Magic Mountain 2/18/06---Sheep to the Slaughter!

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, March 5, 2006 11:20 AM

All I know is that there are parks that employees generally consistently deliver exctly the service we're discussing. So what's their secret?

Location? Pay? Training? Benefits? All of the above?


Hmm. Here's one more to think about: customer demographics.

For the most part, the parks that are often cited as providing top customer service are *not* targeting the thrill-minded, teenaged set. Even CP, which many people claim provides good customer service, is mediocre. They have good capacity, and keep the park generally clean, but the person-to-person interaction between employees and guests ranges from adequate to indifferent.

The Knott's "toolboy" comment is a good example of this. If your main market is teens who really don't give a crap about what other (non-teen) people think of them, then why bother trying to get them to think kindly of you, too? (And, folks, this isn't new at all. Teens have never given a crap about what non-teen people thought of them, because that's their job---to estabilsh their own identities, not the ones their parents chose for them.)

On the other hand, Disney's market is families with lower-grade-school and younger children. And, while you can always find the infrequent Ugly Parent (ignoring or worse, abusing, their kids, etc.) most of them care very much indeed. In fact, I was pretty pleased to see that, during my visit to Orlando last week, most guests were rather well behaved, and appreciative of the same in turn.

The one notable exception was the woman who gave her one year old a 2-foot-long tinkerbell wand, while she was sitting next to me waiting for Spectromagic. It took about 300 milliseconds before I got clocked in the head with it, predictably.

+0
Monday, March 6, 2006 3:54 PM
Wait a minute! You weren't able to fly after that??! ;)
+0
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 1:04 PM
I only read the first two pages of posts, and people keep saying "oh, it was just a bad/lunlucky day"....

shouldn't they be striving for every day to be a good day?

I swear, every trip report i've read since the ride opened, X doesn't open until at LEAST an hour after park opening, and rides test when the park opens, rather than before.

If i travel from NY and only got one trip there... I would want it to be the best it can be. "Bad day" = "bad trip" for me, and bobviouslly i will have negative feelings.

A park ran in february should be just as good as one running in June... maybe local's know about the maitnence, but maybe let the general public know of these things. Put it on the website that XXX rides will be closed because of tatsu construction, etc.

They've had tons of years to change BEFORE shapiro... everyone says it takse time. If I visited in 2000 and wanted to give them a chance in 2006, and had a bad experience again... everyone is saying that things can't turn around in a day. Well, it's been 6 years for me and things aren't different...

know what i mean?

/// just sayin'... *** Edited 3/15/2006 6:05:13 PM UTC by SFDL_Dude***

+0
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 8:55 PM
Well, here I am. I said I would give an unbiased opinion about MM after my visit, and I'll do just that, now.

Let's see, when your morning starts out talking to a completely puzzled security guard, asking what your doing in the parking lot a 7:15 in the morning, you start to wonder yourself, What's going on here?

Anyway, after explaining to the puzzled security guard that I was there for West Coaster Bash, he still had no frickin clue as to why I wsa there. So he, and the person in the security van with him, drive off the the front gate area, and I continue to walk toward the entrance. About 2 minutes later,the guard came driving past me again, this time giving an okay sign(NO SH EINSTEIN!).

Now comes the next phase of, "Valencia we have a problem". I get to the front gate, and the other person who was in the security van is now standing up there watching me enter through the only open gate. He now proceeds to ask me, "What are you doing here?"

HELLO! Didn't I just explain this to both you and the security guard 5 minutes ago. He then said that I wouldn't be able to enter the park until 9:30ish?(I forget the actual time he gave me), when the metal detectors will be turned on. With that, I brought it back to his attention, that I was there for an event that started registration at 7:30 in the morning.

Again to his surprise he said that he would have to call someone. Mind you that a park rep was standing no more than 50 feet away from him, talking to the event organizers, and he didn't seem to recognize her.

The 3rd part of this comedy hit everyone who showed up for the event. Apparently, the maintenance crew for X never got the memo that there was going to be an event at the park, and they never showed up to have it up and running for the morning ERT.

You know what, I'll jsut leave my report with those rather interesting points. If your parks management can't get one simple morning event to come off without a hitch, then how do you expect them to keep the park running all season long?

+0
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 11:16 PM
WOW! Just wow.
+0
Thursday, March 16, 2006 12:17 AM
Communication between various depts. seems to be a problem for almost all parks, I've seen that kind of thing happen at events all over the place. SFMM just has it worse than most....

At SFMM, we took note of LOTS of new paint, a MUCH cleaner park, friendlier staff for the most part, a real good crew on X when it did open. And costumed characters - who could be unhappy with Bugs and Daffy around?

These kinds of things will go over WELL in Mid-America. In fact, I thought I saw more improvements than lack of same. One-train ops was the rule, but crowds were pretty light.

The people attending the park? Families were in VERY short supply, teenagers were EVERYWHERE. The family-focused management will pay big dividends elsewhere, but at SFMM, I don't think that's likely to become their market, regardless of how nice things become...

+0
Thursday, March 16, 2006 2:26 AM

rollergator said:


The people attending the park? Families were in VERY short supply, teenagers were EVERYWHERE. The family-focused management will pay big dividends elsewhere, but at SFMM, I don't think that's likely to become their market, regardless of how nice things become...


I agree with this. Magic Mountain over the past 5 or 8 years has carved itself its own niche in the SoCal theme park market as a thrillride haven -- which is what mostly only young adults and teens seek when it comes to theme parks. The park's reputation is set in stone as the place where thrill-seekers go in the L.A. area. When 99% of SoCal families decide to make a trip out to a theme park they go to Disneyland, not Magic Mountain. Knott's has somehow maintained the ability to wade in waters in between Disneyland and Magic Mountain - complete polar opposites (although Knott's is nosediving into the dumpster from what I've been seeing from the past year or two). I agree that no matter how nicely Magic Mountain is shaped up pertaining to aesthetics, no matter how many costumed characters they have walking around, no matter how efficiently they have their attractions operating, that won't hike up family-group attendance by any noticeable amount -- at least not anytime soon. It'll take YEARS for the park to change the public's perception about them just because they've been operating as a thrill park for so many years and its reputation has stuck like glue on paper.

+0
Thursday, March 16, 2006 4:02 PM

I get to the front gate, and the other person who was in the security van is now standing up there watching me enter through the only open gate. He now proceeds to ask me, "What are you doing here?"

HELLO! Didn't I just explain this to both you and the security guard 5 minutes ago.


It is all part of the new Disneylike family atmosphere. That guy was "Dora" the security guard!

+0
Thursday, March 16, 2006 7:53 PM

Jeffrey R Smith said:

I get to the front gate, and the other person who was in the security van is now standing up there watching me enter through the only open gate. He now proceeds to ask me, "What are you doing here?"

HELLO! Didn't I just explain this to both you and the security guard 5 minutes ago.


It is all part of the new Disneylike family atmosphere. That guy was "Dora" the security guard!


Thank God I didn't ask for his autograph then. I wonder which characters get more money at MM. The Looney Tunes, and Super Heroes, or the ones in charge of running the park.

+0
Friday, March 17, 2006 2:02 PM
^That'll be 8 dollars, please.
+0
Friday, March 17, 2006 9:52 PM
LOL, RGB.
+0
Saturday, March 18, 2006 12:31 AM

RatherGoodBear said:
^That'll be 8 dollars, please.

Damn! I should have known. It's $10 dollars for the actual autograph, but $8 dollars if you just mention it. Oh Well! Where do I send the check?

+0
Saturday, March 18, 2006 3:02 PM
(Sweeps open hand over head)
+0
Saturday, March 18, 2006 8:30 PM
The park definitely doesn't "suck" and neither do the rides. Geesh..... I'm by no means a MM "regular," nor do I have anything to gain (or lose) in defending the park, but I think if I had such preconceived notions that I was going to have such a sucky day - anywhere - I'd stay home and keep my mouth shut.

+0
Friday, March 24, 2006 8:35 AM
Customer relations is an important thing for themeparks, I think everybody can agree on that -
especially so since a coaster- or thrillride park is by nature a problematic construction:
People spend most of the time queueing up instead of riding - a fact that accounts for lots of disappointments that are frequently complained about - so if people are "by nature" in a state of mild disappointment and are left to either entertain themselves or feed their brain with trashy cartoon themeing, it becomes even more important that their surrounding is friendly and treats them with respect.

I think though there are other aspects of coaster parks as well - for example, it is an enormously daunting endeavour to keep all coasters safe up and running -
Just think of all the bolts and screws that need to be checked regularly: hundreds of people trust these coasters with their lives every day - what an incredible responsibility!
Considering its many coasters, SFMMs record seems to hold up pretty well in that department.
Personally, I can absolutely live with a coaster-operator that forgets to put on the smiley as long as I can trust in the rides being maintained to maximum safety.
SFMM is like a little city in itself with all its employees and engineers - and I can only pay a lot of respect to people who can keep such a structure organised and working.

+0
Friday, March 24, 2006 9:26 AM

ophthodoc said:
The park definitely doesn't "suck" and neither do the rides. Geesh..... I'm by no means a MM "regular," nor do I have anything to gain (or lose) in defending the park, but I think if I had such preconceived notions that I was going to have such a sucky day - anywhere - I'd stay home and keep my mouth shut.

preconceived notions? He started off saying it was non-bias. A bad day at a park is a bad day at a park no matter what preconceived ideas you have, especially if it starts out as he described.

Also, isnt part of keeping the "structure" organised keeping every part of it in working order? Just from what Ive read in some of these reports and about the event with the security guard/X ERT things dont seem too organised with so many rides down and maintanence crews forgetting they are suppose to be there. If someone was a first timer there or didnt no better, then it would be hard to not wonder if the poeple who are just suppose to watch over the gate at the moment are so mi-informed, what about the poeple you are trusting your life with?

Just saying, I may be completely wrong, I only go by the bunch of reports Ive read about this place and this thread. *** Edited 3/24/2006 4:02:37 PM UTC by P18***

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...