Ride operators, ride hosts, ride attendant
s, ride ambassadors, kiddie ride operators, height requirement
measurers and queue attendants are all terms used to describe the people who work in amusement park
or theme park
rides. The term ride operator is often the most generic
term for this category of employee
s. The other terms are generally used to specify the location
, responsibilities or are simply a company's specific term of a ride operator. Usually there are very few (1-4) ride operators at flat ride
s and kiddie ride
and more at a roller coaster
or ride simulator
. Responsibilities generally expected for every ride operator are to:
- check (either physically or visually) every part of the safety restraint system for each rider.
- check for loose articles which may fly out during the ride. If needed, these loose articles must be removed from the rider or secured to the rider.
- ensure that there is no glass, food or drink on the ride that may spill or injure another rider during the ride.
- check or double-check the height requirement for every rider that is boarding the ride.
- ensure that the queue is properly filled and that no person in the queue is abusing the rules of the queue/ride (including standing in front of the yellow line or sitting on the queue rails).
- ensure the safety of every rider or person in the station and on the ride at all times.
- ensure that every rider meets the physical and mental requirements for the ride or calls for a supervisor/manager in a close call situation. This includes amputations, riders of larger stature and developmentally challenged individuals.
- operate the ride via controls or control panel and trouble shoot any problems that may occur during the ride cycle if applicable to the position.
In the USA, some states require that ride operators are at least 18 years of age although most states do not. At most amusement parks, those under 18 years of age are usually relegated to children's rides, height checking or restraint checking while those over 18 years of age will push the buttons on the control panel. The ride operator positions in the USA are most often filled by college students and teenagers although many college students may actually be from an international university and are working seasonally at the amusement park through a F-1 visa or J-1 visa. As many as 66,000 of these international students are spread around nationally at seasonal employment places. International students most often come from Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and other European countries. International students are very lucrative as they are able to work through the latter part of August and through most of September whereas high school students and college students return to classes during August.