goliath

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  1. I visited WnW Sydney for the first time today and have a few observations. Efficiency No doubt about it, from an operational perspective the park is pretty poorly run. It was a very busy day (overflow car park was 3/4 full at midday) but many of the towers were running significantly below capacity. This was largely due to a chronic shortage of staff. For example, one tower only had two staff manning around six slides. So you'd have people sitting in their tube waiting to go for around a minute before the staff member comes over to launch them. Absolutely ridiculous. To add to the problem it wasn't clear (and still isn't really clear to me) if guests are 'allowed' to launch their own raft when the light goes green, or if they're meant to wait for a staff member to say go. We ended up just going when it was green but most people would wait for a staff member to physically come around. There needs to be better communication around this, for example signs or something on the audio loop about it (the audio loop mentioned every instruction you could think of except this, arguably the most important thing to know...). Even at the towers which were adequately staffed, slides were still running below capacity due to rafts not being sent up the conveyor belt in a timely fashion (leading to large gaps in the belt where staff at the top were waiting for a raft). From my observation this was largely due to incompetence on the part of the lifeguard feeding the rafts onto the belt at the bottom. At the front gate at opening time, the the ticket scan devices (virtual turnstiles?) at the edges were staffed but no guests were using them. One of the guys was sort of half heartedly calling for people to come through him but no one really noticed. It would be good if staff would take a leaf out of Disney's book and be a bit more vocal/proactive/less meek. Due to this overall disregard for efficiency, you had significantly longer lines than would otherwise be the case. Does management not realise that when people are in lines they aren't spending money elsewhere in the park? Staff Overall I think the staff were friendly, but there seems to be a culture of haphazardness. I saw two examples of this. First, we noticed some young kids using the Fast Lane (I think that's what they call it) line despite not having a wristband entitling them to it. The staff member at the top either didn't notice or was too nice to say anything, and let them on before everyone else. This makes a total mockery of the system. Second, parking was ostensibly $10 (or $8 if you pay at the gate). However, the boom gate at the exit was held up and the staff member manning the booth was just sitting there not doing anything. As a result, we (and seemingly a few other cars which also noticed this) just drove out without paying with no repercussions, as there was no one (or no machine) checking the ticket anyway. A bit bizarre that VRTP would be willing to literally just throw money away like this, but whatever. I'm not complaining about getting free parking. Environment The park could definitely do with more foliage and is overall looking pretty sparse. It's not clear to me why they haven't planted more trees around the place, it's a bit of a concrete jungle. I mean, overall it's not that bad but there is definitely room for improvement. A bit nitpicky but many of the signs around the place had poor grammar, for example random words would be capitalised (this seemed to be a trend right throughout the park). The safety announcement on the towers advises that guests over x "KGs" cannot ride, nor can guests under x "centimetres". Why does the recording say the letters 'KG' when it means kilograms, and then goes on to say 'centimetres' (and not continue with the trend and say CMs)? Seems a bit unprofessional/amateurish. Attractions Putting aside the manner in which they were operated, all the slides were of a high quality and fun. Carrying the two person rafts up the tower was a bit tricky due to the extremely narrow queue. It wasn't a huge deal for me but I heard many people complaining about this whilst lining up. A case of poor design/not thinking things through. Half the lazy river was closed for some reason, which was annoying considering how busy it was. Probably once again due to a shortage of staff? I think the way this park was designed (i.e. four towers in different corners of the park) lends itself well to a Typhoon Lagoon-style lazy river which winds away around the whole park, allowing people to get off at 'stops' for the attractions they want to visit. Conclusion It's definitely not the world's best water park as suggested by VRTP, but we had a good time overall. However, there is significant room for improvement, principally in terms of operations. Many of my criticisms can be remedied relatively cheaply (better staff training, a few more trees). VRTP would be well advised to poach a senior manager from the ranks of Disney Parks (renowned for the efficiency of their operations) to enable the park to reach its operational potential.
  2. goliath

    Dreamworld no longer a Theme Park

    It’s pretty clear that Dreamworld is a theme park - the theme being an inferior, poorly maintained amusement park with a haphazard collection of attractions. At least that’s what I thought they were going for...
  3. goliath

    Maintenance Schedule

    It's really not unheard of for parks to close certain attractions at periods of low demand. The Epcot Wonders of Life pavilion in the years leading up to its closure and the Carousel of Progress at MK spring to mind. Having said that Dreamworld really doesn't have that many 'E-ticket' attractions so I'd be extremely sceptical of the suggestion that they're closing it to save money. Dreamworld's operations are bad, but they're not quite at Luna Park levels just yet (give them a couple more years).
  4. goliath

    Dreamworld New Ride September 2014

    I have it on good authority from one of Dreamworld’s most reliable hot dog vendors that they’ve secured the old Metropolis from Luna Park Melbourne. It’s likely to be an up-charge attraction and its theming will invoke a travelling carnival in an era before the advent of modern occupational health and safety standards. I can't wait!
  5. To me this development is reminiscent of Epcot's World Showcase, although obviously the whole thing's only themed to one country. Having said that there are still many questions - will there be an entry fee, or will it just be an area with a few Chinese style buildings and a pagoda? If they go for the former option (which I doubt) then it'll be interesting to see how much detail they go into with the theming - if it's sufficiently detailed and high quality then I wouldn't hesitate to call it a theme park. If they go for the latter option then I'd say it's more of a cultural park. Interestingly The Australian refers to it as both a theme park and cultural centre in this article: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/wyong-embraces-chinese-proposal-for-a-500m-cultural-headquarters/story-e6frg6n6-1226801063437 Having said all that the 'theme park' label being used by the media appears to have come from the name of the Chinese consortium planning the project which is named 'Australian Chinese Theme Park Pty Ltd'. Most likely it's a case of lost in translation and they really meant cultural centre.
  6. ^Yeah, it was featured on a number of TV news reports and radio newses around NSW today. Apparently construction may begin as soon as December. There's quite a bit of info on the Wyong Council website: http://www.wyong.nsw.gov.au/for-business/chinese-theme-park---warnervale/
  7. goliath

    High Ticket Prices

    From the perspective of a dollar for dollar comparison to other theme parks around the world, Australian parks have severely inflated prices. When you take into account the quality of Australian parks then their relative cost becomes even more absurd. Taking a look at it from a different perspective though I don’t think Australian parks are that bad. For example, for a cast member at WDW it’d take a bit over 13 hours of work to afford a one day entrance pass to Magic Kingdom at the gate (obviously they get free entry, but indulge me). I’m not sure what a standard Dreamworld employee earns but I’d imagine that it’s around $20 an hour, which means it would only take them 5 hours to be able to afford an equivalent one day pass at the gate. Even if they were earning the national minimum wage ($16.37) it’d still only take them a little over six hours to afford that ticket, which is less than half as long as it'd take the WDW employee. In other words, if you’re a low income theme park fan in Australia you’re over twice as better off as one in the US. Or, our high wages (over)compensate for our high theme park prices.
  8. goliath

    Coaster Engineering

    Having worked for Disney I can shed a bit of light on the 'ride controls' question. They generally have a similar control panel layout for all of their attractions. For coaster/train type rides the main buttons that are used are: Mode select (maint or normal): maintenance mode allows the operator to override the usual safety requirements for when guests are not present. Emergency stop: stops the entire ride and associated effects Station stop: stops the train within the station. Station stop reset/recover: obvious. Advance: sends train. Advance enable: generally used by a second operator at the rear of the train. Must be held down (like a shift button) to enable the primary operator to send train. Pretty much a safety feature. Station gates switch (open/auto/close): obvious one. Restrain release: generally set to 'auto'. Stop gates: obvious. Lamp test: generally used when you're really bored. Nothing particularly exciting really, just what you'd expect from a ride control panel!
  9. goliath

    New Theme Park

    With unlimited money? I would purchase the island of Tasmania and install every ride and roller coaster at every amusement park around the world, making mine the greatest theme park which ever existed. Simple.
  10. goliath

    URL of theme park news parody site

    How insulting. That wasn't 'Mark'.
  11. ^Yeah! I remember that park in America that was building that new coaster, but when they found out some coaster nerds were saying they didn't like the colours, they decided to take it down. Let's make sure that doesn't happen guys! Movie World, the colours are fine. Continue with construction please. /sarcasm
  12. ^Nice reply. It's not like it's rocket science or anything...just a bucket with water - not that hard to get your head around.
  13. goliath

    The Demon

    Calm down lisalila, I never told you to 'get over the topic', I told you to get over the spelling mistake. Just for you, I'll make the text nice and big so you can understand the situation. The spelling mistake was done on purpose for comedic effect. It did make sense before Mickey edited his post. Now can you please drop this? No one really cares that you didn't understand my post (including me). It's very petty, and I'm sure it's getting annoying for people who are just trying to read this thread.
  14. ^No one's complaining, just voicing their opinions. I disagree, I think the entrance is very important, because essentially, it sets the 'mood' of the entire park.