UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Count-Vonduel
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:44 pm

Jack wrote:
Do you want some chips with that salt, CV?

I think the VR experience looks pretty good to be honest, I do enjoy VR when it's done right as it seems to have been here :)

Can you point out said salt, I can't see it.
Where did I say anything about the quality of it or about the content in general?
 
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Jack
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:33 pm

CV, I'm pointing out that you seem to have some sort of vendetta against Merlin despite them doing a lot of things correctly as of recent. Everyone been begging for a wooden coaster? Bam, they got a wooden coaster. Everyone been begging for a quality dark ride? Bam, they chucked around £40 Million at one. Everyone wanted proper maintenance of rides? Bam, TLC Program launched. So as I say it just seems petty that you seem to be hating every little thing the company do. I'm not saying I agree with everything they do, I think Galactica was a misstep, I think that they need to close less rides, keep more open and do periodic maintenance instead of just closing at once as is seen with Cloud Cuckoo Land this year.

But as I say, I think the VR idea is a brilliant use of space, low cost to implement, quality experience and low price :)
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AltonOperator
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:45 pm

In all fairness count voundel didn't say anything bad about the vr thing. He's merely saying that it could hold clues. Where you're getting 'vendetta' from I'm not sure.
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Count-Vonduel
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:08 am

Its count-VONDUEL, GET IT RIGHT!
Anyway, I don't have a vendetta against Alton or merlin or whatever, I love Alton Towers to death, if I didn't then I wouldn't care enough to criticize them.
I'm critical about SW8 because (while its the long awaited woodie) its just another coaster and yeah it will probably be a very good coaster but its still just another coaster and will continue to be that until they fix the rest of the park as a whole! (Flat rides, shows,darkrides ect)
Same with hotels (might I point out that they just closed splash landings for scarefest due to low attendance) they just keep building hotels with pretty much no reason for them to exist and don't get me started on all the many issues with cbebies hotel!
I'm critical of the Hex refurb because they genuinely made it worse with very few good changes to offset everything they ruined, the queue is better and the TV screens being replaced with CRT's it good but on the other hand, I'm not sure what they did but the sound in the video room is god awful and way too loud (so loud that you can't hear it properly) and they removed all the bass from it! The random rags strewn about the room in the octagon just get in the way and block the view of important effects. Meanwhile in the vault the music has very bad audio quality and its way too bright throughout the entire thing thus losing all effect!
I'm critical of the new scarezones because they are inferior in every way to the old ones and seem to be getting worse year on year, with this year being reduced to the worst one only!
Did I miss any thing?...oh just as a forewarning, if the new 4th scarefest maze turns out to be a really scary one in the same vain as end games and "Altonville Mine Tours, Uncover the Legend of the Skin Snatchers" then I'm going to be critical of that too with the only exception being if it is located at the hotels, not because I don't like the scariness of it, its because the park needs another maze for families, something that's ether something to fill the gap between HoM and TotT with HoM being toned down a bit to compensate (something which the old style scare zones used to and will still do perfectly!) Or some form of kids maze for kids too young/scared for HoM, (with HoM being ramped up a bit to compensate)
 
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Sawboss
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:55 am

If you look at it from Towers point of view the new scare zones are a much better use of money. They're cheaper, for one thing, and practically every guest that passes through that area encounters the attraction, as opposed to the old scare zones where the majority of guests will walk straight past. It's minimum spending for maximum guest engagement, and I think they make the park feel more alive.

I suppose I should have posted this in the scarefest topic.. ah well, you brought it up.
 
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Jack
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:45 am

CV, I'm having a hard time seeing it from your point of view here. Hex has been made infinitely better and I didn't notice any loss of atmosphere, and the lightened vault was a plus as you could see everything as well as having new strobes for it too, adding more effect. I honestly haven't experienced the issues that you've said about regarding the ride either.

To be honest, I'm not aboard the SW8 hype train, but the point of the matter is that Merlin as a whole are listening, and in addition your point regarding the ride shows that you are turning a blind eye to the money that is being pumped into the park. Nemesis has had a complete repaint, Blade has had a repaint, Duel is rumoured to be getting heavy maintenance, additional pathways have opened, Dark Forest has been refurbished in that all the scaffolding around Rita has almost disappeared. I completely fail to see here how the park hasn't been invested in? As I say I still have some criticisms of the whole park, but to say, as you have quite blatantly here, that there's no effort anywhere other than coasters is totally misguided. I think more flat rides need to open, and I think that the park needs more variety, definitely, but to say that no money is being put anywhere else is absolutely absurd.

The park do have a scare maze for families as you said, and I think that is plenty considering that Freak Show helps to fill that void. Yes Alton Towers have a family market to please, but families include teenagers and young adults, who will be looking for more extreme actiivities. Families have the shows, House of Monsters and Freak Show, the argument that a fourth scare maze would be out of place is incomprehensible to me. And this goes without saying, a lot of people did enjoy Freak Show (me included) just for its simplicity and interaction with the actors that you wouldn't get in a 'ZOMBIES! Scare Zone' style attraction.

Let's leave that there, CV, my point is that you've been throwing out all these bold claims that Merlin and Alton Towers haven't made an effort and that those claims are provably false.
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AltonOperator
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:37 am

PLEASE DON'T SHOUT AT ME COUNT-VONDUEL I'M TRYING TO PROVE YOU RIGHT!

Aaaaaanyway, Alton Towers have said that this is going to be 'the most frightening scarefest ever' so its unlikely the final scaremaze will be anything family friendly. They've also confirmed the Alton Ancestors. That's good for families and keeps up the atmosphere before the scarezones open. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be on this thread but I guess this is the general discussion that's going on at the moment. Unless you want to talk about the Ben Rathe guy.......
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Ladyofthelake
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:41 pm

Afternoon :)

Things seem to have got a little bit heated in this topic so I just want to pop a little reminder of a couple of things. If there is a post which you feel is not appropriate, either because the content is not suitable, or you feel a member is posting in a way which is either aggressive or having a go at yourself or another member, please use the report function which can be found int the top right corner of every post (the exclamation mark in the triangle). This will flag it to the team who will be able to take a look and deal with things as necessary. Of course, you can also send a Private Message to any member of the team to and we will reply as soon as we are able.

Now, let's get back to the friendly discussion we normally have :)
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Count-Vonduel
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:30 pm

Sorry to carry this on but I feel that you are misunderstanding me and I want to publicly present my side of it in a way that isn't being misunderstood before I leave it and get back on topic, sorry for carrying this on.

Also sorry to AltonOperator if you thought I was shouting at you, I was joking and assumed you knew that too.

Jack wrote:
CV, I'm having a hard time seeing it from your point of view here. Hex has been made infinitely better and I didn't notice any loss of atmosphere, and the lightened vault was a plus as you could see everything as well as having new strobes for it too, adding more effect. I honestly haven't experienced the issues that you've said about regarding the ride either.

To be honest, I'm not aboard the SW8 hype train, but the point of the matter is that Merlin as a whole are listening, and in addition your point regarding the ride shows that you are turning a blind eye to the money that is being pumped into the park. Nemesis has had a complete repaint, Blade has had a repaint, Duel is rumoured to be getting heavy maintenance, additional pathways have opened, Dark Forest has been refurbished in that all the scaffolding around Rita has almost disappeared. I completely fail to see here how the park hasn't been invested in? As I say I still have some criticisms of the whole park, but to say, as you have quite blatantly here, that there's no effort anywhere other than coasters is totally misguided. I think more flat rides need to open, and I think that the park needs more variety, definitely, but to say that no money is being put anywhere else is absolutely absurd.

The park do have a scare maze for families as you said, and I think that is plenty considering that Freak Show helps to fill that void. Yes Alton Towers have a family market to please, but families include teenagers and young adults, who will be looking for more extreme actiivities. Families have the shows, House of Monsters and Freak Show, the argument that a fourth scare maze would be out of place is incomprehensible to me. And this goes without saying, a lot of people did enjoy Freak Show (me included) just for its simplicity and interaction with the actors that you wouldn't get in a 'ZOMBIES! Scare Zone' style attraction.

Let's leave that there, CV, my point is that you've been throwing out all these bold claims that Merlin and Alton Towers haven't made an effort and that those claims are provably false.


The Hex thing is 100% opinion for everyone so let's just disagree and move on.

I never said that the park wasn't being invested in outside of SW's and cbeebies. Think of it like this, there is a car that has been used for many years and the engine is starting to wear out, so the owner starts to paint it every year and adds a drinks holder, the car now looks like new and has more features but the engine is still broken and will soon die fully, Leaving nothing but a well painted shell.
That's my issue with SW8 and the TLC, it is just building coasters and cbeebies hoping that they generate enough interest to offset the parks slow decline.

I never said a 4th maze would be out of place, just that it would be better utilised as something to fill one of the age gaps present at the event who are otherwise not catered to.
The freak show does not fill the gap between HoM and TotT because despite how scary the park claim freakshow is, the fact remains that its just not scary and as a result doesn't scratch the itch for the teens who are too young for TotT but too old for HoM.
Just look at videos of freakshow vs videos of zombie scarezone from its last year, it just doesn't compare.

Anyway sorry for carrying this on, if you would like to continue this debate, then by all means PM me!

So where were we... Ah yes
If the VR thing in the hotel features Sir Algernon then it might have something to do with the theming of the next hotel room refurbishment, and if it doesn't, then it might have something to do with either SW8 or the 4th scarefest maze, what do you think?
 
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gareth.daggitt
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:43 pm

Anyone know why there was a Air Ambulance at AT today? I'm waiting for the press to spam again... *sigh*, saw Loads of people taking videos, so no doubt it will be in the papers, hopefully not though!
 
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Dan
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:50 pm

gareth.daggitt wrote:
Anyone know why there was a Air Ambulance at AT today? I'm waiting for the press to spam again... *sigh*, saw Loads of people taking videos, so no doubt it will be in the papers, hopefully not though!


It was called as a precaution to assist a guest who had tripped and fallen.

Nothing serious.
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Wumbamillo
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:54 pm

Jack wrote:
CV, I'm pointing out that you seem to have some sort of vendetta against Merlin despite them doing a lot of things correctly as of recent. Everyone been begging for a wooden coaster? Bam, they got a wooden coaster.

They don't appear to have a Merlin vendetta and they are just expressing their opinion as a paying guest.

Personally I woudn't say "Bam" - this wooden coaster has now taken 20 years to materialise, since a wooden coaster was first designed for the park. It has taken an enormous amount of effort to get the project approved by Tussauds (then under Charterhouse) & Merlin, who have put enormous obstacles in its way and chosen to build pretty disappointing gimmicky things like in the meantime. Even now, the coaster finally being made is a far shorter, less thrilling version of what could have been.

Everyone been begging for a quality dark ride? Bam, they chucked around £40 Million at one.

I don't think anyone ever wished for the Heath-Robinson style dark ride that is Derren Brown, which may have cost an extortionate amount to produce, for relatively little result. It's essentially the world's most complicated sit-down VR demo, which is already very dated in what VR could have been used for. A more dynamic simulator and more effects and theatricality would've been better, instead the most dramatic part is a cardboard train and an actor tapping your knee. It's still a decent attraction, but shockingly poorly produced for what it was supposed to be.

Everyone wanted proper maintenance of rides? Bam, TLC Program launched.

I can tell you (as disappointing as this is to hear) there is nothing different about this "TLC" thing as to what the park was doing before. Merlin does not and never has budgeted proper money for effects, scenic and show maintenance. Some parks have one or two technicians for maintaining such effects, which has to be paid for by the Attractions budgets, which already has to pay for the cost of operations. Either that or the park entertainments teams will try and apply for a budget from Merlin to fix up attractions as best they can themselves, like what happened with Hex - they did a fairly good job with most of it, but the time and money was still very limited. Really, professional FX and scenic contractors should be used, who do those things for a living.

Nemesis station wasn't even given enough budget to repaint the whole thing in one go. They painted it all in one go in 1994 when it opened, now they have to save up across 4 years worth of scenic budget.

In honesty, the only "TLC" thing that was launched was a logo and a Facebook page to address people's concerns, but there is no real "programme" because there is no protocol or dedicated budget, and only a small team who aren't often given the proper resources to complete those things.

Most other parks will service and repaint things every year. Disney service their effects every week, now - we can never be Disney, but -  to put it in perspective, I worked at one Merlin park that hadn't professionally serviced its big effects in a very well-known ride for about 15 years.

None of this is to do with having an agenda against Merlin, but - when it's justified and reasonable - I think people should be allowed to express their criticism of Merlin's or Alton Towers' practicises. What saves them money shouldn't be any of our business, all we as guests should be concerned with is the value for money we've paid for.  I don't believe, with neglected rides such as Duel (which won't be getting a "massive" redo as some have suggested), that we're getting the best value for money. :)
Last edited by Wumbamillo on Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Dan
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:00 pm

Ladyofthelake has already asked people to move on so I suggest that's what people do before they face the wrath of the team :)
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:04 pm

I was disussing the topics they brought up, I wasn't intending to bring up the argument earlier I wasn't involved in. I believe it's good to discuss these topics in a balanced way and that I had something worthwhile to contribute. :)
 
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:10 pm

So as 2 or 3 people have suggested, lets move on! They've taken the age restriction off of Congo River Rapids. I'm not sure how I feel about this because there are a lot of stupid kids who will mess about. At least they waited until after school trip season.
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Dan
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:12 pm

I believe that the over-18 age restriction was in place purely for the school trip season which is why it's now been removed.
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:46 pm

I'm also hoping that at some point they will be able to turn the waterfalls back on... I really hope! It won't be the same on the Katanga path when it reopens in 2018 with out the waterfall splashing sound!
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:31 am

I don't actually mind how it looks at the moment without the water because the walls look like a Mayan temple or something but I would like to see them back for the ambience in the surrounding area.
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:59 pm

That was my thought when they first turned them off! It does look like a temple!
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Re: Alton Towers - General Discussion

Sat Aug 19, 2017 11:07 pm

lewis97 wrote:
Anyone for a random VR attraction in the Alton Towers Hotel's Emperor Suite? Going by these photos posted in the MAP Facebook group, it seems there is now a WePlayVR upcharge experience called Mayan Adventure, which looks to be one of the two games they can supply.

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Here's a trailer for what's presumably the experience on offer along with a few screen-grabs.



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I gave this a go the other day and thoroughly enjoyed it. The experience is actually provided by HB Leisure and lasts around 3-5 minutes. You are provided with a backpack linked to the headset and a wand (your torch) and then you begin to navigate the temple. The VR is good and instructions are clear. Surprisingly, you don't walk into the sides very often (only touched it once myself) and you don't feel that you are walking around in circles at all. In the middle there is a vibrating plate which works well as the temple is based on multiple floors and you use lifts. I'd love to give it another go if it is still there at Scarefest!

Here is a video Dan took of me whist I was playing...

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