View Full Version : Roller Coaster Control Panels

10-07-2005, 07:48 PM

I am doing a project on Roller Coasters and their control systems, and am looking for support photographs. I was wondering if anyone out there had any pictures of Roller Coaster, or other Amusement Ride Control Panels. I am VERY interested in seeing what Bigger Six Flags Parks use, as well as the Disney Company.

If you could help me out that would be tremendous! Thanks so much, and my e-mail address is: ems78464@yahoo.com if you cannot post the pictures on here....

Thank you all again and I look forward to hearing from you!

Carowinds 73-03
10-07-2005, 09:18 PM
This might help you out a little.


Sir Willow
10-07-2005, 10:44 PM
Do a google search. There is a site out there on ride safety that shows a couple of pictures of ride control panels.

It's going to vary greatly from ride to ride and park to park. It's really not park or chain specific either, though there are some general basics that you'll find as a standard (e.g. the big red button is the e-stop)

10-08-2005, 01:25 AM
I have one of the unloading stations panel of IJST at PCW. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to give it out though...

10-08-2005, 02:01 PM

Millennium Force's control panel. Chad is the one pressing lift area jog forward. He is the one who test rode MF on "world's largest amusment park" back in 2000.

10-08-2005, 05:27 PM
The only buttons on that panel that are ever used in daily operation though are the two green ones on the right (dispatch buttons) and the lapbar release button, which is the yellow one on the right.

10-08-2005, 05:33 PM
Just out of curiousity...does Cedar Point and most other parks assign you a ride and thats the only ride you work? I know at my park they have groups of about 6 rides and your assigned a group and you learn most if not all of the rides in the group....just curious

10-08-2005, 07:05 PM
somewhere on the Internet, I saw GASM's from gadv.

10-09-2005, 12:21 AM
The only buttons on that panel that are ever used in daily operation though are the two green ones on the right (dispatch buttons) and the lapbar release button, which is the yellow one on the right.

I've used everything on the main panel but the load area jog reverse button. Not to be rude, but the load area lapbar release is the lonely amber pushbutton. :)

I was a MF host for 3 weeks this year, I don't even know if I met you. What period were you on the ride?

Carowinds 73-03
10-09-2005, 01:15 AM
At Carowinds i'm assigned Top Gun and thats the only ride i work.

10-09-2005, 04:04 AM
Cedar Point tries to do that, but it doesn't work out that way. The reason is they attempt to get full staffing. A large number of people do not show up or quit after a short period of time. They try to overstaff each ride to compensate for those who leave, but you never know who is going to stay. One location might get everyone, while another may have 3 people. There are many different start and end dates, so they have to move people around a lot. On average, you'd work your contracted ride for all but a week or two. Some work their ride for every day, others work several different rides every week.

My first two years consisted of me working many different rides. I've worked 42 out of 68 rides. The last new ride I worked, I stayed at for the remainder of my stay at Cedar Point.

10-09-2005, 12:20 PM
How long does it take to get trained on a ride @ cedar point? I know at my home park they had different tiers of certification, for a simple ride to operate the direct supervisor could certify....for others the Big supervisor would have to certify....

10-09-2005, 12:54 PM
there was a thread about this somwhere, I'll see if I can dig it up, lol.

Sir Willow
10-09-2005, 02:00 PM
Just out of curiousity...does Cedar Point and most other parks assign you a ride and thats the only ride you work? I know at my park they have groups of about 6 rides and your assigned a group and you learn most if not all of the rides in the group....just curious

It'll vary. It's not a park specific thing either. As an example, at BGT, Rhino Rally and SheiKra's crews pretty much stay at those rides exclusively. On the other hand, the Timbuktu area is a rotating area, where the people working there will rotate throughout the day on several rides.

Montu Man
10-09-2005, 03:25 PM
At roller coasters, do people swap out what job they're doing (operator, greeter, etc etc.)?

10-09-2005, 04:49 PM
Many parks have "Ride Operators" and "Ride attendants." Ride operators work the main panel while attendants check bar and work other positions. This is usually because the ride attendants can be younger, but the operators must be at least 18.

Cedar Point has ride hosts, they rotate between positions regularly and are at least 18. With rides that have 3 or less positions, then they rotate with other rides. Depending on a number of factors, you could say there are 3 "levels."

The first level would be positions that you don't interact with the ride. Entrance, freeway(defuct, but the position lives on...), and crowd control. There are several people who are limited to these positions, special cases and ride prides.

The second level would be positions that you work with the ride, check lapbars, operate remote dispatch panels, and check the ride for any problems (noises, lost articles, "guest illness," ect.).

The third level would be operating the ride at the main control panel. Basically you need to have worked all other positions and passed a test. Ok so many rides, you don't need to pass a test for, but the larger rides you do. Launch at TTD requires the visual board test and it's not the main control panel.

How long does it take? If it's your first ride it will take a couple hours. The first hour will be going over the ride details and doing lift and ride area walks. The rest of the time will be shadowed in position. Basically someone watches you to make sure you do your job properly. After that it's you baby you.

Controls has 2 requirements to work. You have to pass the test and you have to work controls with the Team Leader or their assistant. If the ride doesn't have a test, then just the second applies. Some people don't take the test, others take it their first day and then work controls on their first day. There are a number of factors though.

10-09-2005, 06:12 PM
I know at Canobie Lake Park, on the Yankee Cannonball (Cute old woodie coaster) there would be 2 operators and a ride attendnant, and the 2 operators would switch sides, from the main console to the supplemental console....

Sir Willow
10-09-2005, 08:50 PM
At BGT, there aren't age separate positions on the rides. If you can work one spot on the ride, you can work them all. And you'll be trained on all of them so that you can rotate around. It gives you a variety of things to do, some changing scenery and makes you more versatile.

Again, as an example, you have to be 18 to work at Rhino Rally (as opposed to 16 at most other rides) That's because you have to be able to drive the Land Rovers. But if you work at Rhino, you're also going to be working load, unload, height stick, grounds, and whatever else may come up. So you're going to learn them all, and can work any combo of them throughout the course of a shift.

10-16-2005, 04:20 PM
So does anyone have anymore control panel pictures?

10-17-2005, 03:24 AM

That was my control panel this summer. I remember that day very well. July 29th 2005. I talked to Tony and Tyler while they where there. Told them a few stories and they test rode together. If you look closely at the picture, you can see an air freshener conveniently close to the Estop. Our first aid kit is just behind. The ride is locked out as you can see by the Master lock. Sometimes maintenance forgets to lock it up in the morning. There is an orange note pad for random notes. Above it is a red pushbutton. That is the quick stop. It's basically an estop. I was the only one on the crew to press that button while the ride was loaded with guests. Above that is an orange note about walking some old lady from finance to her car on Mondays. Apparently she parked in someone elses spot right next to the door. On Mondays she had to walk a good distance from her car to get to work. We would help her. The white Hardee mug is for any change we find. It goes to the childrens charity fund. The other side of the panel has our amplifiers for wireless mics and a bunch of our junk. In front of the panel there is a light switch. There are two on each side of the panel which are out of view. The one you can see is for the ride area in conjuction with the goose neck mic. The others are for load and unload. If you look to the left of the switch there is a purple dimond and another master lock. It's the key ring, the purple tags basically say that CP will pay for shipment of the keys if lost and placed in a mailbox. Some of the keys from Allen Bradley cost over $100 to get a replacement, so you don't want to lose them. Overall the control booth looked like crap half the time. It looked fairly bad when they were there, afterall I left it a mess the night before.

The night before I celebrated a friend's birthday. Of course I stayed up late and had to open the ride the next morning. That is a given. This was the first time I was late. I didn't come in 5 or 10 minutes late. I got there 45 minutes late. What a good example I set. :rolleyes: That means I had 30 minutes to do all of the ride checks including test rides. Tony and Tyler where helpful in that they test rode one shuttle so we could get all of them done in less time. I got the ride open two or three minutes early.

10-18-2005, 03:37 PM
Yes - you have to rotate. You don't want people stuck in one position too long and for the job to get routine. Once it becomes routine it is easy to mess up.

So despite the routine nature of the job - you have to treat each cycle like its your first.

10-23-2005, 11:12 PM
Any more pictures?