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Marc

February Half Term 2015

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Is it possible that thorpe gain so many complaint emails they actually take action and remove this charge?

 

Certainly is possible.  Indeed, when Summer Nights was introduced last year, the prices were £15 for AP holders and £18 for non-AP holders (which I think was an early bird price as well!).  Following mostly negative feedback to those prices via social media and the like, the prices were changed.  

 

Since tickets aren't even on sale yet, though, I doubt any complaint email will get much more than the standard "Thank you for your email, we'll take your comments on board" at the moment though!

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Any company is able to change something because of negative complaints. As a certain lord sugar said (paraphrasing) to ignore negative feedback is to set up for failure. You also never annoy your best customer. 2 key rules of business and they have broken both of them. Make enough noise and eventually they will listen. Ive been checking laws in what I can and cant do in getting my voice heard, if there going to block me on twitter then ill take my voice else where like my 1500 subscribers. They cant just keep ignoring complaints from people. There is plenty of evidence to show people are not happy with this charge but yet they just ignore it.

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Certainly is possible.  Indeed, when Summer Nights was introduced last year, the prices were £15 for AP holders and £18 for non-AP holders (which I think was an early bird price as well!).  Following mostly negative feedback to those prices via social media and the like, the prices were changed.  

 

Since tickets aren't even on sale yet, though, I doubt any complaint email will get much more than the standard "Thank you for your email, we'll take your comments on board" at the moment though!

I think otherwise actually Josh, a complaint now is much more likely to make a difference. Once the tickets are on sale, they won't change the price as people will get even angrier! If we all complain now, they are much more likely to let pass holders in for free into their 'event'.

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Good luck getting a complaint to them before tickets go on sale. I sent a reply in an ongoing matter 17 days ago and still waiting a reply. It has only been 13 working days but its still a very long time.

I cant express my anger with them over this as I still care for the park in an odd way. However as many suggested I've given up with merlin, if they see another penny from me again I will be amazed. Europa park is by far the way forward and the more people who know that the better.

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I think otherwise actually Josh, a complaint now is much more likely to make a difference. Once the tickets are on sale, they won't change the price as people will get even angrier! If we all complain now, they are much more likely to let pass holders in for free into their 'event'.

I'm not saying complaining now is a futile / pointless thing; far from it! All I'm saying is, I don't think sending an email will make any more of a difference than a public complaint on Facebook / Twitter - the response from the park will be the same, it'll just be that less people see it. Just the way I see it at least! :)

They could change ticket prices after they go on sale (they did with SN, and refunded people who had paid before hand the difference), though I agree that's unlikely. Will be interesting to see what Thorpe's next move is on this though, and how successful it is for them.

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Thorpe are going to get away with this, it's ridiculous. I have a right mind to not bother going, may even go to the chessington event instead. This is not a special event, it is a reduced line up. There is no justifiable action in charging extra for a reduced like up when you can experience the full line up a couple of weeks later or no price.

 

 

Do that then, hit them where it hurts. There's no point being unhappy with the charge on here then continuing to visit. 

 

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Do that then, hit them where it hurts. There's no point being unhappy with the charge on here then continuing to visit.

I enjoy thorpe as a whole park, it has some good quality attractions. However, I am not paying £5 extra to have less than half the park open. I will continue to visit when the park opens fully in march.

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Just throwing a few bits out there...

 

1. The £5 charge for standard MAP holders is ludicrous, but is a decision made by the park and not by the Merlin Annual Pass team who work with the attractions regarding anything and everything from restrictions on standard, to the birthday vouchers you get with a premium pass.

 

2. What do you expect? They got their complaints, but when people happily paid to go into Fright Nights as a special event; and likewise people are paying through their noses for Santa Lunch with CBeebies Land at Alton Towers; LEGOLAND Windsor Resorts' christmas event; and the additional fee for the Gruffalo Christmas event for Chessington (note, zoo days are different); then why wouldn't THORPE charge £5 for, like has been said, a restricted event where the capacity of the park will be lower. Those who want to go will pay; and its easy money for the park. Those who really begrudge it, will just hold out. I mean, be realistic, it's the only park in the South which is offering thrill rides of any kind (well, rides of any kind) around London, and people will lap it up since Chessington will have Zoo Days with Seastorm and/or Bubbleworks traditionally, and Lego is closed.

 

3. Finally, SAW. I wouldn't be surprised if it stays closed. Ricky touched upon it a few pages back, but with all Gerstlauer coasters (and having operated two and knowing someone who's operated Rage), they have an instantaneous shutdown programming. SAW has it, Rage has it, even Cobra at Paultons has it, where if the cars are running too slow around the track the ride will shut down. This is notable in colder weather. Rage manages as it runs one car and in fairness doesn't hang around too much on its track even when its cold (except the loop, and at Xmas they don't load the back row so it doesn't hold as much weight on the car anyway). Even over Christmas at Paultons they run it on less cars, on slower dispatches, to give itself room for fast cars and slow cars, a safety margin if you will. SAW cannot do this, as it is set to load two at a time. So if car one runs the circuit in 82 seconds, and car one runs it in 74 seconds then the system will error, and shut down. Or likewise like Ricky has said, the nature of the ride can cause cars to stall on the overbank turn if the car doesn't gain the correct speed from the drop (exactly the same as Cobra, if it doesn't have the speed, the car will run the circuit slower and can risk stalling although its very very unlikely on Cobra). This exact reason is why I'm surprised Sonic Spinball is operating this year, considering that too has proven it can stall when cold...  

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Its the way they are classing feb half term as a special event. In no way, shape or form can this be considered a special event. It is a reduced ride offering with a show that was free earlier this year. They keep saying limited capacity when I'm quite sure that means we are letting in as many as health and safety will allow. Their solution to reducing the number of people through the doors is to charge people who have already paid £169 for a standard pass. I know of no other parks that charge their loyal customers more for half a park 3 weeks early. It shows they care only for the money and have no concept that if people have a good time they return. The idea is to maximise sales not put people off. I'm sure a pass holder is more willing to spend on food which is where the money is and Thorpe have decided to charge those people even more and put them off from attending. Its a disgrace to charge pass holders for entry to this so called event and I'm going to inform as many people at the company as I can that people are in no way happy with their decision. I accept that they will ignore 1 person complaining at them but if I can provide evidence that lots of people are annoyed then something may be done.

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Very mixed about the £5 charge. Keeps guest levels more stable in he park but is biting further on the park's loyal customers (who don't have premium) considering other top parks in Europe don't do this (even towers).

On the condition Braniac is running alongside any other possible extras, the charge would be fees able,

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Brainiac is in no way an excuse to call this an event. It was free during Easter why should it now be a charge of £5 to people who normally get in for free. There is no justification on Thorpe's side other than they want more money. They didn't need to do anything to stop me from renewing my pass but now they have successfully made others do it as well. They really have no concept on how to run a business. Never annoy your best customer, I thought they would have learnt that from fright night £10 but clearly they haven't. At least it reveals how little they care for returning customers. Personally I would have thought £169 was enough but clearly they need every penny they can get their hands on. 

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There is only a reduced capacity because most of the park is closed...

I would easily expect at least an hour queue for the big rides, I mean fright nights had a limited capacity and we were talking 3hour queues. There may be a lower capacity than usual, but it's holidays and thorpe want to make as much money as possible. There will be long queues.

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Personally, I'm still waiting to make full judgement until we hear what exactly the event has.  Brainiac Live is returning, but we don't know to what extent (could be bigger than at Easter) and if anything else is happening.  I mean, it's still possible that they could be doing more than what we currently know..

 

 

There is only a reduced capacity because most of the park is closed...

I would easily expect at least an hour queue for the big rides, I mean fright nights had a limited capacity and we were talking 3hour queues. There may be a lower capacity than usual, but it's holidays and thorpe want to make as much money as possible. There will be long queues.

 

Fright Nights specifically mention the entire, fully open, park's maximum capacity (or there abouts) since it's so popular and busy.  So, to compare the 17k-ish people "limited" capacity to the limited capacity of February half term is a little unfair in my opinion.  As I've said in the past, previous events were quite quiet, and I'd be very surprised if we will see long queues during this event.  I'd expect - at most - 30 minute queues for Stealth and Swarm, and everything else to be under 10 minutes!

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Rage manages as it runs one car and in fairness doesn't hang around too much on its track even when its cold (except the loop, and at Xmas they don't load the back row so it doesn't hold as much weight on the car anyway).

It doesn't always run one car does it?  Heard they were good there and usually run it on three.

 

Very mixed about the £5 charge. Keeps guest levels more stable in he park but is biting further on the park's loyal customers (who don't have premium) considering other top parks in Europe don't do this (even towers).

That's no excuse though, as they could make people prebook tickets for free (so that it still limits capacity), but charging annual passholders for this is just wrong on so many levels.

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^ Off Peak Days when the park is dead it runs on 1 car I've been a few times when it's been on 1 car service. 2 car is when they know they are going to be busy ie school trips and other events. And 3 car service in the holidays. Technically Rage works even in the cold weather we have been on it freezing cold with snow coming down. I think Colossus may be on the line up because it's testing from the Facebook teaser yesterday. I'm seriously hoping to upgrade my Annual Pass I don't want to pay an extra £5 where that can go towards a Theme Park, Food or even travel for a Theme Park.

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I'll skip this completly. Limited ride availability, one train on those coasters open, large queues in the cold, limited food outlets open, and still sore from the previous winter openings give me little faith.

I'd have hoped they would want to demonstrate the event can work well, not put people off even more. At the end of the day it's decided, so as Mark said, pointless complaining and then paying for a day of limited fun.

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You shouldn't have to upgrade your pass because the company that runs the park wants to squeeze every penny out of you. You've already paid £169 why on earth should you pay more. No other theme park in the world treats their loyal guests like this so why should anyone put up with it. They are absolutely disgraceful to charge for it and have damaged an already pretty bad reputation. 

Colossus is unlikely to be in the line up because of its difficulty running in cold weather. It already uses the heaters in the station on some summer nights so I don't imagine it would do too well in feb. 

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I wonder what capacity the park has set itself then? If their capacity over Fright Nights was about 17k?

 

Alton gets a reported 7k in February Half Term when busy. I doubt Thorpe could get anywhere near that, so what's their capacity? 3k?!

 

It is a silly thing to do anyway - regardless of what pass you have it's silly to charge people for a lesser offering than in main season. The cheaper passes are designed to get you into loyalty - despite how many times you expect to use it in the first year. It's the whole renewal "wanting to keep" pass and "maybe upgrade for more options" then. First year doesn't matter if they visit a lot or not - you just need to make the passes worthwhile enough for them to keep paying or maybe upgrading for better experiences.

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