Jump to content

Recommended Posts

42 minutes ago, d.m.k said:

The 2021 season so far has been an absolute shambles and it's evident from the comments on social platforms. Seems both Chessington and the Towers are suffering with similar problems. 

 

We recently visited TP and I got our money back after a terrible day - although it was evident that Guest Services were suffering. 

 

This is solely based on opinion but I found the main issues were:

  1. Multiple rides down all-day and at least one major attraction "delayed" at any one time. The amount of "technical difficulties" they have with rides at Merlin parks has become evident in recent years. 
  2. Pre-COVID attendance levels but with COVID protocols still in place. The protocol of wiping down the rides every 30mins - 1hr is ridiculous. The staff were half-heartedly spraying the rides, most the time missing seats while chatting away, using the time as an break. Witnessed this multiple times throughout the day. 
  3. Upselling of Fastrack was intense. Staff obviously tasked with hard-selling Fastrack. At the start of the day, staff were repeatedly mentioning they were expecting 90min+ queues. 
  4. General operations were really hit-and-miss. There just doesn't seem to be the desire from staff to get throughput up. 

Really hoping things improve but we've decided to stay away from the parks for the remainder of the season. 

 

Ah yes, the classic I went in peak time, when the UK is in a domestic days out boom, however still expected the park to be empty.

All days this season will be busy as there is demand all year long for domestic activities, so perhaps try mid week instead next time.

 

Personally I like to get to the parks early so I don't have to deal with the security lines, going to the back of the park I'm then able to knock 4 rides out in the first hour or so.

 

The rest of the day, I like to take in the atmosphere and go with the flow.

Rides breakdown, its always is going to happen, and upselling of Fastrack needs to unfortunatly be aggressive due to to the abused RAP product and accompanying carer pass which I'm sure costs the park a pretty penny in lost admissions sales each year.

 

On another note: Upselling of Fastrack was intense. Staff obviously tasked with hard-selling Fastrack. At the start of the day, staff were repeatedly mentioning they were expecting 90min+ queues. 

 

Where you not expecting this? A peak day at TP will warrant long lines.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 231
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Not once did D.M.K mention crowds or the park being busy as a source of disappointment. All the issues raised were operational and customer services ones completely in the parks control.

Thanks @ben199 and @Coaster for supporting the points I raised in my post.    @Glitch, I feel if you re-read my post, you would understand my gripes are nothing to do with the attendance lev

Having been a merlin pass holder for a number of years I have to say it's about time the management at Thorpe Park got their **** together!Visited 14/6/21 and the number of breakdowns of rides was a j

Posted Images

I would say that even if you got there and inside say by 9.30, having been keeping an eye on the queues for e.g. saw, Colossus and nemesis this/last week (if they managed to open on time) were easily getting to around 45 min+ by 10.30. Yesterday Saw had already managed to hit "90+" minutes by the time it got to 10.25.

 

I'm going on Friday and slightly dreading how mad it'll be to be honest (when I booked I had hoped it wouldn' t be too bad), although its not sold out under 'reduced capacity' as people say I doubt its much different to a typical summer weekday in non-covid times.

 

Setting expectations is important but I'm sure by now people should know its just going to be mad busy for the rest of the summer due to that pent up demand. Not saying thorpe should just shrug their shoulders at that though- definitely should be doing all they can to improve throughput and distancing people on rides is a little silly when they don't enforce distancing in queues and people stand shoulder to shoulder almost.

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

 

Ah yes, the classic I went in peak time, when the UK is in a domestic days out boom, however still expected the park to be empty.

All days this season will be busy as there is demand all year long for domestic activities, so perhaps try mid week instead next time.

 

Personally I like to get to the parks early so I don't have to deal with the security lines, going to the back of the park I'm then able to knock 4 rides out in the first hour or so.

 

The rest of the day, I like to take in the atmosphere and go with the flow.

Rides breakdown, its always is going to happen, and upselling of Fastrack needs to unfortunatly be aggressive due to to the abused RAP product and accompanying carer pass which I'm sure costs the park a pretty penny in lost admissions sales each year.

 

On another note: Upselling of Fastrack was intense. Staff obviously tasked with hard-selling Fastrack. At the start of the day, staff were repeatedly mentioning they were expecting 90min+ queues. 

 

Where you not expecting this? A peak day at TP will warrant long lines.

I think you've missed the point of the post, which highlights a major issue that UK parks simply cannot cope when they are busy.

 

Of course people expect the parks to be busy during half term, but operations need to be swift and the park should be running to maximum to reduce waiting times as much as possible, but that just doesn't happen.

 

It's very much a case of it being how the park is running, rather than how busy it is, that causes the most issues IMO.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Completely agree, was in the park at 9:30 yesterday and when the island opened up we headed straight into a 60 min queue for saw at 10:05. 
 

swarm didnt open until midday. It then shut at 5 as someone took ill on the train and had to be ambulanced out.

 

they gave everyone in the swarm queue a fast track pass but even the fast track queues were 40 mins or so. Nemesis fast track queue snaked all the way round to rhumba rapids. 
 

that was my third visit of the year and probably the last until oktoberfest. 


We got alot done for how busy it was but only by luck of being near rides aa they re-opened after a fault.

 

from memory everything apart from maybe tidal wave broke down twice yesterday. 
 

when you see storm surge on 90min + you know things are bad LOL

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/9/2021 at 2:17 PM, jessica2 said:

 

I'm going on Friday and slightly dreading how mad it'll be to be honest (when I booked I had hoped it wouldn' t be too bad), although its not sold out under 'reduced capacity' as people say I doubt its much different to a typical summer weekday in non-covid times.

 

Setting expectations is important but I'm sure by now people should know its just going to be mad busy for the rest of the summer due to that pent up demand. Not saying thorpe should just shrug their shoulders at that though- definitely should be doing all they can to improve throughput and distancing people on rides is a little silly when they don't enforce distancing in queues and people stand shoulder to shoulder almost.


I would just go with no expectations honestly - that way you won’t be disappointed.  It’s not half term this week so may be slightly quieter.

 

Dont get me started on the social distancing (or lack thereof).  I completely understand that we as individuals need to adhere to the measures in place but it just makes zero sense to have people in queues on top of each other and then once you get to the ride you cant possibly sit next to the person that’s been breathing down your neck while you wait.  At Legoland on Sunday we were waiting to go on the pirate ship and no one was keeping a distance yet every other row was blocked off.  Pretty sure you’re more likely to catch covid in a long queue with people crowded than sat in front/behind someone for a matter of a couple of minutes.  It’s frustrating but I understand they are trying to stick to the rules but they really do need to make more announcements to remind people to keep a distance.  A friend of mine got verbally abused at Thorpe for politely asking someone to leave some space in the queue.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/9/2021 at 2:17 PM, jessica2 said:

Setting expectations is important but I'm sure by now people should know its just going to be mad busy for the rest of the summer due to that pent up demand. Not saying thorpe should just shrug their shoulders at that though- definitely should be doing all they can to improve throughput and distancing people on rides is a little silly when they don't enforce distancing in queues and people stand shoulder to shoulder almost.

 

My take on this is always, its personal responsibility. The park can do announcements and have the signage but when its all said and done, people will do what they want. We're 18 months into this now, people are aware they should stay distant and still choose not to. It's why I'm choosing not to go until the rides are back to full capacity. I think its soul destroying to be sandwiched in queue lines whilst half of the seats go empty. That isn't the park fault and even if the ride staff run at full pelt for 9 hours a day, those issues in the queues will still remain. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/9/2021 at 1:44 PM, Glitch said:

Rides breakdown, its always is going to happen, and upselling of Fastrack needs to unfortunatly be aggressive due to to the abused RAP product and accompanying carer pass which I'm sure costs the park a pretty penny in lost admissions sales each year.

 

So we're blaming the parks poor usage of the RAP system (I bet 100% that Thorpe don't fill in correctly given Towers don't either) for aggressive upselling of Fastrack now?

 

I'm very sorry that you think disabled visitors who require carers are so problematic for the park. Maybe if they charged for carers they could afford to fix the wheelchair lifts for Saw and Inferno?

 

The RAP system being abused does NOT mean the park have to aggressively upsell Fastrack. Especially since they've been doing that for a far longer time than RAP has become a real issue. Other parks don't seem to have the same problems with their systems in my experiences and most don't even have a time card.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @ben199 and @Coaster for supporting the points I raised in my post. 

 

@Glitch, I feel if you re-read my post, you would understand my gripes are nothing to do with the attendance levels at all. In fact, it's great to see so many people out and about after what has been a disaster of a year. Of the 4 points I made, I believe 3 - with the exception of Point 1 on reliability - are simple operational issues which could be addressed. 

 

The point you made on the RAP is interesting though. On my recent visit, I had never seen so many guests with them!! Has this been a growing issue over a long time or quickly come about? Almost all rides with Fastrack had an equally long RAP queue. 

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

Maybe if they charged for carers they could afford to fix the wheelchair lifts for Saw and Inferno?


A valid point. I don’t see why they couldn’t charge for RAP passes even if it is a discounted rate just to deter the abuse of the product. 
This money can then go towards investment and maintenance of accessibility in the parks.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Stuntman707 said:


A valid point. I don’t see why they couldn’t charge for RAP passes even if it is a discounted rate just to deter the abuse of the product. 
This money can then go towards investment and maintenance of accessibility in the parks.

 

Must've missed the sarcasm there.

 

I don't think there's much abuse of carer tickets, as these require ACTUAL evidence (PIP, Blue Badge, etc.) according to the website (whether the park follow this is unknown). Whereas the RAP you can get with a doctors note alone.

 

RAP cannot and should not be charged for. It would be arguably discrimination against those unable to queue being charged extra to allow them to. In which case why not make them buy Fastrack? Actually insisting upon the limitations imposed by the park themselves (filling in queue cards correctly and maximum numbers) would be a start.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What about a Q-Bot style system for RAPs? Virtual queuing without having to rely on staff filling out the cards. There needs to be a better system.

 Says a lot when I hear from others about closing, the main queue suddenly starts moving faster. All these priority lines just make things worse.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The ultimate issue with Merlin's RAP system is that so many people use it. Getting a system that is used and works properly (be that the current system Thorpe have, but staff actually filling out cards properly, or a Qbot/virtual queue system, or something else) is only half the battle.

 

The RAP system, along with free carer tickets, etc, is essential to allow everyone to go and enjoy the parks regardless of any disabilities they may have. As much as people may bemoan the impact the poor running of those systems impacts that standard guest, it is effecting those who actually need RAPs much more, and really the parks are failing them. That's a huge problem.

Link to post
Share on other sites

On Friday, they'd actually sold out of all advanced fast passes already 1-2 days beforehand, and on the day all one shots had sold out also (except for rumba rapids...) As a result some of the queues felt like they moved at an absolute snails pace - especially Saw where the fast track queue was out the gate and nemesis where it was back to rumba rapids. 

 

Went with low expectations, managed swarm, stealth, nemesis, Colossus, black mirror, depth charge and the tea cups and felt that wasn't too bad considering. Of course saw didn't open on time (I don't think it opened until 11ish) so that threw us out a bit at the start plus that queue seems to really struggle at the moment due to a combination of things. 

 

I'm hoping the trial at Alton towers of filling in all the rows is a success, so that perhaps they can do the same with some of the rides at Thorpe.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm of the understanding that the trial of no gaps between groups is happening on appropriate Thorpe rides; that is, Colossus, Walking Dead and Tidal Wave in particular.

 

Why Colossus was still leaving a gap between groups is anyone's guess. Not quite sure what the rule is on Saw and Inferno as to whether they'll be seating groups of 2 side by side again.

 

 

In other news, Vortex is currently closed and I believe will be down for quite a while.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Having been a merlin pass holder for a number of years I have to say it's about time the management at Thorpe Park got their **** together!Visited 14/6/21 and the number of breakdowns of rides was a joke! STEALTH on and off all day same with SWARM and SAW with Samurai not rumning at all.I dont think I've ever been when there hasn't been at least 1 breakdown;usually Colossus which is a disgrace given the money people pay!

Edited by JoshC.
Merged with 2021 season thread
Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed @Peter

 

Ride maintenance was one of my main gripes in a recent post in the topic "2021 Season". 

 

I've been visiting TP for years, especially in the last 5-10 and maintenance has got continually worse. I'm judging this based on more breakdowns, late openings, rides down awaiting parts etc. 

 

Awful considering the Merlin parks are seasonal and should get their rides sorted in the off season.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, jessica2 said:

On Friday, they'd actually sold out of all advanced fast passes already 1-2 days beforehand, and on the day all one shots had sold out also (except for rumba rapids...) As a result some of the queues felt like they moved at an absolute snails pace - especially Saw where the fast track queue was out the gate and nemesis where it was back to rumba rapids. 

 This happened on my last visit and the place was heaving - also I feel a Rumba fast track is completely pointless because the merge point is usually where the queue tends to end.

 

Fast track for Nemesis backing up to Rumba is crazy - I’ve seen it almost hitting the benches in the smoking area - the FT for that is also the RAP line which probably made it longer.

 

I will never understand people paying for ultimate fast track on busy days when it makes more sense to go on an off peak day where you would almost certainly get more in for a fraction of the cost.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There hasnt been any off peak days this so far this season Han. Its been pretty heaving since opening. It was just as bad when the weather was gash in May as even more rides were closed. 
 

quite simply put, the attractions aren’t available for enough hours of the day to acommodate the number of people on park at the moment. 
 

No sign of samurai or vortex, tidal wave closed at half term and one train operations on swarm haven't helped recently.

 

I’m giving it a swerve until oktoberfest.

 

might pop in one evening if the queues look quiest but not holding my breath.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • JoshC. changed the title to 2021 Season

 

11 hours ago, d.m.k said:

Agreed @Peter

 

Ride maintenance was one of my main gripes in a recent post in the topic "2021 Season". 

 

I've been visiting TP for years, especially in the last 5-10 and maintenance has got continually worse. I'm judging this based on more breakdowns, late openings, rides down awaiting parts etc. 

 

Awful considering the Merlin parks are seasonal and should get their rides sorted in the off season.

 

 

Hmmm, I wouldn't say it's gotten continually worse. It's easy to think that, but since about 2019 there's been an improvement in ride uptime generally at Thorpe I'd say, not to mention ride's largely being on fully capacity all the time (which certainly wasn't the case a few years back).

 

However, it certainly didn't get worse at one point. But the bigger issue is that it was never great to start with. 

If you were to go back 10 years on this forum and look at what people complained about, it would always be about reliability and capacity.

 

9 hours ago, Han30 said:

 This happened on my last visit and the place was heaving - also I feel a Rumba fast track is completely pointless because the merge point is usually where the queue tends to end.

 

Fast track for Nemesis backing up to Rumba is crazy - I’ve seen it almost hitting the benches in the smoking area - the FT for that is also the RAP line which probably made it longer.

 

The Fastrack situation at Thorpe is pretty dire at the moment. 

 

Part of it I think is down to staff not using the system properly; not scanning tickets or taking priority passes. This means that the number of tickets in use is greater than what is actually allocated.

Couple that with the fact that the allocation seems to be too high for what the park can cope with at the moment, and it's a recipe for disaster.

 

Given Thorpe are trialling (and will presumably keep) increasing capacity on rides too, I imagine they won't think to reduce Fastrack numbers either.

 

 

8 hours ago, Ali G said:

There hasnt been any off peak days this so far this season Han. Its been pretty heaving since opening. It was just as bad when the weather was gash in May as even more rides were closed. 

 

There have definitely been off peak / quieter days.

 

After the Easter break in April, the park was reasonably quiet on weekdays. Same in early May. One difference compared to a normal season though is that the quieter days this year are busier than in previous years. Likely in part due to people not being able to travel, being pent up and wanting days out, etc.

 

June weekdays are never exactly quiet, with university students usually finished and Thorpe being the prime target market for them. Expand that to people want a day out with nice weather for summer, and they're livelier days. Don't get me wrong, they were never as bad as they've been recently, but they certainly weren't dead quiet either. 

 

Next month I fear will be the worst. School trips seem to be happening again, and I imagine there will be a school trip season happening for the parks this year. They're a nightmare at the best of times...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Go on the Merlin Annual Passholders Facebook group... a RAP pass seems a rite of passage.

 

You have to wonder how many children "don't want to queue" rather than actually "can't queue". 

 

People then complain that the RAP queue was "as big as the main queue" - proof in my mind of an abused and broken system. What about make a RAP VIP queue, the MAP'pers would be all over that... 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I still wonder how people can get RAP passes so easily, I have an issue with my left leg from a previous surgery where it goes completely numb after standing for about 20 minutes, so I always have to sit down in the main queue lines where possible. I've been to my doctors about it and apprantly that isn't a good enough reason?

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...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...