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Countdown to Opening Day for the 2021 Season: May 15th 11:00 AM!

Kings Island is now open for 2021.

KI Seeks Applications For Seasonal Jobs


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Can someone tell me from experience what working at KI is like? I'm interested in applying, but I'm not sure if it's worth driving 40 minutes to and from there during summer.

It all depends on who you are. I've had friends, some in rides, some in merch, whom all offer different viewpoints. My friends in merch say that merch is the best job in the park. You aren't stuck running down the same station day in and day out, plus you get to mess around with all the different kinds of merchandise (wear crazy hats, play with an overpriced slinky, etc). On the contrary, my friends in rides wouldn't trade their jobs for the world. You get to interact with more crew members daily, it's a high-paced environment, and to them it's just fun.

Also, be aware of labor laws. For minors, I do believe, you may only work a maximum of 8 hours. Perhaps driving 80 minutes round trip for 8 hours isn't "worth it"?

Make your own judgement. I'm sure you would have fun at the park, whether it be in admissions or rides. :)

Rides is a ton of fun, but it's demanding. It really depends on what your attitude about working is. If you want something fairly easy, merch is good for you. If you want something challenging and fun, rides would be that place. I drove about 40 minutes every day to work at the park and it was well worth it. Interacting with guests and the other ride associates made it worth it as well.

It also depends on what kind of environment you want to work in. If you can handle the heat, wind, cold, rain, storms, etc. you can do rides but if you don't like the heat or the insane weather patterns something inside would be for you.

Thanks! I think I will apply for rides, because I'm always up for a challenge, and I don't mind the weather.

I've been living in this Weather Roulette that we call Cincinnati for 16 years. :)

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You also get a chance to work hard, make life long friends, learn a great deal, and make money.

For the person asking about 15 year olds, I know they used to hire them in merch, food, park services, games and admissions. Not certain if this is still the same listing of departments. Either way, t

It's always a blessing to see positive jobs news.

question: whats the job for ride comedian (you know where you do funny stuff) called. thats what id like to be! i dont think i would like to be ride operator because your putting too many lives at risk :blink: .

Can you give us an example of where and what the "ride comedians" exactly do?

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  • 2 months later...

I have 2 questions.

1. Do they hire even more people in the summer?

2. If you have a job their does your name badge ID card (I don't know if you get a ID card or not) get you into the park for free? like the days you have off and want to go to the park will your name badge get you in like a gold pass?

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Thank You!

Sorry I didn't think of this earlier but do you usually get free tickets for friends and family's and any discount on in park merchandise and food?

Not trying to sound greedy cause free entrance to every CF theme park is more than I expected and is very nice, but I was just wondering if you get anything else.

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Sonofbeast2.0, the ticket policy is that you will receive 4 free park admission tickets after you have worked 28 shifts. These tickets must be used by Labor Day but can be used by any 4 friends or family members that you choose. You will learn more about this and any discounts during park orientation before your first shift

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For the person asking about 15 year olds, I know they used to hire them in merch, food, park services, games and admissions. Not certain if this is still the same listing of departments. Either way, there are limited amounts of 15-year-old positions available and they fill quickly, so apply early for a better chance of a spot. 16 year olds add rides and lifeguard. You must be 18 to work in security. Unsure about entertainment's minimum age.

As for what department .. having worked in 2 KI departments and 3 park departments overall, I'm really enjoying rides/attractions the most but not everyone would.

Merch is a much more laid-back pace and is not very physically demanding. There's no actual selling technique involved, just the ability to run a register. You'll also do restocking, cleaning and organization. In my second year, I was called back early (in February) to help set up stores for the new season. Myself and three others basically did the full setup of On Location in Action Zone, which was pretty fun since Delirium was new that year so we had tons of new merchandise. Upward mobility (chances for promotion) are pretty good in merch as there tends to be fairly high turnover. This is also true in foods.

Security is also not very physically demanding, except for being on your feet and walking around all day. It's a little more mentally demanding as you are usually called in to de-escalate situations that are starting to get out of control. You need to have a cool level head and be willing to step up to diffuse situations. You also need to be assertive enough to confront people who are breaking rules such as smoking and line jumping. I really enjoyed being in security because you're not just in one deparment, you're involved in all departments. In one shift you may handle situations that involve every department in the park, so you will get to know a lot of people. Plus as an added bonus, since security isn't "operational essential" if another area, like rides, is short staffed, they may pull from security to fill it. I never got sent to rides, but several of my coworkers did before I started.

Rides is a whole different beast (no pun intended) from any other department. You are the main face of the park. People remember the rides employees more vividly and tend to have more interactions with them. Not only are you in charge of their safety, you have to be upbeat, energetic and friendly even when it's 100 degrees outside, or raining, or freezing cold. You need to be calm enough to maintain a level head when things don't go quite right, patient enough to work with a child that's upset, and stern enough to handle confrontations over safety issues. You have to be assertive and confident enough to turn people away who are too short or don't meet rider requirements (with disabilities, this can be VERY tricky to handle smoothly). You will be not just on your feet the entire day, but bending, twisting, reaching and lifting. On some rides you will need to be able to handle climbing lots of stairs or catwalks.

However, even with the challenges, it's highly rewarding. What other job will you ever have that you get to operate a multi-million dollar amusement ride and bring joy to millions of people a year? Plus you get to learn a lot about how the rides themselves work. You'll learn about how they are maintaned and how their operating systems work. You'll get to explore areas that most people only dream of. At Coaster Con 2012, 6 people paid over $200 a person to climb Wild Eagle's lift hill. During my training, I got to do the same thing and even get paid for it (though my legs were sore for two days after!). I've been all over the inside of Mystery Mine's building and to the top of both lifts. I've been involved in video shoots at both rides. Usually the toughest situations you'll deal with are guests breaking or attempting to break safety rules, and they can get very frustrating. But it's the most rewarding job I've ever had. I love being in rides, and I don't think I'd ever consider another department now.

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I have plans of doing Ride Op assist. I have a high level of patience and very nice. I used to do admissions at a family ran place and was during the fall season so i'm used to the colder weather and used to the occasional upset person. Hot will take some getting used to (like warm/hot weather over cold any day though). Rain, I think it would be kind of fun to work in rain! I remember riding The Beast (Paramount era) in a down pour, it was really fun I thought! I think hardest part for me might be turning away the lil ones that want to ride...

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I remember working in a constant downpour on a cold, dreary day and it was no picnic. Even wearing the rain gear, I was soaked and freezing. We are told if the guests are out in the rain, then we should work in it also. The only time we took cover was during severe thunderstorms. I was a litter getter during those days and not working inside.

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I think hardest part for me might be turning away the lil ones that want to ride...

It's not as difficult as you think, really. Often times the kids know they're too short and the parents are the ones trying to get them on. I'm usually annoyed rather than feel bad, because it's rare that a parent doesn't know their kid is too short and they're trying to sneak them on anyway. Especially when they try little tricks like coaching them to stand on their toes, piling their hair on top of their head, etc. I've made kids take out headbands, hair clips, ponytails, all kinds of things that their parents used to add an inch to their height. Parents love to try and guilt you into letting their kids on. My favorite line ... "now you've made her cry." No ma'am, you made her cry when you brought her up here knowing full well she wasn't tall enough to ride.

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At Kings Island, yes. At Dollywood, no. It gets frustrating, especially when you see kids in those platform flip flops that are clearly adding 2 inches to their height to get them to the requirement and we can do nothing about it.

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A couple more tips about working in rides...

First, don't expect to be "driving" a coaster or operating another large ride your first day on the job. Initially you will be trained on all the basics (safety requirements, height checking, checking restraints, etc.), and you will gradually "move up" to other positions with more responsibility as the supervisors see fit.

Secondly, as others have said, working in rides is far from an "easy" job. When you choose which ride you want to work at, pick one based on what you enjoy doing and where you want to be. If you enjoy working with kids, you'll love Planet Snoopy. If you want to be where all the "action" is, pick one of the more popular rides such as Beast or Diamondback. If you want something in between, Coney Mall is a good choice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Can someone tell me from experience what working at KI is like? I'm interested in applying, but I'm not sure if it's worth driving 40 minutes to and from there during summer.

I worked at KI this past summer in merchandise. I was 16. It was my first job, but I honestly couldn't have asked for a better one. Though the days could be pretty long and hot, I made so many incredible new friends that it was worth it. There are a lot of employee incentives; things like rides nights and games nights. I live about 20 minutes away. You do get a lot of hours in, that's for sure, so a full day of working (8 hours, usually, my longest normal shift was 9 hours) usually pays for at least the tank of gas to get there. I highly suggest working there. I loved merch and I'm returning this summer! You'll meet awesome new people. You will LOVE working there if you decide to!

Merchandise is a really great department. We tend to be forgotten a little bit because we're not the typical rides or games associates that you see throughout the park.. But we get to work in air conditioning (most stores have it, at least) and it's really laid back. Also, if you're a great associate, you'll have a nice chance of getting promoted.

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The park does hire throughout the season. Workers are always leaving for one reason or another. I remember when I started working for the park in 1972, I applied in January and was hired in middle of May of 1972. My partner in pet care was hired in late July back in 2011.

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This time of year I always reflect a little on my years working at KI. This is an exciting time for those newly hired individuals that will experience their first job ever and for returning employees who will reacquaint themselves with coworkers from previous seasons. To ask what it was like to work at the park is a very difficult question to answer because you will get an array of responses based on variables such as that individuals current age, the age they were when they worked at the park, as well as, which decade that that individual worked at the park, etc. I worked in the games dept. during the mid 90's and that experience was one of the greatest times of my life! But it was a different time then and people were into different things. Guests had a lot more loose change at their disposal so many more were playing the games (and the prizes were very different as well - I'll save my thoughts on this matter). The interactions with guests was my favorite part of being in the games department :) For those applying this year, I wish you great success! Savor the experience and make the most of it! After nearly 20 years from when I was first hired, I have about 10 good friends I still keep up with from that old games crew ;)

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