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Interesting Things Ride-Ops Do


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I finally rode Viking Fury yesterday. I got in a row because no one was in it yet. A woman and her two small children got in behind me. No big deal, room for us all, two medium-sized women's bottoms under one lap bar, and two small children under the other with the somewhat larger boy on the outside and girl on the inside.

Just before they finally locked the bars, a ride op came by and asked if the girl could scoot over and put her legs under our bar. She did, but could only fit her legs under, uncomfortably, with her bottom still mostly to the other side. She asked her mother if she really had to do this, and I mentioned to her mother that it certainly seemed a lot less safe than the prior situation. But, the bars were locked now, and she couldn't quite wriggle out easily, and the ride op was now ignoring us. Her mother's bottom and mine were smooshed as closely together as we could to give her room (which wasn't much even though neither of us are overweight), while her older brother (about 7 years old) had an entire bar to himself.

I still don't understand why this request was even made. With the huge crowd yesterday, Viking Fury was still a walk on, so it wasn't as if it was making extra room. The little girl wasn't more secure under a bar with full-size women's thighs determining its position than she was with her slightly larger brother's thighs doing the same.

It's because the smaller ride was, or appeared to be, shorter than 48". This means she must ride with a responsible adult and be underneath that adult's lapbar, with the adult on the outside of the row and the child on the inside.

And the child is perfectly safe, even if the lap bar doesn't seem "down enough". Centrifugal forces are cool things - you can actually set a cup of water on the boat and it'll remain in place, without spilling the drop, the whole ride.

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^Cool story, bro.

Most annoying spiel: "As a reminder, the park closes in about 2 hours, 25 minutes." For some, KI is their vacation. Reminding them that they're on the tale end does nothing for them. Can you imagine g

Ride Op on Friday said "Enjoy your ride on Diamondback. The best ride at KI, cause we have BINS!" Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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When I was at Cedar Point on the 5th there was an op on the Mine Ride (I think his name was Ben) who said some interesting things:

"Welcome back riders, how was your ride?"

*only 1 or 2 riders cheer*

"Wow...I feel sorry that you're here at Cedar Point right now..."

"As you guys take your see sure you buckle your seat belts, 'cause I love seat belts....love, love, love...."

"Just as a reminder, the use of cell phones, cameras, cell phones and cell phones is not allowed on the ride...So put away your cell phones; if your cell phone is out on the ride and you get caught, you will get in trouble and you will not get dessert."

"Please face forward during the entire ride keeping all arms, hands, claws and paws inside the ride at all times."

"Are you guys pumped to ride the Mine Ride?"

*a few riders cheer*

"Okay, then, let's just pretend you're on Top Thrill Dragster. You're going to take off really fast on the Top Thrill Mine Ride - 0 to 60 in 0 seconds...3, 2, 1.."

*train dispatches*

"Welcome back riders, how was your ride?

*lots of cheering*

"Yay! People actually like this ride! Yaaay!! Unfortunately your ride has come to an end; I'm sorry..."

"The gates are going to close!"

*op says something from Harry Potter commanding the gates to close, but the gates don't move*

"Aw, it didn't work!"

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"Welcome back riders, how was your ride?"

*only 1 or 2 riders cheer*

"Wow...I feel sorry that you're here at Cedar Point right now..."

See I find this annoying to all end when they do this, and they do it alot at KI. If I dont feel like yelling all the time or sometimes not at all, maybe im talking to my wife. I'm not here to entertain you or make you feel important just because you have a mic. Don't get me started on the " I say Diamond you say Back....UGH.

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Lots of cynicism here, but most of it seems to come from what I refer to as "stock spieling". So to speak, basic spiels that feature no creativity or real point to them other than to prevent silence.

I don't like stock spieling. It's repetitive, and as mentioned prior, a bit annoying. This is especially true if you visit often and hear the same things over and over. Spieling shouldn't be sarcastic (unless it's being performed properly, as an obvious joke), repetitive, or annoying. Spiels should instead be engaging, memorable, and useful. Gauge those waiting in line before spouting off some boilerplate joke, and know what you're there to do. Only make jokes if you know they work, and keep safety at the highest of priorities.

Perhaps it's just bias speaking, but those I know who operate rides who have a genuine passion and enjoyment for what they're doing seem to understand this. However, a lot of these guidelines seem to be lost.

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Guest dtk1376

I've seen people on the mics at games be mean to guests to try and get them to play. I let my daughter play Whack-a-Mole (sorry if that's not the proper capitalization) the other day and the guy tried getting her to beg me to play another game so she could get a bigger prize, she just ignored him.

Oh and I've seen the game people be straight out racist, most notably the basketball games.

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I had a rather annoying encounter with the Banshee crew last Saturday night. If I didn't know better, I'd of guessed they ingested a lot of Red Bull and caffeine before their night shift. The person on the microphone was talking way, way too fast and the crew was just annoying. They stood right by the cars as they unloaded and loaded, rushing guests to get on and off. I felt they were breathing down my neck as soon as the gates or restraints opened. Some of the crew gave creepy responses, either being dead silent and giving awkward stares or giving off these weird squeals like they were a 10 year old that had too much Mt Dew. It was almost robotic how they were acting.

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I mean who doesnt love Power Hours. Ride ops doing what they need to do in a timely manner, as opposed to the rest of the day where they just sort of do what they need to do at half speed... or is it Power Hours, where the ride ops only do half what they should be doing so they can get more people on the ride as opposed to their normal safe and diligent speed. Im confused....

One of the worst things you can do is give a teen-ager an open mic and "free reign." Jokes become sophomoric, they dont understand dead air, and it can become a burden. It took me almost 2-3 years of professional radio work with help from a consultant to understand the power in "Dead Air." You dont have to fill it all up. Make your words count but make them few.

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It was a power hour. Saw this on Facebook:

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"I would like to give a HUGE shoutout to the Banshee crew for reaching a record of 53 cycles in one hour! This is just mind-boggling to me and is another great example of why Kings Island is the best."

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For crying out loud.

Of all things to be proud of.

Safety.

Service.

Courtesy.

I don't remember running around like a chicken with its tail on fire to set a capacity record as being a cornerstone.

I guess that means more Fast Lane customers can be accommodated more quickly.

EBITDA, sweet EBITDA.

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I like "Welcome back riders. How was your ride?" It should be left at that though. Speaking of Welcome back riders there is a fantastic documentary of that name on amusement park history. It covers long gone parks like Euclid Beach and Old Elitch Gardens as well as still thriving parks like Cedar Point and Disneyland. I highly recommend it for those who haven't seen it.<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/SQSawTY3PkU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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Also..is it that hard to hit theoretical capacity on a ride with restraints and a system that basically says, "here, let me do this for you." All on a platform with no loose articles, no extra issues, no lift stops/etc due to SOP @ KI, and no problems..

If they haven't ever hit theoretical one day other than this year and just now getting it almost towards the end of the season..wow..just.wow.not even major holiday weekends?

Please bring Bill Spehn to the park..please..or back to CP..I miss seeing him and his work in the park.

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  • 1 month later...

...which takes us to an important point.

Who is the target market of a spiel?

What's amusing to the spieler may be bothersome, annoying or flat out unwelcome to:

* A grief stricken soul out on a mission to just forget the cruel world for a while.

* Two young souls madly in love, at the park for some quality time.

* A proud parent trying to encourage or cajole their leery offspring on to a first ride on a big coaster.

* An old guy trying to relive his past, perhaps on one of his last trips ever to an amusement park.

Sometimes that is how I feel when I go to Kings Island, or at least some of those awful spiels make me feel...

It's times like those when I just think "Cut the crap, I'm just here to ride rides"...

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I very rarely pay attention to what the ride ops have to say. Except for a month ago when the "spieler" dropped an S bomb. I heard that. Lucky for her, I don't think anyone else did.

And speaking of the Banshee crew, this past Friday, while waiting for the front row, we were asked by the ops to not board because they had to "load someone from the other side." We did as we were asked, but they didn't load anyone, making us wait an extra turn for, well, nothing or no one.

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Not at KI but seen and heard at Carowinds today...

- On Nighthawk, the ride op asking people if they want to die when they went to touch their lap bar restraints. On the mic, from the operator's booth.

-On Carolina Cyclone, the ride op repeating instructions to the team member at the back of the train to "let go, now press" a few times with the train jerking forward and stopping once. Then he says "Are you stupid?". All on mic, from the operator's booth.

- Not checking seatbelt restraints for Carolina Goldrushers once the lap bar was push down for the train.

- The cherry on the top? The Carrousel operator starting the ride as we are trying to step up onto the platform.

I know I have high standards for customer service but this was disappointing.

I did notice that the person who had the mic was the operator in the booth, not a person out with the guests.

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Well, around the 2007-2009 era, when SpongeBob 3D was still playing at Kings Island I sat in the moving seats, after the workers checked our safety belts, the ride operator said over the intercom "Ok, once your ready, push the big yellow button below your seat." I was thinking what yellow button, considering I had been on SpongeBob many times before, I was a bit confused. But then the operator said "Just kidding, enjoy your ride." It was pretty funny because it confused a lot of people.

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  • 8 months later...

The Adventure Express crew have come up with an interesting way of entertaining themselves: miming holding and petting a cat. I first noticed one young man doing it last week, and he was telling someone he did it for an hour the day before without anyone mentioning it. Then when I rode again yesterday, that ride op was working too, but it was one of his coworkers "petting the kitty."

There is a strangeness among the AE crew, but I enjoy them :)

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^Oh my goodness...Magenta...you just made my entire day...maybe my summer...this is absolutely hilarious. 

 

Yes, Adventure Express, the only ride at Kings Island that has cats! Come on by and see us sometime! :P

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When I went to ride Viking Fury, a lady working there said, "Have fun on Viking Fury, the ride that goes upside down not once, not twice, but NEVER." I found it strangely hilarious.

Welcome to KIC by the way! I believe I heard this lady say it about a few days ago.

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