by Gary Radice
: Added December 2006
Without a doubt, one of the best family fun days out themagiceye had in 2005 was at Chorley's Camelot Theme Park in Lancashire, UK. Whatever the park, wherever the park, it goes without saying that the Ride Operator's job is not an easy one. The following few pages are the result of an interview carried out by themagiceye in December 2006. Thanks to Will Tilston for taking time out and sharing with themagiceye his account of a "Life in the Day of" a Ride Op and for providing great 'behind the scenes' photos..

The park is divided into 3 sections in ride terms:

Section 1 is the front of the park up to the Ferris wheel (Kingdom in the clouds).

Section 2 is all the kidsí rides around Playland including the Driving School, Teacups and the Mini Train.

The rest of the park is classed as  Section 3 and includes all the bigger rides: i.e. the Balloons (Falcons' Flight) and Dungeons of Doom.

In the morning I start at 9:30am. I am assigned a ride for the day, then I collect my ride keys, radios and paper work.

From 9:30am I have 30 minutes to complete my ride checks, fill out the paperwork and clean my ride. I must finish before 10:00am when the park opens.

At 10:00am the park opens and a normal day begins.

Sometime between 11:30am and 1:30pm I will have a 30 minute break and between 2:30pm and 3:30pm I will have another break - this time for 20 minutes. 

Now then...the time I finish depends on two things: how busy the park is and what section I am on that day. In the past this has varied from anything between 4:30pm and 6:00pm but on average I finish about 5:00pm.

Normally there are three days of training - these are on the weekends leading up to the beginning of the season.

The first day takes place at the Medieval Banquet Room at the Park Hall Hotel and is basically an introduction to all the main staff, Health and Safety Training, Fire Training, Park Rules and Regulations and Customer Care.

Next it's rides' training: we learn the procedures for filling out the paper work properly, disability awareness, discrimination etc.

Finally we are trained on the rides themselves. How to operate them, the height limits, evacuation procedures, cleaning procedures, opening and closing them etc.

For every ride I am trained on there is a questionnaire to fill out which is about 2 pages long with, on average, about 20 questions on each and you have to listen to your trainer carefully to get all the answers.

An average operator is trained on 8 or 9 rides.

I am currently trained on about 15 so thatís a lot of questions but in general the information you need to know is much the same for each ride.

Whatís the height limit? How do you stop the ride? And so on.

This is the main office - the heart of the theme park where managers and supervisors run the park. It is located just to the left of the Castle in Main Square.

This is the Section 1 staff notice board. This is where I sign in and check what ride I am assigned to.

This is the Section 1 staff room.

This is the boardroom located inside the main offices where the rides' training takes place.

This is the staff room for Sections 2 and 3. It is located between the food court and the Dungeons of Doom.


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