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How is it like working at KI


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On 3/8/2017 at 8:05 AM, PKIVortex said:

Keep in mind is your a taller person the second row of each car may not be as roomy as the first row.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
 

And if you are shorter, the second row may be a saving grace. At least for me (I'm 5'2"), I can push my feet under the seat in front of me to brace myself against the restraints to minimize the head/ear banging. 

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On 3/13/2017 at 3:41 PM, Xdog42 said:

Interesting they made one row of the seats shorter than the other. Do you guys think Aero/KI did this on purpose or it just happened randomly? 

First, its Arrow, not Aero.

Secondly, all Arrow Dynamics' looping trains are that way.  Their suspended trains are somewhat similar, but suspended coasters don't have wonky transitions like Arrow sit down coasters do. 

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23 minutes ago, silver2005 said:

First, its Arrow, not Aero.

Secondly, all Arrow Dynamics' looping trains are that way.  Their suspended trains are somewhat similar, but suspended coasters don't have wonky transitions like Arrow sit down coasters do. 

The reason the first row has more room is the length of the car.  The front of the car has a point on Vortex which allows more leg room.

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2 hours ago, Bansheeback said:

Just got an interview for merchandise! A few questions:

How much does merch pay?

What should I expect in my interview?

My interview is April 1, should I be working by opening day?

Is merchandise a good department to start with? I'm only 15.

Payrates shouldn't really be discussed online....they can vary by person and it's more of a question that should be asked of the park when they ask you during your interview if you have any questions (most interviews usually tell you what you'd be making).

Look throughout this thread on what you should expect. While most of the answers are geared toward Rides, they can be translated toward merchandise.

That's unknown....depending on the requirements of the job, when you can schedule processing, orientation, if you get hired and their availability. 

Merchandise is a good department to start with, as you aren't old enough to operate rides.....merchandise I know can be rewarding in various aspects. You may not be placed in a store, but you could be placed in a FunPix booth, or strolling cart, etc. 

In anycase, if you want to work at the park, have an open mind.

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I’ll be honest, I didn’t really read through everyone else’s answers to gain context on what may or may not be discussed, but I’ll give my honest answer to the question posed in the title of this thread since I'm sure other people interested in employment at KI will find this post.

I only worked at the park for 1 season on a coaster, but I have many friends who are either still there or have recently left, and from what I can gather, the experience has essentially stayed the same. In sum, it was basically a hodgepodge of both the good and the bad. Even though my experience was in the rides department, I think a lot of what I learned can be applied to most, if not all of the departments at the park.

You are working with the public, and I think it’s important that you understand what that means. It’s very likely you will directly deal with irate guests about issues you don’t necessarily see as issues. If you can’t handle that pressure (you may be yelled at sometimes), I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Kings Island as a place of employment. If you are timid, have a short fuse, or cannot adequately remain professional, it’s not a good fit. Maybe this isn’t the most delicate way to put it, but you have to know how to take crap from people and direct any strong emotions toward fixing the problem you’re being faced with. I saw many fellow associates get angry at guests, and they were then either given a stern talking to, or fired.

Secondly, please please PLEASE show effort in whatever position you are given. In the rides department, especially, this was a big deal. But I think the same can be said of anywhere else. Even on your worst day, you need to be able to pick yourself up and do what you’re supposed to.

Lastly, try your best to avoid the drama that can very often rear its ugly head in the park amongst employees. Know that you’re there to do a job, and keep your gossip to an absolute minimum. Preferably zero. The park, at least when I was there, was a drama powerhouse. Constant rumors, gossip, and back-talking. This sounds cliche, but it’s a good rule of thumb to follow the golden rule. I would assume other employees and management would prefer that the workplace remain a workplace, and not a high school cafeteria. I stayed out of it, and I think my experience was all the better for doing so.

A lot of this sounds negative, but I am glad I worked in the park, even if it was just for a short while. It genuinely strengthened my work ethic, got me out of the house, and perhaps above all, introduced me to some of the best friends I’ve got, ones I still see very regularly and visit places with. And I met them 5 years ago. When they said in orientation that you build strong friendships, I was apprehensive. But I was proven wrong.

Good luck.

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On ‎3‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 10:18 PM, beastfan26 said:

I’ll be honest, I didn’t really read through everyone else’s answers to gain context on what may or may not be discussed, but I’ll give my honest answer to the question posed in the title of this thread since I'm sure other people interested in employment at KI will find this post.

I only worked at the park for 1 season on a coaster, but I have many friends who are either still there or have recently left, and from what I can gather, the experience has essentially stayed the same. In sum, it was basically a hodgepodge of both the good and the bad. Even though my experience was in the rides department, I think a lot of what I learned can be applied to most, if not all of the departments at the park.

You are working with the public, and I think it’s important that you understand what that means. It’s very likely you will directly deal with irate guests about issues you don’t necessarily see as issues. If you can’t handle that pressure (you may be yelled at sometimes), I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Kings Island as a place of employment. If you are timid, have a short fuse, or cannot adequately remain professional, it’s not a good fit. Maybe this isn’t the most delicate way to put it, but you have to know how to take crap from people and direct any strong emotions toward fixing the problem you’re being faced with. I saw many fellow associates get angry at guests, and they were then either given a stern talking to, or fired.

Secondly, please please PLEASE show effort in whatever position you are given. In the rides department, especially, this was a big deal. But I think the same can be said of anywhere else. Even on your worst day, you need to be able to pick yourself up and do what you’re supposed to.

Lastly, try your best to avoid the drama that can very often rear its ugly head in the park amongst employees. Know that you’re there to do a job, and keep your gossip to an absolute minimum. Preferably zero. The park, at least when I was there, was a drama powerhouse. Constant rumors, gossip, and back-talking. This sounds cliche, but it’s a good rule of thumb to follow the golden rule. I would assume other employees and management would prefer that the workplace remain a workplace, and not a high school cafeteria. I stayed out of it, and I think my experience was all the better for doing so.

A lot of this sounds negative, but I am glad I worked in the park, even if it was just for a short while. It genuinely strengthened my work ethic, got me out of the house, and perhaps above all, introduced me to some of the best friends I’ve got, ones I still see very regularly and visit places with. And I met them 5 years ago. When they said in orientation that you build strong friendships, I was apprehensive. But I was proven wrong.

Good luck.

You worded that really good! I get chewed out every.single.day. and know how to handle it good so I could probably take working at Kings Island :rolleyes:

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had a great first day at Kings Island yesterday. And I really think I will absolutely love working here. :] By the end of my shift I had eased in very much into my job.... which surprised even me! 20170409_114800.jpg

Here's the obligatory picture in front of the Mary statue my mom made me take before driving me to work. :]

 

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I may help out my Vortex crew (who are understaffed at the moment for this weekend...they need help!) this Saturday if I pick up an opening shift that is currently unassigned, and therefore, up for the taking. So my "first day of work" picture may not be as far off as we think! :)

And if I do get to work for sure on Saturday, that makes this weekend even more thrilling/torturous to look forward to, especially since I'll likely be back Sunday as a guest. FIVE DAYS EVERYBODY! :D

Edit: I have now requested to pick up the shift! Once I hear back from the manager, I'll know for sure if I'll be working on Saturday!

Edit #2: I got the shift!!! Come visit me on Saturday!!!

Edited by VortexBFForever
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A tip I would have in giving directions around the park is don't always use ride names to describe landmarks.  Guests can often forget which rides are which, so try to use visual cues instead of ride names (ex. Vortex- the big coaster in the back with the loops, Banshee- the magenta and blue coaster in the front, Racer- the white coaster, etc).  Use more than one way to describe a path.  

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  • 2 weeks later...
9 hours ago, chugh43 said:

Returning associates generally will request where they'd like to work for the next season, but it's not always guaranteed. 

There's also, typically, a hierarchy.

When I was there... many moons ago... Each large ride typically had two leads, who if not promoted, maintain the "training up" of the crew.  If the leads were promoted before, during or after a season, previous vested crew members could request to be promoted to lead of a ride.  In terms of non-lead returning staff, they typically got to request on which attractions they'd like to work.  New hires were then used to fill in the gaps left by non-returning employees or skeleton crews.

Now, it's been nearly 20 years since I worked there, but I'll give you my experience.  I took a PT job there on weekends, requested a position on a coaster and was immediately "placed" on the "Outer Limits: Flight of Fear" crew.  (FYI, this was back when there were still official uniforms for the OLFOF crew - yes, I wore the beret!) I didnt begin working there until late summer - fall season only, so I was not fast-tracked to "drive."  However I was trained and tested on driving the coaster late in my tenure that season.

The following season, at the returning employee job fair, I requested "Beast."  I was immediately placed there and it became my "home" ride.  However as an experienced and dependable employee on what was (then) one of the best (and hardest working) crews in the park, I (along with many of The Beast crew members) was subsequently trained on about 20 other rides throughout the season.  I would get "sent" to a ride if someone called in, or the crew fell short.  They could easily train brand new in-coming rides employees, even on their first day, to check lap bars on Beast (or other major attractions.)  This allowed seasoned ride ops to be "sent" to fill in on attractions that required them to be "signed off" to operate.

The third season, I returned to the fair and made the request to be on "Son of Beast's" inaugural crew.  I was informed part time employees would no longer be considered for crews of major rides.  The Operations manager, at the time, had made a sweeping decision (which they ultimately reversed as the season got underway- but only after many seasoned part-timers declined to return.) and I was a casualty.  Seeing the limitations, I made the decision to end my tenure there.

In an ironic twist, that very summer, I left my full-time employer in Cincy to relocate to Louisville for a job with a company I have loved for 17 years now... so, in the end, I would have had to turn down the KI seasonal job anyway. 

I'll say that my time working as a ride op at KI was extremely fun, exciting, memorable - but also hot and hard work.  It ultimately created great memories for me, and I am very appreciative of the experience I had there.  Plus, it allowed me to check "Driving The Beast" off my bucket list.

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Here's a fun memory I neglected to add to my above post...

Without a doubt, the hardest ride to operate was the now-gone Boo Boo's Baggage Claim.  It was a kiddie Turtle ride that required the op to time the stop so it landed perfectly in line with the load platform.  Inevitably that thing would fall a foot short, or a foot long.  I only managed to get that darn thing to stop in the right place about 1 out of 10 times.  It was soooooo touchy.  "Sit down kids... you're going around again!"

Oh, and the attraction that everyone hated... and I mean HATED to be "sent" to was "Hand Carts" in HB Land.  You spent all day chasing kids who left the vehicle or walking those stupid cars around that whole track when they stopped pedaling about 1/3 of the way through.  They were about 2 inches off the ground, so you were bent over all day.  If you were on shift on your home ride and you got told to go to "South Pie" to help - you were doomed - that meant Hand Carts.  FYI... this attraction lasted as long as it did because the VP of Operations for years and years at KI, Don Miller, had ridden them as a kid at Coney island and they were his favorite memory.  

The ride everyone JUMPED at the chance to go to was WWC.  Although it was very hot and hard walking on that platform, it meant you would get rotated to the tower where you got to squirt people.  Some of the best laughs I have EVER had at KI... as an employee or guest... was working that tower.  Man it was fun.

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I can't really say I had many funny memories working in food, but there were the hardships.  Anytime leaves clogged the drain during a rain storm, the stand (RT Potato Works) flooded with about an inch of water on the floor.  Same would happen at the very back of WINGS' (now Reds HOF Grille) kitchen (I closed there a few times, even on weekdays I didn't get out until well after midnight). Also, from what I remember, the storage areas of RT LaRosa's weren't kept up very well (we got rotated to Happy Days as well and on rare occasions, Festhaus, that place is the worst place to close just on its sheer size alone).  

We did have a few incidents involving customers.  Example, the park had a system where if you spotted anyone drunk ordering alcohol, you had to report  it to the food department HQ and describe the person where it was told to every stand that served alcohol.  We've also had lost and stolen credit cards, plus fake $50 and $100 bills.

The worst time of day was while the water park was closing and that train rolled in and gave us instant midway crossing lines (at least on weekends).  We also got a lot of trays of food from WINGS and LaRosa's for people who wanted the big fries with it.  I also saw that not a lot of people fully finish those fries.  Lots of salt, pepper, ketchup and malt vinegar everywhere as well.  It's amazing to see how messy people can be with a simple cup of fries (this is before they added cheese and chili cheese fries).  

Also of note is that they used to have registers which didn't print out receipts unless you paid with a credit card, so memorizing orders was a bit of a chore (you'd be surprised, though, our stand also sold popcorn shrimp and chicken along with a chicken sandwich).  

The worst part of it was the fact I was working there in 2004 when they were slowly taking out Antique Cars within a stones' throw of the stand which was heartbreaking enough, but one day, they hit a sewer line which sent a pretty strong smell through I-Street around the Eiffel Tower and Carousel, and half of RT and CM.  

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I don't want to go into detail, but my family experienced a major tragedy the one summer I worked there, right when the season began.  I remember my trainer, as well as the entire staff, was extremely kind, empathetic, and really took the time to care about the situation.  

After a few weeks, KI became a real refuge for me, and the professionalism and care the employees showed helped me and stuck with me to this day.  Some of the nostalgia I still have for the park is due to that and I wish I could thank the trainers and staff, but that was 20 years ago.  So, from my experience, it was great and was truly a 1st class operation. 

And I will say, as others mentioned, you will be worked hard and have to deal with people...but that is a great life experience, something you should really get used as difficult people will be something you always will have to deal with. 

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Oh yeah, one word of advice that I'd share is this...savor the experience.  Don't stress about the pay (all entry level jobs are going to lack in that!), the jerk customers, the hot sun...enjoy that fact that you are young, working in one of the best parks in the world...appreciate the moment, the days, the experience. 

Enjoy the park, grow as a person by dealing with the adversity it might present and be positive.  And save your name tag so you can wear it to the park when you visit in 20 years and your kids can make fun of you for it :)   "Yeah kid, I used to work for Paramount...just like Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, etc etc" 

 

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Also, while the pay might be lacking, this is the best time of your life to make money. No bills, no debt, no kids, nothing like that.

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  • 2 months later...

I have absolutely loved working at KI this summer. It was very stressful at 1st. After preview night, I was certain I was going to hate it.  But as the season rolled by, I made close friendship with my co workers.  Yes, there are hours where I feel overwhelmed and stressed. But my supervisor always have my back. I have learned how to deal with rude guest and even handle myself when somone gets very upset and decides to take their rage on me for the policy, I have no control of.

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It's a life changing experience. I'm 30 and I can say that my time spent working at the park was the best time of my life.

Myself and a few of my friends only left because of life taking us different ways.

If anyone ever has any questions feel free to PM me and I'll be glad to answer what I can.

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  • 1 month later...

New associate for the fall season! I loved reading this thread, because I've been eager to work at Kings Island for a couple years now, and I got a job in entertainment as a usher/character escort for The Great Pumpkin Fest. All my paperwork is done, and I'm happy to be a part of the team. The interview and processing were surprisingly easy, I'm looking forward to this fall. 

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1 minute ago, BaileyM912 said:

New associate for the fall season! I loved reading this thread, because I've been eager to work at Kings Island for a couple years now, and I got a job in entertainment as a usher/character escort for The Great Pumpkin Fest. All my paperwork is done, and I'm happy to be a part of the team. The interview and processing were surprisingly easy, I'm looking forward to this fall. 

Congrats Bailey! We hope you enjoy your new job. Welcome to KIC!! 

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