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TinkerGem
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:06 am

On a solo trip to AT and missing SRQ soo much! Only a 15 min wait for wicker man but nearly every train had at least one empty seat
 
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Thu Sep 06, 2018 12:42 pm

I miss those too, it's so frustrating that full use isn't made of spare seats.
 
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Swarm Chris
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:16 pm

Sadly, even if they wanted to, I can't see a way that Wicker Man could operate with a SRQ. It would either cause chaos in batching or would require people to enter via the staff door next to baggage reclaim.

For pretty much every other roller coaster there though, if they wanted to they could.
 
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Thu Sep 06, 2018 11:18 pm

It's annoying seeing empty seats on rides! You just think that it could have been you.
 
Activist3
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:38 pm

I used to love Alton Towers but struggling to get enthusiastic now that I have been to other parks.  It seems like Alton is now transitioning to the family market while Thorpe Park seems to be going for the 16-40 market with the whole year horror and Love Island.  I went to Scarefest a few years ago and it wasnt a great experience with Rita and Thirteen constantly down which caused chaos elswhere.  However the mazes were phenomenal, and the staff were brilliant, not closing any of them until everyone had had a go.  It does seem steep now though at an extra £28 per person.  It becomes so expensive.  Thorpe again seem to be going all out!  Had a great experience at Europa Park with the rapid batching and fast moving queues and with the Florida Parks with all day opening!  When I was there Animal Kingdom was open from 7am to 2am!  I know it is down to costs and things but surely staying open a few extra hours and tempting people to stay for evening meal is the way forward?  
 
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Stan.H
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:40 pm

Going on what Activist3 said (above), I won't be surprised if opening hours are increased for next season - especially on peak days, as even this weekend (which is arguably an off-peak 'breather' period between Summer and Scarefest) we have seen queue times in excess of 60 minutes for almost all of the thrill attractions, despite a 5pm closure. As much as it is annoying for us enthusiasts having longer queue times and shorter opening hours, this sure is more promising for the parks future and opening hours. So I really hope the Summer opening hours are increased to 7 or 8pm at a minimum and that Merlin sees the success of Wicker Man and the number of guests it has attracted back to the park. Fingers crossed for next season!
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:29 pm

Activist3 wrote:
 It seems like Alton is now transitioning to the family market


Alton Towers has always been in both the family and thrill markets because of its sheer size, it has rides like Nemesis, The Smiler and Oblivion for the Thrill Seekers, Th13teen and Wicker Man for all the family and CBeebies Land and Mutiny Bay for the kids.
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:38 am

Activist3 wrote:
It seems like Alton is now transitioning to the family market   


I would be surprised if SW9 was a family coaster, rather than a thrilling coaster.
 
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:11 pm

jackf1tz wrote:
Activist3 wrote:
 It seems like Alton is now transitioning to the family market


Alton Towers has always been in both the family and thrill markets because of its sheer size, it has rides like Nemesis, The Smiler and Oblivion for the Thrill Seekers, Th13teen and Wicker Man for all the family and CBeebies Land and Mutiny Bay for the kids.

Yeah I get that.  I think the recent developments are all heading towards the family market though including Wicker Man, Stargazing Pods, CBeebies Hotel and land..  It probably makes sense considering the planning limitations that throttle Alton.  
 
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:01 am

There has to be a point with Alton Towers where the accommodation reaches its max for hotels and cabins..

I’m hoping that once a good level of accommodation is done, then the park will start to be invested into more.. I.e.. new areas, rides, improvements etc.
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:27 am

I think the park will stay mostly balanced. The decrease in hours, TLC and increase of family rides is playing it safe for them considering what happened both to their reputation and financial situation. This is Wicker Man’s first year and we'll see changes in the park as confidence in it improves.

Realistically, they'll make no major changes for a few years and they can see how Wicker Man has affected the park post launch year.
 
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:52 pm

There is a new vacancy for an area manager at Alton Towers:

"We'll expect you to put forward ideas that increase profits, reduce costs and be able to demonstrate evidence of doing this before."

Nice to see Merlin are comitted to improving the guest experience!
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lewis97
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:09 pm

MakoMania wrote:
There is a new vacancy for an area manager at Alton Towers:

"We'll expect you to put forward ideas that increase profits, reduce costs and be able to demonstrate evidence of doing this before."

Nice to see Merlin are comitted to inproving the guest experience!

Assuming this is the role you’re referring to, the sentence literally just before what you’ve quoted says the following: “you'll keep a close eye on the efficiency of the department and continually seek to improve the guest experience.

Of course you can selectively choose one part to quote in order to make a certain point, but when you take the job description in its entirety it does balance guest experience and customer service with standard business objectives - why wouldn’t a manager be expected to come up with profit-generating initiatives, whether that be through revenue increases or reduction of costs?
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Swarm Chris
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:17 pm

This seems like a fairly normal requirement. The resort parks aren't printing money and this is the first year in a while where Alton's income should be more respectable.

At the end of the day, management know if they do too many things that upset people, then they won't come back and that reputation will quickly spread. The last few years of low attendance have made that abundantly clear.

There are plenty of ways costs could be reduced and profits increased that don't necessarily mean trying to squeeze more out of the guest experience. A happy guest will be willing to pay more.
 
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:13 pm

lewis97 wrote:
MakoMania wrote:
There is a new vacancy for an area manager at Alton Towers:

"We'll expect you to put forward ideas that increase profits, reduce costs and be able to demonstrate evidence of doing this before."

Nice to see Merlin are comitted to inproving the guest experience!

Assuming this is the role you’re referring to, the sentence literally just before what you’ve quoted says the following: “you'll keep a close eye on the efficiency of the department and continually seek to improve the guest experience.

Of course you can selectively choose one part to quote in order to make a certain point, but when you take the job description in its entirety it does balance guest experience and customer service with standard business objectives - why wouldn’t a manager be expected to come up with profit-generating initiatives, whether that be through revenue increases or reduction of costs?


Managers can want to improve the guest experience, but under Merlin it is near impossible. The company have made it blatantly clear over the last few years that they have no regard for guest experience.

At points this season the park has been on its knees like never before. There is nothing left to cut, and if they do decide to cut further the consequences will be dire.

Under Merlin's ownership, the guest experience began to improve. However since 2012, the guest experience has taken a massive hit and the park simply could not cope at times this year. It is a shell of its former self.

We have lost single rider queues, baggage holds, half of early ride time, entrance hosts, free mazes at Scarefest, scare zones, numerous F&B outlets, Submission, Ripsaw, Sub-Terra, Charlie & Ice Age all without replacement, free parking for passholders, 5pm minimum closures, in park entertainment and for the first few months of the season the majority of the park didn't open until 11am. Downtime this season has also been more significant due in part to substantial cuts to technical services.

I find it crazy that people still continue to defend the company that has overseen the systematic decline of Alton Towers from a world class all round park to a park with a good collection of coasters but nothing much more.

The guest experience at Alton Towers in 2018 is the worst I have ever seen, and yet Merlin are talking about further cuts. How far are they willing to go? We are surely close to breaking point.

So sad, because there are lots of staff that really do care but their hands are tied from above :(

I'm sorry for having a moan (although I do think I was overdue a bit of a rant :P), but it's just the terrible operational state of the park in 2018 that really upsets me.
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Stan.H
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:21 pm

I totally agree with that to be honest. Like yes, I think Wicker Man is a very very good investment, but other than that the guest experience at Towers is definitely on the decline. I really hope that this will change in the foreseeable future, or otherwise, I think it could lead to a substantial negative effect of ruining the park's reputation almost completely. With that being said, agreeing with what you put above, there are so many staff at Towers who really care about the experience and want guests to have a brilliant day - but Merlin really doesn't allow it to go 'all out' which really is such a shame. I really hope we see significant changes in the future, because the park really isn't what it once was.  
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:50 pm

Great visit today, lots of rerides on our favourite rides, despite a busy park, as we had a fast pass. No down time at all, on anything, other than a slightly late opening for Rita. 

Wicker Man was brilliant. Got 5 rides. On one of the rides we saw Chris Moyles on the train before ours, he was being filmed, so we had to wait for them to set the cameras up, will post some pics late.
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:54 pm

Anyone got any idea what's up with Nemesis? Apparently it's ceased operation for the foreseeable future, is it something to do with the rain?
 
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ROYJESS
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:49 pm

The pit  flooded 
 
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Swarm Chris
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Re: Alton Towers Resort - General Discussion

Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:59 pm

ROYJESS wrote:
The pit  flooded 

Oops... :lol

Did Alton just get really unlucky with the rain today? I was sure most of the warnings were for wind, and every photo from there today has been nice and sunny. Albeit with water levels very high!

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