AttractionPros Spotlight: Alex Fortuna

Spotlight

Alex is currently a Rides Manager at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark in Middlebury, CT.  Prior to working at the park, Alex began sharing his passion for the industry by forming Adrenaline Coasters, which now consists of a website, Instagram page, Facebook page, and YouTube channel.

 

What made you decide to join the Attractions Industry? 

I decided to join the attractions industry based off of my pure passion for the industry. Growing up, I’ve always enjoyed visiting and being at theme parks, haunted attractions, riding roller coasters etc. I’ve always been a strong believer that we should surround ourselves with what we’re passionate about. So, I decided to get involved in the industry that I knew I’d be psyched to work in for my future. I started back in 2014 by creating the Adrenaline Coasters Instagram page with the intention of getting involved in the theme park community and meeting others who share my interests in the business. Currently, Adrenaline Coasters has 1.3 thousand followers, and has expanded to a website, www.adrenalinecoasters.com, a YouTube channel called Adrenaline Vlogger, and a brand to spread the concept of passion, “Life is a Thrill Ride”. Between my social media platforms and website, you will find attraction reviews, news, pictures, video, vlogs, documentaries, and more. Adrenaline Coasters was how I got my foot into the door of the attractions industry.

In the Summer of 2017, I got my first job with a theme park. I was hired at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark in Middlebury, CT as a ride operator. Throughout the 2017 season at Quassy, I was named most outstanding employee in the rides department by Amusement Advantage reports, rides employee of the week on multiple occasions by our management team, four star employee at the end of the season, and since the start of the 2018 season, I am currently a ride manager. Aside from working as a ride manager, I also hold a number of other roles at the park such as ride inspector and safety committee member as well. Considering that I’m just nineteen years old, between the success of my Adrenaline Coasters brand thus far, and my strong start at Quassy, I’m very confident that I have a bright future ahead of myself in this industry.

How do you stay motivated during the most stressful
times? 

During the most stressful times, I stay motivated by reminding myself that despite the fact that I’m in a stressful situation, I am still doing what I love, and working in the industry that I am most passionate about. Theme parks are meant to be happy places, providing fun for all. When I’m stressing, I tell myself that I’m in a theme park, and that I’d rather be here than anywhere else in the world. When I focus on the bigger picture of the situation that I’m in, after a few deep breaths, the stressful times become much easier for me.

Stress can arise from many different types of situations. You can never predict when stress is going to hit you. However, what you do always know is that passion will be by your side no matter what. When you’re so passionate about something, that you consistently work towards being the best that you can be, stress won’t even be a factor for you.

Describe an experience (either with your guests or your team) that was one of the most fulfilling moments of your career so far? 

One of the most fulfilling moments of my career so far was in the 2017 season at Quassy, when I was operating the Little Dipper junior coaster. There were two young boys who kept coming back to ride throughout the last three hours we were opened that day repeatedly. As always, I was making sure that they were having loads of fun, and making each ride more exciting for them than the last. By the end of the night, they must have ridden the Dipper about thirty times. As the last ride announcement came on throughout the park, the boys’ mother thanked me for making their day so enjoyable, and that all employees should have the attitude that I did. She told me that I was incredible with kids. She then had her boys take a picture with me before they left. That was one of the greatest feelings in the world for me. My job is to make sure that everyone is having the best possible experience at Quassy, and by that woman telling me that I made her boys’ day, I knew that I had accomplished my goal. No matter what, I always make sure that all of the guests that I interact with are having the best experience possible. This experience proved to me that my efforts were being recognized.

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment to date? 

My biggest accomplishment to date is being promoted from a ride operator at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark to a ride manager after just one season. After one season of going above and beyond in the role that I had, again, my efforts and passion were recognized, and I was rewarded for them. In most cases, it takes a number of years to be promoted to a management position. However, the incredible staff at Quassy put their faith in me, and have given me the opportunity to take a step in the right direction much earlier than I had ever expected. I’m very fortunate for this opportunity, which is allowing me to get great experience at an early stage in my career. I make the best of it, and learn from it every single day that I go to work.

If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing? 

If I wasn’t in this industry, I would be working for myself, opening a professional haunted house. One of the main reasons why I feel as though the attractions industry is the perfect fit for me is that it will allow me to express my creativity. Therefore, my alternative would be another incredible opportunity for me to use my creativity. I’ve been a huge Halloween fanatic my entire life. I love horror movies, Fall, haunted attractions, dressing up, and anything scary in general. Personally, my favorite time of year at theme parks is Halloween. When the parks are dressed up with Halloween decor, actors with chainsaws flooding the midways, and the overall creepy setting in the parks just gives me chills of excitement. I have worked in haunted attractions in the past, and I even design my own home haunt every October. I’ve always dreamed of opening my own massive outdoor haunted attraction. However, I have never had the time or resources to take my passion for haunting to the next level. Therefore, if I were not putting my time and effort into the attractions industry, my focus would be on the haunt industry. Haunting gives me the same adrenaline rush that I get from being in theme parks every day, seeing guests screaming on roller coasters, and having an awesome time.

What advice would you give yourself on the first day in the industry? 

My advice to myself on the first day in the industry would be to love what you do, and put passion into everything that you have to do. The finished product of anything you do will be one hundred times better when you’re passionate about what you are doing. So, my piece of advice would be to love what you do, put passion into it, and learn from it every single day. If you are consistent with this, you will develop in the industry, and overall as a person as well.

 

Be sure to connect with Alex on LinkedIn, and be sure to follow Adrenaline Coasters on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
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