or Raptor ever will but going by what they theoretically can put out, the crews do bust their ass to get you on as safely and quickly as possible.

Corkscrew, Power Tower, Magnum, & Monster/ Witches Wheel Crew 2011

Monday, December 30, 2013 3:53 PM
Pete's avatar

Witches Wheel is especially maddening when run with one ride op, like it was whenever I rode it this year. The person had to sit by controls, turn off ride and take key, walk around ride to release everyone, let riders in and assign cars, walk around to lock everyone in, get behind controls again to turn the ride back on and run the cycle. Talk about long load times, the way that ride is run is a perfect example.

I'm almost positive that back in the day it was staffed by three people. Two people would release and lock in riders while the person at controls just ran the ride. While the ride was running its cycle, the riders were assigned cars and waited in a holding area so the could quickly enter the ride area and board.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

Monday, December 30, 2013 9:22 PM
thedevariouseffect's avatar

One op is a bit of a pain, it can be done slightly quick if you work it fast and stay on your toes. However with two ops it still can go great.

What me and my friend that loved working it did, is lets say I'm in controls he's on plat. Lets say cycle just started, I spiel, they spin, yay. While the ride is headed up, my friend on plat would open the queue gate to the little open area right before the plat door, and assign numbers. While he did that I'd spiel explaining loose article, ect. Once ride is down, spiel slowing down instructions, once plat is clear, dispatch disable, remove key and off the ride, open the exit gate, get him inside the platform, unlock, and as soon as they're unlocked and everyone is out, let the herd in, take care, do the checks and cross checks. Once good, start the next cycle.

Worked quite well, we busted out numbers there. Many times if we had a line it would empty about every other cycle. Biggest thing is get instructions before, get people prepped, and then get people moving off and on as quickly and safely as possible.

Monster, we could move it fast, but only as fast as you can go with it. The only thing I could say that helps is keeping someone in controls who knows how to really get things right the first time. When you have to reverse the rotation motor, ect. it adds time. If I can swing down once right at end of cycle, get the brakes on and no movement, clear plat, and move the ride ops in to unload/load, that saves alot more time than you think.

Corkscrew, Power Tower, Magnum, & Monster/ Witches Wheel Crew 2011

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 9:53 AM
AlexGillman's avatar

Does anybody know if it will have a fast lane?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 10:46 AM
thedevariouseffect's avatar

I would be surprised honestly if these didn't. They could make money including this in the regular or + fast lane for sure

Corkscrew, Power Tower, Magnum, & Monster/ Witches Wheel Crew 2011

Saturday, January 18, 2014 9:06 PM

I don't see the issue with capacity. Camp snoopy (in general) doesn't have much of a problem with capacity, since it's not for the entire public, just families with smaller children. Same applies here.

Last edited by Cedar King, Saturday, January 18, 2014 9:07 PM
Sunday, January 19, 2014 11:39 PM

^I think Camp Snoopy's lack of a capacity problem stems from its location. As it is now, Camp Snoopy is located off a currently unattractive midway which is barren of any major attractions. As a result, you see more people at Kiddy kingdom (located adjacent to the main midway)that you do at Camp Snoopy despite the fact that Camp Snoopy is a much nicer area.

Its about marketing. Many people walk by Camp Snoopy and continue on their way. This project will definitely improve the way people see that section of the park, which will lead to more people flowing into Camp Snoopy.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 12:55 AM

Carowinds and Michigan's Adventure both have sets of virtually identical flyers at theme parks with lower attendance in the same chain, and my general experience seeing how they operate with those seatbelts is that the wait will be interminably horrible. I'd like to believe that Cedar Point will request a different seat belt locking mechanism than any of the other Larson's sold in recent memory, but my expectations of that are low, and so my anticipation of 6-8 minute cycle times are high.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 11:08 PM
Coco's avatar

Shortest wait I saw for this at MIA last year was around 15 minutes. One time the ride OP didn't even unlock my belt. They unlocked all the others and started letting new riders in, so I could have just sat there and rode again! Except I had family waiting (laughing) and I just loosened the belt and slipped out. But they never even noticed! Seriously, with 8 carts to unlock, it shouldn't be that hard to see someone still sitting in one!
We'll definitely be skipping this one at CP this year.


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