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IllumiNights – In My Shoes

July 16, 2010

I have to admit, being a Park Operations Manager, 56 nights of fireworks sounded quite daunting at first. However, I can now say that the hard work that went into planning our nightly celebration has paid off. It’s amazing.

We have a world class Entertainment department at our park, so we knew the fireworks and shows would be spectacular. What we didn’t know was how to make it work, every night, without the guests seeing all the hustle and bustle behind the scenes.

The Parisian Promenade is the first parade in Busch Gardens’ history. As exciting as that sounded, we had concerns. How do we put a parade in the middle of France on a busy Saturday? We managed to pull it off with a lot of planning, walking the route and making adjustments on the fly. We’ve made it possible for our guests to see all the French flare we have to offer without any hassle. It was much easier than we thought.

Another concern is the weather. Every night, the Park Operations duty manager is watching the weather to ensure the shows can go on as scheduled. We continually monitor weather patterns to ensure safety for our guests as well as full enjoyment of the shows and fireworks.

We are also watching attendance and guest flow throughout the park. Sometimes we have to step in and change the flow of traffic by opening extra gates and side pathways. We pay close attention to our in-park attendance to ensure the guest experience is not sacrificed by the park being too crowded.

As 9:30 p.m. draws near, crowds begin to form around the park in anticipation for the Tour de Force fireworks finale. The park duty manager is responsible for watching wind-speed that may affect the fireworks show as well as ensuring our team members are controlling the crowds as necessary.

Many people do not realize all of the work and preparation that goes into each night of IllumiNights. There are many aspects that need to be worked out to make sure the night runs smoothly. I encourage you and your family to come out and see IllumiNights. It’s all for you … afterall.

Rob
Park Operations Manager at Busch Gardens

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashley permalink
    July 16, 2010 1:13 pm

    Rob, I know you have been with the company for a long time as most of the managers. I want to take the time to thank you all for the hard work you guys put not only into the events of the park, but keeping the guests happy with the amazing work you all put into each and every day you all work. I know it’s not easy but you all are always smiling when I see you walking around the park. All of the managers inspire many of us workers, including myself, to continue to have a positive attitude and work hard to ensure that the guests are having a wonderful time. Believe me, the guests and team members alike are amazed by the performance of the spectacular Illuminights. Thank you so much for bringing this wonderful display to life every night.

    Ashley, Germany AH Lead Sup.

  2. Monique permalink
    July 18, 2010 11:34 pm

    Today was my first visit to Busch Gardens ever. This is the best amusement park I have ever been too. I love the rides, the scenery and the different countries. I also got to enjoy the Illuminights display as well. I have purchased a two year platinum pass for my entire family and look forward to using for many years to come.

  3. Nancy permalink
    July 27, 2010 3:15 pm

    Rob –

    Unfortunately, one of the things that you didn’t consider was the impact on those of us that live close to the park. There’s nothing that I can do to escape the noise associated with your nightly fireworks.

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