Working at a Park- Good/Bad?

Sunday, May 29, 2005 12:39 PM
Just curious about how you feel about working at an amusement park-Would it be fun because- you are always at the park in a fun environment, you are involved with the day-to-day operations, and you are genuinely interested in your work?Or would it be bad because- you may get tired of being there, the park may “lose it’s magic”, you would be working, evenings, weekends, and all summer (at seasonal parks). You just wouldn’t have enough time to leisurely visit other parks.Just wanted to weigh the pros & cons.
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Sunday, May 29, 2005 6:42 PM
I had fun working at Martin's Fantasy Island -- well, at least the Silver Comet.

I called them back up yesterday to see if I can work there again this summer, so I will be back there later on.

My family pretty much says, why make the drive (it's about 15 min away) for such a low paying job, but I WANT to work there because I had a blast working there. There was never a day i left the park truly dreading my day, and I always left w/ a smile on my face (i think i'm the only on there in that park, lol)... it was a drag in the kiddie section the first few weeks, but once i turned 18 and they stuck me on the comet permanently, it made working so much more enjoyable. There are some things i DON'T like about the park, the way it's run, and a lot of the employees, so I always try my best to make the day that much more enjoyable for guests.

I would say try it out, everybody is different. If you think youw ould have a good time, then go for it, but if you know going into it you don't like working hard for low pay and being out in the sun, I wouldn't bother.


-- alan "shaded in the booth" jacyszyn

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Sunday, May 29, 2005 7:16 PM
working at a park has its pros and cons, I worked at at dorney park starting as a ride att,ride op. then supervisor for 98-99 and 2000 season. There are lots of pros and cons,there are things I did and didnt like. This is a matter of personel pref.

Pros:

  • Meet cool people
  • Fun eviroment
  • advancment oppurtunities
  • You work outside in the sun(con for some)
  • Great for hs or college kids
  • Learn a little more about the industry(not the park, seasonal employees contrary to belief usually know as much as the gp)
  • Dealing with people

Cons

  • Many hours (at DP no overtime pay)
  • Jobs get repititive and boring
  • You dont make any real money
  • The internal seasonal politics
  • No health coverage (seasonal)
  • dealing with people :)

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Sunday, May 29, 2005 10:21 PM
The best and the worst times of my life...

I wouldn't trade those days for anything.

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Monday, May 30, 2005 12:12 AM
Working at a park, and then getting promoted to a position of leadership really allows you to treat the guests with a standard that you wish to be treated, and you can help guide your coworkers to improving your park as well. It all helps, and being a part of something like that really is magical.
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Monday, May 30, 2005 12:49 AM
I agree, they were the best and worst days of my life working at dorney, but i would do it all again if i could. Me and my gf both met and worked there and we have a kid now. My daughter is a product of that park and my daughter is only 16 months but already defeated the dragon coaster, all of camp snoopy and babbles at talon.(just a side note)Shes already ready for the big leauge
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Monday, May 30, 2005 12:28 PM
Good:
* Making people scream
* Watching people in absolute terror preparing to ascend for their Skycoaster ride (ok, it worked for me:))
* Seeing the park before everyone else does (this is cool for a couple of days max)
* When you do get off from your shift, most parks allow you to ride (out of uniform of course). So that means no parking fees, and no hassles about trips to the park–you're already there!
* Learning new rides on top of the ones you now–again this novelty wears off in about a few hours
* Park cafeteria has much, much lower rates for food–your mileage may vary
* Meeting people from other countries and learning about their culture

Bad
* Long shifts-sometimes doubles are required due to lack of staffing during the spring/fall seasons
* Parents-They can be very pushy when it comes to getting their child on a ride, even if you point out the height limit.
* Ride breakdowns-It's no fun when everyone's looking at you and your waiting for maintenance to show up
* Vomit-Whether or not you're the one who has to clean it up, who wants to even look at it?
* Not being able to ride-When a whole group of enthusiasts come by and say "Rob will you come and ride with us?", knowing damn well that you can't, it sucks.
* Temperature-This can really suck. Sometimes it's so hot you want to rip all your clothes off and run to the waterpark, and other times you're freezing cold due to either the time of year, or a steady downpour
* Open gate/let passengers on/check restraints/run ride/let passengers off–repeat

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Monday, May 30, 2005 12:54 PM
Working at a park gives you a great perspective of things. You go from being the guests to trying to please the guests, and you understand what the employess go through everyday. It's not a cakewalk, but it's not hard labor either.

I've worked at a SF park now for 3 years, and have met many people and learned many things. And I will keep doing it as long as I can afford to do so.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 4:05 PM
hmm...I think it totally depends on which park you work at and what you do. I worked at two parks here in Vegas (Adventuredome and MGM Grand Adventures) and I saw how completely opposite in how they were run and definately how that effected employee moral. And these in turn were also very different from my experiences at Disney.

My main complaints come from working at the Adventuredome...not once, but twice (still dont know why I went back). I hated: the way the training program was so random in nature, an ineffective rotation schedule (its not a rotation at all), and riduculous policies which all contributed to low employee moral. Its no wonder the park still has such a high turnover. I guess I would have thought things would have changed since the first time, but it had only gotten worse. Nothing sucks more that standing in a single position for 6 hours with a single 20 min break, then back to same position.

But I agree with the statement about advancing to leadership. Its the best way to treat people the way you'd want to be treated. Often leads, coordinators, or whatever you want to call them are given a position without true leadership skills which in turn pushes people away.

At Adventuredome, I always thought it was funny how they felt the need to threaten people. They always threatened to freeze rotation...how can you freeze whats already frozen? If you constantly back a puppy up in a corner, he will get mad and bite! And that's why so many grumpy people work there! *** Edited 5/31/2005 8:08:37 PM UTC by haiderodes***

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 8:24 PM

nickpa610 said:

Pros:

  • Meet cool people *Interesting is more like it
  • Fun eviroment *gotta love to wildlife
  • advancment oppurtunities *Supervisor by the time I was 17
  • You work outside in the sun(con for some)
  • Great for hs or college kids
  • Learn a little more about the industry(not the park, seasonal employees contrary to belief usually know as much as the gp) *You can learn alot, if you work there long enough.
  • Dealing with people

Cons

  • Many hours (at DP no overtime pay)*God I loved OT
  • Jobs get repititive and boring*Not if you make them not to be.
  • You dont make any real money *I wouldnt say that from the age of 15 till 19 I made around 35 to 40 thousand dollars, working "seasonal"
  • The internal seasonal politics*Dont ever have a girl freind work there
  • No health coverage (seasonal) *Mommy and Daddy
  • dealing with people

So I dont see any truly bad parts, other then if you dont mind the stress if you become a supervisor/maneger, and the negative effects on your body.


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Saturday, June 4, 2005 12:08 AM
No job is free from any truley bad parts. Not even being in business for yourself. If I didnt like working at a park i would not of stayed there for 3 years.That was years ago and times have changed. My list was opinionated as is yours. If your content on your parents health insurance and dont mind the low sum of money you stated, more power to you. The key was opinionated!
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Saturday, June 4, 2005 1:46 AM

dexter said:
The best and the worst times of my life...

Same here. Unfortunately many of the good times are clouded by the bad times of booze and loose women... Or were those the good times? ;)

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Saturday, June 4, 2005 2:06 AM
I enjoy it...at GL last season the hours were insane. But when your 18 and making about 300 a week its nice esp when going off to college.

Disney is pretty fun...they are strict on the rules here. But we do get overtime...and up until this week doubletime...dont get me starteed on how they can take away College Program doubletime without even telling us, they did it so they can work us over 15 hours without worrying about doubletime and to make some people come into work less than 8 hours after their previous shift.

But I do still love my job here.

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Saturday, June 4, 2005 10:34 AM
at 18 it is a great job and the money isnt too bad . There is room for advancement where you may get into a ft position that pays well. At dorney Park there was no overtime,that was my biggest complaint. We got paid our reg. hourly rate even after 40 hours. To date it was of my funnest jobs ever. If your 18 it beats working at the mall.
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Saturday, June 4, 2005 10:42 AM
I have a question, seeing how I've never (but always wanted to work at a local park) Does the employer provide housing (discounted) or is it a provide your own place sort of deal? (I'd like to work at Geauga Lake) and the one thing I want to know is how the housing works. *thanks a bunch if you answer*
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Sunday, June 5, 2005 1:35 PM
geauga lake doesnt have dorms...but i heard this year they have set up some housing aragement.

Here at Disney they have all of the College Program Cast members live in three different apartment complexes. Vista Way (where I live), Chatam, and the Commons (for the international program) The apartments are not run by disney but your rent is deducted right from your paycheck every week. THEY RIP US OFF! 69 a week! for a three bedroom with 5 other roomates *mutters*

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Sunday, June 5, 2005 3:26 PM
I worked at Cedar Point for one summer; for me, a case of be careful what you wish for...

Each spring for several years my mother and I would make the pilgirmage to Kalamazoo, Michigan, so that I could interview for a job at my favorite amusement park. Finally the call came... and I was off to work at Stockade Refreshments in Frontiertown.

I met some wonderful people, and had some great times... but I had the bad luck to be under two levels of management that had, oh let's call them management skill deficiencies.

The one fellow was a living example of the Peter Principle ([expletive deleted] floats), while the other was just odd. Spent a week calling me "Wilhelmina" (punning on my name, Will) before I started calling "Trixie" (punning on his name).

Anyways -- Overall I had a wonderful time and would not ever, ever go back.

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