What's new

Expectations from staff at parks?


Active Member
If there's a topic for this already then blah I don't come on here enough to know.

Right, so after having been to America over the last months and going to quite a few theme parks..... Something I noticed that really frustrated me was the staff. Now this doesn't apply to all staff by any means, but the majority of staff I had to deal with we're AWFUL when it came to customer service. (staff in UK parks aren't half as bad)

I was called a liar who plotted schemes to lie to staff, I had a pretzel THROWN at me after a 45 minute wait due to a stupid moron, and I had staff JUMPING on my restraint until I was stapled in.... Then when I moaned in pain for them to stop or open the restraints, they either smiled and did nothing or just **** off?

Now having worked in a customer facing role of work for 4 years, I understand work can get boring or frustrating.... But I would never let that effect a customer that hasn't done anything wrong to me?
Like, maybe it's just me but I feel as though with all customer facing roles there's just a general behaviour of civility (no matter what your mood).

I guess I just expect to be treated with a sense of decency and respect, whether the staff member be amazing and make my day or just do their job with basic operations. I don't expect rude argumentative staff that can't comprehend till operations if they're the only one using the till.

I could be wrong but yeah.... The discussion is pretty much, what are your expectations from staff at parks?


The Legend
Staff member
Social Media Team
Being in customer service myself.. I do expect the same things you do. We all deal with the fair share of idiots.. but to be nice and not a huge dick should be the basic requirement.

Of course, you get those people who are just useless.. and there never is anything you can ever do about it.


Well-Known Member
Working a job where you work with people I understand how horrible it can be, but it's no excuse for them to act like complete dicks.

I've never really had bad run ins with park employees, except stapling, but that's just them doing their job I suppose. But I expect the park employees to do their job, make sure we're safe and comfortable, not to fight back to us, despite the massive amount of idiots in the park.


Active Member
You obviously want staffers to be accommodating and friendly, as it only makes your day that much better. But in my experience, a lot of the time, most staff members at parks just sort of do their jobs without being either negative or positive.

Recently on our trip to Great Adventure & Dorney, my buddy & I kind of experienced both ends of the spectrum. We thought the staff at Six Flags was pretty nice & friendly overall, and it definitely enhanced our day there.

At Dorney, though, we experienced some staff issues that kind of detracted from our day. One ride op on Hydra was just a massive dick. When we were next in line to board the front row and after the previous group of passengers had unloaded, we waited for the gates to open automatically as is customary at just about every park, but they never did. We were just kind of talking & not really paying attention, so we didn't notice that Dorney had a system where you had to push the gate open yourself during a certain small period of time in which the magnetic locks were deactivated - a system I cannot recall having seen anywhere else. So when our gate didn't open itself and we saw passengers boarding all the other rows, I looked over at the nearest ride op, who was looking right back at us, and asked what the deal was. He then puts on this look of judgmental disgust and says "Well, you should've pushed the gate open yourself. Sorry." in a tone of voice suggesting that this should have been the most obvious thing to us in the world. So instead of doing anything to unlock the gate, he keeps us waiting and they dispatch the train with an empty front row. Then, after we take our seats on the next train, we deliberately left the OTSR's just a bit loose so we could get the most hangtime out of the JoJo roll & float a bit more on the zero-G roll, and this same ride op comes in and staples us down, even using his body weight when my friend pressed his shoulders against the restraint to maintain some space. Seriously... **** that jerk-off.

Then later in the same day, we decided to get some food. We had bought our tickets with a meal plan included - for an extra $6, you get one meal & one snack.. pretty good value for amusement park food prices. We decided to use our snack vouchers to get some nachos and some mozzarella sticks for lunch, but the vendor rang them up as meals. We noticed this as we were eating and decided to hang onto our receipts just in case this became an issue later, and sure enough, it did. When we tried to get dinner, the cashier informed us that we would not be able to get food and would have to go to customer service to try to resolve the issue. So we had to walk all the way back to the park entrance (thankfully Dorney's not very big, but still), voice our complaint and show our receipts, then wait about 15 minutes before someone who appeared to be a manager of some sort came out to speak to us. He went back in to his office for about 10 more minutes & was able to make some phone calls to fix the problem. To his credit, when we asked if we might get another menu item free for our time & trouble, he didn't hesitate to offer us 10 dollars in meal credit. This guy was understanding, helpful, and competent - a rarity at this park, it seemed.

TL;DR - It's not unfair to expect a park staff to be competent and act in a pleasant manner. When they are neither, it kind of drags your day down.


Well-Known Member
Sadly, I have learned not to expect anything great from parks, unless I am at Disney. Disney is the only place where if it is not superb, I will be upset. With that said, I WANT the employees who seem like they love their jobs, or at the very least they can tolerate their jobs. My main gripe is when I see employees on their phones in plain sight. If it is someone I can tell who is in charge of others, giving breaks, etc. then it isn't as bad, but when I see texting, it upsets me, especially when they don't notice you are there. Still, get a **** watch.

One thing I noticed at SFMM the past 2 visits, the ride ops seem to be getting better. They seemed to be enjoying their jobs, having fun with employees and guests, and smiling more than say, 4 years ago. Didn't realize how much of a difference it makes.

So in a nutshell, I don't expect anything great except for at Disney, but I hope for something decent at all times.


Staff member
I expect staff and cast members (especially in France) to at the very least get me free park entry, on-site accommodation and free food. Anything less and they're **** at their job ;)


Well-Known Member
All the parks I have been to in Florida had great customer service a part from Busch Gardens. A member of my family decided it would be a good idea to have a asma attack on Gwazi. As the train returned to the station I aleted staff to the problem and asked if she could get off first the staff completly ignored me and proceeded with their normal routine. The manager was brilliant though she seemed to be embarrassed with her staff. The medics were good too.

Disney have the best customer service by a mile.


New Member
Not just Disney has great employees, but Silver Dollar City had great employees too. Actually, I thought SDC has better employees than Disney. They interacted with you, joked with you and if you had a problem, they helped.


Well-Known Member
It just seemed like the American parks employed the most stupid and moronic people they could find, because they felt sorry for them or something? The amounts of times I asked a question, or placed and order and was just faced with 'duuuuuuuh' or blank staring looks or, better yet, a textbook answer that didn't even come close to fulfilling my enquiry. It really did just come across like these people were going to do the bare, bare minimum and get through their day, and they kind of seemed to take pleasure in things like stapling people, as AJ mentioned. A day at a theme park is meant to be an exciting and fun day out but when you're faced with miserable stupid and incompetent staff members it really does put a downer on your day.

What I expect from staff members at a park is for them to be able to do their job with a smile on their face and at least have the ability to answer any questions I might have, or have the common sense to contact someone who might have the answers if they do not know it themselves. It really isn't that hard.


Well-Known Member
You went to America.

And you're surprised at this?

Blah blah don't take it seriously even though some of you will. Meh, just sounds like typical ''Out of school with no qualifications and dealing with rude Americans all day'' employees.


Well-Known Member
Never experienced anything like AJ has in the US... In fact, I'd say as a whole people in America are nicer and provide better customer service. It's not just tipping culture causing it in restaurants, it's even in found in shops, and crappy ones at that. The willingness to help, communicate and just be friendly is higher in America, I find. In general. So when you find someone who's not, it stands out really bad.

And I hate to sound like the generic Brit criticising America, but it's a lack of common sense causing most issues with park staff in the US I find. Being a park employee requires a LOT of common sense, the ability to think before you speak and follow instructions. The way in which staff check restraints, for example, varies drastically between staff on the same ride at the same park at the same time in the UK, because all you're told is to pull it and the seatbelt up. I have this impression that the reason there's a lot of stapling at the crapper US parks, for example, is because no one has the brains to realise it's not necessary. Because you find the odd moron working at a UK park who does it, too.

Notice how it never happens at BGW... A park where I feel the staff are the most natural, human and friendly whilst still being pretty efficient. Not the most efficient I've seen, but the point is they do their job without being rigid and they do it well. That park lacks the false ott safety requirements because the staff seem competent enough without having to be told every minute detail of how to do their job. You end up with staff which probably perform better, anyway.

Six Flags "visual scan" thing is soooooooo time consuming, but I actually think it's sensible. I don't get why they have to look back and forth like 5 **** times, but from a safety perspective it's a good rule. It forces the staff to look down the platform before giving the ok, something that all park staff know they should do but forget about or don't bother with because it's not "essential" like checking restraints and holding your thumb up is.

The worst park staff I've had in the US was one particular cow at SFA selling tickets, who literally didn't say a word to us, and the majority of staff at SFOG. Other six flags staff all were decent enough people, made evil by the company... Stuff like closing queue lines before the park close time, for example. The park chain itself has no customer service standards, so there is no ethos to spread to staff. They are a LOT better than they used to be, though.

We noticed that staff at Lake Compounce were really, really patronising. I kind of liked it, because to be fair the public are morons and I like to think it sped the loading process up a little... But I imagine as someone not familiar with my own dumbness, it might look pretty horrible.

I've never had a problem with Cedar Fair staff that I can recall. The only thing they do which annoys me is the false repetitive and emotionless "how was your ride?" Even Six Flags interaction varied, with staff reacting based on those they were interacting with. But, that's being picky. They've never upset me.

Anyone else find HersheyPark staff to be REALLLLY SLLLOOOOW? What was with the double checking of restraints? They didn't seem organised, or have any urgency? All friendly enough, but just way too slow.


Active Member
Hmmm gunna be honest, sounds like you've had some bad experiences.

I can't say I've ever seen staff that was "good" but I've never had any that were "bad". Just whatever, they are there.
GENERALLY they have been alright though whenever it comes to dealing with them.
This should be absolutely no surprise but it has been better at Cedar Fair parks while Six Flags is worse....

shocker I know LOL

IDK about that Joey but I did find the loading times on Skyrush dreadful. Now it was opening day, so we shrugged it off with "opening day kinks" but I would like to know if it's improved. There was constant double checking, unexplainable waits were nothing happened, a general disorganization.

Also they put the item holder in a terrible spot...the gate opened but we were waiting for some goths to get their stuff (took em long enough) and then the gates closed! IDK if it's automatic or not, but we started yelling "open the gate!" and the guy started at us.... finally someone came down and said "sorry, its just how it is once they close we cant re-open them"

I hope to god he meant physically....because if thats just park policy I wanted to smack him. They let a front row go empty too as a result


Well-Known Member
Cedar Points staff has varied drastically the times I have been. Ive dealt with amazing staff that joked and tried to interract with the dozens of sheep, and then there were times in which the staff were lady parts. Got told my body shape was wrong for a restraint and when we had to actually call the park police cause some d-bag kid went into DTs shed and all that happened was "Dont do it again, mmkay?".

Holiday World is the best I have ever dealt with. Fun, friendly, they enjoy their job, VERY accomodating with those that required help (a kid in a wheelchair wanted to get himself into the boat for Wildebeest and politely asked the staff to not help. They respected his request but stayed close incase he needed help. Asked us if we wouldnt mind (which we didnt at all) if we waited to leave our boat til the kid and his friend got out of theirs. Employees gladly signed an item he won at the auction). While on Mammoth we were kept aware of what was happening, they answered our questions (non-textbook) which in turn gave us an insight on the issues mammoth has given and an interesting number as well (1050).

Kings island was the typical textbook mannerisms, acted happy, and they were definitely staple happy lol.

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk 2


Staff member
Social Media Team
Kata1 said:
Silver Dollar City had great employees too.

Not the experience I had!

Dollywood has AMAZING employees. It seems as if the park deliberately hires older members of staff, which gives the whole place a weird "homely" feel, and the people working there were really lovely, friendly, chatty and seemed to genuinely enjoy doing their job.

There's clearly the same staffing policy at Silver Dollar City, but those old twats were rude and cranky. They looked like they hated their job, their life and just wanted to hurry up and die.

I can't really recall any other American parks with **** ty staff to be honest. Oh, maybe Indiana Beach. The COG (C**t On the Gate) taking the money was a rude, obnoxious whore. The rest of the staff may have been fine to be fair, I really don't remember now, but it didn't matter because she pissed me off so much.

Flamingoland's staff are vile. They're actually probably the worst I've come across apart from a couple of horrors in China - being left sitting, with the restraints down, in a Shoot the Chutes boat for 10 minutes while the ride op has a ciggie, for example.

Korean staff have been trained the "Disney" way I think. They're all happy, smiley and incredibly irritating. They just don't generally have the Disney efficiency to back it up.

The best park staff, for me, were the ones in Denmark. Apart from maybe one or two ride ops, they were all really friendly and chatty and seemed genuinely interested in talking to people, all while just getting on with the job they're paid to do. I may be looking back rather too fondly purely based on the sexy pirate ride op on Piraten though...

Germany's are generally great. They're not exactly chatty or friendly, but they just get their job done quickly and efficiently for the most part, which is exactly as it should be. I'd mostly say the same thing for the Japanese as well (Fuji Q has its issues, but that's not down to individual staff).

To answer the question of "what do you expect", then Germany and Japan have got it right - do the job your paid to do with efficiency and politeness. If you want to throw a smile on your face, go for it; it's a nice bonus for your customers.


Well-Known Member
All I expect is for people to be able to perform their job with efficiency and politeness. Having been working for four years now, I know that people aren't going to be in a great mood everyday they are working. I have days where I just do the basic requirements of my job, and other days where I go above and beyond, and I'm sure the same goes for everybody. It's definitely a much better experience when staff is super friendly, but I don't necessarily expect it. I just expect that they should all have been trained properly and know what they're doing, which sadly is not always the case.


Well-Known Member
I'm one of the few who believe that friendliness is actually slightly more important than being super efficient.

Reason being? There are some things which are going to make guests upset that staff CANNOT avoid. And they WILL take it out on staff. You can fix 99.9% of their problems by just being nice.

It's marginal though, and not enough staff take efficiency seriously. And efficiency is learned with experience, being nice and friendly should be a given standard.


Active Member
Obviously friendliness is important but I'd take efficiency over it.
Gotta try to make things move as quick and efficiently as possible IMO.
If the staff isn't the best eh....whatever. I'd more peeved if they are not taking the job as seriously as they could. I paid over $50 for this ticket, not to mention $10 or more for parking and probably $20+ on food. Do your job kid!

I mean, some staff I've seen looks like they want to kill themselves but I can understand...
It's kind of a crap job, probably doesn't pay that well, and people CAN be very annoying and dumb.
As Joey said...people always take it on the employee. I got that crap when I was a cashier and I'm sure park employees get it too. Especially at Cedar Point when TTD was still new.
Poor souls at the customer relation booth can't do crap about it, and they needed riot guns to keep that crowd handled!


I loved Alton Towers staff. They joked, smiled, laughed, and acted like normal people! When we were waiting at the Fastrack, and were obviously bored, they asked how our day was and just talked. It was lovely.
And the people in the Hotel at AT were even better! When we were confused, they helped and also joked about the fact that alot of people get confused. They were really nice.
It was pretty much the same at Chessington!
I didn't like Thorpe Parks staff. They were just tired and grumpy, even on days that weren't particularly crowded or hot. I don't remember a single smile. But hey, as long as they do what they need to, I'm fine. It is a boring job, so I don't really blame them.


Active Member
dominoes said:
It was pretty much the same at Chessington!
I didn't like Thorpe Parks staff.
Funnily enough, my girlfriend got chatting to a lovely staff member at Chessington who'd requested a transfer from Thorpe as she didn't like the customers at Thorpe and she wasn't happy. She much prefers Chessington.

So: it's not the staff's fault - it's YOU :p