...As I see it
How many of us in exchange for only a bottle of water and a snack would have been glad to spend hours doing pre-opening ride testing?
tHIS IS WHY i LIKE TO WAIT A FEW MONTHS AFTER OPENING IT GIVES TIME FOR THE KINKS TO BE WORKED OUT AND LINES TO DIE DOWN.
I don't understand the concept of "stress test" and how they couldn't be prepared for the "unexpected demand." Whether the line is 30 min or 300 min, aren't the cars just continuously cycling through the attraction anyways? Even if there was some miracle and 1/10th of the expected crowds hit RSR, the attraction would still be operating at the same rate, wouldn't it?
It's not like BTMRR or Screamin' where they take trains off the track for low demand times, close down a side, etc - just like Indy, there will always be a full group of cars waiting at the station and a full group of people waiting to sit in them. And regardless of how high the demand is, the attraction will always operate at the same rate from opening until closing. So how can this not be anticipated before opening? The only thing that "unusually high demand" impacts is the wait time and number of people in front of you.
Not sure if its the animatronics or the ride/safety mechanism itself that are most problematic and causing the shutdowns, but many of these things could have been more thoroughly tested and wouldn't have required 50,000 people.
The attraction isn't breaking down it's auto e-stopping. From what I heard it's because cars get to close to each other and the system shuts down to prevent collision.
In fact, unless someone has inside information from Disney on why RSR is breaking down (assuming that Disney itself knows), and how frequently it is breaking down, all reasons advanced in this thread must remain speculation. For that reason, comparisons to the breakdown rates in other rides as an argument that RSR's breakdown rate is normal, are also speculation.
The only certainty is that none of us knows why it is breaking down, how often it is breaking down, what it will take to fix it, and when it will be fixed.
Cascading is a definite reason for many breakdowns. As a ride op myself, I can't begin to tell you how the guest element can just completely change an operation. The majority of guests will get on and off like any other normal people, these are the kind you usually see. But every now and then there are foreign tourists... and I don't mean that as in "non-American", I mean that as totally foreign to this kind of ride, or even to this kind of theme park... or even theme parks in general. Simply put is that they don't get exactly what is going on and what is expected of them, and if there's a language barrier then that just won't help things. I've seen some sit down in the totally wrong place and despite my hand gestures, and the aid of an assist they won't move, completely oblivious or unsure. The common reaction from their group to us is an apology and that this is the person's first visit to a theme park.
And of course children, who are 100% unpredictable. Today while at the RSR station the line wasn't moving. Why? Because a screaming, crying kid had to be removed from the ride. You just never know when their brains are going to suddenly switch to panic mode, not to mention figuring out a seatbelt or plain wriggling around when they shouldn't.
This doesn't include just the random things you will see. Lots of people come to a theme park, lots of very, very unique people. That's the core element of the human race, and it comes along with a ton of unpredictability.
Riding RSR for the first time yesterday, I can very much see that being the issue. (from what I found out, the ride broke down twice in the course of that day... once I waited a mere 15 minutes for it to come back online) Yes, we will never know for sure, because CMs will never ever openly admit what caused the breakdown to a guest, but it sounds like the most plausible one.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining at all - to the contrary I highly commend the CMs and Imagineers for being able to pull off designing and operating such complex attractions (and extra kudos to the CMs for keeping smiles on their faces despite the onslaught of hot and tired guests).
I guess I just don't get why the timing of variable guest loading wasn't already figured into the equation during the testing process. Improper ride timing has been an issue with Indy since the 90s and I would have thought more "foolproof" fail-safes would have been factored in when designing this attraction 17 years later. Oh well, it is what it is - still looking forward to riding (been waiting 2 years for this one ;-)
I just have to wonder at what point does TDA begin to worry about what might become a chronic problem. Not sure how much Indy really went down in the first 2-3 weeks, but I don't think that RSR has hit a four hour stretch yet when they haven't broken down. Am I wrong in thinking this? I've been to Carsland several times during the past couple of weeks and each time RSR has either just come back on line or has broken down while I was there. I sat in front of Flo's this morning just watching the cars zoom by and the ride made it from 7 AM opening (Early admission) to 8:45 AM before biting the dust. If the problem is a frequent E stop, should they just run less cars on the track so they don't get backed up? Or can they redesign the computer so that it doesn't take an HOUR to reboot and start over? Doesn't that seem like a ridiculously long time to reset and start again?
I guess I'm just saying that I'm a bit concerned. Maybe they've got this under control and will have the bugs worked out over the next month or so, but those lines are LOOOOONG every day, and if they keep losing several hours a day due to breakdowns, many, MANY people aren't going to make it on that ride this Summer. :(