We put our lives in the hands of engineers, architects, and yes, bored teenagers muddling through their summer jobs, when we step onto rides at the amusement park.
If that bothers you, you might not want to read the confessions of park employees below. Also, if you have a weak stomach, same warning.
“I was working security at a theme park when I was 18. One evening one of the roller coasters that was stopped in the station got rear ended by another. There were some injuries, nothing severe thankfully. I did however end up staying up all night, after the park had closed, sitting on the coaster to ensure no lookie loos or news media tried to get access to the cars. It was dark. Creepy, I was 18 in a closed, deserted amusement park….”
#13. Fresh in my mind.
“Many moons ago I was a assistant director of training security at a park known for its cartoon mice. While doing the walk around the park with a group of new hires I got a call about a possible indecent exposure incident at Fantasyland. Knowing that was the most popular place for children in the park (so much more than Toontown) I rushed the new hires through the backstage area to cut travel time. While we were backstage behind the Small World ride one of my trainees pointed out someone dropping their pants and leaning against the building. Before we had a chance to close the distance between us and the guy a blast of brownish yellow liquid exploded outwards in a fan pattern. I stopped the group, got on the radio and informed them of the bio incident then slowly made my way to the guy. When I was about ten feet from him he looked up, smiled, then blasted the wall again. Without a word he pulled up his pants and started to walk away. His pants were soaked with liquid shit and piss. Before he was able to leave the area, Anaheim police apprehended him. After questioning him they called for an ambulance. upon talking with the police sergeant, found out he was a well known homeless man in neighboring city of Orange, usually picked up for swinging his dick at traffic. The kicker though was, he wasn’t the subject of the initial call. When we finally got to Fantasyland we found out that someone was complaining about a woman breast feeding. Three and a half years of working there and that is one of the events that still feels fresh in my mind.”
#12. A few children were traumatized.
“Used to work at an amusement park that had a section featuring actors dressed as characters from a certain family friendly show.
The actors for this area were almost exclusively teenagers and were notorious for fucking all around the dressing room/bathroom/backstage areas.
This all culminated in two of the actors being fired for getting in a fight during a show, because a certain cookie loving monster made a sex tape with a certain Spanish speaking monster who was dating a certain television loving monster.
Not really scary for me, but i think a few children were traumatized seeing a costume character’s head ripped off during a show.
#11. Dueling Dragons.
“I worked on the Dueling Dragons at Universal Orlando when in college. For those who don’t know, the Dueling Dragons were two separate coasters that “dueled” and had several near misses with each other. They were pretty unique at the time and were super fun.
As you can imagine, Universal told people to empty their pockets before they rode so that their phones and shit wouldn’t fly out and smack somebody on the other coaster at 60mph. Of course, may times people would ignore this because they’re lazy and stupid.
I was working one day when the ride shut down completely. Change had flown out of someone’s pocket and hit a guy in the eye, leaving him blind in that eye. The tragic part… the guy was already blind in his other eye. Now the guy is 100% blind.
They didn’t duel anymore after that, and the ride was left permanently much lamer. I still feel for the poor blind guy… but the irony is comedic in a dark sort of way.
Edit: Since a lot of people are asking, this happened in 2011.”
#10. An awful smell.
“I operated a few different roller coasters during my fun-filled summers at this amusement park, but most of my horror stories come from one ride in particular. The train was one of the ones that you had to step into, with a lap bar restraint.
On one particular day, it was over 100* F and the ride had been running as usual for most of the morning. As we were loading the train, a guest came up to me to say that there was an awful smell coming from the front car, and my stomach immediately dropped. Usually with these types of complaints, we’d find that the previous rider had one too many slushees before riding and had lost their lunch. Gross, but we were used to cleaning that kind of stuff.
I started approaching the front car and immediately called for my coworker to direct everyone out of the train and back into the line, and to call our supervisor to close the ride. Instead of a normal puke situation, I found a greenish-brown liquid spread all throughout the front car, from the seat down to the floor. Whoever was the last person to ride the ride had shat all over themselves and hadn’t bothered to tell anyone about it.
Cleaning human feces is one thing – it’s absolutely disgusting but it can be done. But trying to clean up human diarrhea in 100+ degree weather, off of the floor of a car where you had to kneel down and stick your head into the car to reach the very front, is a situation that I never would have imagined even in my worst nightmares. The ride was down for the rest of the day, and it took over an hour to clean everything out of the car before we could start really sanitizing it.”
#9. Chlorine gas.
“A few years ago a smallish theme park in my state made some kind of mistake when chlorinating the wave pools and made a bunch of chlorine gas and 26 people had to be taken to the hospital.”
#8. Had to go to court to testify.
“Worked at a water park. Witnessed a man at the wave pool that would pull down his trousers and rub his junk up against little kids that were isolated from their parents. It was absolutely horrific and disgusting to witness. Of course I had to report it to security and thankfully they had a camera at the front of the pool (allowed for more evidence than just he said/she said testimony). Had to go to court to testify. They actually admitted to it at the end of it all, which I don’t know if that sickens me even more.
Needless to say I’m glad I did the right thing and reported it because anyone could have easily just missed it or even ignored it.
EDIT: I have the article of the event, not entirely sure if posting it is ethical since it gives the water parks name and the guys name.”
#7. Pretty awkward.
“Nothing scary ever really happened at the rides I worked but the worst thing was telling people they were too large to ride. It was always pretty awkward and some people just didn’t understand you could not ride the ride if you couldn’t buckle the seatbelt.”
#6. An eternity.
“I once had to height check a girl who was both mentally and physically disabled. This is just as they’re about to get on the ride too as someone else previously didn’t bother to check her height to begin with. So I politely ask her and her carer to come and check her height after lots of “no, no, no, no”‘s, and as luck would have it, she wasn’t tall enough, of course.
She didn’t take it well and started screaming saying she’s going to ride no matter what, and after leaving to let the carer tell her to get out – she finally left her seat after about 10 minutes (which is an eternity in rollercoaster time) I see her walking off. I mean, yeah it sucks but I’m just doing my job, I’m just relieved that she’s finally going, but then as she’s walking through the exit, she turns around and screams “I HOPE YOU DIE”. So that was nice. It was hilarious but still soul crushing at the same time. Also it was my birthday. I quit not long after.”
#5. The police took him away
“I was a caricature artist for Six Flags, and one day a dad and his son came up and wanted a drawing of the two of them.
Now the way caricature pricing worked was we would charge per person in the drawing. The father and son wanted a simple black and white headshot of the two of them, and a black and white headshot was $10, so for the two of them it would be $20, before tax. I very clearly explained this to them, asking several times “Are you ok with the ending price?” , and they excitedly accepted.
Fast forward to me ringing them up at the register, and I tell them the total: 24 something. The father’s happy and friendly demeanor quickly dissipates, and he begins arguing with me about pricing. I calmly explain the situation with pricing and apologize if I wasn’t clear enough, and gently remind him that he understood and agreed otherwise I wouldn’t have done the drawing. Big mistake. He gets angrier and starts yelling at me, cursing me out for lying and overcharging them “to put a few more coins in my pocket”. He accuses me of preying on parents and their children, thinking I can take advantage of them because “they’re stupid fuckers.” He tries to take the drawing without paying, and when I hold it back and tell him he can’t, he throws a $10 bill at me and snarls that that’s all he’s going to pay, that I’m worthless and my drawing isn’t even good and doesn’t deserve any more than that. I’m really upset at this point, and hand him the drawing wishing him a good day. “FUCK YOU” he yells in response. The whole time his son is standing there, looking embarrassed and terrified.
The dad proceeds to pace back and forth in front of my stand, alternating between coming back to the counter and yelling at me and chasing customers away, screaming at them about how I’m “stealing money” and how the stand is “a huge fuckin’ rip off.”
Thankfully his charade lasted all of 20 minutes and police finally got him out of there. Left me pretty shaken though, I had to take my break early and cried over my lunch.”
#4. Accidents happen?
“One of my supervisors got fired for shooting up in the supplies closet then taking a golfcart and accidentally running over a child. He was rehired after he went to Rehab and then tried to sell drugs to the staff every day.”
#3. Lifeguarding adventures.
“Lifeguarding at this lazy river tube pool, basically just tell kids to get back in their tubes all day. These two guys like 30 years old are arguing in polish or something floating all around the lazy river. They are on lap two or three of arguing and really going at it. One of them pulls a knife out of his trunks and stabs the other guys tube. He walked around to the end with his popped tube while guy with the knife proceeds to just hop all the different fences to get outside the park and is not seen again.”
#2. Pretty good at the zoom jets.
“So Six Flags has a lot of really dumb rules for their employees which causes there to be a crazy high turnover rate. That, on top of the fact that on this particular day it happened to be the hottest day of the summer in New England meant that after having only worked there for two and a half weeks I was the most senior person in my department of Kidzopolis.
This means I have to run the whole operations schedule for my department and tell everybody where to go and what to do all day, keep in mind I don’t even know half of these people’s names. On top of that nobody knows how to operate the freaking zoom jets.
So my Supervisor grabs me first thing in the morning and tells me he’s going to teach me how to operate this ride. Things are going alright when about half way through this training my supervisor passes out, because it’s like 110 degrees.
So now I’m supposed to be leading this department full of people I do not know, while operating a ride I do not know how to operate, and if I have any questions then I have no one to ask because my supervisor is unconscious somewhere.
Meanwhile I’m getting calls and someone’s like “hey so Sally passed out in the Splish Splash Zone” and I’m just like who the fuck is Sally. Julie is calling me and telling me she’s feeling dehydrated and needs to go on break and I’m like listen I’ve got Julio trying to operate the Krazy Kups and the Wacky Wagons at the same time what makes you think we have enough staff to let you go on break?
Fast forward to the end of the day, I’ve had three people faint because of the heat, I still don’t know most of my coworkers names but I did get yelled at in Spanish over the phone a lot, and because I felt bad that nobody got enough time on break I told everyone they could go home and I’d sweep up the department on my own.
I got pretty good at the zoom jets though.”
#1. A nightmare.
“Was working the first shift opening the park and doing dry runs with a roller coaster. Well…when it came back there was obvious impact on the front car. One of the groundskeepers had headphones in listening to music working through his shift. He died instantly. The following week was a nightmare and I still don’t think to this day they have found all of him.”