I think if you are stuck on a ride for longer than 30 minutes you should get (at the least) a free meal or part of your ticket price refunded.
There are times when I think excessive compensation is required like sitting in the blazing sun while waiting to be evacuated or if there is a water element involved. Rides like small world, no. Rides like a looping rollercoaster in florida during August, yes.
Free passes to come back, meal passes in the park, behind the scene tours, reservations, etc., I think are all valid compensation items. Things that add value are what we always tried to use with guests before anything else was considered. Cash is not an option IMO.
On the other hand, my son's phone flew OUT of his pocket when we were on Tower of Terror at DHS and found it's way through probably the ONE open area of the car and went hurtling 30 feet or more to be smashed to smithereens at the bottom of the elevator shaft. It was the first ride of the day and he was SO upset that he couldn't even think straight and just wanted to get out of the park. I went to Guest Services and they voided that day's entry on our multi-day tickets so a whole day wouldn't be wasted. They also mailed back the dozens of little pieces of his phone several weeks later.
The first time it happened we were automatically given express passes to return later, in which I thought was awesome and just. We then decided to try it again as our last ride of the day....bad idea. To our surprise and dismay for my niece it happens again. Since there were two hrs left until the park closes they tried offering another express pass, sorry but we absolutely had to leave after this ride and the extra 20 min we waited to get evacuated already had me in hot waters with my sister.
I was then advised to go to guest services. So, after calming my sister down I went there. I calmly explained to them that the whole purpose of this visit was for my niece to ride ROTM and I had paid for ticket and couldn't afford another one. The employee was very understanding and gave me a pair of 1 day tickets to return whenever we wanted.
Thank you Universal! You really made my nieces trip worth it at the end :-)
In my opinion, the reason they settled was twofold. First, he was wheelchair-bound, so he was a sympathetic complainant.
And maybe more importantly, when he went to their medical center, it turned out the counter was higher than legally allowed by ADA rules. So Disney was definitely ripe to be hit with a judgement for that.
It was simply easier to pay the guy and then fix the counter.
We were given a Fast Pass for Splash backstage for that day. The cast member refused to give an additional pass to a man who said his wife had run by to get to a bathroom and the cast member offered no help to those who said they could not ride Splash that day, particularly as it was not known if it would reopen.
I stopped and expressed my concerns with the unsafe evacuation and the underprepared cast members at members services. I was later contacted at home after our trip and expressed my concerns again to the cast member. Without asking, Disney sent me a thank you and 1 day tickets for my whole family a little later.
As we exited each guest received a front of line pass (again bilingual text.) It was exciting to see the ride with the work lights on and OLC's cast members were quick, efficient, professional and extremely polite (downright apologetic.) If I were just a casual theme park visitor, not understanding the verbal instructions would have likely been more stressful, but being a seasoned theme park visitor as both a cast member and guest, I took it all in stride.
If the park is especially crowded, I do think the guests should be given front of the line passes for their missed ride and perhaps some other rides as well.
-If you are stuck on a ride for under 30 minutes, are not evacuated from the ride, and waited 30 minutes or less in line, you get nothing except an immediate re-ride (if possible).-If you are stuck on a ride for more than 30 minutes, waited more than 30 minutes for the attraction, or are evacuated from the ride, you get one exit pass plus an additional exit pass for every 30 minutes you were stuck.-If you are stuck for more than an hour, you get a free meal in addition to the exit passes.-If you are stuck for more than two hours, you have a choice between an unlimited exit pass and a free ticket for another day.-If you are in line for a ride when it breaks down, you recieve no compensation unless you are forced to leave the line, in which case you get a single exit pass.-If you are injured on the attraction (unless the injury results from your actions), the park pays all medical costs and provides compensation for any remaining vacation time that cannot be enjoyed due to injuries.-If you are stuck on an outdoor attraction for an extended period of time, the park should provide water and sunscreen if possible.-If personal property is damaged, the park should replace the items up to a reasonable value as long as they were not being used in a prohibited manner.-In the event that a breakdown causes a guest to miss a dining reservation, the park should provide alternate arrangements.-The park should not keep guests in the dark about a malfunction, and should inform riders of the situation and keep them updated as long as they are stuck on the attraction (exact details are not necessary, but employees should tell guests anything that might affect them and answer any questions they have).-Disabled visitors should be informed that for safety reasons it may take longer to remove them from an attraction should an evacuation be required.-Under no circumstances should the park be obliged to give guests monetary compensation for any misfortune they may experience.
So we walk over and what happens..they denied us and said the park was closed. The folks said to contact the rider operator and that we were told they would know about it. The crew said they were not told anything and that they have already shut the ride down for the day. Of course some folks started acting up and security showed up along with the park police. So safe to say don't expect anything from Six flags.
Unless the person was injured or a serious condition was worsened by sitting longer in a seat waiting to be evacuated then I don't see how the theme park (whatever park) should be held liable for any type of damages.
What I WOULD do if I owned the park is set specific guidelines on what cast members should offer if a ride becomes inoperative and people have to be evacuated.
My wife and I were stuck on Cat in the Hat for 30 minutes one visit and finally a cast member came to each car to evacuate us and we were never offered an express pass or an apology or anything. The only thing the cast member did was tell me to quit filming the event with my iPhone.
We didn't ask for anything, but If I were in charge each person who experienced this would have been given either an express pass and a food voucher or a one day pass back to the park.
What cast members and management need to keep in the front of their brains when handling a situation such as this is most of the guests put out some serious cash to be there and sitting in a broken down dark ride is not their idea of a good vacation experience. Sure, a food voucher or a one day pass would cost the park money, but it is a wise investment to keep a good customer happy.
By the way, my wife and I have not renewed annual passes to USF since. Not specifically because of that incident, but it did weigh in on our decision.
Space time continuum machine?
I am sure your non renewal season pass showed them....
I think compensation should be front of the queue passes for the ride, that's all. You're not guaranteed to ride any ride, nor are you paying for that particular ride, you're paying for entry.
Test track was closed when I was sat there too, and it was the time before so I've never ridden that, but there's always next time!
And yes we've been stuck on a few rides, the last one was the haunted mansion, didn't expect a thing.
I agree that people expect too much and their definition of "inconvenienced" is beyond reasonable. In the case of the man in the wheelchair, I think whoever pointed out the counter height as a potential factor hit it on the head.
Once, though, there was a major problem at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and I really thought they took excellent care of us.
Below is what I wrote about it on my blog at the time:
Before I go into the Tolstoy version, let me start off with the simple statement that we had a wonderful time, and while the tour went drastically wrong, it didn’t go wrong in a fashion that they could have avoided, so they did lots of other cool stuff to make it up to us. While personally disappointed to miss what I went there for, they handled in professionally and went the extra yard to keep everyone on the tour happy. We will be rescheduling the tour at a later time this season, so we definitely have something to look forward to.
Tolstoy version: We started off the day by being at the park well ahead of the park opening. They escorted us to our parking area over by the kennels, and we headed into the park for the tour. First stop of the day: Griffon. They always start with this before the park opens because part of the tour involves taking us up the trolley to the top of the lift hill where they point out some of the engineering design and how things work as well as give you a great view of the park. Ben (One of the tour guides) took the first group of six up to the top while Melissa (The other guide) stayed down with the rest of us talking about the tour and the park and answered any questions we had. They took the next group over to the trolley and that’s where the problems started. It seems the lift had broken and they couldn’t get it to go back up to retrieve the first 6 people. We waited here while the mechanics worked on the lift because this part of the tour has to be done before the park opens. After about 45 minutes or so, the take us into the maintenance area for Griffon and show us the various pieces parts that are below track level and make the whole thing work. This is an interesting part of the tour, and this was the best of the show as far as the maintenance areas go because it was the only one with a train in the shop so it had the most to look at. After this, we go back outside and wait a while longer. They finally figured out the problem and got it fixed, but they weren’t 100% convinced it would stay fixed, so they wouldn’t let anyone else go up to the top. Also, the ride would stay closed for a while that morning while they made sure the lift was working right because that is the primary way they evacuate the ride in an emergency and they won’t run the ride unless that is working. Because of this, we couldn’t ride it yet either…
At this point, Josh and Georgette told us what they were going to do to make it up to us. To start with, they were going to take us over to Verbolten to ride it even though it’s not part of the tour yet since it just opened yesterday. Also, they were going to give us a behind the scenes look at the ride building and the control room. Also, they were going to reschedule anyone who wanted to come back later for a free tour and if you don’t already have season passes, they would include park admission so you wouldn’t have to pay to come back. We asked if they would throw in a free T-shirt since we already have season passes and don’t know if we’ll be able to come back this year. They politely said no to that one. They took us straight over to Verbolten and took us inside the ‘black forest’ building for a behind the scenes look at what the coaster does when it goes dark, only we got to see if with all the lights on. The only drawback was we weren’t allowed to take any photos of it… Bummer.
Essentially, though, they gave us a behind the scenes look at the coaster before they offer behind the scenes looks at the coaster. After we left the building, we went around the back side of the ride to see the track from a different perspective. This we could photograph since it was outside anyway. They also pointed out the old loading buildings from Drachen Fire which are now used as a haunted house come Halloween. After going back around front, they loaded us all on the ride for a run through of it. We got the lightning ending this time. We left here and headed down to Apollo’s Chariot for two rides on it. (This is not part of the normal tour. After two quick runs on it, I remember why it’s still my Favorite coaster in the park. After we got off this, they gave us quick queue passes so we could come back and ride the various other rides in the park without waiting in line and for my wife they gave her a coupon for a free meal. (She wasn’t participating in the rides, so they wanted to give her something extra.) They made a big deal out of these because they included every other big ride in the park and not just the coasters. Certainly, they came in useful later, although the lines for many of the other rides were super short because everyone was waiting in the verbolten line. As an extra special bonus, they gave us a ticket to go back and ride verbolten again today. this easily saved us two hours of sitting in line because the line for that ride as all the way down to the bridge overlooking the last drop on the ride, which makes it a really long wait.
After this, we went back to Griffon, which was now running for our two rides on it. This is probably my second favorite ride in the park. Next, we were off to loch ness monster, which is probably my least favorite ride in the park. There’s not anything wrong with the ride, just the fact that it’s the oldest and roughest leads to it not being a fun ride to me. (the tour didn’t include the ride on this, so this was also an extra.) I did learn that on the tour that the track tolerances for when that ride was built was 6 feet and that when it was constructed the last section didn’t line up for a few feet and they just heated up the track and bent it to make it line up. (This was in 1978 when it was made. For alpengeist, that tolerance was down to an 8th of an inch, and by Griffon it was down to a 16th of an inch.)
Then we headed over to alpengeist and got our two rides followed by the behind the scenes visit to the maintenance bay where we interupted the lunch of one of the mechanics since we were so late by this time. There are many similarities in the mechanical parts of this coaster and Griffon since they are made by the same manufacturer.
It’s also one of the two cars in the US to have a zero car, which is a weighted car at the front of the coaster to make sure the train has enough speed to make it through the ride. (The other being Manta at Seaworld Orlando.)
This was the last stop on our tour and I can truthfully say we had a wonderful time and are looking forward to our return visit. Our free tour expired because we never made it back to the park that year, but we plan on taking the tour again the next time we go because it really was a lot of fun and they treated us great. We've been passholders since 2000 and don't ever plan on cancelling our passes with them.