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Nov 24, 2009
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Park today seemed like a complete shit show. Thing was it was no where near as packed as some past Jult 4ths. Overflow wasnt used thought so that means crowds were lower than normal. We got ther about 9pm just to watch fireworks from parking lot and they had taked every lot attendant inside for the storm. Traffic at toll plaza was backed up past curve, we went to employee entrance and guard just waved us through. We drove to the preferred lot and the it poured. I dont think I have ever seen so many people runningthrough the parking lot, they were climbing over the fence by the hundreds and down the hill and across the road. Its a wonder no one was killed.
 
Jul 1, 2019
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My three kids and I were caught up in that hell hole last night. I have to say that in all my years of working there in my teens-early 20’s (20+ years ago now) and having season passes before and after working there, I have never seen anything like that and I am really embarrassed for BGW. They truly did not seem to care about their visitors’ safety. There was no one directing the pedestrian flow of traffic in the parking lots to minimize the traffic jam and pedestrian accidents. I hope no one got hurt last night. And when we did get back to our car, I was in my parking spot for 45 minutes before traffic moved enough for me to get out. It was absolutely unbelievable.
 
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Mar 16, 2016
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Woah. Ok. So missed all of that like @GotsFancyPants as I was in Festhaus as well. Keep in mind, these staffing things are done weeks in advance, so as for out in the parking lot, when they staffed that I doubt they were anticipating this. Saying it wasn't as packed as past 4ths or overflow wasn't used....is that going to be brought up like it's the parks fault? The people not following directions like going through barriers the right way....again that's mass hysteria and would have happened if there was 100 BGW staff members out there or 1. BGW could have been more prepared when they heard it was coming. But at the same time it was very quick onset with little warning.

PS: I want to add that some will think I'm excusing the park of any wrong doing, but I'm not. Just pointing out that not everything is the parks fault. I've been caught at the park in a storm about 6-7 times now, and within the park there's very little communication. I was stuck in Festhaus one time in a storm between shows and it was very very tense in there. BGW should be better prepared. Have the performers come out and entertain a little. But as @GrandpaD pointed out in his post, there's legal things as to why the staff is not in place. My $0.02 on that is maybe widen a circle for when you make calls. 50 miles away have the "Seek Shelter" warning go out. So people can leave and staff is in place. 20 miles away have a "last chance to seek shelter", 10 miles "Staff will soon be seeking shelter", and 5 miles out "The park is in a weather shutdown".
 
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GrandpaD

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Aug 3, 2017
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While I wasn't there last evening, in (somewhat) defense of the park, SEAS and BGW take extraordinary measures when it comes to weather, notably lightning. There is a staff member that constantly monitors weather radar 24/7. It is lightning more than rain that trigger safety procedures. The closer there are lightning strikes, the higher the "warning". As strikes get closer, rides shut down and, when real close, staff are mandated to take shelter. With the exception of life threatening health issues, even Health Services cannot venture out into the elements.

Recalling looking at the radar from my house last night at that time, I saw a huge amount of lightning strikes in the BGW area. Thus, as mandated by SEAS policy, I'm assuming that staff were mandated to shelter in place in what is referred to "Weather Condition Black" (lightning within 5 miles). That's why no staff was in the parking lots, etc. as they had been picked up by Traffic supervisors and taken to a safe shelter.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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While I wasn't there last evening, in (somewhat) defense of the park, SEAS and BGW take extraordinary measures when it comes to weather, notably lightning. There is a staff member that constantly monitors weather radar 24/7. It is lightning more than rain that trigger safety procedures. The closer there are lightning strikes, the higher the "warning". As strikes get closer, rides shut down and, when real close, staff are mandated to take shelter. With the exception of life threatening health issues, even Health Services cannot venture out into the elements.

Recalling looking at the radar from my house last night at that time, I saw a huge amount of lightning strikes in the BGW area. Thus, as mandated by SEAS policy, I'm assuming that staff were mandated to shelter in place in what is referred to "Weather Condition Black" (lightning within 5 miles). That's why no staff was in the parking lots, etc. as they had been picked up by Traffic supervisors and taken to a safe shelter.

Golf industry has a similar thing. 10 miles and 20 minutes is our rule. I've been a staff member working in a storm like last night. It sucks making that call when you see the storm is 40 miles away and then 2 minutes later the strike is within your range.
 

GrandpaD

Curve Flattener.
Aug 3, 2017
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The color codes are, similar to golf courses, "stepped". As the storm approaches, a different color code is initiated when it hits a certain radius.

In regards to the parking lots, "Traffic" team members are picked up by supervisors in trucks and taken to shelter. Even if the storm has passed, it would take quite a while to get staff back in place. In this case, all the dominos fell at the same time.
 

BGWnut

Advisory Panel
Sep 24, 2018
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While I wasn't there last evening, in (somewhat) defense of the park, SEAS and BGW take extraordinary measures when it comes to weather, notably lightning. There is a staff member that constantly monitors weather radar 24/7. It is lightning more than rain that trigger safety procedures. The closer there are lightning strikes, the higher the "warning". As strikes get closer, rides shut down and, when real close, staff are mandated to take shelter. With the exception of life threatening health issues, even Health Services cannot venture out into the elements.

Recalling looking at the radar from my house last night at that time, I saw a huge amount of lightning strikes in the BGW area. Thus, as mandated by SEAS policy, I'm assuming that staff were mandated to shelter in place in what is referred to "Weather Condition Black" (lightning within 5 miles). That's why no staff was in the parking lots, etc. as they had been picked up by Traffic supervisors and taken to a safe shelter.
I can confirm from talking to people that this is what happened. The park was in a weather code that mandated that all employees and first week shelter. I'm told that there were multiple announcements over the in park radio that said the trams were closed and that all guests needed to seek shelter immediately. BGW does not play around when it comes to weather.

I will slightly correct the weather codes though. If you ever hear weather condition black then you should start running. This means that there is either confirmed lightning striking in the park or an active tornado warning for the area. Weather condition purple means there is lightning strikes within 3 miles. I can confirm that this is the condition the park was in yesterday. This condition mandates everyone to get inside and stay inside. It is not safe for TMs to be out directing traffic at these times so they all would have been brought inside. If a guest chooses to walk through the storm to their car BGW can not force them to stay. This is what occurred yesterday. A large number of guests decided to leave while the park was in this weather condition. As soon as the weather cleared the park had TMs out there directing traffic.

I do want to clarify that rain has nothing to do with the weather codes. It can rain all day long and everything will stay operational as long as there is no lightning. It can also not be raining at BGW but there is lightning occurring within 3 miles and everything gets shut down.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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Yes, the lighting was intense and the team members were pulled from the parking areas. While I do agree that they need to do everything possible to keep the team members safe they also have a responsibilioty to their guests. Simply saying they are on their own dosent cut it. Again I wasnt in the park but was in the parking lot during all this so I dont know if there were any anouncements made but most reasonable guests think that if a storm is approaching that they should be able to get back to their cars the same way they came in, no one should leave the park trying to beat the storm to find out the trams arent running and they have to now walk to the furthest parking lot with their family in pouring rain and traffic everywhere with reduced visibility. People climbing the fence shouldnt happen. They need to put up a taller fence, im not excusing everyone but im sure some they are from out of town dont know the procedure for walking to the other lots and where to properly cross. This is a major issue at BGW, other than the Festhaus there really isnt many places to shelter they will hold a fair amount of people. I have seen them literally close the doors to the emporium because it was packed with people and they wouldnt let more in. Where are they to go, their only real choice if they are near the front of the park is run for the car and last night they literally had to do that.
 

Jonesta6

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Feb 14, 2019
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Could they pack the house at any theatre? There's several of those scattered throughout. Not sure how this is particularly website related though?
 
Nov 24, 2009
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I was in a storm once and they let a few people into the lobby of the globe to seek shelter. then when the rain really started coming down they made everyone leave. No reason why......
 

Applesauce

未来の月
May 22, 2010
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Virginia Beach
I can't confirm for yesterday. But Sunday (June 30th) a storm came in and they gave an announcement saying that tram service had stopped for the storm. So they will tell you if tram service stops. Beyond that it's up to the guests to seek shelter as the announcements are given.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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Simply saying they are on their own dosent cut it.

Actually...in legal terms it does. Any weather warnings are not a mandate. What they do is take any liability off the park. Same with a weather horn on a golf course. I technically cannot force someone to stop playing. What the horn states (and parks weather codes state) is that there is adverse weather in the area and that the park (or course in my case) is suspending operations. If someone choses to be out in that weather....they are on their own. They chose to ignore severe weather warnings. And if something happened to that guest, as sad as it would be, the park is not liable at all.
 
Jul 1, 2019
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Yes, the lighting was intense and the team members were pulled from the parking areas. While I do agree that they need to do everything possible to keep the team members safe they also have a responsibilioty to their guests. Simply saying they are on their own dosent cut it. Again I wasnt in the park but was in the parking lot during all this so I dont know if there were any anouncements made but most reasonable guests think that if a storm is approaching that they should be able to get back to their cars the same way they came in, no one should leave the park trying to beat the storm to find out the trams arent running and they have to now walk to the furthest parking lot with their family in pouring rain and traffic everywhere with reduced visibility. People climbing the fence shouldnt happen. They need to put up a taller fence, im not excusing everyone but im sure some they are from out of town dont know the procedure for walking to the other lots and where to properly cross. This is a major issue at BGW, other than the Festhaus there really isnt many places to shelter they will hold a fair amount of people. I have seen them literally close the doors to the emporium because it was packed with people and they wouldnt let more in. Where are they to go, their only real choice if they are near the front of the park is run for the car and last night they literally had to do that.
From a former TM perspective, I remember very well what the park was like during heavy storms and knew where the best places were to take shelter. Unfortunately we weren’t near any of them and had to take shelter under a locker rental. It didn’t help that I couldn’t get enough signal to pull up the radar on my phone so I didn’t know what the storm looked like, where it was going, or how severe it was. Once the rain let up it just made more sense to just go to our car and wait for traffic to clear than to go further into the park.

I saw one man walking in the rain with a tiny infant, couldn’t have been more than a month or two old, and poor thing was super unhappy. It really was a perfect mess of July 4th crowds, timing and severity of the storm, and lack of crowd control. Hopefully BGW will do what they can to keep it from happening again.
 

GrandpaD

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Aug 3, 2017
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@WDWRLD you say "I wasnt (sic) in the park” ..."so I dont know if there were any anouncements (sic) made" so the rest of your paragraph is conjecture and opinion. Previously in this thread you referred to the evening as a "shitshow" without the basic understanding of what transpired. I have no idea how you can judge what or what not the park did while sitting in the parking lot. It was a highly unusual situation of big crowd and sudden storm. I'm not a BGW fanboy yet, once again, you seem to find the (no pun intended) "dark cloud" in how BGW operates.

@BGWfan Yeah, I got my code colors mixed up. You'd think, after a few years, I'd have them memorized.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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@WDWRLD you say "I wasnt (sic) in the park” ..."so I dont know if there were any anouncements (sic) made" so the rest of your paragraph is conjecture and opinion. Previously in this thread you referred to the evening as a "shitshow" without the basic understanding of what transpired. I have no idea how you can judge what or what not the park did while sitting in the parking lot. It was a highly unusual situation of big crowd and sudden storm. I'm not a BGW fanboy yet, once again, you seem to find the (no pun intended) "dark cloud" in how BGW operates.

@BGWfan Yeah, I got my code colors mixed up. You'd think, after a few years, I'd have them memorized.
Read all the online posts about the website issues, and while I wasnt inside the physical themepark I was in two of the three parking lots and it was mass chaos....a literal shit show. There was not the usual July 4th crowd, in fact I dont remember a July 4th in recent years overflow wasnt used. What the park didnt do was make any postings on any social media platform nor reply to the numerous messages directed at them. What would have happened if there were people across the street and they stopped running trams? The storm, was also not sudden, I was watching radar for well over 2 hours prior, the storm was a very slow moving system, it didnt come out of nowhere.
But thanks for the analysis of my posts.....
 
Nov 24, 2009
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Actually...in legal terms it does. Any weather warnings are not a mandate. What they do is take any liability off the park. Same with a weather horn on a golf course. I technically cannot force someone to stop playing. What the horn states (and parks weather codes state) is that there is adverse weather in the area and that the park (or course in my case) is suspending operations. If someone choses to be out in that weather....they are on their own. They chose to ignore severe weather warnings. And if something happened to that guest, as sad as it would be, the park is not liable at all.
But what about the families that did, if there were park wide anouncements that left the park to seek shelter and found out there were no trams and they had to walk all the way to their cars and cross a very busy roadway with no one controlling the traffic.....the parking lot looked like a oversized frogger game.
 
Mar 21, 2016
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Well I was in the Black Forest picnic area during the storm under a pavilion. We had multiple announcements because of the viewing party and most families held out until they officially cancelled the fireworks (we can go to the reserved viewing area tonight though). Headed into Festhaus (which was packed) to use the bathroom before the rain started coming down again. Finally made the long trek to the park exit once it died down. I was parked in England so I only noticed a small backup of cars, but I understand that there was only so much the park could do with all of the lightning strikes in the area. For the majority of the day, the forecast had storms holding off until after 10pm, so it was a worst case situation. Guest services was packed as we exited, and there were still a few families trying to enter the park around 9:45-10pm. I do find the lack of information on social media strange, but who knows where they had to shelter in place in the park. Also, I do remember hearing an announcement that tram service was suspended.
 
Mar 16, 2016
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But what about the families that did, if there were park wide anouncements that left the park to seek shelter and found out there were no trams and they had to walk all the way to their cars and cross a very busy roadway with no one controlling the traffic.....the parking lot looked like a oversized frogger game.

What do you mean by that? The park was under a sever weather warning that made them legally pull staff in. If you or your family went out in that, that’s on you not the park. I’m not sure what else to expect when there’s a suspension of operations.

Edit: A big thing to take away in any situation like this is order of liability. In severe weather the #1 liability is the employees. As much as we want it to be the customer, it’s legally not. Just like if something (god forbid) happened to someone on the ride the #1 liability is the park, not the ride operator.
 
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BGWnut

Advisory Panel
Sep 24, 2018
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Yes, the lighting was intense and the team members were pulled from the parking areas. While I do agree that they need to do everything possible to keep the team members safe they also have a responsibilioty to their guests. Simply saying they are on their own dosent cut it. Again I wasnt in the park but was in the parking lot during all this so I dont know if there were any anouncements made but most reasonable guests think that if a storm is approaching that they should be able to get back to their cars the same way they came in, no one should leave the park trying to beat the storm to find out the trams arent running and they have to now walk to the furthest parking lot with their family in pouring rain and traffic everywhere with reduced visibility. People climbing the fence shouldnt happen. They need to put up a taller fence, im not excusing everyone but im sure some they are from out of town dont know the procedure for walking to the other lots and where to properly cross. This is a major issue at BGW, other than the Festhaus there really isnt many places to shelter they will hold a fair amount of people. I have seen them literally close the doors to the emporium because it was packed with people and they wouldnt let more in. Where are they to go, their only real choice if they are near the front of the park is run for the car and last night they literally had to do that.


When the park has a server weather code there is an automated spiel that plays every 15 minutes about the weather condition. I was not at the park last night but I'm told that there was also multiple live announcements over the park speakers about the weather and that the fireworks and Spark had been cancelled. I'm really not sure what more the park should be doing in this instance. It seems that you want the park to put it's employees in danger in order to allow the guests to ignore the parks warning and announcements regarding the weather. I've heard the automated spiel countless times and it is very clear that all trams and other outdoor operations are shut down at this time. As was said by warfelg if you decide to go to your car despite the warnings that's is your prerogative but the park will not have it's employees in danger.

But what about the families that did, if there were park wide anouncements that left the park to seek shelter and found out there were no trams and they had to walk all the way to their cars and cross a very busy roadway with no one controlling the traffic.....the parking lot looked like a oversized frogger game.

The trams would have been running up until weather code was called for lightning in the immediate area. So if guests had wanted to leave there would have been no issue. However once the weather condition arrives it is no longer safe and the park announces that and advised all guests to seek shelter. The announcement is very clear that the trams are not running.

Also I have it on good authority that the park decided not to park in overflow as early as they would have because of the threat of rain. It had nothing to do with the size of the crowds. Yesterday was actually apparently a fairly busy day.
 
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