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  1. #46

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    i didnt mention this before but...

    when my mom and i were riding buzz lightyear at wdw the ride broke down and all the lights went up... it was awesome because we were in that swirly tunnel thing when the ride went down and the tunnel was completely white.. the one bad part was that our scores got completely erased.

  2. #47

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    I am new here but had to post........

    4 years ago we got stuck on what was then "Countdown to Extinction".... The ride had been closed and we waited and was the first group to go when it reopened.....The ride must have stopped at least 4 times during our ride. Each time emergency lights came on and we could see everything inside. It looked completely different, also seeing the exit signs and doors really brought you back to reality....

  3. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Motorboat Cruiser
    I've been stuck in the battle scene on and, much to my dismay, they did turn the lights on. While it was interesting to see it, I wish I hadn't. I won't go into the "why" as that might ruin it for someone else. It just kind of spoiled the show, if you know what I mean.
    See, now you've perked my interest! LOL tell us! :-)
    "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill
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    "We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." - Edward R. Murrow
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    "It's far easier to fight for your principles than it is to live up to them." - Adelai Stephenson
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    Reason for the Season? Tilt of the planet's axis. Oh, you meant the holiday season? That's easy - Feast of Saturnalia. Disagree? That's nice.

  4. #49

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    On my last trip to Disneyland we got stopped on POTC in between the two drops. Someone jumped from the back of a boat into the empty boat in front of us. They stopped the ride and told everyone to stay seated, but the guy got out of the boat and walked through the scenery towards the exit. Five minutes later a bunch of CMs came by looking for the guy we told them where he went, and spent the next twenty minutes singing off key to Yo Ho Yo Ho a pirates life for me. I pity the poor people that had to hear that.
    It's like i'm talking to a monkey, a really really big stupid monkey named Kronk.

  5. #50

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    I've been stopped on the matterhorn and the CMs had to come give everyone a push start. On my most recent trip to Disneyland, I got stopped and evacuated from Big Thunder Mountain. That was kind of fun. My goals are to be evacuated from PotC (but only in the scene with the Pirate ship shooting at the fort), Haunted Mansion, Indiana Jones, Jungle Cruise, Splash Mountain, and Peter Pan.

  6. #51

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    We were stuck on Tower or Terror, which made for a pretty terrifying experience. The lights came on and we got a pretty cool "behind-the-scenes" look at all the special effects.

    Unfortunately, it wasn't handled very well. We sat in complete darkness for about 5 minutes. And then the lights came on with nothing more than an announcement not to leave our seats for our own safety. I was seated close enough to the edge to look over the side and see that we were only about 3 feet off the ground. And I thought about climbing out anyway, but it'd be just my luck for the floor to drop out as soon as I did.

    So we sat there hoping everything was all right. Eventually they announced that the ride was about to start back up and we rode it with the lights on. As we exited the ride, we were told we could ride it again with no waiting due to the inconvenience. About 1/2 of us decided to try our luck again. (I'd have walked but my wife really loves ToT.)

    Hats off to the CM who seated us. He was a pro - always in character. He even had a great off-the-cuff quip about the incident. In his best creepy voice (which was really, really creepy) he said, "Enjoy your ride. Hopefully this one will be shorter." Well, it was his delivery that sold it. Soon, we had forgotten the ordeal and were screaming our heads off.

    In retrospect, it was really cool to see behind the curtain. But at the time, it was not a pleasant experience at all.

  7. #52

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    OMG, on our last trip, DD and I were stuck on test track just when you are doing the high speed laps. We went from 63 mph to 0 . our car was kind of tilted sideways. I was scared another car was going to come and hit us from behind! Pretty soon it started up again. I was also stuck in the COP for what seemed like an eternity in the fall scene. "Its a great big beautiful tomorrow..."

  8. #53

    • Channeling Walt
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    Respect the machinery!

    Quote Originally Posted by innerSpaceman
    We had to squeeze past our frozen safety bars, climb out of our mine car back a ways and go "rescue" her. Loads of fun. I love 101.
    There's a reason that there's a safety bar. Even if the ride has stopped, you don't know how long it's going to be stopped for or what else it might do. Guests are lulled into a false sense of security by the bright colors, fanciful shapes, and the woefully incorrect belief that "nothing can happen to us, we're at Disneyland". The reality is, you're dealing with heavy machinery which will crush, maim, and potentially even kill you. Ask Brandon Zucker. Oh, wait, you can't. Last I heard he was severely brain damaged by one of these simple, "harmless" rides. You're generally quite safe as long as you remain where you belong, but take my advice, respect the machinery!

    Same goes for your Skyway experiences. If you rock those hard enough, they can come off the cable. They're just "sitting" on the cable with a small clamp holding them in place. If you swing them far enough, it can be enough to snap that clip.

    I don't mean to sound like a spoil-sport here, but having worked for Disney, I gained a whole new appreciation and respect for the heavy machinery that comprise the ride systems.

    G7

  9. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by thedisneyman
    They left all of the music on for a while and then turned on all of the lights. The music then went off and each car was manually driven by a maintenance man through the entire attraction to the movie room
    I'm surprised to not see more stories of being evacuated from Universe of Energy. It's a very complex ride system, and as such, tends to be failure-prone. Still, the more frequent cause of Energy 101's, is that guests will jump out thinking because it's slow-moving, it's very benign. See my comments about "respecting the machinery". You don't want to get run over by a vehicle the size of my living room! They have sensors on the front bumpers that are supposed to stop them if they hit an obstruction, but I'm not one for testing them with life and limb (the sensors have also been known to fail and to be disabled). The vehicles also make lateral motions for which there is no sensor.

    Manually driving the vehicles is known as "REPO" for "REPOsition". Been there, done that (driven them myself, that is). It's a little nerve-wracking, but fun, and interesting to watch the guests' reactions.

    For more on REPO, why they do it, how they do it, and.... well, everything you ever wanted to know about Universe of Energy and more, go here:

    http://www.energy.planet7.org/

    G7

  10. #55

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    I dreamed it, I did it, They killed it. :(

    I was evacuated from Horizons (R.I.P.) once. For a detailed account--and photos--visit The Horizons Tribute:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheHorizonsTribute/

    G7
    Last edited by Planet7; 02-23-2005 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Added title

  11. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wendy
    Heh heh- I forgot to mention that our boat got stuck- repeatedly- on IASW. We had to push it along, and we were all surprised
    How did you "push it along"?

    G7

  12. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lebeau
    Unfortunately, it wasn't handled very well. We sat in complete darkness for about 5 minutes. And then the lights came on with nothing more than an announcement not to leave our seats for our own safety.
    How would you like to have seen it handled differently? It sounds pretty SOP to me. They need time to assess the situation and see what's involved in getting the ride moving again. Unless there's an emergency, that's always the preferred approach. Evacuations are a last resort on any attraction, as they're messy and pose potential safety risks. The warnings to stay in your seat are also standard, and it's very, very good advice!

    G7

  13. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Planet7
    How would you like to have seen it handled differently? It sounds pretty SOP to me. They need time to assess the situation and see what's involved in getting the ride moving again. Unless there's an emergency, that's always the preferred approach. Evacuations are a last resort on any attraction, as they're messy and pose potential safety risks. The warnings to stay in your seat are also standard, and it's very, very good advice!

    G7
    Oh, I'm sure it was. It's just that information was doled out in very small and infrequent doses. We spent a lot of time sitting there in the darkness with no information. No word as to whether or not anyone was even aware we were suspended in the shaft. And when they did say something it was just, "Don't get out of your seat." A little more assurance (given how long we were there) would have been appreciated. Many in the car were in a near-panic state.

    I'm sure a text summary doesn't do it justice, but we were genuinely concerned for our well-being. That should never be the case. I wish I could tell you how long we were up there and how long we waited for some word from the crew, but it was some time ago and I'm sure it seemed longer to me than it actually was. Regardless, I know that my wife and I were not alone in feeling that the whole thing was handled poorly and walked away with a very bad impression.

    Fortunately, as I mentioned, the cast member who loaded the ride made up for it with his charm. Hats off to that guy.

  14. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lebeau
    No word as to whether or not anyone was even aware we were suspended in the shaft. And when they did say something it was just, "Don't get out of your seat." A little more assurance (given how long we were there) would have been appreciated.
    Thanks for expanding on that Lebeau. What you described was in my experience, absolutely "SOP" (Standard Operating Procedure), so I genuinely wanted to know your impression and what could have been done differently. As it happens, your detailed account also sounds very SOP, but I also can certainly understand your concerns--especially on a ride like Tower! It's one thing to be stuck in something like It's a Small World, and something else entirely to be stuck in the drop shaft of TZ Tower.

    In my ride evac experience with Horizons--which I detailed on The Horizons Tribute (and can repeat here if anyone's interested)--I expressed my own concerns that it could have been handled better. We were left waiting for a long time, and when we finally were evacuated, we saw Cast Members only very briefly. I came to understand later why they'd done it as they had, but that's of little consolation to a guest in that position.

    For what it's worth, I'd like to offer my perspective on how things work. I never worked TZ Tower, but I suspect that much of what I will say applies there. When a ride first goes down, they're often not even aware of exactly why, or if it can be brought back up quickly. This of course will vary from one ride system to another, as some are able to offer more detailed diagnostics than others. They generally will try to make some kind of determination before making any kind of announcement, as they don't want to disrupt the "show" any more than necessary if the ride can be brought back online. The relatively unusual exception to that is Universe of Energy. When that ride stops, there is no simple restart. There will be an evacuation, no ands ifs or buts. Others however--especially Omnimovers, boat rides, and some others--can be restarted, provided there's not a mechanical failure that would prevent it. Once they've made a determination that the ride will not be restarting, they'll turn on the worklights. If you ever see worklights come on, you generally can expect to be evacuated. Their biggest priority throughout all this--see my message "Respect the Machinery!" above--is to keep guests seated. I have to agree with you that keeping them calm and informed can go a ways to ensuring that they do remain seated, that they don't panic and try go get out on their own. Many Cast Members unfortunately are ill-prepared for that, and they're also usually quite limited in what they can and cannot say. On many rides, there's also a lot of ground to cover with very few people.

    I remember once working Journey Into Imagination, and after being down for a few minutes, we were sent to walk the track and tell guests to remain seated. That announcement had already been made over the "All Ride" PA, but as I'm sure you can appreciate, it's good to see a human being. We also thought we were going to have to evacuate (which we didn't), so it was the next step before that. The problem is, with only a complement of people sufficient to operate the ride, that doesn't allow for too many people for things like walking the track. We really didn't have the time to spend with guests, answering questions or offering a detailed explanation of what's going on. There really wasn't much I could have said anyway, beyond "We're having technical difficulties"--which of course was already apparent! I could not even say the word "evacuate", as in "We may be evacuating you shortly", as that word can cause guests to panic. I was furious in fact when the idiot at the console spieled to the ride "Don't begin evacauting!" when they realized that a restart was possible.

    The Cast Members are also often limited in what they're authorized to do, and where they can go. During one of Energy's many downtimes, I was in the Primeval Diorama (we used to walk behind the vehicles to monitor the guests; it's now done with closed-circuit monitors). In that position, I was not allowed to leave that area with the ride down. The six Traveling Theater vehicles were strewn through the Diorama, and I first went down the line asking everyone to remain seated, and offering that I'd be back in a moment to answer any questions. I did just that, making another a round, but it's more time-consuming than you might expect. In the meantime, a small child had been frightened by the sounds of the dinosaurs. The audio is supposed to be muted during a 101, but each time you hit a PA button for the Diorama, after you release it, the audio comes back on. The Theater 1 operator (who was in the position to do that spiel) apparently forgot that, or was just lazy. They couldn't hear the audio due to the foot-thick show doors between the theater and Diorama, and I had no way of communicating with them. The child's father became irate, threatening me, insisting that he be allowed to leave. I could have escorted him and the child out, but not without leaving the others behind, which of course I wasn't allowed to do--as they could have jumped out in the interim, and gotten into all sorts of danger. It got pretty tense, before supervisors and other operators finally came to assist.

    It generally takes time to get an evac crew together and get permission from supervisors or managers to even do an evac. After that, depending on the ride, there may be other procedures slowing and complicating the process. I never experienced this at Disney (they may do it on the thrill rides), but Busch Gardens has in place an excellent--though slow--system by which every employee who's going into a "ride restricted area"--that is, where they're potentially in the path of machinery--must apply their own lock to the E-Stop and take the key. The e-stop cannot be pulled up--and the ride cannot be restarted--without everyone and their keys accounted for. I have to suspect that at ride like TZ Tower, they must employ safety measures such as this. And it may be difficult to access some areas, such as the drop shafts.

    Guidelines generally require either an evac or walking the track within around 15 minutes of a ride going down, if at all possible, to mitigate the chances of a guest jumping out on their own. But again, even after that process begins, it can take a few minutes if there is a lot of ground to cover.

    I know that this information doesn't make your experience at the time any better, but I hope it offers some insight. And by all means, I would recommend expressing to management or Guest Relations how you felt and why. They need to be aware that guests are panicking. It's "Bad Show" and it's also a serious safety issue, if a panicking guest tries to get out on their own. A guy was killed like that a couple of years ago on Splash Mountain.

    I'm glad at least that the CM who you encountered after that experience was able to turn it around for you. That's what a good CM does, and indeed, hats off to him!

    G7

  15. #60

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    Hey P7,

    Wow. Thanks for the detailed info. That did shed some light on the subject for me. Now I know what was going on during all that downtime. Come to think of it, I would estimate the whole ordeal took close to 15 minutes (though it felt longer). Had it gone on much longer, we probably would have had an evacuation as the work lights had been on for some time.

    In retrospect, the whole thing turned out just fine in the end. We really enjoyed the ride (it's still my wife's favorite) and I liked the behind-the-scenes glimpse of the special effects even if I didn't care for the circumstances under which we saw them. A little more communication would have gone a long way towards calming our frayed nerves, but I can see why they would be hesitant in using words like "evac". It sounds like the cast members did everything they could have done.

    I probably should have provided some feedback while we were there. Both about my concerns and about all the positives we saw while we were in the World. The positives far outweighed the negatives while we were there. And with the exception of one cast member at the photo shop on Main Street, everyone really went above and beyond. I've spent a lot of time in customer service myself, and I was impressed how most everytime something went wrong (and that's unavoidable) the cast members really shone.

    Another example was the first night we were there. My wife was hungry and tired and frankly rather irritable. Our day hadn't gone exactly according to plan as we were still orienting ourselves. We arrived at AK as it was closing. Went to MK as all the restaurants closed. Then we headed over to the Studios for a bite to eat. Well, the waitress at the Prime time was just fantastic. Yes, she did the whole act for us and all the other customers. But realizing my wife was having a rough day, she just sat and talked with us for close to 20 minutes! And it didn't feel like a stranger sitting at your table, she was that good.

    It's funny, I'm sure that the cast members we encountered have no idea what an impression they made on us. But there are a handful that really colored our experience. We went to WDW for our honeymoon and I wasn't real keen on the idea at the time. We mostly went because my wife is a lifelong Mickey Mouse fan. But after all the great experiences we had there, I'm a bigger WDW fan than she is and I recommend vacations there to everyone I know.

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