• Editorial: My amusement park pet peeves

    Do you just have that one thing that could drive you INSANE in a park? I know we all have our little quirks, likes and dislikes. Mine stem from a long line of pet peeves that I have experienced growing up in parks. I've been visiting them for the last 25+ years and as a child it doesn't bug you, but as an adult...the list keeps growing. Here are a few of my pet peeves, which some of you may or may not like or agree with.

    1. Basketballs. WHY OH WHY must parks give out inflated basketballs? Oh my lord, the bouncing all day long. EVERYWHERE they bounce! I especially love the giant inflated basketballs being bounced on the station platforms. Do people not realize how annoying that is? If I wanted to be around a bouncing basketball, I'd go to a Cavs game. Why can't parks just give out certificates for patrons to pick up the ball(s) at guest services on their way out of the park? Why can't we have a peaceful day without having a kid or teenager running around with a ball and them losing it and someone wiping out on it?

    2. Smoking in lines (queues). There are some of us that don't smoke in this country. A lot of us actually follow the rules when standing in line. But there are some that just can't stop smoking before they get in line. Instead of sparing us that nasty smell in a closed and confined space, they get away with it. What's worse is I could go up to the attendant and let them know that someone was smoking, point them out and they say something like this, "Well I didn't see it so I can't do anything about it." Thanks for enforcing the rules pal! :-) I had something happen to my group once at Kings Island during Haunt. My group was on Diamondback and some MORON and I mean that with the utmost respect lit a cigarette up on the lift hill. Hot ashes went everywhere, ruining the ride for everyone towards the back of the train. They tried to get them to NOT open up the gate so the guy could get caught and they just let him go, no warning, no nothing. *I just shake my head at this one.*

    3. While I know coaster enthusiasts don't make up a huge population of park revenues and attendance, but let me tell you, sometimes the general public are beyond ridiculous. It isn't even that they know this coaster goes 200 miles per hour and goes upside down 20 times. That just makes me laugh. It's lets be STUPID and ruin the ride for everyone else because we can. Case in point: My very last ride on Disaster Transport was supposed to be fun. It wasn't. In fact, it was pretty much ruined. DT sits 10 per train and the group of six behind us thought it was beyond hilarious to make Indian calls throughout the entire ride. It was so annoying that I had to plug my ears. Why do people do that? I don't think its funny. It is beyond me why people do that, or those teenagers that start blood curdling screaming on the lift hill. You know which ones I am talking about. I wonder if I can start bringing duct tape to parks to control that noise.

    4. My last one for this part is a real winner. It's one thing if I am in a water park and I see teenagers and grown women in bikinis that barely cover up their parts, but I don't want to see that in a regular amusement park. I don't mind people that wear a one piece with a pair of shorts in a park. As long as they are covered up. Ladies...I don't want to see shorts so short that if you bend over we can see everything. It's not classy or lady-like. Make sure you look presentable. Too many times do I see children and teenagers looking like prostitots. (Yes, I made up that word.)
    Maybe I am too conservative with clothing, but oh my, COVER UP. Men...pull up your damn pants. I don't want to see what kind of underwear you are wearing. It's called WEARING A BELT! They make them for a reason. Parks have a dress code for a reason. We are all there to have fun. Not who looks the most trashy! While I do see some parks really stick to those rules, the rest of them I never see it enforced.

    So, what are your pet peeves? I am sure there are a TON more out there that I haven't even covered yet.
    Comments 28 Comments
    1. steel -
      Can't believe you didn't mention line jumping! It has happened MORE THAN ONCE to me that I've been in line for Raging Bull, standing literally right underneath the sign prohibiting and defining line jumping, and literally right next to a staff member, and some arrogant 16-year-old goes waltzing past the whole ordeal! And then the staff members NEVER DO ANYTHING! Once, the guy just said "Oh, well their friends are up there, so it's okay," and then walked away!
      I guess what I'm getting at is that, while line jumping is way up there on my pet peeves list, the absolute worst is staff who don't follow or enforce park rules. Like another time, there was a guy in a train going up the lift of a coaster who was clearly filming the ride with his camera. We told the staff right away, and they did absolutely nothing about it. She just stared at him for a second and then looked back at us and said, "Oh, yeah he is."

      The other thing I absolutely can't stand is ride operators who love the sound of their own voice and think their job is to entertain the whole station. NO OH MY GOD, I honestly feel less safe when they do that crap. Your job is to give us safety information and keep the ride running smoothly, NOT to make obnoxious sounds into the mic or flirt with the cute girl in the front row queue or refuse to start the ride until everyone on the train is screaming.
    1. Katie -
      Line jumping is a pet peeve of mine as well. In fact I make it a fact to stop it if I can help it. It will most likely be in my next part of the editorial. There are so many, you can't name them all at once without having to pay anyone to read that long of an editorial.
    1. Antoine -
      The one that really boils me over is the people that come there in groups of like 50 and they HAVE to sit together on the same train. If there is four of you, fine, I get it! But when you brought your entire family to the park, split up already. It isn't like you are going to engage in a conversation during a roller coaster ride and you must sit next to your friend. Also, it is not like you are going to buy the on ride picture either. Very rare do I see that. So stop holding up the line trying to get on the same train and just board already!
    1. Daniel Barto -
      Note to self: If ever on a large group trip with Antoine, bribe local family to hold up the train.

      Mine has to be line cutters; I've gotten people thrown out of parks for cutting before. I find that getting everyone else in line on your side is the best way to combat them- security tends to notice a large group of people shouting at two or three people.
    1. Antoine -
      Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Barto View Post
      Note to self: If ever on a large group trip with Antoine, bribe local family to hold up the train.
      lol you do that. I remember one time I was at a Disney park and there was a family of about 20+ and they were trying to get on the same train together. Seriously? Your family alone takes up one entire train and you trying to pair up for the entire thing? Just get on it already!
    1. Joe R -
      Yea, that doesn't always work. My biggest pet peeve are those that BLATANTLY disobey park rules and regulations. When I went to the Point a couple years back for their Halloween ordeal with Katie and Jeff and was waiting in line for Happy Jacks. Some idiot jumped out of line, went INTO THE RIDE BUILDING, and got back in line. We called the cops and everything, and they just kinda told him not to do it again, that they couldn't do anything because they didn't catch him in the act, and generally did nothing about the whole situation. That left us dealing with a family booing us for the entire wait for this Haunt and then trying to pick a fight with Katie (physically, not just words) over what we did. I honestly wish that I can bring in a bat and use it to bash the stupid out of people at all times. Like, legally be allowed to do that.

      Another would be those that won't go to another park because they don't think it would be worth their time because it doesn't match up to the greatness of Park A.
    1. Leo C -
      I love 4 across seating on roller coasters but I dislike the higher occurrence of people ditching seats, rows even if they are in a group and feel they have to get on the same train as all their friends. What a waste of time for the people behind these groups like myself. What a waste of capacity it is. This seems to really occure on the gimmicky rides like the flying coasters such as Superman: Ultimate Flight so it restricts the amount of the times I would want to ride the coaster in a season at my homepark. It just bogs the whole experience down. I'll gladly pass those people over when they offer to give me the cycle before them or I ask to move ahead of them. What a pain.

      Cutting in line is bad too. I feel like I would like to pretend to be one of those guests and act like I have a friend or relative ahead in line. I think the snack shop in the queue or a guest needing to go back to the locker at the front of queue promotes this.
    1. arcarver1986 -
      Line Jumping is a pet peeve of mine too. A couple of months ago, I had waited a long time for Rip, Ride n' Rocket to reopen. While we were walking in the Que to the line, these teenagers just walked in front of us. they had friends up there, but there were like three of them. I said "oh, so there's like 5 of you?" and the rude girl was like "no, there's just three." SO rude! there are people in line. I don't care if you have friends, you have 2 other people with you. wait your damn turn.

      Another thing that irks me are drunk a-holes. This group of tourists from NJ were walking behind us at IOA, and they were cursing very loudly, and were clearly drunk. I think that alcohol should be banned at theme parks. it is not the place to get wasted. there are children around, and it is supposed to be a family place.
    1. Steven -
      Quote Originally Posted by Leo C View Post
      I love 4 across seating on roller coasters but I dislike the higher occurrence of people ditching seats, rows even if they are in a group and feel they have to get on the same train as all their friends. What a waste of time for the people behind these groups like myself. What a waste of capacity it is. This seems to really occure on the gimmicky rides like the flying coasters such as Superman: Ultimate Flight so it restricts the amount of the times I would want to ride the coaster in a season at my homepark. It just bogs the whole experience down. I'll gladly pass those people over when they offer to give me the cycle before them or I ask to move ahead of them. What a pain.

      Cutting in line is bad too. I feel like I would like to pretend to be one of those guests and act like I have a friend or relative ahead in line. I think the snack shop in the queue or a guest needing to go back to the locker at the front of queue promotes this.
      That's when us ride hosts pack the the train. Some of us took pride in packing full trains. If others wanted to ride in a group, we let others behind them get ahead. Likewise, we always tried to pack single riders together... all without dedicated single rider lines.
    1. Brian F -
      One word- people
    1. Coug -
      Strollers! The worst of it is at Disney World. These people think because they have a stroller they can plow through anyone and anything like having a stroller gives them the right of way. I've had them run up on my heels before.

      I'd say teens, but it really isn't just teens, it's EVERYONE. People trying to walk down the pathways in the park staring at their phone or texting on it. I'm at the point anymore where when I see one coming at me who isn't paying attention I yell "LOOK OUT!" The reaction alone is priceless.

      Groups of people blocking the MIDDLE of the main pathway. They're grouped in the biggest circle possible like they're around a bonfire cooking smores trying to figure out what ride to go on next. Move over as far as you can to the side of the pathway and let everyone else through.

      My last one.... There you are making good time down the pathway to the next attraction along with 50 other random park goers when some troll decides to immediately stop walking for no apparent reason. It's like slamming on your brakes on I40, on a snowy day when you're in the middle lane. Don't do it people.
    1. Racer -
      Quote Originally Posted by Steven View Post
      That's when us ride hosts pack the the train. Some of us took pride in packing full trains. If others wanted to ride in a group, we let others behind them get ahead. Likewise, we always tried to pack single riders together... all without dedicated single rider lines.
      I take pride in a full train. On a busy day at Mindbender, the most empty seats per train I would allow was 2.
    1. Antoine -
      Another one that drives me crazy is those who wait until they get practically up to the train to hold up progress and decide what seat to get on. You have been waiting in line for 30 minutes and STILL don't know where you wanna sit at??? It is like those people who go to McDonalds: They wait in line all that time and then when they get to the cashier, that's when they wanna look up at the menu! Hey pal, the items you can order haven't changed! It is made even worse when the person has been on the ride dozens of times before. It isn't like you are discovering something new here. I am a LITTLE more patient with those who are riding for the first time, but not much.
    1. nayaugpark52 -
      Why can't I see the Comments?
    1. Drdemoniac6 -
      I hate the group thing as well when I'm operating or attending a ride it makes it very difficult to get the ride filled to full capacity because the groups of people don't pay attention and are to busy talking to each other to care and don't move over. The other thing I hate are people that change seats while the ride is still loading people makes it very difficult to find out how many seats are left. The other thing that I hate is when I operate the Carousel people don't come up while the ride is operating they'd rather come up when it's stopped. I'd load it and give it a minute to make sure no one else is coming then as I get ready to do my safety speil here come more people running up to get on the ride let them on them get ready to do my safety spiel and then here comes more people like why did you not come up earlier. When I do the safety check the people ask in line why I didn't let them on when there is more horses and why do I not fill the ride up. Hard for them to understand that if I waited to fill it up the ride would sit there for half an hour and the people on the ride are there to ride not sit there.
    1. Racer -
      ^We get the same thing with pretty much any ride. Once the gates are closed and seats are locked, they are closed and locked and ready to go.
    1. jay37415 -
      I know Basketballs were mentioned, but how about those 4 foot tall stuffed animals. They can never have some hold it while they are on a ride so you have to wait an extra couple of minutes until they figure out where to put the bloomin thing.
      Or, while you are waiting in line, they have to put it on their shoulders and bash everyone around them in the head going through.
    1. Coug -
      Quote Originally Posted by jay37415 View Post
      I know Basketballs were mentioned, but how about those 4 foot tall stuffed animals. They can never have some hold it while they are on a ride so you have to wait an extra couple of minutes until they figure out where to put the bloomin thing.
      Or, while you are waiting in line, they have to put it on their shoulders and bash everyone around them in the head going through.
      Employ runners/delivery service. This of course would cost each guest a small fee when they want to have something held at the front of the park. You drop off what you don't want to carry around the park at the closest shop/store near you. At some point between the time you drop it off and the time you leave someone will have "run" it to a pickup area at the front of the park.
    1. KY_THRILLBILLY -
      Unlike ya'll, I really dont have any pet peeves when it comes to the amusement park industry, though some things may irritate me from time to time. Usually like a rude guest or park employee. I just go to have a good time, to unwind, and just have a little fun. I think sometimes as coaster enthusiasts were to busy ridin on the coasters, and thrill rides, that we sometimes forget to have fun. I try not to sweat the little things. Ya'll should follow suit.
    1. Leo C -
      ^True. I try to find distractions in line. There are plenty of them to make the time pass while waiting in line. I try to CHILL and be preoccupied. When I'm in back of a station row, I'm already calculating, grouping hypothetically people, watching rows load to see if I can get on sooner if I am getting on the ride as a single rider. A lot of times I can be the first rider off a ride as well. if I'm fast enough getting off El Toro at the exit stairs I can catch the previous train going down the first drop. I do the same thing with Batman: The Ride. I pull my camera out if I exit fast enough to see the train go through the zero g roll just in time.