Recently on the way down to Chicago, I stopped at Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Mt. Olympus is the largest park in Wisconsin Dells featuring 4 huge wooden coasters and 2 smaller steel coasters. The top dog of their coasters is Hades, which has been ranked one of the top 10 the past 4 years. The park features a huge selection of go-kart tracks too. It also includes the old Family Land Water Park, plus their own wave pool and slide complex.
From first impressions, the park looked good. After I entered the gates, there were some definite flaws. First off, there was no fencing around Cyclops’ first drop. All they had up to stop you was a silly sign. What drunk idiot is going to stop at a sign? Second, there was enough room to stick your hand in and almost touch the rail. You may have not been able to touch the rail, but your hand would have been decapitated by a speeding train.
Operations were also horrible. Since the park wasn’t all that full, the employees were not running the rides that much. Twice I sat in the Hades train for 5 minutes waiting to be dispatched. I overheard someone saying that they had to wait for the on-ride photo computer. They hold the whole train in the station just for a stupid on-ride photo computer! For me, a coaster fan, that is just a waste of time. I will never buy one of those overpriced on-ride photos. I’m just there to ride the coasters and enjoy what I can’t do at home. I can sit at home anytime I want to.
Talking about employees, this is even scarier…. Most of the employees were from Greece and didn’t know proper English. This is a huge issue. How are they supposed to tell people to get off a ride? Every time I rode Hades, the operators just walked slowly down the train checking restraints while chatting in some language I couldn’t understand. Another time on the go-karts, a man walked in with a lit cigarette. What could go wrong? Lets see… Fire, 20+ go-karts with gasoline, possibly those go-karts are leaking… Go figure. I also asked to speak to a park manager, and none of them could give me the right directions! Now, I’m not one of those die-hard “Keep America America!” conservative people, but I felt like if something ever went wrong, I wouldn’t be able to communicate. If they’re going to hire employees, they need to be able to speak the language here in America. This isn’t Greece, this is America where we speak English (radical thought, huh?).
After speaking to one of the park managers (he arrived on a motorized scooter, obviously since no one knew how to give the right directions), I was still not impressed. Mt. Olympus has not just failed with park operations, it has also failed in safety. I have never felt that unsafe in an Amusement Park before.
If you’re ever in Wisconsin Dells and happen to go there, be sure it’s just for the credits. I will never go back there until I here that they’ve changed management so I can feel like I’m safe to ride. Their goal is success over safety it seems. I’m now awaiting the day to hear someone has gotten hit by Cyclops.