Workin as a ride op...

Wednesday, November 19, 2003 6:20 PM
i just was wonderin wat time you have to show up, how old you have to be, and how long are the normal shifts?
Wednesday, November 19, 2003 6:31 PM
Hmm, well at Six Flags Worlds Of Adventure, we show up atleast 30 minutes before the shift during normal operating hours, but during the last frightfest weekends, they asked us to show up 1 hour early. In addition, you usually stay atleast 15 after your shift ends.

At Six Flags, you must be atleast 16 years of age to operate any ride. Normal shifts are either half a day, or the whole day. For example, during the summer, you might see something like this:

Monday: 9:30 am- 4:15 pm, Tuesday, 9:30am-10:15pm, Wednesday, 3:30pm-10:15pm, etc...

Wednesday, November 19, 2003 6:32 PM
It's different for different parks, but for most parks you have to be at least 18.

Shifts can range from Open to Close, Open to a couple hour break to close, about 5 - close, open - 5, etc. It's different per park operating hours, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003 6:32 PM
In Pennsylvania you must be 16, you show up when you are told to show up, and shift varies, mostly dependant on age and local laws.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003 6:37 PM
At some parks they can even keep you an extra 2 and a half hours after your shift ends to make sure you are cleaning up an area that is not yours. It doesn't matter if they are aware you are casual labor, you are a 16 year old student, and that you have to drive an hour home and that you will only get 4 hours of sleep. Expect to work some mad hours and get very little breaks.
Wednesday, November 19, 2003 10:54 PM
At SFA, we had to show up 45 minutes before our shift, so we could test the rides and fill out a safety checklist. The shifts can vary, but expect to be asked to work double-shifts if you work at a Six Flags. For example, when we were open from 12-10pm during Frightfest, we were there from 11:15am until—you guessed it, at least 10pm. This may vary, though, by your age. Usually, you could close down your ride the same time the park closed to the public, unless you were working one of the big coasters, which meant you had to stay until the line was cleared.

Also, make sure when filling out your application that you check that you've spelled words like "wonderin(g)", and "w(h)at" correctly. If you don't, it may look like you don't pay attention to details.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003 11:09 PM
You are paid for those 45 minutes before your shift right?
Wednesday, November 19, 2003 11:18 PM
At SFEG, I worked as a kiddie land ride up last year. For Foam Factory and Tower you only had to be 14, but for rides 16, and for major rides 17. You usually have to show up an hour or so before work, and the shifts for us were around 7 hours long.
Thursday, November 20, 2003 12:36 AM
At Six Flags Over Texas you can operate any ride at 16, but we take our safety very seriously. If a supervisor feels that you are not performing your job correctly they will not hesitate to move you. If its serious enough, you can say goodbye to your job.

Here, leads (formen) and one crew member have to be at the ride one hour before the park opens for Safety Checks, Cleaning, Etc., and one arrives 30 minutes prior to park opening and one arrives as the park opens. (this being written for a four person crew obviously.)

So for example. If the park opens at 10, the schedule would be something like

09:00 - Lead, Assistant Lead or other crew member but usually lead and assistant.

09:30 - Crew Member 3

10:00 - Crew Member 4

If our operating hours are 10-10, one shift is from 9-4 and the other from 3 - 10:30 (for Leads), just bump one hour arrival for other employees.

11-7 is one shift. ONE grueling long horrible shift (at least it can be.) Leads arrive at 10 and leave at 7:30.

10-8 is two. 9-3 and 2-8 etc dont need a novel on the operations of sfot :)

Thursday, November 20, 2003 12:39 AM
I think that all Cedar Fair parks (I know of Cedar Point) you have to be 18 to operate any ride. Question for any Cedar Point ride ops...When they call you for your interview, do you get an opporunity to pick the ride you want? Now I know this doesn't necessarily mean you'd get the ride but, is it possible for a 1st timer to get put on a big time ride (ie Top Thrill Dragster or Wicked Twister)? Thanks
Thursday, November 20, 2003 1:29 AM
You are placed in a position for where they need you. They do ask you where you would like to work during the phone interview to get an idea where to place you.

Having two years experience in the amusement industry prior to my position at Cedar Point last year, I had a very good idea of where I didn't want to work and knew enough to not mention particular rides because ususally it doesn't matter. So I stated the kind of position that would suit me best. They gave me Sky Ride. Tough work at the beginning but after a while I loved it. Oddly enough, out of all the rides i've been trained on at the Point, Sky Ride is still my favorite. Call me crazy, thats just my opinion.

Coasterman Mike - Who's ride?!? Sky Ride!:)

Thursday, November 20, 2003 1:49 AM
I'll being going to the job fair for Marine World in March... this is a great place to get your job. Everyone who came out of the job fair last year (I was there taking Zonga construction pictures) said they got hired... some as your as 14. To be a ride operator you must be at least 16 years old, and to work at the pannel you have to be 18. See if your local park has a job fair (they should.)

Good luck, I can't think of a better place to work than an amusement park, granted it isn't easy work. *** Edited 11/20/2003 6:50:05 AM UTC by GoliathKills***

Thursday, November 20, 2003 3:00 AM
An Overall Thought:

Hopefully those who plan to work at an amusement park have some people skills. It won't pay off to not want to deal with people in a variety of situations. One needs to be patient and willing to serve others, evan when your dealing with a very rude or difficult to please person. It makes the visit much more pleasant for guest, and gets you a good reputation with the higher ups.

Thursday, November 20, 2003 3:21 AM
Well from working at CP (Mantis & Wildcat & back to Mantis, and some days on WT)

you do have to be 18 to run the rides....As for them asking what ride you want, yes they'll ask, but putting a "rookie" on TTD or a NEW NEW ride, is nill to none (sometimes) when WT opened, it was all returners. Granted this will be year two for TTD, if youre a returner, seniority is rule, and if all spots are taken, then your A@@ out of being on that crew.

Our shifts vary (Coasterman Mike can you think of any that may be wrong or that i missed?) but a typical schedule could go:

Split (open till 1; 4 hour break; then close)

open: (usually an hour on b4 park opens on bigger rides) till 2

Mid: 11:30 till close

Closer: 2 or 3 till close(?) its been a year since i worked there last, and shannon and i used to have to redo our schedule constantly so it was a chore to say the least. During peak hours and days, if you close expect to stay a good hour or so after the park closes to run your line out (bigger rides of course)

Uhm that's all i can think of so far...hope it helps

PS; at CP we dont "wander" like 6 flags ride ops do

once your assigned to a ride, it your ride, UNLESS your cross trained and you go to cover shifts at another ride, you are trained on one ride and its yours (ie you dont get to work like 2 hours on maggie then 2 hours on MF, etc..)

Thursday, November 20, 2003 1:51 PM
You missed:
5 - Close
Open - 6
Open - 8

Though a rarity towards the end of the season, i've seen a couple of these. Of course the hightlight of anyone's day at CP was "The Cutback." :) You did hit the nail on the head CBTango with your "no wandering" statement. You are either on your way to the bathroom, your position, or going to break. The supervisors know where you work and do question you if you are out of the work zone. There's no messing around there.

I should note, during my first day, I worked a 12 hour shift. So if working LONG hours isn't your cup of tea then a position at a park may not suit you.

Coasterman Mike *** Edited 11/20/2003 6:53:40 PM UTC by Coasterman Mike***

Thursday, November 20, 2003 3:13 PM
Im not really sure if I want to become a ride op or work at a park but I was just wondering what the wages are like. I dont need any specifc numbers, unless you want to give them, but are they like, average, good, poor,etc.
Thursday, November 20, 2003 3:23 PM
Wages are average, on par with what you would earn at a fast food joint or standing behind a register. The good thing is, that if you don't mind long hours, you will have no problem getting plenty of hours. Plus, for the most part you get to be outside. That alone is worth applying for the job.

Mustang - Ride Op 1st season, Rides Manager second season

Thursday, November 20, 2003 9:16 PM
Yeah, working at a park you have to have these main qualities to like it:

-Able to work long hours with minimum pay (for a while depending on park)

-Able to handle whiny, complaining, chaotic etc. guests of all ages

-Able to be in one place for an extended amount of time in all sorts of weather

-Know what you are doing and have common sense

-If you can do this you can usually master all of the above: Like your job, have fun and enjoy it.

Now me I worked at SFSL this past summer and am going back there as a lead next year. I do love the amusement park atmosphere so that helps a lot (for a roller coaster enthusiast it shouldnt be a problem). The key is to just stick around and be a good worker and supervisors will notice you and if you plan on staying around, you will enjoy it more and more. The pay does suck at Six Flags for a while but it adds up quickly if you work a decent amount. Now Cedar Point and parks more sophisticated than 6 Flags are probably different but the concepts are the same. I just make my own fun, talk to the guests, be energetic.

Shifts are usually split pretty evenly its just a matter of weather you want to wake up early or stay out late cleaning garbage (or you can do both).

Thursday, November 20, 2003 9:29 PM
One of the hardest things about working as a ride op, at least for me, was the negativity of everybody that works with you. It's just like one big soap opera in an amusement park, mostly because it's only kids that you work with. But there is a lot of drama, its just like highschool, if you can stay out of it then all is well, otherwise it might be a really hard job.

As far as the wages go, I thought the pay was decent for a 16 year old. If you are willing to work 5 days a week in the summer then its not too bad. Of course there are jobs that pay better but if you like rollercoasters (which I'm assuming you do) then this job is a great expierence.

Friday, November 21, 2003 12:00 AM

Boz said:

The pay does suck at Six Flags for a while but it adds up quickly if you work a decent amount. Now Cedar Point and parks more sophisticated than 6 Flags are probably different but the concepts are the same.

How, exactly, are Cedar Fair parks "more sophisticated" than Six Flags parks??

-Nate *** Edited 11/21/2003 5:00:59 AM UTC by coasterdude318***


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