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Kifranatic

Dear Ride Ops

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I've taken multiple trips to the park and have had a great time by myself and while I'm usually always having a good time at the park, there is one issue I have with the way some of you micro-manage seating. As a single rider, it is sometimes uncomfortable to be seated next to someone (especially young kids and bigger adults). If there are empty seats available please let us single riders have the opportunity to take them. There's been multiple times where you try to micro-manage seating so much that you end up multiple rows of empty seating that single riders would love to have to themselves. I'm not sure if this is Kings Island policy to have it done this way but it seems counter-intuitive to the entire process and it just makes the experience less fun for us single riders. I have no issue sitting next to others if it's very busy but most of the time it's not, especially on the weekdays. Just a rant I wanted to put out there and hopefully some employees see this and take note. I remember many years back when we were allowed to pick any row of seating we liked and I don't remember that ever being an issue.  

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6 minutes ago, Kifranatic said:

 it just makes the experience less fun for us single riders.

I have always considered amusement parks a mecca of social interaction especially when riding alone.  Many times the discussions have been quite interesting.

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As someone who suffers from social anxiety, I understand that discomfort. But really, I've never minded. Most people, I've found, just keep to themselves. Those who are chatty usually have something fun to say; I've learned they're often the enthusiasts and they love to talk about the ride. 

I think being paired with kids is uncomfortable, mostly because it's like "am I responsible for this kid if his restraint breaks and he flies out?" But really, I've learned most the time the discomfort is my own and I just need to relax. 

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Sometimes they've asked me if I mind sitting next to someone when I say it's just me/one. I do like having a row to myself just for the extra room. Though at the same time it does kinda hurt my feelings when it's obvious someone doesn't wanna sit next to me. Poor third friend always drawing the short straw with their group.

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I had an interesting experience with that yesterday. I asked for a specific row on FoF, and after I went to it and he completed filling the rest of the train, the separator came over and asked why I liked that particular row. He was just curious, and I did have an explanation. 

I did notice at the park yesterday in particular there seemed to be a push on the separators for full trains, which, if anyone else was there, was a little silly. Because there were so few people at the park, because of the weather, even DB typically only had a little over two train’s of a line at the max all day. 

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Last Sunday, in a rare case I thought an employee was actually rude, a ride op forced a kid from an odd-numbered group to sit next to me on Mystic Timbers. You can tell they didn't want to, but the ride op kept saying "Row 5!" The last time she said it was fairly aggressive. The kid didn't want to sit next to a stranger. They shouldn't have had to either. This was on a morning when there were hardly lines at all, and the rides that had lines had them because they were being micromanaged too much. 

The situation made me feel weird and I couldn't stop thinking about it throughout the ride. When I got off, I went right to Guest Services. 

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The practice being described here (apart from any rudeness) was, in my experience, part of the instructions for how to be a line separator. If you dislike the practice, please mention it to Guest Services. Please don't take out your frustrations on the ride operators. This can't be overstated: no one works at the park because they WANT to make you unhappy.

For the record, I agree: it IS awkward to sit beside someone you don't know, especially if that person is a child.

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2 hours ago, Magenta Lizard said:

I had an interesting experience with that yesterday. I asked for a specific row on FoF, and after I went to it and he completed filling the rest of the train, the separator came over and asked why I liked that particular row. He was just curious, and I did have an explanation. 

I did notice at the park yesterday in particular there seemed to be a push on the separators for full trains, which, if anyone else was there, was a little silly. Because there were so few people at the park, because of the weather, even DB typically only had a little over two train’s of a line at the max all day. 

When my son and I rode FoF last night, we got assigned the 2nd to last row, there was nobody there yet to take the last row, can't remember if somebody finally showed up before our train boarded or not.  My wife rode it with my son shortly after and had similar lines.  We literally left Coney BBQ, and split up, my wife, daughter and youngest son went to Scrambler (obviously right next door to Coney BBQ) and my son and I went to FoF, which while close, relatively speaking, is a bit of a walk.  We rode FoF and were back in time to watch their ride on Scrambler.  A Short while later, my wife and son left from The Monster to go to FoF while I took my youngest and my daughter on the Carousel, which was just beginning to load as we entered the que, so timing wise it couldn't possibly have been more efficient for us.  When we got off, we started walking back towards FoF figuring we'd meet along the way and head over to the next stop; we meet right at Scrambler.

So, as you can see, b/w Magenta's story and mine, lines were extremely short.  There should have been no reason to make anyone sit anywhere but exactly where they wanted on a ride (assuming they fit in that seat of course)

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1 hour ago, TombRaiderFTW said:

The practice being described here (apart from any rudeness) was, in my experience, part of the instructions for how to be a line separator. If you dislike the practice, please mention it to Guest Services. 

If this is how they are instructing ride ops to be line separators, they are setting them up for failure. People are pretty good at filling in on their own, most have some area of the train they’d prefer, and others will just take whatever row doesn’t have someone in it. Even on a busy day, micromanaging the line will generally only end up with one extra train-worth of people every hour, max. If the micromanaging ride op is interrupted by something like measuring a child, often a half full train will be dispatched before they can get back to it, removing any “progress” that was made by sacrificing rider comfort and desires in return for fully filled seats. And, assigning rows, especially pairing up single or odd numbers, on a day where the maximum wait is two trains, is only going to make a lot of people angry, not even result in more riders per hour.

Some are like me, and will request a specific row if I care enough (or not ride at all if refused a reasonable seat change), go along otherwise, and only stop by guest services if it is particularly egregious (like last year when a young woman was being a despot assigning seats, pairing people, and adamantly refusing any requests, on Adventure Express of all things, on a rainy day where about four rows per train were being used), but most people ARE going to take out their frustration at the ridiculous practice on the person in front of them who is telling them something stupid. It doesn’t matter if the person has been told by their superiors to do or say that stupid thing, most people aren’t going to recognize that. So, once again, if this is how they’re being trained, they are being set up for failure. 

Last year, when I did complain at guest services I was told it is up to the separator (but that they would forward my complaint to her supervisor to suggest she maybe lighten up a tad). So there is not a single way they are expected to do their job. Most of them ultimately figure out things go a lot smoother if they don’t try to strong-arm the riders. 

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I'm apparently not of the majority that doesn't mind if I get sat with someone I don't know. That being said, I'm also the kind of weirdo that will have 5 new friends by the time I've made it through a 30 minute wait for a ride because I literally will talk to anyone around me. 

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I had issues last year in Mystic, I didn't care exactly which row, I just requested towards the front because I don't care for the ride in the back, the separator insisted the last row and there was just no way. I was in the regular line because it was dead and did not use the alternate line due to no wait. I ended up walking back down the stairs and back up to the alternate entrance. I did get a supervisor because it was beyond ridiculous when they weren't busy and she was just doing it because she could. Since then I don't ever go to the regular lines, even on non busy days, I just don't want that hassle.

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9 hours ago, TombRaiderFTW said:

For the record, I agree: it IS awkward to sit beside someone you don't know, especially if that person is a child.

I would like to re-iterate that in the story I told, it was the kid who didn't like the idea of being seated next to a stranger. No kid should be forced to sit next to someone if they don't want to, especially when the wait was less than two minutes. That is why I went to guest services. 

 

 

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I can tell a huge difference in the row assigning practice this year as well.  Last week one of our boys was at camp, so my wife and I took our other son.  When we have done this in the past, I typically let the two of them sit together and I'll ride alone.  Not this year.  On every coaster, except The Racer, I had another rider paired up with me.  I know that some people don't mind, I am one that does.  My wife and I are both very introverted people, and sitting right next to a person I don't know makes me very uncomfortable.

As far as row assigning, the only 2 rides I really mind it on are Beast and Banshee.  On Beast, we can only stand the seats not over wheels, and on Banshee, if we aren't in the front row, my wife's stomach can't take it.  We have been okay with Beast, because when we have ridden this season, we weren't assigned a specific row.  On Banshee, yes I know there is a sign that says row preference not guaranteed, but this is the first year in the past 4 years that we have been denied waiting for the front.  The two times that happened, we walked out down the Fast Lane entrance.

In all honesty, row assigning works very well at places like Disney World, I totally get it there, it is very efficient.  I can even see it at KI on weekends.  But when you go to ride AE, on a Thursday, and it is a 4 minute wait, assigning rows is a bit ridiculous.

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I'm just very introverted.. keep to myself most of the time while at the park with podcast and music when I go on the weekdays. I think it's ridiculous that every ride in the park now has a seat manager  even when it's a walk-on for most rides when I go. I try to go for the empty rows but 9/10 times I get paired with someone (mostly kids) even when asking and there are empty rows. I don't think the Ride-ops care for the most part or they get to distracted to notice there's other empty  rows available. 

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I personally don't have a problem with sitting next to people I don't know. Did it lead me to sit next to a little girl who never rode FoF? Yes. Did it lead me to sitting next to a really interesting guy on Diamondback who vaped in line and every other word out of his mouth was an obscenity? Sure. But it didn't ruin my day.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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 I actually experienced this on Adventure Express yesterday. I was assigned Row 15 and I then asked for Row 14 (my favorite row). He then said "Row 15 is open..." and so I went begrudgingly to Row 15.

 

On the flip side, I did have excellent guest service on Delirium as I asked the driver if Bat was open (as I was curious as this was after the storm had blown through and allegedly knocked out power to Drop Tower and nearby rides- but somehow Banshee and Delirium were back up...) and he actually went ahead and called them to see if they were open(they weren't). I told him he went above and beyond and he said, that's what we do! Kudos to that guy (not sure what his name was!) :D 

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On June 14, 2019 at 8:30 PM, chad_1138 said:

But when you go to ride AE, on a Thursday, and it is a 4 minute wait, assigning rows is a bit ridiculous.

I'm wondering if management is really pushing for it this season. It seems to be happening across the board. With the exceptions of Diamondback, The Racer, and The Bat, I experienced it on every ride during my last visit despite the average wait being under five minutes. This includes rides where separators are usually more lax and empty seats are the norm. 

 

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On 6/14/2019 at 5:46 PM, Joshua said:

I would like to re-iterate that in the story I told, it was the kid who didn't like the idea of being seated next to a stranger. No kid should be forced to sit next to someone if they don't want to, especially when the wait was less than two minutes. That is why I went to guest services. 

 

 

I think this is a key point. Adults can suck it up and just abide by the rules (but rudeness is never called for). But kids shouldn't have to sit next to someone if they aren't comfortable. We'll be taking my son and his cousins in July and there will likely be times where one of them is riding their first coaster by themselves and want to sit right in front of us. They shouldn't have to compound their anxiety by being placed with someone they aren't comfortable with. (Just like I'd say they should use caution when assigning single riders with members of the opposite sex). 

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And, food for thought to any of the “higher ups” who might be reading this...I am more likely to purchase a photo of my family members on a coaster when it doesn’t include some random stranger in it.

(That alone should make them reconsider this policy....mmmmm.....more money! ;) )

 

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2 hours ago, cdubbs727 said:

I think this is a key point. Adults can suck it up and just abide by the rules (but rudeness is never called for). But kids shouldn't have to sit next to someone if they aren't comfortable. 

I really didn't see the harm in letting the kid sit by himself. So what if they send out a train with one or two empty seats? The line was almost a walk-on. I mean, big deal, right? 

More importantly, he didn't need to be repeatedly ordered by a ride op. It's not boot camp. 

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3 hours ago, standbyme said:

 

And, food for thought to any of the “higher ups” who might be reading this...I am more likely to purchase a photo of my family members on a coaster when it doesn’t include some random stranger in it.

(That alone should make them reconsider this policy....mmmmm.....more money! ;) )

 

Don’t most of the pictures have 2-6 other random people no matter whom say next to you?

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15 minutes ago, AnyPancakes said:

Don’t most of the pictures have 2-6 other random people no matter whom say next to you?

A lot of times there are 3 of us...so a stranger either on Diamondback...or sitting next to one of us on any of the other coasters just kind of ruins it because you have to explain to friends that “No, no you don’t know who that person is”.  

(As you know, they can crop a whole row of people out of a photo...so on rides like The Beast if there are 2 extra people behind us, it doesn’t matter.)

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