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JoshC.

The Alton Towers Dungeons - New for 2019

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10 minutes ago, Nosferatu said:

Can that entrance be any smaller.....ūüėĀ¬†

 

Also why is it in Cloud Cuckoo Land?

They have repainted burger kitchen into a less colourful style so would imagine it will be considered its own area. 

 

What's funny though is a proportion of the old Charlie facade can still be seen to the left of the dungeon untouched (see the Towers street link Stuntman707 posted). 

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Is that the finished article or....? Looks like they've just bought a load of wicker fencing to cover up what was there.

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10 minutes ago, MattyMoo said:

Is that the finished article or....? Looks like they've just bought a load of wicker fencing to cover up what was there.

It isn't finished yet - confirmed via TowerStreet's Facebook page.

 

I imagine they won't be able to do much in two weeks, but you never know I guess.

 

Ultimately my problem with it is it doesn't feel very dungeony at the moment. It's a cut out castle and, crucially, doesn't look anything like the Towers. I get why they can't put it in the Towers, but they had a massive opportunity to make it feel like a distant part / ruins of the Towers and it seemingly looks like they haven't taken it. That's my biggest problem right now, and I don't think they can turn that around it two weeks.

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Just spotted more wooden fencing ready to go up on a pallet in that photo too. Reminds of the area near Zufari in a way.

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Looks fine. Clearly not finished. I'd slag it off but I'm never going to go in it anyway and the negative reactions on here with this and RotB have been predictable AF.

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All they're going to do is cover the rest of the Charlie façade behind wooden poles. I wouldn't be surprised if the entrance is left like that. It doesn't even match the stone of the famous towers. Also the Burger Kitchen next door has had the remaining colour sucked out of it.

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1 hour ago, Mark9 said:

the negative reactions on here with this and RotB have been predictable AF

Because it looks (equally predictably) rubbish. No need to defend trash, it's not like Merlin actually care about this other than making easy money.

They know they can pay for nothing, do a half arsed job and people will still go along with it.

Most the criticism of it I've seen online has been done with humour of disbelief anyway. You don't have to like everything by default for fear of being seen as "negative".

True there's always some who will complain regardless, but just look at this. Seeing how people will defend the rubbish being fed them by Merlin (they're capable of better, look at Wicker Man), more because they have something against people's opinions  than because they actually like the attraction being made, is sadder in my opinion. If they made anything entertaining and original, I'd be all over it in positivity!

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You say predictable criticism, I say predictably low quality work warrants an appropriate response. 

 

I'm not a sheep who just loves bashing Merlin, but there is a pattern of low quality recently. Rides like Wicker man and Gruffalo have proven they're capable, but there is a general pattern of weird short-sighted and poorly executed actions:

 

Angry Birds Land (tacky and dated IP)

I'm a Celebrity (actor led)

DBGT (actor led...again and a missed opportunity)

Nemesis Sub Terra (liked the ride, but a short sighted investment)

Alton Dungeons (actor led.... yet again, and looks dire externally)

Closing Loggers

Tiger River / letting Dragon Falls fall into disrepair and removing its good theming.

Walking Dead (I liked the ride, but why retheme one of your few family rides to a horror franchise?!)

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16 hours ago, Wumbamillio said:

Because it looks (equally predictably) rubbish. No need to defend trash, it's not like Merlin actually care about this other than making easy money.
 

 

Is this easy money? Because in two years time it will be budget cut, limited opening hours, closed on off peak. I question if something with this limited a shelf life should be opening anyway and if they should spend any money on something that when the advertisers get bored of it, deserves to have extensive work. For something that in 2021 (like everything that side of the park) will be completely forgotten, it looks fine.

16 hours ago, Wumbamillio said:

True there's always some who will complain regardless, but just look at this. Seeing how people will defend the rubbish being fed them by Merlin (they're capable of better, look at Wicker Man), more because they have something against people's opinions  than because they actually like the attraction being made, is sadder in my opinion. If they made anything entertaining and original, I'd be all over it in positivity!

 

I remember a year ago, pre-opening, when the Wicker Man was ripped to shreds by enthusiasts too. It's what we do.

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You would think continuous merlin’s attempts for actor led attractions would make them realise that they don’t last more than a year or two before something’s cut - baffling 

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12 minutes ago, Mark9 said:

 

Is this easy money? Because in two years time it will be budget cut, limited opening hours, closed on off peak. I question if something with this limited a shelf life should be opening anyway and if they should spend any money on something that when the advertisers get bored of it, deserves to have extensive work. For something that in 2021 (like everything that side of the park) will be completely forgotten, it looks fine.

I'd love to be optimistic and say that, unlike any other actor led attraction within Merlin parks, since this is an upcharge attraction, it may last longer. And in some ways, I am. And I've heard rumours suggesting that this version may more be a test of the waters for a bigger-scale version in a different location in the resort. So again, I want to be optimistic and say it won't be forgotten about.

 

But in its current guise, it's effectively set up to fail. They're not going to make cuts to it, forget about it, etc, but they may as well because it's ultimately not going to work.

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On 3/9/2019 at 11:56 AM, Loggers Creek said:

We finally have a reveal to the entrance of the Towers Dungeon, here’s a look in all it’s glory!

53919542_10216472217770869_6428126695491

Image- Richard Paul Matthews from Theme Park Global

Yuck.

 

Just remember:

 

2nd to Disney folks.

 

2nd. To. Disney.

 

Never forget.

 

That is all.

 

*laughs in hysterics whilst crying internally*

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6 minutes ago, Marhelorpe said:

Yuck.

 

Just remember:

 

2nd to Disney folks.

 

2nd. To. Disney.

 

Never forget.

 

That is all.

 

*laughs in hysterics whilst crying internally*

I am seriously tiring of this argument.

 

Yes, Merlin claim they are second to Disney in terms of attendance figures. And as a company they are.

 

They never claim to be second to Disney in terms of quality.

 

People who try and use this argument just come across as ill-informed and ignorant to be honest, and it cheapens your point significantly.

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I'm sorry, but if they're gonna continue to use a statement that bold, they've gotta be held up to those standards in a lot of areas other than finance, especially from a customer's perspective who visit these parks for the experience and don't give two hoots about attendance figures frankly. Using a statement like that is as misleading as Nick Varney saying Merlin "lead the world in themed accommodation and do it better than anybody else" when we all know that's complete and utter tripe.

Are you therefore saying when someone for example forks out £200 for 1 night at the CBeebies Land Hotel they should not expect anything better out there because Mr. Varney said so in a YouTube video?

I personally think it's quite ignorant and ill-informed to tell paying customers to expect anything less after being promised things like this, similar to being told DBGT was the "future for theme parks across the world".

 

Merlin are delusional, nothing more, nothing less.

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13 minutes ago, Marhelorpe said:

I'm sorry, but if they're gonna continue to use a statement that bold, they've gotta be held up to those standards in a lot of areas other than finance, especially from a customer's perspective who visit these parks for the experience and don't give two hoots about attendance figures frankly.

Where do they say this to customers? Genuine question. The only place I've seen them use that phrase is in investor presentations. And it's usually only associated with them in articles by the people writing the articles, not Merlin themselves.

13 minutes ago, Marhelorpe said:

Using a statement like that is as misleading as Nick Varney saying Merlin "lead the world in themed accommodation and do it better than anybody else" when we all know that's complete and utter tripe.

Agree that Varney is effectively wrong in saying this. But this is a different statement and different circumstances - their second largest claim is factual. That's more opinion.

13 minutes ago, Marhelorpe said:

Are you therefore saying when someone for example forks out £200 for 1 night at the CBeebies Land Hotel they should not expect anything better out there because Mr. Varney said so in a YouTube video?

No? I don't get how you're arriving at that either...

13 minutes ago, Marhelorpe said:

Merlin are delusional, nothing more, nothing less.

Regardless of what Merlin are, to keep saying the "second to Disney" claim is ludicrous. They're not saying their quality is only rivalled by Disney - all they have said, to investors only, is that as visitor attraction companies, Disney are the only ones that have more people.

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1 hour ago, JoshC. said:

They never claim to be second to Disney in terms of quality.

Yes they do.
"No other company on the planet delivers projects of such quality, with such value, within the timescales achieved."

MMM website

http://magic.lmcpreview.co.uk/ (click Read More)

MMM of course is the organisation that produces and markets all of Merlin's 
attraction developments, including the Alton Towers Dungeons.

Also, it has regularly been used in staff inductions, promotions, etc to make out they are "second to Disney" in any sense. I rarely see it specified as being only about attendance anymore. Yes, attendance is how they originally based that claim, but they have been using it disingenuously since. Along with many other ridiculous statements they make (eg that Spring update video), Merlin seemingly DO believe they make some of the best attractions in the world.

So please don't be tired of the point being raised, Merlin themselves raise it allll the time so you can  expect a valid counterargument!
 

4 hours ago, Mark9 said:

I remember a year ago, pre-opening, when the Wicker Man was ripped to shreds by enthusiasts too. It's what we do.

 

But do you think this is going to turn out anywhere near as good as Wicker Man? When it opened, I think quite rightly Wicker Man was a big hit with the public and enthusiasts alike. Yes there was a lot of cynicism beforehand from some, but mostly about the layout. Fair enough, because it's very short compared with the many other wooden coasters that were cancelled at Alton Towers. Other than that, the rest was just speculation and people being (understandably) disillusioned with Merlin after other recent developments that were nothing like Wicker Man.

Maybe not "easy money", but they do it for the reason of spreading their own brands and guaranteeing marketing success by using a pre-existing concept (and therefore guaranteeing profits, according to them). But as usual, they are even internally dysfunctional, and you're right it will cost them more in the long term. They keep proving they don't care about the long term of their parks.

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31 minutes ago, Wumbamillio said:

Yes they do.
"No other company on the planet delivers projects of such quality, with such value, within the timescales achieved."

MMM website

http://magic.lmcpreview.co.uk/ (click Read More)

MMM of course is the organisation that produces and markets all of Merlin's 
attraction developments, including the Alton Towers Dungeons.

That's different though - they're not directly comparing themselves to Disney. At best, that statement is hyperbole, and plenty of other companies across the world in a variety of sectors will use similar statements. Any company will try and make themselves sound like they're the best.

 

I know I'm probably sounding pig-headed and stubborn here, but surely anyone with common sense will take statements like that with a pinch of salt? Or do we have to nit pick on every claim everyone makes?

31 minutes ago, Wumbamillio said:

Also, it has regularly been used in staff inductions, promotions, etc to make out they are "second to Disney" in any sense. I rarely see it specified as being only about attendance anymore. Yes, attendance is how they originally based that claim, but they have been using it disingenuously since. Along with many other ridiculous statements they make (eg that Spring update video), Merlin seemingly DO believe they make some of the best attractions in the world.

It is true that, internally, they can use interchangeably. And in some ways, that's fair - their ultimate goal is to become the biggest visitor attraction company. So biggest does mean best and vice versa in that sense. And internally that makes sense - you want staff to believe in the company, to share the same vision, to have some confidence in what they're effectively selling.

 

For the sensible person, they'll understand the difference between biggest and best. I'm sure there's plenty of people who do mindlessly believe biggest=best, and I'm sure there's plenty higher ups who have tunnel vision and believe that too. But I'm equally sure that, regardless of what Merlin say in their updates to investors, that there's plenty of people who understand the difference.

31 minutes ago, Wumbamillio said:

So please don't be tired of the point being raised, Merlin themselves raise it allll the time so you can  expect a valid counterargument!

But it's just lazy. Yeah sure, Merlin are being lazy sometimes and unifying 'biggest' and 'best'. But it's not like they're shoving it down the throats of the public all the time. There's a clear supporting fact for their claim, they just spin it in a clever way to make themselves sound better.

 

It's just so nitpicky and lazy to complain about a hyperbolic statements that are taken out of context.

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1 hour ago, JoshC. said:

Where do they say this to customers? Genuine question. The only place I've seen them use that phrase is in investor presentations. And it's usually only associated with them in articles by the people

It's the very first thing they say to all new staff in inductions, something like: "We're chasing the mouse, our aim is to be bigger than Disney" accompanied by a slide showing them as second to Disney.

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20 minutes ago, JoshC. said:

I know I'm probably sounding pig-headed and stubborn here, but surely anyone with common sense will take statements like that with a pinch of salt? Or do we have to nit pick on every claim everyone makes?

Oh trust me, nobody believes it.
Come on, even if you have sympathies with Merlin, we're scraping the barrel of excuses for their arrogance now!  They covet and dismiss Disney all the time internally.

 

It's never taken out of context and it's not nitpicking at all. In my view it's just people waking up to Merlin's real ways.  If it's just silly hyperbole, why is it stated sincerely to every staff member, written on websites and spoken in serious videos about the company?

Thank goodness they don't advertise it to the public openly, unlike ALL their other questionable  '___ in the world' public claims about their rides.

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10 minutes ago, EpicSmatty said:

It's the very first thing they say to all new staff in inductions, something like: "We're chasing the mouse, our aim is to be bigger than Disney" accompanied by a slide showing them as second to Disney.

Yes, that's too staff. Not to the public. Guests / the public are largely unaware, and don't really care, about the size of Merlin.

4 minutes ago, Wumbamillio said:

Oh trust me, nobody believes it.
Come on, even if you have sympathies with Merlin that's fine to have that opinion, we're scraping the barrel of excuses for their arrogance now!  They covet and dismiss Disney all the time internally.

 

It's never taken out of context and it's not nitpicking at all, it's just people waking up to the smell of _____ that they've been fed for years.  It's right there to be seen in videos, the MMM website ('ALL their competitors, anyone else in the WORLD') and in talk behind the scenes. 

I just don't get it. Merlin are the second largest visitor attraction company, and that's a fact. Of course they're going to spin that to say they're their second best.

 

And all companies positively advertise themselves. A company as large as Merlin will of course put claims out there they're the greatest. It's what any company in their right mind would do if they've got an opportunity to do it.

 

It's not about me being a sympathetic towards Merlin. They're making plenty of questionable decisions I hate. But the complaints against them saying they're second to Disney just always leave me dumbfounded.

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1 hour ago, JoshC. said:

Of course they're going to spin that to say they're their second best.

 

1 hour ago, JoshC. said:

But the complaints against them saying they're second to Disney just always leave me dumbfounded.


But do you see the contradiction here? I think you just accept it and don't see anything wrong with it, whereas others do. It is a valid point people make, I say people shouldnt just accept spin and hyperbole from a company screwing guests over with poor value. They should ask for better than what Merlin thinks it can get away with at high prices forever. If anything people use the second to Disney claim to poke fun at the flaws in Merlin's entire operation, not just criticising one statement they make.

If Merlin stopped trying to convince people they were the best at themed accomodation, produced the best quality/most innovative attraction projects "in the world" and trying to brainwash its staff, then there'd still be all the other problems. It's just that their attitude is nicely summed up by the "second to Disney" contradiction.

They will make even more noise about it once they "catch"/"stomp"/"crush the mouse" or whatever nasty variant of that phrase they're on to now.

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