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Are Australian theme park rides safe?

54 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, djrappa said:

It's simple. Everything is a stoppage. There is no such thing as a Break Down on a ride unless something catastrophic happens because the rides stop before there is a failure of components. 

So everything is a stoppage. Whether it be for a minute or an hour. Everytime a ride stops it's 'normal'. It's working as intended. You just didn't get to complete the ride. 

How do you, as a quest, know what has happened is the issue though? it's not like you are told something broke, something failed, or it just needed to be reset, etc so you can't really be educated on the difference between a stoppage and a break down, especially in the case of being evacuated off the ride. You aren't going to walk away thinking it was just a normal stoppage, if you were asked by the media to comment, you'd be more likely to hear the ride broke down. That's the problem. It's kind of a lie without lying, telling everyone everything is fine, everything is normal hasn't worked very well so far, so continuing to call everything a stoppage is not the answer either.

Edited by Levithian
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Well because you should feel safe going to a park and assuming that anything that happens is perfectly normal. 

We've been doing it for decades, what I more puzzling is why in the last couple years it's all "omg the sky is falling" when your carriage stops. 

Hell I remember we just used to laugh when you stopped, you knew it wasn't the regular operation of the ride and it was just funny that it happened. 

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15 hours ago, mission said:

It's good that you did it and my opinion that it seems one sided is just that, my opinion.

Some opinions are just more correct than others :P

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^^to the point that enthusiasts actually pray for (and actively do things to cause) 'non regular operation' to experience something different:

  • Loading up your car with big blokes on Space Mountain so you're overweight and get redirected.
  • Aiming for the first ride of the day on Superman so you can get a rollback
  • etc

I think social media plays a large part in this though. Back in my days at Wonderland - it was rare that anything made the evening news - I think even when the Demon snapped it's cable, nothing made the nightly news, and few people who weren't at the park knew about it at all. There was probably an article in a local rag a few days later as news got out, but nobody thought it was unsafe, and once it was repaired (which took a while!) everyone was back on it.

These days, it'd have been on facebook media sites within minutes, with live streams from guests in the park.

I know i'm just saying what we all know already - but social media is the day we live in - the parks need to have good social media management and they need to actively reply to posts or articles with tangible evidence that disproves the 'chicken littles' out there - the suggested 'educational videos' would be great to add in reply for 99% of incidents.

For the 1% that aren't normal (GL wheel assembly, Smiler, TRRR) it wouldn't be that easy, but for the rest it would.

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12 hours ago, djrappa said:

Hell I remember we just used to laugh when you stopped, you knew it wasn't the regular operation of the ride and it was just funny that it happened. 

Ahh they were the days.

See, i'm shits-cared of heights, but i'm not scared of going on rides like Giant Drop for the simple fact that the processes and redundancies in place that makes a ride like that possible in a world of litigation and insurance policies basically dictates the crazy safety measures that keep folks like you or I safe.

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22 minutes ago, Slick said:

See, i'm shits-cared of heights, but i'm not scared of going on rides like Giant Drop for the simple fact that the processes and redundancies in place that makes a ride like that possible in a world of litigation and insurance policies basically dictates the crazy safety measures that keep folks like you or I safe.

^This.

I can be scared shitless of heights at times, to the point where I find two steps up a ladder to be a daunting task. Yet people always ask how I can manage to go on a ride such as Tower of Terror or Superman Escape without being frightened while still claiming to be scared of heights. 

These rides just make me feel safe. I feel completely secure when I'm on a ride such as Arkham Asylum or the Giant Drop. There's just nothing about the rides that makes me feel a sense of worry or distress.

That said thought, waterslides still scare me. Dropping down on the Aqualoop with only a pool of water to stop me? That's a challenge...

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I liked how:

  • they didn't answer the actual question
  • they played obnoxious music really loudly so that you could barely hear the guys speaking
  • (edit: i've now listened to it on mobile and on desktop, and it sounds fine on desktop, but mobile you can't hear a word clearly over the music)
  • they subtitled what was being said (probably because of the shitty loud music) but didn't leave practically any of it on screen long enough to actually read it all
  • they used technical terms that general punters won't understand - like torque lines and moveable trim brake fins
  • they can't even master basic punctuation, such as an apostrophe at the appropriate time (start's at 5:30am)
  • they used the exact same ride that appeared in the channel 9 segment - (which makes you wonder what's wrong with their other rides)
  • You can apparently be satisfied with many things on a mechanical device by simply grabbing, pulling, or rubbing your hands over the ride part - (checking bolts are secured by gripping them with your hand for example)

I give them an A for effort - Dreamworld would do well to push something like this out - but they get an F for execution. Much of my issue with this video would fade had they not pretended to answer a question asked on social media - if they'd just introduced it as a 'your safety, our priority' video, without the schmarmy SM post from 'Rob' many of the other things wouldn't matter so much to me.

 

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They've used green lantern as every one sees it, and it's the one that nearly killed several people. 

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But MW have said this is first of a series of videos about their ride safety. So hopefully the coming videos are better. I think if they removed/turned down that music and removed that first question, the video would've been a lot better. It does give an insight into the procedures they do before the park opens, but a lot of the footage seems very set up (and doesn't look right on screen) like checking the bolts with their hand. 

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I think they did answer part of the question well enough - they made the point that no matter what the conditions are the safety checks are the same. The bit about checking after rain obviously wasn't answered - but they were half way there.

The music though was way too loud (or maybe they were speaking too quietly), but I'm glad they had subtitles to make up for that. Sure, there were a few technical terms that most members of the GP wouldn't understand, but better to include them for the people who understand them (like us) instead of having it half-completed, or 10 minutes long because it's filled with explanations for everything (plus, if it sounds technical the GP would be easily convinced).

There were a few obvious issues in it, but overall a really great video from Movie World. I'm looking forward to a possible continuation of this series, hopefully with a few of the problems fixed up.

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I like all the comments about checking bolts by hand. 

Do you think they out a torque wrench on every bolt every day? That's why you have torque stripe. 

You realise these guys are experts at what they do and intimate with these machines. They can tell infinite things just by touch and sound. 

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Exactly, do you check your tyre pressure every day, or just make sure it's not flat and check it once in a while? 

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4 hours ago, red dragin said:

They've used green lantern as every one sees it, and it's the one that nearly killed several people. 

Most people, id say 99%, have no idea how close the 'derailment' on GL came to being a major tragedy. The overboard media reporting of every minor issue on our rides has basically desensitised perceptions of incidents to "green lantern/storm is Broken down again... oh well".

Most just think it was a regular breakdown with a high evac that caused the ride to the closed for a long period. Whilst the media reported very briefly on the wheel mechanism on the ground below the ride, I never saw any further mention of this in the following days, nor any real media investigation/beat alluding to just how serious that was..

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I must say, they've definitely improved since the last video. This one accomplishes what they set out to achieve pretty well, although the Star Tour bit at the end was very obvious advertising since it didn't relate that strongly to the main topic of the video.

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In the first video - it takes them 4 hours on GL alone and they do that every morning for every (or at least every major) ride?

So they must have an army of engineers starting at 5.30 if they inspect every ride by 9.30am.

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1 minute ago, mission said:

In the first video - it takes them 4 hours on GL alone and they do that every morning for every (or at least every major) ride?

So they must have an army of engineers starting at 5.30 if they inspect every ride by 9.30am.

You usually find that they do indeed have a small dedicated team who inspect rides everyday. The order tho might change everyday and some task might be different from inspection to inspection. Obviously these rides need good quality inspecting and thats why the engineering department would start so early to ensure rides can be opened by the advertised park open time. 

I must admit this video is much better and can convey the message across much easier to the general public.

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14 minutes ago, StingRay said:

You usually find that they do indeed have a small dedicated team who inspect rides everyday.

To thoroughly inspect every ride by 9.30 I would think the team would be pretty big if it takes 2 guys four hours for GL alone.  Then what do they do for the rest of day, wait for it to break down?

 

Unless of course most are part time, 4 hours in the morning and then the rest of the day off, sounds pretty good to me!

 

Obviously some rides wouldn't take 4 hours, but still, that's a lot of man hours before they even open.

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1 minute ago, mission said:

To thoroughly inspect every ride by 9.30 I would think the team would be pretty big if it takes 2 guys four hours for GL alone.  Then what do they do for the rest of day, wait for it to break down?

Obviously some rides wouldn't take 4 hours, but still, that's a lot of man hours before they even open.

Well it would be a big team, its a fair few. Everyone has different interpretation on that ect. You'll find they do not just wait for the ride to "break down". They would have paper work to do. They would all be trades qualified to the electricians would do call outs on things needing attention eg ovens, lights. Trades would help with issues with other rides or sounds systems throughout the day.

They actually have a team stay on all day. In fact you'll find after the ride operators leave the engineers return to conduct a full system shut down on some rides. That would include power down, air compressor bleeding. Turning off specific systems like hydraulics or whatever the case may be.

 

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41 minutes ago, Santa07 said:

I must say, they've definitely improved since the last video. This one accomplishes what they set out to achieve pretty well, although the Star Tour bit at the end was very obvious advertising since it didn't relate that strongly to the main topic of the video.

I disagree - much of the sensationalist media and subsequent social media comments revolve around them being stuck 'up high' and suggesting how dangerous it is to evacuate (one only has to look back at the arkham incident - which they specifically referenced in the video) - i don't see it as marketing - i see it as them going 'this is how normal it is, and how lucky people are to get to do it when a ride stops - people pay to do it!" - it draws comparisons to bridge climbs at the like.

 

As for maintenance teams, and what they do during the day - don't forget there is almost always one ride or another closed for annual maintenance, touch up and refurb... at least outside of peak seasonal periods - so they have plenty to keep them occupied during the day - until there is a stoppage anyway...

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Yeah there are a million and one things to do during the day, and a ton of stuff to do after hours unrelated to ride startups in the morning.  Even if a ride isn't closed, there's always a few ride cars being stripped back and rebuilt, there are always incidental things like a broken door to repair. There's all the paper work, there's all the the stuff that isn't rides that need work done (fleet cars, parade floats, av servicing) as well as responding to anything that happens during the day.  There are more staff in tech services than you think, and they're almost always doing something.

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