I don't care what anyone says, I am GLAD that the beach balls are gone.
I have witnessed all of the following numerous times;
The balls slowed down load times, and what's worse, very often when the ride cycle was over, many guests would not exit, they would continue to play with the balls and not leave right away, again, slowing things down. This is NOT your backyard people!
Also, many children would try to stand up and reach for the balls during the ride, in many cases forcing the CMs to stop the ride.
Some guests would just hold onto the ball for the whole ride, not even throwing it, just holding onto that huge ball the entire ride cycle, making it very hard for them to even move around. My question was always, "WHY?"
Way too many riders would be more concerned with trying to grab a beach ball, causing "traffic jams".
The real gimmick of the ride is that you are floating on air. The ride was originally supposed to open without beach balls. From day one, I always felt that the balls were intrusive.
I don't care what anyone says on twitter or any other social media site. The ride is NOT "lame", the ride is NOT "pointless." Seriously, is it NOT hard. All you have to do is LEAN in the direction that you want to travel. If you do it right, you can really get moving FAST. I know, I've done it.
Don't just jump up and down in your seat, that does nothing. And if you are riding with others, lean together! You are not going to go anywhere if one person if leaning left, and the other is leaning right.
And in all fairness, it is easier if you are a single rider, and it helps if you also slide around in your seat a bit as you are leaning.
I have ridden since the balls were removed, and their removal does speed up the load times, and the line does seem to move a bit faster.