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K8theGr8

The Big Bad Wolf Removal generation
Sep 29, 2011
84
136
90
VA
Hello all.

First of all, to set the tone for this post, the first week of September I had a loss in my family. It has been a really hard time for us, but we are going to be okay. I have wonderful family and friends! And the hope for the future that I will see my loved one again!

As you can imagine, I have been very busy with life and funeral plans and comforting grieving loved ones... So I haven't been posting. I would jump on here for a second or two to see if anything major was happening, and I "thanked" a couple of posts here and there. I also have been keeping an eye on the CT page, waiting to see some things come up... that never came.

I have a trip planned for CT this December. It will be the first time I've been back since 2011, and I was VERY excited! However, it appears to me that they have taken away 2 of the things that were my absolute favorite parts or CT, Hands down. The first is having a coaster open (Besides Verbolten! My hubs and I are not fans of Verbolten at all, and don't consider it a real coaster. Please don't hate, It's just our opinion.). In 2011, Alpengeist was open, and riding that over and over until our faces froze, seeing the whole park lit up as we flew through the dark... It was the most fun I have ever had in a theme park. Anyway, the second thing was the CT VIP tour. In 2011, we took the tour and it was the most incredible experience. It was very expensive, but in my opinion, it was worth every penny! I am very disappointed that these things are not coming back.

So, I decided to write an email to Guest Relations with my suggestions. The thing is, there are a million things I would have liked to share my opinion on before now... but there's something about Christmas Town that is so dear to my heart... You just don't mess with my Christmas Town. So, I opened the email by establishing that I am a raving fan of BGW, and I care about what has been happening in the park. Also, I let them know that even though I am not a passholder THIS year, I have been attending the park since before I could walk, and have been a passholder for many years. Then I expressed my concern that they bring back my 2 favorite things. I said that I was considering not going this year, or shortening my visit, because I was disappointed, and there would not be much for us to do that we haven't already seen. I even said that I would not mind paying MORE MONEY for the VIP tour, if that was the issue. One of the reasons I loved the VIP tour was also because you paid a flat price for 3 days of admission. Now, the only options for the GP are One Day admission, and a Colonial Williamsburg bounce ticket. By the way, the new GP ticket site SUCKS, while the Passmember one seems to have stayed the same... Anyway...

These were just concerns from a guest. I know I am not very important to them, and I don't have much of a voice. That's fine. Should they bring back a coaster and a tour just for one person? Of course not. I guess the point is that I JUST WANTED TO BE HEARD AND UNDERSTOOD. But I was not. This is what I got back.

BGW Guest Relations
To: Me

Dear Katelynn:

Thank you for contacting Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Any ideas that you may have related to our Parks should be submitted to the website at:

www.seaworldideas.com

We appreciate your interest in our Parks and are glad you will be visiting with us during Christmas Town.

Thanks again for visiting our website. Should you require additional information, please contact our Customer Information & Sales Center at 1-800-343-7946.

Sincerely,
[Redacted]

Guest Correspondence Team

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

BGW.GuestRelations@BuschGardens.com

www.buschgardens.com

My reaction:

:mad: WHAT!?! :mad:

First of all, Sea World Ideas is a site for unsolicited NEW ideas for the parks. THIS WAS NOT A NEW IDEA!

Maybe I'm overreacting. Maybe I'm just in a rough place in life... but IT PISSED ME OFF BEYOND BELIEF. Guest relations did not RELATE with the guest effectively whatsoever. I really love the line
"We... are glad you will be visiting with us during Christmas Town."
HAha! Genevieve... with that response, you really may not be seeing me at the park this year...

:mad: UGH! :mad:


Ok, I'm calm now.

So, the whole point of this post is that I really just want somebody who works at BGW to give a crap about my opinion. Is that so much to ask? Heck, I was EXPECTING my ideas to be shot down. Even a generic letter saying, "We will forward this to the appropriate departments. Thanks for your suggestions." Would have made me very happy. But no.

So... My question is where do I go from here? Give up any hope of the park giving a crap about the guest? Start going to King's Dominion instead? Or does someone have an email address or name or something? Someplace to start in my quest to be heard.

Now, there was this line,
"Should you require additional information, please contact our Customer Information & Sales Center at 1-800-343-7946."

Is this phone number going to get me anyone who gives a crap? Or more people like [Redacted], scanning emails and giving inaccurate scripted responses, so that she can get through her inbox faster and get to her lunch break?

By the way, I really prefer email addresses, because then I can take my time and calmly form my words instead of yelling at people and saying things I'll regret.

So, This is why I started a new thread. Maybe you guys have some information on getting our opinions heard. If you are on this site, you are the portion of guests at BGW that ACTUALLY CARES. Why else would you be here?

So... how can we be HEARD?


I also wanted to say that I don't mind if this is moved to a different thread or section of the site. I looked, but couldn't find anything else like this.
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
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Some people have advocated emailing Jim Atchison at SW. I have no idea if this works or not, but reportedly he reads his mail?

(I am so sorry for your loss.)
 
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Sep 10, 2012
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I never had the "VIP Tour"; What more did it have then this?

attachment.php
 

Zachary

Administrator
Sep 23, 2009
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I hate to say it, but this is the new standard for the park. I haven't heard of anyone having any meaningful exchange with guest relations, marketing, social media, or any other public-facing department within the park for years now. To be honest, I sorta thought that was fairly standard across the industry until I shot an email off to Kings Dominion this year and received a long-form highly detailed response directly from the Public Relations Manager with assurance that my message would be forwarded directly to the head of park operations so that they could be made aware of the concerns I raised. I felt like my voice was heard more in that one correspondence with Kings Dominion than it ever has been with anything related to Busch Gardens- no matter what channels I've tried to take advantage of.

As for the phone number, I've had even less success calling. To be honest, you probably won't get anything better out of the park than what you already got.
 

K8theGr8

The Big Bad Wolf Removal generation
Sep 29, 2011
84
136
90
VA
Thanks a lot, Nic!
Do anyone happen to know what his address would be? I know some companies have the standard firstnamelastname@BGW.com or something similar?

jmu, Nice comparison! Not encouraging, though. :/


CK- Yes, it had a lot more. I will bring it up in the CT thread, in order to stay on topic here.
 

K8theGr8

The Big Bad Wolf Removal generation
Sep 29, 2011
84
136
90
VA
Zachary, Thanks. :) I appreciate your reply... even though it makes me want to throw something through my window. I'm so sorry you thought that was normal. No, it's not. That is PATHETIC and UNACCEPTABLE. I can't believe this is the standard quality of communication. Hearing that everyone else receives this level of apathy from the park makes me even more mad, and even less likely to go to CT this year or ever again. Seriously. The chances of me going are dwindling into the 30% range... I will find other companies more deserving of my loyalty and money. But I will be sure to raise hell with BGW before I go.

If you couldn't tell, I take brand loyalty, properly running a company, and the guest experience VERY seriously. I work hard for my money. The beauty of capitalism is that I get to decide if you DESERVE my hard earned money. And right now, BGW does not.
 
Sep 10, 2012
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I have little luck with messages and phone calls. I will say that I have achieved some success with a lot of patience and refusing to accept canned answers in person, while politely and calmly demanding to speak to someone "knowledgeable & in charge" of _______. There were some issues with shows, cancellations & lack of accurate information or any notification back in the late summer. I spent the better part of two hours in Italy until I got someone who could actually answer my questions. Let's just say it was well worth my time. I may not have received the answer I was looking for, but I did get an explanation with reasons that somewhat made sense (from their perspective) instead of generic canned answers. And I now have a direct line for any future major issues in my area of concern. Though it may not be exactly what one can or want to do, stay true to what you want, be courteous and professional, and eventually you can reach someone in person. And if all else fails, call the Almighty chickenking. He can make some things happen. ;)
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
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Found some of what I was looking for!

I looked through the Mix It Up Has Been Canceled thread, and found the following two posts. Once again, I cannot verify the validity of any of this, as I have never tried to file a complaint.

Looking through these old threads also reminded me that some people were advocating written letters over emails.

Post 1:

It's either first.last@seaworld.com or first.last@seaworldparks.con

I sent an email to jim.atchison@seaworld.com and I did not receive an email saying the address was not existent, so it exists; however, I have yet to receive any response in general.


Post 2:

Seems to me that the Chief Operating Officer (Donnie Mills) and Chief Creative Officer (Scott Helmstedter) should receive letters as well. Not sure how effective emails will be, but actual letters sent through the mail usually get noticed. Mr. Mills has a personal history of leadership at BGW when it was still owned by Busch Entertainment (2002-2007). I would hope as COO of the Busch parks, he would be keenly interested in the concerns being expressed here. We can only hope.
 
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K8theGr8

The Big Bad Wolf Removal generation
Sep 29, 2011
84
136
90
VA
CK- That's actually a good approach. Maybe, just maybe I will go to CT for one day this year, just so I can try to talk to someone face-to-face...

Nic- THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! You're the best! :D

So now, this post started about 2 little issues with CT, but I think we all know it is just a symptom of the greater problem- the quality of management in the park has plummeted. What are we going to do about it? I think all of us should write in... Just my opinion. Maybe, just maybe they'd hear us.
 
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There is strength in numbers. A large group of professional adults should sit in the central viewing area of the San Marco Theater, sucking down hot cocoa, and demanding to discuss the issues with someone. It may take some time, but you will have good company, access to food and a show. Bathrooms are nearby. You can stay as long as you want, undercover, near a heater, etc. :)
 

K8theGr8

The Big Bad Wolf Removal generation
Sep 29, 2011
84
136
90
VA
Strength in numbers....
You'll forgive a little broadway singing, won't you?
:p


ZACH:
Seaworld and Blackstone
They think we're nothin'
Are we nothin'?

BGWFANS:
No!

ZACH:
BGW and Gasparich
They think they got us
Do they got us?

BGWFANS:
No!

ZACH:
Even though we ain't got hats or badges
We're a union just by saying so
And the world will know!

What's it gonna take to stop the coasters?
Are we ready?

BGWFANS:
Yeah!

ZACH:
What's it gonna take to stop the glitter?
Can we do it?

BGWFANS:
Yeah!

ZACH:
We'll do what we gotta do
Until we break the will of mighty SEAS and BX

BGWFANS:
And the World will know
And the Gazette too
Mister Gasparich and your cronies
Have we got news for you
Now the world will hear
What we got to say
We been hawkin' blog posts
But we're makin' 'em today
And our ranks will grow

CK:
And we'll kick their rear

BGWFANS:
And the world will know
That we been here

ZACH:
When O Tannenbaum starts ringin'
Will we hear it?

BGWFANS:
No!

ZACH:
What if security comes out swingin'
Will we hear it?

BGWFANS:
No!
When you got a hundred voices singin'
Who can hear a lousy whistle blow?
And the world will know
That this ain't no game
That we got a ton of rotten fruit and perfect aim
So they gave their word
But it ain't worth beans
Now they're gonna see
What "stop the presses" really means
And the day has come
And the time is now
And the fear is gone

And the strike is on!



BAHAHAH... It's ok if no one else gets it. I made myself laugh. That's what matters. :p
 

netdvn

Team Instinct
Jan 12, 2012
1,876
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in the rear
dvn225.deviantart.com
From what I've been told through a number of sources, the park planned to have another major ride open during CT, but as it gets closer and closer to the event, that chance seems less likely. I think it's a good idea to do that to keep people from packing Oktoberfest during CT.

As for the coasters, Alpengeist and Griffon had trouble running during Christmas Town pasts because the temperatures would drop too low most of the time. My sources told me the coasters would run fine until nightfall. At that point they'd have to go down. Bolt can run under 40 degrees so it's more optimal to keep that running.

Not sure about VIP tours. I believe the park still had the Verbolten tour through Christmas and a penguin tour plus dine with Santa last year. All three will probably make a return this year too.
 

Nicole

Administrator
Jul 22, 2013
11,140
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Arlington, VA
I remember riding Griffon one CT and it was very cold, but quite fun. But I can see that there might be mechanical problems.
 
Dec 23, 2011
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Just so you know, I wrote an email to the VP of Park Ops for BGW, and I got the same auto message; however a few weeks later, they finally took my complaint/suggestion into action. So maybe they will do something, you just never know.
 
Aug 25, 2012
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Not to be rude or anything, but when it comes to this, the park is really snobby. They always say, "Tell us any complaints that ou have so we can make your visit more pleasant." When someone does that, they turn away and say, "NO! We want to keep all ideas with-in park managment!" They are really acting like popular high school girls in their little clan. They seem like they care at first, but when someone suggest something, they turn their backs and say some lie that they will take into consideration. YEAH RIGHT!! With all thethings that they do for the guests, especially pass members, you would expect them to be more open to suggestions. Even if the idea is WAY out of budget or something, it would be nice for a specific letter written maybe explaining why it wouldn't work, but thanking them for the idea. Instead of using a pre-written letter that copies the name of the person at the top. They really should be more open and considerate. :dodgy:
 
Feb 9, 2013
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K8Meeder said:
Strength in numbers....

You'll forgive a little broadway singing, won't you?

I may be the only one taking this literally but I agree! Instead of giving up the fight for our park and letting it crash and burn on our watch, why don't we fight for it? I really believe we could stop the presses, I think we can get rid of the glitter. I think it's time we start a revolution! Because just sitting on our butts complaining about it isn't going to help one little bit. I really think we can take our park back! We've already gotten ourselves seen by the community, I truly believe we can do this.(I'm serious)
 
Sep 8, 2010
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Charlottesville
Since I know everyone here has dealt with the "corporate" mentality in the workplace at some point, I wont define it....

But this is the best example of it in action. Unfortunately, most people with actual power don't care what those below/outside their realm think. Hence why ideas /must/ originate with them.

I bet it also explains why their websites and apps are absolute garbage. Someone up in corporate probably knows someone who knows someone who can knock out cookie cutter garbage.

In other random news, does anyone know if SEAS has a CTO? My quick Google search found nothing.

Edit: I will add one extra note. Forming proper request/suggestions here on the forums can and will go much further than you may think.
 
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