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BoddaH1994

Ride spieling thoughts?

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Familiarity breeds contempt. So you're right. But....

There's a level of professionalism. What makes Disney or Universal an air of professionalism, that once you are there you are involved in what they are doing? It's professionalism. From automated spiels, to employee efficiency, to theming and cleanliness.

When an employee goofs off on the mic, things look rundown or don't work, or when employees are not efficient then what sets our park apart from a large fair... Maybe that's dif between a theme park and an amusement park

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*sigh*

 

A good spiel should be enlightening about ride operations and procedures. While in doing so, the spiel should also maintain professionalism while not breaking the fun environment on any attraction.  Some people take it too far, others perfect it to an art form, however it is essential to build a safe and fun environment for the riders so that they could have the best, safe,  ride experience. 

 

Not to mention that the best spielers, are those who don't get to use a microphone, but have to talk over raging water. :)

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The autospiel on The Voyage gets me really excited to ride, but that's a Holiday World perk that might not translate to each Kings Island coaster. Just imagine if Diamondback had its own autospiel.

 

"Diamondback is ready to take you up and down,

slithering its way through Rivertown,

This snake travels really fast,

your first ride may be your last!

Enjoy your experience on Diamondback, presented by Coca-Cola."

 

*added sponsorship into spiel because it would probably happen*

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And then an unresponsive guest rolls into the station and the lawyers have a field day wit the "this ride might be your last" part. 

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Worlds of Fun and Six Flags St. Louis have made me want to silence people's microphones.

Today, on Screaming Eagle the kid running the ride said, "Raise your right hand if you like chicken nuggets as much as I do! Now raise your left hand if you like ketchup on your chicken nuggets."

That's it. Seriously. Please take the mic away!

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.......

 

The Train - My God....

 

"Diamondback is not a real snake, the only scary thing about its price an astonishing $22 million, which is why drinks are an astonishing $4 here at Kings Island."  This kid STILL HAS A JOB at the park.

 

 

I got this kid yesterday. I thought he was hilarious, but that's just me. If I was his supervisor I'd advise him against saying that^ in particular. Some of his jokes weren't too bad though. And he thanked us for visiting the Newport Aquarium, so that was cool

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I suspect this issue is closely related to the food service issue.  Kings Island must need employees a lot more than they need it.   I would imagine it would be tough to manage people in that situation.   The park may be happy that the employees actually show up to fill positions in the first place, and the desire to have them act a certain way probably comes in a distant second.  

 

Kings Island is not the only organization with this problem.

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Employers who pay well and train well have happy employees who work hard, play by the rules and don't present such issues as herein depicted. And the few problem employees aren't very long.

Terp, just sayin.

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In a microcosm, my dad managed restaurants for 30+ years. He would always offer about 2-4$ more per hour than min wage. He also demanded more from his employees than the restaurant down the street paying min wage. Cleaning the grout on the floor, making bathrooms super clean you could eat in there, etc. he would only have to replace employees when they would either retire or leave to go to school. He had the same staff for years at a time. They would do whatever he asked them to do. They worked hard but were paid well for first time or so jobs.

Now look at KI... If you pay min wage you get (for the most part) min effort and min ability workers because if you fire them hey can make the same money elsewhere. It doesn't matter if min wage is 5, 9, or $15 an hour. If the job pays the same as any other job the lack of caring will be prevalent.

To get employees that will "run through the wall" for you, you have to either pay better or offer opportunities others won't have.

Look at Disney college program. The at is nothing great but look at the opportunity. If you don't like that job there are 100 to take your place. If KI offers better fringe benefits or better pay then the Quality of employee will improve.

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In a microcosm, my dad managed restaurants for 30+ years. He would always offer about 2-4$ more per hour than min wage. He also demanded more from his employees than the restaurant down the street paying min wage. Cleaning the grout on the floor, making bathrooms super clean you could eat in there, etc. he would only have to replace employees when they would either retire or leave to go to school. He had the same staff for years at a time. They would do whatever he asked them to do. They worked hard but were paid well for first time or so jobs.

Now look at KI... If you pay min wage you get (for the most part) min effort and min ability workers because if you fire them hey can make the same money elsewhere. It doesn't matter if min wage is 5, 9, or $15 an hour. If the job pays the same as any other job the lack of caring will be prevalent.

To get employees that will "run through the wall" for you, you have to either pay better or offer opportunities others won't have.

Look at Disney college program. The at is nothing great but look at the opportunity. If you don't like that job there are 100 to take your place. If KI offers better fringe benefits or better pay then the Quality of employee will improve.

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That would cut into profits.  You have to increase profits every quater to make shareholders happy.

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I think that it's just with each successive generation, the need to feel like you need to "run through the wall" for an employer diminishes somewhat.  What was expected of me when I got my first time part-time jobs 25 years ago is much different than now.  And what the expectations of my parent's generation was much different than mine...and their parents' (WWII generation) was a completely different situation, as well.  

 

My grandpa quit school in the 5th grade in the 1920's to go to work to help support his eight brothers and sisters...

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^^There is argument that it would be more cost effective to pay more than minimum wage and retain the same employees, than to pay for the on-boarding/training of new employees. There is a reason companies try to keep their turnover rate so low. 

Edited by TTD-120-420
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Costco is a great example. Night and day difference between Walmart/Sams.

There are exceptions and I have experienced some excellent Walmart/Sams employees but far to frequently I am disappointed.

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I think that it's just with each successive generation, the need to feel like you need to "run through the wall" for an employer diminishes somewhat. What was expected of me when I got my first time part-time jobs 25 years ago is much different than now. And what the expectations of my parent's generation was much different than mine...and their parents' (WWII generation) was a completely different situation, as well.

My grandpa quit school in the 5th grade in the 1920's to go to work to help support his eight brothers and sisters...

I think it's easy to blame the generations and miss the bigger issues. In an attempt to cut expenses pay decreases. With a decrease in pay you get a lower quality worker. Doesn't matter if it's the floor sweep or the manager. If the manager is making 10/hour then of course they won't manage or go out of their way Because their are better paying jobs with less responsibility available. Same with the employee making min wage.

The job force needs and skill set was also slightly different in he 20s than today. In the 20s there were factory jobs.

Heck in the 70s you could graduate from high school and enter a factory job and have a good job for life both in pay and benefits.

My first two jobs were the LaRosas call center and General Custers Golf and Gulp. At GC I made min wage and had no way to make more money. So my effort match my compensation. At LaRosa's I Made $1 more per hour and could get monthly bonuses plus free and discounted foods plus earn pay raises. I put in a bigger effort at that position because I was rewarded.

Companies did the same in 80s and 90s either through insurance or time off etc.

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In a microcosm, my dad managed restaurants for 30+ years. He would always offer about 2-4$ more per hour than min wage. He also demanded more from his employees than the restaurant down the street paying min wage. Cleaning the grout on the floor, making bathrooms super clean you could eat in there, etc. he would only have to replace employees when they would either retire or leave to go to school. He had the same staff for years at a time. They would do whatever he asked them to do. They worked hard but were paid well for first time or so jobs.

Now look at KI... If you pay min wage you get (for the most part) min effort and min ability workers because if you fire them hey can make the same money elsewhere. It doesn't matter if min wage is 5, 9, or $15 an hour. If the job pays the same as any other job the lack of caring will be prevalent.

To get employees that will "run through the wall" for you, you have to either pay better or offer opportunities others won't have.

Look at Disney college program. The at is nothing great but look at the opportunity. If you don't like that job there are 100 to take your place. If KI offers better fringe benefits or better pay then the Quality of employee will improve.

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That would cut into profits. You have to increase profits every quater to make shareholders happy.

Eh maybe. I can hire 5 pizza makers per shift at $8 an hour or retain 2-3 good to great pizza makers for $12/hr who can make the same amount of pizza as the 5 below average ones and still make more money than I was.

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Or, like Costco--yes Costco, you can robotize most of the pizza making process and hire one pizza maker, maybe two...

I have never seen them do the dough, but the rest seems to rather traditional. They have done several special requests for me. Maybe the take n bake are robots.

King - don't mess with my Costco. :)

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Ride-themed canned spiels covering necessary safety and loading information would be more than welcome. The spieling at KI is almost uniformly unfunny, unprofessional, and annoying.

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Oh, it has gone WELL beyond "almost".

Quite the contrary, it is Peanuts themed. "Wonk, wonk wonk....wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk". :)

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Or, like Costco--yes Costco, you can robotize most of the pizza making process and hire one

pizza maker, maybe two...

I have never seen them do the dough, but the rest seems to rather traditional. They have done several special requests for me. Maybe the take n bake are robots.

King - don't mess with my Costco. :)

Here in the DMV, wage levels are very high compared to most places. Most Costcos here use an automated spinner to apply the sauce, robotic arms apply the toppings, it is lifted onto a chain conveyor oven and emerges out the other side.

Most McDonalds drive-thrus here have automated drink fill machines that dispense the cups, add the ice then soda, apply the lids, and move the drinks to the counter.

Many drive-thrus here have the order taker in a lower wage locale--from Illinois to India.

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Wait the McDonald's drive thru attendent isn't even in the same state? Holy cow!!

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Oh, it has gone WELL beyond "almost".

Quite the contrary, it is Peanuts themed. "Wonk, wonk wonk....wonk wonk wonk wonk wonk". :)

 

 :D
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Wait the McDonald's drive thru attendent isn't even in the same state? Holy cow!!

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Remember they used to have the "Double Checked" policy with the he stickers on the bag? Not any more. So I always sit there and pull everything out and then repack it before I pull away. 60% of the time it is wrong.

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Depending on where you are, you could be talking to someone not in the restraunt. I have not seen many like that as every time I pull up they are blabbing away and not talking to the customer when they take money and it is still wrong but I blame it mostly on the whole double drive through mess.

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I do appreciate the suggestions here to make these more professional, and I agree I'd love to avoid the completely pointless "Bwaa, Bwaa, Bwaa" that I hear due to bad mic usage.  Hopefully KI hears these as an encouragement to improve the ride experience.  Some additional training pointers would help.

 

However I think some here are assuming a bit too much when they say "necessary safety information" must be heard by all.  If it was legally required for every rider to hear/understand the spiel, you can rest assured it would be a canned message which is always intelligently offered--this would not be left to the whim of a ride op.  Too much liability.

 

The posted placards around the ride serve to ensure they've conformed to some minimum legal coverage, any announcement is more CYA.  As technically those with certain disabilities don't even hear the spiel...don't get started on ADA compliance, you would rather not go there.  

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I learn the darnest things here.

Signs.

Really?

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom would be most interested in your theories.

A sign is a sign.

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I've always found it amusing that spieling's most ardent defenders are ride ops who have done it. Because they enjoy it.

A ride op has an awesome responsibility. Safety.

Their attention should not be diverted, in part or in all, from this duty.

They are there to safely operate a ride, not to be some would be Romeo or Juliet entrancing the crowd with their orations.

Even worse are power hours, where speed is the overarching goal to the near utter exclusion of safety and guest courtesy.

Spieling. Power hours--keep the ride ops entertained. Who is paying to be a guest? The customer and his or her needs and wants should take priority over entertaining the help.

 

I don't know how ride ops are these days, but when I would spiel with the memorized approved spiels, they'd just automatically flow, there wasn't a lot of thought into: "oh what am I going to say next," "oh how can I make ___ laugh with this next one." For me it was giving the safety info (including "YOU MUST RIDE WITH YOUR SHOES ON) and then giving the stats or a short statement of what the ride was going to do. Spieling was a mindless thing for our crews...so I'm not sure what happened since then.

 

And the poor games people.

Given a mike and coerced into whining, pleading and begging to get people to pay to play!

Add that most have no voice training, put the mike way too close to their mouths, and then speak too loudly.

I find the games spieling far more annoying than the rides spieling. It's demeaning to everyone involved. I won't even add a question about the morality of games pricing and the value of the prizes offered...

 

I hate getting spieled at by the games folks....often times if I'm walking with a female, hey buddy why don't you come win something for your girlfriend? My response: "Uh....not into chicks and not my girlfriend, so not going to play." Haha!  

 

I find the rush to get people on the train more annoying than the spiels. 

 

 

Agreed! This happens to me a lot, I'm barely in the gates the folks getting off the train I'm about to get on are hardly even standing and I'm hearing "come on in, sit down, ___ (Insert name of ride) needs to leave in 15 seconds....etc." 

 

 

 

Personally, I don't mind spieling as long as it is safety focused, isn't annoying and humor isn't overdone. 

I've been to parks where there is 0 spieling and I hated it. I felt like the crews weren't even excited to have you there. I've also been to parks where crews are spieling without a microphone, talk about vocal chord damage trying to speak over the ride/guests. 

 

Having wore the mics at Kings Island, they aren't real easy to adjust when you receive it during rotation and trying to spiel when the train is coming into the station, so I can understand when it sounds like the ride ops are eating the mic...but they should be able to adjust a bit.

*EDIT- The mics that are used are what I consider more for recording/live theater/lectures not for public address.*

The park also needs to adjust the volume though. 

Edited by chugh43
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Give me a professionally done auto-spiel, preferably themed if it suits the ride, over having someone yelling at me over a mic any day. And, as several have pointed out, some rides - such as Flight of Fear - have themed, pre-recorded spiels, but you can't hear them. It's really not that hard. There are far too many mic'd up employees yelling nonsense at you all over the park, it is annoying and unprofessional.

 

Other than the perennial annoying spiels already mentioned here, I can remember a couple years back a few employees, including the one spieling, talking/joking about Robin Williams' death. It wasn't exactly the most respectful conversation to say the least, with the person on the mic ending it with "Rest in peace, Rest in peace." And even if it hadn't been disrespectful, is that really what Kings Island management want their guests listening to? I doubt it.

 

Another pet-peeve of mine, is the ride-ops on some of the older/less thrilling attraction referring to the ride as "the best ride in the park" or something along those lines in a (very obvious) sarcastic tone. Nothing screams "Best Day Ever!!!" like your employees making fun of the rides they're working on for all the guests to hear.

 

Others have already touched on the more important potential issues that it could present legally, but that aside, it just comes off as unprofessional and really cheapens the experience at the park (kind of like hearing Katy Perry on International Street).

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Just remember, these young men and women are doing exactly what senior management either wants or at least tolerates.

It's NOT their fault. They do as they are told or they won't be there long.

Management gets what management wants or they are pee-poor management.

KI didn't sound like CP South until CF bought it.

From the spieling to International Street's music, KI sounds the way the higher-ups WANT it to sound.

Ponder that.

Terp -- who wishes he could hear trams in the parking lot again.

 

Sorry for the double post, but this is one of the things I had hoped would change once Ouimet took over. Hoped that since he had come from Disney, that perhaps he would at the very least want the parks to embrace the theming that they already had. I'm still waiting. Probably my biggest disappointment with Cedar Fair's management of the park.

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