How Did You Do It ?

General discussion about Marriott's GREAT AMERICA
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Tidal Wave
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How Did You Do It ?

Post by JW65 »

This is a question to all former ride operators. How did you do your job? I never worked at MGA, but often wondered how a ride operator could do the same thing, over and over and over and over again. You must have seen thousands of people each day after day after day. How did you do it? What was your secret to staying sane and so helpful to the crowds of people who went through your rides all season long?
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Tidal Wave
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Post by BrianPlencner »

I worked at the Gurnee park for the 1988 thru 1993 seasons. I started when I was 15. In 1991, I transfered to the Rides Department, where I worked on the GREAT AMERICA Scenic Railway, Triple Play, and Hometown Fun Machine. I did that for the next 3 seasons (1991 thru 1993).

How did I do it? Well, for one, you had to be a people person. As you said, working at the park one would be in contact with thousands of guests on a daily basis. I was luckly in the fact that I did not have to deal with a lot of guests that were upset about something during my 5 years at the park. I did, however, kick a group of kids off the train for messing with the Mic! :)

You also had to enjoy working outside all the time, no matter what the weather. If it rained, you could not go inside and wait out the weather. If the ride did not go down due to rain, it ran, and people would ride.
Mr. Brian Plencner
SFGAm Employee: 1988-1992
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Willard's Whizzer
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Post by Tanya »

I recall that they had term limits for working on the rides. In Santa Clara I think several of the rides you could only work on one or two seasons.
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Re: How Did You Do It ?

Post by segerken »

I worked at the Santa Clara Park from 1976-1980 and for two anf a half of the years I worked on Loggers Run.
JW65 wrote: How did you do your job? I never worked at MGA, but often wondered how a ride operator could do the same thing, over and over and over and over again.
How could I do it over and over again? It is called college. I went to college at Chico which was 200 miles away. So by the end of the summer when I was really board with my job, it was time to go back to school. By the end of the school year I couldn't wait to get back the MGA.

I worked on a lot of the rides, but my favorite was Loggers Run. That was because there was some variety. The thee positions in the station and the two positions up on top.
jimmy gimbels
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Re: How Did You Do It ?

Post by jimmy gimbels »

Positons were suppose to be rotated every 30 minutes or so ..but that rarely happened. You kind of get into a grove and the day can go fast. I was thirsty most of the time...and always sunburned. Thank god they finally put in some shade screens.

Most guests are nice and fun to deal with. I like working the flat rides...never liked working the coasters.
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Cheesehead Dave
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Re: How Did You Do It ?

Post by Cheesehead Dave »

I mostly worked on the coasters, so I was always away from the midway. It didn't matter if there were 5,000 or 45,000 in the park, we'd only see them 24 at a time. I was also lucky to be on some great crews, so we'd always find ways to keep ourselves entertained and keep the job from getting too monotonous.
SFGAm Rides Host - 1990-1995
(1990-Demon, 1991-Power Dive/Cajun, 1992-Loggers, 1993-Eagle, 1994-Space Shuttle, 1995-Iron Wolf)
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