Author Topic: saving chairs at a water park  (Read 9846 times)

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Dora

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saving chairs at a water park
« on: August 09, 2012, 12:03:54 AM »
I have seen similar issues to this on the board before and thought you all might be interested. 

Today at a rather large water park (think King's Island or something not quite Disney sized) I noticed a generous amount of chairs and chaise lounges by all the wave pools, kiddie pools, spray park attractions, etc.  The attractions were for more than just baby/toddler ages- some attracted up to about 12 yr olds and some were for teens and adults too.  I noticed about 10% of the chairs had people in them- at the big wave pool it was more like 5%.  The rest all had towels reserving them. 

While I watched my kids in these different areas (about one hour in one place, 2 1/2 hours in another) I rarely saw turnover in these seats.  No one came out of the water to use these chairs.  But I did see quite a few people milling around looking for a chair and going away disappointed.  I saw one lady sit for at least 2 hours in the nice shady spot reading a newspaper- I had no problem with her doing that- she was USING the chair!!  But she did have a bag/shoes/etc., that was taking up a second chair.   

Next to me a family seemed to have taken up residence of an entire section in the shade.  I heard one person say that she was going to go back to the hotel for a nap.  Another three left to go ride a ride on the other side of the park.  I noticed that no chairs were left towel-less after they all left. 

Of course I am open to the comments on whether this is acceptable practice to you all, but my question is more about whether it is in the best interest of the park to set a policy.  Wouldn't more people get to utilize the chairs if they had a "no saving chairs with STUFF" policy?  Wouldn't fewer people go away unhappy?  With that many chairs, I wonder how many of the chair-savers really would have problems finding a chair to sit in if they had to find it when they actually were ready to sit.  Thoughts?

sweetonsno

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2012, 01:12:46 AM »
I'm kind of split on this one. On one hand, I don't think it's wrong for Mom to save a chair for Dad while he parks the car, runs to the restroom, arranges lockers, etc. On the other hand, I think it's extremely inconsiderate to save a chair for everyone in your party when it's unlikely that they'll all want to sit down together for an extended period of time.

I don't think there is really an enforceable policy here. If you have a blanket "the seat is only 'taken' if someone is in it" policy, then customers won't be able to make trips to the bathroom, the concession stand, or to take a ride or two with the kids. That would probably deter entire families (why would Mom and Dad pay for tickets for the entire family if they didn't have a comfortable place to relax while the kids are off playing?).

The problem with saying "no chair-saving" is that couples and families generally want to sit together, and people don't usually want to sit next to strangers. If the only seats available are staggered, you'll run into essentially the same problem you would with the "towel-reserved" seats. . . no places suitable for you as a couple.

I think the best solution to the problem would be having cabanas or seating areas for rent. That way, a family that wants to have six chairs available could pay $X to rent six seats for the entire day. Nobody else could try to borrow or "reserve" them, and Mom could park herself there to watch the stuff.

It's definitely rude to "reserve" several chairs on the off-chance that you might have to use them all at the same time, but I don't object to someone wanting to sit with the rest of their family when taking a break from swimming to eat, sun, or rest.

Acadianna

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 01:37:08 AM »
People do this at Schlitterbahn (our central Texas waterpark) too.  I don't really have a problem with it, as they need to leave their stuff somewhere while they're making the rounds of the water attractions.

When we go there, I usually grab a lounge chair and a picnic table (Schlitterbahn allows you to bring your own food and drink into the park) near one of the wave pools and camp there for the day, while my kids go around the park.  My kids put their stuff on the picnic table and don't save any chairs for themselves.  When I start to get hot, I take a quick dip in the pool (ten or fifteen minutes).  At least once, I take a walk up to the main gift shop (about thirty minutes).

Point of all this is -- I'd be pretty unhappy if park rules prevented me from saving my chair every time I was away for a short amount of time.  Yet if there were a rule to be enforced, staff would have no way to tell how long I planned to be away from the chair.

Then too, if the park did have a "no saves" rule, how would they enforce it?  Would people seeking chairs be allowed to just move someone else's stuff off an unoccupied chair?  Would staff have to store the stuff somewhere?  How could anyone tell whether the chair-saver had merely gone to the restroom?  I suspect it's a lot easier for water parks simply to ignore the problem.

YummyMummy66

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 07:21:08 AM »
I see no problem with saving the chairs.  When we go to water parks, we try and get there early enough that we can save our chairs. 

We do this and take off and go do the activities for a bit and come back every so often to eat, relax, rest, etc.  Sometimes, yes, it might be an hour or more until someone gets back to our chairs because of lines in rides, etc. 

Sharnita

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 08:30:26 AM »
SOme of the things you decribe are obviously savong chairs.  The thing with the woman going back to the hotel makes me laugh.  It is rude but is like her belongings wanted to go to the pool while she took a nap. That being said, i also think that if you are in and out of pools, you need someplace to put your towel and a chair makes sense.  So for some people they were probably jsut using the chair as a place to put their towel.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 08:51:07 AM »
We just experienced this ourselves and DH and I were both irritated about it. The water park has a wave pool, with literally hundreds of lounge type chairs spread out near it. Every chair had a towel or someone's sunglasses or bag on it, but the number of chairs actually being sat on might have been twenty at any given time. My son sat on the pavement to put his water shoes back on because there wasn't a SINGLE chair available despite the fact that probably 300+ chairs were unoccupied by anything but a towel and the people who owned those towels were who-knows-where, possibly on the other side of the park for two or three hours. It's very frustrating.

We rent a locker to leave our towels etc in while we're in the park, so it's not that there's NOWHERE to leave one's things.

We did wonder if it would be rude to move a few towels so we could sit for ten minutes. (We would make sure they didn't get wet, and put them back when we left.) Thoughts?

Sharnita

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2012, 09:13:13 AM »
Honestly, I would never leave a towel in a locker.  The other stuff, yes.  But you get out for a while, dry off, get the towel wet, go back in the water. If you put the wet towel in a locker it is still wet when you get out again.  If you can put it ona a chair it is dry again when you need it.

CharlieBraun

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2012, 09:14:20 AM »
Why not propose this solution to park management, which is what a cruise line has now gone to:

http://moneyland.time.com/2012/08/02/lounge-chair-hog-controversy-cruise-line-gets-tough-on-seat-saving/

"
When a deck chair is occupied only by someone’s possessions (and not an actual person), a cruise employee will put a sticker with the time on the chair. Heald posted a photo showing such a sticker on Facebook. If 40 minutes pass after the sticker is attached and no one returns to the chair, the possessions will be moved so that another traveler can have a spot to lounge."

I agree that it's terribly rude to hog the chairs; your admission to the park does not impart magical powers to occupy more than one place at one time (in other words, you can't be at the snack bar, at the pool, riding the waves AND in a deck chair simultaneously.)
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MorgnsGrl

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 09:31:08 AM »
Honestly, I would never leave a towel in a locker.  The other stuff, yes.  But you get out for a while, dry off, get the towel wet, go back in the water. If you put the wet towel in a locker it is still wet when you get out again.  If you can put it ona a chair it is dry again when you need it.

Yeah, I can see how a wet towel in a locker would be gross. We go into the park, put our dry towels in the locker, and don't retrieve them until we're ready to leave the park. Whenever we go, it's so bloody hot and sunny that you're mostly dry within minutes of getting out the water, so we don't find drying off with a towel to be necessary!

Roe

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2012, 10:05:37 AM »
We just experienced this ourselves and DH and I were both irritated about it. The water park has a wave pool, with literally hundreds of lounge type chairs spread out near it. Every chair had a towel or someone's sunglasses or bag on it, but the number of chairs actually being sat on might have been twenty at any given time. My son sat on the pavement to put his water shoes back on because there wasn't a SINGLE chair available despite the fact that probably 300+ chairs were unoccupied by anything but a towel and the people who owned those towels were who-knows-where, possibly on the other side of the park for two or three hours. It's very frustrating.

We rent a locker to leave our towels etc in while we're in the park, so it's not that there's NOWHERE to leave one's things.

We did wonder if it would be rude to move a few towels so we could sit for ten minutes. (We would make sure they didn't get wet, and put them back when we left.) Thoughts?

This is what we do.  I don't understand why it's so hard to rent a locker?  And yes, I have moved a towel or two in my day. ;) 

No one complained.  I would've moved if they needed the seat that instant.  Maybe they weren't even in the park?  And no, we don't usually take seats for stretches at a time but if we need to rest for a few minutes, with a cold beverage, then yes, we are going to sit. 

WillyNilly

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2012, 10:41:22 AM »
Why not propose this solution to park management, which is what a cruise line has now gone to:

http://moneyland.time.com/2012/08/02/lounge-chair-hog-controversy-cruise-line-gets-tough-on-seat-saving/

"
When a deck chair is occupied only by someone’s possessions (and not an actual person), a cruise employee will put a sticker with the time on the chair. Heald posted a photo showing such a sticker on Facebook. If 40 minutes pass after the sticker is attached and no one returns to the chair, the possessions will be moved so that another traveler can have a spot to lounge."

I agree that it's terribly rude to hog the chairs; your admission to the park does not impart magical powers to occupy more than one place at one time (in other words, you can't be at the snack bar, at the pool, riding the waves AND in a deck chair simultaneously.)

I was thinking in my head, and have often thought when in a situation like this, that the solution is a 30 minute limit on a saved seat.  This ^ system is similar to how parking is enforced in time limited spaces - cops or parking officials mark tires with a bit of chalk.  If they come back and see a chalk mark, they know the car is over time.  Stickers seem like a good idea for chairs.

This allows someone to go to the restroom, or get some refreshments, or whatever, but eliminates the all-day hogging.

Honestly the lack of comforts such as seating is a main reason I don't go to water parks anymore.  Its just not fun or worth my money to be ticked off half the day.

Hmmmmm

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2012, 10:56:32 AM »
I don't think a 30 - 40 min limit on a saved seat is reasonable as the line for one ride can take you 40 mins to get through.  I think for a water park more like 2 hours is reasonable.

And of course that won't address the grandmother who is saving seats for her group in the family.  She'll just remove the stickers as they are attached by the park employees. 

I think it has to be more self policing.  If a family of 4 comes to the park but knows they'll spend less than an hour sitting a couple of times per day, then put their things in 1 or 2 lounge chairs.  I don't see a reason to save 4 chairs all day for a family that will only use them occasionally.  For the short period of time we'll be there, we can share one of the lounge chairs.

NotTheNarcissist

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2012, 11:01:53 AM »
My first thought is to put a maximum number of chairs that can be saved. Probably not very enforceable but sends a message.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2012, 11:04:25 AM »
If there was a group of chairs that all had stuff on them with no people present and I wanted to sit, I would have no qualms moving stuff over so I could sit down.

A chair for the group's stuff plus whatever chairs are physically occupied by group members is fair game but to have each person claim a chair that they won't be using for at least an hour?  Rude, IMO.
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Dora

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Re: saving chairs at a water park
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2012, 11:05:21 AM »
"When a deck chair is occupied only by someones possessions (and not an actual person), a cruise employee will put a sticker with the time on the chair. Heald posted a photo showing such a sticker on Facebook. If 40 minutes pass after the sticker is attached and no one returns to the chair, the possessions will be moved so that another traveler can have a spot to lounge."

Thank you!  I figured SOMEBODY must have tried some methods of making the chairs more useable.  I wonder how that works for them and if more people are irritated at having their stuff moved or more people are grateful for the seating actually being available.

Another interesting happening on this same topic, same day.  A boy of about 10 came over and tried to sit in the seat next to me.  I told him the chair was taken and he looked at me funny.  In his defense, there were only about 3 chairs in the whole place without towels on them.  I tried to nicely explain to him that my husband had just left to get drinks- that was why I was not reserving it with a towel- there really was a person in it until he left to come right back with drinks.  I did point out to him that there was a chair in the shade with no towel on it and I said I had been there about 30 min and no one had been in that seat.  He went over to sit in it and some people nearby gave him dirty looks like he was crashing their party.  This was the group that included the lady going back to the hotel and the ones leaving to wait in the 1 hr lines for the big rides.  They did not ask him to leave and he sat there for about 10 minutes before his mom came out of the water and left with him.  A few people did come and go in this group, but never enough to fill all the chairs they had reserved.