A few weeks ago, Dino Fazio from Morey’s Piers told me that opening day for him was just 5 weeks away. Since they open on April 4, you can see that I am a little behind in typing this post. But I digress…
Dino’s proclamation made me think of a couple of things.
1. Marty Moose. That poor animated moose that greets the Griswolds at Walley World. All he was trying to do was tell his guests that Walley World was “closed for two weeks to clean and repair America’s favorite family fun-park.” As we probably remember – that didn’t go so well.
2. Dino’s comment also reminded me of when I worked at seasonal parks, and how much I actually missed the excitement and craziness of getting ready to open for the season (and each day) and the bittersweet feeling when the last guest left at the end of the season. We get a little of that from season to season at a year-round park, but it’s really not the same.
3. Lastly, I started thinking about what I would do differently if I were to go back to a seasonal park. Knowing what I know now, I would most certainly change the way I went about training my team members. I used to try to get them as much information as possible up front, set them loose and hope for the best. We did some cross-training on different areas as the season went along, but rarely did we have (or make) the time to continue with additional skill building around service or even leadership.
I think if I had it to do all over again, I would set aside some time over the winter to develop quick-hit training/informational sessions that could be delivered in small increments throughout the season. A quick role play here, a scenario or concept to think through there… nothing fancy or too involved, but enough to keep people focused on the big picture.
This is not to say that you hold back information that is vital to their early survival with you. Instead, you give them chunks of information they can digest and APPLY easily, so they can build on that in the future.
Some of you may be way ahead of me in coming to this realization. I wanted to thank Dino for making me think about this so I could realize it, too!