Monday, September 9, 2013

Cedar Fair moves a Windseeker- The Media Goes Stupid


At this point in time, I'm pretty sure that most everyone knows what a "Windseeker" is. I'm also fairly sure most people can look at this unique ride and easily identify it. Everyone, except for the national news media, who are obviously not very bright.

 Those of us in the theme park/amusement park world knew that when World's of Fun in Kansas City, Missouri announced 'Steelhawk' that it was the 'Windseeker' ride from Knott's Berry Farms. It's move just hadn't been confirmed yet.  We also knew it was one of the three original prototypes of this now iconic Cedar Fair ride made by Mondial.

 However, the news media isn't bright enough to put this simple puzzle together.

 Within the last few days they JUST realized what we knew at the end of August. Maybe they need to listen to people who know what their talking about more? Wait, knowing how they operate, they'd just mess that up too! They've been stiring up the shit-pot announcing such fun headlines as "Shuttered Calif Ride to Move to Missouri Park" and "Knott's Berry Farm To Move Troubled Ride".


Windseeker at Cedar Point 2012
 Yes, Windseekers have had their problems. I dare you to show me a prototype or original design ride out there that hasn't had issues someplace along the way. The 'Windseeker' line has never killed anyone, they've gotten stuck which is annoying as hell but not exactly deadly to your average Joe Q. Public rider.

 I've been stuck on rides before, sometimes for minutes and others for over an hour. It's highly aggravating and can get vastly boring but I wasn't injured, just inconvenienced. Now if you have anything that could be a medical or mental issue due to a ride stop, this could be a real problem but otherwise it's no worse then waiting in rush hour traffic without air conditioning.


Evac Platform at Kings Dominion from Theme Park Review
 Since then Cedar Fair has installed 'Evacuation platforms' which will evacuate guests in case of an emergency stop in the ride. That is what the news means when they say "voluntarily shut down"it wasn't because the rides are unsafe, it was to instal those exact same 'evacuation platforms'.

Due to California and their endless coddling of the paranoid and panicky, the Knott's Berry's Windseeker never got a chance to re-open and prove itself safe. The other Windseeker clones have operated just fine with their platforms in place but like any ride with major height involved, they are subject to weather conditions like wind and rain. To hear the news talk, this just extrudes a lack of safety. Trust me when I say you wouldn't want to be spinning around 300 feet in the air while doing 30 miles an hour in the rain! Rain + Speed = OUCH

 Now I'm not a huge fan of Windseekers myself. Yes, I've ridden several of them and they are fun, you can get some really amazing views from the top. But folks, it's just a really tall swing ride.

 What does annoy the hell out of me is when the news media purposely tries to scare people by hinting that something isn't safe when it's history shows otherwise.