Many people think that theme parks and amusement parks are the same thing, but in reality they are quite different. Working at one or the other will change the dynamics of your summer job or even your career. Both are great places to work, but you should choose the one that you’d be happier with.
Amusement parks are super fun places to work. Places like Cedar Point and Six Flags are some of the bigger names. They are located all over the country. Amusement parks focus on the aspect of promoting roller coasters and a carnival-like atmosphere. Everything else is secondary. Then there are jobs at Disneyland, which take it to the next level.
Think about the advertisements you’ve seen for these places that usually tell you about the new stand-up, state-of-the-art, roller coaster, not the entertaining shows and happy families. The thrill riding focus also brings in a clientele of thrill seeking college students and teenagers. Amusement parks take the focus off of guest service and focus more on the rush of the parks. The job market is huge though. They are always hiring seasonal or summer employees, but the chances of advancing are slim to none.
Theme parks are much better places to build your resume and look for career advancement opportunities. There is more money involved and a more family based, international group of visitors. Parks like Epcot, Disneyland, or Universal Studios fall into this category. Theme parks offer world-class entertainment, five star hotels, multiple parks, and top notch dining that is all set around a theme. The theme may be the Wild West or an African Safari or a movie studio, but the theme is always there and obvious. Theme parks focus on the experience, not the thrill of it all.
Give it some thought and make a conscious decision on whether you want to work at an amusement park or a theme park. If you want to hang out with friends, ride roller coasters, and have a fun summer job, then you should work at an amusement park. If you are more focus on resume building, career opportunities, and guest service you may fit in better at a theme park. It’s up to you to decide.