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I don't know if this has been made public, but around 10 months ago I had a couple of conversations with John Wardley, and asked him if he was involved with SW8, to which he answered "I'm not officially on the team, but I pop in every now and again and help in meetings". I'm not sure if people know this information, but it does mean he was involved in the project.

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"BACK TO BASICS  Theme Park set to go back to old fashioned roller coasters after losing trust in modern steel ones. Alton Towers Resort have submitted plans for a roller coaster to made ent

I predict SW8 will open before WC16...

I look forward to seeing "AQUATRAX" posts for the next 2 years.

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On 29/01/2018 at 7:37 AM, BaronC. said:

Video has seemingly been taken down.

 

I watched it, and it looks as I've always expected it to look.  A simple, fun, low key family experience.

Go to Cebeebies Land if you want that. 

 

Once upon a time Alton Towers used to be the most thrilling park, now all they seem to care about is tiny toddlers and their stupid slow family rides.

 

Wicker Man will be ****, we all know it

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The park are selling a limited edition photo box thing: https://shop.altontowers.com/collections/souvenirs/products/wicker-man-premium-photography-box

 

It includes some special photo, photo frame, USB, general Merlin merch, a SW8 block of wood and some numbered certification of how exclusive it is (250 being made).  Neat idea, and between this, the engraved bricks and the overly expensive wood, there's clearly a market for premium merch at Towers and they're fully capitalising on it.  

 

Pretty certain that all the stuff in the box can't be worth more than £50/£55, so they're effectively making up to £30 a box to sell a bit paper with a number of it, and making extra money as passholders won't save money like they would if they bought the pin, magnet, etc seperately.

 

I've said it before and I'll say it again - Merlin know their merch.

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Merlin definitely understand how stupid people can be



I don't think it is fair to call people stupid who choose to purchase such things. We are all guilty of overspending on purchases but what's the problem? I wouldn't get this but I got an apple pencil and an apple smart keyboard for my iPad pro. Both ridiculously over priced. Doesn't make stupid.


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20 hours ago, Kerfuffle said:

It is fair when they get excited about an attraction with "world's first" plastered all over it.

That's the way the industry is heading though.  People respond best to "World's first...", "Continent's first...", "Country's first..." or "The (tallest/fastest/longest/steepest)..." or "Most expensive..." these days.  It's not just Merlin who do it, you look throughout America and it's everywhere.  Across Europe, the likes of Phantasialand, Efteling and Liseberg do it, but so too are the Walibi parks, the Poland parks and everywhere in between.

 

People may not like it, but that's how the industry is responding to get the attention of the masses.  So it's not really people's stupidity.  

 

Of course, the key is to build a quality park and have these attractive headlines to go with it.  Get guests to come for the "world's whatever", but stay for the park..

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Double post but oh well...

 

Another photo of the photo box, showing the contents:

01_545x.jpg?v=1518539311

 

The pin badge, USB stick, wooden block, (cardboard) photo frame and lanyard are all exclusive to the box and presumably won't be sold in any other way.  You all get the certificate and jazz like that.

 

That is definitely not as good as marketed.  Sounded like it was giving you a piece of wood of a similar size to what was sold during Scarefest, a lenticular photo frame, etc.  Still don't have a problem with the product, but the pricing is all wrong - it should be closer to the £30-40 in my opinion (because it is EXCLUSIVE and limited and all that).  I can't see them changing the price now, but I really think they've mucked up there..

 

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I might have it wrong but wasn’t the whole story of the wicker man group (can’t remember the name) about going back to nature and leaving the modern world behind??

 

So they give you a USB stick as part of the package?? Is that not confusing and counter to the entire point of the wicker man and going back to nature thing??

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31 minutes ago, qzzb_uk said:

So they give you a USB stick as part of the package?? Is that not confusing and counter to the entire point of the wicker man and going back to nature thing??

Ah, you forgot one thing. Merlin don't think things through. The left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing and I'm sure on occasion is completely unaware the right hand even exists.

 

A usb can be very cheap and has a far higher perceived value than what it costs them to produce. So when putting these sort of boxes together they are always a reasonable choice. I suspect the box costs somewhere between £10-£20 to produce so should be retailing for £30-£60. Seeing as they are limiting it to 250 and there are fanboys who think that the wickerman will be the best coaster ever I can see why they are charging £80. 

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On 14/02/2018 at 9:39 AM, BaronC. said:

People may not like it, but that's how the industry is responding to get the attention of the masses.  So it's not really people's stupidity. 

I don't think this is the whole picture at all, I think it's just an ideology that inexperienced or unimaginative marketing people abide by, because it's the one tried and tested method when it comes to theme parks.

The Smiler sidelined it's "world first" tagline and had one of the biggest  public responses of many Merlin dark rides. I think the reason it's done so much today is just because it's Merlin's policy, it's believed to be some kind of guarantee for a wide response and has flopped many times.

 

This kind of inescapable marketing strategy also encourages the public to simply expect a world's first tagline, the same way they've come to expect coasters simply to have loads of loops and nothing more (see the poor online response to Icon's layout - despite it being one of the best UK coaster layouts!).

 

Marketing ought support and advise a project's development, rather than lead it blindly. Otherwise all we'd see built in the UK are more repetitive looping coasters, which is actually not what the public would enjoy the most when it actually came to riding.

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Pics released by Towers; taken off Towersstreet’s twitter.

 

Now this looks beautiful... but it’s a real shame the park closes in daylight for the majority of the season. #extendthosehours

 

The third picture is just gorgeous - Edward Woodward would approve.

 

(Edit: The resolution isn’t great - use this link to view them in higher  quality https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.stokesentinel.co.uk/whats-on/alton-towers-releases-first-images-1217618.amp)

 

D0F7EBDD-1709-4FA3-A4FC-DDA84A0FAA59.jpeg

8785B590-F02D-4919-92FC-79CC5AAF47F5.jpeg

73EB4985-27EC-485F-AB83-37D4078750EB.jpeg

62A598AE-F815-4958-8DAE-76D08EE2CC9A.jpeg

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Shame it'll never look like that because (delete where appropriate) be only open at night for a week/the smoke will have run out by April/the fire doesn't work/the theming element has fallen apart/the park is closed due to cuts...

 

 

 

It does look good though, but I'm awaiting to see the response after it's bedded in to see the true reactions to it (I seem to recall anything new is the best ride ever on most accounts, especially given the number of vlogs/blogs/FB groups these days)...

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That structure does look amazing, hope it lasts but wouldn't put money on it. The article mentions a pretty low capacity for the ride as well, hardly looks like it will make for a fast moving queue.

Quote from the Stoke Sentinel.

 

Quote
  • Every ride will house two trains, each made up of six wooden carriages carrying 12 passengers, making 24 per ride;

 

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