Going to a theme park is a joyous occasion. Working at a theme park, however, is hardly as much fun. Theme park employees on Reddit have seen some serious stuff go down while at work. Their stories will make you seriously reconsider special family vacations to the water park.

And if you thought certain carnival rides were scary, you should prepare to learn about the horrible things that can happen at theme parks.

A Lifeguard Poops Her Pants After Seeing A Drowned Mannequin

From Redditor /u/puppy2010:

A girl I used to know worked at Wet and Wild Sydney for a season when she was in uni. One night, she was working on the lazy river ride (the kind of one where you sit on an inflatable tube and just bob along) when she noticed some legs coming out of the tube, with the rest of the body trapped in the water under the tube.

She sh*t herself when she saw it and ran over to help the trapped person, only to realize it was a mannequin that had obviously been placed there as a prank.

A Camp Counselor Accidentally Takes Kids To Dolphin Orgy

From Redditor /u/zach2992:

At SeaWorld, she was a camp counselor over a summer. Her kids one week were second and third graders, and she was taking them to… the dolphin area to watch them. Just so happens that at that time there was a dolphin orgy. Just 30 dolphins in one big ball, going at it.

They went up to go feed them and since they were all so busy, only one fat dolphin came up to eat while occasionally you would see some tails come up and splash.

The Ride Attendant Has To Ignore Safety Codes

From Redditor /u/MrFinch8604:

I worked at a certain amusement park in Ohio that was considered America’s Rollercoaster in 2005. That summer, the transformer/generator of a particularly wicked roller coaster of a cyclonic nature blew, and we had to literally pull people back into the station with a rope tied to the car, and about 20 people. Instead of completely replacing it, they just worked at making it usable for the rest of the summer, and throughout the rest of the year, we would have the ride go into emergency shutdown mode at random times.

We were told just to try turning it off and on again until the code cleared, without any inspections or anything like that.

A Theme Park Visitor Dies On The Parachute Ride

From Redditor /u/arethafeatherbottom:

My dad worked at Knott’s Berry Farm as [the] head of maintenance in Southern California for like 15 years in the ’80s and ’90s, and I grew up… behind the scenes at the park, and riding the rides before it opened… Fun fact: my mom and dad met at the chicken dinner restaurant. 🙂

A guy jumped from the parachute ride and [killed himself]. I grew up going on that ride and it was terrifying! It was this tiny little latch at the top of that cage to keep you in. And it was all shaky in the wind.

A Guy Jumps Onto Tracks, And Passengers Think A Conspiracy Is Afoot

From Redditor /u/finelineLD:

Some… years ago, I was working my summer vacation at an amusement park, running a rollercoaster. I got to sit and push buttons, give the safety instructions, etc.

So, we get the train full of people, I get the all-clear, hit the button to start the train up the hill, when I see something out of my periphery. A guy has somehow climbed the gigantic wall surrounding the ride, and has dropped down next to the track, where I am about to send a metal train full of people at 40 mph. I slam on the emergency stop button, which shuts down everything on the ride, and grab the phone for security.

My coworkers come up to see what’s happening, and I point to the guy down in the ride zone. He’s acting weird and erratic, and is actually climbing on the rollercoaster’s track, and is taking off his clothes. Security tells us not to approach him, in case he’s dangerous, and to move the people in line away. Meanwhile, I head up the stairs to talk to the people who are stuck in the ride. The stairs were open, metal things – extra narrow, steep, and – at this point – damp. In the best of times, I hated climbing them.

I get up and most of the people are calm, except for one woman who is freaking out. She’s panicking that the ride is malfunctioning, and that she wants off. Now, I understand panic attacks and how you’re completely [a] slave to them. So I’m calmly telling everyone that I was the person who hit the emergency stop, why I did it, etc. From their viewpoint, they literally could see the guy climbing up the track, security chasing after him, etc. I’ve called for a manager to let this lady off because I’m not able to do it.

So the manager finally arrives, lets this woman off with dire warnings about how dangerous the steps can be. By this point, the police are arriving, there’s all sorts of stuff going on in the sights of the patrons as they are trying to arrest this guy.

And then, a guy on the ride announces he wants off, too. So the manager lets him off. He climbs over another guest, faces the train, and calmly announces that this entire thing – the half naked-man, security, the police – all of it was just a cover-up for the fact that the ride had malfunctioned and that they were all going to die.

And I’ll be damned if they didn’t believe him. We evacuated that ride, and two people slipped walking down those stairs. I had to fill out massive paperwork to keep people from suing, thankfully we were able to call a cop over to witness. After police left, the ride was started back up, with no issues.

One Passenger Gets Beheaded

From Redditor /u/M1n10nD4v3:

Guy lost his hat on a suspended roller coaster and decided to climb the fence to get it back afterwards. Quite literally had his head kicked off by a lady on the ride as it went by, which also shattered her leg.

The Ghost Of A Dead Boy Haunts The Six Flags Restaurant At Night

From Redditor /u/rootKRP:

Six Flags Magic Mountain. While stocking up one of the carts from within an unused, empty location, I had a unexplainable experience. The location I was in used to be a restaurant that served pizza (Laughing Dragon near Superman if you’re familiar with the park). It’s empty and void of life and only gets used on occasion for maybe some training. The tables that we used for the restaurant were stacked upside on one side. The tables were heavy, concrete-topped tables and would take two guys to move them. Upon entering the location and beginning my inventory I felt uneasy and chalked it up to being tired and creeped [since] it was late.

To get to the stockroom, you have to pass by the dining area with the tables, and I did so without incident. After counting our overpriced ice creams, I turn around to head out the way I came and lock up. What met me as I turned around the dark corner freaked me out. Right there, blocking my exit, [were] three tables sitting right-side up and lined up obstructing my path. I called out if anyone was there and was met with silence. I simply turned around and ran to the back entrance and left the building from there. Afterwards, I explained to a co-worker how I was alone up there and heard absolutely no one, and how the heavy-as-hell tables got moved and flipped so swiftly and silently.

I was then later told that a little boy with a heart condition ran all the way up the hill racing his friends and essentially dropped dead right in front of that restaurant, probably 10 feet from where the incident occurred. I hate closing at night now.

A Worker Lets Too Many People On Slide, So People Die

From Redditor /u/cheesewedge12:

Worked at a water park in high school. They had one of those slides where you get dumped out into a big funnel and rock up one side, then back down and up the other until you get funneled out. Well one of the workers wasn’t doing his job right, and let several heavy people into one group tube and went way over the weight limit.

They went up one side, kept going, and fell 40 feet to the bottom of the funnel. I heard one of them died. They shut down the ride for a while after that.

A Parent Pulls A Knife On A Worker

From Redditor /u/okiewxchaser:

Operated rides for four years. Two moments stand out. The scariest moment I had was when lightning struck a utility pole below me (my position on the ride was about 50 feet 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.

An Irate Kid Punches A Worker In The Nether Regions

From Redditor /u/AhrmiintheUnseen:

I used to work at a small water park where there were some dry rides up the southern end. There was this eight-year-old kid just being a little sh*t – pushing in line, climbing up the slide of the playground, knocking other kids’ hats off, that sort of bullsh*t. I warn him several times then ask him to leave, but he doesn’t. I go and ask my supervisor what to do and he says, “Get the scissors.” He means to cut his wristband, without which he can’t go on any rides.

I call him over, and he surprisingly complies, and before he can react, I grab his wrist and cut off his wristband. Naturally, he starts crying like a b*tch. He runs off to get his mum, and she comes back about 15 minutes later and comes and talks to me (without her son). She asks why I did what I did, and I explain the situation to her, and how it is standard procedure. She nods and understands, and knows that her son is a demon-child.

She leaves, but, lo and behold, 10 minutes later, here he comes. He tries to cut in line again and I stop him, and ask him to go back to his mum. His first reaction was to punch me in the balls. Oh sh*t, no he didn’t.

My supervisor sees and immediately calls security. Apparently his mum saw, too, and she comes running. She doesn’t say anything to her child, but goes and tells the supervisor to “scare” him. When security arrives (30 seconds later) they grab the kid, whirl him around and handcuff him. He’s sh*tting himself at this point. They grab him and take him off in their golf cart.

A few minutes later they return and the kid has obviously been crying… hard. He jumps out of the cart and runs straight to his mum, who grabs him and walks out. People watching were stunned, but amazingly, and I sh*t you not, some applauded as they went off. Best day of work I had at that place.

Passengers Puke On Each Other During A Faulty Ride

From Redditor /u/monkeedude1212:

My horror story involved working the Ocean Motion, you know – the swinging boat ride…

Anyways. So the Ocean Motion is going, doing its thing, swinging back and forth. It’s pretty full and the line-up is pretty solid. When all of a sudden I hear a POP and tons of this black, inky fluid sprays right up through the center of the ride while the boat is in mid-swing. I hit the emergency stop button, but the ride isn’t stopping. Of course, when the boat is in its downswing, all that black fluid comes falling down on the ride passengers.

At this point, I’m a teenager mashing the stop the button… The boat is still swinging. Then I notice that the wheel that’s usually used for braking and slowing the boat down isn’t raised at all. So of course it’s not going to stop. I immediately piece together that it was likely hydraulic fluid that went up, a hose must have come off or cracked or something.

So I grab the phone and call security, as is procedure. Usually you call when you have to close the ride for a few minutes for any reason, usually kids’ sickness. They just log it and the day goes on as normal. So I call security and I’m like, “Send everybody.”

And they’re like, “What?”

And I was like, “Mechanics. Managers. Maybe even paramedics. The Ocean Motion just spewed oil or something all over the passengers and won’t stop. It literally won’t stop.”

Of course, the Ocean Motion is on the farthest end of the park, so even with people rushing, it takes them a few minutes to get here.

And you guys know how a pendulum works, conservation of momentum and all that? The Ocean Motion was at peak swing and it just keeps on swinging. By the time I hung up the phone, everyone in line figured out what was going on and just noped the f*ck out of there.

Here’s where it gets really f*cking gross. Imagine you’re… on the Ocean Motion for the first time. Due to some unexpected failure you’ve got hydraulic fluid in your face creating an awful stench. Not to mention it’s at full-swing for well over five minutes. You want to get off and you’re feeling sick, so you can’t. So what happens involuntarily? You throw up. Of course, you’re on the middle of the Ocean Motion still in full-swing so the vomit goes everywhere, on pretty much everyone in front of you. On their heads, in their faces – gross.

Now imagine you’re in the exact same situation and someone just vomited on your face. How could you hold it in at that point? MORE people start vomiting. This cascading chain of reaction caused like five people to vomit all over each other. The managers and mechanics and medics get there… At this point there [are] very few options: No one wants to go under the boat and do repairs because the thing is still swinging wildly.

Plus, stopping the boat should be the primary concern. So they basically position people at either end of the ride, waiting for it to swing by, then when it was at the peak of its swing, try and grab it and put some friction on it before letting go, to steal a bit of its momentum. It took another good seven or eight minutes to actually get the boat stopped and people off the ride.

I know the managers tried everything: full refund, offered them literally anything in the store, dry cleaning for all the clothes, any number of things. It didn’t stop the lawsuits, but I believe there were some rather large out-of-court settlements.

I worked the rest of that summer, but I’ve never gone there as a patron since.

A Guy Falls 70 Feet And Uses A Wheelchair Permanently

From Redditor /u/longbeachguy:

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 [slid] 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 [gets] 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 f*cking running hop over the ledge. I think what he was trying to do was a cannonball 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 f*cked.

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

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 10th of what he tried to sue for. Yep, the [jerk] 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 me by one of the managers later that he was royally loaded out out his mind.

A Kid Passes Out On A Ride

From Redditor /u/TubbytheIDD:

Worked at King’s Island on a ride called Diamondback. One day the train came back and this kid (about 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 (two 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, [and it] 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.

A Massacred Bird Bleeds All Over A Young Girl

From Redditor /u/JustinitsuJ:

I worked at a local theme park in my late teens, and we had a Sky Coaster-type thing, which is basically a large, 180-foot… structure with two cables hanging from the sides at the top… You get raised up to the top, pull the release cord, free-fall for like 80 feet, then swing back and forth for a bit. It was a blast and a huge attraction.

One day this couple went up and left their five-year-old daughter on the ground to watch. They got to the top and released, after the free-fall they started to swing back up, and a seagull decided to fly towards the cable. The cable won and sliced off the wing to the seagull.

Blood rained down on the poor little girl waiting on the ground, and the seagull spiraled and landed in the bushes a few feet from her. For some reason, she started screaming and the people nearby started to panic. It was an interesting 20 minutes.

Someone Made A Painting With Human Feces

From Redditor /u/duckstuff:

I was working as a ride operator on the Big Bad Wolf (now torn down). It was a slow day for us, so my area manager had me move from my current position to help out the area staff (cleans the park) in a busier part. I didn’t mind because most of the time you just walk around and take in the sights. I also like to keep it clean and the park is usually pretty damn clean. I then got a radio call to come to the men’s bathroom at the German Festhaus.

Now usually this would mean there is an overflow in the trash or some toilet paper on the ground FROM INCONSIDERATE NESTERS (you know who you are!). Well, I walked in and instantly realized something was wrong. The smell… Oh my God, the smell. It was so thick I could taste it.

I walked past the open stalls and still nothing could be seen, but the smell got stronger. The last stall was in sight and it was the [big] stall. I went to the door and opened it. Inside was what looked like a caveman painting of horses and arrows, but drawn in human feces. It was everywhere, literally everywhere.

I immediately went to a couple of stalls over and threw up. I then radioed in that the men’s bathroom was a big nope from me, and put an out-of-order sign on it, not touching that literal sh*t Picasso that was going on in there.

Parents Leave Their Kid Tied To A Pole For Hours

From Redditor /u/fishandchips20:

Not me, but my friend used to work at Disney in Florida. He was standing at the entrance for the line and had to tell a family that their child was too short to ride the ride. They could switch off and ride the ride if they wanted, but one of them would have to stay with the child. They say ok, and walk away.

Well, the child was young enough to be wearing one of those leashes that you can put on your kid. And maybe 20 minutes later, he saw the kid a little ways away. By himself. Tied up to a light pole. So my friend, we’ll call him Rob, resolves to wait a minute before calling it in. Maybe they’re in the bathroom? Not that it makes it okay. Anywho 15 minutes later, the kid’s still tied up and he calls security.

It takes security maybe another 10 to 15 minutes to get there, so the kid has been tied up for at least the better part of an hour now. They come and see the kid and say, “Hey! Wanna come with us? We’re gonna take you somewhere fun!”

And the kid is excited and goes with them. Rob’s shift doesn’t end for another three hours, and he doesn’t see the family come back. Well, the next guy who comes and replaces Rob sees them come back later and freak out. By the time the parents got back and found a manager and found out what happened, their child was already with social services. They were from out of state. They had to go back without their child and return at a later date for a court hearing.

A Worker Makes Everyone Think A Child Plummeted To His Death

From Redditor /u/GuinessSoldier:

Got a good one here: so back in high school I worked as a lifeguard for a small water park on the east coast. The job sucked, the pay was horrible, and the management was a real b*tch, so after the first month of working there, motivation really plummeted.

Well, in order to have insurance, the company that insured the water park hired individuals who would come to the pool as “normal patrons” with hidden cameras and pretend to drown in order to see how fast… one of the lifeguards would rescue them. Additionally, they had this life-size child mannequin that would sink to the bottom, and they would carefully put it in the water to see if any of the lifeguards would spot and rescue it in time.

Now this thing looked like a real kid and was complete with swim trunks and goggles, so underwater, it was close to impossible to differentiate it from a real child. The first time the insurance company did this, the lifeguard on duty failed miserably to spot the dummy within time, so the whole park got audited and everyone had to go through retraining, but the company let us keep the child dummy for training and practice.

Now for the good part – the park was still open to the public while we were going through our retraining and everyone got to take turns carefully placing the dummy into the water and testing each other on how fast they could find it. When it got to my turn for placing the dummy into the water, everyone had pretty much exhausted every way to put this thing into the pool, so I decided that I would one-up everyone and do something nobody thought of.

There was a waterslide that pretty much went around the park, and I came up with the idea that about halfway down, I would throw the dummy over the side of the slide and have it land in the lazy river where nobody watches… Well about halfway down I grab this thing and throw it off of the slide and completely miss where it was supposed to land.

Instead of landing in the pool, this dummy goes headfirst into pavement right in front of where all the chairs and families are relaxing. People were screaming, kids were crying, lifeguards were freaking out – everyone thought they had just seen a kid fall about 40 feet onto concrete and had his face completely smashed in.

After numerous complaints and threats of lawsuits caused by the emotional trauma the guests had endured, I was fired that afternoon. The dummy itself was too damaged to be used anymore.

A Kid Poops His Pants And The Bodily Waste Gets Everywhere

From Redditor /u/melocatones:

I’ve been a lifeguard at an Ohio water park for the last three summers. Pretty steady, solid job – by the time this happened, we were all well into the flow of the season.

It was near the end of the operating day, about 6 pm, and I was working a slide in this complex designed for kids. There was water gushing everywhere in the thing, and about 15 slides scattered throughout it for kids to go on. I was working the top slide.

Being near the end of the day, most of the park had emptied out, and it reached the point where you have the same five kids running throughout the structure, going down the same slides over and over.

I’m at the top slide, in the back of the structure. This kid keeps coming up, something like six or seven years old, and going down the slide. Then, one time he comes up and approaches me slowly. He stops about five feet away, and starts grabbing at his [rear end] from the outside of his swim trunks. He looks at me in deep concentration, then this motherf*cker sh*ts his f*cking pants like he’s never sh*t before.

It was horrible. Explosive diarrhea. It just kept coming. When it was finally done, he looks at me, horrified, and I just say, “Go down the stairs.”

He turns and runs, and I try to signal my leads that someone sh*t their pants. By now, the water that’s pretty much gushing everywhere in this structure is starting to carry the matter off the edges of the platform, onto platforms and slides below. It’s a brown waterfall.

We end up having to close the structure for like 30 minutes, shut off the water, have park services clean it up, etc. Just a big fiasco. Never got paid enough at that job.


A Guy Does Drugs At A Water Park And Has Convulsions

From Redditor /u/dax80:

Used to work graduation parties at a water park. This one kid had the bright idea to do a ton of drugs (don’t know what kind) behind the putt-putt windmill. A short while later, a hypnotist came as part of the entertainment for the school’s all-night party. This kid happened to get hypnotized and was simultaneously on a ton of drugs.

I’m not an expert on hypnotism, but it takes a pretty heavy toll on your brain. Shortly into his hypnotic state, he went nuts, shaking, convulsions, looked like a f*cking zombie movie. Scary as sh*t. Blacked out. Out cold, went to the hospital, and apparently was in critical condition for a few days. Happened in front of the whole school.

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