If you were to ask 15-year-old Edwin (Ed) Walters Jr if he’d still be at his very first job 51 years later, he would have never guessed it.
Currently a maintenance manager, Ed began his career at Dorney Park operating the skee ball game. Between then and now he’s worked in several departments, ranging from games and rides to water quality at Wildwater Kingdom. It’s safe to say that Ed knows Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom from the top of Steel Force to the depths of Thunder Canyon.
As Brad Nesland, VP of Maintenance & Construction puts it, “I think Ed has earned his PhD in amusement park management for all he has done and learned.”
Ed’s history with the park doesn’t start there – he practically grew up here. His father started here when Ed was just one-year-old and worked for 40 years before retiring. Between the two men, there’s a total of 92 years of work at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom.
We are currently in the midst of Ed’s favorite time of the year... besides vacation, of course. The most rewarding part of the job is “seeing the rides run and the kids happy,” he says, and “knowing you and your team did a good job.”
Ed loves the park and is sure to visit frequently in his retirement following this season. He’s not visiting to ride any coasters, though. In fact, he’d rather climb 200ft in the air to work on the coaster than actually ride it.
“Eddie’s commitment and passion for our park is immeasurable,” says Michael Fehnel, VP & General Manager of Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom.
The next maintenance manager has a great role to fill. But don’t worry, Ed has a piece of advice: “You need to be flexible. You need to think before you act.” And remember, “It’s a team. It isn’t just one person. It’s a team.”
On that note, Ed works alongside a talented and dedicated team that “make the years just seem to fly by.” Among these employees are Mike Drey, who has been with Dorney Park for 40 years, and Dennis Meinhart, who has been with the park for 37 years. Along with the entire team, their dedication, commitment, reliability are incredibly important to Dorney Park’s continued success and operation. Incredibly, if you take Dorney Park’s entire full-time team and combine their years of service – the total is a whopping 1,347 years! At an employee luncheon honoring years of service at Dorney Park, Fehnel stated, “this is an absolute amazing team with dedication to the park and each other.”
We wish Ed and his team an AMAZING season at Dorney Park this summer. The work of the maintenance department not only keeps everything running, but ensures park visitors have the best day ever and make memories with their family and friends.