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End Of Season Review 2016

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End Of Season Review 2016

by Dom » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:59 pm

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As the annual Alton Towers Resort Fireworks fizzle out, it marks the end of what has been an intergalactic year for the resort. Did you visit the resort this year, if so, then we would love to hear what your personal high and low points of the season are. Were you impressed by the Rollercoaster Restaurant? Did you journey beyond on Galactica? Has Towers Loving Care revived the magic? Did the Skin Snatchers and sewer-dwellers make you scream during Scarefest? We'd love to hear your thoughts on the 2016 season.
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Rita Fan

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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by Rita Fan » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:05 pm

I feel this season has been the awesome! Galactica has proved popular with the crowds, and Towers Loving Care has really given a new lease of life for the park!

I can't wait for 2017.
Erm, change of plan, I prefer The Smiler. Rita's rubbish. Should have thought of that...

Scarefest 2016 hype is all gone... all because of Stan.H.
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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by Liam.W » Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:14 pm

2016 has been my favourite season at Alton (but that's not exactly saying much to be fair!). Highlights include queuing from 9am on Sunday 20th March to ride The Smiler for the second time in my life, and being there on the Galactica opening day, (but more on that later...). And how could I forget the TT Summer Sizzler, that was my favourite day I've ever spent at a theme park, mainly thanks to everyone on here who went!

In my opinion the rollercoaster restaurant isn't too good, the food wasn't exactly up to scratch for the money I had paid, and I didn't think the choice was that great for a fussy eater like me. Many people seem to enjoy it though so I must have just been unlucky!

Galactica is great... when you ride without VR. After a few tries the VR gets boring and you start to notice little things such as the black border and how out of sync it can be. The extra theming and the other upgrades are great though, the portal makes for a great near miss, especially on the front row!

Scarefest was absolutely awesome as always, doing Nemesis on the front row was one of the best rides of the season for me, and finally doing The Smiler in the dark after wanting to do it since it opened was an awesome experience, I didn't know it could be so much better in the dark!

Towers Loving Care is a great program, and it's very evident the hard work they put in over the closed season. Nemesis looks absolutely stunning! :love: I can't wait to see what happens with the TLC over this closed season!
Ride count 2016: 385!
Ride count since the beginning of 2015: 511!
Cred count: 62!

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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by Dom » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:25 pm

I only spent a weekend at towers this year, so my end of year review is going to be quite short, partly because of that and partly because I don't actually remember a lot.

I found the Roller Coaster Restaurant ok. Its different but for me its not somewhere i'd hurry back to to eat. Its expensive and the food isn't that great and my god do they like to use the paprika. I also felt it was very disruptive and the ordering system is a bit of a pain too. That being said, it is a nice atmosphere in there.

Towers Loving Care seems to be good and bad. Its nice to see them sprucing up but at the same time I can't say I actually noticed things. Unless it is big changes like with Dark Forest, than the majority of things will just go unnoticed, which is a shame.
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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by DrKelman » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:24 pm

Despite some of the rides being closed and the removal of The Flume i think this season has been great, especially because The Smiler has reopened and we can all get corrected again.

My favorite moments of this season were, visiting Alton to ride my most Favorite roller coaster and having a laugh with some of the Smiler staff which i really hope will be there next season but if not then that's a shame but i wish them all the best. Scarefest was definitely better this year and i can't wait until the next one where hopefully i have the courage to attend a meetup.
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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by theparklifekid » Tue Nov 08, 2016 8:39 pm

Having been at the park for only a day I can say it was fun and interesting.

I found Air (Galactica) to be very mixed, the VR was just "meh" but I love the soundtrack of the ride. The Rollercoaster Restaurant was also mixed, cool idea and visually great, however the food I found a little dry and expensive.

TLC around the park looked great and even though some rides weren't open, the open ones were running great.

Looking forward to next year!
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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by lewis97 » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:10 pm

My only visit to the Resort this season was for ScareMazing North where I managed to avoid doing Galactica, the Rollercoaster Restaurant or getting back on The Smiler :P However, it was still good to see some of the Towers Loving Care works that had taken place across the park and hopefully we'll see more from that project this closed season.

This year's Scarefest offering was also good, building on the momentum of last year's event. It's the entertainments department who really bring the Resort alive for guests, so it would great to see the theme park entertainment that was cut this season return next year.

It certainly seems like this last month of the season with Scarefest and Fireworks was a successful end to the year, so hopefully we'll see a continued recovery in the 2017 season.
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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by PaxmanValenta » Wed Nov 09, 2016 1:57 pm

I'm pleased to see the Smiler inquiry be concluded and allowing the park to move on. It's a great ride and a truly awesome piece of machinery and I'd have been very sad to see it go.

AT will continue to grow with the development of SW8. This time last year we were mourning the demise of rides that have been closed or removed. AT, like most things in the UK today needs to be a leaner, greener more cost effective business and I think they have succeed so far.

Long may it continue and here is to a prosperous 2017. :clap:
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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by Luce » Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:12 pm

I think that overall, it's been a pretty good season for AT and I've really loved all my visits there this year - especially as I've spent them in the company of fantastic people :)

The only downside for me was seeing Hex closed as it's one of my favourite rides there so hopefully it will reopen again next season and we can all enjoy it again.

Particular highlights include Scarefest which was amazing and also the fireworks which was a great finale to the season.

Roll on the next one! :)
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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by MakoMania » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:16 am

Overall a good season I think.

Really liked Galactica at the beginning of the season, but towards the end of the season I could not get the graphics to focus properly at all whereas in March-July I had no issues.

Scarefest was a big highlight for reasons already said by others!
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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by JustWill » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:14 pm

I think it's been a great year for the Towers.

2016 marked Alton Towers' return after the Smiler incident in June 2015, and it's safe to say that Alton are back on the road to recovery.

As has already been said, Towers Loving Care is fantastic program and it's amazing to see some areas of the park which have been (relatively) untouched since they opened, finally repairing damaged and fading signs and returning some of the magic back into the park.

However, 2016's new additions were very up and down. Experiencing Galactica early on was a fantastic (although buggy) experience, however it seems that the ride is now quite a bit worse for ware with many of the headsets being glitchy and broken now, as well as huge queue times. However, it's a new thing and I'm positive Galactica will be improved some time in the near future.

I haven't actually had chance to eat at the Rollercoaster Restaurant (I can't say no to Woodcutters!), but I've heard mixed things about it. It's proven that it's very well themed, especially for the fans (plans/concepts/layouts/etc.), however reviews about the food have left something to be desired. I'll be able to come back with my own opinion soon, after I finally try it.

Very disappointed to hear about Hex, CATFC and N:ST's closures for this year. However, as I said before, TLC is a fanastic program and I'm very excited to see any new changes or improvements made when they reopen (hopefully) in 2017.

Scarefest was undoubtedly the highlight of the year. Altonville Mine Tours was a fantastic new addition to the lineup, and ToTT and Sub Species were just as good as last year (if not better). However, the scare zones seem to have been toned down a bit (especially with Freak Show). I'm not sure if this is just my different observation, or if this is something everyone's noticed?

Bit confused about SW8? It doesn't look like much of the Flume's theming has been removed since it closed, it's looking quite worse for wear now.

Roll on 2017! :D
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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by Ladyofthelake » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:56 pm

For me 2016 has been one of those seasons which both had some amazing moments, yet at the same time had moments which left me feeling that there are certain areas the Resort really needs to urgently look at in order to address some obvious gaps in their offering.

It was a shame not to have a February half term offering this year and it was something I really missed. Whilst I can fully appreciate the reasons why the Resort didn't do its normal event this year, I think it is something that hopefully will make a return in future years and would be received well.

The Towers Loving Care programme has overall been positive for the Resort with many areas looking much, much better than previously. I only hope that the Resort now keeps in top of these areas to keep them looking good for the future. One criticism I do have of the Alton TLC scheme is the choice of ride closures. With Hex, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Wobble World, and Nemesis: Sub-Terra all closed that has removed the majority of indoor attractions from the line-up, something which has really been felt when there's been bad weather. Personally, it would have been better from my point of view if they'd kept at least one of those rides open so there was at least one more indoor option.

Galactica for me just doesn't seem to have had the impact a new addition should. Whilst the VR was good on my first ride it did seem very temperamental and subsequent rides weren't as good. or me it's very much a ride that the general day visitor would probably enjoy, however as a repeat visitor the novelty soon wore off and by May I was opting to ride without the VR.

One of the best additions for me this year has been the Rollercoaster Restaurant. I love the decor with the concepts and nods to past rides, and the food I've had has been very nice (although I am aware others have had issues with the food). Yes, it is perhaps a tad on the expensive side, but it's nice as somewhere to eat as a treat and very different to the other F&B offerings on the park.

Scarefest was once again a fantastic event and was easily the best of Merlin's Halloween offerings. I loved House of Monsters with its perfect mix of fun and frights, and Altonville Mine Tours: Uncover the Legend of the Skin Snatchers was one of the most elaborately themed mazes I've been through. Sub Species: The End Games was once again a great maze, I'll certainly remember my extreme run through for a while! Whilst Terror of the Towers was good, I think this has perhaps run its course, next year either needs to see a completely new story, or a new maze in its place so that the offering is kept fresh.

Fireworks was a great way to round off the season. I will admit I had my concerns about the theme when the trailer was released, however thankfully I was proved wrong. Whilst it didn't top my joint favourite displays of 2013 and 2015, it was a great season finale and it was good to see a show which was different to what had gone before.

It's going to be interesting to see where the Resort goes from here. 2017 is looking set to be another heavy CBeebies year with the new hotel and ride, meaning potentially there will be little for thrillseekers until Scarefest comes around once more. Hopefully we will see Hex re-open and more areas of the park receive the attention it needs.
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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by audiobookman » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:44 am

We let our passes expire because of the disgusting sales price rises the year before.
We maybe renewing next year if the boxing day sales are actually sales and not price hikes.....

When we last went we finally got to ride the smiler, the que system there ruined the ride for us - far to claustrophobic - we rode twice (fast track the second time) and decided that is it for us on that ride we would rather ride enterprise and oblivion than smiler.

I am really missing nemesis though - ive never missed a year to ride on the old gal since the first year she first opened - tbh that is the only ride i really miss. I dislike air (or whatever its called now) and smiler is very meh.

My kids are at that funny age now, the twins are too small to ride the big rides but are too big to go into cbeebies (but they said they would go into old mcdonalds farm!!???). With all the rides like hex and log flume closures it made the towers poor value this year for our 8 year olds.

I love the towers don't get me wrong but merlin have made some serious missteps before the accident which alienated our family and many of our friends who we often traveled with to merlin attractions.

In fact it has been refreshing this year, we purchased english heritage passes and took our caravan all over the country visiting other places.

I am looking forward to the future now - if merlin manage to get the park back to how it was only 5 short years ago then people like us will return if they choose to not penny pinch any more (wake me up if that happens lol)
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Re: End Of Season Review 2016

by ponder » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:27 am

For many of the reasons that audiobookman mentions above, I didn't attend this year.

It's a 3+ hour drive, so prefer to stay up there and do 2 days, and couldn't justify the cost with the number of attractions that were not available.

I have to say it still irks me a little bit how TLC was marketed as some kind of special investment when it's what any good theme park SHOULD be doing during their off-season anyway.

I may make it up there next year, but it appears there will be further price increases, more staff cut-backs and only maybe one or two attractions re-opened (at least, I assume Hex and Nemesis: Sub Terra will be open?). So maybe I'll wait for SW8...

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