SeaWorld and Fun Spot inspectors ride roller coasters every morning

Posted | Contributed by BrettV

In the theme park industry, some employees have extraordinary-sounding jobs. They ascend hundreds of feet into the air to inspect the tops of the attractions and are the solo riders on the roller coasters when the parks are empty.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

sfmmlovernomatterwhaty'allsay's avatar

Quite possibly one of the best jobs on earth. I’m certainly jealous.

Tommytheduck's avatar

Quote from the article:

"Occasionally, a bird attempts to build a nest on top of SeaWorld’s 200-foot-tall Mako..."

I found this quote interesting because I know that Cedar Point does not always clear bird nests. We rode Gatekeeper on opening day and there were seagull nests on multiple supports of the helix at the end of the ride. Every time a train approached, the bird flew away, and promptly returned. So the ride had been open for Media Day, Ohio State day, and many hours before we boarded, yet the nests were still there.

In late May of this year, I watched a seagull doing the same thing on Valravn, after the park had been open for 2 or 3 weeks already.

I understand that the birds likely built the nests before the rides started operating and have learned to adapt to the constant passing of trains, but I found it strange that the park had not removed or relocated the nests.

I also now better understand the incidents on Apollo's Chariot (Fabio) and Red Force (Ferrari Land)

Aw, these darned birds. Don’t they realize when they push their fledglings out of those nests it’s a looooong drop?

Tommytheduck's avatar

So *that's* why they built the nest by Valravn. So the baby birds can watch the 90 degree drop and learn by example!

Could it actually be some small attempt at conservation? Probably a stupid question, but it strikes me as interesting that they don't remove the nests despite possible rider injury.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Tommytheduck's avatar

That's the thing. I don't know the rules for protecting Gulls, etc. The birds seem to do a good job at moving out of the way every 60-90 seconds, but it's gotta be annoying for them, and definitely increases the possibility of a rider being hit. I would assume that the park is aware of the nests, as they do those morning inspections like in the video.

Then again, I haven't heard any stories other than the high profile one in Ferrari Land, so who knows.

99er's avatar

When I worked at Cedar Point the rule was if the nest was built and birds living in it you could not remove it. If the nest posed a safety risk to guests you could call for its removal but that was a long process that the park did not want to do. I know a lot of parks follow this same rule too as I have dealt with my share of attacking birds while I have tried working on park infrastructure before. If you can catch the nest in the process of being built you are allowed to remove what has been put in place by the bird. I spent an entire day once while climbing up and down a structure removing twigs from a nest as I passed by. Drove the bird nuts I'm sure but in the end I won and the bird left for somewhere else.

Jobs like this are cool but what you see in the video is about 2% of the overall job that is performed each day. Most of the time it is very dirty work taking apart and rebuilding pieces of rides when you are not inspecting them. I spent a small amount of time inspecting attractions in Ohio and it was honestly one of the most boring jobs I had. If you want to know what its like, slide under your car every morning before you drive it and check the bolts and welds:)


birdhombre's avatar

99er said:

Drove the bird nuts I'm sure but in the end I won and the bird left for somewhere else.

Yeah, thanks a lot. I had to give up on my dream of living in Blue Streak's steeple.

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