Steel Vengeance dispatches... Wow!

Why in god's name would they hold the line waiting for people to put stuff in lockers? I have to think that was a really bad snapshot in time where the person(s) working the position didn't know what the heck they were doing.

As for waiting to let people into the station until the train dispatches, I've not witnessed it to that extreme, but I have witnessed the people in these positions not moving people into the station with enough urgency. Stop over thinking it and just fill the rows. If you get 4 people in a row instead of only 2, so what? Waiting for the train to dispatch sounds moronic and like something I'd see at Six Flags in the early 2000s. It has be because of a person not knowing what they're doing in that position.

But where are the supervisors and managers to correct this nonsense? Oh wait, maybe there's something to that Six Flags thing since IROC/IRT has former Six Flags people in leadership and I think CP's director or operations has Six Flags heritage as well. Maybe it's the managers that don't know what they're doing.

Also, Gemini wouldn't need Fastlane if they'd just run the ride properly. The entire queue would get Fastlane whether they purchased or not!

Last edited by MDOmnis,


There are enough crews at enough times doing the whole "leave the station empty until the previous train dispatches" thing where it's clearly how they are being trained.

There must be someone new in Ride Operations, and they are not a Cedar Point trained person. They must have hired someone from Six Flags.

There are a few of the same people that have been there for a long time in ride operations management. It's as though IROC comes up with one or two really stupid things every year and they implement them and throughput suffers. The cumulative effect of several years of that has been pretty devastating. Maybe they could use a shake up - some fresh eyes or a return of someone from the past that knew how to run stuff. What's Bill Spehn up to these days? Someone told me Bob Wozniak was back at the park, but I am not sure what his role is.


Mixed bag on our Steel Vengeance laps today. First hour in late morning was VERY fast. The host at the merge point of fastlane/standby was letting in pretty large groups every 3-4 dispatches AND the host at the locker turn off was allowing people through to the metal detector with repeated advisements. This led to no empty rows.

Tonight, in the 7pm hour, not as good. The host at the merge point was letting in smaller groups every 2-3 dispatches, but the host at the locker turn off stopped each group to give a speech about the lockers, complete with a few attempts at jokes. We observed empty rows on 3 consecutive trains prior to going down the tunnel, then the train that dispatched as we reached the top of the stairs and our train had 4 empty rows. The variance, given the complexity of this process on SV, appears to be pretty wide from day to day and ride host to ride host.

CP Coaster Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance (40 rides to date) 2. Top Thrill Dragster (191 launches to date, 4 rollbacks) 3. Magnum XL 200 4. Millennium Force 5. Maverick 6. Raptor 7. GateKeeper 8. Valravn 9. Rougarou 10. Gemini

djDaemon's avatar

MDOmnis said:

It's as though IROC comes up with one or two really stupid things every year and they implement them and throughput suffers.

That's the inherent problem with outsourcing ride operations. If you're paying an external agency, they're incentivized to come up with new policies on a regular basis. Otherwise, why would the cost be justified?

It's flawed logic, since CF would be paying it's in house ride ops team regardless of whether or not they came up with new policy every year, but the tendency exists when paying an outside vendor.


Does hiring a 3rd party reduce the liability/insurance? If something goes wrong and it is completely within the in-house ride ops team would that cost more than if IROC has been hired and the park is following their procedures?

There has to be a reason why the park has subbed this out.

I've always assumed by doing IROC guidelines it somehow pleases the lawyers and helps with legal fees.

Between IROC and capacity not being a focus like it used to, the ride dispatches are poor. Crews do not understand the importance of keeping the line moving. It’s kind of important if you want to compete ridership numbers with other rides and previous year crews at your ride. What is funny to me is in every ride manual, they have season end ridership numbers for every year that ride has been open. The original reason for that is to try to beat those numbers. It’s impossible to beat those numbers now with the IROC rules and lack of focus on ridership from the operations managers and location supervisors. I’d be willing to bet that’s why Tony Clark does not release numbers to the public anymore.

^ I always enjoyed the challenge of beating prior years numbers, but unfortunately 2/3 of the manuals my name appears in are a significant drop. Although, I'd argue that the two that were drops were due to things outside of my/my crews control

2015 - Ride Host: Shoot the Rapids 2016 - Team Leader: Ripcord/Challenge Golf 2017 - Supervisor: Thunder Canyon 2018 - Supervisor: Camp Snoopy 2019 - Supervisor: Power Tower

jimmyburke's avatar

Using a challenge to beat previous seasons numbers sounds all fun and stuff, but some over-zealous young crew member could take it the wrong way and critical mistakes could occur. Perhaps an incentive for quick as well as safe operations would be nice. Geez, I sound like an IROC trainer, except for my usage of the words "quick operations".

I want to see if Gemini can get the same number of people through in a week right now that they used to do in a single day.

Or...hell, a single hour!

Having visited both Kings Island and Cedar Point in the last couple of weeks (and with Kings Island being the worst offender, but I saw it on several rides at Cedar Point), I think this needs to be carved on a stone tablet and used to beat ride managers over the head until they get it:

Thou Shalt Not Assign Rows on Roller Coasters.
Thou Shalt Not Wait For Boarding Gates to Close Before Preloading the Platform.

Several rides with otherwise reasonable operations were running at about half capacity because some stinking bureaucrat was standing at the station entrance assigning rows in such a way that most of the trains went out half empty. I'd cite Blue Streak as a particularly egregious offender except that their platform operation was so painfully slow that the bureaucrat was actually able to (barely) keep up.

Which reminds me of the other thing I've noticed this season. It seems an awful lot of ride operators (in multiple parks) have become needlessly authoritarian this season, to the point of ride attendants making up dumb rules on the spot. The desire to try and make sure I only get to sit in the middle of the train is an obvious symptom of that.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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

Jeff's avatar

Assigning rows is not the problem. Disney assigns rows on their Vekoma rollerskater with two trains and barely stacks them, and the guests are half tiny people not paying attention (the other half are their parents, not paying attention). Whatever evidence you're offering, I can offer the opposite, which leads me to believe it ain't row assignment that's the problem.

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

The problem I have seen with row assigning is the glacial speed it happens. And if you're a party of six and there's four seats left, the calls for "group four or two groups of two" are gone. Those four seats go empty after a five minute dispatch and a full queue of guests gets to watch it happen.

The amount of empty rows I observed over our 4 day trip last week, not just on SV, definitely indicates a problem. The park was packed all week with sold out FLP. A much better effort needs to be made to fill rows, and the easiest fix is to stop with the process to only load the station with enough people for the next train. On Valravn, Magnum, Raptor, Rougarou, Gemini, Maverick and SV, they just could not keep up. Most Dragster ops were double loading each row, which was an improvement. Millennium also was allowing more than one train full in each row. If those coasters can do it, pretty much all of them should. Sometimes the easy answer is the correct one.

CP Coaster Top 10: 1. Steel Vengeance (40 rides to date) 2. Top Thrill Dragster (191 launches to date, 4 rollbacks) 3. Magnum XL 200 4. Millennium Force 5. Maverick 6. Raptor 7. GateKeeper 8. Valravn 9. Rougarou 10. Gemini

I don't think assigning rows in and of itself is the problem. It's just that they fiddle around too much before getting started. In some cases, they're trying to balance Fastlane and normal lines, and they just tend to try to overthink it. It IS a problem right now at CP and it needs to be addressed. As soon as the gates open to let the previous people in, you should be filling the rows for the next train. If you let 26 people in instead of 24 or 34 instead of 32, it's not the end of the world. Just look what you have after the people get on and subtract a couple from your next batch. It isn't rocket science. If it's too hard to do and fill the trains, just keep people moving through until there are 4 or 6 people in each row and pause for a minute until some people board.


MDOmnis, you're exactly right. I was at KI Monday and assigning rows wasn't the problem. It was the ride op dickin around and not getting riders into the station fast enough. Long line for Orion and still trains going out with empty rows. Why is this being done? What is it going to hurt having enough riders for 2 trains on the platform at once?

JK125's avatar

As a single rider, I just wish they would look for single riders at the station entrance. I don't expect them to look way down the line but they could at least put up a finger to indicate looking for one. Twice yesterday I was close enough to the SV entrance and could see there was a single rider for the upcoming train. I was able to get the ride op's attention and slipped in.

On raptor yesterday they put a single rider a few people ahead of me with a group of 3. Makes sense. They still had an open row and another with 2 people in it. They put me with the group of 2 which was logical. He then moved the person he originally put with the group of 3 into my row. That accomplished nothing. The time spent doing that was wasted and the train went out with an empty row. Like it was said previously....its not rocket science but they sure make it hard. Just put enough people in the station to fill 2 trains worth. The riders will figure it out and the trains will be more filled then they are now.

Another policy I noticed this season (although it has probably been a policy for several previous seasons) that slows loading is that they don't start checking restraints until the gates are closed. Why on earth is this a policy? As far as I can tell, the only real purpose the gates have is to prevent guests who are standing a few feet away from falling onto a moving train. So what difference does it make at what point the gates are closed, as long as the gates are closed when the trains are moving?

Last edited by 0g,

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