I couldn't find the announcement live online, but the park posted a video of the new ride to their YouTube channel already. I'm not going to link it since I assume the mods will make a big post shortly.
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mrjoelabs wrote:Went to HW for the first time in a decade today. Crowds were insufferable, and it did not help that the park was under a boil order! So handing out bottled drinks instead of using the oasis. I think this park really needs to look at capping numbers for the day. With both lots full, the waterpark was an absolute mess and the main park as well. Forget about getting any food. They are too small to handle major crowds.
No offense but going on the last weekend of daily operation wasn't your best choice. HW goes to weekend operation this week and reduced their hours last week, which tells me a lot of their seasonal staff is done for the year. HW also isn't gonna cap crowds when they have people driving 3+ hours to visit their park. I will say this. (and I'm not defending HW's wait times on food as that's something they still need to drastically improve, especially in the waterpark) having worked in food service for a lot of years, anytime there is a boil water order, it slows all food operations down. Anything that requires water has to be boiled before it can be used. There's no way to prepare for that nor could you staff enough people keep up when there is probably 20,000+ people in the park. Sounds like it was just an all around crapy day for guests and workers too.
I remember consistently waiting in hour plus lines on rides like Mine Train at SFSTL when I was very young. Parks used to be a lot more packed. But now it's 2019, so #capthenumbers. That's all great in theory until you arrive right when the attendance is capped. Maybe we can cap the numbers and then complain about the park not having enough money to add attractions?
I think if people can go to events like Cedar Point's Haunt and still have fun despite the massive crowds and three hour waits then coaster enthusiasts can deal with a few packed days. It probably wouldn't have felt so bad if the boil order hadn't happened.
THIS....LOOKS....AWESOME!! HW did a great job managing or even under promising on this one. When they said not on the same level as thunderbird, I was expecting something much much smaller. This however, is a very very very nice surprise. HW made a Facebook post now calling themselves the water coaster capital of the world.... I think that Italy certainly fits! This thing looks flat out FUN. They already have the two best at we coasters in the world... could this be #3?
As for the plans somewhere above that we’re suspected to replace the pilgrims plunge area... I still have a gut feeling those are real plans.... just not for this year. HW knows at least a couple years before hand what is coming next and they CERTAINLY plan out way in advanced for that. Those plans just fit that area WAY too perfectly to not be real.
As for how the park was running for me on my recent visit I mentioned above - operations were FANTASTIC. The Voyage was running way way wayyyyyy better than the last time I rode it back in Thunderbirds launch year. It felt like it did the first year it opened. I was very impressed with The Voyage. I’m also crazy surprised Thunderbird hasn’t gotten way way way more accolades thus far. That has to be one of the “funnest” overall coasters I’ve been on (either wooden or steel)...and they have those operations running like the fine tuned machine it is. The ride ops really really know what they are doing there.
The park itself was in EXCELLENT condition. I didn’t see one piece of trash on the ground the entire day... and I was there from open to close. The new Santa’s Merry Marketplace is AMAZING. I like how roomy it is compared to the old space. And while it’s all new, fresh, and clean, it still managed to throw back to the original in a very pleasing way to those of us that call this our home park and have been visiting since birth practically. The new way of ordering and serving food in there is VERY quick and efficient. Plymouth Cafe has been my go to favorite place to eat in the park since it was built... however Santa’s Merry Marketplace absolutely ties it now. Lots of variety in foods to choose from and it just been a very nice, roomy, and air conditioned place to hang out, coupled with its location at the top of those hills in Christmas and a very large variety of food choices, make it a clear stand out. The place just looks and feels remarkable.
All the ride ops were very fun and friendly. They all used the little scripts when dispatching the rides... but it was always done in a very real way... not like they were memorizing some script. Very very genuine delivery. And of course they were all very happy to chit chat it up as well. Also if you read my post from weeks ago, I was concerned about now being a bigger guy. I had no issues on any rides at all. I never felt subconscious about my weight gain at any point riding any ride at all.
I went on a Wednesday... on purpose... because I know how busy the park can get on the weekends.. so I can’t comment on waiting in lines really. The longest wait I had was for the Wildebeest... and I had to wait maybe 30 min. Max for that ride. That still seems to be the most popular ride in the entire park (both water and dry sides, which also makes this new addition make a lot of sense). None of the rides... read: ZERO we’re down.
For those of you complaining about recent issues at the park... they have no control over boil orders. When there is a boil order any park is going to struggle a bit. I find it amazing that HW was able to still hold to their promise of unlimited free drinks during this time. Yes it might have been a longer wait, yes it might have caused hiccups in places, BUT YOU ARE STILL GETTING IT FOR FREE even though the time and resources required to provide such a service greatly increased during the boil order. As to the crowds and capping entry numbers. One word - NO. I’ve been on their busiest days of the year. Yes lines can get long.... however if you just follow the tips on their website the park becomes very manageable even during its busiest days. They are constantly adding capacity in various ways ( not just in adding rides). Heck I remember before the re did the Splashin Safari entry plaza and added the new fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo... that area became a nightmare on busy days... those days are no longer. As the park continues the grow they continue to expand capacity and make operations more efficient every year.
Build advisories, ride breakdowns, and rough days can’t be changed or controlled.... they just happen no matter what. The park focuses rightly on what they CAN control, not what they can’t. HW + SS is STILL and ALWAYS will be #1 for family fun for me, but I actually see their operations IMPROVING drastically from year to year rather on staying stagnant or decreasing. Give them some credit, they deserve it for sure!
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