Those who travel and travel a lot know that there is nothing worse than bad customer service and Aquatica in Orlando is a shining example of bad service.
I would like to say that I have only been to SeaWorld’s Aquatica water park once but I have been twice and both experiences were horrible. To be fair, not all working men and women are bad, quite the opposite in many and most cases. This review falls on the shoulders of the executives, the supervisors, and yes, sadly, some of their “Ambassadors”.
I would like to make a shoutout to the guy and gal who took care of us in our rented cabana, their service was great and they were very polite and accommodating. The woman who checked us in for the cabana rental was also really nice and helpful. Unfortunately, just about everyone else we encountered was not.
Making my eyes roll several times was the front of the park “Guest Services” office. The small building is located on the left side of the park’s ticket entrance and you can literally see it right next to you but there are no signs inviting you to visit and a barricade that keeps you from walking up to it.
So once inside, I asked where the CS was at and was shocked to learn that I had to leave the park. That’s right, their CS office is located outside of the gate so now I had to leave the park, wait for the person to wave to the glass window, and then after my issue was finally resolved, I got the pleasure of jumping back in the long lines to wait to get scanned back into the park.
The day before, this office was closed at 2:00 p.m. Now I did hear that there was another office located in the park itself but no one could give me an idea where I should start to look and directions from employees were extremely vague.
Still, having to leave the park to get service is absolutely amazing to me. Add to that one person working the window and you can expect a rather long wait. My wait was 45 minutes after I spent 20 minutes waiting for the line to finally move as the park was opening, and also in addition to the 10 minutes, it took to get back into the park. All for a pair of $7.00 water shoes my two-year-old lost the day before. Apparently, their “Lost and Found” is really nothing more than a box that you are not allowed to look into so make sure your descriptions are incredibly precise.
Lucky for Aquatica that tickets are the cheapest of any of the main theme park water parks in the area because they don’t make up for it in good care. From a ride Ambassador telling an older lady to fill a plastic cup up with water to pour over her grandson’s puke, garbage man that looked right at me as I asked him a location question, stopping even, and then never saying a word and walking away. My favorite worker was the woman who was asked by another guest where the entrance to a certain water slide was, her response was “I’m not a map but there is one over there” and flippantly pointed in a direction behind her, and then walked away.
It wasn’t the first time or the last sadly. When I went the wrong way in a line for a slide, I was asked where I was going, I said I was trying to find the line according to the arrows. He pointed to the line and said “It’s right there”. It was literally unblocked on the other side of a bush with a path for employees to use. As I started to make my way over there, he told me I could use the access path and had to turn around and go all the way back around, despite nobody being in line.
Finally, my last occurred when I purchased food at one of the restaurants. As I was leaving, the lady at the register said, “You need to go that one over there!” her tone was stern. So I spun on my heels and went to the other register only to be told that I had to go to the one I came from. I turned around again, and the first lady said, “I’m on break now” and got up and left. I put my tray down at her register and followed her out of the restaurant.
The CS at Aquatica was bad enough that it will make me rethink my approach the next time ago if I go at all. I don’t think it is too unfair to ask for professionalism and courtesy in a job but they sure haven’t trained these employees to have that work ethic or pride.
I would like to wrap this by saying I made several attempts to speak with a rep from the park but was not able to get someone on the phone who would take my call. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.