More new seatbelts (NOT MF or TTD)

Okay, this is getting ridiculous...

Woodstock Express, which finally got "real" seat belts last season (instead of those side-squeeze buckles that pinch your fingers) got new seat belt buckles again this year.

The new buckles? Kiddie ride buckles with a guard over the release button, so the operator has to individually let everybody out of the train. Everybody, that is, except for small kids who can simply pull the belt loose and step out of it, or anyone who happens to have something long and thin (such as a pencil or car key) handy.

You can imagine what this does to capacity. I predict changes in the first week of June.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Who is, at this point, surprised that Cedar Point has not yet installed orange seat belts on the train, the Space Spiral, and on the various park benches...

Ralph Wiggum's avatar

Wow, this is really out of control. Sadly, I don't think it will be long before we do see belts on the other "bench" rides that Dave mentioned.

And perhaps this is better suited for another topic, but I've noticed many rides having variances in the belt length other than MF and TTD. The big one was WT. I rode opening day with a jacket on in what used to be "Jim's seat" before they installed the new padding on the restraints. I fit fine there, with plenty of belt to spare. Then, four days later, in the back seat, unload side, it took a lot of help from the ride op to get the buckle fastened. I honestly didn't think I was going to make it, and that time I had no jacket on. Then tonight, with a jacket again, somewhere in the middle of the train, I fit even easier than I did the opening day ride. Other rides I've noticed large variances on are the two woodies. It really can't be that hard to make all the belts a consistant length, can it? Especially at the start of the season when they're all brand new.

Sorry for the rant, but I thought it was worth pointing out.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

I have noticed that the back seats of alot of CP coasters now have shorter seatbelts than the rest of the train!


Walt's avatar

The belt type that is on Woodstock is being used on all kiddie rides. I can understand the change on the Hampton rides and such, because it does deter kids from unbuckling the restraint during the ride.

The slower unload hasn't been a problem for the Kiddy Kingdom rides, though it hasn't been too busy yet. And, as Dave mentioned, I have already seen kids wiggle their way out after the ride.

On a side note, I was surprised to see belts on the carousel horses at Disney, especially since WDW doesn't seem real big on seat belts.

Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz
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Home to the Biggest Fans of the World's Best Amusement Park

I noticed the seatbelts on all the kiddie rides, too. While they are annoying, I doubt it will make that much difference, and I'll bet Dave the in-park beverage of his choice that they last the entire season---the load/unload times on Woodstock were already horrible, and this smacks of the liability lawyers, who have been running operations at the park for some time, as far as I can tell.

Though this change to the safety restrains may have had to be made, I agree that this may make the load/unload time a lot worse then it already was. I like to go on Woodstock even if I'm not a kiddy anymore, but the downfall is the line that takes forever. Now with the longer possible waits, I'll prolly not opt to wait during crowded times during the day. At Disney, on a ride very similar to Woodstock, they actually have two trains to help nullify the long lines. Wonder if this could possibly be an option to cp?

Trip Count 2003: 13 2004: 24 2005: 22 2006: 25 2007: 25

Goofy's Barnstormer is a little bit longer and is blocked for two trains. I'm not sure Woodstock is currently blocked for it. Are the brakes in that long straightaway enough to fully stop and keep stopped a train?

I should not be asking this but what happens if they catch your kid using a stick from a corn dog to release his belt?

My fear is that the buckles on the kiddie rides is just the beginning. How long will it be before the grown-up rides have a belt that can only be released by the operator. Reading about the lawsuit involing Holiday World and the Raven makes me think it will be very soon.

On a related subject, I rode the Giant Wheel for the first (and last) time yesterday. I was amazed that the doors are not locked. I know kids cannot ride without an adult but it sure would seem pretty easy for a kid to pop the belt and open the door while the parent is distracted by watching maXair or Wicked Twister.

bholcomb's avatar

I don't get what was wrong with the belts on Woodstock Express last year? Most kids couldn't undo them anyway.

With just one ride op, it's hard to be efficient on that ride. No matter how hard the ride op tries, it's still going to take longer to unload/load a new train full of people than it takes to run the actual ride.

On a busy day, it really needs two ops to run it.

Walt: Those belts have been on most of the kiddie rides for a couple of years now (I think most were installed last year), and on those rides it makes very little difference in the load time because the kiddies have to be individually loaded and unloaded anyway. Woodstock is a different story because it is a different kind of ride with a slightly different kind of patronage.

As for Disney's aware that "safety" belts on carousels are a very controversial issue. I was surprised when I went to Geauga Lake last year that Cedar Fair had not already removed with extreme prejudice the belts that Six Flags had installed.

Brian: Load times on Woodstock have never before been *this* horrible. It takes just as long to load the train as before, but now it takes as long to UNload as it used to take to load. That's why I predict this is one decision they may re-think, in the same way that they re-thought the individual seat belts on Gemini the year they did that (did you know Gemini had individual seat belts once, for about a month?).

John: Woodstock could easily run two trains, but it would need a much faster loading procedure to make it worthwhile. Besides, that time when you have a train stacked is the time that kiddies start thinking about things like how to defeat the seat belt and jump out of the train. That ride is blocked for two trains. It's worth noting, though, that Goofy's Barnstormer differs from Woodstock Express in that it has a chain lift instead of the pinch drive lift. That said, Flying Unicorn also has two trains, and it uses the pinch drive.

Shades: Don't panic. Not yet, anyway. Also, the fact that the doors don't latch on Giant Wheel is the reason that ride has had seat belts since the first time I rode it (ca. 1976?).

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

bholcomb's avatar

It's blocked for two trains? I kind of doubt that. One problem I could see is a rollback from the lift. They'd need to install some sort of safety brake between the station and lift to make it possible. Not only that, but it'd need to have the control panel setup differently.

Walt's avatar

I don't remember those belts last year, Dave. I remember being able to help my son in and out last year, but this year we have to wait for the ride op to use the magic "key."

In fact, if I recall correctly, I think some of the rides may have had that cheaper, plastic clip belt even last year.

Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz
PointBuzz on Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Home to the Biggest Fans of the World's Best Amusement Park

Kiddy Kingdom had 'em at least part of last year, GCA and Camp Snoopy had the side-squeeze buckles last year.

Odd that I would notice this, given that I don't exactly hang out in the kiddie ride section...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

bholcomb's avatar

I know just about every ride at Camp Snoopy (With the exception of the Lolli Swings) had those cheap plastic 3 prong 'snap' belts last season. I believe it was about this time in May that they replaced the belts on Woodstock Express. Might have been the last week of May.

I didn't see what was so wrong with those belts. They actually seemed to work. Fact of the matter is, the little kids can't go on it unless they have parental supervision. By the time they are tall/big enough to go on it themselves, they should theoretically be big enough/mature enough to know better.

I don't remember the heights, but I think it was 36" to ride with an adult and 48" to ride by yourself? With that logic, maybe they should start outfitting the seatbelts on the bigger coasters with the same thing because of 48" passengers.

However, in theory, seat belts are just an added precaution. On Woodstock, I don't like those lap bars and I could see someone slipping out. However, look at the lapbars on the 48 inchers and I feel much more secure. All except BlueStreak but that's half the fun, right?

For what it's worth, I don't recall the keyhole covers in KK last season either, but my kids are starting to outgrow rides that go around and beepbeepbeepbeep, so we spent less time there last season than we used to.

Hmmm...I wonder if I caught a photo last season...

(I do remember trying to get a recording of a Hampton buzzer, so I just might have such a photo...)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Shades, let's not give them anymore ideas, you know they read here, lol.

Walt said:

On a side note, I was surprised to see belts on the carousel horses at Disney, especially since WDW doesn't seem real big on seat belts.

No kidding, they only use a seatbelt if it's the most suitible kind of restraint for the ride (I'm thinking their EMV style rides like Indiana Jones and Dinosaur where a lap bar would be impracticle). But why would you ever need a seatbelt on a carousel? It's not like people randomly fly off the horses or kids jump off their horse and do a running jump off the carousel itself.

It'd be a gruesome yet humorous sight walking into Fantasyland seeing random bodies flying from the carousel...

Thunder Canyon '05

Really, I dont see the point in even considering seatbelts on the space spiral. It is inclosed and there is nowhere for you to go even if you wnated to.

"Coasters are life"-Userx

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