Last update October 21, 2000—Cosmetic changes.

Now, this is by no means all-inclusive. Nor is all that serious, so don't take it the wrong way. This is just some of the rookie questions we, as employees of a major theme park, get on a daily basis. I'm assuming that if you are savvy enough to find this list, then you'll probably find it somewhat funny. And remember, sometimes being a little observant can go a long way.

P.S. Put your tongue in your cheek for this one. :-)

Section 1—Roller Coasters

1.1 Can you make it go faster? Can you make it go backwards?
Notice that employees are ride operators, not ride designers. Unless the thing breaks, a monkey probably could be trained to do the job. Ride operators have no control over whether or not things vary from ride to ride. True, a mechanic could adjust some brakes, but they don't let operators near those keys.
1.2 What happens if you get stuck in the loop?
Gravity, people! The coasters run on it. I am amazed that anyone has to ask about this. We'll never live that one episode of "Get a Life" down. Geez.
1.3 Does this ride go upside down?
Now I realize that at times this a good question. Some people don't want to be turned upside down and I can appreciate that. Along those lines, you can't always see the entire ride from where you are. But why, why, why, do people insist on asking if Colossus goes upside down? It's all right there for all to see.
1.4 You mean I'm supposed to stand?
I am so tired of seeing people get into the new Riddler train and try to sit on that little bicycle seat. I mean, I've heard the promotions for the ride. They make no secret of the fact that you are supposed to stand up (I believe one of the billboard slogans is "Can you stand it?"). And it is pretty obvious when the train enters the station and everyone is standing inside it that you aren't going to sit on this ride. Or at least, I thought it was obvious.
Section 2—Water Rides

2.1 Will I get wet?
It is a f&#$@n' water ride! Why stand in line for the ROARING RAPIDS and ask if you'll get wet. In case the sound of rushing water and the five signs tell you you'd get wet didn't tip you off, maybe the people walking down the exit wringing out their clothes would be a good indication that yes indeed, you get wet on this.
2.2 Do you have a dryer?
Sure, it's called the sun. At night we also have a dryer—it's called the heater in your car. Don't go on a water ride if you like to stay dry.
2.3 Do you have a towel?
Someone once told me that a park somewhere handed out towels for people who got wet on the rides. So this question could almost be excusable. But at Magic Mountain, if you want a towel, pack it in your backpack.
2.4 Did you turn up the water?
Yeah, we could tell you wanted the BIG splash, so we turned up the water as well as the waves for that one.
Section 3—General Questions

3.1 Do you work here?
Well, what gave it away? The nametag? The brightly coloured uniform that brings images of the circus to mind? The fact that it is 102 degrees outside and I have on not only a tie, but a pair of black polyester pants on? Maybe the pan and broom in my hands tipped you off. Believe me, the powers that be in an amusenent park want you visible to guests and fellow employees alike. So you needn't worry about asking if someone works there. Just look for the people tugging uncomfortably at their clothes and you'll have found your employee.
3.2 Can I have your tie?
If you're not familiar with the hideous material SFMM calls a tie, here's a quick description: Take every Looney Tunes character drawn at their worst, lay them onto loud colours, and put them on the tie at odd angles. Now your first reaction when you see the tie may be to desire it, but resist—it won't go with ANYTHING you wear!
3.3 Do you like your job?
Does anyone like their job all of the time? Probably not. But since I worked there better than 10 years, I can't bitch too much. If it really sucked that hard, a lot more of us would left sooner, I guess.
3.4 What's the fastest way to get to "x"? (with "x" being any destination you wish)
By running, of course.
3.5 Where's the nearest bathroom?
I always assume when I ask for directions that unless I specify the longest way, I will get the closest way. Likewise, I always make it a point to send our guests along the quickest path to their desired destination. In fact, I don't like the implied meaning when asked that question. Shame on those who automaticaly assume that I'll send them the long way around. Not everything is a conspiracy, all you X-Files buffs.
Section 4—General Ride Questions

4.1 Are the animals real? (Asked at Granny Gran Prix)

Uh, like, yeah. We gave up on wind-up animals years ago. After all, the mechanics had their hands full with the rides alone, let alone a wind-up bear.
4.2 Can you hold this?
Generally, I make it a point to not hand over my valuables to a stranger, but for some reason people love to do this. No, we don't hold things. I think some of the confusion may be due in part to our friends in Buena Park. They insist on holding onto your stuff, we insist on NOT holding your stuff. Really.
4.3 Can I get my hat?
People ask for the ride to go faster, but refuse to remove high-profile items like their ballcaps. Like the laws of science don't apply to them or something. Whatever. Take this to heart—most rollercoasters eat hats. Something about wind or resistance or something like that.
4.4 Can I get off the ride?
Better yet, if you're unsure about a ride and your ability to enjoy it, work your way up to it. Ride Gold Rusher before tackling Viper.
4.5 Where do they take the picture on this ride?
I'm always a little worried about the intentions of the people who ask this question. Usually they are looking to create a photographic masterpiece by either smoking or flipping off the camera (Or worse!!!!). Despite what you may find clever, keep in mind that if it is deemed offensive by the picture sellers, no one will see the photos for that train.
4.6 Where's the Colossal? The Gold Rush? The Raging Rapids?
The names of the attractions are printed within the folds of the map. Please use the given names when refering to the rides. It makes it easier for the employees to give directions. Thanks.
4.7 Is there a restaurant up there? Was there ever one? (In reference to the Sky Tower)
No, there is no restaurant in the Tower. I used to say that people were thinking of the Space Needle in Seattle, but now it's obvious that anyone who has seen the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas believes any large thin tower is a place that you can go get a $10 bowl of soup.
4.8 Am I tall enough to ride?
Understand now that I'm talking about the 6'2" "comedian" who walks to the entrance of the ride, shrinks himself down under the height check line, and says "Hey—Am I tall enough?" Well, lucky for you being witty isn't a requirement for riding. This was a funny joke when it was first done—in the 1950's. Trust me, you're not the first to think of this, so resist the temptation to do it.
4.9 The El Nino Effect
The scenario goes like this—it's raining. Superman is closed (or any other ride that's closed in the rain). Someone asks the operator: "Is this ride open?" The operator replies: "No, it's closed due to the rain. To which the guest fires back: "Well, when is the rain gonna stop?"

I'm not sure how to approach this. I mean, I know it's just a knee-jerk reaction to the operator's answer, but if he or she could really tell you when the rain will stop, they wouldn't be standing there in the rain earning minimum wage. You know?
Section 5—Food, Retail, and Games

5.1 (Retail) How much does this cost?
When I spy an item I wish to purchase, I go right to the price tag. But then, I'm pretty self-reliant.
5.2 (Games) Does that ball even fit in the hole?
(Usually overheard near the milk can game, or the basketball game.) "Dude—you figured our game out. It's been here for 25 years with a hole that's smaller than the ball, and no one was able to figure it out. No one has even won this game. Man, you let the cat out of the bag!"

As you can tell, I'm not too up on the Food questions, nor the Merch questions. If you have experiences in this aspect of the theme park business, send me questions so I can include them here.

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