Theme Park Employees Share the Worst Things They’ve Ever Seen…So Far

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Working in a theme park sounds like great fun! You interact with people, watch them scream their hearts out, and get to eat tons of junk food, right?

Except it’s not all fun and games. Theme park employees revealed that there’s quite a nasty side to their job as well. They graciously shared their experiences on Reddit.

10. Hopefully, this girl had a tetanus shot.

“I once worked at a water park as a lifeguard supervisor and it was an everyday thing that someone shit or threw up in the pools. We even called it a code brown so we werent straight up saying “uhhh yeah, another turd in the kiddie pool.”

Another time we had a rip tide water ride where people could ride body boards like a big wave and while I was talking to another guard I heard the whistle go off like there was an emergency. As I approached, a guard told me that there was a nail in someones foot. I thought he meant someone stubbed their toe and their nail pushed back into their toe but it was an 8 year old girl who had stepped on a 4 inch screw leftover from the maintenence the ride had recently undergone. Right into the heel.

As I saw it i got a little light headed but that what I was trained to do so as i picked her up and pulled her out of the water she moved her foot and it started to come out but it was still in there a good 3 inches. I put a latex glove on it and told her itd be ok as I called for paramedics. Her damn brothers came up and said that she was gonna ruin their time if they had to leave and i had to tell them to get away. When the paramedics came they picked her up to put her on the stretcher and when they did, that good ol latex glove slid off her foot and got hooked on the screw in the foot causing her, what I believed by her screams, excruciating pain.

Never found out what happened after that but she should have sued. Big payday.”


9. So scary.

“Operated rides for 4 years. 2 moments stand out. The scariest moment I had was when lightning struck a utility pole below me (my position on the ride was about 50ft up) knocking out power to my ride and forcing me and my supervisors to unload the ride in the middle of a lightning storm. The second was a guy who was very upset that I wouldn’t let his kid who was a foot under the height requirement ride. I told him no early in the day, but one of my coworkers let the kid ride while I was on break. The family comes up later and the father who was noticeably drunk, jumps two gates and over the tracks to threaten me with a knife. I called security and he ran.”


8. Everyday annoyances are still horrible.

“We take care to make sure everything is as safe as can possibly be so I haven’t had many horror stories in my time working at a theme park. The only thing that comes to my mind is all the times parents bitch at you when you tell them their child isn’t tall enough to ride or when someone makes a scene when you have to politely tell them they are too large to ride and must get off the ride because they don’t fit.”


7. Always listen to the theme park employee.

“I worked at Raging Waters in San Dimas, Ca for a few summers in high school/college. Great job: walking distance from home, got to work on my tan, hot and cold running chicks.

Anyway, this was the summer of 1987–I was just about 17. I was on lifeguard duty at the top of Drop Out (Drop Out was our huge slide that went up about 70 or so feet and slide straight down–no twists or turns–just straight down into a shallow slip of water.

I’m doing my thing: telling people to lie down and cross their arms across their chest so I could gently nudge them over the edge. It didn’t take much for me to slide them over–literally a slight tug was all it took.

Mid-shift, out of nowhere, a group of 20-somethings get to the front of the line–must have been about four guys–maybe a girl, too. The one alpha guy of the pack tells me, “Hey, let me slide myself off.” And before I could say anything (I was told by lawyers that witnesses heard me yell at him to “Get down”), he hoists himself up on top of the horizontal platform of the slide (where one’s supposed to lay down so I can slide them down) and takes a fucking running hop over the ledge. I think what he was trying to do was a cannon ball and land with his back against the slide–that’s my theory.

Like they say when something bad happens, everything was in slow-motion.

The guy got lots of air, I don’t think he realized that the drop is almost 90 degrees down. In mid-air, he tried to self-correct his jump–his arms and legs wildly trying to feel for anything to grab on to. It never happened. Thinking about it as I write this, it was sort of like Wile E. Coyote when he runs off a cliff and for a split second or two, he hangs there in the air realizing he’s fucked.

Somehow, he free-fell between both slides (Drop Out has two identically slides about 2 feet apart) and hit every iron crossbar that held up the seven-story deck.

Here’s a video of the ride I found on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m5fOdE5VjfA

Those aqua-green cross-beams above the point of the drop on each slide weren’t there in ’87. If they were, the guy never could have jumped.

So the guy falls 70 feet, hitting pretty much ever steel girder on the way down. He lands at the base of the slide with just about every bone in his body broken–compound fractures everywhere. He ended up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life and settled for about a tenth of what he tried to sue for–yep, the asshole tried to sue the park and me.

Luckily, there were dozens of witnesses who saw and heard me yelling at the guy to get off the slide. It was also passed along to be by one of the managers later that he was royally loaded out out his mind.

Lots of near drownings and lost bikini tops at that job, but this Drop Out story is the one everyone wanted to hear that summer.”


6. Don’t try to trip performers, ok?

“The worst thing that’s happened is a guy spitting in my face and starting to film me with his phone while screaming at me that he was going to sue the company I work for because I confronted him when he tried to trip one of my performers during a Halloween event. He was drunk. He was arrested. We all laughed at his mug shot the next day.”


5. You see some scary stuff.

“Worked at King’s Island on a ride called Diamondback. One day the train came back and this kid (~10 or 12 years old) was completely unconscious. He was slumped over in his seat being held up by his mother. (For those of you who don’t know. The seats on Diamondback are lap bars, so this kid was literally like folded in half slumped over. Also, the ride is smooth as silk, so he didn’t hit his head or anything.) Anyway, we immediately call 911 (inside the park, any park telephones route to the park’s first aid station when you call 911)meanwhile all we can legally do as teens who weren’t medically trained was offer a subpar first aid kit (2 gauze pads, a box of band aids, and some other misc items) and water. I had to stand there completely helpless watching his parents try to wake him up. They said he passed out while going up the first hill (230 feet) and they had to hold him up to keep from flopping around throughout the entire ride. When the first aid cart got there, they lifted him off the seat and onto a stretcher and wheeled him off the ride, and he regained consciousness near the entrance of the ride. My area supervisor asked us all if we were okay to keep working and said if we needed to we can all go home. It was terrifying. I thought the kid was dead and the moment I saw him slumped in his seat is still etched in my mind. That memory isn’t the worst part though. Standing there, legally unable to do anything even if I knew how, while the mother was crying, just trying to get a response while the father tried to keep it together for the boy’s sister, is the most haunting memory I have and I think it will be for a while.”


4. Oh, yikes…

“I worked as a lifeguard for a while at a water park. The wooden building behind the wave pool caught on fire one day (probably because of an employee smoking in there). The park had to be evacuated and people were passing out in the parking lot left and right since it was about 100 degrees outside. The building burned down, along with all of the ride tubes that were stored in there. It was one of the worst days I’ve ever had to work.”


3. This one has a happy ending.

“I have experienced a couple of incidents, mostly just people trying to attack me if they don’t get their will, but the most horrible thing i’ve encountered is also the best thing i encountered, i was working in Legoland in Denmark and i was at a ride that was just a train, we would be 2 on shift and i was standing at the line waiting for my partner to come back with the train, while i stood there and waited a guest from the line called me over and said that there was a boy who wasn’t breathing, i quickly ran over to the boy and saw his father completely frozen and crying his heart out, i yelled to the food stand across the path and told them to call the emergency crew. After there went some seconds i decided i couldn’t wait for them and started to give him mouth to mouth, i had the kid out a solid minute and was starting to shit my myself when he slowly started to wake up and breath again, both me and the father just sank down in relief that the boy survived, then the emergency crew came and got the father and boy to a hospital. The next week they came again and i was thanked by the boys whole family and they said they were extremely grateful for what i’ve done, they tried to offer me all kind of stuff but i refused and said i was happy with just the boy being alive.”


2. Don’t ride when you have stomach issues.

“My first job out of high school was at a theme park.

Nothing crazy, just a lot of poop. Kids would poop on rides, adults would poop on rides, it was a daily poop fest. At the time I was under 18 so it was always awesome when it happened because I had to shut the ride down and call in for cleanup instead of doing it myself.

Diarrhea on a roller coaster is not fun for anyone on the ride.”


1. Pigeon down.

“One time I saw a pigeon get obliterated by someone’s face one one of those pendulum rides that spin and swing, it landed just in front of me, in the queue, and it’s claw grabbed the air in its last motion as a trickle of blood ran off the edge of the ride and into the water underneath. the worst part was when it’s little pigeon lover was looking out sadly from their nest which they’d decided to make in the triangular ‘legs’ of the ride.”


Now that we’ve read that, hopefully we’ll all be more considerate to the theme park workers, cause they can see some really terrible stuff on the job.

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