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Cassie Poland and Ollie Smith

"We spent our childhood here"


Brother and sister team Cassie Poland and Ollie Smith have taken charge at Drusillas Park in Sussex, UK, after a childhood spent toddling around the theme park owned by their parents.

Smith and Poland have been appointed joint managing directors at Drusillas, which was acquired by their parents Laurence and Christine Smith in 1997. Cassie Poland started her career at Drusillas in the retail and warehouse team, then spent time in the education department, before heading up the marketing department for six years. When Christine Smith retired in December 2018, Poland assumed the role of joint deputy managing director.

“I feel privileged to be doing a job I love and am thankful I get to work closely with my family,” said Poland. “I’ve worked across many departments within the park and feel that’s given me a fantastic understanding of the business. I’m very excited about the future of Drusillas and will continue to work hard to ensure it remains a place where families can create magical fun-filled memories together.”

Ollie Smith first joined the team in 2009, working in the zoo, before joining the Playland team in 2010, returning from university to run the marketing department as maternity cover, and taking up directorship in 2020.

“It’s been fantastic to return to the park where I spent my childhood,” said Smith. “We have some very exciting plans in the pipeline.”

Resigning from his role as managing director, Laurence Smith said: “Since we reopened in May 2021, Cassie and Ollie have effectively been running Drusillas. My role has deliberately changed, and the next step is for me to give myself a new title of chair. They’ve done a great job in difficult circumstances over the last year. I’ll still be working on a part time basis – I don’t want the gold watch quite yet!”

Recent developments at Drusillas include the opening of sensory attraction Spark, renovation of the park’s under fives’ play area, migration to a new ticketing system, a new naturalistic animal enclosure, and the upcoming opening of The Rainforest Adventure attraction.

Cassie and Ollie enjoyed a childhood at the park Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Laurence and Christine Smith have now stepped down as managing directors Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Drusillas’ attractions are aimed at children aged between 2 and 10 Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Rides include the Rainforest Carousel, Flying Cheetahs and Hippopotobus (pictured) Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Drusillas Park offers a range of ‘Animal Close Encounter Experiences’ Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
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Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
People
Cassie Poland and Ollie Smith

"We spent our childhood here"


Brother and sister team Cassie Poland and Ollie Smith have taken charge at Drusillas Park in Sussex, UK, after a childhood spent toddling around the theme park owned by their parents.

Smith and Poland have been appointed joint managing directors at Drusillas, which was acquired by their parents Laurence and Christine Smith in 1997. Cassie Poland started her career at Drusillas in the retail and warehouse team, then spent time in the education department, before heading up the marketing department for six years. When Christine Smith retired in December 2018, Poland assumed the role of joint deputy managing director.

“I feel privileged to be doing a job I love and am thankful I get to work closely with my family,” said Poland. “I’ve worked across many departments within the park and feel that’s given me a fantastic understanding of the business. I’m very excited about the future of Drusillas and will continue to work hard to ensure it remains a place where families can create magical fun-filled memories together.”

Ollie Smith first joined the team in 2009, working in the zoo, before joining the Playland team in 2010, returning from university to run the marketing department as maternity cover, and taking up directorship in 2020.

“It’s been fantastic to return to the park where I spent my childhood,” said Smith. “We have some very exciting plans in the pipeline.”

Resigning from his role as managing director, Laurence Smith said: “Since we reopened in May 2021, Cassie and Ollie have effectively been running Drusillas. My role has deliberately changed, and the next step is for me to give myself a new title of chair. They’ve done a great job in difficult circumstances over the last year. I’ll still be working on a part time basis – I don’t want the gold watch quite yet!”

Recent developments at Drusillas include the opening of sensory attraction Spark, renovation of the park’s under fives’ play area, migration to a new ticketing system, a new naturalistic animal enclosure, and the upcoming opening of The Rainforest Adventure attraction.

Cassie and Ollie enjoyed a childhood at the park Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Laurence and Christine Smith have now stepped down as managing directors Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Drusillas’ attractions are aimed at children aged between 2 and 10 Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Rides include the Rainforest Carousel, Flying Cheetahs and Hippopotobus (pictured) Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Drusillas Park offers a range of ‘Animal Close Encounter Experiences’ Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
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TechnoAlpin

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For the first time in more than a decade, industry leaders from across the global attractions industry will once again gather in London as part of the annual IAAPA Expo Europe, the sector’s premier international event. [more...]
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Red Raion Showreel 2021
Another year has passed, and we’re definitely happy with what we have accomplished in 2021! Find out more...
More videos:
Red Raion TV - Testimonial: Leolandia – Red Raion
IAAPA Expo Europe Promo – International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA)
Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue! – Red Raion
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
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03-04 Sep 2022

HEALING SUMMIT 2022 - The Healing of Everything

Pine Cliff Resort, Portugal
27-29 Sep 2022

International Congress on Thermal Tourism

Ourense, Ourense, Spain
+ More diary  
 


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