In my diary for Thursday, I commented that Walibi Sud-Ouest was overpriced. The tickets, though expensive, were nevertheless cheaper than Walibi Rhône-Alpes, where a single day admission costs twenty five euro. This money clearly hasn't been used on staff efficiency, but more on that later.
The operation of Boomerangs follows a standard pattern all around the world, with one exception, and that exception can be found at Walibi Rhône-Alpes. At the end of Boomerang (#900), when the train should be stopping in the station, it doesn't. Rather, it is slowed just enough to prevent it re-entering the boomerang element for a second time. Riders in the front of the train almost enjoy an additional inversion, while those in the back an additional large drop. Amazingly, just as with Walibi Sud-Ouest, this particular installation was actually comfortable. Maybe the Walibi engineers know something that everyone else doesn't!
Zig Zag (#901) had a twenty minute wait, but given its capacity this was hardly surprising, and not the parks fault. However, the operator on Coccinelle des Andes (#902) was entirely to blame for the thirty five minute wait, during which an amazing seven trains were dispatched. After the third cycle I decided to time the events with a stopwatch, so here they are for posterity:
- 0:00: Train arrives in station.
- 0:10: Lap bars released. Riders begin to unload.
- 0:56: Unload complete. Operator begins walking back to entrance.
- 1:14: Operator allows first people through entrance.
- 2:52: Gate is shut. Three cars are empty.
- 3:15: Operator begins checking lap bars.
- 3:38: Train dispatched.
- 4:48: Train arrives in station.
What makes this so ridiculous was the fact that the station was equipped with air gates, making it entirely reasonable to get two people standing at each of these while the train was out on course. Given the above this could probably have doubled throughput, if not more.