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Has Galactica been a worth while investment?

Poll ended at Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:03 pm

Yes
13 (32%)
No
17 (41%)
Both(explain)
11 (27%)
 
Total votes: 41
 
The Nemesis Fox
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Galactica - A worth while investment?

Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:03 pm

Now that the season is over it is time to reflect on the previous season and into the future. However Alton Towers have brung up this as an investment and it has received mixed reviews. Should it have been kept as air but upgraded following the same theme? Personally I feel as though the Smiler has brought more people than Galactica. Could Air be brung back? With the two stations maybe there could be a split theme of Air and Galactica so more people could get through and those who like each ride would get through quicker. An extra car could be commisoned, worlds first 2 in 1 roller coaster?
Discuss...
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tallicay2k
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:12 pm

Definitely not worthwhile long term. The only thing I like about it is the music....by far
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:10 pm

tallicay2k wrote:
Definitely not worthwhile long term. The only thing I like about it is the music....by far


I totally agree with you, the only thing I like about it is the IMAScore music, if VR doesn't become popular and they don't improve the headset quality I think people will back away. I also found it strange how when I went in August, Galactica only had a 35min queue, where as The Smiler, Rita and Th13teen all had at least a 40-60min queue.
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Adam.W
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:30 pm

I like most of the things they've done to the ride, apart from the virtual reality. Sure, it's a world's first and it's a unique selling point, but the technology won't last. It's before it's day, in my opinion.
If they were to change the ride, a few things that I would like to be seen is some sort of preshow, new trains specifically designed for the VR aspect, and new/improved headsets with a higher pixel density.
 
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:51 pm

I voted for both. I enjoy the atmosphere the area now has and the addition of the portal theming is very welcome. However, the station area now lacks atmosphere and feels empty, and the Virtual Reality feels very rushed. (Although it has apparently been upgraded since I last tried the VR and so I will give it another chance when I next ride it.)

I don't feel that Galactica is either a success or a failure. The VR won't last long realistically however the area itself will last quite some time longer than that. :)
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:18 pm

I voted both as Galactica has without a doubt been comercially beneficial to Alton Towers, I've heard several people say, "let's go to Alton Towers to try that new virtual reality coaster". It does have an appeal to it and in that regard it has been a good investment. I also think that the area surrounding Galactica has had some good work done to it. The Rollercoaster Restaurant is a solid investment and as others have pointed out the soundtrack and portal are very welcome components!

However on the flip side, I do think that the virtual reality component of Galactica either has a limited lifespan, or will require regular re-investment to keep it up to the latest advances in technology. We have seen at the likes of IAAPA that virtual reality is going to play an increasingly important role in the amusement park industry so I think that there can't be much harm in giving it a try for a few seasons at least. However, I do think that the money spent on Galactica could have been better spent elsewhere, for example on a new flat ride to replace Ripsaw or Submission. I know as enthusiasts we do bang on about flat rides a lot but I think we have a valid point. A park needs more thrill attractions that just rollercoasters unless it has a ridiculous number of them (Cedar Point etc).

Overall, I have mixed feelings on Galactica but towards the end of the season I began to encounter more and more problems with the virtual reality which made me question the longevity of the investment. So, I think it has been a much needed draw for Alton Towers in 2016 and will continue to be in 2017, but with SW8 scheduled to open in 2018 I think that Galactica could soon be overshadowed and the VR content removed or changed altogether.

Personally I feel as though the Smiler has brought more people than Galactica


The Smiler did cost over £15 million more ;)
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:56 pm

Like I said a split with air might be necessary just to balance throughput and provide an alternative to when Galactica suffers 'issues'. I think that it is a good idea but not fully thought through. This is proven as when I went to Towers for the event in Towers it shut for technical reasons at around noon and again at half four. Somewhere I heard out of the two trains making 56, there were 37 unoperational headsets which is around 2/3. What also worries me is that the smiler seems to have taken more to the public and that Galactica was more of a reason to go.

I have been reading through topics and I remember someone said about a Forbidden Oasis area to split off from the valley with Air. This could be adapted to Galactica but I do think this could be good. This is because it would be a nice and calm relaxing area that could house an entertainment area especially with the RC restaurant and the hotels nearby. I think a nicely themed Mack Supersplash could work as well in the area as well as a flying drop tower that is dug into the ground and drops people below where they got on (like Shawn Sanbrooke's idea). With Galactica I think the merge of Air would be good as there are 2 stations and as long as there was another train and another queue line that could be sufficiently achieved. And as long as the maintenance shed is extended on quieter days it could run with 2 trains.

To finish off. Some lights or displays in the tunnel with a track repaint would work. The headsets could be kept in the pouch and would increase through put would be increased as you could have extra time for the headsets. For safety a MCBR could be added. I think this could work and would allow for the VR to be easily channeled out. What do you think?
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:21 pm

I said 50/50.
The theme and brand has definitely made it a stronger ride overall. Although I have done the VR once on the day after its opening and 2 times as Air (however I would call it Galactica with no VR due to the portal :lol ) during the season, I do prefer it without the VR as it just suits the ride better. This does not mean that I do not like the VR, as I found it really exciting and immersive, but I do believe that eventually it will run without the VR.

Personally, if they removed the VR, I would like to see some more theming instalations, similar to the portal. If I was going to choose a particular place to add some more theming then it would be towards the end of the layout as the craft flies by the car parks over some quite bland grass with a few rocks sticking out. If they could do some more rockwork to fill the area and may bye add some crashed satellites (it is only an idea), then that would help visually as, you are looking at the floor a good amount of the time. :yes:
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:53 am

The first few rides I had were amazing, and I love the theme and concept quite a lot. However, I wished they would have put more effort into the scenery during the ride and made the VR optional, like they originally said it would be. Am also hoping that they'll add more destinations to the ride as well! :)
 
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:04 am

NeoXIII wrote:
made the VR optional


It is optional :)
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:34 pm

I feel I sit about on the fence with Galactica. It's been successful in some ways, but a failure in others.

There are definitely positives to the investment. I feel that in terms of the plaza and music, it's a big improvement over Air: IMAscore did a great soundtrack and the portal makes for a much more exciting offride view than Air's drop previously was. To add to this, the VR was definitely fun to try a couple of times (although I now prefer riding without VR).

But there's downsides. The capacity has been reduced severely (which is my main issue, getting in rerides is almost impossible) and the VR is getting a bit repetitive.
Also, I feel that the station could do with an upgrade, it feels a bit bare despite the fact I like the lighting.

There isn't much wrong with Galactica I feel couldn't be solved with an extra £2 million. A station upgrade, a track repaint, reinstallation of onride cameras: just little things that would improve the overall experience would be great. Honestly though, I doubt we'll see Galactica get any theming upgrades until the VR leaves the ride (2021 I'm personally guessing). Also, Galactica didn't really pull in the guests exactly, so I think Merlin won't want to invest in it much.
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:20 pm

It's a gimmick and will remain a gimmick until something better comes along, unfortunately.
 
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:35 pm

MakoMania wrote:
It is optional :)


It is now. I remember AT saying that VR is mandatory a couple of weeks before Galactica launch, probably to justify the "world's first fully dedicated VR rollercoaster". :)
 
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:41 pm

NeoXIII wrote:
MakoMania wrote:
It is optional :)


It is now. I remember AT saying that VR is mandatory a couple of weeks before Galactica launch, probably to justify the "world's first fully dedicated VR rollercoaster". :)


Yeah, sometimes the social media team reply to people saying that you have to wear the headset but the ride staff have never cared if you don't want to. Easier work for them I suppose :lol
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:09 pm

I loved Air, and was apprehensive about them changing the theme at first, but I love the re-theme!

I don't necessarily think Galactica can be singled out in this topic though. Really we need to look at the bigger picture to really appreciate what Galactica has brought to Forbidden Valley. The bottom half has been refreshed with new lighting, theming and The Rollercoaster Restaurant and new Galactica Store, and Galactica is only a small part of a bigger plan for 'The Golden Triangle'. We can see the beginnings of this extending outside the park with the new walkway and access outside of park operations.

In the future, I'd love to see Galactica extend opening for hotel/RCR guests (as trailed this summer) and extended to possibly Nemesis in future years. I'd also like to see some entertainment in the area, with an open air stage near/on the locker site during the summer months, with the old catering units near Ripsaw's old site being used as a bar. This would be a welcomed addition to Alton's entertainment offerings.

The ride serves its purpose. It provides family entertainment. We must remember that it is not designed for gamers etc. It was also one of the tamest and oldest in the park, so any upgrade is welcomed! I expect the GP (not enthusiasts) to rate it high in satisfaction. Merch sales must be high too as the store has been rammed every time I've visited!
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:52 pm

I very much agree with Justin about Galactica and I think in some ways it is underrated. Merlin have added extra theming with the addition of the screens in the station, the new staff uniforms, the portal, the soundtrack and the additions to the bridge (Which unfortunately are not looking the best at the moment due to vandalism).

Also I very much like the VR and have only had one problem with it all season, however I can see why people would not like it, but at the end of the day it is optional. Furthermore now the VR has been installed Merlin have opened up more marketing options due to the fact that they can now invest in new destinations or have a video for special events e.g scarefest. I also think that the VR has been integrated into the trains a lot better than its Six Flags counterparts which look very cheap and unfinished.

As for the throughput that has only got better throughout the season to the point where during scarefest/fireworks it was almost up to air levels of dispatch. The general atmosphere around the ride has also been improved with the addition of the lighting, coffee shack and RCR which will fully achieve their purpose if/when Merlin decides to make FV a night time entertainment "Hub" like City Walk/Disney Springs.
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:22 pm

Cobby wrote:
Merlin have added extra theming with the addition of the screens in the station, the new staff uniforms, the portal, the soundtrack and the additions to the bridge (Which unfortunately are not looking the best at the moment due to vandalism).


Exactly, a good point to make there. Rather than thinking of the negatives, let's think positively. Merlin have done something new, taken a risk with newer technology, and it looks good as far as I'm concerned. I have to admit, the soundtrack from IMAscore is my favourite part of the retheme.
 
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:38 pm

For me the VR never really failed. The actual VR experience is ok but did make me a little dizzy (I do get sick if I use screen in cars though). The theming elements are much stronger than air and the branding is some of the best at the resort. The soundtrack is phenomenal as well!

The best part for me is that if you dislike the VR you can ride without and just experience a better themed air.
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Sat Dec 24, 2016 1:01 am

I'm also a bit 50/50 on this as whilst the ride needed some TLC, on reflection, I don't know whether VR was the best choice. I really like the music as others have mentioned and the improvements are good but towards the end of the season I began to prefer Galactica without the VR although riding it viewing the VR backwards was quite an experience :)
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Re: Galactica - A worth while investment?

Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:07 am

*trailed = trialed (Sorry about tge autocorrect replacement in my last post)

Backwards is unique, although they were quickly told not to play about with the content. It does play with your head though, so it may be a good VR option in the future. Certainly a good marketing tool too!

Having the choice to ride with or without VR is welcomed, especially during Scarefest and Fireworks. If VR was to be removed, more theming elements would be welcomed.
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