JonnyRCT3 wrote:This leads me to another topic. How/Why is there such a great speed difference between Diamondback(215' drop/80 mph) and Intimidator(211' drop/75 mph). Most B&M coasters fall about 3 mph short of the maximum speed they can achieve from their drop height. Anything falling from 215' can only achieve 80.2 mph. Anything falling from 211' can only achieve 79.4 mph. It's hard to believe Diamondback can achieve 80mph. I'm calling shenanigans on CF, just like how Intimidator 305 achieved 94 mph on opening day, and now is advertised at 90 mph. Complete BS, the laws of gravity didn't change over-season.
You may be forgetting that for chain driven coasters, their starting point is not zero miles an hour, but whatever their speed is when they disengage the lift. This speed can be adjusted, and often is. One that I really remember is that Son of Beast went relatively slowly up the hill until you got near the top, and then for whatever reason it really sped up and almost shot you over the top. I seem to remember that in testing it had valleyed a few times or something, which made them do that, although it was so long ago my memory may be fuzzy. You can see it happening in POV of the ride.
On a completely different topic, for the person asking how to get on a coaster crew at a park. I have some experience with the hiring process at a major park (not Cedar Point though), and I thought I would give a few pointers from my memories of how things worked where I was. This may not be the same for Cedar Point, but I figure it isn't too different...
The first thing is when you go in, don't talk about how you're a coaster enthusiast, unless it is something like, "I've always wanted to work at a theme park, and I thought Cedar Point would be a great one because of all the coasters!" minor like that. If a person walked in and told us that he was a huge coaster guy, it was a red light for us to usually try to not put him at a major coaster until we saw how he was. It's sort of like the Acer vs. TPR thing, a lot of people who came in saying they really knew coasters could do stuff like tell maintence how to change the ride to make it "run better," try to explore nooks and crannies of the rides that are supposed to be off limits to everyone, would try to take parts of the ride, and my "favorite" would explain that they worked there so they could ride with the harness however they wanted to. Mind you, the people who did this were a relatively small group of the people that identified themselves as enthusiasts, but if someone is going to do something stupid, you'd rather have them at a flat ride where you can see how they work then at a major coaster. Generally, the trouble makers get really mad at the park for not being on a coaster quickly, or show up to be a guest in the park and demand that now they are an employee they can do what they want, and get weeded out. The good ones, at least where I was, would usually be promoted after a "trial" period if you will into leadership positions.
Learn everything you can. TPR is much better than just about any other site I've ever been to about not claiming to "know" how the rides work more than the people there. Learn what is going on, and if you thought something worked a different way then what you are shown, the person showing you is right.
Next up, if you land a position don't talk about it online. This is something I forgot to mention above, but is hugely important too. The bad enthusiast employees would do absolutely stupid things like post rumors that they heard online while claiming they worked for the park, which is a headache PR shouldn't have to deal with. Or, they would post pictures of them doing stupid stuff. Either of which was instantly fire-able offenses at the park that I was at. (We had one guy once post a picture of him in a train before opening not riding properly saying, "Guess what I did?" The entire crew was fired the next day.) Parks do not want you posting the maintenance schedule of the rides because things change from moment to moment with everything. If you post that they are putting the faster wheels on a ride the next day and they aren't there, you'll have people complaining at guest relations. You can hang out and post things online, but I would just suggest avoiding your park altogether. It's been *years* since I worked seasonally at a park, and while I'll tell friends about it, I still won't specifically name the park I worked at or the rides I ran online.
Find fun in your job. You are doing a job that no matter what is extremely repetitive, but also extremely important. You have to find something fun in that, where you can check 5,000 harnesses in a day, make sure all 5,000 of them are *perfectly* done (again, you have to watch out for people - generally people who claim to be enthusiasts - trying to get away with stuff. My favorite was always the Acers who would show you their membership card and tell you it was the license to ride the coasters with the harnesses not engaged... uhm, no)... and still have fun at it. For me, the crews that I had been part of had extreme pride in our ride, it's history, and getting people through it. We busted our hump every day to get every single person possible through it, and were all a team to ensure that everyone did it together. It made what was otherwise an incredibly dull job on the surface a blast. If it paid better and was year round, I would do it today still.
The final thing as people said, no matter where you end up, the experience is less about working at the ride, and more about forming friendships around working there. Your memories when you are done will be less things like going on Raptor, and more things like the time you went to Dennys at 2am after a long night. Believe it or not, if you go on any rides enough, the experience of them gets a lot more boring. It's an experience that I am extremely glad that I did when I did, and was one of my favorite experiences in my life.
If you do all of that stuff, at least again at the park that I was at, you'd gain a lot of respect, and usually learn more. A few times, the maintenance workers showed me details of the ride I was at because they knew I'd be curious. A few times, I was let in on new capital early because again, they were certain I'd be curious about it, and they knew if I was told it wouldn't be online ten minutes later. I even had people ask my opinion on thoughts about how things were done, and my suggestions in a couple instances actually changed things. Getting that respect was great, and it made me feel like even now years later, I made an actual difference at the park I worked at during the time I ran rides.
Every park is different, but I hope this helps in some way. Maybe it's a "Coaster Enthusiast's Guide to Working at a Park" or something. Good luck!