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Interesting Things Ride-Ops Do


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Not sure how I feel about the "fake out" countdown on rides like Flight of Fear, ex. "10, 9, 8, 7, 1, Launch" or "10, 9, 8, Launch."  Sure it might be fun or even funny for some.  Those of us who have ridden it a million times and love the thrill.  However, what about those guests, and I'm sure they're out there, that have used every ounce of courage just to sit down on the ride to be able to try it for the first time, or the young first time rider who is still not sure about coasters in general, let alone getting launched into a dark tunnel.  Being launched without expecting it could literally scare the mother lovin' crap out of someone.  I'm sure that would make them ever so eager to get back on something like that. 

I know people think these spielers are funny and are just "having fun" with their job, but guest experience and safety must take priority over that.  You're not working the ride for yourself, you're there to make the guests day the most enjoyable it can be.  I'm not against having fun, but doing so at the expense of a guest isn't professional or even right.  Even though a fake launch or something similar wouldn't bother most of us, we must keep in mind all the different types of guests who could potentially be riding with us.

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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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Dumb question does Cedar Fair and other parks with spielers teach them to talk on a microphone or do they just not teach them how to interact with guests?

Like for example at WDW their is no one on the mics on the rides. You just get on, and someone checks you and off you go I think. If there was interaction it was in preshow before the ride and in a small setting


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I was waiting in line at Delirium and as the riders were waiting for the restraints to lift I heard one of them (age 15 or so) use some colorful language.  Apparently the ride op heard him as well because she yelled "Watch your language.  Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?".  The kid was speechless so I guess it worked!

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The spieling has really been around for years, even well into the Paramount days. the difference is just in the words they are using. When I was there (04-08) we really didn't do too much other than give some instruction. But now at like minimum they are trying to make every ride like a Beast power hour... There is just a case of diarhea of the mouth with most of them, and I think some of it is handed down from upper management. Whether that be from the park or CF.

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38 minutes ago, TheRickster said:

 But now at like minimum they are trying to make every ride like a Beast power hour...

Not every ride. Yes, my crew (Vortex/WindSeeker) does spiel, but we say the instructional things that guests need to know most importantly as they board, and the only time we say anything fun or interesting or out of the ordinary is when the train is departing or arriving (all while we're watching to make sure everyone is doing what they're supposed to). We never ruthlessly rush guests or try to speed up the dispatch process to a ridiculous rate (from what I have seen). In fact, on Saturday, our dispatches on Vortex went a bit slower than usual due to extra time taken making sure everyone and everything was good, but it was much better than hurrying everyone up and possibly missing something risky. I have never seen a power hour on Vortex (why do one when it has such a high capacity anyway? :P) - just safe and efficient service with a good dose of courtesy, which is much more necessary.

That being said, the main reason I'm chiming in is not only because I am a ride op myself, but also because not everyone spiels so ridiculously to be funny at the expense of guests' safety. Plus it seemed to me like you were describing every one of KI's ride ops in general by saying what you said, which may or may not be true, so I am saying this also for the purpose of clarification. :) 

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1 hour ago, VortexBFForever said:

Not every ride. Yes, my crew (Vortex/WindSeeker) does spiel, but we say the instructional things that guests need to know most importantly as they board, and the only time we say anything fun or interesting or out of the ordinary is when the train is departing or arriving (all while we're watching to make sure everyone is doing what they're supposed to). We never ruthlessly rush guests or try to speed up the dispatch process to a ridiculous rate (from what I have seen). In fact, on Saturday, our dispatches on Vortex went a bit slower than usual due to extra time taken making sure everyone and everything was good, but it was much better than hurrying everyone up and possibly missing something risky. I have never seen a power hour on Vortex (why do one when it has such a high capacity anyway? :P) - just safe and efficient service with a good dose of courtesy, which is much more necessary.

That being said, the main reason I'm chiming in is not only because I am a ride op myself, but also because not everyone spiels so ridiculously to be funny at the expense of guests' safety. Plus it seemed to me like you were describing every one of KI's ride ops in general by saying what you said, which may or may not be true, so I am saying this also for the purpose of clarification. :) 

 

The perception is that people are becoming annoyed by the spieling. It's definitely not everywhere. The idea of getting people to clap and be excited when you ask how was your ride is lost when everyone hears it on every single train all day long. Also power hours weren't necessarily for capacity. That was just a side effect so we could clear the queue quicker at the end of the night. For the most part Vortex has been ok. Do you guys have a headset? I've noticed that's when this whole thing really started.

I'm thinking part of it might be an experience thing. Since before only the person driving really had a microphone. I'm not worried about the jokes and stuff like some people are here, and some of the operators on certain crews are more than a bit overbearing with the mics. That has always been around for the most part to though. It was an especially fun time working at the park when the seatbelts started surprising guests.

Now the FOF thing a Supervisor should have stepped in and perhaps they have. It also could have been a one time issue. But you should never give a false countdown on any ride let alone a launching ride like that. That's just asking for some type of a stupid injury when a guest finds a way to hurt themselves.

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Since some rides have chronic problems with spieling and some don't, it sounds to me as if the issue falls on the shoulders of individual ride supervisors, rather than upper management.

1 hour ago, TheRickster said:

Now the FOF thing a Supervisor should have stepped in and perhaps they have. It also could have been a one time issue. But you should never give a false countdown on any ride let alone a launching ride like that. That's just asking for some type of a stupid injury when a guest finds a way to hurt themselves.

In the 6+ years I've been going to Kings Island, I have heard many, many false countdowns on Flight of Fear. It's far from a one-time thing. In fact, I've heard them often enough that it's more of—yes—an annoyance than anything else, but only in the sense that any overly repetitive attempt to be funny becomes annoying.

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I know for Mystic, we were never given any tips or what to say. As the season progresses we make up more and more spiels . Such as "The sky is blue. That truck is green. There a monster in the shed and he got your eyes on you." (i think that is how it goes)

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I, personally have no issues with speiling.... I think if done and executed greatly it can add something to the ride.

The exception would be if the spieling interfered with ride operations. Like if a spieller refuses to clear the train unless they all clap loudly and in the meantime the ride has all it's trains stacked. That's when I have an issue.

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7 hours ago, TheRickster said:

The perception is that people are becoming annoyed by the spieling. It's definitely not everywhere. The idea of getting people to clap and be excited when you ask how was your ride is lost when everyone hears it on every single train all day long. Also power hours weren't necessarily for capacity. That was just a side effect so we could clear the queue quicker at the end of the night. For the most part Vortex has been ok. Do you guys have a headset? I've noticed that's when this whole thing really started.

I'm thinking part of it might be an experience thing. Since before only the person driving really had a microphone. I'm not worried about the jokes and stuff like some people are here, and some of the operators on certain crews are more than a bit overbearing with the mics. That has always been around for the most part to though. It was an especially fun time working at the park when the seatbelts started surprising guests.

I can personally recall a visit from last year when on Vortex the spieler said "Enjoy your ride on the 29-year old Vortex" every. single. time, so I definitely know from experience how old a spiel can get if it is used on every single train. Perhaps Vortex never does power hours because the queue always clears quickly at the end of the night anyways, which is a good thing. :)

At Vortex we do have a headset, but before last weekend it was broken. That's why the driver was often the one spieling. Even after the mic was fixed, sometimes the driver would spiel if he/she wanted to.

I would also say it's an experience thing. I have worked five days and they have not asked me to spiel (which I'm perfectly fine with that right now :)) and generally only two or three returners on my crew take turns spieling.

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The past few times I've been to the park I've ridden The Bat on repeat, not usually having to wait more than a train or two.  Even first row, which in my opinion is the best!  I was there on Memorial Day (yes, I know! :blink:) and the ride op on the unload side would say as we were exiting, "Have a bat-tastic day!" with a huge smile on her face.  Her enthusiasm was contagious, as was her smile.  I told her as much. #battastic

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On 5/31/2017 at 9:49 AM, Cdeq said:

I know for Mystic, we were never given any tips or what to say. As the season progresses we make up more and more spiels . Such as "The sky is blue. That truck is green. There a monster in the shed and he got your eyes on you." (i think that is how it goes)

Mystic is quite a fun one to work with, since it's a truck you can throw some ohio laws into the cell phones and seatbelts. Click it or ticket, or no texting while driving. I've personally used those a few times. 

"Scream your head off, don't ask why. For a ghostly creature may pass you by... as you race around this twisted trail, whatever you do, don't go into haunted hill." - Banshee

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Whenever I work Dual on Vortex, I have lately been waving to the riders on the arriving train. Some wave back; others smile or nod while some don't notice/respond at all. But the response on each train is different. This morning, I got several trains that each had less than ten riders to wave, while on this past Saturday a full train would pass and not one person would wave back. But for the most part, the riders usually enjoy the greeting! :D 

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On 5/31/2017 at 10:37 AM, whengodsaysgo said:

The past few times I've been to the park I've ridden The Bat on repeat, not usually having to wait more than a train or two.  Even first row, which in my opinion is the best!  I was there on Memorial Day (yes, I know! :blink:) and the ride op on the unload side would say as we were exiting, "Have a bat-tastic day!" with a huge smile on her face.  Her enthusiasm was contagious, as was her smile.  I told her as much. #battastic

Yeah she is amazing. I should have ran to guest relations and gave her a good comment. I think their headset has been broken the past few weeks. Driver has been spieling it all.

Also darn, like the whole Mystic Timbers crew posts here... I assumed forums like this were pretty much dead to the under 25 crowd.

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7 hours ago, TheRickster said:

Yeah she is amazing. I should have ran to guest relations and gave her a good comment. I think their headset has been broken the past few weeks. Driver has been spieling it all.

Also darn, like the whole Mystic Timbers crew posts here... I assumed forums like this were pretty much dead to the under 25 crowd.

I need to be more proactive about passing out compliments - getting names etc.  Mysti's crew is awesome!  Always high energy and so much fun!  Last night's ERT was so much fun.  I'm still kind of a newb around here (well over 25, if I were honest) and not sure who is who.  So Mysti's crew: much love! :wub:

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Banshee Crew yesterday evening were playing The-floor-is-lava game to get people to load faster. It was awesome. I rode that several times in a row and a couple times was able to get right on. Not even having to wait at the gate. I did notice that they have to spend some time buckling the empty seats so I started doing it for them when no one was next to me. 

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Our ride op on The Beast said "Have a great day here at Canada's Wonderland" and then when we got back to the station he said "Have a great day at Paramount's Kings Island"! He seemed to have quite a good sense of humor about him. 

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Not a ride op, but a lady working at the Fun Pix in the Banshee gift shop commented on my Paramount's Kings Island shirt:

 

"Awesome shirt!  Paramount, I sure do miss those days.  Wait, I probably shouldn't have said that."

 

 

 

 

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I rode Mystic twice today and I guess they now refer to the Orange Menace as "Butterscotch". I like his new nickname; it has a nice ring to it. Also, I got to meet @Drummermattk before exiting after my second ride.

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4 hours ago, MDMC01 said:

I rode Mystic twice today and I guess they now refer to the Orange Menace as "Butterscotch". I like his new nickname; it has a nice ring to it. Also, I got to meet @Drummermattk before exiting after my second ride.

all 3 trains have names:

Blue is Sky

Green is Swamp thing

Orange is Butterscotch

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I think the operators should worry more about having a fun and safe riding experience for the guests rather than worry about what "funny" thing they want to say next. 

I was never in love with the headsets, but was okay with it when it was simple instructions. I think it began to go downhill in 2014 with Banshee having it up so load that I recall kids holding their ears.

Since then, it has devolved greatly to the point when they are saying, "Thank you for riding The Vortex at Cedar Point!" when you are riding The Beastie (or whatever it's called now) at Kings Island.

The worst - so help me God - is the train. Last year they informed the riders repeatedly that the building of Diamondback at a cost of $22 million was "why drinks are so expensive here." And this year they added that really cool audio bumper for when the train goes under the shed but the ride op takes it upon themselves to talk over it.

I do not blame the ride ops for this because if you give a 17 year old an unadulterated microphone then this is inherently going to happen, what's sad is that either:

1) The leadership in that department so rarely visits rides that they don't know this happens.

-or-

2) The leadership in that department knows about this and think it's acceptable.

And yes - if you work in the rides department and don't agree with this then you're likely a part of the problem.

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