Buckle your seatbelts, DO NOT pull down your lap bar!

First off, we at CGA Insider have decided to branch out and spotlight other parks in the bay area. We will continue to primarily focus on Great America but would like to start sharing happenings at other local parks in the Bay Area and California.

Coasters in California have been undergoing some changes this past week. So far it is only known to have happened at the two Six Flags parks being Magic Mountain and Discovery Kingdom. Several rides at SFMM previously operated without seatbelts to aid the already existing lap bars or shoulder restraints. Last weekend it was discovered that SFMM's Goliath received an additional seatbelt, as well as Colossus, the park's wooden roller coaster. Yesterday, SFMM's newest coaster Full Throttle opened to guests with these extra seatbelts, in which Blogger "The Coaster Guy" checked out today. You can check out his page for specifics on how it affected the day at SFMM.

Joining SFMM with the seatbelt craze was Discovery Kingdom (SFDK). SFDK reopened for weekend operation 11/23/13 for the upcoming Holiday in the Park and the park's newest coaster operated for the first time with the said seatbelts.

Be safe and buckle up!
© 2013 CGA Insider

Lines were short that day and we went to take in our first ride of the day...Not so fast though! When we got up to the platform, the grouper instructed us to sit down, buckle our seat belts, but DO NOT pull down our lap bars. An attendant would walk by and physically check (and tug) on our belts to make sure they're snug, then pull down our lap bars for us and check them. Unfortunately two things have happened: dispatch times have nearly doubled. While this ride has averaged between 30-45 second dispatches, we clocked 1:20 dispatch times. This was the first day using them however and both guests and employees are adjusting to this new policy. The other thing that's happened: discomfort while riding. Superman (and even Full Throttle, which uses the same rolling stock as they are both Premier Rides coasters) is known for its strong negative g-forces. With a snugged belt, pinching feelings have been felt between the one's belt, and the ride's buckle, with one's stomach between it. The lapbar above forces the buckle downward causing that said discomfort. Other not-so-pleasant moments consisted of the seat belt's belt itself digging into riders' thighs when coming down the vertical drop.
Buckle up...but leave your lap bars alone...we will pull to down for you.
©2013 CGA Insider

On a more pleasant note, (shown above) Superman's trains were set up with new aluminum fins much like its cousin down south. Previously it had plastic fins that were cracking and being held together with electrical tape. Riders often bumped into them including myself, only helping contributing to cracked fins. We are glad to see something more solid added to the ride.

So why have these seatbelts suddenly popped up at the Six Flags properties? Some believe it's a response to Cal OSHA, in response to the tragic event that occured at Six Flags Over Texas and the Texas Giant. The question remains...is this a Six Flags chain wide policy or is it Cal OSHA's response to something that happened outside of their state?

Stay tuned as we find out more! Be sure to follow us at facebook.com/CGAInsider!

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