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Park Operations

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For everyone's information, if you are planning on visiting but the weather says wind gusts no more than 28mph, be prepared for half the park to be shut down.

 

This is what is happening right now at the park. Aimlessly wandering at the moment to find something open:

 

Screenshot_20170819-152019.thumb.png.a776d1c6b018618ea8e3f2771da42de6.png

 

Smells more like another power cut to me...

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Certainly not a power cut; the spread of rides across the park wouldn't make sense.  For example, if Detonator is closed down to a power cut, so would all of Jungle and Amity areas.  Similarly, if Swarm is dead due to power, so would Fish. 

 

The wind speed issue is a hot topic in Merlin at the moment following recent events.  I am of the understanding that most of the major rides have been fitted with specific wind speed monitors, that will alert when the wind speed is above a 'safe' level, which is set out by the manufacturer.  Staff will then stop running the ride and won't reopen until the wind speed is consistently at a 'safe to operate' speed. 

 

The big issue is that if there's a particularly large gust of wind, this means that staff have to stop running the ride.  So to stop running the ride, it only takes 1 instance of high wind, not consistent high wind.

 

Of the rides currently closed, a few will always suffer more with wind.  Vortex and Zodiac are right by the lake, where wind speeds can pick up more.  Swarm also suffers similarly from this, and the majority of its full day closures have been down to high wind speeds.  Depth Charge should also be understandable.   And Detonator I guess.  

 

Banana Ride, Stealth and Colossus are weird ones. I guess if the wind is going in a certain direction it could cause issues with Stealth.  Colossus isn't usually that bad even though it's by the water, and if that's suffering from high winds, Saw usually does too.

 

I know people will come with the argument that 'well they've operated fine before, so why now?'.  But we should of course remember that in terms of health and safety, Merlin won't want to take chances, so will be making themselves follow the strictest of rules.  It's a case now of trying to find the balance of operating safely and operating effectively. 

 

 

Though I'd be more concerned at the fact that 3 rides are listed as Closed, indicating they won't be opening today, and that they all were yesterday as well...

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It does seem weird though that previous visits made this year have had the wind gust speeds much higher than this without any issues, so if this is something introduced within the last week or so, that may make sense.

 

Clearly I don't know what happens during a power failure as I have never witnessed one before, so thanks for explaining that!

 

But to see Banana Boat closed which is sheltered by surrounding vegetation and rides, whereas Saw, which is literally sticking straight into the air on the lake running fine in this weather is bizare.

 

All rides are back open again but the wind feels no weaker compared to an hour ago.

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It's very strange to have flats closed as there's no risk of those stalling, which I was under the impression is the danger with operating tall coasters in the wind.

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2 hours ago, Martin.C said:

It does seem weird though that previous visits made this year have had the wind gust speeds much higher than this without any issues, so if this is something introduced within the last week or so, that may make sense.

 

Clearly I don't know what happens during a power failure as I have never witnessed one before, so thanks for explaining that!

 

But to see Banana Boat closed which is sheltered by surrounding vegetation and rides, whereas Saw, which is literally sticking straight into the air on the lake running fine in this weather is bizare.

 

All rides are back open again but the wind feels no weaker compared to an hour ago.

 

I believe some rides have seen wind speed checks introduced later than others, and others have had changes to how they operate following reviews with the manufacturers, etc.  Hence why some rides are now more affected.

 

I agree re Banana and Saw - very odd!

 

Do remember though that how the wind feels on the ground can be very different to how it is 60ft up in the air.

1 hour ago, Coaster said:

It's very strange to have flats closed as there's no risk of those stalling, which I was under the impression is the danger with operating tall coasters in the wind.

 

Remember that all rides will have computers tracking them and such.  If a large gust of wind causes a flat ride to say be a millimetre or two out of its expected position, that could cause the computer to throw up an error or have a hissy fit or whatever.  I assume rides will be built to allow for some margin of error to compensation for things like that, but Merlin will probably be wanting to run rides with a much smaller margin error than other places.

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Am I being dim or is the latest “Security Check” layout totally flawed. If you turn left to go up to the toilets you bypass all the checks and can go straight in via the turnstiles with no waiting at all. 

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No - the toilets are separated off - cant remember if you can only get to them before the security checks or after but definitely separated!

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31 minutes ago, Marc said:

No - the toilets are separated off - cant remember if you can only get to them before the security checks or after but definitely separated!

 

It wasn’t separated this morning, we were able to walk past the bag search queue entrance and walk directly up the left hand side and could access the toilets and turnstiles. Maybe someone had moved a fence panel but it did seem slightly easy to bypass the security checks. 

 

Edit it to add pic, red line was the route. 

 

Thanks

9CEC36BF-5596-4E6E-B331-8A38183EEEA2.jpeg

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9 minutes ago, Ringo said:

 

It wasn’t separated this morning, we were able to walk past the bag search queue entrance and walk directly up the left hand side and could access the toilets and turnstiles. Maybe someone had moved a fence panel but it did seem slightly easy to bypass the security checks. 

 

Edit it to add pic, red line was the route. 

 

Thanks

9CEC36BF-5596-4E6E-B331-8A38183EEEA2.jpeg

Probably right that somone moved them - it was MOS last night too which may have meant they were re-arranged!

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Credit where credit is due: Park Operations were pretty damn good today. Even Nemesis Inferno which has had some shocking operations this year was going well. The afternoon team on SWARM weren't brilliant though, too much chatting causing hold ups on the break runs. The morning was fine though. Security checks were also over with pretty quickly.

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Slow dispatches really with the train sitting/stacking in the brake run for considerable amounts of time a lot of the year. 

 

I don't like the new system where you are told which bay to go to in the station either. 

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Dumbfounded how Banana Ride and Timber Tug suffer from Weather Delays, yet Saw does not.. 

 

But yeah, as said above, it's a hot topic at the moment.  But it's always going to cause confusion and issues with guests when they're told a ride is shut for high wind speeds, and it doesn't feel THAT windy.

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2 hours ago, BaronC. said:

Dumbfounded how Banana Ride and Timber Tug suffer from Weather Delays, yet Saw does not.. 

 

But yeah, as said above, it's a hot topic at the moment.  But it's always going to cause confusion and issues with guests when they're told a ride is shut for high wind speeds, and it doesn't feel THAT windy.

It got worse. 

I'm very surprised that DBGT was open.

Screenshot_20170910-150340.png

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I left the park at 3:30 despite entering at 1:00. I only managed 1 ride on NI. We were queuing for Swarm before they announced it closed. I'm really starting to get fed up with operations at Thorpe and CWOA

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On my last few visits, I've actually noticed that Inferno's dispatches have seemed quick, with the train barely stopping in the brake run (like as soon as it stops, it moves again) - which is apparently how it used to be years ago, when they used to try and smash throughputs :P 

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14 minutes ago, Benin said:

Not much the parks can do when it's weather related though?

The weather wasn't that bad, that's the main problem. Later on they closed the dodgems, Saw and Strom on a Teacup. 

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What might not seem bad on the floor is VERY different when 50/100 feet up...

 

Especially given that a ride stalling caused a massive accident the company still haven't recovered from...

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Just now, Benin said:

What might not seem bad on the floor is VERY different when 50/100 feet up...

 

Especially given that a ride stalling caused a massive accident the company still haven't recovered from...

True. I don't understand why the Dodgems, Teacup, Zodiac and Quantum had to be closed. 

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10 minutes ago, TP-Fan said:

True. I don't understand why the Dodgems, Teacup, Zodiac and Quantum had to be closed. 

Zodiac would suffer a lot of shear stress from high winds especially coming in off of the water. Quantum would likely have the same issue. Dodgems and the tea cups I don't see how wind would adversely effect the ride but rain water certianly could. 

Merlin have evidently had quite a knee jerk reaction to the smiler incident and have gone rather over board on the saftey front seeing as for years it's never been a major problem. That being said many US parks close at the first drop of rain and I have always thought Merlin would one day do the same. It's just nice to see that they still operate in bad conditions, just not as bad as they once did operate in. 

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