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Alton Towers General Discussion


themeparkmad

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Daft thing is in my experiences of similar systems abroad and in UK the abuse is only prevalent in Merlin parks.

 

And a lot of other parks don't even use the return time slots either.

 

I'd say the steps to change it are simple. But the park are hesitant because of the inevitable bad press from those who will scream and shout because they can't abuse the system anymore.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This Smiler takeover at Towers looks fantastic... 

 

 

Particular points to note are the Argos karaoke machine, aeroplane seats (out of shot) with barbed wire on them (completely fits in), bits of old CBeebies tat (Fido dog house).

 

When does it stop becoming an "easter egg" or "a NoD tO sOMEthIng" and not just never buying anything new and just repurposing/throwing in anything they find in the props cupboard? I say right now, personally. And I'm a Smiler fan.... but that stage in front of the Wickerboi just gives me the ick.

 

Shane Sandwich is gonna be rippin' this a new one tonight.

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Cant believe I’m saying this, but I’m so glad Thorpe stick to appropriate events.

 

This event isn’t really an event, it’s scraping the barrel for entertainment. It doesn’t work, the thrill makers at thorpe are 100% on brand. This isn’t, it seems like an event that a park such a pleasurewood hills or Oakwood could put on. The props, the quality of the stages and the acting (not the actors fault) should not be in a premium theme park

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Lol.

 

Is this actually worse than last year's version?

 

I guess though this is the issue with the UK parks as a whole. Entertainment is an afterthought, so we end up with Butlins-esque stuff because people seem to like it? Though the old pirate show was usually worth a giggle or two so maybe it's what works.

 

Bring back the Ice Show.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You know what else doesn’t belong at a premium theme park? Aramark. If they’re going to outsource food again and increase prices, at least bring back the brands; KFC, McDonald’s / Burger King. Or for something different; Wendy’s, Popeyes, Taco Bell.

I remember the Old El Paso place near the flume always did banging fajitas. (with MAP discount)

Thorpe at least are keeping the brands and I don’t mind paying for Burger King because I know what I’m going to get and it’s a treat. 
A basic burger served with bland mushy fries is just not something I’m going to buy at a theme park let alone pay a premium for it.

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What annoys me more is that Merlin food used to be pretty good and pretty affordable. But its completely the reverse now and the crap you get is no where near worth the money.

 

I'll pay the premium for good food but I'll spend as little as possible if I know the food is questionable. And as I'm more then willing to shovel out $80 for a meal at Tiffins in Disney World, the fact that I really don't want to spend £10 for a burger and fries at The Burger Kitchen says a lot. 

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Problem is even though these parks have been under Merlin domain for over 15 years now, they continue to be operated as if it’s their first year running them and they are millions in debt. 
 

Whilst the new investments look exciting, the whole barebones of the park operations have been getting worse. Whether it’s things like Galactica taking more than 6 weeks to be in full operational capacity or the quality and quantity of F&B becoming worse. 

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I think the issue is that many of us continue to compare Merlin’s parks with “premium theme parks” as mentioned here, and even Disney.

 

I think that ship sailed many years ago - Merlin don’t seem to want to run premium theme parks, they want to run them like Six Flags.

 

Complaining about Merlin’s dreadful food and poor experience compared to Disney is like complaining about Ryanair’s upcharge for an instant coffee and a broken Kitkat compared to Emirates first class four course meals.

I think the problem they’ve got is that Merlin don’t offer the same good overall prices to back it all up.

 

I think it’s a shame though - not so long ago the food at Merlin’s parks was actually really good overall. It’s hard watching it decline isn’t it.

 

I’m still hopeful that things will improve at some point.  Since going private they’re investing heavily in new attractions after a period of nothing. Perhaps the focus will shift to overall experience in a couple of years…

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On 5/1/2023 at 4:14 AM, Inferno said:

I think the issue is that many of us continue to compare Merlin’s parks with “premium theme parks” as mentioned here, and even Disney.

 

I think that ship sailed many years ago - Merlin don’t seem to want to run premium theme parks, they want to run them like Six Flags.

 

Complaining about Merlin’s dreadful food and poor experience compared to Disney is like complaining about Ryanair’s upcharge for an instant coffee and a broken Kitkat compared to Emirates first class four course meals.

I think the problem they’ve got is that Merlin don’t offer the same good overall prices to back it all up.

 

I think it’s a shame though - not so long ago the food at Merlin’s parks was actually really good overall. It’s hard watching it decline isn’t it.

 

I’m still hopeful that things will improve at some point.  Since going private they’re investing heavily in new attractions after a period of nothing. Perhaps the focus will shift to overall experience in a couple of years…

 

We should continue to compare Merlin to premium theme parks as that is how they price themselves. Ryanair don't price themselves like they're BA. 

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Hot take, but I didn't actually mind The Smiler Takeover. Sure, it was horrendously cringe in X-Sector with these blatant 'we need to have some event specific entertainment so lets see what we can come up with' shoe-horned stages but some of the props that they used in the various queuelines were actually pretty cool - the one that comes to mind most significantly is the mannequin in the Th13teen queueline.

 

Granted, it doesn't really fit with the attractions - but I don't think it was ever meant to. I don't like the idea of the theme, nor do I like the idea of the event, but as far as actually executing the event is concerned... it kind of does what it says on the tin, right? It's the Smiler takeover and... well... it took over.

 

I just hope the random bits of theming chucked in the various queuelines are repurposed in the Smiler in some form once the event is finally done with, and I also hope that this year is the end of Festival of Thrills. It didn't work last year, it didn't work this year (although it worked slightly better this year than it did last imo), so I hope they just call it quits.

 

I think this year they just used any old excuse to have ANY event running at ANY point in the season, just to try to entice more return customers. Whether that ends up working for them or not is yet to be seen...

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  • 2 months later...
10 minutes ago, Benin said:

Hex and Skyride being down for remainder of season really makes me glad I'm not bothering to visit this season.

 

Don't forget our dearly beloved.

 

I'm not really buying what they're saying to be honest. I think its to do with staffing. The way Hex miraculously reopened last year when Duel closed says to me they have recruitment holes that they can't fill. 

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On 8/2/2023 at 1:30 PM, Mark9 said:

 

Don't forget our dearly beloved.

 

I'm not really buying what they're saying to be honest. I think its to do with staffing. The way Hex miraculously reopened last year when Duel closed says to me they have recruitment holes that they can't fill. 

But surely if this were the case, Hex wouldn’t have opened alongside The Curse at Alton Manor at the start of the season? At the start of the season, the two did operate alongside each other (albeit very briefly, as Hex was down again by April).

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  • 3 months later...

Seeing a lot of map holders complaining about the down sizing of the Xmas event this year…. 
well perhaps if you spent money at the Christmas market it would be back.. cheap and cheerful as always the map holders expecting everything for free with their £120 annual pass bought in the sale whilst visiting the attractions bi weekly

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  • 2 months later...

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