I am a nerd. A theme park nerd. Proud and unapologetic.
Like most enthusiasts, my fascination was sparked in relative isolation. Up until my early 20’, I really thought I was the only person in the world with this strange hobby. It was not until the emergence of the internet in the mid-nineties, I realized I was not alone. And this newfound world filled with theme park statistics, technical details and pictures took my interest to a whole new level.
A few years later, when I got my first job at TIVOLI in Copenhagen, I realized the experiences of theme parks were truly what drew me to the industry. The rides. The glamour. The privilege of providing our guests with enjoyable and memorable moments.
Those reasons still drive me today and remain a big part of why I do what I do, and why I’m not found in a bank or a law firm.
My fascination with theme parks has evolved over the last 20 years. I guess you could say, it now has a more “professional” approach. It is hard for me to remain in touch with my childhood excitement for roller coasters and carousels. Today, my park visits consist of endless comparisons and evaluations, benchmarking maintenance, service concepts, signage and management.
I can’t just let it go, like I used to.
I guess all of this could sound a bit sad; in some ways you could say I lost my hobby. But that’s not the case. My hobby was replaced by something else. And truly, it is the heart of the industry itself.
My colleagues. At Liseberg. And within the industry. Working with leadership – and working in a service-oriented company – you need to be a social creature. And you must like people.
I am reminded of this every time I walk through Liseberg. Every time I meet a colleague, and they look me in the eye and smile. Every time I watch one of our team members interact with guests with professionalism and kindness. Every time I receive positive feedback from a guest, about something one of our team members did to make the visit extra special.
It is in those moments when I feel so privileged. Those times are so much more rewarding than the adrenalin rush of a few seconds of weightlessness. Those moments are what set this industry apart from all others.
I am still in love with the product I represent. But I love the people of our industry so much more.
And this is why we love you right back, Andreas! Great post.