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So What Do Security Guards Do When the Park Is Closed?

Danny Messinger

As area manager of digital marketing, I get to tell the incredible stories of our park to the world—and take our biggest fans Between the Lines. I’ve been an incurable amusement park fanatic since I was a kid and have worked at two other parks (shout-out to Cedar Point and Valleyfair!). Now, I can’t wait to share my passion with our readers! Find me @DannyMessinger on Twitter.

None of our lives feel quite “normal” right now. We’re all adopting new routines, new job duties (kudos to all the new homeschooling parents out there!), new hobbies and more. At California’s Great America, some of our day-to-day responsibilities have managed to stay rather routine while others have changed drastically.

One of the teams whose jobs have temporarily changed in a particularly interesting way is our security department. When Great America is open, members of this team are some of the first associates you encounter when you get to the park. You see our security team greeting guests at the front gate and roaming the park to answer questions and ensure your safety. Behind the scenes, they do plenty of work, too—monitoring security cameras and working with outside partners.

But when Great America is closed, what does a security guard do exactly? I spoke with our security manager, Rob, to learn more about what it’s like to work at an amusement park during a temporary closure.

Rob says that his days consist of lots of patrolling, and a surprising amount of wildlife encounters.

“The wildlife at the park is used to guests being here,” Rob says. “Their behavior patterns have changed as they search for food and shelter. The team has to be on the lookout for animals inside buildings much more than normal. We’ve seen a few brazen animal intruders so far, like squirrels and possums.”

Rob says the worst thief he’s encountered was a raccoon who stole a few bags of Reese’s Pieces from an employee break area. All these animals are just looking for a quick snack, Rob says, so it’s forgivable. With fewer stray French fries and pieces of popcorn, it’s hard to blame them for “borrowing” a little bit of candy!

Rob has also noted a new family of geese taking up residence in the pond between Flight Deck and Levi’s Stadium. Every few days, he’ll see a handful of goslings cross the midway on their way back to the water.

Rob also says that the temporary closure has given him a chance to be especially physically active.

“I take lots of shifts to do patrols of the park,” he says. “Our team is constantly in the park, looking inside buildings and making sure everything is in order. We’re all about reducing our carbon footprint, so we’re all patrolling on foot or bike more often than normal. I’m hitting about 12 miles per day on my bike while patrolling.”

If riding your bike through an empty amusement park isn’t a life goal, I don’t know what is!

We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to the park in the near future. We are working with local and national health experts to determine when it is safe to reopen, and we plan to do so just as soon as it is safe.

Stay tuned to our website, and follow us on social media (we’re @cagreatamerica on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) for updates. For now, stay home and stay healthy!

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Danny Messinger

As area manager of digital marketing, I get to tell the incredible stories of our park to the world—and take our biggest fans Between the Lines. I’ve been an incurable amusement park fanatic since I was a kid and have worked at two other parks (shout-out to Cedar Point and Valleyfair!). Now, I can’t wait to share my passion with our readers! Find me @DannyMessinger on Twitter.

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