UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
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Adam.W
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Re: SW9

Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:02 am

At some point the monorail cars (and possibly track) will be too old. According to Wikipedia the monorail cars were built for the 1986 World Expo. The Cable Car is also from a similar date although I believe it's been like Triggers Broom with so much of it replaced over the years.

The monorail was refurbished in 2008, but even still, I do agree that the monorail either needs to be removed completely (and use a system similar to what's used in the Walt Disney World car parks, for example), or receive a major refurbishment. However, looking at the way Merlin is currently operating, I fear that it's more of a case of "Yeah, that's working fine right now lets wait another 5 years or so until it REALLY needs to be refurbished". The Alton TLC scheme claims that the monorail will receive some TLC over the next closed season, but I still believe that it will not be to the extent that is really needed.
The skyride was last refurbished in 2009/2010 and is still running fine in my opinion - my guess would be a refurbishment in at least a decade from now (providing that it doesn't burn down again).
 
The problem with a new entrance being built by Galactica is that it would be inserted right in the middle of Forbidden Valley, rather than a location with a nice backdrop of the Towers. Sure, it's more convenient for car park users, skyride users, and has a better location in general, but it just seems wrong that it's plonked between two major rollercoasters with no 'buffer' between the entrance and the major areas of the park.
 
I personally think that we will see a large scale dark ride for SW9. I think it could a) be in Cloud Cuckoo Land and encompass a retheme of the area, b) be built in the Air carpark, and possibly involve splitting FV into two different areas (Future theme and current FV theme), or c) replace Rita - by the time SW9 supposedly opens, Rita will be 17 years old. As it is, the ride hasn't got the best of throughputs, is a mediocre ride (especially compared with many recent launch coasters), and doesn't fit the area very well in general. Both CCL and the Air carpark have been earmarked for potential development at this stage.
 
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Robert W
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Re: SW9

Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:56 am

I agree that the Skyride doesn't really need any full scale refurbishment. The operating system itself seems in great condition and I've never experienced any problems with the ride. I would like to see the stations receive a little TLC though and the supports near the Forbidden Valley station in the direction of Dark Forest need repainting, infact, all of the Skyride supports could do with some paint to "theme" them a little, but that is just painting work really, so nothing too major... 
And as for a new entrance, I believe placing the entrance at the Forbidden Valley corner of the park would create some serious crowd flow issues, I mean, Towers Street can get considerably busy at the end of the day and it would be silly to imagine all the narrow paths of Katanga Canyon and Gloomy Wood will be enough to transport everyone to the new entrance even if the Skyride could be used... anyways, they wouldn't be renovating Towers Street if they even thought they might move the entrance in the near future and the fact that Towers Street is so prominent in the advertising is testimony to its importance in creating the whole experience of Alton Towers.
I've just realised I haven't mentioned SW9 once... :lol
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bensaund
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Re: SW9

Sat Aug 19, 2017 7:14 pm

Having the entrance in FV will indeed flood the area. However for those people who do not like walking or have push chairs etc, that is one hell of  steep hill to get up if you are going from the car park to the Skyride. Plus if they are planning on closing the Towers Street Entrance then all the mummys and daddies and small children will have to walk to the other side of the park in order to get to CBeebies Land. Of course in true Towers style, the Skyride will not open until around 10:30 so people will start their day with a very long walk.

The removal of the Monorail could also provide the following:
  • Replace the car park station with a small hotel or extension to one of the existing hotels
  • The old entrance plaza and Towers Street Monorail station could be developed into either  new outside area, or an indoor dark ride.
  • They could remove Towers Street altogether to create more space of future attractions
  • With the removal of the monorail maintenance shed, that could  be replaced with a duel sized dark ride
I for one don't want to see the removal of the monorail, but for Towers, it reduced their overheads and gives them lots of options for expansion.
 
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Cobby
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Re: SW9

Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:44 pm

Moving the main entrance would free up a lot of space however I don't think that would be needed at the moment because I think towers will expand into the car park near galactica that rarely gets used first as you can argue that some of the path infrastructure is there already with the path to the RCR. However whatever they decide to do, I hope that Towers can develop a virtual queue system similar to Race through New York at Universal. I know that it may sound expensive to do however Race through New York does it simply and very well and it could defiantly be something that wouldn't be too expensive for towers to invest in. The only problem with the system is it may require more staff to make this system work unless there is a way to automate it.  
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Robert W
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Re: SW9

Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:37 pm

If I'm honest, it seem s a little bit strange that so many people are convinced that Alton Towers needs a new entrance, simply to maximise space. What people have to remember is that no ride will last forever and sooner or later, rides in different ares will close and make way for newer additions. Another point to make is about the disadvantages of an excessively large theme park, which is why Alton Towers probably wouldn't even want to expand too much. Just look at Geauga Lake. I won't go into much detail, but to put it very simply, it got just so big, which in the end resulted in its closing.
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Burniel
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Re: SW9

Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:29 pm

Robert W wrote:
If I'm honest, it seem s a little bit strange that so many people are convinced that Alton Towers needs a new entrance, simply to maximise space. What people have to remember is that no ride will last forever and sooner or later, rides in different ares will close and make way for newer additions. Another point to make is about the disadvantages of an excessively large theme park, which is why Alton Towers probably wouldn't even want to expand too much. Just look at Geauga Lake. I won't go into much detail, but to put it very simply, it got just so big, which in the end resulted in its closing.

Your comments about Geauga Lake are a little misleading, as you seem to be suggesting that the park closed because its size was a threat to itself, which is not true. The park closed because its size was a threat to Cedar Point. By 2007, the parks were both owned by Cedar Fair and were 68 miles from each other. For reference, that is around half the distance between Alton Towers and Thorpe Park. The parks were both huge, had very similar target audiences, had similar-style coasters, and were so close that they became intense competition for each other, which damaged both of their attendances, and thus Cedar Fair closed Geauga Lake to protect its precious Point.

Not that I necessarily agree with the idea that entrance changes and/or expansions are a good idea, but I don't think it's fair to suggest that moderately expanding the park could lead to it toppling under its own size.
Rides on Dragon's Fury since SRQ installed:

2016: 17 | 2017: 35
 
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Robert W
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Re: SW9

Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:57 am

Burniel wrote:
Not that I necessarily agree with the idea that entrance changes and/or expansions are a good idea, but I don't think it's fair to suggest that moderately expanding the park could lead to it toppling under its own size.

I do understand what you are saying and I should have possibly expanded a bit on my Geauga Lake comment, but a large park filled wsith older and newer attractions might not necessarily bring in more people, enough to justify expanding the park so much, resulting in Merlin not having as much money for the size of the park, and that could create problems, if you can see what I mean.
Also, I'm not suggesting that moderately expanding the park could lead to its closure, but if over time, the park keeps on expanding, without older attractions being removed, this would result in a larger park, that as I said above, Merlin might not, for any reason, be able to maintain. The situation with Geauga Lake is very different, but that fact that the park was so big did play a factor in its closure.
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Burniel
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Re: SW9

Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:44 am

Robert W wrote:
Also, I'm not suggesting that moderately expanding the park could lead to its closure, but if over time, the park keeps on expanding, without older attractions being removed, this would result in a larger park, that as I said above, Merlin might not, for any reason, be able to maintain.

Of course older attractions need to be removed/rethemed to keep up with market trends and to limit maintenance costs. However, looking at the park's lineup, I cannot personally see any attractions which I would say currently need removing. Thus, a small expansion to accommodate SW9 seems reasonable. I completely agree that the park shouldn't just expand without any consideration for its current attractions, but it seems to me that most of the people above are talking about a single, one-off expansion, which is perfectly feasible to do in the park's current state.

I wouldn't personally want to see the entrance moved, as I don't think the cost of the move would be worth it for the extra space and minor bonus in the form of not running the Monorail. However, I would very much welcome an expansion into the Galactica car park in the next few years to allow for SW9. This moderate increase in size seems very manageable, and aside from a few attractions in the rest of the park which I'd like to see refurbished/rethemed in the next few years, the rest of the park should still be in good shape.
Rides on Dragon's Fury since SRQ installed:

2016: 17 | 2017: 35
 
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Robert W
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Re: SW9

Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:52 pm

Yes, I agree, the current attraction line up in the park is all very relevant and will be for the foreseeable future. I do also agree that expansions here and there are a good thing too, as long as they are prepared to remove attractions once all the avalibe space is used, so they don't try and cramp any new rides or attractions in any where.
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