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Ride Operators: What has been your favorite ride(s) to work?


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2 Season so far at Cedar Point

 

I've spent both my seasons on Millennium Force. One of the greatest things about working this ride is how excited all the guests are. At the unload station when I get to say "Welcome back riders, how was your ride?" 100% of the time the train is screaming & yelling from excitement. That never gets old. You really get a good back workout from having to bend over to check the seats here. The music & the atmosphere of the station never gets old for me, everybody is just so darn excited to ride it makes the day fly by. I consider my shift is almost over when there's 5 hours left. That's how fast time flies there.

 

I've spent a little bit of time at Gatekeeper and wow that ride is a blast to work! In order to keep the dispatches going you have to RUN while checking your seats. The station there always has a nice breeze coming from the lake. It's also nice from the control booth and most positions you can see the layout of the whole ride so you can see where your trains are/ how fast your're going.

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Having 9 years of experience at CP, I've become fond of working a few rides.

 

Thunder Canyon - with 9 or more rafts. The day just goes by so much quicker when the ride never stops and theres a constant flow of guests. I would have loved to experience 22 rafts when the ride first opened, now it never goes above 15.

 

Mean Streak - I just loved how the ride was off on its own and how I knew the ride better than the back of my hand. One of my favorite crews came from working the ride. Im really going to miss it.

 

Maverick - What isnt there not to love about this ride. If you have the right motivated crew you can really crank out the trains (just ask the TPR trip from 2013 ). My favorite position was speiling and just being able to get the crowd into riding the ride and to make the day that more enjoyable for the guests. Nothing is more demoralizing to a crew than a unenthusiastic crowd "welcome back, how was your ride?" And no response.

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Having 9 years of experience at CP, I've become fond of working a few rides.

 

Thunder Canyon - with 9 or more rafts. The day just goes by so much quicker when the ride never stops and theres a constant flow of guests. I would have loved to experience 22 rafts when the ride first opened, now it never goes above 15.

 

Mean Streak - I just loved how the ride was off on its own and how I knew the ride better than the back of my hand. One of my favorite crews came from working the ride. Im really going to miss it.

 

Maverick - What isnt there not to love about this ride. If you have the right motivated crew you can really crank out the trains (just ask the TPR trip from 2013 ). My favorite position was speiling and just being able to get the crowd into riding the ride and to make the day that more enjoyable for the guests. Nothing is more demoralizing to a crew than a unenthusiastic crowd "welcome back, how was your ride?" And no response.

 

Thunder Canyon is a bucket list one for me. Heard it's the Skyride of A3 (as far as shutdowns and constant movement go)

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Flight Deck at Kings Island was so much fun. With it being back away from everything else it was bit more relaxed without having to worry about the higher ups spying on you. My close friend Anthony and I would always make Top Gun references over the PA system. One of my favorite things to do was on a busy day pick out a random lady in the line and Anthony and I would reenact the "you've lost that loving feeling scene from Top Gun.

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Hydra is a boatload of fun when you're behind the panel. Same with Thunderhawk.

 

I also really enjoyed solo operating the Musik Express, nothing like jogging up and down a 45 degree incline to manually latch 20 restraints. Those were always very fast hours, because there was very little downtime.

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There were a few rides I loved working on at SFNE.

 

Tazs Dare Devil Dive (Skycoaster) - skycoasters are amazing to work and they can do no wrong. Enough said.

 

Flying Aces- This was my all time favorite kids ride to work on. The area where it was located was never very busy and when people did come, you had the time to really interact with them and make the kids be the happiest they could be.

 

Fireball- this is a fun ride to operate just because the entire cycle is controlled by the operator with a joystick.

 

Scream- this is probably my favorite ride to work on that's not a coaster. It's always fun to freak guest out by giving fake count downs or having them launch when they think they will climb slowly. I also love it because I like trying to get quick dispatch times. It's pretty rewarding when you can say you got a really high number that hour and you're the reason/half the reason/a third of the reason. Lol

 

For coasters...

 

Mind Eraser- 1 attendant is a blast because you really have to hustle to get trains out quickly. When it has two attendants, it's just that much better. Try really seems to fly by while working on this ride.

 

Batman- fun to work on just because I like the challenge of rolling trains. Doing this is very difficult on this ride because by the time train in the station has parked, the train on the lift is already going down the first drop, so you have only a small window of time to dispatch the next train.

 

Superman: The Ride- Love it. Love attending it (with 2,4,or 6 attendants), Love operating it. Just love it.

 

Thunderbolt- I like operating it because you have to park the train yourself.

 

Wicked Cyclone- fun to attend with 4 attendants because we only have to check 6 seats and we have very quick dispatch times. Operating it is also a lot of fun. It's pretty similar to operating the orginal cyclone, just with a few more buttons and cooler looking panel.

 

Goliath- I loved working both (old and new train) versions of this ride. It's always nice to be able to have a minute to yourself and that's what you get as you are watching the ride cycle.

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Batman- fun to work on just because I like the challenge of rolling trains

 

 

It sounds like I've never had the pleasure of riding it when you were operating it then. I know it's almost impossible not to stack that ride for a little bit but holy hell that crew usually sucks.

 

PS: How come the grouper on that ride absolutely refuses to ever follow the park's own policy of letting people wait for the front even when they're standing under the huge sign about the front row line and therefore also standing on top of the obnoxious yellow line they painted for the front row line?

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Batman- fun to work on just because I like the challenge of rolling trains

 

 

It sounds like I've never had the pleasure of riding it when you were operating it then. I know it's almost impossible not to stack that ride for a little bit but holy hell that crew usually sucks.

 

PS: How come the grouper on that ride absolutely refuses to ever follow the park's own policy of letting people wait for the front even when they're standing under the huge sign about the front row line and therefore also standing on top of the obnoxious yellow line they painted for the front row line?

Every time I rode this year, they allowed me to wait. One operator told me that I was waiting on the wrong side though. He said "stay to the left" 'meant his left and not the left the sign directs to.

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Just a question to ride op's of B and M invert coasters, do you know is it normal to pull down on the mechanism ubove the train to release the harness, which is usually hydraulic? I have herd it happening on Batman coasters and saw it for myself recently as well. It just looks sort of dangerous if the ride operator gets his or her hand trapped.

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Just a question to ride op's of B and M invert coasters, do you know is it normal to pull down on the mechanism ubove the train to release the harness, which is usually hydraulic? I have herd it happening on Batman coasters and saw it for myself recently as well. It just looks sort of dangerous if the ride operator gets his or her hand trapped.
I've seen it done on multiple inverts. It's faster to just do it yourself than to alert controls from what I've heard. However, they are not encouraged to do it because it can hurt their wrists.
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Gemini:

I thoroughly enjoyed the operations of Gemini. Controls on Gemini are very simple, but extremely fun. Our trains do not auto park, but rather require us to manually "fish" the dispatch button, opening and closing the brakes for a smooth park in the station. It can be especially fun after a day of rain when the trains are coming into the station faster than normal. Parking trains definitely challenged my visual estimation skills.

 

I also enjoyed the normal load position or unload when we were running on minimal staff since you have to check the entire side of the train. Doing red side unload by yourself can be a fun challenge when dealing with alternate access, VIP tours, bins and sometimes spieling. I loved spieling during the busiest part of the day. The hype you can get from racing trains is very entertaining, and I'm always surprised at the trash talk people make up. My enjoyment at Gemini was for sure influenced by the skill of our crew. When we had an efficient crew the faster pace made the ride very fun to work.

 

Skyhawk:

I was happy to be trained at Skyhawk during Halloweekends, finding a love for the load and unload positions. I loved making Skyhawk a fast paced ride during a busy Halloweekends Saturday. I enjoyed either quickly shuffling or running when performing all of my position's tasks. I also liked that at Skyhawk it is the ride operator's duty to push down all of the restraints, something a bit more interesting than just checking them.

 

Pipe Scream:

I loved working crowd at this ride. Getting all the groups to fit perfectly on the ride was a fun puzzle sometimes.

 

Camp Snoopy:

I enjoyed getting called for break relief at Camp Snoopy. Sometimes it was very nice to work with children rather than adults and teens. Kids can be very hilarious!

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2 Season so far at Cedar Point

 

I've spent both my seasons on Millennium Force. One of the greatest things about working this ride is how excited all the guests are. At the unload station when I get to say "Welcome back riders, how was your ride?" 100% of the time the train is screaming & yelling from excitement. That never gets old. You really get a good back workout from having to bend over to check the seats here. The music & the atmosphere of the station never gets old for me, everybody is just so darn excited to ride it makes the day fly by. I consider my shift is almost over when there's 5 hours left. That's how fast time flies there.

 

I've spent a little bit of time at Gatekeeper and wow that ride is a blast to work! In order to keep the dispatches going you have to RUN while checking your seats. The station there always has a nice breeze coming from the lake. It's also nice from the control booth and most positions you can see the layout of the whole ride so you can see where your trains are/ how fast your're going.

 

So THAT'S where I recognize you from your photo!

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Of the 5 I knew at least one position for, I'd have to say Valleyfair's Power Tower was my easy favorite. Tallest attraction in the park, and it allowed me to get creative with my spieling. Usually bad puns, or sayings to freak the riders out, such as a fake countdown. And don't get me started on the rainy day parties in the control booth. That old bridge to get to the ride was always fun. Thank God that mirrors were added this year so we don't ruin our backs staring up into the sun. Though working at night this year with various light sources was annoying. Was I supposed to be directing traffic with those glow cones, or signalling that the ride was ready to be dispatched?

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Just a question to ride op's of B and M invert coasters, do you know is it normal to pull down on the mechanism ubove the train to release the harness, which is usually hydraulic? I have herd it happening on Batman coasters and saw it for myself recently as well. It just looks sort of dangerous if the ride operator gets his or her hand trapped.

 

They do it a lot at Great Adventure. I'm not sure if temperature plays a role but it seems like during Holiday in the Park on almost every train a few sets of rows don't unlock (Are they in groups of 2? They seem to be.) so they just use those. They have some type of wrench thing. It's also possible that it has nothing to do with temperature and more to do with the fact that people have a ton of layers on and can't pull down and push up. It does seem to happen way more during HITP though.

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The trains at Disneyland were fun. You actually got to ride your ride all day with a nice breeze but did not have to memorize a speech like on the Jungle Cruise.

 

Older flat rides can be okay but aren't fun if you have no shade or if people get sick and you have to clean it up.

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I spent 5 seasons at SFWoA/GL starting in 2001 and ending as a rides supervisor in 2005. I operated literally every ride in the park over the course of 5 years. I would say without a doubt operating Raging Wolf Bobs was my favorite (hence the user name ). I got to operate the ride the last two seasons it was a fully manual operation. No dang computers handling everything and it took some skill and a hard working crew to operate two trains. Cause literally if you weren't paying attention you could have two trains slam into each other, get two trains stuck on the lift, etc.. It was amazing.

 

The control panel was ridiculously simple, key switch to turn on the ride, lift start/stop, e-stop and 3 buttons to control the skid brakes. Two for two sections in the tunnel and 1 for the station. To operate it you held down the buttons to drop the brakes and release the train. When you didn't hold down the buttons the brakes were up to lift the train, using friction to stop the train. Very simple. But in this modern day of safety and lawyers it would never be allowed. The best operators could always time it just right to hold the tunnel brakes down, release them at the right moment and the train skidded to a perfect stop in the station lined up with the correct gates.

 

Also the guests would love when we would just hold the brakes down and let the train fly through the station and go right to the lift and go through the course again. Miss those days. The ride sure got boring once they installed modern computerized controls.

 

Unfortunately I was 1 season too late to learn Big Dipper with it's levers.

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Going into my third year at kings island ive came across some fun rides to work and some bad rides (is that possible lol)

 

My home ride has always been the log flume since ive spent two years there but i think the favorite has to be banshee/diamondback just because its more fast paced and the crews are welcoming. HOPEFULLY, i can be on that new shed ride the park's installing.

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^You were trained at Banshee? I don't recognize you. (Avitar too small)

 

I am sure you know me. I can not go anywhere in that park without a "Hey, Jesse!" That is why I like going to other parks. No one knows me.

 

Went to Cedar Point, and went most of the day without anyone knowing who I was. Then a ride op was walking and said "Hey, Jesse!" I'm like, "Um.... Hi?!"

 

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Just a question to ride op's of B and M invert coasters, do you know is it normal to pull down on the mechanism ubove the train to release the harness, which is usually hydraulic? I have herd it happening on Batman coasters and saw it for myself recently as well. It just looks sort of dangerous if the ride operator gets his or her hand trapped.

 

(Current Dragon Handler at Dragon Challenge here)

I honestly have never seen a ride op do this. If a Dragon Handler did this at IOA, they would be transferred out of operations immediately if not fired. I was also cross trained at Montu and I never saw this there either.

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^You were trained at Banshee? I don't recognize you. (Avitar too small)

 

I am sure you know me. I can not go anywhere in that park without a "Hey, Jesse!" That is why I like going to other parks. No one knows me.

 

Went to Cedar Point, and went most of the day without anyone knowing who I was. Then a ride op was walking and said "Hey, Jesse!" I'm like, "Um.... Hi?!"

 

 

Yeah Jesse i know you lol I'm Matt from Flume, their CT.

[

Just a question to ride op's of B and M invert coasters, do you know is it normal to pull down on the mechanism above the train to release the harness, which is usually hydraulic? I have herd it happening on Batman coasters and saw it for myself recently as well. It just looks sort of dangerous if the ride operator gets his or her hand trapped.

 

There is a way to undo the restraint (at least from Banshee) using your hands, i forget if its in the front or the back of the seat (i wanna say back) but i never got to use it, or the manual release at Dback, and DONT GET ME STARTED ON THE NAILS TO RELEASE BARS AT BEAST.

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Just a question to ride op's of B and M invert coasters, do you know is it normal to pull down on the mechanism ubove the train to release the harness, which is usually hydraulic? I have herd it happening on Batman coasters and saw it for myself recently as well. It just looks sort of dangerous if the ride operator gets his or her hand trapped.

 

The cases of this I've been seeing at SFGAdv they sometimes ask everyone to pull their restraint down together to try to get it to release. Something's sticking. It's an issue on Nitro too but they can't do that to fix it. I don't think they pull down to release individual seats, the whole train is unlocked already.

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I did stints at GL, SFA, and CP. I was on X-Flight at GL, which led to Batwing at SFA (moved back to MD for the school semester, but wanted to keep working weekends). Vekoma flyers are fun as they present a challenge to get quality dispatch times. I enjoyed that, because honestly, as low-capacity as those rides were, it was nice to try and help the line move even just a little bit quicker. X-Flight was particularly fun because we had a fantastic crew (the ops department at GL was very much a family, and many remain close to this day), and given the reliability problems of Mr. Hyde's Nasty Fall, that ride would sometimes remain closed all day and that crew would join with us and we'd run both stations.

 

At Cedar Point, Top Thrill Dragster was my main ride. I loved that ride and loved that crew. There were a lot of different positions and the spacious nature of the load/unload areas made things feel less confining. I cross-trained for a week on Millennium Force, and that was almost as good. There was just a good bit of variety to those rides with the separate load and unload roles, so it made for a good time.

 

Beyond that, I'd say Dominator was pretty cool too, but it was definitely more simple than the Vekomas and Intamins.

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