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Former Employee Stories

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Favorite story as an employee in rides at Adventure Express: a few years ago, on a very stormy day, the ride closed down for maybe 2-3 hours or so. One group of friends hung out in the queue, waiting out the storm. 

My entire crew ended up playing games with them, getting to know everything about them, and giving them tips and tricks on how to make their visit to Kings Island the best possible. They all took selfies with us and posted about us on all their social media. They came back a few times over the next 2 years, and every time they did, they remembered us - or, who was remaining. 

I have a lot of stories like that, ranging from kids marathoning the ride at 9:00pm to some guests asking me all about the ride and trivia. 

Then, I have stories about stupid guests, like the time I chased someone around the lockout fence as he attempted to retrieve his hat from the ride area...

But I don't want to be negative.

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19 hours ago, Oldiesmann said:

I worked at KI in the East Pie section of what was then Hanna-Barbera Land (in its last season as it turned out) for a few months in 2005 (got fired - won't get into that here). One hot summer morning I was working Beastie and wasn't feeling great, but didn't feel so bad that I felt I needed to go home. I bent over to check a guest's lapbar and puked all over the guest. I felt horrible and went to go clean up, leaving my poor coworkers to deal with the mess. Needless to say I did get sent home.

Where can i hear the story of why you got fired?

My bad, I should of continued down the line.

 

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20 hours ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

Please tell us how you the mower into those 4 areas? With the concrete and iron fence, getting a mower in there could not be fun.

We use 48” walk behind mowers that get lifted into/out of each tower leg using a beefed up forklift, which we call the ‘moon buggy.’  The forks lift, then extend out and over the wall and railings. Not in the too distant past, it was push mowed, with a cut width of 24”.

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17 minutes ago, KI_Landscaper83 said:

We use 48” walk behind mowers that get lifted into/out of each tower leg using a beefed up forklift, which we call the ‘moon buggy.’  The forks lift, then extend out and over the wall and railings. Not in the too distant past, it was push mowed, with a cut width of 24”.

Thank you, that has baffled me for years! That is even more elaborate that what I was envisioning. 

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I have some cool stories to tell from the two seasons I have worked so far (2017 and 2018), but I'm not a former employee (still working this year). Is this thread just for former employees to tell their stories, or can current employees participate too? :)

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1 minute ago, VortexBFForever said:

I have some cool stories to tell from the two seasons I have worked so far (2017 and 2018), but I'm not a former employee (still working this year). Is this thread just for former employees to tell their stories, or can current employees participate too? :)

As long as it doesn’t violate any contracts you signed with the park then it should be fine, someone earlier in the thread still works for KI currently posted a comment. The more the better imo!

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When I worked in Ride Operations(2000-2005), I would stash all the left over plush animals at the end of the day in a trash bag in a closet and then distribute them to kids I had to turn away because they were too short to ride. Specifically, the kids who were too short to ride and they were left alone while everyone else in their party rode. 

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12 hours ago, MDMC01 said:

Alright, I'll chime in. As it says in my About Me section, I've worked at the park for 10 seasons, both in Food and in Park Services. While Food was a good start (as it was my first real job), I enjoyed Park Services much, much more. 

Where in Food did you work?

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The stories I'm thinking about have mostly to do with guests I've encountered. I remember a lot of fun moments with guests at Vortex, but some stick out to me more than others, such as this one from early 2017:

We had just opened for the day, and we had a couple of families come to the exit to have their kids' heights checked to see if they had reached 48". Since we had no one else in line yet, we were able to give that matter our full attention for the time being. One of those kids in particular I still remember fondly. I and two of my crewmates were measuring her on the height scale (the metal platform with the triangle - the bottom of the triangle is at the required height and must move the rider's head) and she was just tall enough - the triangle on the height scale moved her head just barely, but enough for me to notice. "It hit her head! She's tall enough!" I exclaimed, and as soon as we gave her the purple 48" wristband, she ran to her family who were waiting at the exit and showed them her new wristband, all while jumping up and down with excitement. She was ecstatic that she was tall enough and it made for a most wonderful start to my day! She of course rode afterward and had fun. :)

Thanks to Vortex's fairly low height requirement, I see a lot of kids who are riding for the first time. Some are in tears because they are so nervous, and usually we talk to them and ensure that they will be okay and that they may enjoy it. I often say, "I love this ride, and maybe you'll like it too!" Most of those nervous/scared kids end up enjoying the ride after seeing that going upside down isn't as bad as they feared. I make sure to ask them afterward if they enjoyed the ride. I remember one day last year when I met a little girl who was scared, but chose to ride. When her train came back and I asked how her ride was, she answered with an awed "That was amazing!" as I helped her lift her restraint so she could get out. A few other young riders on the same train ran up to me after they got off and told me how much they enjoyed their rides. I say that I'm not that great when it comes to interacting with kids, but moments like that are proof that I may have to reconsider that thought. :P It always makes my day seeing a kid get off the ride with a huge smile on their face and asking their parents if they can ride again!

On Build-A-Bear's "Pay Your Age" fiasco day last year, I was working when during the last hour of the day I met a young boy who had gotten his own Toothless plush from Build-A-Bear, and now he and his parents were riding Vortex. Of course I had to point out that I too was a How to Train Your Dragon fan and that I also had my own Toothless plush (which, yes, was there with me, in my backpack nearby!) and I told him that if he wanted, his Toothless plush could ride with him if he held onto it tightly (which I do too, #shamelessplug!) and I even mentioned that we could even ride together with our Toothless plushies! He loved the idea, and so after his first ride, he came back around and we were able to ride together a few times, with both of us holding on tightly to our Toothless plushies for the whole ride. Vortex is his favorite ride too, so it is needless to say that both of us had a blast that night. What a memorable few rides for both of us, on our favorite ride!

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There was also one day last year when I was helping someone with their Ride Admission Policy sheet, and he told me that he was the first person in line to ride Vortex on its opening day in 1987. I replied with "Wow, it's so cool that you got to be one of its first public riders!" He kept insisting (politely) that he was THE first public rider, so I took his word for it. I felt a little star-struck, as I had just met and helped the same person who was reportedly Vortex's first EVER public rider in 1987, and he was still riding it 31 years later! That is so cool!

 

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10 hours ago, VortexBFForever said:

I have some cool stories to tell from the two seasons I have worked so far (2017 and 2018), but I'm not a former employee (still working this year). Is this thread just for former employees to tell their stories, or can current employees participate too? :)

Current employees are fine, just keep in mind the KI social media policy while posting. 

10 hours ago, Snowball said:

I've got some pretty great stories from Haunt that I can talk about. Would anyone be interested in that?

Of course!

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10 hours ago, silver2005 said:

Where in Food did you work?

I started out at It's Fried (which was then called Midway Treats and Eats and Coney Potato Works before being demo'd for Coney BBQ)/St.. Funnel (Funnel Cake stand on I-Street, I got sent to either location) my first and part of my 2nd year before going to Festhaus. During my time in Foods, I did get moved a lot of places, such as Stunt Crew Grille, Carts (specifically, Nickelodeon and Action Zone Carts),Rivertown LaRosas and Coney Subway. 

I just thought of a few stories to share... when I was pulled to Stunt Crew Grille (now Chicken Shack), I learned that if you put a cold patty on the grill and hit it, a huge flame shot up! That was both cool and terrifying. Also, Carts is not fun as you are on your own little island and you have to wait for people to check on you to restock, give more cash, etc (unlike in a regular food place where there is usually a manager or co-worker nearby). Speaking of carts, the one day I was at Action Zone carts, I was in front of Days of Thunder (for those who don't remember, this go-kart ride was about where Banshee's queue line currently is) and I remember people not following the rules and crashing. It was funny watching cars get seperated when they crashed.

EDIT: I also remember seeing Son of Beast testing one day all the way from Midway Treats and Eats (I was really excited as I think this was one of the times that it was closed for an extended period of time).

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Guys, I hate topics like this. It starts making me sad. I am still very young - only 21 - but it's amazing to me that I have been on this site for, I believe ten years, then ended up working at Kings Island. I have so many stories to tell. I miss my crew, hearing FunTV every hour of every day, and working from 9am-11pm! 

Why does nostalgia hurt so bad?!

For any prospective KI employee here (specifically in rides): don't pass up the amazing opportunity to be an associate. Kings Island was the best job I've ever had - even including real marketing internships I have been a part of. There is truly nothing like it!

Well, that was cheesy enough to make a whole pizza...

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KI is as strict as ever now with social media, and since I worked at the park in 2018 and I'm working at Cedar Point this season, I'm not going to tell very many stories, but this is a story I'll never forget: so I was on the last crew of Firehawk this past season, one time in July I think it was, I was sitting down in Firehawk's yellow train parked in station two, we were obviously down for weather and it was pouring, there was no one in our station besides us, and then lightning stuck WindSeeker and it was easily the most frightening moment of my life when lightning only a few hundred feet away strikes a steel tower from the side. If you're contemplating on working at the park, I can't stress it enough, just do it, it's such a good experience, and I can't wait for my start at Cedar Point this season.

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I have a couple of stories from my time in KillMart.

My first story is one of the scares that sticks out in my mind. I was in the clothing department area in KillMart in 2016. For those of you who don't know, the clothing department is the second room in the attraction, right after the area with the checkout lines and shopping carts. I was pretending to be a statue that night. I was posed in a way that it looked like I was supposed to be pushing a shopping cart. One group came by, a group of girls. I was watching them approach and could tell they were scared and skeptical as to if I was an actor or a statue. One of them went ahead of the group to get a closer look at me and when she was right near my face, I slammed the shopping cart so it made a loud crash and growled at her. She screamed one of the loudest screams I've heard anyone give and totally bolted, straight into a brick wall. I tried to ask her if she was okay but as soon as she saw me approach her (Out of character of course, I wanted to make sure she didn't need first aid.), she ran again and kept getting scared by the other actors as she ran. I could hear her screaming the whole time she was in the attraction. I don't remember how the rest of the group reacted, they probably laughed since that's what people tend to do when their friend gets scared and runs.

My second story is a short one. I was in the first room of the attraction, it was about 10:00 or so on a saturday so our line was pretty long. I believe it was about an hour or more. I was scaring people when I noticed two girls that looked confused as they entered the building, so I scared them and their reaction was "WAIT THIS IS A HAUNTED HOUSE?!", and then they ran back out of the entrance. They waited an hour in a line for a haunted attraction without realizing it. I have no idea how they managed to do that.

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Best (appropriate) story I can think of off the top of my head is the time I had a guest sneak a cherry Icee on to The Zephyr while I was working, who then decided to throw it on the ground as soon as the ride came to a full spin, splattering all over a bystander's brand new white shoes. Needless to say he was a little irritated. Or the time @JAHill and I shut Zephyr down for nearly two hours because a guest had a minor cut and we were quote "Certain it got on the ride somewhere".

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Its so amazing seeing all of these stories! While still currently working at the park as I have since April 2017, it is so nice to see just how many different yet amazing stories I see here. :) 

I currently work as an Admissions Team Lead in the Admissions and GS Department at Kings Island. I am almost certain even if you dont know me or have never met me you have probably seen me at some point in your journey through the gate. Everyone often thinks of the Rides Department as the first department you think of when you think "Kings Island". However, in many aspects we are one of the most crucial departments in the park, with so many things going into the process of entering the park that one does not necessarily think about. The friendships I have made while on and off the clock have been timeless. I pride myself in knowing at least one person from every single department. The park knowledge I gained from roaming the park for countless hours as a guest has really helped me strive to give guests the best possible experience possible. The stories I have are numerous and boundless, the conversations with guests even from 2017 I still remember to this day. Talking with a guest on memorial day about his experience in the military for ten minutes, P&G days, others as well. Theres just something so special about seeing a family with an ear to ear smile coming through the gates, seeing their palpable excitement and even on those days where you may feel a bit down, seeing that gives me the drive and purpose to do my job and provide them with the best day possible. Amongst my most memorable moments was doing the "Best Day Hype" last year in one of my first shifts after being promoted. Despite the smaller size of the crowd, I was able to get everybody riled up and excited and shout along to their favorite rides. That was a great memory. We are the first impression you see of the park and that makes it even more important for us to give you the best experience possible. The department is kind of like a second home to me with so many great people that have become some of my best friends. Love my #KIBlueCrew :) Im going to miss working here when that day comes.

April 9th, 2017 (First Day!)

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April 2018

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July 2018

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September 2018 (Got a CORE Pin, a really special and surprising award)

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March 2019

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On 4/3/2019 at 10:52 AM, teenageninja said:

If you ever think anything smells bad, try cleaning underneath one of the park dumpsters.  

Caught a kid in the act of defecating on the floor in the Rivertown restrooms near Larosa's.  

The most thrilling ride in the park is Top Thrill Astrovan, but you have to be in the select few who have been lucky enough to do so.

 

Take out the water truck and hope the drain underneath the dumpster is not clogged. If it was clogged, good luck.

That astrovan when through it. Card boarding and truck runs too. It could adapt to any situation. Those were some very fond memories.

I haven’t been back in a little while but when I worked at KI one of my bosses things was to have 0 gum stuck on any of the midways in the Park.  Let’s just say I am a master at pressure spraying now. 

Also even though I worked in Park services, I had the chance to work very closely with the maintenance, carpentry, and landscaping departments and the patience they showed when it seemed like every day I went to them with some type of problem cannot be understated. Wish I could still remember some of their names. 

 

 

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I can be an episode of the KIC podcast with all the bad times I had as an employee but I will say a couple good things. First I loved working food during Haunt, especially on Friday nights. I would come in early to set up and it was so peaceful that it kept me calm once the crowds came in. And serving beer was always a treat. I also caught a bunch of kids that wandered into the park by mistake behind Timberwolf. But I let them go free if they turned around and went elsewhere. We also chatted a bit about nearby parks in Mason. But if anyone has mental health issues, (depression, anxiety, etc.) they should not work at an amusement park.

P.S. I'm new to posting on the forums, please be gentle. Been following the site since X-Flight Coming to Kings Island was the main headline

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Security 2007-2011.  My best memory is the Knievel jump.   I was at the main entrance, and as soon as Knievel hit the ground most of the 70,000 folks rushed the gates.  After strongly encouraging the sup to let the folks in without worrying about the detectors, things went smooth.  Out of all the times I worked that was the best 14 hour shift I've ever had.  Physically, I can no longer stand for hours on end, but if I was able I would apply again in a heartbeat.  I miss the folks I worked with, especially Ed Frey.  Best sup and friend I've had in my years of working.

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I was the Supervisor of The Racer in 1976. Of course, there were a lot of lost items on the ride, usually hats. I used to walk the tracks during one of my breaks because I could almost always find money. In the back of each car of the 5 car train, under the back seat, was a meshed screen to allow rainwater to drain out. But big enough to let quarters lip through. The change usually fell out when the train was about to crest a hill, so it was always in the same basic spots, me like a monkey, swinging under the supports to scoop up a quarter. I never got rich, you can be sure. One day I found a black wig and thought it would be funny if I walked back into the station wearing it. Me climbing a set of stairs at the back of the ride for employees only wearing that wig and a big smile.  Well, the joke was on me, as the black woman who had lost it was standing next to one of my co-workers, shouting, "THAT'S MY WIG!" Me wanting to crawl into a hole.

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On 4/3/2019 at 1:23 AM, Sonofbeast2.0 said:

From 2017 and 2018 I had the privilege of working as a Park Ambassador. It was a job that was a dream come true for me. I basically had the opportunity to do what was needed to make a guests day, get to explore the park and hope not just guests but associates were doing well and if they needed help with anything. 

In 2017, Our last day of the season, I was back by Dinosaurs Alive talking to some guests when a lady approached me asking if I was able to help her with something.

I was delighted to help her and it was even more awesome was, her daughter just hit 48in height requirement. However, her mom was scared/not a fan of rollercoasters. She wanted someone to ride with her daughter, which at the time I was able to. I tried to help make it one of the best memories they ever had. I told the mom and the girl that they could choose up to 3 rides, and ill take her to the front of the line and she can choose any row to sit in (granted the park was dead to begin with so not much benefit in skipping lines) she decided on doing Adventure Express, Mystic Timbers and The Beast to ride. She really liked Adventure Express and at the time she did not like Mystic Timbers as unfortunately it was rather chilly and the cool air kinda took her breath away and it scared her a bit (although I her she loves riding it now) The Beast she really liked too.

Well as we got off Mystic Timbers her mom was so ecstatic and happy, she wanted a picture of me and her daughter together (both with her phone and from the ride) well I went ahead and got the photo taken care for her and she was almost in tears with just joy and excitement. Actually as we went towards The Beast, she had to Facetime a family member and had to tell them how much of a great time she was having and told me to say hi.:lol: Everytime I worked and they saw me out in the park, the girl always had to run up and give me a hug. 

I loved getting the privilege of doing stuff like that. The excitment kids got from a gesture like that all way down to just a "I love Kings Island" sticker always helped me feel better knowing they are enjoying there visit. Granted not everyone did, but I would try as hard as possible to make sure they did.

Ok how does one get that job

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On 4/3/2019 at 10:13 PM, Snowball said:

I've got some pretty great stories from Haunt that I can talk about. Would anyone be interested in that?

Yes!! The haunt is my fave time in the park

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On 4/3/2019 at 11:12 PM, VortexBFForever said:

The stories I'm thinking about have mostly to do with guests I've encountered. I remember a lot of fun moments with guests at Vortex, but some stick out to me more than others, such as this one from early 2017:

We had just opened for the day, and we had a couple of families come to the exit to have their kids' heights checked to see if they had reached 48". Since we had no one else in line yet, we were able to give that matter our full attention for the time being. One of those kids in particular I still remember fondly. I and two of my crewmates were measuring her on the height scale (the metal platform with the triangle - the bottom of the triangle is at the required height and must move the rider's head) and she was just tall enough - the triangle on the height scale moved her head just barely, but enough for me to notice. "It hit her head! She's tall enough!" I exclaimed, and as soon as we gave her the purple 48" wristband, she ran to her family who were waiting at the exit and showed them her new wristband, all while jumping up and down with excitement. She was ecstatic that she was tall enough and it made for a most wonderful start to my day! She of course rode afterward and had fun. :)

Thanks to Vortex's fairly low height requirement, I see a lot of kids who are riding for the first time. Some are in tears because they are so nervous, and usually we talk to them and ensure that they will be okay and that they may enjoy it. I often say, "I love this ride, and maybe you'll like it too!" Most of those nervous/scared kids end up enjoying the ride after seeing that going upside down isn't as bad as they feared. I make sure to ask them afterward if they enjoyed the ride. I remember one day last year when I met a little girl who was scared, but chose to ride. When her train came back and I asked how her ride was, she answered with an awed "That was amazing!" as I helped her lift her restraint so she could get out. A few other young riders on the same train ran up to me after they got off and told me how much they enjoyed their rides. I say that I'm not that great when it comes to interacting with kids, but moments like that are proof that I may have to reconsider that thought. :P It always makes my day seeing a kid get off the ride with a huge smile on their face and asking their parents if they can ride again. 

You were there for my daughter's first year at 48"!!! Kids definitely appreciate ride ops who are willing to hear how the first time was. (And the 2nd, and the 3rd and the .....) :D

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