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Sam
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Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:41 am

First of all, a note to mods/admins: I know there is an official Th13teen forum, but I've been thinking about this topic for a while and think it is a serious issue enough that it deserves it's own topic. If it's possible, I'm wondering if the topic could get moved to that forum, but not merged with the general discussion topic as it is an issue I am really concerned about.

By now I'm guessing most people reading have ridden Th13teen. I have, and for the last week have been pondering something set off when I first saw someone having a panic attack being loaded into a paramedics car on Th13teen's opening day.

I'm worried that there may be serious health implications for a minority of people riding. No, I'm not just trying to further Morwenna's marketing myth-making rubbish. For 99.9% of visitors, Th13teen is harmless and no more physically demanding than any other coaster on park.

**spoiler alert**

I think the suddenness of the drop section could potentially have very grave consequences for a minority of guests. We all know people occasionally die on rollercoasters due to pre-existing medical conditions, I'm pretty sure it's happened on Nemesis and Oblivion. It's not frequent, but it's still a tragedy, but one that is entirely out of the parks control. Many things could set off a pre-existing medical condition besides rollercoasters.

Here's what's different about 13. I put it to you that there is no other ride in the world where such a high proportion of riders would be completely unaware of a major "shock" section. On nearly every other rollercoaster, including launchers, you can see exactly the movement of the ride from the queue. Indoor coasters are usually relatively tame without a "shock" jolt (Space Mountain, EuroSat, Space Invader). Rock 'n' Rollercoaster does have a launch, but you can clearly see it before you board and prepare yourself.

I guess it is one of the design triumphs, that even from the outside queue I'd still guess at least a third of the guests have no idea what's coming after the second lift, I frequently heard comments from people thinking they were merely re-entering the station. If there was someone who was prone to heart issues in that third, I think the completely unknown sudden shock could cause major damage to the heart, even a heart attack.

A University newsletter says this:
"John Hopkins" wrote:
Emotional shock really can lead to a broken heart. A study at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has demonstrated that sudden emotional stress can result in reversible heart failure... Often, what triggers a heart "break" is an incident far more traumatic than a minor disappointment. Rather, a traumatic event such as a breakup, the death of a loved one, or even the shock of a surprise party can provoke a heart attack in people who don't have heart disease and are otherwise healthy, researchers say.


I don't believe there are any other rides in the world where such a high number of riders are unaware of a major, sudden, and substantial physical shock to the system. Especially without adequate warning that there WILL be some sort of major shock. On Th13teen the warning sign is basically the same one no-one reads on all the other rides.

The only other example I can think of at a stretch could be Tower Of Terror, and I think at least 95% of riders are fully aware it's a drop tower. Even so, I found this:

"http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4604427/Teenager-sues-Disney-after-suffering-heart-attack-on-rollercoaster.html" wrote:
Teenager sues Disney after suffering heart attack on rollercoaster
A British teenager is suing Disney after she suffered a heart attack which left her brain-damaged while riding on one of its rollercoasters.

Leanne Deacon was 16 when she collapsed after riding the Tower of Terror ride at Disney-MGM studios in Florida during a family holiday.

The schoolgirl had complained of feeling shaky and light-headed when she got off the attraction and paramedics were called when her condition deteriorated further.

Her heart stopped while she was being rushed to hospital but doctors managed to resuscitate her.

However, despite extensive surgery, the youngster suffered brain damage, which means she cannot speak and needs 24-hour care.

Now, three years after the incident, Miss Deacon, 19, and her mother June, have filed a lawsuit in the United States seeking damages from Disney.

In the lawsuit, which is seeking more than £10,000, the Deacons, from Kibworth, Leicestershire, accuse Disney of negligence in the ride's design and operation.

They also claim Disney had failed to adequately warn of risks or provide adequate safety restraints.
They say Disney was operating the ride as a 'common carrier', which invokes a legal doctrine that would impose tougher liability standards in court than theme-park companies in Florida are usually asked to meet regarding safety.

The lawsuit asserts: "The defendant, acting as a common carrier, was required to use reasonable skill to provide everything necessary for safe transportation."

The lawsuit also claims that Miss Deacon was fit and healthy before going on the ride.

She collapsed into a coma after getting off the attraction in July 2005.

She suffered two heart attacks and after being flown back to England spent weeks in the brain injury ward at Leicester General Hospital.

The teenager lost the ability to speak and move and has received round the clock treatment.

The ride was temporarily closed following the incident. Disney World conducted a detailed inspection but determined that nothing had malfunctioned.

Having ridden both rides, I'd make three comparisons.
1. Tower Of Terror is much more clearly signposted about what will happen on the ride.
2. The intensity of the drops on TOT is nowhere near as intense as Th13teens.
3. A MUCH higher percentage of TOT riders will know what happens, as you can see the ride dropping from across the park.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on whether you think there are any major health dangers posed by the new ride. Also if there are any other similar ride experiences to this in the world, as I don't believe there are. I'm sorry this post was so long, it's just I am genuinely concerned about this and want someone to put my mind at ease. :)
 
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:46 am

"Sam""][quote=""John Hopkins" wrote:
Emotional shock really can lead to a broken heart. A study at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has demonstrated that sudden emotional stress can result in reversible heart failure... Often, what triggers a heart "break" is an incident far more traumatic than a minor disappointment. Rather, a traumatic event such as a breakup, the death of a loved one, or even the shock of a surprise party can provoke a heart attack in people who don't have heart disease and are otherwise healthy, researchers say.
[/quote]
I think the bit you've emboldened says it all, really - at most, in terms of shock, Thirteen's going to be about as deadly as a surprise birthday. I really don't see any need to add fuel to the already-roaring fire that Morwenna and co. created...
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:51 am

:shock: Are you serious? :?

If people have an existing heart condition then they should not be riding coasters anyway, and deserve everything they get if they are that stupid.

If it is an undiagnosed condition, then any old thing could set it off... and the ride is hardly to blame.

Hate to say this mate, but you're sounding a bit like Morwenna here.
 
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:05 am

The point still stands - there is no other ride in the world to my knowledge where such a high proportion of riders are completely unaware of a sudden, intense physical shock. Who knows how this will pan out.

I'd be interested to see the figures in a few years for how many people suffer from some sort of heart condition after riding compared to Alton's others...
 
Anonymous

Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:11 am

LOL Thread of the year so far.

Mate, seriously. You are odd

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
 
DiogoJ42

Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:12 am

Most of the GP seem rather unimpressed with the ride. There are a lot of people coming off saying it was :censored: That, to me, doesn't say the ride is too intense. As someone who hates drop towers, I found it to be quite gentle.

The kind of people who are going to panic about this ride are the same ones who will panic over any ride. Oblivion is infinitely scarier, and I don't see that giving people heart attacks.
 
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:14 am

:shock: I hope this is a joke? if not, you want to know what I think? I think you've read waaaaaay too much into this... considering its barely a thrill coaster, consider the stresses other coasters/rides put on your body...

No park would install a ride designed to hurt people... You think millions of pounds of development went into a ride for it to physically or psychlogically harm people?! I rode it 10 times over opening meet, im fine. I will ride it over and over again without fear of complications, and if I was going to worry about a ride (which im not) it wont be this one.

Maybe you could compile a census on the dangers of crashing on motorways next :roll:

Closed case for me.
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:20 am

^ AMEN!



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Sam
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:22 am

"zs_chris" wrote:
:shock: I hope this is a joke? if not, you want to know what I think? I think you've read waaaaaay too much into this... considering its barely a thrill coaster, consider the stresses other coasters/rides put on your body...

No park would install a ride designed to hurt people... You think millions of pounds of development went into a ride for it to physically or psychlogically harm people?! I rode it 10 times over opening meet, im fine. I will ride it over and over again without fear of complications, and if I was going to worry about a ride (which im not) it wont be this one.

I hope your post was a joke.

I quite clearly pointed out my concern was aimed at people who DIDN'T know the drop was coming, not you (an enthusiast) who knew there was definitely something coming. It's also not aimed at the 99% of those people who are in good physical health.

I never said they designed it to hurt people, I'm just concerned there may be a higher-than-average amount of medical conditions aggravated by this ride.
 
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:37 am

I too saw somebody being carried off on Thursday, looked she was having an asmer attack. I was quite annoyed by the fact that person had caused operations to grind to a halt, as I'd rode Th13teen the previous day with Kryn and found it to be utterly tame. I remember thinking they should have taken her well out of the way instead of leaving her in the station where she would draw attention.

Given that the drop is no where near as sudden as Extremis, I cannot see the cause for concern. What about scarefect/scaremaze shocks? It's what people go for, more fool them if they can't handle it.
 
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zs chris
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:40 am

Actually I reframed from seeing or looking at anything to do with the ride before going on it, and asked everyone not to tell me (somehow I managed it). Upon going on the ride I had no idea what was going to happen, and the shock was much less than any other drop ride ive been on.. And i've been on a fair few.

The ride has warnings outside, they're not designed for everyone, yes tragedies do happen but H&S is so stringent in this country, any accident is a pure fluke. Nothing potentially fatal or damaging would ever be released to the general public!

You really think scare mazes would be allowed to operate if this was a major problem? :roll:

Should I be worried about the next 4D show I go into for the first time? come on...
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:49 am

I think you're reading a little too much into it Sam to be honest mate.

I also think you're not give enough credit to the human brain and body. yes the ride gives a sudden shock but many will either know about it or have worked out your not going to go back of the building, you'd be surprised just how much data your brain can process in a short time and most of it subconscious.

Wether you're expecting it or not the effect is not that dissimilar to the likes of Apocalypse say. you can clearly see the ride drops but you still don't expect it to affect you as much as it does when you;re on it. You still get that sudden shock despite you know it's going to happen. Th1rteen is a short burst of shock and fear and really doesn't give your mind enough time to really evoke that much fear. If it were to plummet 100ft then maybe it would be a different ball game but the fact it doesn't means it's not really going to effect people as much as you think it will.

I rode it a few times over that weekend and the drop still came as a shock. it's got nothing to do with you not knowing it's coming it has to with the fact your mind process's it as danger and out of the norm but then every coaster is designed to do that anyway, Th13teen is no different.
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:56 am

In my opinion 13 is a really good roller coaster and a nice addition to Alton Towers, but just not thrilling enough! The only real hardcore thrill factor in the ride for me is the drop section, but compare that to Towers' (still) flagship ride, Nemesis, and it doesn't even compare in terms of thrill. Perhaps your theory would be right if the drop was a half decent 200 ft drop. But as it stands it's just far to tame. I've been on many drop towers and even though I know what’s going to happen next, I can safely say the thrill factor on those evil things is far much worse than the drop section on 13.

When people go on a ride, they surely must go on knowingly to expect the unexpected?! Because isn't that why people pay to go on rides in the first place?! Tbh, that's actually why I never followed the construction of the coaster on here, because I actively like the unexpected thrill. Otherwise what's the point? I didn't know what was going to happen when I was on the ride 13, but I had a good guess at it when the train rolled into and stopped in the drop section. It's just too obvious! Just to also point out, let’s not forget the small juddery drop or warm up drop before the main drop to the ground. Perhaps this is just for the thrill, or maybe it's there as I say, just as a warm up and to pre-warn riders of what’s coming next.
 
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:04 am

"zs_chris" wrote:
No park would install a ride designed to hurt people... You think millions of pounds of development went into a ride for it to physically or psychlogically harm people?!

8-[

Let the conspiracy theories begin :twisted:

:P
 
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:18 am

Oh for the love of all things sane... in my opinion the most terrifying part of thirteen was the queue! not to mention the fact that when i arrived on Saturday i was devastated to find the silly thing closed as it was and had been experiencing technical difficulty's for 48 hours and they were flying in the designer or something to sort it out. The announcement was made that it was open at aprox 1.45, half the park started running in its direction. Not me i stayed right were i was in the line for oblivion (still by far the best in the park).

Re this health risk you speak of i think the only people it poses a serious threat to are people already on their death beds and very young children who scare easy. I was aware of the exact motion i was to experience and i am happy with how it turned out. It far from lives up to the hype and is nothing like a psycho coaster (unless you have severe mental health issue's already) but despite this it is still a great ride which i very much enjoyed.

I SURVIVED 13

AND SO WILL EVERYONE ELSE! wmsl!
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:28 am

"Sam" wrote:
The point still stands - there is no other ride in the world to my knowledge where such a high proportion of riders are completely unaware of a sudden, intense physical shock. Who knows how this will pan out.

I'd be interested to see the figures in a few years for how many people suffer from some sort of heart condition after riding compared to Alton's others...


Have you never heard of the Tower of Terror. When that first opened not many people knew what it did. I remember going on that the year it opened, I was about 6 years old, back then it just to do just one big drop down. That never killed me. We had no idea before we went on what it did. Granted I was young and don't remember much.

But the point is, this isn't the first and it wont be the last...
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:35 am

Alton Towers do have signs advising people not to ride if they suffer from certain medical conditions. As for those unknown heart conditions, well these could kill you anytime, it would just be rather unfortunate (bad luck :shock: :?: ), if it were to happen on Thirteen. I'm not sure how to get round it. Do you tell everyone what happens and spoil the surprise?

Surely we haven't come so far down the rode of litigation and nanny state that people really do have to sign their life away before riding and are given counselling afterwards to come to terms with the shock. :lol:

Just for the record, I believe the person carted away on the paramedics car became ill in the queueline, not on or after the ride. Also, we have all seen the same paramedics car taking people away from Nemesis, Air, Oblivion, Squirrel Nutty even.

I'm sure it is nothing to worry about Sam. :D
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:49 am

While I'm afraid I have to agree that your post is slightly over dramatic, I must at least congratulate you on making such a quality post. Something that could potentially ignite some proper discussion around here. Sure, free Sun tickets and Ripsaw's increasing weariness need discussed, but they're hardly stimulating.

Surely by riding a ride with a 'secret' section, you're kind of expecting the unexpected, hence preparing yourself for all eventualities when the car rolls to a halt. Please don't lose any sleep over this mate :P
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Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:51 am

"Sam" wrote:

The only other example I can think of at a stretch could be Tower Of Terror, and I think at least 95% of riders are fully aware it's a drop tower. Even so, I found this:

"http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/4604427/Teenager-sues-Disney-after-suffering-heart-attack-on-rollercoaster.html" wrote:
Teenager sues Disney after suffering heart attack on rollercoaster
A British teenager is suing Disney after she suffered a heart attack which left her brain-damaged while riding on one of its rollercoasters.

Leanne Deacon was 16 when she collapsed after riding the Tower of Terror ride at Disney-MGM studios in Florida during a family holiday.





Having ridden both rides, I'd make three comparisons.
1. Tower Of Terror is much more clearly signposted about what will happen on the ride.
2. The intensity of the drops on TOT is nowhere near as intense as Th13teens.
3. A MUCH higher percentage of TOT riders will know what happens, as you can see the ride dropping from across the park.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on whether you think there are any major health dangers posed by the new ride. Also if there are any other similar ride experiences to this in the world, as I don't believe there are. I'm sorry this post was so long, it's just I am genuinely concerned about this and want someone to put my mind at ease. :)


It is quite obvious that TOT is a drop ride. If you look at it you see the elevator drop.
That article you've quoted is awful too. TOT is not in anyway a rollercoaster!

I will make some comparisons having NOT ridden 13 (yet, I'm going tomorrow)

1. The ADVERTS for 13 show it dropping?!?
2. How is a sudden 13 story drop less intense than a sudden 20ft drop?
3. Do agree with you on that point.

TBH I think you'rfe over-reacting.
 
Anonymous

Re: Serious public health concerns regarding Th13teen.

Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:15 pm

"Sam" wrote:
[b].
2. The intensity of the drops on TOT is nowhere near as intense as Th13teens.


What? Really?

Having ridden both, I'd say being repeatedly plunged up and down a 130ft lift shaft on TOT is WAY more intense than a piddly 20ft drop on 13.

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