x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Greasing the wheels at Ferrari World

It's a rollercoaster ride every day for the Ferrari World maintenance chief - with video.

Wayne Meadows, director of maintenance for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, talks about the elbow grease needed to maintain the world's largest indoor theme park:

5.30am

Get up, go through my email, have breakfast. I always like to get a walk in with my dogs for 30 minutes or so.

8am

I try to check in with everyone to see if there were any surprises over night. Just yesterday, we had a downtime--when the operator hits the start button it doesn't start. One of the main transformers that feeds Formula Rossa, the world's fastest roller coaster, tripped out and shut the ride down. Our guys got on it, but as a follow-up, we had an electrical contractor in again this morning.

11am

We have our daily duty managers' meeting. We cover special events of who's coming in, go over any difficulties of starting the rides and communicate any delayed openings. That way, admissions can tell guests before they buy their tickets.

12pm

We open. I'm then monitoring the radio with an ear piece. That's how I hear if a ride happens to go down. This is my ninth theme park opening. When Walt Disney World opened in 1971, I was fortunate enough to get a job just shy of my 19th birthday. I stayed 30 years with Disney, with stints at its parks in Paris and Tokyo. Like at Disney, we want all of our attractions working 99.5 per cent of the time. We're not quite there yet, but we're working on it.

After lunch

I may have meetings, perhaps on new products we want to bring here and test to see if they'll work out. About two years ago, we found in our testing that simply putting water on our red aluminum roof doesn't necessarily clean it. In fact, it streaked pretty horribly because the water literally evaporates before it can wash down. Now, we'll put an environmentally-friendly cleaner on it as well.

Around 4pm

I pull our maintenance management and staff together every week and just update everybody, go over financial reports, how we're looking attendance-wise versus budget. Our group also takes care of all the kitchen equipment, making sure everything is served at the proper temperature. If a restaurant has equipment that's down, the chef will call and say, "You need to come here."

Before 7:30pm

Make sure our guys on the closing shift are okay and that we don't have any major downtimes when a ride unexpectedly fails.

After 8pm

I always have my trusty, dusty phone with me everyone can call. We had some component issues on our simulators the other night, and my guy was able to get some replacements and sent a text saying, "everything is fine." To unwind, I generally walk in the evening. Sometimes, I throw my feet up and tune into the Discovery Channel. I've been fascinated with how things work all my life.

 

nparmar@thenational.ae