Tough Pay and Work at CP for 2010?

Thursday, November 26, 2009 11:06 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I've worked at Cedar Point.

And, ah, yes, it is like any other seasonal job. Maybe you find it necessary to make it out to be some sort of special, unique, astounding workplace beyond the ken of those not chosen to work there... but it is like any other seasonal job.

Parts of it suck. Parts of it suck a lot. There were parts of what I did at the Point that I hated with the white hot heat of a thousand burning suns (apologies to Stephanie Miller).

Guess what: I weighed the pros and the cons and decided not to return. Your list of complaints seems endless, and, to be honest, largely petty or mundane (do you really think that Cedar Point is the only place on earth where people working with food have done nasty things on, to, or near the food?), and yet you continued to return.

That employees have to room with strangers upon arriving at the park can only come as a surprise to those who expected to be put up in their own luxurious suite with a lovely view of Lake Erie. That "not all of their roommates are guaranteed to be trustworthy, to keep their hands off of other people's stuff, or to keep quiet during sex with their friends while you are trying to sleep" is true whether you are at Cedar Point, college, or an offshore oil platform... goes with the territory, my friend, and does not make Cedar Point some special, unique place.

If the bus is full, if driving takes more time than expected, then next time, you catch an earlier bus or allow more time to drive. It should only a few days to learn ones work location is too far from the break area to accommodate a break, after that you plan accordingly. Your posts make it sound as if Cedar Point is somehow forcing you to wait till the last minute to catch the bus or hop in the car.

Having an employee arrive on time is an absolutely reasonable expectation of any employer, and the responsibility for meeting that expectation rests with the employee. Cedar Point is not some uniquely demanding ogre for expecting employees to turn up at the time and place requested.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Thursday, November 26, 2009 11:16 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

One advantage to getting to a thread late:

Someone else may have typed exactly what you would have and you can just say, "Yeah, exactly."

This is one of those times. :)


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Friday, November 27, 2009 12:02 AM
Carrie M.'s avatar

God bless you, slithernoggin. :)

Well said.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Friday, November 27, 2009 12:35 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Yeah, exactly.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Friday, November 27, 2009 12:56 AM
LostKause's avatar

Everyone who leaves Cedar Point seems to be somewhat disgruntled about the job. That should account for something. To be fair, they also seem to have great memories about the job as well.

I'll be fair and admit that most of slithernoggin's post is right on. Most EDIT - Some of his post doesn't disagree with my points. His post offer solutions, which I will once again admit that my previous posts did not.

And yes, my list is endless. I could have gone on and on. ;)

slithernoggin said:


Having an employee arrive on time is an absolutely reasonable expectation of any employer, and the responsibility for meeting that expectation rests with the employee.

I agree with that in most instances, but when Cedar Point is providing the transportation. If the transportation service is poor, and it is the reason for being late, than some of the blame should go to management, who could have solved the problem by sending more buses. Minimum wage, entry level, seasonal employees who need to be at work can't send more buses.

I was only late once in my three years (because my roommate decided to turn off my alarm on purpose so it wouldn't wake him up on his day off). Unfortunately, throughout my employment, I did have to tell management about some employees at my location who were late. Each tardy results in a write-up, and after only three write-ups, you're fired. Getting written up is very easy, by the way.

Many people that I know had other, higher paying, easier jobs before they came to work at Cedar Point. Everyone has a story about why they decided to come to work there. I always found the stories intriguing, really, and I would ask people about that all the time.

Many people go right back to those higher paying, easier jobs when the season is over too.

Five pages? Is it the off season already? lol

Last edited by LostKause, Friday, November 27, 2009 1:12 AM
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Friday, November 27, 2009 1:10 AM
LostKause's avatar

I do want to ask slithernoggin what makes Cedar point like any other seasonal job. Many seasonal jobs do not provide housing, or gets most of their employees from far away, other States, or even other Countries. Many seasonal jobs do not work their emplyees 60 or more hours a week (some do, but not all).

I could type a list of seasonal jobs that are nothing like the Cedar Point employment experience, from the top of my head. Just to name a few, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, seasonal toy store employment during the Christmas holidays, Small amusement parks, ski resorts, life guarding in many places...

Edit - And about the travel time to the park, of course one would adjust their departure time the next day. Every day is different though. Different amounts of cars on the causeway, different amounts of employees trying to get to work at different times.

And to be fair, the park does try to warn employees if they're expecting a busy day.

Last edited by LostKause, Friday, November 27, 2009 1:19 AM
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Friday, November 27, 2009 1:19 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:
I do want to ask slithernoggin what makes Cedar point like any other seasonal job.

I think the point is that you haven't really listed anything that seemed too unreasonable or that anyone shouldn't expect to be expected by an employer.

Personally, the more detail you continue to give, the more you lose me. I really thought that maybe there was a chance I didn't get it in the beginning. At this point I pretty sure that's not the case.


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Friday, November 27, 2009 1:55 AM
Jeff's avatar

This comes up at least once a year, and it's always a tired bitch fest, the way I see it. And the nonsense about "you never worked there" is particularly weak. I've had jobs with far more responsibility than any seasonal amusement park worker, so if you want to take the Pepsi Challenger, sorry, I win.

I know a great many managers at CP, including the GM, and I'd consider him a friend even. And for all I hear from people in that park about what goes on there, guess what, it's like anything else you'll ever do, anywhere. And if you're a seasonal, it requires a fraction of the skill and responsibility. That's why the pay sucks. You'll never hear an ounce of sympathy from me, because, guess what, you can not do the job.

The problem is that people confuse the relatively simple nature of seasonal work with its importance at the time. I don't trivialize what people do at that age in jobs like those, because I've been there, in similar jobs if not specifically an amusement park job. But relative to anything else you'll ever do, it's still the kind of thing I'd consider "real life pretend." Whether you'll work at a start up of a dozen people or a gigantic multi-billion dollar company, the "hard" factor is always there. That's work and dealing with other people.

I'm first in line to say that Cedar Point, and Cedar Fair in general, has a great many problems to work out. But to suggest that it's something unique that you have some special angle on is just ridiculous to me.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, November 27, 2009 7:57 AM

LostKause said:
I do want to ask slithernoggin what makes Cedar point like any other seasonal job.

I could type a list of seasonal jobs that are nothing like the Cedar Point employment experience, from the top of my head. ...ski resorts...

LK, funny you should mention a ski area. The winter after I worked at CP, I worked at a local ski area called Pat's Peak, on what they call the "Fun Squad." I was one part guest services, one part security, and one part entertainment.

Most of the time I was checking lift tags, and had to drag the offendors up to Skier Services to knock some sense in to them because they tried to get on a lidt wothout a tag or season pass. On the other hand, I would be guest services becuase I'd be the answer man they'd deal with.

Skier's are quite as bad as coaster junkies... ;)


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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Friday, November 27, 2009 11:34 AM
Fun's avatar

LostKause said:
Everyone who leaves Cedar Point seems to be somewhat disgruntled about the job. That should account for something.

I've worked seasonally at a couple parks, including Cedar Point. I never once felt disgruntled. In fact, I considered myself lucky to be able to find employment doing something I enjoyed. Some days were bad, of course. But overall, it was a great experience. Maybe I'm in the minority, but perhaps it is what we make it out to be.

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Friday, November 27, 2009 1:04 PM

After catching up yet again in this thread, and reading LK's recent posts and slither's response, I thought much of the same. Substitute "college" for "Cedar Point" in the paragraphs about roommates, sick days, and being on time, and nothing else changes. OK, maybe professors don't care if you show up late, or not at all, but you don't get to complain that you were sick or the bus was late when you fail an exam.

And when you get a permanent job, employers do expect you to be on time, and not miss many days either. Every company from those with 3 to 30,000 have procedures and policies in place that we'd all probably agree were stupid or didn't make sense. Everybody has some horror stories about their present or past jobs. It's only because some people's stories take place in parks that they get to be discussed here.

Plus, if you're managing others, you're responsible for reporting them or writing them up when they screw up or goof off. That's part of the position. Even if they're your friends-- no, ESPECIALLY if they're your friends. The company put trust in you with additional responsibility and additional compensation. They know if something isn't right in your department's operations. So if you want to cover up for a buddy, you're hurting nobody but yourself. Ultimately, it's your ass and your job.

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Friday, November 27, 2009 1:26 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
Ultimately, it's your ass and your job.

Wait.. What requires both? :)


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Friday, November 27, 2009 5:00 PM
LostKause's avatar

HA! Jeff. You never worked there either, and yet there you are, as well, criticizing me for telling the negative points of Cedar Point employment. I'm not talking about how much responsibility Cedar Point employees may or may not have, I am talking about how difficult it is for most people to deal with the living and work environment, and the ridiculous policies that the park puts in place.

And I can really understand why the few complaints that I have written here may seem so mundane, but when goofy, yet inconvenient things like that happen every few minutes, it can sometime get pretty frustrating.

Even though a lot of people will refuse to understand what I am trying to say in my previous posts, they have at least agreed with the part that are important to me, and that is that Cedar Point has many problems.

Maybe I simply didn't articulate well enough the awful treatment that employees at Cedar point get. maybe I didn't use the correct words or angle to describe how every few minutes, employees encounter yet another situation that creates such an frustrating work environment.

And I'll say it again, I got through three seasons, because it really was an interesting, and sometimes fun job. I guess I CAN do the job, and pretty well at that. I'm not looking for anyone's sympathy, because I worked there for three seasons, and I could have left at any time. I do want to warn anyone thinking about working there though. It is impossible to live a comfortable lifestyle while there, and Cedar Point will own your soul until you leave.


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Friday, November 27, 2009 5:47 PM

I worked at Cedar Point for 10 years. I statrted in 1992 in foods and like any other job it has its good and bad points. The work was long and hard at times but their was also a lot of fun to be had. Free rides off the clock is a great job benefit. The ESD activities were fun too. The pay wasn't that great but you could save a lot of money.

Housing isn't that great but usually if a had a bad roommate I usually just had to be patient because he usually got fired or moved. In most seasons when I lived in Cedars I usually had the room to myself for the last month or so.

But I thinks some things have changed at most things I hear are not for the better. The lower bonus is really disappointing. Also I think the season is too long from the employee point of view. In the 1990s we only had to go to the beginning of October. Its great for the guests but the employees are very burnt out by November.

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Friday, November 27, 2009 5:53 PM

LostKause said:
And I can really understand why the few complaints that I have written here may seem so mundane, but when goofy, yet inconvenient things like that happen every few minutes, it can sometime get pretty frustrating.

Even though a lot of people will refuse to understand what I am trying to say in my previous posts, they have at least agreed with the part that are important to me, and that is that Cedar Point has many problems.

Maybe I simply didn't articulate well enough the awful treatment that employees at Cedar point get. maybe I didn't use the correct words or angle to describe how every few minutes, employees encounter yet another situation that creates such an frustrating work environment.

I do want to warn anyone thinking about working there though. It is impossible to live a comfortable lifestyle while there, and Cedar Point will own your soul until you leave.

So, LK, how can we articullate to these lunkheads how bad things REALLY are at CP?

I'm gonna be honest: there were some fun things about working at CP.

The bad:

The uniforms chafe like hell!

The busses and other trasport sucks like a black hole.

Upper management could care less if you dropped dead. In fact, you'd probably get written up for slacking off.

You'll be sick of park food & McD's by the end of the summer. You'll be SCREAMING for something good like Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday or even Taco Hell.

Half the dorms should be condemed, espeaclly Cedars. The other half feel like a jail cell, minus the cars on the windows.

If you don't have a car, you're screwed if you want to get off CP property without costing you an arm & a leg.

After your contract is up, you'll want to get away from Sandusky as fast as possible. I hit 105 with a minivan on my way out of Ohio.

If you're weak in body and spirit, CP IS NOT the place for you. It will break you faster than an elephant sitting on a cheap watch.

You can only get so sloshed at Louie's.

The only thing to do after work IS Louies.

90+ in the summer and wicked winds whipping of the lake in the fall. No, they don't issue long-sleave shirts either.

Then there's the UGLY:

The working conditions.

If you smelt half the trash cans in the park, you'd yak heavily. It's even worse when you find a dead rat or two in there. You gotta have a strong stomach.

60 hours a week with damn close to slave wages.

If you're lucky, you get one day off a week.

The closests big cities are Toledo and Cleveland. The Toledo zoo is okay, but that's about it.

You have to look really frickin' hard to find something to do in Sandusky.

You'll probably leave CP with less money that you started with.

And the ugliest of all: THE GUESTS!!!!!

Now, despite all this, there are some GOOD things about working at CP:

You'll meet all sorts cool people from all over the country and world on the crew. You may even get to be frinds with them.

If you have a car, you can make some extra cash by shuttleing people around.

Despite Cedars needing to be condemed, I had a 2nd floor corner room with a great view of the lake out one side, and a primo view of MF on the other.

You might end up with a cool supervisor.

Sandusky does have a few cool things to do. The carousel museam is a great way to kill a couple of hours. Plus, if you're over 21, there's a few wineries. Oh yeah, you might spend at least a few nights bowling.


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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Friday, November 27, 2009 6:44 PM
LostKause's avatar

Hopman, the only thing I can find in you post to disagree with is the long sleeve shirts comment. That's what the Cedar Point sweatshirts are for. ;)

And thanks for including the list of good things about working for the park. I hope everyone doesn't skip over the good things that have been said about Cedar Point in this thread.

Let me have a crack at listing some more good things...

Employee food is almost as inexpensive as McDonald's, and sometimes it is pretty good.

On days off, early admittance in the mornings to the park rocks!

Employee events are sometimes pretty good, and other times awesome!

Friends of all kinds and from all walks of life are easily made.

You get to spend all day at an amusement park!

Hard Rock Cafe and Rock 'n' Roll museum is only about an hour away, and makes for a fun day trip.

Spending time outdoors on nice days is a pleasent change from most other jobs.

The bonus check used to be a great perk that somewhat made up for the crappy paychecks.

I know I was stretching it, but that's all I got.

More bad...The parking situation if you live at Cedars is awful. Employees have to park in the Space spiral employee parking area, and walk across the park to their dorm. It wouldn't be so bad except that sometimes employees are exhausted from working long hours.

The parking situation if you live in off point housing is not horrible, but it is still a long walk if you are not lucky enough to park on the close side of the street.

Veggies were hard to come by in the employee eateries. On my days off, I would travel to any restaurant that I could specifically find vegetables. That's silly, I know, but I felt malnourished sometimes.

And if the cafeteria offers cotton candy for a quarter, do not eat it unless you desire explosive diarrhea, especially if you work at an attraction in which you are stuck in the middle of the water on a floating platform for 10 minutes at a time. lol


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Friday, November 27, 2009 6:48 PM

Just consider yourselves lucky the park doesn't pay you in Snoopy scrip, only redeemable at the Peanuts store. ;)


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Friday, November 27, 2009 7:07 PM

More good:

If you're in a job where you're doing a lot of physical work, it's great for shedding a few pounds. Working Group U, I dropped 3.5 inches off my waist (from a 44 down to a 40) and built up some serious muscles, espeaclly in my legs from dargging a garbage cart around all day.

If you're adventurous and have a few bucks, Kalarhari is down the road and offers day passes. (at least the did in '05)

At lot of places in town give you a discount when you show your CP badge.

Many times over the season, they do employee ERT.

You get to know where all the COLD water bubblers are in the park.

You get to know all the back ways around Sandusky.

During the summer, you get to work on your tan AND get paid for it!

Very few people will know the park on an intamate level like you.

You learn that there's a beauitful rhythem to the park.

Seagull burgers? :)

The comradery you will build with your crew and other people in other departments.

The funky crew t-shirts.

You get to look at a beauitful skyline on your way in every morning.

You savor every moment of sleep, and you sleep well not matter what.

Your CP badge gets you into other CF parks.

The guests are as diverse as the people you work with.

Most of the time, the only laundry you'll do is socks & underware.

The Toledo Zoo will surprize you at how fun it is. Granted, you're trading one zoo for another. ;)

Try a perch sandwich. It's good. Plus, it's about the only seafood this New Englander will trust so far from home.

Route 6 can be a fun road to drive.


Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

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Friday, November 27, 2009 7:23 PM

Ensign Smith said:
Just consider yourselves lucky the park doesn't pay you in Snoopy scrip, only redeemable at the Peanuts store. ;)

Now why did you go and spoil the surprise? Now what is Kinzel going to talk about at the new employee orientation meeting in 2010? :)

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Friday, November 27, 2009 7:44 PM

I've never worked for CP but have worked at a few seasonal and year round parks and most of LK's complaints are kinda par for the course. Having to go to weird places to get pay checks, accomodate extra time for traffic issues on busy days, and having to wolf down lunch down due to obscure work location is fairly universal. Working in a park is really unique and people either love it or hate it. I loved being around rides and coasters enough to put up with the down side of it.

I did look into working at CP but the bunk bed dorms set up was a big turn off so can only imagine what that was like. SFOG had their internationals and some employees at an old hotel in downtown Atlanta that had been turned into a university dorm facility. We even had maid service once a week!

The situation LK had with security is flat out harassment and totally uncalled for. Like most theme parks I'd assume there's lots of gay employees at Cedar Point. If you'd been African American and he'd called you guys "monkeys" that situation would have gone down differently even though both were hate slurs. That fact that security management thinks it's ok to refer to gay employes as "girls" is disturbing and ignorant.

For those of you that have never worked in a park but think you know what it's all about, you don't. Even if you've been on coasters in every continent, you still don't know what it's like to work a 12 hour shift at one. I've worked lots of entry level jobs going through school, some harder, some easier but working in a park is a totally unique experience. One of the more annoying aspects is when guests tell you how to do your job. Unless you've worn the name tag, you won't know the feeling of anger in the back of your neck, the pulse pounding in your temples. This all happens when a chubby guy with coaster patches all over his jacket waddles up to your panel to bitch about unrealsitic dispatch times that would never happen due to the current block system -for the third time that day. :)

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