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Posts posted by SOB_TOM

  1. My issue with that policy is this: The girl we were with wasn't going to ride anything all day, she made the hour drive with us (which turned into almost 3 hrs of gridlock on I-4 thanks to our hastily planned trip on the first week of Spring Break...) just to hang out with us, and to force her to wait outside the ride when she was not riding is not customer friendly. Especially since it was a flat rate $2, and we were all wearing swim trunks because of the water rides we were planning on riding.

    There really is no good solution to this, because I'm sure there are some people who would say that and still have everyone ride. I was more confused about the rudeness of the ride op. It wasn't "I'm sorry, you can't bring bags in line," it was "No, you aren't taking that in line," and he gave us no options until I started to get upset.

    Sometimes its not the words you say, its how you say them.

  2. No, she was not allowed to wait in line with us and not ride. She had to wait at the exit while we waited in a half an hour line. I understand not wanting bags on the loading platform, but if someone in your group is not riding with you, its stupid not to allow her to carry it.

  3. A few weeks ago, Boddah called asked me if I wanted to go down to Orlando for a week, and of course I had to agree to it. We left March 15th, and it was a blast.

    Day 1: Fun Spot, Oldtown, and Citywalk

    We got off the plane in Orlando around 2, and got picked up by our host for the week, Delirium_guy, around 3. After settling in, we decided to hit up two side-of-the-road parks, Fun Spot and Oldtown. These two parks are literally side by side, and well within walking distance. Fun Spot has the world's largest Skyflyer at 300 feet (which we did not partake in I might add,) and some wicked scooters. We bought 5 tickets each, with the hope of hitting up some go-carts while we were at it, and spent all of our tickets on the scooters (and two extra rides because the ride op was entertained by us.) I would put Fun Spot more of a non-moving carnival than anything, but it was still fun.

    We walked over to Oldtown, and I was impressed by how the place looked. It really did not offer that many rides, but this park looked beautiful. Running the length of the entire property were shops with facades that reminded me of an old Wild West style town. We poked around a few of the stores before deciding to go to Citywalk for dinner.

    How to describe Citywalk? First off, there is nothing in the Cincinnati area like it. Restaurants galore, shops galore, even walk up margarita bars, flanked on one side by Universal Studios and IOA on the other. We ended up eating at Bob Marley's, where the food was good, and the entertainment was great (of course I have always like the sound and feel of Reggie music.)

    Day 2: Sea World Orlando

    I'm mystified at the fact that people do not like this park. I have always had an interest in animals, and this park delivered in a way only Sea World can. Greatest example of this is Manta. While waiting in line, you are surrounded by rock walls on the right, complete with carvings of all forms of manta rays and even a carving of Shamu hidden in the rock work, and a huge manta tank with over 100 different manta rays swimming around. It was the most entertaining queue line I have ever been in. Then you actually ride Manta, and it is a great ride by itself.

    The ride package is small (but well done,) but what puts this park over the top are the shows. From what I have heard, I watched a water down version of Believe, the Shamu show, but it was still good. We then watched A'lure. If you have ANY interest in a Cirque Du Solei style show, watch this one. Acrobats were swinging over the audience while holding on to nothing more than cloth, and if I find the music from the show, I am buying it. The best show, however, was Blue Horizon. This is the dolphin show that incorporates a Cirque Du Solei style into it. Everything in that show meshed perfectly, making it one of the best shows I have seen not only in a theme park, but anywhere.

    Day 3: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot

    Lets get one thing straight: I understand that those who buy Fastpass get priority, however Disney does it the worst BY FAR. At Sea World, a few rows were blocked off on Manta for their Fastpass system, and the line still moved. At both Epcot and Animal Kingdom, however, we sat in line and watched as trainload after trainload of Fastpass were allowed to go, and we did not move. On average, I would say that 4 trains of Fastpass would go before 1 of the regular queue. This is totally unacceptable in my book. If anything, allow a 1:1 ratio, one train of Fastpass (which naturally has a shorter line,) one train of queue.

    That being said, we were trying to knock out all 4 Disney Parks in one day because we did not think we would have an opportunity to come back to them later in the week. Magic Kingdom was a bust. Average wait times were well over 60 minutes, so we rode The Hall of Presidents (which was well done, even though it was mostly video,) and Haunted Mansion and left for Animal Kingdom. This is where the problems started. Expedition Everest had a 75 minute wait time, but since I did not go on it yet, we waited. And waited, and waited some more. 90 minutes later, we were close to the front of the line and saw the Fastpass system in action. Expedition Everest has some cool moments to it, but I would not wait more than 25 for this ride. We were going to try to catch the showing of The Lion King, however we were stopped by a poorly timed (and poorly laid out) parade which made getting to the front of the park, or across the park, virtually impossible, so we were forced to skip that. So we headed out for Epcot.

    Epcot has always been one of my favorite parks in Orlando, and I would have to say that it still is. Spaceship Earth was an interesting experience. I did not get to ride it since the early 2000's, so to see that it has changed really helped my impression (and the fact that the last portion is laugh out loud stupid doesn't hurt either.) Even though we waited for 90 minutes for Mission: Space (30 minute queue posted, and once again Fastpass issues,) it was a fun and interesting experience. We rode the Great Fiesta Ride (as I'm calling it,) in the Mexican section (if you get a chance, ask BoddaH to sing his song about that ride,) and ate some chinese in the Chinese Pavilion (complete with strawberry red bean ice cream, which was good.) But the best part of this park happens at 9, Illuminations. I have heard how good this end of night show is, but I was still blown away. Every inch of that park (or it seemed this way,) was involved in some way, from lasers being pointed from each end of the park towards the show, to the burn barge in the middle of the lake. Absolutely mind-blowing. Great way to end our Disney "experience."

    Day 4: Universal and IOA

    Universal was a good choice for first this day, since we went on Mardi Gras night, and got rides in on Rip Ride Rocket (which apparently was behaving great that day, I recommend Bring me to Life by Evanescence for your musical choice,) The Mummy (great special effects, definite jewel of this park,) MIB, and headed over to IOA.

    My advice to this park: AVOID the new Harry Potter section till after 5. When we got to the park around 4, the section was blocked off because of how many people were in there. We headed over to Spiderman (must ride,) Dr. Doom's freefall, Dudley Do-Rights Ripsaw Falls (campy, but fun,) Popeyes (River Raft ride with some very evil rapids,) Hulk (night rides are awesome on this one,) and Jurassic Park (Dinosaurs at Disney is better, but this was Jurassic Park.) Then we ventured into the new area.

    If you want to see what it looks like to print your own money, go to this section. Hogwarts Castle is absolutely beautiful, both inside and out, and Hogsmeade (the town outside the castle) is spot on to the movie. Never got a chance to try Butterbeer (the line for it was about 50 people deep,) but Pumpkin Juice is pretty good. I never had a chance to look at the queue for the old Dueling Dragons, but from what I hear, the new queue is pretty much the same, minus a ton of bones missing from the walls (oh, and Ice is better than Fire in my opinion.) But the jewel of this area is the Harry Potter ride. The ride vehicle itself is a robotic arm with 4 seats attached to it shaped as cabinets, but the use of video and live props puts this over the edge. At times, you are surrounded by a dome screen which moves with the ride vehicle, allowing you to fly with Potter. A must for any theme park fanatic.

    Day 5: Bush Gardens Tampa

    This place has some good rides, but I was sorely disappointed in this park. I have worked both in maintenance and as a ride operator at KI, so I know what good operations and bad operations is at a theme park. This park, however, has yet to figure out what good operations and customer service is. Each one of their coasters were running multiple trains, but those trains were constantly stacked, the ops seemed to be more interested in talking to their friends than doing their jobs, and when we had a run in with an op, they were rude and inconsistent. Here is my example: One of our party was not riding Kumba, and was holding our bag after she waited in the queue with us. The operator at the front of the queue demanded that we do not carry the bag on the ride, gave us no other option than to either have us not ride or one person sit out. This happened on Gwazi as well. I am interested in riding Cheetah Hunt (the ride looks amazing,) but until I hear that the customer service and operations have changed, I will shy away from this park.

    Day 6: Aquatica

    Not many people take the time to visit a water park, but we took this day to visit Aquatica, Sea World's water park. Again, Sea World took the time to incorporate animals into their slides. One slide has you slide through a tank with dolphins, very good visual while on the slide. They also offer a lazy river that moves very quickly, and I could have floated in that all day. If you have the time, I recommend that you stop by Aquatica and take a look.

    Day 7: Hollywood Studios

    Hollywood Studios has some good stunt shows, but the problem with them is that it does take time to reset during the show. Basically, you get 20 seconds of action, and about 5 minutes of talk. However the rides make you feel like you are on a backlot, not a theme park. The best, in my opinion, is Muppets 3d. I was a big fan of the Muppet Show when I was growing up, and this ride puts you right in the middle of one of their shows. Tower of Terror was amazing (as always,) and the Aerosmith Coaster delivered as well as a Vekoma can. I don't know if this park is better suited for the Fastpass system or not, but we did not have an issue with the system here.

    I have never been a fan of American Idol, but the set up for the American Idol Experience is one that you should watch, at least once. The winners move on to the final show of the day, where that winner wins a ticket to the front of the line at a real American Idol audition. Interesting idea, would recommend a watch.

    The final thing that we did in Orlando was watch Fantasmic. This show incorporates live actors, pyro, and water walls that allow projections to be played. This show is packed, over 10,000 people watch two shows a night, and its well worth it. Definitely show up at least an hour before the show to get a good seat.

    All in all, this trip was a great experience, and I had a blast. I do want to thank Delirium_guy and BoddaH for the trip, as well as the friends I have made along the way!

  4. While I can say that KI seems to be trying to cater to both families and thrill seekers this year, they have failed in both. First off, WindSeeker, in my opinion, looks like an oversized Zephyr. This ride looks low capacity and as thrilling as going up the Tower. In fact, from what I have heard, the ride will not have chains like on Zephyr, but bars, which means the ride will not swing at all, just straight up, couple circles, and down. That sure sounds thrilling to me....

    As for Dinosaurs, it is a recycled idea as was mentioned earlier, and would be a fine FREE attraction for the park. HOWEVER, to charge anything with this "attraction" to gold pass holders is ridiculous. I understand that KI is having someone else take care of this attraction, but to snub your pass holders is not the right thing to do. I for one will NOT be attending this attraction.

    To sum it up, this year KI is trying to stretch themselves too thin while trying to stay under a small budget. If you want to do two attractions, that's fine, but make sure that you are going to do it right, not what I am seeing this year: A half-ass attempt to please two markets.

  5. Really!? Its fake!? I had no idea!!!!

    In all seriousness, there have been several pro wrestlers come forth and admit its fake. Most everyone knows that it is fake, it is just entertainment. So to come out and say that wrestling is "fake" is neither harsh or breath taking. Its stating a fact that most have known for awhile now.

  6. I can't remember the last year of the bottom queue operation, but I do know the reason they shut it down:

    The bottom queue never had a security camera installed into it, making it easy for the driver to see the line, or what the line was up to. Also, that greeter position was the only staffed spot down there, which made it hard on that one operator to see all and stop potential incidents. So the line was closed due to safety concerns.

    As for the fog, again, don't know when the actual fog stopped, but it was for budget reasons. The ride was expelling a decent amount of fog per train. The entire tube had to fill with fog, then be pressurized to get the effect, which was a huge drain on the 55 gallon drums that supplied the fog juice. So it was taken out.

  7. However, as an actor you use restraint. I am 6`6 and pretty well built, if I swing full speed into anything, its going to dent/break/ect. So I don't. To get a bang out of two items you don't have to swing hard, just make solid contact, like baseball. Also, certain materials will dent easier than others. Those handrails are made out of steel. If you take a PVC pipe and swing it against those rails, the rail is going to be fine. The PVC might not be, but the rails will be fine. Most likely, they are swinging something similar, where the material being swung is the softer material, causing no damage to the rails. I doubt they are worried about a pipe, or whatever is being swung.

    As for the live actors in Dark Ride, that was a safety issue. The actors were taken out because even while belted to the wall, there was a possibility of being caught on the cars and being yanked down the track, which would have been really bad and deadly.

  8. I agree that their standards do change during October, however they advertise as such, therefor those who are going to the event know what to expect. If the standards changed with no prompting, I can see where this could get worrisome, however the GP is warned ahead of time.

    I am of the belief that during haunt season, anything and everything goes, within reason (I.E. no touching, real dismemberment, injury, ect.) If you go to a haunt, or an event that is advertised as a haunt event, you should expect to be scared by any means necessary, as long as it meets the requirements above. The Midget Wrestling does not bother me one bit. Did it shock me that KI was offering this? Slightly, but again, its a haunt event, and those are entertainers that sign up to do what they do.

    Now to address the original issue. As a haunt actor, I have been in several scenes where you are given something to bang close to guests. The first thing they tell you to do is LOOK before you bang. If I am around other actors, I will go over with them on where I am going to bang the stick/branding iron, ect. while groups are not coming through so they know to stay out of the way. With guests, you can't go over that information, so you scare them back (natural tendency being that you curl up when scared, therefor removing fingers from where you are swinging,) and if they do not move, you hit somewhere where it would not be natural to put a hand or foot. For example, the vertical portions of the queue rails between the two horizontal bars is where I would aim. That is not a natural hand position, or foot position, and would generally be open to banging. I would still look before hitting it of course, but that is the safest place to hit. I'm sure those training the actors have pointed this out.

  9. However its designed as a gyro drop, therefor they can keep that title.

    It could just be an issue with the spin motor, or a capacity issue during haunt (with less rides open, I'm sure the park wants to pump people through as quick as possible.) If it is an issue with the spin motor, I would rather see the ride open and not spinning and down for that sole reason.

  10. The shock absorbers will wear down throughout the year, so yes the swings do get more violent throughout the year. However this is to be expected. If you see a change, that is the reason. No reason for alarm however.

    And the Gillette sponsorship was just to get more money into the park in another sponsorship. There was no set rule that the money from that sponsorship had to go to the ride.

  11. I'm assuming when you talk about the "hangtime," you are referring to the lava pit scene. However, my statement still is true. The problem was not completely the lava scene's fault. Coming out of the lava scene, after it caught upside down and started to accelerate, the arms would lose sync. At 2 degrees, the bolts would break off and the gondola would fall, thus why at 1/8 of a degree difference, the ride would E-stop. Essentially, one motor would spin up faster than the other motor on occasion, causing the E-stop. The lava scene would only screw up on the first cycle of the day (back when there were 3 rows and all the seats were present and accounted for.) It wouldn't catch entering the scene, causing an e-stop when the ride went to find the gondola for the exit flip.

  12. *Reaches for the troll food*

    GYK, I can't agree more. Constructive criticism is great, but when phrased with a "I am right, you are wrong" attitude, it is no longer criticism. Kinda reminds me of another poster on KIC who loves HW and CP and talks down about KI all the time.

  13. What I see in this post is something seen across America: People expect things to be handed to them and expect the world to be plush and bouncy so they don't get hurt. If someone is not willing to look up when a place closes, I have no pity for them when the place closes early. There is no reason that you don't look up online, call, or look at the two scrolling signs out front to find out when the park closes, but expects the ops to announce it every cycle. Sorry bud, that is your fault, not the parks.

    As for the safety "issue," my nephew, who was exactly 48" last year, went up to the park and rode every ride you just listed and guess what? He was not injured, scratched, or in any way hurt from the rides. I was so proud, he didn't even have to wear a helmet! In fact, on the rides you have mentioned, not ONCE since they were built has there been an issue with an injury that you described. Kinda interesting isn't it?

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