Do you love roller coasters? Great! Then you’ll love this episode! Once you look behind the curtain, amusement parks are basically one giant industrial operation. Today, we’re going to be pulling some manufacturing lessons from the world of attractions and entertainment.
From ride operations to consulting, Josh Liebman has made a career out of having a fun. He’s the co-host of the AttractionPros podcast and has worked in the amusement industry for over a decade. Having picked up a thing or two about keeping a park running and creating an unforgettable customer experience, Josh shares what he’s learned through stories from his days operating roller coasters and leading guest service communications at some of the world’s most renowned theme parks. From Universal Islands of Adventure to Cedar Point, this episode covers some thrilling ground while providing cross-industry advice for leaders in fast-paced environments.
3 Quick Things from this Episode
- The 5 keys for successful park operations include safety, efficiency, service, cleanliness, and show.
- The words you choose and how you communicate when addressing a challenging guest services (i.e. customer experience) situation at an amusement park can greatly impact the outcome.
- Guest experience is so important because theme parks aren’t a necessity. Guests can choose to spend their time elsewhere, the same way manufacturers aren’t immune to competition.
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- “[Guest experience] is not a transactional exchange…it needs to go beyond something that has a monetary component to it.” –Josh Liebman
Please Scroll Down for Full Show Notes and Recommended Resources from this Episode
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Concept Systems Inc. is an independent systems integrator and your automation solution partner for anything from antiquated control system retrofits to greenfield controls coordination and project management. Learn more about them on Episode 7 of Manufacturing Happy Hour.
What We Discuss with Josh
- Josh shares the story about how he got into roller coasters by spending summers visiting – and eventually working at – Cedar Point.
- Safety, efficiency, service, and cleanliness all have an impact on guest experience.
- Josh spent a summer operating Maximum RPM! at Hard Rock Park where he encountered one of the most unique park operations issues of his career. We discuss how to communicate between maintenance, operations, and guests during a non-ideal scenario.
- “Show” is another contributor to a great guest experience, but what “show” looks like can vary greatly depending on the type of theme park.
- As Sr. Coordinator in Guest Service Communications at Universal Islands of Adventure, Josh wraps up the episode by discussing how he turned lemons into lemonade when he created a memorable experience
- AttractionPros, a podcast for leaders in attraction industries
- Cedar Point, the greatest amusement park on the planet boasting 17 roller coasters, including Magnum XL-200, Gemini, and Raptor
- Universal Islands of Adventure, home of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Revenge of the Mummy, an immersive dark ride at Universal Studios Florida, as well as Universal Studios Hollywood
- Intamin, makers of some of the best giga coasters (roller coasters over 300 ft. in height)
- Rocky Mountain Construction, a roller coaster manufacturer known for retrofitting wooden roller coasters and turning them into wooden-steel “hybrid” coasters
- Bolliger & Mabillard, a Swiss coaster design house that has built some of the world’s most iconic coasters
- Alton Towers, an amusement park located in Stoke-on-Trent, England that is arguably the world’s most beautiful amusement park
- Raging Bull, one of the most underrated roller coasters in the world, located at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL
- Millennium Force at Cedar Point and Superman The Ride at Six Flags New England are 2 of the best roller coasters ever built. Period.
Hear More from Josh on this Bonus Episode of Manufacturing Happy Hour!
We just finished discussing what manufacturers can learn about operations and customer experience from the amusement park industry, so now let’s have some fun. Josh is back for another episode, only this time, it’s all about roller coasters.
We’ve each ridden our fair share of coasters around the world and it’s a wonder that we kept this episode to less than an hour. We’ll be sharing some of our favorite rides, trips, and stories about some of the craziest coasters on the planet. While we might not be talking about industry best practices in this episode, there’s no better topic to give us a short “vacation” from our typical content.