UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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PhNx Survivor
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:56 pm

Think it’s a bit extreme but each to their own I guess.

EDIT: Tbh.. people do it because staff do not enforce it fully as they should, I saw a bunch of people smoking near the shop at Wicker Man and the staff said nothing.. Today’s society doesn’t care about other people’s well beings so they smoke because they can. Like I said, I had the decency to smoke in the designated sectors, now I’ve stopped, but my other half still smokes, most times in the designated sectors but if she hasn’t had one for a while being 2/3 hours plus she will have one, she will keep out of the way of other guests especially children because that is the sort of people we are. We respect other people’s concerns.

So being thrown out the park in my case is quite extreme.. especially since I ain’t even smoking :lol
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Dan
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:06 pm

As reported earlier on today by TowersTimes Facebook; Like last week, Alton Towers have extended ride close tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, so that they will now open 10am - 6pm. The ride close today was also extended to 6pm.

Opening times for the remainder of the month have also recently been added to the Resort’s website, with a return to the off-peak pattern of 10am - 4pm on weekdays and 10am - 5pm during weekends.

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AndreJD
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:48 am

I don't think the length of queues is really an excuse. The rules are very clearly laid down, and I'm sure the same people somehow manage to get through a film at their local cinema for nearly 3 hours without lighting up. They smoke because they're outside and that's good enough for them.
 
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:05 pm

Films are a bit different to standing in a line, for one you are distracted by the film, which can easily help to not light up. If you are standing in a queue for 3 hours, that’s quite a challenge to do for a smoker.. as I used to be one I understand how it is.

If a queue has been for 3 hours let’s just say, and someone sparks up who hasn’t the entire 3 hours so far.. would anyone really tell them to stub it out? From my experiences.. I wouldn’t dare.

EDIT: just for peace of mind I am in no way defending anyone’s actions, even my other half’s, I am just curious to see people’s views, I understand the hate for it as I don’t like the smell of it myself now, even though I used to smoke :)
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MakoMania
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:54 pm

People shouldn't smoke in queue lines, in my opinion. It is unfair to damage the health of others to satisfy a craving. Other people do not wish to have harmful excess tar secreted into their lungs against their own will. If you can't last the queue time without needing to smoke, then don't queue.
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:06 am

I agree, I always tell my other half to have a quick one in the designated area.. this should be enough for a decent queue time.

What gets me is that people who smoke at the start of the queue, and then smoke another almost before they are on the ride.. on average queues are 30 minutes.. or 45 dependant on the area you are in.. so for them to do that is complete disregard for anyone else.. these type of people should be removed.
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Dan
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:16 am

Just to remind everyone, we do have a topic dedicated to discussing Smoking Outside of the Designated Areas, which can be found here.

While we of course promote healthy discussion on this subject, we ask that it is done so in the correct topic.

Thanks :)
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:42 pm

Alton Towers have just revealed a new Mini Mission, for guests under the 1.4m height restriction. They are challenging guests to accomplish 22 different tasks throughout the theme park. More details can be found here.

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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:48 pm

That's such a good idea for the younger guests, well done towers!
 
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:17 am

We went to AT on Friday (I took my 11 year old daughter and two friends).

Unfortunately, for the first time since my first visit in 1990, it wasn't a great trip. The weather obviously didn't help, but it was a few things which just seemed to add up over the day.

- Smiler wasn't open (I don't think it opened once during the day).
- They need to get a better way of measuring the queue times. They are very rarely accurate.
- We sat a table in the Pizza restaurant for 10 minutes before somebody came over to us (this was after I went to find somebody after 5 minutes). It wasn't massively busy either.
- The photo digipass apparently wasn't loaded on properly when I bought itand we ended up missing 4 photos. That added on to the fact that the photo system wasn't working in Duel meant it was horrible value.
- Why are only a very limited number of rides open at 10am? When Smiler is one of them and that is broken then it's a pretty rubbish start to the day. Especially because once we finally got off Oblivion (haven't waited in a queue as long since the mid-2000s), Enterprise went down too.

I love AT, but for the first time ever, I felt like I had a better experience at Thorpe Park when we went last October. I never thought I'd feel that way.
 
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:03 pm

I've been a regular visitor to Alton for the past 30 years.  I've only visited the park once this season during the opening week.  Ride availability before noon was terrible and guest were left wondering around trying to find rides that were actually open with out having to spend the morning queuing for re-rides on Oblivion.  They definitely need to have more choice of thrill rides open first thing in the morning.  This 11 am ride opening times along with late opening times of the rides can't continue this season (especially for the busy weeks like school trips, summer holidays as well as scarefest/fireworks.  Certainly they can't make any more cuts next season without damaging guest satisfaction anymore that what they have done in the last few years.  To me, this years cuts have gone way too far and I'm not looking forward to my next visit to the park, which is a first for me since I very first visited the park back in 1987
 
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:38 pm

Honestly, it looks like it's been an appalling day at Towers today. It's just so sad that it's come to this. One month. An entire month of unbelievably poor operations and ride reliability. 

Realistically, what hope really is there for any improvement as the season continues? It just seems as though, everyday there is an excuse for this and an excuse for that, and even if there has been problems with power today, what about tomorrow, the next day, and the next... when will they actually get this mess sorted out?
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:11 pm

I'm sure Alton don't really want to operate a park which lets down guests. While there have been some questionable decisions (removal of rides for TLC - Twirling Toadstalls, Charlie, SubTerra etc, along with the removal of baggage holds and staggered opening times) I am sure Alton don't go out of their way to close rides. There must be a reason for the closure and if they can minimise these closures to the minimum time possible then they will. Today has been shocking, but at least Alton have revalidated tickets and extended closing, even if just for 30mins.
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:35 pm

I was there today and yeah, it was terrible. Huge sections of the park closed, continual breakdowns on Wickerman. I don't think Rita even opened. It's sad to see the park in such a state.

There are some positives though, I've fallen head over heels in love with Wicker Man (even if it did force me to queue in sweltering conditions for over an hour and a half). The Smiler is running really well, not as rough as I had remembered. Duel is looking good, a few more tweaks and it'll be amazing. Hex still impresses. Staff (bar someone from Eastern Express who was rude to me, so not Alton staff) were friendly and chatty. I felt so sorry for the customer services team, the amount of abuse they were getting.

Slightly OT but if you're there as a pass holder on one of the days where they 'revalidated' tickets, head to Guest Services and they'll sort you out a pair of fast tracks. I was also handed a free ticket on the way out, they didn't see my annual pass around my neck.
 
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Dan
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:28 pm

Well if Merlin aren’t going to give their parks a sufficient budget to run them properly, what do we expect?

The park are doing the best they can with the money they have available to them. Unfortunately, as has been proved so many times in the past month, it’s nowhere near enough. I firmly believe that this year is make or break for the park, and it saddens me to see the almost daily reports of poor operations, ride availability and customer service.

One can only hope that their KPI’s are taking such a battering that Merlin have to increase their budget for next year.
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:46 pm

They’re not giving the parks any budget because they’re spending it on opening more Midway attractions and building hotels. Midway attractions are far more profitable as they can open year round and are so cheap to run in comparison to a theme park. An investment in a new Madame Tussaud’s in, say, New York has the potential to interest locals and tourists from across the globe but improving operations and keeping rides open at Alton Towers does what? Maybe improves the TripAdvisor ratings so a few more people travel from inside the UK.

If the Midway attractions and the theme parks were completely separate companies with absolutely no relation I think the theme parks would be doing far better than they are. At the moment, they’ve just got better things to be spending money on. It’s a real shame. If they invested enough Alton Towers could be a destination park that GP would go to from quite far away but they’re just reluctant to fix all its many flaws
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:36 pm

Honestly, in the situation that we're in, I have so much respect for all those at Towers who are trying their very best to make the most out of the budget Merlin are giving them. The money that they are given really isn't enough, and I imagine some very tough decisions have to be made. But when it has such an impact on guest experience, people simply won't come back. 

I mean, it's okay giving guests free return tickets to encourage guests to return when your business is having a bad day, in fact, it makes sense from a business perspective, as it in theory should give the resort another chance to show their customers that they can do things right. But when they simply don't have the funds to improve things, what are they even trying to achieve by handing out all these free tickets?? Because people will take up the offer of free tickets, visit again, still be unhappy, and will be left even less willing to make a return visit.

I just want Merlin to stop prioritising their shareholders over their customers. :(
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Fri Apr 20, 2018 7:40 pm

Keep in mind that Merlin recently dropped out of the FTSE 100, so they will be trying to save money. Nevertheless, this was where I discovered my love of rollercoasters, so it is sad to see what it’s going through.
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:52 am

The park was operating moderately OK yesterday. Some degree of Wicker Man downtime which seemed to get resolved quickly, but unfortunately Rita went down around 1pm and after a brief re-opening shut down for the day very quickly. When both rides were down, there were obscene queues on Thirteen, X-sector rides and Nemesis opened it's slightly extended queue for a period which was unexpected. The number of empty seats, empty rows on coasters across the park was stupid, and I've never seen a roller coaster operating worse in my entire life than Oblivion. Two ops trying to manage the queue, manage the disabled entrance, seat riders, check restraints and dispatch meant a train left at one point after a 10 minute dwell in the station without any real reason. Watching it from the queue was maddening. The people I'd brought had no real theme park experience and even they were commenting about how inefficient it was. This has to change.
 
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:08 am

That doesn't sound good, especially when you had people with you who don't usually visit. Hopefully, the situation is being monitored and feedback to the powers that be.

An enjoyable day can still be had at Alton Towers, although it seems more and more apparent that you need a good knowledge of the park in order to maximise your day. This doesn't just go for Alton, but Thorpe Park and Chessington too. I know on the days we have visited, so far this year, that there have been reports of some guests only riding 2 or 3 rides all day when we have managed 9, 10 or more. Operations certainly play a big part in which rides you choose and that does mean repeat rides on those which are working well and leaving some. As a passholder and frequent visitor, I suppose it doesn't matter as much but then again this is by no means an excuse as you are still being denied an opportunity to ride a well operated attraction.
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