22 Theme Park Employees Reveal Their Craziest Stories From The Job

Noël Alva
Noël Alva

Found on R/AskReddit

1. They wanted to ride too!

A family of Irish travellers tried to get on a ride with a big backpack so the onloaders asked them to remove it.

The ride guys noticed it was strangely heavy and felt like something was moving when they went to store it for them so they looked inside.

Chickens. They’d been sneaking chickens onto the rides.

2. Duck tragedy

I worked at Busch Gardens Colonial Williamsburg as a teen. I worked near the train tracks and every day I was amazed how close the ducks would come to getting hit by that thing. Well one day one got too close and got ran over. The heart breaking part was that it was a mallard and his mate spent the next half hour or so quacking forlornly at his corpse until the maintenance guys finally showed up to clean it up.

3. What is wrong with you??

Former Disney Parks Cast Member.

Had a mom audibly wish her kids had cancer when I let a Make a Wish kid go in front of her.

Never did I want to punch someone in the face more than that day.

4. The most moving thing you’ll ever read

So one day I was working at Chef Mickey’s one morning. I’m doing the rotation, see a family with a girl who was really sick. Like, family was feeding her using a g-tube, she was in a wheelchair, didn’t respond to much.

She was fussy, so I indicated to the family that I’ll pass their table, then come back to them. About 10 minutes later, my attendant comes up to me, and says “Princess (name) would like to see you now.” So I go over to the family. The mom told me that Minnie Mouse was the girl’s favorite character, can I take some pictures with her? Of course! So the older brother (teenager) is filming all of this, and I’m interacting with the girl, and the girl smiles.

The mom starts bawling, the dad starts crying. Once I take a few pictures with the girl, I go to hug the mom, who hugged me back tight and said “the doctors said she couldn’t smile anymore. Thank you.” Then when I went to hug the dad, he hugged me back tight and said “thank you. So much. You have no idea what this means to us.”

Folks, there’s a difference when a person is talking to the character, talking to the person in the costume, and talking to YOU. The dad was talking to ME. So I go back on rotation, cursing that I can’t wipe the tears out of my eyes.

The next day, I’m called to the manager’s office. My first thought was oh shit. What did I do? I go to the manager’s office, and he closes the door behind me.

“You were Minnie at Chef Mickey’s yesterday for breakfast, right?”

“Yes.”

“Did you meet a Give Kids The World family?”

“Yes.”

“Give Kids called us yesterday afternoon. They wanted to make sure you were personally thanked, with a note on your record.”

“Why?”

“The girl had an inoperable brain tumor. It was affecting a lot of her motor function. Her family’s wish was for her to meet Minnie Mouse. Yesterday afternoon, while they were in the park, they noticed she was getting sleepy, so they went back to their room so she could take a nap, and she never woke up. She held on long enough to meet Minnie, and you made that happen.”

5. Karma is a b*tch

I worked on a cruise ship as a lifeguard for one summer (hated it) and was often stationed at the flowrider (the endless wave machine where you could body surf).

One jerk kid, maybe 12 or 13, would always cut line despite me yelling at him and even trying to get his parents attention but he was just “that” kid. One time he’s surfing and slips off the board enough for a WHOOSH to sweep his swim suit off. Not down a little, which is common on those things but right the fuck off.

Naked kid comes tumbling back up desperately looking for his suit. The line has erupted in laughter. I see his suit. It’s obscured by where the waves collect in a bubbling torrent. I say nothing. He was crying and eventually found them and tried putting them back on with tremendous difficulty while trying to shield his shortcomings from the public.

The beauty part is I keep a towel near by just in case this happens. The mom said something to me, but I just smiled and let her know that its okay…it happens all the time. He didn’t come back that day. Glorious line cutter karma.

6. Crazy boss

The head ride operator and guy that taught us all how to operate each ride was a madman. I saw him ride the swinging ship by standing in the center and holding onto the mast decoration. He apparently hung from the Paratrooper ride while it was spinning around along with a litany of other shit like that.

The guy smoked up while on the job; I remember seeing the train ride travel through his pot cloud once. How he managed to stay employed at the park for so long, I’ll never know. That being said, he was cool as hell.

7. Amusement park, or wild west?

At Wet and Wild on the goldcoast, in line for one of the water rides and there was this chick wearing the tiniest of bottoms with a Kimmie K calibre booty… Some drunk(can only presume) idiot was trying to grab her butt and said, “I wanna dick slap it…”

She turned around, Punched him straight in the face causing him to fall over the railing — dropping about 2m to the ground :D

8. Something about Brazilians?

Anything involving Brazilians. For some reason, Brazilians visiting theme parks believe they are the most entitled nationality in all of the world when it comes to theme parks. Brazilians always break the rules, they cut in the lines, they get pissed when people call them on their shit, and they threaten the poor theme park workers and ride operators. Then they go complain to customer service and get free passes and shit.

9. And the employees themselves are crazy too, apparently!

Human Resources employee for a large theme park. Most of my experiences are employee related, and typically my boss throws the really weird things straight on my desk (don’t know if it’s because he hates me or thinks I’m mature and responsible enough to deal with it in a professional manner… I prefer to assume the latter and not ask questions).

I’ve had to have a conversation with an adult about why he can’t say to our female customers who ask for help, “I can help you with that.” Obviously look down at their chests, make eye contact again and say “I can take care of those, too.”

I’ve had to fire someone who couldn’t fathom that exposing himself to a female employee when he was just “adjusting” himself was completely unacceptable.

I have had a fight in front of my office between two employees and had to stay an extra 2 hours to work with police, security, and loss prevention.

I have had to sit in on countless interviews in loss prevention for people who say they didn’t know they weren’t allowed to steal money out of their cash register, then when I call them to tell them they are not welcome back to work, call me a “petty uppity white bitch” even though they were the ones to steal… Good times!

10. Beer solves everything

I worked at an amusement park on a beach the summer between high school and college. I sold food and a fair amount of beer, in my state being 18 meant although I was too young to drink, I was old enough to sell it in containers (we sold cans).

It was a very old amusement park. Some rides were new, but some were original to the park. My employee badge was pretty much an open pass to wander through all of the old buildings (or, if I ended up somewhere I shouldn’t be “oops, guess I got lost” worked, always). The coolest place by far was a basement that was under the carousel. It was also the tinker shop for broken ride parts. So, fairly dark basement where you can see the inner workings of the carousel ride in the ceiling with broken ride cars was cool. The syrup bags for the soda fountain upstairs were also there. They look a lot like blood bags and we sold Mountain Dew Code Red which happened to spring a leak one day leaving a blood bag looking item dripping thick red goo into a puddle on the floor.

Another best story (though not for everyone) was when there was a huge power outage. There are certain rides that’s a pretty big problem for. Namely, the Ferris wheel. The backup to get everyone off without power is a hand crank. So the power is out and lots of sad children and stressed out parents, but I have cold beer, and after a manager opened my register I even have change. I had so many people come up to me the hour after the power went out saying “I have exact change, PLEASE sell me beer.” People like you when you sell them beer, even overpriced beer.

Worst: A far number of customers yelling at me for things I didn’t remotely have anything to do with. Really, though, cotton candy was the worst. Making it might sound like fun. And it is maybe twice, but some of the sugar shoots back at you, impossible to avoid. And its hot so it really sticks to your scalp. You go home with sugar sired to you. One shampooing is not going to do it.

11. Rough.

My friend used to work at an amusement park with a HUGE drop tower. Like several stories.

Anyway this kid was apparently super nervous to ride and when he got to the top and started to drop back down he projectile vomited. You can imagine how that went.

12. Dad doesn’t know dinos

Former cast member here. Got lots of great stories. 2 that stick out.

  1. I’m squatting down chatting with a 3 year boy old in his stroller. His has toy story Woody. Without even thinking I say “I see you got a little Woody there huh?”. The parents started laughing hilariously and I was super embarrassed and just laughed it off.
  2. I was doing a kids activity in Dinoland, and they had to put together dinosaur fossils. I had the kid see if they could name the dinosaur they built. The dad of course feels the need to jump in and show how smart he was. He then calls the Triceratops a Rhinoceros. I politely point out that Rhinos are still alive, and you can see them on the other side of the park. Then he gets embarrassed and starts talking down to me saying how he is grown and not working a stupid job with no degree. I explain that I have a biology degree and ask him about his. He grabs his kid and walks away, cursing me as he leaves.

13. omg

A guy jumped a fence going under a roller coaster to grab his phone that fell out of his pocket on the ride. The rollercoaster train hit him in the head and just blew it up. I didnt see it happen, but i turned the corner just after, to see his body lying on the ground with blood everywhere.

14. Assaulted by child

My coworker was in a mascot costume and this kid tackled her. No idea why. She’s very small, under 5 feet this kid was probably bigger than she was. Her back was seriously injured. I think she ended up needing surgery and now has problems with her back and probably lifelong pain.

15. All the patrons sucked, but I met my girlfriend there!!

I’ve got many bad stories about working at a theme park, with only one good one. To summarize the bad:

Working at a theme park during halloween is the worst, especially if you are a scarer. People yell, hit, scream, curse, throw shit at you because you scared them or looked at them “the wrong way”, or scared someone they were with. This is was ten fold because the theme park sells alcohol after hours, we get beer thrown at us. 98% of our customers are entitled assholes that think its ok to do this shit, with only 2% actually enjoying the event. Don’t come to our park during HALLOWEEN if you do NOT want to be scared. Don’t even get me started on the asshat teens that come through. As well as horny old and middle aged men that touch us.

One of my coworkers had to chase down a group of guys that kept touching her and when she tried taking a pic of them to give to the security when they came, the group took her phone and kicked it around. It was a horrible mess. I have a few more stories, none i can completely remember but if anyones curious.

On the bright side, that theme park was where I met my S/O. We both worked there. It was my first day of that year. I saw him walking in through the security post while I was waiting for my supervisor. Since that day on, I had to know him, I WANTED to know him. Unfortunately he had a girlfriend at the time who worked with us as well. Long story short, turns out his gf at the time, was cheating on him with another coworker of ours, there was a lot of drama I won’t go into (none of it with me to be clear). But it turns out he had seen me later that day as well and wanted to get to know me too. Here we are, completely a match made in clown heaven.

16. Jesus…

One time I was working and a visibly drunk woman was standing by me with her kids. She was wearing a bikini top and at this particular theme park we were asked to tell people not to wear bikini tops in the park.

I asked her politely that if she had a shirt to please put it on since bathing suits were only allowed for small children. She looked at me drunk as hell and said:

“You think I’m hot don’t you? You like my tits don’t you?”

Then she flashed me and grabbed me and gave me a little kiss.

Management was like WTF but she had been lost in the crowd. Later on a manager approached me and said she had been kicked out of the park and arrested because she was belligerently drunk in one of the popular kids shows.

17. BOOM

Worked at Knotts Berry Farm as a ride operator for the Silver Bullet, most disturbing was this young teenage girl got on the ride, went through the loops and swirls, and returns.

And the train comes back into the station and for some reason she was just starring at me and thats when the restraints releases and everyone could get their stuff and head to the exit and this girl without breaking eye contact and without even attempting to make it to the trash can just unloads and throws up all over. I mean all over the floor, all over the seat, and all over her self as well.

18. Do you?

I worked in retail for a summer inside the park during college. One day I’m at the register and this lady that just bought something goes “Do you have a sack?” Now, in my 20 year old mind when someone asks that you think they really mean “Do you have balls?” But no way this middle aged woman was asking me that.

Apparently in the south people use sack to mean bag. She was asking if she could have a bag for the item she purchased.

19. More hormone stories

For a while I worked at an indoor dark ride. It was a trough ride with boats that floated along past scenes. It had just been remodeled to a new theme, and in one room rather than remodel it into something else (the room was previously just mirrors with space-ish lights that flashed), they just left that room completely dark.

Like clock work, the instant teens would hit that dark room, they’d start fooling around. Everything from just kissing to full-on sex (the boats had a bench down the middle). I used to skip going to lunch and spend my hour in there just messing with people when they hit that room. My eyes would adjust and I could see fairly clearly, and even if I were a foot or two away from them, they wouldn’t see me. So I would do all kids of stuff. I’d rock the boat. I’d stand on the edge so it would tip at a sharp angle quickly. I’d make little noises, or bang on the wall. It was a BLAST.

20. Shit ‘n Slide

Worked at a Wet N Wild and this kid took a shit on one of the slides while he was going down the slide, his sister decided to go down the slide before we know what just happened. Let’s just say she wasn’t too happy on her way down.

21. Super easily offended

My best story is how often girls would flash us for better prizes and get mad when we still say no. One guy got apparently got a blowjob for a TV and was fired later.

Worst was this fat white girl with blue hair who ordered deep fried oreos and a funnel cake. The girl who served it to her had the audacity to say “enjoy, forks are on the table.” I know what you are thinking, “how could she??” Well apparently if so you are on the same boat as blue hair. You see she thought the park was insulting her weight by having an attractive 98 lb blond girl serve her.

She responded by screaming that loudly at the girl. The server responded by walking to the other side of the booth. Blue hair wobbled over there, screamed some more, then threw the scalding hot funnel cake into her face — burning her. Security came and ended up having to throw the blue beast on the grounds and handcuff her to the bench effectively tethering the blimp to the ground. the server girl was crying and had to be looked at by the medical guys. Blue hair was arrested.

22. Gourmet Dinner On The Law

Entertaining story! Lots of people bring packed lunches/picnics. So when I saw a little old Asian lady setting up blankets I didn’t give them a second glance… until she pulled out a rice cooker. A whole rice cooker. Then a pressure cooker, then a load of other kitchen appliances full to the brim with Asian goodies for their lunch.

Later that same family’s kid got chased by a goose and fell into the lake and a white family tried to report them for child neglect. The parents laughed and said it was their kids own fault for being stupid enough to challenge the birds. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Related

More From Thought Catalog