YOU may think when Gulliver’s World closes for the winter it also means a much-needed break for its staff.
But in fact the build-up to the Westbrook park opening its doors again is one of the busiest times of the year as paths are cleaned, maintenance carried out and new rides built and tested.
The hot weather last summer led to a particularly hectic year for employees with money pumped back into the park and 10 new attractions and rides set to open this season.
It is enough to leave anyone’s head spinning as fast as the park’s tea cup ride but park manager Richard Welby says he would not have it any other way.
He added: “The work never stops and more people last summer has meant more repairs and maintenance in the months since.
“Rides have to be checked every few months as well as being replaced and rebuilt and we have parts of rides being delivered from all over the world some of which have got stuck in customs this morning.
“Recruitment started earlier this month and we have people coming back year after year including guys who have left the Army and rollercoaster enthusiasts.
“It’s the sort of job where if you want to be here, it’s hard to shake that feeling off.”
Throughout the winter months there is always something that needs a fresh lick of paint including the log flume which had been drained and was getting a top-up of colour ahead of the park re-opening this weekend.
The team of park operators also have many youngsters’ dream job of testing the attractions before the park opens including slides, rollercoasters and even checking the attractions are safe if children put their hands in the air.
Despite the park playing host to numerous visitors during peak times since it opened in 1988, Richard admits they are yet to lock anybody in and will often extend opening hours to keep families happy.
He added: “We’re like a family and the staff make the park what it is as everyone wants the park to be the best it can be.
“My children think I have got the greatest job in the world and it may sound corny but you get to make somebody’s day every day.”