1. This unsettling closing task:
"One of my friends was a ride operator for the summer and told me that at the end of the day, one of her duties was to walk the track and pick up all of the bolts that fell off of the coaster that day."
2. This tricky illusion:
"I was a carnival worker for three years. In the basketball game, the hoops were oval-shaped, and yes, it's legal. You aren't going to win unless you hit a direct swish, so shoot high."
3. This interesting tactic:
"In the that park I worked at, the games were easier to win earlier in the day so that people would carry around the giant prizes and entice other people to play."
4. This powerful ability:
"I could individually control the speed of each go-kart, so if you were a dick to me, you were going to lose every race you were in."
5. This sneaky snack placement:
"We used to crank up the amount of salt in the fries and then build a soda stall next to it. Next, we'd remove some of the paths to trap guests in the salty fry and expensive soda area. We made a killing."
6. This sly tracking:
"Everything is tracked...literally. My ID badge was swiped to start a carnival game, and if it was a 'race' type game like the game where you squirt a water gun to fill a balloon, it tracked which side I started the game on, how many people were playing, and where they were sitting. It also tracked how many prizes were won, which seats were lucky, which weren't, and it adjusted things accordingly."
7. This loose-nailed nightmare:
"I worked at one of the larger theme parks for a couple of summers in my teens as a ride operator. You would be amazed at just how shoddy the maintenance work actually is. There was an older wooden coaster that had become much less popular over the years, so it was not well kept. Maintenance crews walked the entire track every morning to tamp down any loose nails."
8. This bounce house blaze:
"I worked at a traveling dinosaur-themed carnival when it came through during college. I was in charge of one of the bounce houses. Once, the generator caught the bounce house on fire at the end of the day. The next day, it was patched really poorly and the generator was still in the same spot."
9. This secret code:
"On most of the larger attractions and rides, we have a system of signals and gestures to make fun of you behind your back. It keeps the long, repetitive, and hot day somewhat interesting."
10. This ring toss scheme:
"All of the popular games have cameras installed in them. Ring Toss has four cameras. If the attendant gets distracted and a ring lands on one of the outer two rings of bottles, they have to call it in. People notoriously have little kids lean over, just place it, and try and guilt the attendant into giving away big-ass bears."
11. These structural souvenirs:
"Most employees who used to work on rides have taken excess ride parts that were never installed. I have a limit switch and some other minor items, and some of my friends have old seat belts and proxies."
12. This subtle cheat:
"For any shooting games (like shoot the duck or shoot the cup), check how straight the barrel of the rifle is. Normally in Ireland, they bend the barrel to the right so your shot will be off, so check the straightness and then adjust your shot!"
13. This rebranding:
"I used to work in a theme park that does a major Halloween-themed event every year. The haunted houses use the same props and set pieces in similar scenes every year with a new coat of paint to match the current theme. The shows use an almost identical script year after year plugging the latest pop culture icons into the same pointless story they've been telling for decades."
14. This toxic tattooing:
"I used to work at a theme park as a henna tattoo artist. The company I worked for had a contract to work within the park. We had to get the customers to sign a waiver stating that the black henna ink we used didn't contain a certain chemical that some people had a super bad reaction to. I'm pretty sure it did anyway. That stuff also smelled like they'd thrown some Sharpies into a blender."
15. These wasted workers:
"Literally half (or more) of the staff are still drunk from the night before, so just be cautious. There were several times that the guards came to work blackout drunk and couldn't remember how they got to work that morning."
16. And this winning button:
"There is a button I push that makes you win or lose the big hammer smash game. We are told to push the 'lose' button 10 times for every 'win' button."