Jump to content
JoshC.

The Alton Towers Dungeons - New for 2019

Recommended Posts

My point is more it isn't exclusive to Merlin - any big company will make some noise saying it's great. Especially internally and to investors. And if they've got a fact they can spin to "prove" their point, they'll use that to their advantage.

 

That's why I accept it...and ignore it. It's meaningless words that just comes from one fact, and people over-empathize how much those words are used by Merlin in the public domain. 

 

I get it's an easy way to sum up some of Merlin's problems, but it's completely taken out of proportion and, to me, just cheapens any point anyone is making.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regardless of the 2nd to Disney discussion, that is still a weak entrance. Tiny portion of theming and then timber. It's just not good enough, however you feel about Merlin, and I don't think I'm Merlin bashing by saying that.

 

There's no axe to grind, it's just not very good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Second to Disney is not a public Marketing phrase, it is a delusional corporate mindset. They want all their staff to think the work that they do is on the same level as Disney. It is not to be taken literally as though Merlin are going around telling the public their attractions are better than Disney. It is more about them having this mindset yet going ahead with the kind of projects you would never see Disney doing in the same way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, JoshC. said:

It's meaningless words that just comes from one fact, and people over-empathize how much those words are used by Merlin in the public domain. 

Is written on a website not public domain? Having pride in your company is different to making up ridiculous hyperbole (when you already monopolise the market and actually get people to believe this stuff).

You've started out saying it's not a valid argument because Merlin have "never stated it refers to quality", then when pointed to a direct quote saying not just Disney but beating everyone in the world on quality, you then change to say its just hyperbole to be ignored (as well as direct quote from Varney to investors, a video that shouldnt contain "meaningless words").

So if your argument boils down to 'well obviously it's not true' (fair enough), then how come you have a problem with people pointing out it's not true? People are only throwing Merlin's own ridiculous words back at them, I don't see how that's exaggeration on their part.

Yeah exactly, it's very indicative of Merlin's deluded mindset and that's obviously what people mean in general when they mock the phrase.

It may be an easy shot to mock "second to Disney", but think it's just hilarious how Merlin don't even try to hide their arrogance anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Wumbamillio said:

Is written on a website not public domain? Having pride in your company is different to making up ridiculous hyperbole (when you already monopolise the market and actually get people to believe this stuff).

You've started out saying it's not a valid argument because Merlin have "never stated it refers to quality", then when pointed to a direct quote saying not just Disney but beating everyone in the world on quality, you then change to say its just hyperbole to be ignored (as well as direct quote from Varney to investors, a video that shouldnt contain "meaningless words").

So if your argument boils down to 'well obviously it's not true' (fair enough), then how come you have a problem with people pointing out it's not true? People are only throwing Merlin's own ridiculous words back at them, I don't see how that's exaggeration on their part.

Yeah exactly, it's very indicative of Merlin's deluded mindset and that's obviously what people mean in general when they mock the phrase.

It may be an easy shot to mock "second to Disney", but think it's just hilarious how Merlin don't even try to hide their arrogance anymore.

I think this discussion has started to spiral away from my point somewhat (and that's partially my fault; I can see where you're coming from)

 

I hate the 'second to Disney' argument because enthusiasts take it out of context and use it for arguments Merlin don't. Marhelorpe mentioned about how they should be held accountable to those standards because customers don't care about the fine print of the second to Disney claim. My point is that Merlin don't say that to customers - it's pretty much all internal or to investors (of course, a lot of what is said to investors can be found out by the public, but the majority of people will not dig that stuff out).

 

The phrases they do use on their website are what I'd expect any large company to say about itself. And those sorts of phrases should just be ignored, as it's meaningless market spiel in my books. And, more importantly, that's a completely different phrase to the second to Disney line.

 

Whenever I see people throw the 'second to Disney' line, it annoys me (irrationally, I guess) because it's like people can't understand the difference between truth and marketing drivel. They are the second largest in the world, and they'll use size as a way of measuring quality. We'll never truly know what the internal standpoint truly is, as of course they're never going to come out and say 'yeah, we're a bit poo' (though in my experience, plenty of senior people within the company truthfully know where they stand in terms of quality within the industry). So why focus on a throwaway phrase when there's actual, more constructive, points to raise?

 

My case in point is this...

 

1 hour ago, Nosferatu said:

So Merlin thinks they're above Universal do they?

 

*Looks at Island of Adventure* LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

 

Not even close, at all.

Merlin do not look at the quality of Universal and think they produce better quality than that. But as a visitor attraction company in terms of attendance, Merlin are above Universal.

 

9 hours ago, Stuntman707 said:

Second to Disney is not a public Marketing phrase, it is a delusional corporate mindset. They want all their staff to think the work that they do is on the same level as Disney. It is not to be taken literally as though Merlin are going around telling the public their attractions are better than Disney. It is more about them having this mindset yet going ahead with the kind of projects you would never see Disney doing in the same way.

This is the best point. The majority of people within Merlin who do end up thinking they're second only to Disney are the low-level, seasonal staff. They'll be made aware of how large Merlin are, and most will be unaware of many parks outside of Merlin and Disney. They'll just go in, take the comment at face value, and move on. So at the low level, it does create this delusion. At the higher level (where arguably it matters, as it's the people who are actually making the decisions, etc), people don't buy into this in my experience, except when they have to smile and nod politely when it's mentioned to investors..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Nosferatu said:

So Merlin thinks they're above Universal do they?

 

*Looks at Island of Adventure* LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

 

Not even close, at all.

 

To be fair, when I was at Universal in 2017 the first thing that popped into my mind was “wow I like Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Amazing Adventures of Spiderman but I really am missing DBGT and I’m a Celeb right now!!”

 

;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours 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. 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.

Yet you still go to Merlin attractions more than once a month on average. Seems strange don't see you hopping over to Disney every other week

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Glitch said:

Yet you still go to Merlin attractions more than once a month on average. Seems strange don't see you hopping over to Disney every other week

I go to Merlin attractions still because despite all the criticisms I make on here, (shocker to all the readers), I still actually enjoy visiting them. Yeah, weird right isn't it?

 

But seriously, just because I visit their attractions does not automatically mean I should love and adore every little thing they do and not utter a single piece of criticism in the process.

 

If I see a flaw or something silly, I will point it out when I feel it is right to do so. In this case, commenting on the absolutely revolting entrance to the Alton Towers Dungeon by simply hiding Charlie's theming with planks of wood, and mocking the delusional mindset of Merlin in the process.

 

If you look at my comments on things like Wicker Man and Gruffaloworks, you will see I have praised them very highly at times, so I'm not a Merlin hater and will give credit when I see it. It's just with the Alton Towers Dungeon, I'm finding very few reasons to praise this right now.

 

I simply just expect better from this company. Simples.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are we not allowed to critique now? 

 

Merlin use claims such as "Second to Disney", rightly or wrongly is used as a measurement as to the quality of the parks...

 

If they didn't use such hyperbole, perhaps we'd limit our expectations somewhat... But when they claim that they lead themed accommodation, well there should be questions asked...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Marhelorpe said:

I go to Merlin attractions still because despite all the criticisms I make on here, (shocker to all the readers), I still actually enjoy visiting them. Yeah, weird right isn't it?

 

But seriously, just because I visit their attractions does not automatically mean I should love and adore every little thing they do and not utter a single piece of criticism in the process.

 

If I see a flaw or something silly, I will point it out when I feel it is right to do so. In this case, commenting on the absolutely revolting entrance to the Alton Towers Dungeon by simply hiding Charlie's theming with planks of wood, and mocking the delusional mindset of Merlin in the process.

 

If you look at my comments on things like Wicker Man and Gruffaloworks, you will see I have praised them very highly at times, so I'm not a Merlin hater and will give credit when I see it. It's just with the Alton Towers Dungeon, I'm finding very few reasons to praise this right now.

 

I simply just expect better from this company. Simples.

Is it not too early to judge? Let's all wait till we've experienced the attraction first rather than going off the design before the official park opening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a Dungeons though, we know how 3 scenes will go (Judge, Torture and Plague); and I'm sure another one had a highwayman scene and a few have had various witch scenes...

 

Herein lies the issue of copy and pasting all your attractions (something Disney are guilty of, but on an international scale the differences aren't as big a deal for majority of visitors)...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Wumbamillio said:

can get away with at high prices forever

Rides at HPWW this year were around ~£6 min for the larger rides.

 I got on 4 of the big 5 rollercoasters (with Colossus twice), Rush, Detonator, Vortex and Tidal Wave in one of my typical visits last year at the park. A fairly good day and it was also a busy summers days. All without fast track of course. Effectively, based on a £33 entrance fee, I paid £3.70 per ride (because the entrance fee covers nothing else which is a good value given the quality and scale of these rides).

Based on a £6 fee, I would have had to pay £54 to go on those rides if they were at HPWW prices. Of course, at HPWW queues are about a fifth of the length and don't break down vs. TP so there is that. HPWW I know is over priced (why I used the min. prices in my estimate) but I guess it is an interesting financial comparison to make.

 

Edit: I just realised this is an Alton Towers thread. Umm...focus on Alton Towers please?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would appear that the single rider queue lines have reappeared on some rides (Smiler and Spinball Wizzer)

 

The Smiler queue line has also had a repaint and clean too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, JoshC. said:

it's like people can't understand the difference between truth and marketing drivel.

And there you have Merlin's entire business model!

At least you've changed from "Merlin never claim theyre better on quality", to admitting they actually do and it is nonsense.

I get your point, it's obviously not true so people shouldnt believe it to be — but why does that mean we should defend the use of the phrase? If we all know it's marketing drivel, why defend it? Forgetting the bluster of social media, there is a valid point being made against them over stuff like this.

Merlin's obsession with brands and how they only invest according to brand at the cost of most anything else (especially evident in this attraction) shows they put a lot more behind such decisions than just 'silly marketing speak'.

They knew the 'second to Disney' slogan would stick when they planted it. Often their sloganeering and advertising becomes more than  company spin, and becomes manipulative nonsense. Look at the lies in all their adverts. I'd rather have a theme park industry with less media brainwashing of the public and more fun to be honest.

 

9 hours ago, Ivsetti said:

I just realised this is an Alton Towers thread. Umm...focus on Alton Towers please?

This is the Towers Dungeon thread, we're discussing Merlin rolling its midway brands rolling into Alton Towers so I think it's relevant. My comment there was about VFM than prices alone. Hyde Park is overpriced too like you say, but it's much greater VFM because it's more entertaining, diverse, surprising and creative than most Merlin parks today. Similar ticket prices get you into places like Europa Park too, where there are far more attractions and far more quality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Glitch said:

Is it not too early to judge? Let's all wait till we've experienced the attraction first rather than going off the design before the official park opening.

Its not exactly a unique attraction though, isn't it?

London, Blackpool, Edinburgh, Warwick, the dungeons as a whole are pretty repetitive and the fact that we're getting this when the park has no supporting lineup just shows how driven Merlin are to make a quick buck.

 

Furthermore, there is not much this can do to not be a awful cash grab that just highlights the lack of supporting rides at the park.

When you have the other bigger dungeons that have similar content whats the point in having a smaller one at a park that is desperate need of flat rides (besides money)..

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, JoshuaA said:

 

When you have the other bigger dungeons that have similar content whats the point in having a smaller one at a park that is desperate need of flat rides (besides money)..

 

 

 

Bigger scale Dungeons that premium passholders get FOR FREE I might add!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Wumbamillio said:

I get your point, it's obviously not true so people shouldnt believe it to be — but why does that mean we should defend the use of the phrase? If we all know it's marketing drivel, why defend it? Forgetting the bluster of social media, there is a valid point being made against them over stuff like this.

It's not a defence of the phrase. You can slam any marketing drivel if you want to. When there's much better to critique Merlin, why is it people always fall back to the same slogan taken out of context? It just feels like a way to cheapen someone's point, rather than reinforce it. 

18 hours ago, Ivsetti said:

Edit: I just realised this is an Alton Towers thread. Umm...focus on Alton Towers please?

The mod team will intervene if we believe a discussion needs steering back on topic. :)

I reckon we all would rather have reasonable and intelligent discussion that's come from the thread rather than just halt it just because it's not directly related to the title. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Towers invited lots of fansites to 'Meet the Makers' of the Dungeons, and also view the Stargazing Pods. Here's TowersStreet's one: https://towersstreet.com/news/2019/2019-new-additions/ (warning - SPOILERS)

 

They experienced two scenes, and saw most of the others. Effectively, it's pretty much all cookie-cutter scenes from other Dungeons, but there are local twists on it. The rest of the CATCF facade will be covered by wood in a similar fashion to that which surrounds the entrance.

 

Some maybe-of-interest facts (not really spoilers):

-This Dungeons has been created in about a third of the time that other Dungeons normally are made, although we can expect the same high quality props.

-Like some other Dungeons, they use the 'three wall set' model, basically meaning the wall that guest's will have their backs' to is unthemed and black, though if done right, this normally doesn't affect the experience

-The music has been made in-house, but does have a twist on ITHOTMK 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps unsurprisingly, early reviews for the Alton Towers Dungeons are positive. Very much seems to be the case that it's the same quality of all other Dunegons, just a smaller version.

 

Good to hear, but this still doesn't answer any of concerns about whether this is right for the park. Indeed, regardless of the quality, an upcharge actor-led experience which is a lite version of an attraction which can be found in 5 other locations across the country still feels totally wrong. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of the reviews seemed to be from invited parties (presumably free tickets to the attraction)...

 

One review I read I gave up on when they remarked that some areas were sparse compared to the in depth style of Charlie, because if you're making nonsense up like that, your actual opinion is moot...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tbf I've tried to ignore / not consider any of the invited people's reviews, since the chances are they'll just not mention any neagtives. Even then, the reviews about the quality of the attraction have been good, which still doesn't surprise me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Benin said:

One review I read I gave up on when they remarked that some areas were sparse compared to the in depth style of Charlie

Wow, either they're exaggerating or Dungeon makes Charlie seem like a dream
To be fair to Charlie, the first scene was great and had some nice style, it was everything afterwards (most the whole ride) that was like an empty building!

I've tried to avoid anything but have heard noises such as "Ehhhh", "Ummmm"  and "Well" in various degress of averageness . Apparently it's better than it could have been given the copy-past concept, at least that's something

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Marhelorpe said:

Done it. It's awful. Review later.

Interesting! Although I haven't done it I have genuinely only heard people be positive about it. Look forward to your review as ever! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...