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Over-enthusiastic ride ops - Like, Dislike or Meh?

As a good British boy I hate all that crap, check my bar, avoid eye contact with me and dispatch ASAP.

And if they're hot, cop a cheeky feel obviously ;)

If someone sincerely enjoys their job and just is genuinely fabulous, than I enjoy it. I don't want it to screw with efficiency because I hate waiting. It's nice for someone to show a bit of personality in any job really, but I don't expect to go to a restaurant for example, and have the waitress make me shout about how excited I am for my food to come. If she's not a robot and is actually talking to me on a human level though, that's always nicer than the people who come in and just do their job and collect their cash. Same with ride ops. And I will never be the one to sit there, chant, and hoot and holler. That's such an American thing and I genuinely can't stand it.

One of my favourite ride ops ever is still Tarsha at Martin's Fantasy Island. She was a ghetto fabulous, hungover black lady who hated her job and made it known. <3
 
As a good British boy I hate all that crap, check my bar, avoid eye contact with me and dispatch ASAP.

And if they're hot, cop a cheeky feel obviously ;)

If someone sincerely enjoys their job and just is genuinely fabulous, than I enjoy it. I don't want it to screw with efficiency because I hate waiting. It's nice for someone to show a bit of personality in any job really, but I don't expect to go to a restaurant for example, and have the waitress make me shout about how excited I am for my food to come. If she's not a robot and is actually talking to me on a human level though, that's always nicer than the people who come in and just do their job and collect their cash. Same with ride ops. And I will never be the one to sit there, chant, and hoot and holler. That's such an American thing and I genuinely can't stand it.

One of my favourite ride ops ever is still Tarsha at Martin's Fantasy Island. She was a ghetto fabulous, hungover black lady who hated her job and made it known. <3
 

mouse

Giga Poster
Enthusiastic = good. Over-enthusiastic = bad.
Although tbh my favourites are the REALLY miserable ones, the ones that just hate their job and place of work and look at their guests with a face of disgust. I just find them much more entertaining than the enthusiastic ride-ops.
 

SaiyanHajime

Strata Poster
Having worked in that environment, the vast majority of rides staff piss me off these days. They're so rarely as perfect as I was capable of being.

I seriousness, good employees will use overenthusiastic interaction as a distraction for delays. Delays that might not be obvious, even to us regulars.

Reality is though that most staff who are loud and trying to draw excitement from the crowd are attention whores who are belong as the entertainment reps for a kids minidisco. They get praised by management who don't understand the importance of efficiency and breed a culture of this bull as the queue grows ever longer.

Being efficient is less about being fast and more about minimising potential delays with the correct, clear communication to guests. Good staff observe predictable guest behaviours and work to reduce the problems those behaviours create. These vary ride to ride and only established staff may be capable, but its the kind of thing that should be passed on in training and, tbh, most staff just complain about how dumb guests are instead of dealing with the problem before it repeatedly occurs.

As a guest, I hate forced interaction, by all means be playful and fun with guests when you have time to be, but don't keep pushing them when they're not interested. Really big pet peeve of mine. I always preferred quiet interaction with guests, talking about their day and favourite attractions, what they had for lunch, what they like or were less keen on. But then, I was genuinely interested in that stuff, so...
 

Nemesis Inferno

Strata Poster
AI's staff do always seem relatively genuine about their enthusiasm, I did actually fill in a feedback form about one of their staff last time who was quite fab and handled a breakdown rather well...

I'm with Joey, I don't mind some interaction, but not at the expense of throughputs... My favourite/worst example of this was on Dragon's Fury a few years back, where the staff were insisting on people "flapping their arms like a dragon" before dispatching the train...

Naturally of course, the ride was being operated badly, and I was a grumpy person so I wanted to just get on the ride without any faff due to the burdenous queue... So when the car was ready to dispatch, they ACTUALLY refused to turn the dispatch key until we fulfilled their bollocks request, which caused the entire station to ground to a halt... It's pretty much one of the reasonings why Chessie has fallen down a fair bit in recent years (operationally), as the staff have been told to focus on talking to guests for ages rather than doing their jobs efficiently...

Of course, the girl at AI in the video was being faffy, but it was clearly dead, and that's why ride ops really need something to keep them going through the day... And why I don't actually mind that level of interaction when the situation is acceptable, rather than after 60 minutes of hell and pointless interaction that delays the ride...
 

Darren B

Giga Poster
Adventure Islands ride staff are fabulous, especially on Rage. It works there though as there's never much of a queue.

At a major theme park I much prefer efficiency to entertainment. In June the ride operator on Leviathan was just constantly shouting out the ride clock to ensure despatch within a minute. I also remember during the 2012 Germany Live the ride op for Wodan was vile! She was shouting orders and seat assignments in angry German but was getting trains out in record speed. I respect that over niceties.

In a nutshell, I don't mind how **** the ride-ops are as long as they're efficient.
 

SaiyanHajime

Strata Poster
^ Where I worked, guests complained about rushing and the perception that safety was compromised by behaviour like you mention on Leviathan.
 

A-Kid

Giga Poster
It will always depend on the ride type. I do this on things like Teacups or Flying Fish which will focus more on interaction as they never have a long queue and you can still keep it efficient. It works on the smaller rides, but it can go 2 ways obviously. You get a dead run with no response or fully enthusiastic people, but people seem to enjoy it and its an additional effort. You can always judge it by what type of guest is coming to the ride to whether they will play along or not. If you make it comical and slightly sarcastic/dirty rather than monotone, then people tend to play. One thing though, NEVER use it to hold up a dispatch. EVER. Even on a small ride. Its annoying to everybody involved.

I'd never do it on thru-put rides like the coasters. It ends up being annoying and repetitive as the turnover is much faster and it just feels wrong. Sometimes announcements yes, but that's to speed loading up. Like Stealth; getting people to pull down the bar, plug the seatbelt in or Tidal where you instruct where to dump your bags, pull the bars down or exit. You just need to get the train/boat out as fast as you can and try to prevent stacking. It looks so much better, and quite frankly that's all the guests care about after standing in an hour queue.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
Joey said:
^ Where I worked, guests complained about rushing and the perception that safety was compromised by behaviour like you mention on Leviathan.

Chessington?

Probably because every guest there is a Mumsnet-moron.
 

zazobo

Hyper Poster
There used to be a chap who did the announcements on the monorail at Alton. He was literally the funniest ride op ever, I'm sure other have come across him. When the next train was coming (say it was the train with the balloons pictured on it) 'oh look.. Te next train, is the CELEBRATION TRAIN.. Yeeeeeeey' but in the most sarcastic tone. So British and utterly excellent.
 

Tomatron

Giga Poster
Ben said:
Oh god the people giving commentaries at Cedar Fair parks </3 so enthusiastic.

As a good British boy I hate all that crap, check my bar, avoid eye contact with me and dispatch ASAP.

I still can't get over that ride op's accent on Iron Dragon.

The staff at Dollywood and Silver Dollar City were great. Just the right balance of everything.
 

Dar

Hyper Poster
I prefer the Europa Park method of silence except for yelling at people that take too long getting in the train
 

oriolat2

Giga Poster
Dar said:
I prefer the Europa Park method of silence except for yelling at people that take too long getting in the train

Europa Park are such efficency Nazis! <3 I love when they shout at people who are not following their instructions exactly as they say.
 

jj23w

Hyper Poster
A-Kid said:
It will always depend on the ride type. I do this on things like Teacups or Flying Fish which will focus more on interaction as they never have a long queue and you can still keep it efficient. It works on the smaller rides, but it can go 2 ways obviously. You get a dead run with no response or fully enthusiastic people, but people seem to enjoy it and its an additional effort. You can always judge it by what type of guest is coming to the ride to whether they will play along or not. If you make it comical and slightly sarcastic/dirty rather than monotone, then people tend to play. One thing though, NEVER use it to hold up a dispatch. EVER. Even on a small ride. Its annoying to everybody involved.

I'd never do it on thru-put rides like the coasters. It ends up being annoying and repetitive as the turnover is much faster and it just feels wrong. Sometimes announcements yes, but that's to speed loading up. Like Stealth; getting people to pull down the bar, plug the seatbelt in or Tidal where you instruct where to dump your bags, pull the bars down or exit. You just need to get the train/boat out as fast as you can and try to prevent stacking. It looks so much better, and quite frankly that's all the guests care about after standing in an hour queue.

Nope we just give Moist TV shoutouts on The Swarm ;)
 

Jordanovichy

Credit Whore 2016
For me, enthusiasm is great, I want to see a ride-op smile, enjoy what they do, maybe even make a joke, I just want them to be enjoying themselves almost as much as I do when I cred. But over-enthusiasm kills it. I don't want to cheer a coaster or clap it when it returns, I will whoop, cheer and clap if I enjoyed myself, sure, but why should I be forced to? It's just annoying. Plus all that **** shows the operations down!
 

Ayy Lmao

Mega Poster
Love it
Always like it when I go on dragon challenge and the ride op say watch out for *insert foot chopper here*!
 

Darren B

Giga Poster
Joey said:
^ Where I worked, guests complained about rushing and the perception that safety was compromised by behaviour like you mention on Leviathan.

Then your guests are cretins.

Leviathans process was both efficient and completely safe. Take your seat, belt up but DON'T pull down your restraint. Ops then come along, check the belt and put your restraint down. They take your personals from you instead of you doing it yourself.

Tell me what's unsafe about this process?
 

PeskyTrimBrake

Hyper Poster
This is cringe overload when I visit a park. For example, in Thunderbolt in SFNE, the op said "Kaboom" after dispatch. I felt like punching someone. Really, isn't necessary and for some reason makes me cringe.
 

Karly

Roller Poster
Pleasant and entertaining? Yes, I like that. But if it's at the expense of holding up the ride? No.

A recent good example that comes to mind is the older guy on I305. I'm sure there are people who don't share my opinion of him, but I thought he was entertaining. Telling everyone about the ride, speed, height, etc. Never came out and said that people have blacked out, but made a point of saying the trick is remembering to "breath in and out while going down the drop." Entertaining but was quick with his job. I was in his section of the car, he had us checked and ready to go without slowing anything down.


Bad experience example: Ride op on The Chiller at SFGAdv. Really long line, slow loading and only running Robin. The guy was playing around with the riders when it came to launching the car. Mis-count countdowns, sending the car off in the middle of talking to the guests, etc. There is a car full of people ready to go. Ride op was asking people to take their hands off the restraints, they needed to be checked again. Finally everyone left go and...you guessed it, bye! Train was launched. I the whole 'put your hands up' thing took longer than the length of the ride. Dude, you have a long line, let's keep it moving.
 
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