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Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
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There has been much debate on this forum about the utility of the HOS Pumpkin Rating System (PRS).  Specifically, many members have found the assessments to be wildly misleading, and have rejected the entire approach as hopelessly flawed.  In an attempt to demonstrate that if used properly the PRS can convey valuable and succinct information, we decided to start rating attractions and events at BGW.

For anyone unfamiliar with the much-maligned PRS, the park graded HOS attractions on a scale of one to five pumpkins from least to most scary.

We will begin with Mach Tower... not because it is easy, but because today we came to the realization that through clever staging and theming, the park has turned a simple drop tower into a nightmare ride of epic proportions.

Mach Tower: Five Pumpkins

1. Staged Downtime.  In an attempt to create fear, the park regularly closes MT, leading guests to question the mechanical reliability and structural integrity of the ride.

2. Maintenance Costumes.  Actors dressed as maintenance workers spend hours each week, climbing on MT, pretending to investigate, remove, and fix critical elements of the ride.  

3. Atmospheric Soundtrack.  MT has been fitted with a state of the art sound system, which treats riders to rattling and squealing noises, designed to enhance concerns with the mechanical viability of the ride.

4. Delayed Opening.  The marketing department implemented a brilliant plan to trick the media into believing that MT was so badly designed that its opening had to be delayed by four months to address "serious design flaws," generating free publicity for the park's new thrill ride.

5. Dodgy Restraints.  To make sure riders feel the fear, even once they are "safely restrained" on MT, the over-the-shoulder harnesses were designed to lock silently and jiggle once attached to the seatbelt.

All of these clever thematic elements come together to create what may be BGW's most terrifying ride to date.  Anything less than five Pumpkins would be an insult to the devious minds that created widespread fear of MT.
 

Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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I for one am very glad the park removed the vibration before the drop and the music that would glitch out half way up the tower. Those elements really did push the theme a bit too far. I'm all for building up anticipation of potential danger, but things really can go too far. Kudos to BGW for keeping such an extreme attraction at least marginally accessible to the general public.
 
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Sep 25, 2012
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MT might be a 10 pumpkin. I will ride pretty much anything but I must admit with MT being down so much for repairs I'm a little sketched out to ride it anymore. lol
 
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wombat96

avid coaster enjoyer
Sep 20, 2013
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In my opinion Mach Tower is safe. If you want to see something un-safe go to your local fair where the rides vibrate, move, and every other sketchy thing you could imagine.
 

Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
15,842
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That's the thing Connor. Mach Tower is and actually has always been perfectly safe. It was all just a ploy to garner attention and frighten guests. Absolutely brilliant if you ask me.
 
Sep 25, 2012
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Connor said:
In my opinion Mach Tower is safe. If you want to see something un-safe go to your local fair where the rides vibrate, move, and every other sketchy thing you could imagine.

You got that right. I will still ride MT but the 10 pumpkin thoughts just creep into my head more than they used to.
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
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Arlington, VA
Cabanas: One Pumpkin

Although the Cabanas used to rate three Pumpkins, the decision to remove the front curtains, eliminated much of the fear factor for us.

The large opening in the front of the cabanas allows in much more light than previously, greatly reducing generalized anxiety among those seated inside.  This atmospheric change in turn reduces the potential for fear in all other aspects of cabana rental.

Occasionally, the overhead lights in BGW's cabanas do not work.  The resulting gloom, can create a low level of stress.  Previously, with a fully closed cabana, it is possible that the complete darkness could have resulted in a temporary four Pumpkin rating.

In the past, when confronted with mysterious noises in a completely closed cabana next door, renters could easily have become scared, leading to a three Pumpkin level of fear.  Now, of course, everyone can easily see the source of any sounds nearby.

The unpredictable wildlife in the area has remained constant, but squirrels and even spiders do not justify more than a one Pumpkin rating for an easily-escaped, open cabana.  Furthermore, a small animal squeezing under a closed cabana wall, is infinitely more terrifying than a cute, fluffy, woodland creature scampering by outside a wide opening in the front.

As we all know, the park's chief goal is always to include an element of terror in any attraction or event.  Just look at how scary the bars are.  In that light, we recommend BGW rehang the front curtains on all of their cabanas, so they can return to their previous three Pumpkin rating.
 
Sep 25, 2012
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Hmmm closed cabana doors could potentially lead to three X's instead of 3 pumpkins....especially in low light conditions. That may also explain the "mysterious noises" heard.
 
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Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
Advisory Panel
Feb 12, 2011
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Meeting fellow BGWFans members: 1000000 Pumpkins
 

Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
15,842
46,003
260
Virginia
K9copinmd said:
Hmmm closed cabana doors could potentially lead to three X's instead of 3 pumpkins....especially in low light conditions. That may also explain the "mysterious noises" heard.

Gosh K9copinmd! Get your mind out of the gutter! *rolls eyes*

In all seriousness though, the reduction in random knocking and creaking sounds in addition to the complete elimination of the ghostly moaning and groaning in the area surrounding the cabanas is a massive drawback. The aspect of grim curiosity as well as the emotional and psychological impacts of these bizzare, unexplained noises leaves a real void in my cabana experience.

Honestly, even if the park is unwilling to bring back the front cabana wall for the main season, it should at least make a return during Howl-O-Scream.
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
11,027
29,237
260
Arlington, VA
Joe said:
Meeting fellow BGWFans members: 1000000 Pumpkins

While we welcome Pumpkin ratings from all of our members, please remember that this is a serious, analytical endeavor. We request that all numbers be justified with reasons and examples.

Edit: in the interest of consistency, please do not exceed five Pumpkins. It is essential that all attractions and events be rated on the same scale, so that they can be easily compared.
 
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