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goliath

Wet'n'Wild Sydney trip report - first time visitor Jan 2016

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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.

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Lazy river operation seems to be due to staff. Noticed they were slow to open it today and when they did they only used half of it 360 Rush (Aqualoop) was only running one side (green/blue) too so guessing more saving on staff although it wasn't that busy so can justify it. Getting in was easy. Queue most of the way back to the drop off area but cleared in almost no time.

Edited by pin142

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