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Interesting Things Ride-Ops Do


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All of the unadulterated banter detracts from the ride experience in my opinion. I'd rather just sit down quietly and dispatch. After hearing the "noise" for about an hour throughout the park is tedious. Why not go with pre recorded messages that are geared towards the attraction? Back in the day, the FOF had a mysterious woman's voice that announced   To secure items etc. I haven't been on the ride in years. But it was to the point and we didn't have to endure crackly loud speakers and stand up comedy. The one thing that I give to Disney is dispatch time. You are in, seated, and on your way... no fuss, no muss.

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At MIA, the spiels kind of feel programmed.  The operators still talk on them, but they insert the instructions within certain procedures during off loading and loading.  They had to go over certain parts of the instruction before even opening the gate and locking the restraints.  It was good in that they kept something consistent going, but bad in that it made the loading procedure longer, especially in the case of Mad Mouse.  Shivering Timbers' crew was quite on the ball about it, but the rides that had less of a line didn't move along so well.  

Just out of curiosity, do some states/countries require spiels about certain safety aspects before/during the loading and off loading procedure?  

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@BoddaH1994, I do agree with your post. :) 

When I spiel, I like to insert a cool fact about Vortex here and there, including how it is the first coaster in the world to go upside down six times, and how it was the world's tallest coaster when it opened in 1987. I also like to use the ride's stats, sometimes saying things like "Enjoy your view from 148 feet in the air before plunging 138 feet into six inversions at speeds of up to 55 mph." Sometimes I feel up to doing something interactive with riders, including the "How loud can you be?" and "Everybody clap your hands!" if I think the riders may be up to do it. I don't do it to every single train though, because then it would only get annoying. :) 

But the first thing I say to oncoming riders is where to put/secure their loose articles and a polite reminder that their seatbelts should be buckled (and shoes should be on their feet) to ride, and when a train arrives I do ask how the ride went; after they respond, I always say "When the train comes to a complete stop, you may unbuckle your seatbelt, pull down and push up on your restraint, and exit to your left. Have a wonderful day here at Kings Island!"

Occasionally, if there is a holdup and it's taking us extra long to dispatch a train, one of us tells a joke to keep the station atmosphere up. But that doesn't happen very often so don't fret. :) 

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7 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

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.

Yes.  This exactly.  I agree 100%.  One thing to add, there is a difference between being funny/witty, and just being annoying.  It takes absolutely no thought at all to say something like, "Thanks for riding Vortex at Cedar Point" when you are actually riding another ride at King Island.  Misnaming the ride AND the park is just immature and pointless.  It's not funny.  Can you imagine if you were at Disney World getting off of Small World or 'Pirates' and you heard the ride OP say something like, "I hope you enjoyed your ride on Transformers here at Universal Studios."  Talk about throwing you for a loop!  The thing is though, you'd never hear that because, one, it's pointless, and two, I'm sure they'd be given a swift talking to if their boss heard them say that, and lastly, I feel like they respect their attractions too much to pull that kind of immature ridiculousness.  Now for those of us who visit weekly or even daily, this probably isn't a big deal.  We know the names of the attractions so well that we know the ride ops are just (trying) to joke around.  However, imagine you're that guest who's never visited the park before and isn't familiar with any of the attractions or their names.  Now imagine you're riding, what you thought was, Banshee and then you come back to the station and hear a ride up say something like "How was your ride on Flight of Fear?"  Not only would you be confused, but you might even leave thinking  you had the name of the attraction wrong all along.  My point is that it's just not necessary.  I don't care so much that we've got teenagers on mics, but give us something else besides fake names and immature ramblings.  Get creative.  Come up with a fun way to give us interesting facts about THAT attraction as well as new ways to relay to us the safety info that we need to hear. 

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I think there needs to be more visits from supervisors and more instructions on how to act. The majority of these associates are in high school and college so you can't expect them to be 100% professional. I guess not a lot of people are that upset about it because I've been hearing the $22 million dollar train spiel for a couple of years now

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Was at CP a few weeks ago and ended up doing Slingshot with the kids.  i got a kick out of the ride op there.  Think combined we did 3 rides.  Unfortunately, I don't remember what they said to me when I was launched, but the kids got:

"So do you want me to countdown, or do you just want me to say..."   -LAUNCHED

"You guys are ready to go in 3... 2"    -LAUNCHED

I talked to the OP after I heard him and he said he had a whole heap of 'em for unsuspecting guests.  He was definitely the right guy for the job!

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4 hours ago, Voicetek said:

Yes.  This exactly.  I agree 100%.  One thing to add, there is a difference between being funny/witty, and just being annoying.  It takes absolutely no thought at all to say something like, "Thanks for riding Vortex at Cedar Point" when you are actually riding another ride at King Island.  Misnaming the ride AND the park is just immature and pointless.  It's not funny.  Can you imagine if you were at Disney World getting off of Small World or 'Pirates' and you heard the ride OP say something like, "I hope you enjoyed your ride on Transformers here at Universal Studios."  Talk about throwing you for a loop!  The thing is though, you'd never hear that because, one, it's pointless, and two, I'm sure they'd be given a swift talking to if their boss heard them say that, and lastly, I feel like they respect their attractions too much to pull that kind of immature ridiculousness.  Now for those of us who visit weekly or even daily, this probably isn't a big deal.  We know the names of the attractions so well that we know the ride ops are just (trying) to joke around.  However, imagine you're that guest who's never visited the park before and isn't familiar with any of the attractions or their names.  Now imagine you're riding, what you thought was, Banshee and then you come back to the station and hear a ride up say something like "How was your ride on Flight of Fear?"  Not only would you be confused, but you might even leave thinking  you had the name of the attraction wrong all along.  My point is that it's just not necessary.  I don't care so much that we've got teenagers on mics, but give us something else besides fake names and immature ramblings.  Get creative.  Come up with a fun way to give us interesting facts about THAT attraction as well as new ways to relay to us the safety info that we need to hear. 

I think you guys are taking this stuff a little too seriously.

The job that the ride ops do is very tedious and repetitive.  It isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination.  Having the opportunity to spiel and say things as a joke was one of the bright spots of the job.

If the ride ops are happy, capacity goes up and your wait goes down.

If you beat them into boring submission, they have very little incentive to push to get capacity up.  It's a double edged sword.

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1 hour ago, teenageninja said:

I think you guys are taking this stuff a little too seriously.

The job that the ride ops do is very tedious and repetitive.  It isn't easy by any stretch of the imagination.  Having the opportunity to spiel and say things as a joke was one of the bright spots of the job.

If the ride ops are happy, capacity goes up and your wait goes down.

If you beat them into boring submission, they have very little incentive to push to get capacity up.  It's a double edged sword.

I agree that having fun at work is not only a good thing, but a necessity. 

On that same token, these guys are paid to operate a ride, not be entertainers.  This is a problem that other parks do not have that I've visited.  Your experience isn't supposed to be tailored to whether or not the operator is bored - it's supposed to be tailored to the paying customers.  Claiming it's the wrong ride/park or just being obnoxious on the mic for the entertainment of the operators is at the detriment of the guests. A lot of jobs are boring and tedious.  This isn't a good reason to make the park look bad.  Remember that several places like Uni, Disney, etc have canned spiels.  They manage to survive the day.

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14 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

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.

Absolutely agree with this. The entire spieling on the train drives me nuts anymore. The "information" they repeatedly give is annoying, the "Fort" information about Missouri Jane isn't consistent with the legends/experiences that those who have worked at the park have experienced and like you said the ride ops talking over the audio.

I also am not a fan of having music on the train. I often ride with friends and would rather talk to them (without having to scream over the music). This is partially why I like the CP and Lake Erie Railroad more (no spieling and no music).

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The problem is just that people try to do it that really don't have public speaking/social skills. There really isn't an easy way to go about telling them they can't do something and try to be part of the team. Honestly though everyone wants to complain about this the park is just going to take it away all together. Then we will have no more power hours etc. I don't think anyone wants that either.

They just need to get on the rides supervisors and assistant supervisors to actually give some feedback and develop the associates that try to be funny to the point of being annoying. There is a line, and that line is different with each person.  If it's not done this way, a higher up full timer is just going to say that's it and the rides will lose their personalities. But something else to consider is that people on this forum are a very small percentage of park guests. Most guests don't hear a darn thing that's being said half the time. 

For what it's worth the last few weeks for me at the park have been much better. The Beast tonight while I could nitpick one or two things actually had a great play on the driver and headset spieler. It was really livening, and kept up the mood.

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Actually I think a ton of customers and paying guests would be happy if the teenagers just swallowed the microphone and didn't speak. Go to can spiels. Also power hours are garbage. Instead of pushing as many people through as you can, why not always work at the safe speed and fill cues.

Other parks don't have this problem.

What personality will the rides lose by having a high school or college kid no longer able to talk? As you said most people ignore it because it's useless. If you don't have the kid giving useless pep talks to the crowd and there is an emergency all of a sudden people will listen to the person on the mic.

And guess what if you are bored or think the job is boring, for gods sake go work elsewhere. You literally have the safety of people on your hands. If you can't stay motivated to pay attention for that then I'm sorry you need to be fired.

Everyone on here that's defending the processes is, like Boddah said, part of the problem.


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25 minutes ago, shark6495 said:

Actually I think a ton of customers and paying guests would be happy if the teenagers just swallowed the microphone and didn't speak. Go to can spiels. Also power hours are garbage. Instead of pushing as many people through as you can, why not always work at the safe speed and fill cues.

Other parks don't have this problem.

What personality will the rides lose by having a high school or college kid no longer able to talk? As you said most people ignore it because it's useless. If you don't have the kid giving useless pep talks to the crowd and there is an emergency all of a sudden people will listen to the person on the mic.

And guess what if you are bored or think the job is boring, for gods sake go work elsewhere. You literally have the safety of people on your hands. If you can't stay motivated to pay attention for that then I'm sorry you need to be fired.

Everyone on here that's defending the processes is, like Boddah said, part of the problem.


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I never said anything about lack of paying attention.  I was merely saying that it helps to motivate to work quicker, not to the point of being unsafe.

Have you ever worked at the park?  A lot of these kids are working 50+ hours a week, so yes something as stupid as joking around on the microphone can improve the quality of their day.

I've seen a lot of posts complaining about how slow certain crews have been, so it is a double edged sword.  Do you want them to work at the pace of snails or do you want them to work at an appropriate pace?  I assume you would complain if they appear to be working "slow".

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I never said anything about lack of paying attention.  I was merely saying that it helps to motivate to work quicker, not to the point of being unsafe.
Have you ever worked at the park?  A lot of these kids are working 50+ hours a week, so yes something as stupid as joking around on the microphone can improve the quality of their day.
I've seen a lot of posts complaining about how slow certain crews have been, so it is a double edged sword.  Do you want them to work at the pace of snails or do you want them to work at an appropriate pace?  I assume you would complain if they appear to be working "slow".


Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.

If a kids concerned about being funny and trying to make it more entertaining because they are "bored" then they need a new job. Period. I have no sympathy for people working. We have all worked terrible jobs. We all have to fake our customer service smiles. But they have a job where the safety and well being for others as the main priority.

Why do you feel it goes hand in hand that people have to joke to do to their jobs well. These kids who run rampant on the mic should be fired. The supervisors who let this happen should be let go. The people who think power hours are good should be tarred and feathered.

Guess who doesn't have power hours, doesn't have spiels, and the lines move fast? Disney and Universal. But hey sure they spiel at county fairs. I guess you are okay with our park slipping to county fair status.


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8 minutes ago, shark6495 said:

 


Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.

If a kids concerned about being funny and trying to make it more entertaining because they are "bored" then they need a new job. Period. I have no sympathy for people working. We have all worked terrible jobs. We all have to fake our customer service smiles. But they have a job where the safety and well being for others as the main priority.

Why do you feel it goes hand in hand that people have to joke to do to their jobs well. These kids who run rampant on the mic should be fired. The supervisors who let this happen should be let go. The people who think power hours are good should be tarred and feathered.

Guess who doesn't have power hours, doesn't have spiels, and the lines move fast? Disney and Universal. But hey sure they spiel at county fairs. I guess you are okay with our park slipping to county fair status.


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Consider the bridge built.

I am still wondering why you think talking on a microphone and saying "Enjoy your day at Cedar Point, America's Rock N Rollercoast" is a detriment to your safety.

If you don't like it, wear ear plugs.

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Changing your argument? You said making jokes so they are not bored.... that's what is up for discussion..... but it's cool you won the Internet argument. Congrats....

Boddah I agree with you completely. This spieling stuff needs to end


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14 minutes ago, shark6495 said:

Changing your argument? You said making jokes so they are not bored.... that's what is up for discussion..... but it's cool you won the Internet argument. Congrats....

Boddah I agree with you completely. This spieling stuff needs to end


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Boredom doesn't necessitate doing a bad job does it?  

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Is this really a subject worth getting upset and arguing with each other over? Not one of us here have any pull to change the ride ops job on a microphone because you may not like it. If you don't like it sure we can discuss it. In doing so, how about doing it respectfully. Another idea besides saying it must go is to make suggestions with an alternative solutions that the park might actually take into consideration. Arguing with each other does nothing but make you loose credibility. Please respect each others opinions and respect each other.

I don't know about anyone else, but I would like to hear more about the interesting things you have heard ride ops do while at the park.

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@IndyGuy4KI Me too! I love hearing about interesting things [fellow] ride ops do. While discussing the purpose of spieling is a legitimate topic, it's already derailed this thread three times and I am getting tired of it. <_<

-BFF, a ride op whose crew does/says interesting things on occasion while focusing 100% on the guests' safety.

Really though, it is indeed possible to include genuinely interesting things (NOT including incorrect names/stats) here and there all while focusing on safety first. I don't see a need for an entire firestorm...

Back on topic, I rode the Butterscotch (yellow) train on Mysty yesterday, so I was greeted with "Welcome back, Butterscotch train! How was your ride?" I love how the trains have different nicknames. In fact, back in 2012, one op on Diamondback said to the Red train, "Welcome back, Apple Train! How was your ride?"

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Is this really a subject worth getting upset and arguing with each other over? Not one of us here have any pull to change the ride ops job on a microphone because you may not like it. If you don't like it sure we can discuss it. In doing so, how about doing it respectfully. Another idea besides saying it must go is to make suggestions with an alternative solutions that the park might actually take into consideration. Arguing with each other does nothing but make you loose credibility. Please respect each others opinions and respect each other.
I don't know about anyone else, but I would like to hear more about the interesting things you have heard ride ops do while at the park.


The problem with the interesting thing is most of it falls back on ridenops purposely calling rides the wrong name etc. and you're right I'll do better in my discourse on here. It's just hard to take a high road when others take low roads at times.


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Boredom doesn't necessitate doing a bad job does it?  


You're changing the argument, again. The discussion is about spieling and ride ops trying to make jokes or be funny. You said they do this because they are bored.

Boredom doesn't mean a bad job but shirking other duties to be funny does.


Also what does changing the ride names and making terrible jokes do except cause people to tune out to any microphone talk (which means they may miss important info) and annoy the regular park goers or cause them confusion as Boddah pointed out.


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18 hours ago, chugh43 said:

Absolutely agree with this. The entire spieling on the train drives me nuts anymore. The "information" they repeatedly give is annoying, the "Fort" information about Missouri Jane isn't consistent with the legends/experiences that those who have worked at the park have experienced

To be fair, all the crap about ghosts and whatnot is all nonsense anyways. "Legends," pssh, the last thing the park needs is some kid up there going on about how they heard rumors of a ghost. Talk about the train, cool facts about the park, etc, make it entertaining.

 

2 hours ago, shark6495 said:

 


Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.

If a kids concerned about being funny and trying to make it more entertaining because they are "bored" then they need a new job. Period. I have no sympathy for people working. We have all worked terrible jobs. We all have to fake our customer service smiles. But they have a job where the safety and well being for others as the main priority.

 

I think the point teenageninja is making is that oftentimes the joking around, having fun, etc. can improve morale. As someone who's spieled, managed people spieling, audited crews who spieled, etc, I can say that if you get the right person up there they can have a good time and get the proper information out. The truth of the matter is, most people aren't listening anyways. No matter how important or eloquent the message, people in line have their minds on other things. They're not a captive audience. 

So if you can say "here's where you store your loose articles, fasten your seat belt, and here's a fun quick fact," then who cares? They know safety is the main priority, they're acutely aware of that. Doesn't mean you can't have fun and be entertaining while striking the proper balance. When I was 16, it was always a blast on those final Beast trains to get the guests to play Simon says:

"Make a funny face, fasten your seatbelt, quack like a duck, nod your head if you understand where loose articles go." 

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I think the point teenageninja is making is that oftentimes the joking around, having fun, etc. can improve morale. As someone who's spieled, managed people spieling, audited crews who spieled, etc, I can say that if you get the right person up there they can have a good time and get the proper information out. The truth of the matter is, most people aren't listening anyways. No matter how important or eloquent the message, people in line have their minds on other things. They're not a captive audience. 

So if you can say "here's where you store your loose articles, fasten your seat belt, and here's a fun quick fact," then who cares? They know safety is the main priority, they're acutely aware of that. Doesn't mean you can't have fun and be entertaining while striking the proper balance. When I was 16, it was always a blast on those final Beast trains to get the guests to play Simon says:

"Make a funny face, fasten your seatbelt, quack like a duck, nod your head if you understand where loose articles go." 


When you speak I listen... I legit respect your opinions and the work you do on other media. I'm okay when the person doing it is good. Unfortunately a lot of the time it comes down to the wrong name stuff that really gets under my skin.




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I don't mind the spiels in moderation.  I do get tired of hearing how much Diamonback and Banshee cost when riding the train.  In all the parks I went to in PA last week, they had recorded spiels and I found it boring.  The only word from the ride operators was "Dispatch." 

In a like manner, I like traveling on Southwest Air and the stewards/stewardesses will crack jokes and spiel.

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Well all the OGs are coming out for this thread... and I'm glad. 

I think part of the problem could be solved by having a separate sign off for using the mic or just making sure the individual ride supervisors are being a bit more reserved with who they give it to.

The reason why you guys have such a hard time with hearing it over and over again here is it's your home park and you are always here, you always hear the same jokes, the same things, and can become critical since their spieling is literally the only thing that changes about your visit other than the weather or crowds.

Also for what it's worth there is evidence into not letting a job be repetitive and keeping morale up that INCREASES safety.

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I don't mind the spiels in moderation.  I do get tired of hearing how much Diamonback and Banshee cost when riding the train.  In all the parks I went to in PA last week, they had recorded spiels and I found it boring.  The only word from the ride operators was "Dispatch." 
In a like manner, I like traveling on Southwest Air and the stewards/stewardesses will crack jokes and spiel.


And would southwest joke about being delta? Or united? About the cost of the plane or salaries?




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Well all the OGs are coming out for this thread... and I'm glad. 
I think part of the problem could be solved by having a separate sign off for using the mic or just making sure the individual ride supervisors are being a bit more reserved with who they give it to.
The reason why you guys have such a hard time with hearing it over and over again here is it's your home park and you are always here, you always hear the same jokes, the same things, and can become critical since their spieling is literally the only thing that changes about your visit other than the weather or crowds.
Also for what it's worth there is evidence into not letting a job be repetitive and keeping morale up that INCREASES safety.


Fair but the problem with the spiel is you have people trying to be funny and crack jokes on he name or safety or price... etc.... again this comment won't change anyone's minds and it's like yelling at a cloud but the problem with the spiel isn't that people spiel (when done right, it's great) it's that the people spieling are being straight up stupid about it. Changing ride names etc. it's embarrassing to bring someone to the park over the age of 18 and be like yeah this is the park that doesn't care about image.


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Actually on my last SWA ride from Phoenix, the steward did a rap and ended with some thing like "Thanks for flying Delta" and then quickly followed up with something like "why would I wish THAT on you fine folks." 

If the things the park does irritate folks, and Guest Services has been notified, then maybe it's time to step away from the park for a time--week, month or season.  Sometimes the best cure for a splinter is to remove it.

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