Carowinds, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Paul Reuben would be proud.
One thing I want to point out is that the park has turned up the level of customer service to about 12 out of 10. It's almost like being at Dollywood. I hope more than anything that continues thru the season.
We noticed the same thing at KI last year, and CP as well, but especially KI. It's almost like the hammer came down and CF park employees are specifically trained with the emphasis on courtesy and helpfulness.
And it's a smart move- there's not much sense in installing a brand new, world class attraction in an attempt to draw a crowd only to have guests hate the overall experience anyway.
It takes two seconds to say "Hi, welcome", "Help you find something?", and "Thanks for stopping by, have a fun day!". It's an easy thing to do, an easy thing to teach, it's free, and it goes a long way with guests. It really is a thing people remember, even if subconsiously, and I'd say it's right up there with great rides and clean grounds.
When we went to CP and stayed at Breakers last year, even the housekeeping staff were interacting with my son. They asked if he was having a good time, what his favorite ride was, etc... I also loved that they had Snoopy in his PJs in the lobby saying good night to the kids. You're right, little things like this from the staff make a HUGE difference.
But then again, what do I know?
It really does. I worked at a putt-putt/go-cart park when I was in high school and the owner was always out and about, interacting with guests in genuine way because he was/is a really nice guy. He stressed the importance of courtesy and proper manners when interacting with customers, but he also lead by example. People would always ask him where he found such nice and polite kids to work for him, as if he bred us on a farm specifically for that, but really it's more about making proper employee behavior part of company policy. Plus, it's important to put employees in a position to succeed, rather than setting them up for disaster. Some things you can't overcome no matter how nice you are.
When I worked for a Ford dealership Ford Motor Company had this initiative to make Ford a brand people connected with, like Apple or Starbucks. FoMoCo sent reps to all the dealerships to work with us to try to make this "connection." They showed us a Chick Fil-A orientation video, the slogan was "We don't teach our people to be nice, we just hire nice people..." Of course this was before CF-A's reputation went down the drain.
I always think of that video when I have an exceptional experience.
(Funny side note: Our dealership scored so low on the employee satisfaction surveys and had so many "anonymous" employee complaints about management and how the place was run that Ford didn't know what to do. When 80% of your employees wouldn't recommend the dealership to their friends & family to buy a car and 65% wouldn't recommend it for service, what can they do? I quit working there shortly thereafter, and Ford pulled their franchise a little over a year later.)Last edited by ShaneDenmark, Thursday, April 9, 2015 12:41 PM
But then again, what do I know?
Popped my carowinds cherry today. I agree the customer service was great, which was a good thing considering the issues they seemed to be having- fury was down 2x, but came back up pretty quickly both times. I couldn't get rides in on afterburn or thunder road due to closures- bummer since it was my one day there. But on to the good stuff:
Fury was awesome- first lap was in front and man that thing is FAST. I had tears streaming from the eyes the entire ride. Hanging over that first drop was amazing. I liked the fast swoopy sections and the turn around/ following dive, as mentioned above, is one of the best moments in the ride. The low over banked turn over the walkway was a fun moment to interact with people below despite not being super thrilling. The turn before the first airtime hill, I thought, was the most lackluster portion of the ride and it seemed there was plenty of space to do something more exciting. Despite the trim the airtime hills were all pretty good and floaty- great moments. The helix definitely could have been more powerful but I did appreciate the head chopper moment from surrounding supports. Second ride in the back was also great- being pulled over the top of that drop was insane. The turn around drop was even better in the back I thought, but overall I'd say front left is the best seat if you can snag it.
I thought intimidator was best in the back seat, and had some pretty strong airtime moments. The trims were definitely grabbing more than I would have hoped but good air nonetheless.
I appreciate the metering of guests at the stations so they aren't madhouses, but man I hate when they don't let you choose your seat. Super weak. I was pretty successful with charming my way into desirable seats and/or lucky with my draw based on when the line was held up but had to bitch just for a minute.
Overall great park, good vibes, and they have a real winner on their hands with Fury 325. Can't wait for the west coast version at CGA (fingers crossed!).
I was at the park again this past Saturday, was able to ride Fury about 5 times, no matter how many times I ride this coaster its an awesome experience, most of my rides have been in the back since I am a single rider. Also was able to talk to the Park Ride Manager, we spoke about single rider lines, having the ride attendants do a better job for single riders to keep the trains full, many trains had empty seats at times.
Love IT Live IT Die for IT!!
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