I went to a theme park on Sunday… I pretended I was taking my children, but really it was for me.
And, I have to say, after being relieved of my forty quid for the three of us (we had money off tokens), it was an excellent day all round… the sun was shining, the hotdog was almost completely cooked and the staff weren’t too surly.
So, we arrived nice and early and I immediately dragged the children onto the Pirate Boat (twice), the Space Planes (three times), the Runaway Mine Train, the Whizzee Dizzee (twice), Wipeout (three times), the Grass Cutter, the Dodgems, the Wall of Water, the Log Flume (twice) and the Chairlift…
Okay, the chairlift was less than white knuckle, but the rest was welcome!
Then we did it all again in the afternoon.
It was only after the Whizzee Dizzee (for the second time) that I realised I wasn’t feeling the May West and that we’d been on so many rides in so short a period that I had upset my natural equilibrium. Now, I wasn’t going to admit this to my children who were still in fine fettle but it was with some dread that I approached the Wipeout for the third outing, particularly as it was a ride that looped the loop a few times and there was a fair chance that I might meet whatever I had expelled from my body on the way around the second loop.
Still, there was nothing for it… either I could refuse to ride and lose my new found status as cool Dad or I could take control of my unruly stomach and battle through, as only a true parent can.
I needn’t have worried, though.
My stomach had plenty of time to sort itself out… not because the queue was massive, because it wasn’t, but because the two guys running the ride were so slow.
I don’t mind waiting at a theme park ride and, after yesterday, I can see great benefits in waiting in line between being scared shi… well, scared.
But, on this occasion, it was painful to watch. They were slow at getting the previous group unloaded, then slow checking the carriages for dropped personal effects, then slow getting the next group loaded and slow getting the ride running again.
I was thinking about it (mostly as a way of keeping my nausea under wraps) and, at first I couldn’t see any benefit to going quicker… but of course there is. Better customer service for one thing. More particularly, though, there are other benefits to the business: more sales of photographs (of green people), less time in the queue, more time in the restaurants, to name but two.
It wasn’t the fault of the guys running the ride, it was the training they had received. Sure the safety stuff was spot on – great – it was just the business stuff that was missing.