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BoddaH1994

Rows chained off on Mystic

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My take:
Unoccupied rows/seats take longer to load as the ride ops have to buckle the seat belt around the lap bar.

So often they will block off a few rows to keep the same few rows free, which allows those rows to stay buckled and speeds up load time.


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6 minutes ago, chuck norris said:

My take:
Unoccupied rows/seats take longer to load as the ride ops have to buckle the seat belt around the lap bar.

So often they will block off a few rows to keep the same few rows free, which allows those rows to stay buckled and speeds up load time.


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I saw this some last year and asked about it.  You hit it right on the head.

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Is it only on Timbers, though?  Is it going on with other rides?  

Because singling out Timbers seems odd.  I noticed it last year, too, but I don't recall that happening on any other rides sans mechanical problems.    

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4 minutes ago, silver2005 said:

Is it only on Timbers, though?  Is it going on with other rides?  

Because singling out Timbers seems odd.  I noticed it last year, too, but I don't recall that happening on any other rides sans mechanical problems.    

Someone sent me that photo and they said specifically Timbers. Not sure if other rides were like that.

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I see this a lot on Corkscrew and Iron Dragon at Cedar Point but those both are low attendance rides. Mystic Timbers is only one year old so I don't think it's ridership has lowered to that of Corkscrew or Iron Dragon. Meditate on this I will. 

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17 minutes ago, SonofBaconator said:

I see this a lot on Corkscrew and Iron Dragon at Cedar Point but those both are low attendance rides. Mystic Timbers is only one year old so I don't think it's ridership has lowered to that of Corkscrew or Iron Dragon. Meditate on this I will. 

From what I’ve heard the park was a lonely place tonight, though...

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This seems common. I've noticed this on both Corkscrew (last time I was at The Point, I couldn't sit in the back of the train as all but, like, the first 4-5 rows were roped off) and Storm Runner at Hersheypark (same scenario, however, I did get to enjoy the back later in the day).

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They have also ran a certain train empty instead of taking it offline so that they didn't have to wrap the belts around all of the lap bars of empty seats.  That train would enter the station and they would say that train is going out empty and you will get on the next one.  Leaving the train online allowed them to simply reopen it if they got busy.

But yes either running a train empty or blocking of rows is a practice used on Timbers due to the seat belts not being retractable and they have to wrap them around the lap bar.  Now why they weren't retractable...

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1 hour ago, disco2000 said:

They have also ran a certain train empty instead of taking it offline so that they didn't have to wrap the belts around all of the lap bars of empty seats.  That train would enter the station and they would say that train is going out empty and you will get on the next one.  Leaving the train online allowed them to simply reopen it if they got busy.

But yes either running a train empty or blocking of rows is a practice used on Timbers due to the seat belts not being retractable and they have to wrap them around the lap bar.  Now why they weren't retractable...

I’ve also always wondered why they couldn’t just pull the seat belt tight instead of wrapping it. Does anyone have insight on that?

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My guess would be extra loading time. If someone does decide to sit in that row then you have to wait a short time while the guest adjusts the seatbelt to fit them. If that row is empty the next time around, it takes longer for the ride op to pull the belt tight again. I have always wondered why they even have belts on Timbers to begin with since they just tell you they have to be buckled but not tight.

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I was really tempted to go to the park last night after the rain slowed, but I got confused at what time it was and didn't think it would be worth it, at 730.

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8 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

I’ve also always wondered why they couldn’t just pull the seat belt tight instead of wrapping it. Does anyone have insight on that?

Different park, but same seat belts on PTC trains. Opening day at Indiana Beach a maintenance guy was teaching the ride ops to buckle the seat belts on empty seats. With me not being afraid of asking questions, I asked why they do this. He said, "last season a seat belt was not fastened and got between the seats and under the train and jammed up a wheel while the ride was on the course and caused some damage." So with the extra slack in the belt being tight in a row without a rider, maybe there is a chance it could get caught in a wheel?? I might be off base, but learning what I did this season at IB, maybe that is a concern and reason for the wrapping on the bar.

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15 hours ago, SonofBaconator said:

I see this a lot on Corkscrew and Iron Dragon at Cedar Point but those both are low attendance rides. Mystic Timbers is only one year old so I don't think it's ridership has lowered to that of Corkscrew or Iron Dragon. Meditate on this I will. 

Think it's kind of a double sided thing. It's a newer ride so probably still more popular than some others but the park as a whole isn't busy enough to keep all rows filled for each train. So doing this on that one keeps the operations going quicker to keep the line and guest flow moving quicker on a more popular ride. Whereas a less attended ride they may not do it because they aren't as worried about speeding the operations as much and let guests just pick wherever to sit.

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It's related to how the seat belt straps have to be wrapped around the lap bar. I don't know why this is required on open seats on mystic... But it is... And it takes time. It works out much better to force this to the same rows and leave them untouched than to keep having to rebuckle random rows


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On 6/22/2018 at 12:41 AM, BoddaH1994 said:

I’ve also always wondered why they couldn’t just pull the seat belt tight instead of wrapping it. Does anyone have insight on that?

It would probably take more time to pull the slack (pinching and folding of the belt in the slider) than just to wrap the slack out of it. You can also just wrap it with one hand and then buckle with the other, where as pulling the slack would make it a two hand into another two hand process.

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On 6/22/2018 at 11:23 AM, txdrummer said:

I see them changing the belts to retractable somewhere in the future, probably for next season. Easier on the ride operation crew, I would think.

If it were this easy, wouldn't they have done it already?  

They now use the retractable belts on the PTC trains, but these are not PTCs.  Any change in the restraint system would likely be coordinated with the manufacturer to ensure everything is approved.  Would it make things easier on the crew?  Yes, but every ride is different.  Banshee doesn't have retractable belts, and that would potentially be easier on the crew as well.  

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 As of yesterday, the loading platform had all lanes open, but the chains were still hanging on the last two lanes. I forgot to take a pic, but there are actually rings that have been welded to the dividers on the lanes, and chains hanging on caribeners on the last 2 rows. 

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I hope that they using this sparingly.  I've been to CP and Magnum has had a pretty reasonable wait, 2 trains running, and they still had several rows chained off.  With how dead the park was the night this was taken the reasoning makes sense, but I'm more in favor of people being able to sit wherever they want.

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Personally I think this is the best use of available resources for the park.  Blocking off rows instead of giving guests the option of sitting anywhere speeds up loading and dispatching the train, which means you spend less time waiting in the brakes.  I would prefer to see the park run three trains with the middle blocked off then only running one or two trains.  The majority of park guests seem to either want to sit in the front or the back, this allows for more guests to get what they view as the optimal experience.  Also it allows the ride ops to open lanes in the event that more guests start showing up.  I have not personally seen Mystic Timbers have trains put onto or taken off of the transfer track but on many coasters this process takes several minutes and frequently requires park maintenance to perform the work.  Why shut down the ride during the day when you can just close off a few rows.

Having said that, long term if it is possible to upgrade the belts to retractable so that wrapping the belt around the restraint is unnecessary then I would prefer to see that occur.  But I suspect if it was easily done they would have been retractable to start with.

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