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KIngpin

Ask a former KI guest service associate anything

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Ask away! (Please note, I'll be sure to include fun stories and odd happenings from the job, but won't talk bad about guests or the park! I loved the job. Also keep in mind that while I'm no longer employed, there may be some things I can't answer that are fun little park "secrets", but I will do my best to get some cool info out!)

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35 minutes ago, Hawaiian Coasters 325 said:

Have you ever had to kick people out of the park before? If yes, reason?

I personally have not kicked anyone out, but I have seen it happen. The most common reason is that someone is tries to come in to the park without paying (lots of ways people try; I won't go in to them though. I don't want others getting ideas). People have also been removed for the usual things you would expect. Shoplifting, not listening to employee requests, etc, etc.

I will say that KI security/KI police do not get near enough credit. KI acts as its own functioning city essentially, and to have a city of at times 50,000 people and they are able to keep control the way they do is impressive. They do a great job handling the public and dealing with them in a fair way that still keeps the park safe.

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15 minutes ago, Hawaiian Coasters 325 said:

Oh dear. That's crazy that people would try and get in without paying. Some people can just do stupid stuff. There is a thread on KIC on people getting kicked out of KI, and in that thread there are some interesting stories.

Can you post that link

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Once when I was coming back in through the front security check, one of the security guards had been talking on the walkie-talkie to someone else about someone who had just been apprehended inside the park, after jumping off the train to run off into the woods. He made a comment afterwards to the effect of “oh, now we aren’t kicking people out for that?”

I suspect the “guest” ultimately was kicked out though. 

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I personally have not kicked anyone out, but I have seen it happen. The most common reason is that someone is tries to come in to the park without paying (lots of ways people try; I won't go in to them though. I don't want others getting ideas). People have also been removed for the usual things you would expect. Shoplifting, not listening to employee requests, etc, etc.

I will say that KI security/KI police do not get near enough credit. KI acts as its own functioning city essentially, and to have a city of at times 50,000 people and they are able to keep control the way they do is impressive. They do a great job handling the public and dealing with them in a fair way that still keeps the park safe.


They do, all things considered. I’ll bet most people don’t know Kings Island also has it’s own fire department. Yes, they do have a Mini Pumper Fire Truck as well. A good friend of mine is on the Fire Department. They spend a lot of time doing safety inspections, fire inspections and also get called when rides malfunction. Setting off the fireworks requires an Ohio Fire Inspector to be on-site before, during and after the show. Generally, there are 2 people on duty at any time. Major incidents will still get a response from Mason & Deerfield FDs as they are the closest full fire departments.

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3 hours ago, fyrfyter said:

 


They do, all things considered. I’ll bet most people don’t know Kings Island also has it’s own fire department. Yes, they do have a Mini Pumper Fire Truck as well. A good friend of mine is on the Fire Department. They spend a lot of time doing safety inspections, fire inspections and also get called when rides malfunction. Setting off the fireworks requires an Ohio Fire Inspector to be on-site before, during and after the show. Generally, there are 2 people on duty at any time. Major incidents will still get a response from Mason & Deerfield FDs as they are the closest full fire departments.

 

Frank 1 is able to sign off on the nightly permit due to a special agreement with the city. Both Mason and KIFD also inspect the site regularly.

-Ryan

Who totally gets that fyrfyter is probably the one person who understands my post.

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Frank 1 is able to sign off on the nightly permit due to a special agreement with the city. Both Mason and KIFD also inspect the site regularly.
-Ryan
Who totally gets that fyrfyter is probably the one person who understands my post.


I get it ... lol. KI is unique in that it has a fire department. Most amusement parks don’t, even if they do have security and/or police. I think Cedar Point also has its own fire department. It sounds like they have it due to being out on the peninsula. It said there was a Sandusky Fire station 5-7 minutes away.

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1 hour ago, Honorarius said:

What percentage of park complaints are people being completely unrealistic??? About half the time I go to guest services, there's someone in there in full rant over something unreasonable.  

Even the most unrealistic complaints are useful because at some point in that guest's experience, there was something the park could have done better. No matter how small an impact, every piece of feedback can be valuable in some way.

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What measures are in place to ensure that people (guests) don't spend the night in the park? Seems as if there are countless nooks and crannies and I can imagine folks trying to do it just to do it.

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I remember when my dad worked at the park in the late 70's, early 80's, and late 80's he said people would sneak through a hole in the security fence. He said it was somewhere in the woods between The Beast and the railroad. He also told me that park security was so confused with all the attendance numbers and stuff like that. But, they eventually found the hole in the fence and sealed it up. 

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36 minutes ago, HandsUp said:

What measures are in place to ensure that people (guests) don't spend the night in the park? Seems as if there are countless nooks and crannies and I can imagine folks trying to do it just to do it.

There's lots of work going on at the park overnight - so I think its just a matter of the night shift crews keeping their eyes peeled and notifying security (who patrols the park) of any oddities.  I know when I was on Beast crew, there was at least a couple times we reported a "guest in park" after the ride had gone 2-9 (Shut down for night.)  We were sometimes there until 1 - 1:30 am... on really busy nights cleaning/storing trains after the line had been run out.  (The Beast was typically the last ride to be put to bed.)  We'd then walk through Rivertown as a crew and that's when, on rare occasion, we'd spot people.  Frankly - some of those late nights were my favorite memories.  We had a lot of laughs.

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2 hours ago, Honorarius said:

What percentage of park complaints are people being completely unrealistic??? About half the time I go to guest services, there's someone in there in full rant over something unreasonable.  

I would say that maybe 1-5 out of 100 are "unrealistic". I learned that even those people who are ranting about something that seems irrelevant are only doing so because they feel like they didn't get the help they needed at some point through out the day. As someone else said earlier, even a complaint that seems minor has some value as its something that can make a customer who is on the fence about coming back be more likely to do so if they feel listened to. And most of the time that is what most people wanted, an ally on the inside.

Now, that being said, there were guests who came in simply just to try to "get something". The most absurd thing I ever heard, and I kid you not, was a guy who complained that there "were not enough Asians working at Panda Express". It felt like I had to gather my thoughts for an hour in my mind before I knew how to respond. So there are those times where the complaints are absurd, but 99 out of 100 guests, even when upset, are valid.

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2 minutes ago, KIngpin said:

The most absurd thing I ever heard, and I kid you not, was a guy who complained that there "were not enough Asians working at Panda Express". It felt like I had to gather my thoughts for an hour in my mind before I knew how to respond. 

If you don’t mind sharing what was your response to that question?

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1 hour ago, HandsUp said:

What measures are in place to ensure that people (guests) don't spend the night in the park? Seems as if there are countless nooks and crannies and I can imagine folks trying to do it just to do it.

When the park closes, each segment of the park is closed as guests file out. Security does an initial sweep for guests, then closes off the area while ride ops finish their nightly tasks. There is also overnight security and the KI police which patrols basically 24/7 while the park is operational. I think the biggest asset though are the cameras around the park. The KI communications team is top notch, and often consist of former police dispatchers, security professionals, etc. They monitor the parks activities before the park opens, and until after the last associate leaves the park, which can be very late. Not to mention trespassing laws etc. If someone really wanted to hide out all night, it could probably done on occasion, but most people would get caught. 

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2 minutes ago, Ben43065 said:

If you don’t mind sharing what was your response to that question?

It was something to the effect of "Panda Express does their own hiring, so any complaints about their processes should be taken to their companies customer service team". Which is true. It was so hard not to have my jaw drop and/or laugh.

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56 minutes ago, Shaggy said:

There's lots of work going on at the park overnight - so I think its just a matter of the night shift crews keeping their eyes peeled and notifying security (who patrols the park) of any oddities.  I know when I was on Beast crew, there was at least a couple times we reported a "guest in park" after the ride had gone 2-9 (Shut down for night.)  We were sometimes there until 1 - 1:30 am... on really busy nights cleaning/storing trains after the line had been run out.  (The Beast was typically the last ride to be put to bed.)  We'd then walk through Rivertown as a crew and that's when, on rare occasion, we'd spot people.  Frankly - some of those late nights were my favorite memories.  We had a lot of laughs.

I agree. The park "closes" at midnight or 1 am, but between ride ops, guest service, lost and found, security, etc, the park is busy far beyond the close to guests.

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I agree. The park "closes" at midnight or 1 am, but between ride ops, guest service, lost and found, security, etc, the park is busy far beyond the close to guests.


It wouldn’t shock me if the park was busy most of the night. Not only do they have to cleanup from that day, but also prep for the next one.

I suspect that if things like pump and filter maintenance for the water park has to happen, it happens during the evening and overnight hours. if it didn’t, it would happen during daylight hours and things would need to be closed. That’s something you don’t want if you can prevent it for a park that is mostly seasonal and sees its biggest crowds during the summer.

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34 minutes ago, Imperial79 said:

What time does employees start showing up?  And when do they turn the fountains on? 

That depends on the department really. The park opens at 10, and when I was in GS, we would show up at 8 to start our morning routines, but by that time security has already checked in to help scan in associates, and rides are already running their first tests of the morning. I would guess that rides/security generally are their 3 hours minimum before park open. and GS is their 2 hours prior. The cool part about getting there early is getting to walk around the park for certain tasks. Its empty, its quiet, and it was always a really cool way to center yourself for the day. You go out in to the park, look around, take a deep breath and take a minute to appreciate how cool your job is.

 

In my memory, the fountains came on at 9, which is when the parking lot opens up. So really anytime a guest is allowed to be on park property the fountains were on, barring any sort of maintenance or anything like that.

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I was once talking to someone in rides maintenance and I remember him saying that they get there pretty early. I can't recall the exact time he said but I to say it was sometime around like 5am give or take an hour or so. It probably depends on what maintenance crew they are on but they all get there super early in order to get through all of the rides

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26 minutes ago, nicescoot said:

I was once talking to someone in rides maintenance and I remember him saying that they get there pretty early. I can't recall the exact time he said but I to say it was sometime around like 5am give or take an hour or so. It probably depends on what maintenance crew they are on but they all get there super early in order to get through all of the rides

Rides employees are a different breed. They do so much more than just operate their rides. They serve as security in the event of a ride emergency, cleaning crew if their is a “spill” on ride, guest service when they have to tell people they cannot ride for whatever reason, working with guests with physical limitation to make sure they can safely ride, they search rides for lost and found items....the list goes on and on. 

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42 minutes ago, KIngpin said:

Rides employees are a different breed. They do so much more than just operate their rides. They serve as security in the event of a ride emergency, cleaning crew if their is a “spill” on ride, guest service when they have to tell people they cannot ride for whatever reason, working with guests with physical limitation to make sure they can safely ride, they search rides for lost and found items....the list goes on and on. 

Preach on! Preach on!  I tell everyone that was the hardest work, and most thankless job I have ever done.  Its soooooo much more than operating the attraction.  On Beast we worked our @$$ off all the time... and we did so in blazing hot temps.  Its been 20 years since I was on crew... but I have the bad back to proove I did it.

I'll give you an example of something I didnt expect when I signed on as a ride op at KI...  there was a season pass holder with a severe mental and physical handicap restriction.  However, his favorite ride was Beast... so he'd come often.  Because of his affliction, crew members had to secure a special seat in a train, then hold trains while we lifted him from his wheelchair into the ride.  We then had a special harness that strapped around his chest and belted into clasps on the back of the car.  Once he was secure, we'd load the train, secure lap bars - do a final check of his restraint and send him (the train) on his way.  We'd allow him 2, maybe 3 consecutive rides - all the time pacifying the folks waiting for that seat.  When his "turns" were done, we'd unstrap him and lift him out and back into his wheelchair.

The first time I came upon this experience I was completely taken aback.  But we got it down to a science and after a while we got to know him.  Frankly, I reached the point where I looked forward to him coming - because what I saw was pure joy.  He LOVED riding The Beast... and seeing him get so excited and having fun is one of my best memories. Oh, and guess what... the guests actually often loved watching it and would compliment and thank us for helping him.  It really restored my faith in humanity... a little bit ;-)

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9 hours ago, Imperial79 said:

And when do they turn the fountains on? 

I have arrived to the park early enough to see the fountains turn on, which from my experience was at quarter til 9, give or take a few minutes. Though my shift wouldn't start until 9:20, I always wanted to get to the park early (usually 8:40ish) not just to get a better parking spot but also to see the fountains turn on! I found (and still find) that intriguing. :)

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12 hours ago, HandsUp said:

What measures are in place to ensure that people (guests) don't spend the night in the park? Seems as if there are countless nooks and crannies and I can imagine folks trying to do it just to do it.

All of the bathrooms are given a deep clean at the end of the night, generally the section of the park they are in has been swept through by Security.  Very rarely did I see someone after Security had swept the area.

In terms of traffic at night, the park can be pretty busy.  You have some maintenance personnel around.  There are people from Park Services pressure washing, cleaning up the cardboard in the park, etc.  Warehouse associates restocking food,beverage, merch, games, etc.  

Not to mention overnight security.

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15 hours ago, KIngpin said:

It was something to the effect of "Panda Express does their own hiring, so any complaints about their processes should be taken to their companies customer service team". Which is true. It was so hard not to have my jaw drop and/or laugh.

I picture him wearing a red hat.

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9 hours ago, teenageninja said:

All of the bathrooms are given a deep clean at the end of the night, generally the section of the park they are in has been swept through by Security.  Very rarely did I see someone after Security had swept the area.

In terms of traffic at night, the park can be pretty busy.  You have some maintenance personnel around.  There are people from Park Services pressure washing, cleaning up the cardboard in the park, etc.  Warehouse associates restocking food,beverage, merch, games, etc.  

Not to mention overnight security.

Yeah I figured it would be very hard to stick around in any of the main areas. Still a lot of shrubs/slightly wooded areas that I wondered if they swept or had infared.

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