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Cedar Point Job Advice Needed


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So, this summer I'll be one of the ride operators on Mean Streak, is there anyone who could maybe share a little knowledge about being a ride operator at Cedar Point or other parks? I'm pretty excited, but I've heard some interesting stories about working at CP. Is it really going to be as fun as it sounds?

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I personally love being a ride operator and I do believe that it is as fun as it sounds. You picked the perfect ride to start out on too. Woodens are fairly easily operated, and it's not one of the more major rides so you won't have as much of crowds. My one word of advice, follow all rules given to you, don't get lax. Things can happen at any time on a ride, just pay close attention to everything and don't loose focus. Other than that, just have fun with it. Greet each geust with a smile and a wave, and you will have a terrific day!

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So, this summer I'll be one of the ride operators on Mean Streak, is there anyone who could maybe share a little knowledge about being a ride operator at Cedar Point or other parks? I'm pretty excited, but I've heard some interesting stories about working at CP. Is it really going to be as fun as it sounds?

 

Buy all the extra clothes and wet-gear they try to sell you. Put them in a backpack and take them to work with you every day.

 

Invest in good shoes.

 

Arrive at the park 30 minutes early, cause it's a long walk to mean Streak.

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Don't view your job as a job. Try to think of it as a way to interact with something you love ie. Coasters! Mean Streak sounds like a fairly easy ride since there is only a seatbelt and lapbar if you are an attendant. Be sure to keep the guest happy no matter what they think is right. Don't bad talk the ride (That is going to be hard).

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Don't skimp on your shoes. And when they wear out, don't go to Walmart, seriously go shoe shopping. Try and visit a few websites (thepointol and pointbuzz) where they have employee forums, you can find roommates and ask folks more specific questions.

 

As for the job itself, honestly its the most fun thing I've ever done. The work flat out sucks for the most part, however the people you meet, the friends you make, and the memories that are had during the season are the absolute best part. I have friends from last summer that I'm planning on visiting several times over the course of this year (since I can't work at the park this year).

 

Another suggestion I have for you is if the opportunity to cross train opens itself, TAKE IT! Its awesome to learn the other rides in the park, and on top of that make friends with their crews and other management.

 

Also, don't hate your ride. If you have ridden Mean Streak you may have noticed its a bit rough. After a few times around though, you'll learn to love it and eventually you'll find yourself pushing the ride on others, you seriously fall in love with your home location. Don't knock the ride until YOU know it. Riding once isn't the same as working at it for an entire season. You'll learn the ride's quirks, ins and outs, who's gonna fit and who you're gonna have to give the walk of shame to.

 

If all the Supervisors and Managers are the same, there is a truly awesome team of supervision at the helm.

 

Oh yeah, and don't forget to keep your clears straight!

 

Good luck!

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Thanks a lot everybody for the advice! I really needed a lot of that! I would especially like to thank those who suggested about the shoes. I was so glad to hear that I would be running Mean Streak, since it is one of my all time favorite woodies. Thanks again everyone!

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I worked there back in the summer of 93 and it was truly an experience to remember. Once or twice a week they did employee nights where they would open a ride for an hour or have some entertainment after the park closed. Met many interesting people and my only regret is not waiting until the next summer when they opened Raptor!!!!! All I got was Snake River, at least I got to ride the old log flume before the ripped it out to make way for Raptor....

 

Good luck and most of all enjoy yourself!

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I disagree wholesale on the theory about buying nice shoes. They're just going to get torn to shreds. Every year I've worked at a park I've just bought cheap shoes for no more than $20. Typically they're comfortable enough and it doesn't feel like a waste of money when they fall apart in 2 months. I'd rather have $20 shoes fall apart than $90 shoes.

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Congrats! Start practicing your train wave (rotate just your hand and don't wiggle your fingers).

 

As far as the "interesting stories" you have heard, I can only imagine. The drama is inevitable because you're constantly working, living, eating and partying with other employees. I don't know if they still do this in orientation, but at the beginning of the summer I had to write down what my goal was for the season on a self-addressed postcard that was then sent out at the end of the year. As lame as it is, it's good to go there knowing what you hope to accomplish or be a part of -- are you there just to party? To earn money? To get the experience? To meet new people? To bring in the most donuts (that's a whole other story;))? Obviously everyone will probably do all of these things while working there, but it helped me to have in writing what I wanted to get out of it so I had some direction during the summer. It's easy to get caught up in anything and everything that is going on around you.

 

Overall, working at CP is a really great experience--especially for us nerds--because you get to learn the other side of things, the beind-the-scenes of the day-to-day operations of a large tourist destination. You get to be apart of a great team and learn some valuable life lessons. And if you're lucky, you might even walk away from the summer with some money in your bank account.

 

Best of luck!

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I disagree wholesale on the theory about buying nice shoes. They're just going to get torn to shreds. Every year I've worked at a park I've just bought cheap shoes for no more than $20. Typically they're comfortable enough and it doesn't feel like a waste of money when they fall apart in 2 months. I'd rather have $20 shoes fall apart than $90 shoes.

 

$20 Walmart shoes every two weeks or $60 New Balance that lasted me three months (I worked Thunder Canyon and Magnum, so running was a necessity) and were significantly more comfortable.

 

That's just my past experience though.

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A nice pair of shoes as compared to several cheap pairs is definitely the way to go. My first year, when I worked Maverick, I ate through three pairs of normal shoes. Not learning my lesson, I went through another three pairs my second year because I moved around so much. Last year, I went out and bought some nice $150 shoes with the best quality gel inserts I could find, and they haven't even the slightest hint of falling apart.

 

Even with doing a lot of moving around this upcoming season, I really don't see this pair of shoes having any problem, and they went through EVERYTHING last year, from being completely submerged in the nastiest water ever to operating a dirty bumper car floor.

 

Spend the money on nice shoes and you'll not only be more comfortable but you won't have to spend your day off going to Meijer to buy shoes every other week.

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Once again thanks for all of the advice! The tips on the shoes is REALLY helpful. But to all of you who worked at CP in previous years, what are the residential aspects like? Is there a specific facility I should try to get into? Also, is there anything I should/could do to make my experience even more memorable and exciting? I'm already REALLY excited to be working Mean Streak this summer!

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This will also be my first year working at the point. I am a ride host on Maggie! I process in on May 9th. As far as shoes I decided to get some nice 130 dollars Nike AirMax's. I am also going to get another pair just for the time im not working. Now I havent been to any of the dorms, but from what iv'e heard Commons dorms are the way to go. They are the ones on the mainland right before the causeway. I heard they are newer, have AC, and is where the action is at. If you do not have a car, then I heard the Cedars over by the marina on the peninsula is not bad. It just does not have AC and is not as new. If you want an apartment style, Bayside is the best if there are any spots available. There are only about 8 people living under one roof as opposed to about 16 in the commons apartments. Hope this helps.

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This will also be my first year working at the point. I am a ride host on Maggie! I process in on May 9th. As far as shoes I decided to get some nice 130 dollars Nike AirMax's. I am also going to get another pair just for the time im not working. Now I havent been to any of the dorms, but from what iv'e heard Commons dorms are the way to go. They are the ones on the mainland right before the causeway. I heard they are newer, have AC, and is where the action is at. If you do not have a car, then I heard the Cedars over by the marina on the peninsula is not bad. It just does not have AC and is not as new. If you want an apartment style, Bayside is the best if there are any spots available. There are only about 8 people living under one roof as opposed to about 16 in the commons apartments. Hope this helps.

 

I've heard good things about Commons as well. I process in on May 16th, so I'm hoping there's a room left by then. I'm really hoping to get a dorm rather than an apartment. I got a friend who has applied, hasn't officially gotten the job yet, and we were hoping to room together.

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Living arrangements really depend on what kind of atmosphere you want. If you're someone that wants to roll out of bed and be at work in five minutes, Cedars is definitely the way to go. If the air conditioning is a problem there, you can always buy a window air conditioning unit and have maintenance install it for you. That being said, if you're looking for more of the "Cedar Point lifestyle" I'd definitely recommend Commons dorms. Keep in mind these are typical "college dorm" type housing arrangements, so don't go in expecting anything amazing. Just remember that you're not going to spend very much time in your dorm other than sleeping.

 

One thing I would suggest that hasn't been mentioned is to take advantage of every crew-related opportunity available. Back in '07 we had a "Pep Rally" before the season started (don't know if they still do that) that was absolutely amazing. Crew dinners/parties are fun, as well as going to ride nights with fellow crew mates. Your crew is your family for four months, doing things outside of just working with them can definitely make or break a summer.

 

Final piece of advice, since you'll probably be eating in Stockade since you're at Mean Streak, is to stay away from the potato salad in the box lunches. I don't think I'm the only one that's had bad experiences from it...

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CP veteran here! 2010 will be my 5th season working at the park, and this summer I'll be the Team Leader of Magnum! As for advise, be prepared to work a lot, get a lot of sun and not so much sleep! Live in Commons Dorms at all costs. Cedars Dorms is closing in on being 100 years old (not even exaggerating about that... my Images of America book has it dated 1915, and God help me if it's seen any sort of renovations since then). Don't get your heart set on working any particular ride, especially if you're arriving after training week like you are. However, once you're there, you can always ask to be moved, and chances are you'll get to work more than one ride anyway. Give your ride the attention and respect it deserves. The last thing you want is for someone to be injured on your ride when it could have easily been prevented by simply paying attention. You don't want that on your conscience.

 

Be prepared to answer the same stupid questions all day long and have guests do the same stupid things all day long. Don't let it get to you. You have to realize that while you're around the ride all day every day and get to watch its operation for 60-plus hours a week, most of the guests may only spend a total of three minutes loading and unloading at your ride all day long and are going to have some trouble. Help them out and laugh about them with your crewmembers after work. Likewise, you're going to get yelled at by guests possibly on a daily basis. Learn to deal with it or you're going to crack. Don't lose your head even if they do. Be the bigger person and enforce the policies consistently. All in all, have fun! Someone else said something like this, but don't treat it so much as a job... rather as an extension of your passion for parks and coasters. This is your chance to be one of those awesome ride hosts that I'm sure you've experienced at parks you've visited!

 

And say hi if you see me! My name is Brian!

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Just enjoy it.......

 

You will get to meet all kinds of great people, have free access to the park, and that availability to take some side trips if they still offer them.

 

I will also suggest that if you get some split shifts, take your stuff for the afternoon once in a while to go to Soak City. I found that to be a great way to relax between shifts on the split, even when it is fairly crowded, you can do the lazy river a few times, then maybe a slide or two, and then whatever else, then head back to work.

 

Also, take some of your time off to just rest. It is a great experience, but it can wear you down, so don't be afraid to take the evening after a day shift to just relax, or even a day off.

 

-Gary T.

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Don't worry Brian, you'll probably see me many many times when I come to visit. I love your crew and the ride. Great friends with most of them, just sad I can't be there this year

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GwaziBSRider1,

Welcome to the forums first of all! And second of all welcome to your first season at Cedar Point! I know you're going to have a blast, especially if you love theme parks and rollercoasters. I spent my first season there last year, not knowing what to expect; and am spending my second season there even more excited than the first year. I applied at Cedar Point after having a little bit of a hard time getting into some of the parks down here, Cedar Point returned my call immediately and hired me for Power Tower. I was moved to Top Thrill Dragster later on, then Millennium Force, and then Magnum XL-200, and eventually worked all of them at the same time! If you go in with a good attitude (knowing you're going to have a good time) you will, and you'll most definately meet a lot of people that share your interests and excitement for the industry.

 

Mean Streak is a fairly easy ride to operate from what I heard. It's also very relaxed and the hours aren't horrible. However you DO have to walk quite a ways everyday, so be prepared for A LOT of walking... Like almost anywhere from 3-4 miles a day, seriously. I believe the walk back to the ride alone is a mile. That doesn't include if you have housing, to walk from your dorm, to the ramp, parking lot, up and down multiple stairs, then the drive from the housing complex to the parking lot, parking lot to the Employee maingate, and then your time clock to ride area. (Wear comfortable shoes!!!)

 

More good news is if you show enough effort you can crosstrain, work multiple rides, and if you want, pick up more hours. You'll probably average anywhere from 40-50, maybe even 60 a week, depending on if you want to stay through a split shift, or O-6 (open to six), O-8 (open to whenever breaks are done), or whatever else. The pay is kind of low, but you work so many hours it makes up for it... and you're having a lot of fun doing it, so what else is needed right?

 

Overall I know you're going to have a good time... Send me a message if you want to chat more! It's always exciting to hear from new employees, and make sure to stop by Top Thrill this year and say hey!

 

-Justin

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