Wicker Man - General Discussion - Part Two

George W

TS Member
Yep usually a bit faster and a bit more jolty still great though.

Fastest ride I've ever had was in may 2021 it was nice and warm all day and it started raining for around 15 minutes until about 5 minutes before ride close and I had my last ride on wickerman on the back row and it absolutely hauled around the track after that.
 

Vicki

TS Member
Ooooh this could be interesting! I've not done back row yet and to be honest, I'm glad as it's taken me a few rides to get used to the airtime (I've not ridden a huge amount of coasters, so it's a lot for me!). Knowing my luck that'll happen this weekend with my new rider friend 😂
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Out of interest, when is Wicker Man’s test seat due to be operational? It still appeared to be blocked off and not yet ready for use when I was there on Sunday & Monday.

I think it could really benefit throughputs on the ride. By my observation, the biggest cause of delays to dispatches seemed to be lap bars needing to be rechecked, or lap bars needing an extra shove; there seems to be at least 1 lap bar on most trains that needs some sort of additional help to get the restraint ready to go.

Is Wicker Man particularly restrictive or something? I’ve never noticed this to the same degree on any other ride with lap bars.
 
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Skyscraper

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Nemesis
Out of interest, when is Wicker Man’s test seat due to be operational? It still appeared to be blocked off and not yet ready for use when I was there on Sunday & Monday.
I was under the impression that it was already operational.
From when it first opened there have been issues with some restraints not showing as locked.
 

geo4chg

TS Member
Out of interest, when is Wicker Man’s test seat due to be operational? It still appeared to be blocked off and not yet ready for use when I was there on Sunday & Monday.

I think it could really benefit throughputs on the ride. By my observation, the biggest cause of delays to dispatches seemed to be lap bars needing to be rechecked, or lap bars needing an extra shove; there seems to be at least 1 lap bar on most trains that needs some sort of additional help to get the restraint ready to go.

Is Wicker Man particularly restrictive or something? I’ve never noticed this to the same degree on any other ride with lap bars.


Out of interest, how does a test seat benefit throughputs? Less than 1% of riders would use the test seat anyway and even those that do, how would this mean restraints don’t need to be rechecked?
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Out of interest, how does a test seat benefit throughputs? Less than 1% of riders would use the test seat anyway and even those that do, how would this mean restraints don’t need to be rechecked?
People who worry about fitting may use the test seat if it’s operational, and if the test seat indicates that someone might struggle to fit, then they may make the choice not to join the queue. If there are less people being turned away from the ride or less people on the borderline between fitting and not fitting (i.e. people for whom the ops will need to do a lot of shoving on the lap bar), then the amount of faffing with restraints would be lowered and dispatch times would be quicker on average.

It would also prevent people who might not fit from wasting their time queueing, so it’s a win win, really.
 

geo4chg

TS Member
People who worry about fitting may use the test seat if it’s operational, and if the test seat indicates that someone might struggle to fit, then they may make the choice not to join the queue. If there are less people being turned away from the ride or less people on the borderline between fitting and not fitting (i.e. people for whom the ops will need to do a lot of shoving on the lap bar), then the amount of faffing with restraints would be lowered and dispatch times would be quicker on average.

It would also prevent people who might not fit from wasting their time queueing, so it’s a win win, really.
Yes I agree it is better to have a test seat than not as for those where the seat may be uncomfortable can test it before queuing for the ride. However, I think the impact on throughput would be negligible and there are so many other factors that have a bigger impact is all.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
If any of you are interested, CIATechnologist uploaded a video a few weeks ago discussing the stages of designing and building a roller coaster, with Wicker Man as its case study:

John Burton, Merlin Magic Making Creative Lead, is on hand to discuss this, and he says some really interesting stuff! It's definitely worth a watch, in my opinion.
 

Steve74

TS Member
Possibly a daft question, but I'm not too clued up on how these things work. How does the heat affect Wicker Man? Heading on park this weekend for a couple of days and would be interested to know.
Generally the heat affects the grease in the bearings of the wheels; when cold, the grease is thicker and so won't allow for a huge amount of free movement (but obviously enough for the train to get around the track). As it warms up, it becomes less gloopy so the bearings are able to move more freely and therefore faster.

I believe that Towers grease the tracks too, to reduce noise, wear and surface rust and as that warms up I'd imagine that could get more slippery and therefore allowing the trains to move faster.

I'm sure someone with a more mechanically and scientifically minded brain could clarify this? @tech do you know any more info on this?
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
Out of interest, would you guys say that Wicker Man's queue moves more slowly when they operate the pre-show?

I only ask because I noticed that on my most recent visit, I consistently waited about 45 minutes from midway through the zigzags within the first turnaround. When the ride was pre-show less in 2021, I seem to remember only waiting 25-30 minutes or so from the same point. I also remember the queue moving discernibly faster even though the ride throughput was no higher (if it was, it was only higher by a very negligible amount).

For clarity, this isn't meant to be some kind of scapegoating exercise to call for the pre-show's removal; I like the pre-show itself, even if I'm not a fan of the practicalities/implementation of it. I'm only curious because I'm a bit confused as to how the queue has begun moving more slowly if the pre-show doesn't have something to do with it.
 

Alastair

TS Team
Favourite Ride
Indiana Jones Adventure
The pre-show is stupidly overfilled these days for some reason. Which means it takes longer to start, because the hosts are fixated on shouting to cram more people in when there is inadequate space, and then when it finishes, people queue out of the door into the station, delaying the next batch of guests entering. Also on occasion the airgates are virtually empty as guests enter due to the poor efficiency of the pre-show.

It really should be that hard to get right, but somehow, it is!
 

D4n

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
Out of interest, would you guys say that Wicker Man's queue moves more slowly when they operate the pre-show?

I only ask because I noticed that on my most recent visit, I consistently waited about 45 minutes from midway through the zigzags within the first turnaround. When the ride was pre-show less in 2021, I seem to remember only waiting 25-30 minutes or so from the same point. I also remember the queue moving discernibly faster even though the ride throughput was no higher (if it was, it was only higher by a very negligible amount).

For clarity, this isn't meant to be some kind of scapegoating exercise to call for the pre-show's removal; I like the pre-show itself, even if I'm not a fan of the practicalities/implementation of it. I'm only curious because I'm a bit confused as to how the queue has begun moving more slowly if the pre-show doesn't have something to do with it.

Social distancing and quantity of fastrack / RAP are far more likely to be major contributing factors I think.

The pre show will make the queue slightly more stop-start but rarely results in significant loss of capacity.
 

Matt.GC

TS Member
Went on a quiet weekday a couple of weeks back and pre-show only seemed to be holding back throughput when it didn't matter, which was when there was very little queue. Both times when I did queue for it, all air gates were full with at least half the rows having 4 guests waiting in each. The show room itself wasn't as rammed as it normally is and everyone was able to get into the station and exit the room quite quickly. It seems there is a balance that can be achieved, but I have no idea how hard it is to manage.
 

Steve74

TS Member
It was a usefull batching exercise, that doesn't seem to be working anymore.
99% of riders have seen it by now, perhaps time for a change?
Absolutely not!! We complain when Merlin don't do much theming and immersiveness and now they have with the preshow, we want removed so we get on Wicker Man 2 minutes faster?

And yesterday, I sat next to a father Wickerman and for himself and his entire family it was their first time on it (in fact, as he was asking about other rides I think it was their first ever visit to Towers). So while I get your 99% figure is more for making a point, there are still a hell of a lot of people who have never been on Wicker Man and I suspect the % figure is much lower of those who have been on it.

I found the batching on it yesterday no different to other visits, in fact, bizarrely there was a distinct lack of RAP and fast pass queues across the park and the main queues of everything ran really quickly. So in the grand scheme of things for Wicker Man, it's not the preshow that causes delays in the main queue but the ratio of RAP/Fast pass to main queue merging that's the issue.
 

Matt N

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Mako (SeaWorld Orlando)
I don’t think the pre show needs to go, but I do think that it would be of considerable benefit if they made it a bit more organised. Maybe if they let an exact number into the pre show at once, batched people onto numbers, and had people line up on their numbers, it would be a bit more orderly and run a bit more smoothly?

It would keep the pre show running, but prevent the overfilling and the scrum that happens when people leave the room.
 
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