Swarm Chris wrote:
I think it can be all too easy at times to pull out the issues with Alton and the rest of the Merlin parks. For sure they do have their issues, but when you compare them with other parks you start to see pretty much everywhere has their quirks.
The majority of Cedar Fair parks run an extremely limited number of days each year. Even Cedar Point only operates at weekends in September and from what I can tell the hotel only operates on the days the park is open, so no staying onsite the day before or the night after in September. Bag drops of any form are beginning to be ditched in favour of paid lockers in many US parks. Disney Paris closes the majority of its restaurants outside of peak season and I've had an issue of literally struggling to find anywhere on property that would serve a meal, whilst their quick serve offerings are some of the slowest I've ever experienced. Efteling shuts at closing time, so chances are the rides will be closed a good while before the park is meant to close.
More investment would certainly be great, but there are things that the UK parks do very well despite this.
Oh absolutely, Alton Towers do get a lot of things right, they're probably the best in the UK in terms of running coasters on a good capacity for example.
Just some small steps and the park will be fantastic again, Wicker Man is definitely a great addition.
If Towers could do these things for next season (some easier than others), it would improve the park experience so much:
-Bring back single rider queues on Spinball Whizzer, The Smiler & Th13teen, these are the rides that benefited the most from them.
-ERT returning to 9am would be good considering there will be a higher number of guests staying on site due to the Stargazing Pods.
There are already rumours swirling about The Blade being removed and Sub-Terra reopening to compensate. This would be positive from a thrill seeker perspective, although not for people under 1.4m.
Hopefully with the park seemingly having had a good season in 2018, Merlin will be willing to give the Resort an increased operating budget for 2019. Although the continuous cuts in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 don't fill me with confidence.