Amusement Parks in Virginia

It's a business to help people have fun. There are trade associations (such as the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) and trade publications (such as Splash Magazine for waterparks).

For most tourism-based employees, however, it's a low wage, seasonal job. Opponents to Disney America questioned how Prince William County would benefit if the seasonal workers were unemployed for long winters. Unlike migrant agricultural workers, the development might have attracted a labor force that chose to stay in the area year-round, increasing the demand for taxpayer-financed services beyond the amount of taxes paid while employed.

One major challenge for tourist sites is to attract and retain workers throughout the "season." Virginia's "Kings Dominion law" prohibits schools from opening before Labor Day. Western counties have been able to obtain exemptions, but the state government has rejected similar requests from school systems closer to the parks in Hanover and James City counties.

Those are, not coincidentally, where the labor pool resides. The parks need workers of high school age to operate rides, sell food, and handle other chores throughout the entire tourist season. Even concessioners in the national parks need staff through the summer - so would it surprise you if the pay scale included a large bonus for staying through August, to discourage employees from quitting in mid-August and slipping in a quick vacation before returning to school?


  • Theme Park Insider

    Parks, Forests, Tourism in Virginia
    Virginia Places