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Cody

Witnessed something eerie

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This post should be a shout out to current & future park employee's.

While at the park yesterday (7-14-15) I was in line for FoF this was around 11:16am or 12:16pm can't really remember the time. I noticed they were doing seat assigning and thought meh no biggie, that was until I actually got up to the employee that was doing the assigning. I witness the employee and a guest have an exchange of words, this guest was a male about in his mid twenties early thirties and he was a solo rider. The employee was trying to pair him up with another solo rider, the other solo rider was a six to eight year old boy in a group of teenagers (looks like to be a younger sibling who got stuck with his older siblings group of friends). Anyway I overheard the older male say to her "I don't ride with anyone that I don't know" and the female employee gave him a stare and muttered "really?". This shocked me, he actually had to repeat himself and state that he was serious. What kind of training is Cedar Fair providing when an employee is almost forcing a guest to ride with a stranger, let alone what about the little boy? I don't think a six to eight year old would of felt comfortable riding with a male in his twenties or thirties that he having no idea who he is. I was just astonish that the female employee couldn't grasp the situation at hand, it seem like she was more worried about the organization of the train than the guest's experience. Thankfully the older male knew exactly how to handle her in this situation for an optimal outcome.
 

 

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Many years ago, I was in line to ride what was then Coaster (now Thunderhawk) at Dorney Park. I was in line for the front seat.

A single rider was in front of me, and the ride host directed me to ride with him. As the coaster ascended the lift hill, about a third of the way up he turned, faced me and said, "I don't like riding with people" in a cold, somewhat menacing way. I ignored him. Then came the chilling words, "I have a knife."

It was not a fun ride.

At the end, I told the ride host. She LAUGHED at me. I went immediately to guest relations and filed a complaint. I never heard another word from the park.

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I've been paired up on a few rides on FOF, The Beast and Backlot. No bad experiences to speak of.

I do think the employee in that situation you speak of should be taught a lesson in customer service. And no, it's not that the customer is always right. It's that it's never worth it to argue with a customer. And over something so stupid.

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I was more so picturing parents that become offensive when their child is in a picture taken by a stranger, wondering what if they seen their child riding with a strange adult male in his thirties. Oh the outcomes that could happen and the park be liable for.

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I'm actually surprised it doesn't happen more often. I think it was more of a customer service issue than anything, but I would prefer to see singles be paired. It's absolutely a pet peeve of mine to see half of a train get sent off half empty just because someone was riding by themselves. Last time I went to Dollywood, they had a singles line on some rides so people could be paired. I wouldn't mind seeing that adopted in KI, and I don't think it would be too forceful because guests would be aware that they were going to be paired from the get go. 

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Did you even read my post?

That was a frightening ride I don't EVER want to do again.

An empty seat vs. riding with someone who may be a psychopath or worse?

I know which I prefer.

I'm trying to imagine that at SFA or Elitch's.

Uh, no.

Just no.

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I did read your post. It sounded pretty scary and I don't know what I would have done in that situation myself. Did the person say it to you on the lift hill?

 

I do think it's a pretty rare occurrence though. The majority of people in a theme park are pretty sane and just want to have a good time.

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I take it you haven't been a single rider much, then.

The fact of the matter is that incidents between strangers are far, far more likely.

In recent years, I along with many other riders, have noticed more and more riders refusing to ride with other singles. Quite frankly, I don't blame them.

You are restrained, alone, with someone you don't know from Adam.

Think about it.

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Man, I tell ya, when I go up with the wife and kids, I almost always end up riding by myself a good bit of

the time we're there (My wife just doesn't do coasters.) Luckily I've only been paired twice.

 

Once was with a nice little church lady, who was with a group of her friends, and she had a blast.

When we exited the ride, we exchanged some pleasentries and that was that. Nice lady who really enjoyed

herself. That was not a bad ride.......

 

The second time was with this guy I got paired up with a the front of the station. That guy just stared, quite evilly, 

at me from the time we entered the station, through the ride till we exited. It was just uncomfortable, probably just as much for him

as it was me.

 

I would much rather just ride by myself.........

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This just erks me to no end.  I often come to Kings Island by myself and I have NEVER been forced to ride with someone(I haven't been to KI yet this year). That  just makes for a very UNCOMFORTABLE ride.  I have had someone ASK if they could ride with me, since they were by themselves as well.  I didn't mind that since she asked and she was very nice. I understand on Banshee and Firehawk since they seat four across, in which I have rode with strangers.  This is ridiculous!! :unsure:

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I will have to tell my story, On July 5th my kids are with me (daughter 12, son 16) and in front of us is a guy with his two kids, (boy approx. 5-6, girl 6) and he was carrying a military backpack and  we are in line for Shake , Rattle, Roll and the ride op. measured the son and he had to ride with Dad and the girl could not ride alone , she needed an adult with her. So my kids were thru the gate and the ride op asks me if I would not mind riding with the girl so she could ride. I looked at the girl , asked if it was ok if she wanted to ride with me and she said ok, and alright so we chose the car and it was her first time riding , I think since the ride op saw me with kids that I was an ok guy and that she had a good time. i talked to her a little chit chat about what rides she has been on and she said mostly in Planet Snoopy because her brother is too small for the other rides. I felt bad for her because she wanted to ride some big kid rides she said like Racer and mine car ride aka: Adventure Express but can't since her brother was too small. After the ride was over, I met her dad and said thank you, that it is hard being a single parent and being divorced myself i know the feeling  and I expressed my thanks for his service to our country and to enjoy the rest of their day. 

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Chance Rides Falling Star.....No Single Riders allowed period end of story! Was that a Carowinds rule or Chance Rides? I hate being paired up with strangers especially when they are the opposite gender. Terpy's experience is especially concerning since the ride op sounded unconcerned. Glad you made it out safely!

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Dang Terpy, if that happened to me I would've freaked out . Sorry for that traumatic experience.   :blink:  :unsure:

 

I personally do not mind riding with others and it can be fun sometimes, I do not believe I have had a single bad single paired experience. Now forcing one against their will to do so is a different situation.

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I don't think the ride ops should be forcing pairings, there are many various reasons one may not want to be that close and personal with a stranger. A few empty seats slow down the line a lot less than half empty trains that often occur when a ride op gets too micromanaging of the line and doesn't appropriately let the traffic flow into the station (I've seen this more than once, although not specifically about pairing singles). If anyone chooses to pair up with me, it is my personal policy to always allow it (if they ask) and I don't mind so much riding with someone gregarious enough to choose to ride with someone they don't know.

I almost always am a single rider in the last two seasons I've had KI passes, and through dozens of park visits in that time I've really only had two relatively minor negative incidents related to being a single*.

One was when a young ride op at AE was micromanaging placement of a non-existent line to a half-empty train. He told me to go to a row in the middle of the train that would have sat me with the third of a group of three women. The women seemed nice enough, but it was late in the day, I was hot and sweaty, AE trains smoosh you right up on each other and I didn't want to inflict my long day at the park on a stranger, I knew the women would think /I/ was a real weirdo jumping on with them even though there were several empty rows, because they /never/ force-pair singles at AE, and I prefer to sit in the back, which was empty and was going to continue to be considering the next train was about to load and I was the only one in "line". I asked the ride op "really?" and he confirmed. I was about to just say forget it, I'm not shoving my sweaty body at a stranger, I just won't ride, but I asked him again if I could ride in the back instead, and he /finally/ realized most of the train was empty and by this point starting to load, and let me go where I wanted.

The other time I had a problem was when someone chose to "hop on" with me on Beast near the end of a hot summer day. As I said, I don't mind when someone asks to ride with me and will always say yes, but other than even rows of DB or on Banshee, it seems impolite if they don't say anything first and just follow you on. In this case, inexplicably, the guy was there with another guy, but his friend rode alone in the next row, and this guy hopped in next to me. He was friendly, so I didn't mind as much (that fun silence up a lift hill where the person intimately close to you tries to pretend you don't exist) after the initial annoyance at the "hop on." But then we hit the top of the hill, he threw his arms in the air, and I was bombarded with the results of a long hot day at KI with either no deodorant or a failing one. I had to spend the whole five minutes attempting not to breathe.

*my more serious "single rider problem" wasn't actually about riding. The day I split the back of my shorts wide open, I didn't realize it until I was using the restroom, and could only narrow it down to having happened sometime in the prior hour and a half (fortunately two thirds of that time I was wearing a hoodie tied at my waist). I didn't have anyone who had been with me to tell me about it or help ease my mind that I hadn't been flashing my butt for the last half hour while I wore my hoodie on my upper half.

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There is a lot of seat shaming going on in line too. I have heard and experienced this from guests complaining about empty seats and long lines. Almost always, I end up with a single rider directly in front of me. I won't jump in with them and I get shamed (from afar) for making the line longer...lol..

My solution for riding alone on a coaster...take the nearest seat to the gate...that way no one can push their way into the empty seat....lol!

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Wow - sorry to hear so many have a negative experience about being paired up with someone on a ride!  I personally never had a problem with it.  I have had some great experiences and discussions being paired up - even as recently as last week - I got paired up on Diamondback with someone there celebrating her 50th birthday (she had the birthday pin on).  On the lift hill, she told me she had never rode Diamondback and was doing it for her 50th birthday.  The people in front of us heard it (they were not with her) and started singing Happy Birthday to her - next thing you know, the entire train sang Happy Birthday to her - it was pretty cool.  We got off the ride and she said that was the best ride ever.

 

Do those that not like being paired up not ride Drop Tower, Viking, Congo, etc.?

 

The way I look at it is that if I got paired with a nut that was truly off their rocker or did something illegal, you just make a lot of noise and tell an associate on the way in to lock the train and call security.  Isn't like the perp could get far in a locked train!  I have seen that happen once.

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I've only ridden Drop Tower only once, and I doubt I will again. It was not made for tall folk. Congo I may again only if I decide I need to be drenched, and I haven't ridden a swinging ship ride for a very long time. Tidal Wave at Lagoon was the last, probably. They just don't appeal to me.

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The park is in a no-win dilemma: allow single riders which results in longer lines upsetting guests or ask if pairing up will be an issue.

 

Even on golf courses, on busy days pairs will be required to pair up to make a foursome.

 

Any park guest- at any park- should expect to be paired up when waiting for a ride when the party they are with equals an odd number.  I can't blame the ride attendant for the "Really??" reaction because who would really get that upset about being paired up with a young child??  The park is supposed to be about fun & a good time, not leaving a black cloud over a situation that you should have expected from the beginning.

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19 out of 20 times I attend theme parks alone... The park closest to me pairs up people on the busier coasters, and I've never thought about saying that I won't, but they've never done it on any of the rides where you're smushed pretty close to someone... Is there a reasonable cutoff for me to say 'no'??? I wouldn't let anyone share a bumper car with me, but I don't think I can get away with saying no one can be in my row on a Top Scan or a Splash Over...

 

The only bad experience I've had was where I was paired with an overly talkative young girl (10-12ish maybe??? I'm really bad at guessing ages)... While I enjoyed the talking on the ride, she wished to continue the conversation after the ride, and I was worried about the optics of a girl that age being talked to by an unfamiliar male my age...

 

How crappy is the world where I can't have conversation about theme park rides with a person trying to be friendly because I'm worried about how it might look???

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The park is in a no-win dilemma: allow single riders which results in longer lines upsetting guests or ask if pairing up will be an issue.

 

Even on golf courses, on busy days pairs will be required to pair up to make a foursome.

 

Any park guest- at any park- should expect to be paired up when waiting for a ride when the party they are with equals an odd number.  I can't blame the ride attendant for the "Really??" reaction because who would really get that upset about being paired up with a young child??  The park is supposed to be about fun & a good time, not leaving a black cloud over a situation that you should have expected from the beginning.

 

The park is in a win situation if they treat guests with respect and understand their concerns about riding alone. The "Really" comment is not something I'd expect from someone who's been properly trained how to handle guest requests. Arguing with a guest will create a much longer line than a single rider will. The true test of your park is if someone comes back, not the size of the line. Guests expect long lines on hot days, weekend days etc. But they also expect to be treated with respect, and not like just another cow in the herd.

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I can't blame the ride attendant for the "Really??" reaction because who would really get that upset about being paired up with a young child??

 

How about the spectating parent of that young child, who has no clue whether you are a pedophile or not? See also the second half of the post below yours.

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