Theme Park workers describe horror stories on Reddit

bjames's avatar

Here's a thread that made it to the front page of Reddit (NSFW):

It has some great stories from people who allege to be ride-ops, characters, or other theme park workers. It's quite a bit entertaining, at the least!

Last edited by bjames,

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

Some of these things are so crazy, some so sad, some so funny...

The logical question now is: anyone on Coasterbuzz who worked at an amusement park have any interesting stories?

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

kpjb's avatar

Yes. Yes there are.


Jeff's avatar

And many of those stories will never be told online.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Aw man! Ok, fair enough. Well, I thought this was a little different from the usual fare, so thanks.

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

LostKause's avatar

I'll tell one...

P-Flyers at Universal IOA. Spring of 2001. A little boy about 4 years old, and his mother are being seat-belted into the ride. I check the parent's harness and give the thumbs-up. The suspended coasters' ride vehicle holds two riders; the child in the front and the parent in the back. The two seats are independent from each other.

As the ride vehicle leaves the station and begins to climb the lift hill, the boy starts to cry. I was concerned, so I paid extra attention to the boy as the ride climbed to the top. I notice a problem and yell at the person at the controlls to stop the lift.

The scared boy somehow got loose from the seat belt, and was standing on the seat backwards, reaching for his mom. The ride was E-stoped just in time too, because the ride vehicle was pretty close to the top of the lift.

A few of us walked to the top of the lift and walked the two down to safety.

The many times my mind wanders back to that event, I feel a sense of relief that the ride did not go over that lift with the boy standing on the seat. It surely would not have ended well.

Last edited by LostKause,
janfrederick's avatar

Man. I had just typed up a couple of doozies, but although they happened over a couple of decades ago, that little voice of Jeff's crept into my head.

Let's just say crazy things happen when you combine huge crowds with food, drink, and machinery.

Last edited by janfrederick,
"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

What janfrederick said........

Yeah, sometimes on further introspection, one realizes why it is prudent to be quiet. My curiosity definitely got the better of me first, but I totally get it.

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

I thought those posts on Reddit seemed rather ignorant and I don't think I cracked a smile. After a short while I quit reading.

My amusement worker stories are 40 years old and I remember them like they were yesterday. Unfortunately.

bjames's avatar

Nice post, LostKause. I didn't know you worked at IoA, and I'm totally glad you did what you did. Or else it would be a story listed under the "accidents" section of Islands of Adventure's wikipedia page....

Last edited by bjames,

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

LostKause's avatar

Attentive ride operators are pretty important. I will admit that I wasn't the only person watching, nor was I the only person shouting for the person at controls to stop the ride.I erased another big post giving even more detail just now because of me imagining Jeff's voice echoing in my head telling me to stop. Lets just say that this seemed to be an isolated incident, and that the ride is safe. Also, I want to comment that if a child is too scared to ride something, do not force them to ride. That was not entirely the case here, but I wanted to mention it anyways.

Last edited by LostKause,
Timber-Rider's avatar

hey LostKause, here is a scary one for you. I was at Deer Park funland years ago, and my sister and I were on the Spider ride, and we were watching this kid trying to crawl out of the front on the seat while the ride was in motion. We were watching him, and he was able to squeeze through the open nose of the seat, and reach under the car, and pop the locking mechanism and the seat fell open, and the kid and the little girl that was riding with him, almost got thrown out.

The ride operator saw it immediately, and the ride came to a screeching halt. Brakes screeching and all. The ride operator slowly lowered that seat to the ground, and went over and pulled those kids off the ride. The little girl was crying, but the boy was just mad because he still wanted to ride, and it appeared that the only reason he did what he did, because he was watching the ride operator open and close the seats, and wanted to see if he could do it himself. I think the kid was 9 or 10. And the little girl was probably 6 or 7. The ride operator told the kid he could not ride again, and he had a fricking tantrum! (And, no it was not me...for you smarty pants folks.)

I think that was in 79. I also recall idiots back then trying to flip their seats on the parks old ferris wheel. Nothing below that ride but the bare ground. I miss the spider ride there. It was one of the best rides in the park. I heard it ended up at the neverland ranch. Who knows where it is now.

Last edited by Timber-Rider,

I didn't do it! I swear!!

Timber-Rider's avatar

Here's another from my personal experience dealing with stupid kids. I don't know it anyone is familiar with Meijer stores, but, they have this torture device called a "carousel lane". Which is a cashiers nightmare, where little kids, and really stupid bigger kids think it's a ride, or something they can play with.

When it's getting packed with groceries, sometimes little kids will sit on the ledge, where you can't see them, and try to ride the carousel as it turns, and they sometimes get thrown off on the floor. or, they try to climb on top of it, because it looks like it might be fun. (It's absolute hell)

So, picture this. It's winter time, so everyone is wearing long coats with hoods, and I am working my normal shift, and I am ringing up this family that has a bunch of kids, all running around, with their mother trying to keep track of them all. So I am scanning and bagging groceries, and I hear this "gasp" like someone choking coming from the backside of the carousel, so I turn the carousel around, and here's this 5 year old kid hanging, from one of the bars of the carousel, by the hood of his jacket. His face is beat red, and the mother starts freaking out. As not only is the kids hood stuck on the pole, but it's wedged int between the pole and the carousel top. We had to take his coat off to get him off, and I was really scared for him, and his mom. Though once he was free he seemed fine. I told my supervisor I needed some air after that one, and another cashier took over for me. I hate those stupid things, accident waiting to happen.

Accident number 2 was a real winner. I was doing my job, when I notice out of the corner of my eye, this kid rapidly spinning the carousel on the next lane. I stopped what I was doing, told the kid to back off, and locked the carousel. Not even a minute later I see out of the corner of my eye, the kid is spinning it again. Again, I stopped what I was doing, and went over and pushed him away and locked the carousel, and told's not a toy, you are going to hurt yourself. Kock it off. And, asked where his parents were..he said.."bite me" and walked away.

So, I went back to doing my job, ad all of the sudden i hear this big whack!! thud...WAAAAAAA!!!! I look over and the carousel is spinning and the kid is laying on the floor with blood shooting out of his nose. I was like...oh ****!! called the SC and told her to call security, and went over to help the kid up, and got him some Paper towels for his nose. And, his mom comes running...from about 6 lanes down...oh my god!! I told her exactly what happened, and how I tried to get him to stop, but he wouldn't listen.

He was spinning that really fast, and it hit me in the face!!! WAAAA!!! Most likely broke his nose too. But, I don't know for sure. And that's just one supermarket horror story. Also had 2 babies fall off from over packed shopping carts. And, also in my lane had a whole cart of groceries flip over on two kids who thought it would be fun to stand in the back rack of the cart. Stupid kids, but, didn't know my own strength as I lifted that shopping cart off from them in 2 seconds, and threw it o the side. The mom goes...thank you so much...never seen anyone move so fast in my life! Thank you! Her kids were rattled but they were both fine, after we got them out from under all the groceries that is.

Supermarkets must be a lawyers erotic fantasy come true.

I didn't do it! I swear!!

Your revered Deer Park Funland doesn't sound like a very fun land.

Spider sucks. But try either the one in Erie or the one in Santa Claus for a decent example.

You should petition MA to re-install a Spider as their next great new addition. In an odd switch, it would be a decision that would make everyone unhappy but you.

And sorry for the double post, but let me make sure I got this straight.

All those horrific Meijer accidents somehow happened in your presence but they finally fired you on account of a thumb scan?

Timber-Rider's avatar

Hey RCMAC. I think the reason MA no longer has the spider is due more to slow capacity, then it not being a good ride. I have been on a ton of spider rides at various fairs and carnivals, and the one at Deer Park was a very fun ride.

Though I think a ride like Cedar Point's monster would be a wiser choice, or a ride like great America's lobster. Or, whatever they are calling it these days. But, if they did bring the spider back to MA, I'm sure most of the people who go to the park would think it was a great addition. Certainly better than the new additions that you can't ride. Like a meal plan as a new attraction, though I guess you could hop on a footlong hotdog, and pretend it's a ride if you have a childlike imagination. or, are just plain crazy.

I didn't do it! I swear!!

Timber-Rider's avatar

yeah RCMAC, I'm the only person in my store who has ever seen or been near an accident out of 600 employees in the store every day, and 5,000 to 7,000 people in the store every day.

Though I was not present, when two young black ladies jumped and elderly women in the parking lot of our store, and beat her up to get her purse and she ended up dead. That story made the state wide news. Meijer settled that lawsuit paying the family of that woman $250,000.

We had accidents in our store just about every day. None of the accidents I witnessed were my fault. So, why you assume I would be fired for them is pretty sad. If they fired every employee that witnessed an accident at meijer, there would be nobody working there, and the store would be closed.

Last edited by Timber-Rider,

I didn't do it! I swear!!

Lighten up. I'll tell you I was only kidding you about the accident thing if you tell me you were only kidding about riding a footlong hotdog.

Last edited by RCMAC,
Vater's avatar

Incredible, how a thread about theme park workers' horror stories (d)evolves into a mugging/homicide at a Meijer store.

Anyway...all these stories about stupid kids doing stupid things on Sometimes I think theme parks should only allow adults and enthusiasts.

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