I'm now convinced that Fuji-Q is the worst run amusement park in the world. We have had three visits there over four years and each visit has been equally as horrible but for different reasons.
This time around it was mostly weather related. Yes, the ride capacity and slow crew issues were still there, but on this visit I saw some of the worst park policies and operations I've ever seen. Let me just describe our day....
On the day of our visit we knew there would be rain. It was fore-casted for the bulk of the rain to start about 4pm and thanks to the nearly perfect Japanese weather forecasting that's exactly when it started. But up until then we were supposed to get patches of good weather here and there. And that's what we got.
We also know that Fuji-Q has a tendency to shut down almost everything in the rain, even a slight mist. Which is completely retarded because for a country where it rains 300 days out of the year and where most of the other parks seem to be able to operate their attractions in the rain, why has Fuji-Q purchased rides that can't be operated even in a gentle mist (so they claim.)
We arrived at the park with a good amount of time to spare which is good because the line to get into the park stretched so far back that I'm sure it took some people two hours to get into the park with the only 4 ticket booths they had open. (watch the video, the clip at the beginning with the long line is the line to get in the park!!!) Luckily we were in the front of that line. Score one for TPR trips always getting to parks early!
Once we were in the park and we could see what rides were operating I told the group "Ok, it's going to rain...at the moment it would appear that Dodonpa and Fujiyama are running, but Eejanaika was not. You guys now need to make a choice...do you want to jump on Dodonpa or Fujiyama or try to wait it out for Eejanaika knowing that one is the most temperamental in the rain." Some of the group headed for Dodonpa, the other half went to Eejanaika.
I was with the group that went to Eejanaika. We got to the ride to find it closed. We were told it wasn't due to the weather but due to the block checking taking a long time (not surprising since Magic Mountain's also seems to open late quite often)
About 10 minutes later they let us in line, we board the train, and are on the first train out. The rest of our group is on the 2nd train...and then it starts to rain...actually it started to gentle mist!
They closed the ride.
In fact, those two trains were the *only* trains to dispatch that day. We ran off the ride and it started to rain a bit harder. By this time everything was closed.
Luckily one of the walk through dark rides where you stand in a coffin was open! Oh, yay! Most of the group went and did that, the rest of us had a beer because we needed it to get through our day at Fuji-Q.
Then the weather got a bit better and rides started to re-open. Since the Thomas coaster was right nearby we hit that one up. At this point the rain had stopped but the only coasters open were the Thomas coaster, Fujiyama, and Zola 7.
The group figured it would be best to try for Fujiyama since Zola 7 will run in the rain anyway....We get over to Fujiyama...the line is posted at *three hours* Ugh.
It rains on and off, scattered showers, some scattered clouds and sometimes we even see the sun break through now and then. Oddly enough Fujiyama never shut down even during the scattered rain showers.
There was a point in time where we had no rain for about 90 minutes of the group waiting in that three hour line but nothing else ever re-opened...Wild Mouse, Hamster Coaster, Dodonpa, even the Thomas coaster had finally closed. And like REALLY closed. All crews were sent home and the trains covered up.
It seemed to make no sense that they could operate Fujiyama in rain, but nothing else. Why is this?
And of course they were running Fujiyama as slow as humanly possible. For those who were waiting in the 3 hour line it was PAINFUL. I did some walking around the park while they waited and made even more observations about how horrible this park is run.
For example, why is it they seem to go out of their way to buy low capacity rides? For one of the busiest parks in Japan, why did they buy a Wild Mouse that only seats two people at a time? Why did they get Dodonpa that only seats 8? Their kiddie coaster is one of the smallest I've ever seen and the Hamster Coaster also only seats up to 2 people!
Even the "new for 2008" ride which was a river rapids ride only had boats that held 4 people at a time, and they were only putting 2 per boat! WTF! A park of this size should be buying a river rapids ride that holds 10 to 12 people per boat and sending out a crap load of them.
Anyway, back to our group waiting three hours for Fujiyama...
They have now been waiting over 2 hours and are only at the bottom of the outside ramps (for those of you who know the layout of the park know what I'm talking about.)
All of a sudden...the ride closes. No warning, no reason, the rain hasn't gotten any harder, it's still *exactly* how it was for the last two hours. And it REALLY closed. They shut all the doors and one of the employees even came out and emptied the ticket machines. They told everyone to leave the line.
So now after waiting over two hours, we're totally screwed. At this point the group is so frustrated.... We go over to Zola 7..it's another 45 min line. *sigh* Fine. They ride that...we wander around for a bit more hoping more rides open up. The rain hasn't gotten any worse in the past hour and a half and we're all just baffled as to why Fujiyama ran just fine in the rain for 2 hours and then shut down.
We check out the Thomas dark ride, ride the carousel, and wander looking for any open ride. Even the walk through haunted hospital is a *FOUR HOUR* line not including the 45 minute attraction. So if we wanted to do this ride it would be a *FIVE HOUR* commitment! WTF is wrong with this park!??!?! Why do they think it's totally acceptable to offer attractions that are 3 to 5 hours worth of waiting in line?
Now we finally start to get that heavier 4pm rain.
"SCREW THIS PLACE!!!"
Finally we leave....and I really never ever want to come back. I really believe that Fuji-Q is the worst operated park in the world! In all my travels I have never found any place as terrible as this park.
The park is operated like crap, the rides aren't very good, and the crews are just miserable. When the best area in the park is your kiddie land and the best ride is your Thomas the Tank Engine dark ride and everyone can't wait to leave, you really know the place sucks.
Ok, onto photos and a video!
Note - the footage in this video was taken from three different visit to Fuji-Q because it takes that long to get all the credits in!
Here is the new entrance to Fuji-Q. We think that Fuji-Q *actually* on fire would be much better than this.
Make a mental note - Do not fight the bears while at Fuji-Q!
Yay! We all look so happy! Boy, our attitude will change REAL QUICK!
Oh, look, they can't get Eejanaika open with the park. Here, let me put on my *shocked* face!
Finally they get the ride open and let us in. Now let's take a look at how Eejanaika does their loading because it's quite interesting. There are three of these "pens" where everyone has a foot mark to stand on and fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo to put your stuff...
You put all your crap in the fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo and no one else will be in this pen until you get back, so it's nice and safe.
The trains you can see are the older style X trains with the "pickle forks"
Note the additional padding that has been added to the restraints! (It needs it!)
And also additional seat belts.
Since they have three of these pens, one is always getting ready to load, one pen worth of people is out on the circuit, and the third pen is empty ready to be loaded. It actually works awesome, and this is the *only* ride in the park where they actually have their act together for loading/unloading.
Of course they can't seem to operate the ride in a gentle mist, which is what happened right after we rode. The coaster looked like this the rest of the day. I will say that my ride this year was much better than last year, but it's still nowhere near as good as X2 is.
Hmm...with all the rides closed due to the gentle mist, what's the only thing you can do to keep yourself sane in this horrible park?
Don't be fooled by that sign! This is attraction is actually OPEN! (They just didn't bother to move the sign because, well, why bother, it will just close down in ten minutes anyway...)
Ooh! We are actually getting a hint of blue sky! Does that mean rides will open? Well, maybe one or two for a VERY short time...I mean, it's is Fuji-Q, they can't possibly have rides open for people to enjoy!
There is some curious nerdy stuff going on here....
NERD!!!!! (Really Julie, we love you...but you're a NERD!!!!)
This is pretty much how these two coasters looked the rest of the day. As you can see, it's cloudy...but it's not raining.
OMG! OMG! OMFG!!! A coaster!!! And it's....it's....OMG! OPEN!!!!
YES! And *only* a 2 and a half hour line!!! (Well, actually it was 3, but we were being hopeful!)
We'll get back to those standing in that three hour line later, but for now, let's have a look at the rest of the park. Here is the "new for 2008" rapids ride...
Ok, can someone please tell me why the f**k this park buys a rapids ride that only seats four people and then only puts two in a boat?!?! Seriously, it's like they are trying so hard to win the "lowest capacity park" award.
Yay! Only TWO HOURS if you want to ride the new rapids ride! You know, Fuji-Q, Intamin and other companies sell a rapids ride that seats 10 to 12 people per boat and most small parks even have this model. Not sure if ever noticed that.
Oh, look. Another god-awful capacity ride that only holds TWO people per car...and it's CLOSED. Do you see rain? I don't. But it's Fuji-Q, and Fujiyama is open which means they couldn't possibly have other rides going at the same time.
Oh, look. The Thomas coaster is closed for "bad weather" which is odd because the weather conditions are EXACTLY the same when we just rode it an hour ago.
Here's the haunted hospital that everyone goes ga-ga about. It's a 45 minute attraction that only has a four hour line! That's right, if you want to experience this attraction you only have to dedicate *FIVE HOURS* to it. WTF?!?!
Dave and I decided we would buy some weapons out of the capsule machines for our friends in line so they can shoot who ever is making the line take so long!
Yup, there is the line...3 hours long...as you can see, the ground is wet, but it's only raining lightly, on and off, can you even see some blue sky hovering over Eejanika. A park like this should be able to operate at least more than *ONE* coaster in a light scattered rain. It's so irresponsible of the park to purchase a collection of rides they can't operate (so they say) in a country where it rains 300 days out of the year. And they make NO EFFORT to try to get any rides open when the rain stops. They just send their crews home. This is the park's fault. And another reason why I feel they are one of the worst run parks in the world.
The crew decides to use the weapons on themselves because it's a general consensus that suicide may actually be BETTER than being at Fuji-Q.
"Kill me...please kill me...get me out of this park!"
Actually, screw that...everyone KILL LAUREN!!!
Ok, now the biggest WTF of the day. All of a sudden, they just close Fujiyama. No explanation, no nothing. It's been raining on and off the same and they've kept the ride open the entire time. And NOW they decide to close it?!?!?
And like they REALLY closed it. Shut all the doors, emptied the ticket machines, it was DOWN FOR THE COUNT the rest of the day. Why?!?!
Ugh, fine...might as well try to get on Zola 7. This coaster is all indoors and I would assume that it's still open! (Please also note - it's NOT RAINING!)
Yay! We get to shoot stuff! You need to take your aggressions out somehow.
"Two...that's right...hopefully we'll get at least TWO credits today!" (I think most everyone in the group actually managed to get THREE!!!)
"I really hope I get to shoot the park manager"
"Would anyone like more alcohol to get them through their day at Fuji-Q?"
Hey look! More closed rides! (note while there are scattered clouds in the background, it's NOT RAINING!!!)
The fog is quite low which is what seems to be causing the gentle mist which keeps all of Fuji-Q's rides closed. You can ALMOST make out Mt. Fuji!
Lydia, who hates Thomas even decides "I'd rather be in Thomas Land than anywhere else in Fuji-Q!"
Seriously the dark ride is great!
And even though the park completely sucks, at least TPR members are still managing to have a bit of fun!
Even Mr. Angry insect says "Please get me the hell out of Fuji-Q!!!"
"Cake the Pocket" is better than anything at Fuji-Q
Finally about 4pm it starts to rain hard. It makes no sense why the park would basically "pack it up" about 2-3 hours before hand. Why not at least TRY to keep some rides running as long as possible? (I like how someone has stolen the menu to keep dry!) LOL!
Good thing everyone has that TPR poncho in their goodie bag!
After a craptacular day and one of the worst parks in the world what better way to make it up than to hang out in Tokyo!!!
Ahh, this is so much better than the lights of Tivoli!
Dave and Eric are proud of themselves...they have successfully bored a poor old Japanese lady to death!
Wait, I know this place...there is something very amazing near here!
That's right! MEAT ON STICKS!!!!
"Screw Fuji-Q...we have meat and beer!!!"
Suck it down baby!!!
"Hey Joey! Watch me eat the quail egg!"
There really isn't anything better than this...and certainly NOT at Fuji-Q!