The Geek Mojo wrote:I've rode many Disk 'O rides before...They're pretty fun so I make it a point to ride one at every park I go to. And the only one I've ever been told to put my hands down and hold the handle bars is at Dollywood. Of course, I obeyed and did as the park requested, because always follow park rules. But I was just wondering if anyone has ever been told that at another park on a Disk 'O before or is it just a Dollywood thing? I've just never heard it before and the ride operator there at Dollywood was kind of passionate about it too...Constantly screaming at everyone while the ride is in motion, "Put your hands down!" And even after the ride, the line operator would scold little kids and grown ups for their constant raising of the hands. It was just weird to see. Now, Dollywood has the right to do whatever, it's their park and their rules. I just felt that there was no joy in the operator's tone. I also kind of got that vibe at other rides too. Ride operators over microphones saying park rules over and over again...With no sense of joy in their job. There was no, "How did you enjoy your ride" or "Who's ready to ride" or any kind of message with great joy for them or the guests. I understand that parks have to put up with all kind of bad behavior from guests and I'm sure Dollywood has had to deal with a lot of it also with the amount of guests they entertain on a daily basis...But I'm kind of worried that Dollywood is getting a little beat down by it and letting it show. I was at Silver Dollar City the month before, who is operated by the same company, and the ride operators there were joyous and happy and interactive in way that made you feel welcome. While at Dollywood, it felt like they were kind of unhappy and beat down, no joy whatsoever. Not going to say it was that way for every ride, but the majority of them felt that way. And I hate to say this about Dollywood, because I love the place! It's a park I go to every year and will continue to go there...But I am a little worried about them though.
I asked an employee about the hands rule on the Disk 'O, and they said it was due to how the restraints operate on this particular (older) model. Once restraints are "locked" they will no longer open, but they can continue to ratchet forward while the ride is in motion. The hands-down rule is to help guests brace themselves against the back to prevent any unnecessary tightening of the restraint during the ride cycle. I highly doubt it would cause any injury, but I'm sure it could easily frighten a small child (or an adult
Also, the operator I talked to was very happy and kind, so hopefully your experience was just a fluke!