Day in the Life as A Storm Chaser Operator


June 05, 2024

I’m James Atkinson and I have been on Kentucky Kingdom’s team for two seasons—first as a ride operator and now as a marketing intern! Being a Louisville native, I have also been a guest at this park since I was born. Each year, I always look forward to the first day of the season when we get to open our gates to guests, helping families create memories worth repeating! Each day at Kentucky Kingdom can look a little different, especially with my new role, but one thing is for sure, we always have LOADS of fun!


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Storming into the Morning

Each morning as a ride operator, I would stroll into the park before we opened the gates for guests so that I could perform checks on the ride. I’d also meet with my operating team before we begin work for the day. I still have a great relationship with our ride operators—especially those on Storm Chaser. We would have fun together in the Storm Chaser station while ensuring the best for our guests.

Every morning, I would meet with my team to review any important updates, the day’s agenda, and key information for our roles. Working at Kentucky Kingdom has given me the chance to grow as a host and future marketing professional, and it helps that we have the best staff and leaders! I have gained so many tools to help further my career, such as teamwork, leadership, accountability, and much more. These tools can be carried on from work into everyday life when I interact with family, friends, and the community.

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Preparing for the Storm

Storm Chaser can’t chase these storms alone! To be sure that the ride was ready to give guests maximum thrills and maximum safety, I would head over to my ride every morning to begin going through our safety checklist to make sure we could give the green light for a thrilling experience. Once we would get the final “All Clear!”, then I would get to see guests screaming for joy all day long!

It feels rewarding to know that I’m actively helping to bring joy into the lives of our guests. I love knowing that guests are having fun at the park! Working here is fulfilling because as a lifelong guest, I relate to our visitor’s yearning for a high thrill and a fun day at Kentucky Kingdom.

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After Chasing the Storms

As sad as guests are to leave at the end of their day, I feel a pinch of that too as a former ride operator and now intern. In my case though, I get to come back the next morning and make it all happen again.

Another perk of working at Kentucky Kingdom is getting the opportunity to have our own fun at Kentucky Kingdom and other amusement parks for free! For example, we can visit any of our other sister parks such as Dollywood or Silver Dollar City and receive free admission for ourselves and one friend.

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Want to join the fun?

Kentucky Kingdom is always looking to grow our team! With too many perks to count, we play an active role in creating memories for families, thrill seekers, and everyone in between! It’s also the best summer job I could imagine. We have fun on and off the clock and look forward to returning each year to give guests the best experience possible. A job at Kentucky Kingdom isn’t just a job, it’s a chance to spread joy and create memories — for guests and yourself — that are bound to last a lifetime.

Join our team for the 2024 season at


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