Ready… Set… GO!

Anoud S

2 years ago

A theme park without its patrons screaming out with sheer delight is beyond dull—it’s unimaginable! Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, has consistently lived up to the legacy of the famous motorsport brand. Home to the fastest rollercoaster in the world and the highest rollercoaster loop on the planet, the first indoor theme park in the UAE, boasts a series of superlatives. At Ferrari World Abu Dhabi you are no ordinary visitor, you are a Grand Prix contender.
Amidst the cheers and gasps, stands the man as energetic as any of the riders on the rollercoasters; Scott Wellington, the Operations Director at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. We decided to make a pit stop and chat with Scott about the thrill-inducing rides and all the work that goes into them— including the latest ride on the block, Turbo Track.
Running a theme park is no joke! Beyond the fun and frolic, is the teamwork that executes the experience for patrons every day. “’Behind-the-scenes’ at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, is a lot like that of a Formula 1 team.  There is a lot of preparation that goes into everything we do here, so that on ‘race day’ we are able to perform like a well-orchestrated pit crew.  For us, every day is race day,” said Scott affirming that along with this, the location, iconic structure, innovative rides and the never before seen branding of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi have made it stand a class apart from its contemporaries.
“My role in ensuring the quality of the Park entertainment as a whole, is sharing feedback to our fantastic Operations Team.  We, as a management team, are always looking throughout the entire business to ensure that guests have the best experience possible.  We try to constantly look at the operation from the guest’s perspective and anticipate needs, and work to minimize any type of challenges.”
Also eager to shed light on Turbo Track—Ferrari World Abu Dhabi’s latest rollercoaster ride— Scott explained, “Turbo Track takes guests on a journey to become a Ferrari Test driver.  The queue sets the stage introducing prospective drivers to the rigorous testing that Ferrari drivers must go through.  This experience culminates on the ride where the riders are launched over a zero gravity hill, into a second launch section that propels you out of the heart of our iconic building to the highest point on Yas Island.  The vehicle slows, and the riders are sent back on the same track, back over the zero gravity hill before returning to the station.  The ride features a vehicle design that allows riders to face either forward or backward, each providing a completely unique experience.
With thrilling rides comes the great responsibility of ensuring safety.
Despite the nature of the job, challenges have never been a cause of fear. When asked what is the biggest challenge he may have faced he replied, “Like everyone, there are challenges to your daily work.  The one reoccurring theme that I face regularly is around cultural differences— either with my fellow colleagues or with guests. I find that most of these issues can be overcome by having an open dialogue and working to resolve the matter together.”
Being a three year fixture at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Scott has witnessed the theme park grow in front of his eyes. “In my opinion, the most significant developments and subsequent triumphs come from the addition of new attractions”, referring to the new offerings he has seen develop from start to finish. “The process of creating world class attractions is a lot longer than most people think. In order to make these attractions come to life, it can take years and a huge amount of collaboration and support throughout our entire business.  So when it all comes together and the attraction is open and operating, it is truly a rewarding experience.”
“The best part about working on Yas Island is being able to watch the growth of everything”, said Scott who can be caught taking advantage of the various offerings of the island when not supplementing the adrenaline rush at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.

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