Wicker Man - General Discussion - Part Two

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
If they allow bags in the footwells as many many other wooden coasters do it would make almost no difference to the throughput.
I’m not sure that’s something that Towers would allow; given that even RMT and Octonauts require bags to be left on the platform, I’d hazard a guess that there would be some kind of baggage cages/bins involved if the hold went.
 

JAperson

TS Member
Don't bring a bag with you then ;)
But there's a baggage hold that should stay open. Could you imagine being squashed with your bag and everyone else's in that pre-show room and then squashed in the train with it. I think the baggage hold is just as important to the experience as the pre-show as it makes you fully immersed. I do wonder why they designed it so it needed one though because in the years leading up to wicker man they closed the other two baggage holds of it's type in the park. Smiler and thirteens were both closed in cuts and both should be re-opened in my opinion although I very much doubt either will return anytime soon.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I think it’s Merlin policy to design rides with baggage holds, or at least was prior to 2018; Wicker Man was designed prior to Thirteen and Smiler’s holds being axed. I wouldn’t necessarily bet that they will be getting rid of Wicker Man’s baggage hold, though, as things seem to be on the up; we could even see Thirteen and Smiler’s return at some point, I reckon!

I wonder if future Merlin coasters, such as Chessington’s new one, will have baggage holds…
 

jon81uk

TS Member
Could you imagine being squashed with your bag and everyone else's in that pre-show room and then squashed in the train with it.

I don't often take a bag to theme parks, but multiple times at Blackpool last July my friend had his rucksack at his feet when riding wooden coasters, so I don't need to imagine it as I've seen it and it was perfectly fine.
I've also ridden multiple coasters including those that invert at Disney with a rucksack between my legs just fine.
 

JAperson

TS Member
I think it’s Merlin policy to design rides with baggage holds, or at least was prior to 2018; Wicker Man was designed prior to Thirteen and Smiler’s holds being axed. I wouldn’t necessarily bet that they will be getting rid of Wicker Man’s baggage hold, though, as things seem to be on the up; we could even see Thirteen and Smiler’s return at some point, I reckon!

I wonder if future Merlin coasters, such as Chessington’s new one, will have baggage holds…
It is strange although you have a good point that it was likely designed before the others were axed.

I'm not sure if thirteens will ever return however I wouldn't be surprised if we see Smilers eventually return (maybe next season if they can get the staff).
 

JAperson

TS Member
I don't often take a bag to theme parks, but multiple times at Blackpool last July my friend had his rucksack at his feet when riding wooden coasters, so I don't need to imagine it as I've seen it and it was perfectly fine.
I've also ridden multiple coasters including those that invert at Disney with a rucksack between my legs just fine.
To me it just seems like it would be restrictive and uncomfortable, especially in WickerMans millennium flyer trains which lack such leg room as it is. It's manageable and not uncomfortable at present however I imagine with a bag there it could make it quite awkward.

I do have a slightly related question though: Why is it that WickerMans lap bars lock in the upright position until the airgates are closed and then they let you pull them down? Would it really be a safety risk if you could pull it down while the airgates are still closed like most coasters let you?

Edit: Oops sorry for the double post didn't release.
 

Ethan

TS Member
No; if you want to not see the pre-show, the staff will hold you in the room prior to the pre-show while the pre-show is on, and then they will let you through along with everyone else when the show has ended.

I think that’s how it works, anyway… I think skipping the pre-show and going straight to the station would technically be considered queue jumping by the park.
This is correct. I saw this happen today
 

Jim

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Wicker Man (Row 1), Alton Towers
I do have a slightly related question though: Why is it that WickerMans lap bars lock in the upright position until the airgates are closed and then they let you pull them down? Would it really be a safety risk if you could pull it down while the airgates are still closed like most coasters let you?

Could be to prevent people pushing the bar down as then get into the car (using it to support them selves) which would mean unlock all the bars again. Actually going to have a closer look next visits at this to see if they close gates once everyone is seated and also check if Thirteen works the same since its lap bars. I'm curious now.
 

JAperson

TS Member
Could be to prevent people pushing the bar down as then get into the car (using it to support them selves) which would mean unlock all the bars again. Actually going to have a closer look next visits at this to see if they close gates once everyone is seated and also check if Thirteen works the same since its lap bars. I'm curious now.
Yes it could be but thirteens allows you to pull them down straight the way. I presume, with modern control panels, they can just open the one seat however I suppose that slows operations down even more than just stopping them from opening until your seated.
 

Josh

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
I do have a slightly related question though: Why is it that WickerMans lap bars lock in the upright position until the airgates are closed and then they let you pull them down? Would it really be a safety risk if you could pull it down while the airgates are still closed like most coasters let you?

I'm sure someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is a feature of all GCI woodies, as on most others they have a seatbelt as well as a lap bar. So the lap bars are locked open until staff have checked all seat belts are secure, then the lap bars are allowed to close to be checked. As far as I'm aware Wicker Man is one of only two GCIs without seat belts, the other being Wodan at Europa Park.
 

Steve74

TS Member
I'm sure someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is a feature of all GCI woodies, as on most others they have a seatbelt as well as a lap bar. So the lap bars are locked open until staff have checked all seat belts are secure, then the lap bars are allowed to close to be checked. As far as I'm aware Wicker Man is one of only two GCIs without seat belts, the other being Wodan at Europa Park.
Thank goodness it doesn't have seat belts, its all the more better for it!
 

JAperson

TS Member
I'm sure someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this is a feature of all GCI woodies, as on most others they have a seatbelt as well as a lap bar. So the lap bars are locked open until staff have checked all seat belts are secure, then the lap bars are allowed to close to be checked. As far as I'm aware Wicker Man is one of only two GCIs without seat belts, the other being Wodan at Europa Park.
I wonder why they didn't put seatbelts on then? I know it doesn't need it but just to avoid potential criticism, especially if the media got hold of it. I imagine it might have cost extra and it was decided the money could be better used. Anyway I'm glad t doesn't have seatbelts but I suppose that explains the reason WickerMan is a people eater on three trains and why the bars stay up until the gates have closed. I presume the operator has to push a bottom and so waits until the gates are closed as a precaution.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I wonder why they didn't put seatbelts on then? I know it doesn't need it but just to avoid potential criticism, especially if the media got hold of it. I imagine it might have cost extra and it was decided the money could be better used. Anyway I'm glad t doesn't have seatbelts but I suppose that explains the reason WickerMan is a people eater on three trains and why the bars stay up until the gates have closed. I presume the operator has to push a bottom and so waits until the gates are closed as a precaution.
I think they might have excluded the seatbelts in order to increase the throughput. That’s almost definitely why Europa Park initially did it on Wodan, anyway.

That’s probably also why Wicker Man has 3 trains. It, Wodan and Mystic Timbers are the only GCIs in the world to have 3 trains.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Sorry to double post, but Shawn from TPW raised the possibility that Wicker Man might be getting more retracking work over this off-season in his latest Alton Towers vlog:

(Skip to 20:37)
He says that the ride is “riding pretty rough at the moment” in “the usual suspect places”. (I can only assume he means the s-bend drop?)

Interesting… I have a pretty low roughness tolerance (certainly lower than Shawn’s, from what I can gather), and I didn’t personally find Wicker Man overly rough at all last weekend. It must have deteriorated a fair bit in 5 days; I remember the train shaking a little bit on the s-bend drop, but I wouldn’t have called it a rough section per se (it certainly didn’t cause me any pain whatsoever), and I thought it always did that? In general, I’d probably have said the ride felt no rougher than on my June visit, perhaps even a touch smoother?

But what are your thoughts? Do you expect more significant retracking to take place over winter?
 

Rick

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Crux
But what are your thoughts?
Wood coasters are living and breathing things, they ride very differently day by day for a vast multitude of reasons, neither opinion is right or wrong.

I miss the days where we didn't get week by week updates from the same people visiting the same parks, desperate to create content.

Even if you avoid the Vlogs and the Wikipedia recyclers on YouTube like the plague, they still loom large on these boards, despite not posting here, sad really.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Wood coasters are living and breathing things, they ride very differently day by day for a vast multitude of reasons, neither opinion is right or wrong.
Absolutely, not to mention that people’s tolerances vary. I was more interested to know if you think that the ride might get more retracking this off-season?
 

Danscott22

TS Member
Favourite Ride
The Smiler
It absolutely will receive more re-tracking work over winter. Let's just hope it doesn't have to in the next few weeks or so, as we know has happened before.
 
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