UK theme parks from another point of view!

Are you looking forward to the ‘Stargazing Pods’ accommodation development?

Yes
1 (3%)
No
7 (20%)
More accommodation?!
7 (20%)
They need to sort the theme park out first!
20 (57%)
 
Total votes: 35
 
User avatar
Justin
Team TTSP
Team TTSP
Posts: 2140
Joined: April 2014
Location: TTSP Forum
Contact:

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:56 pm

Not interested in walking out of my room across a field to the toilets then to do the same again in the morning to shower! Ewwwww! Just imagine when it rains!
Image
Image
 
User avatar
Swarm Chris
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 363
Joined: April 2018

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:09 pm

Justin wrote:
Not interested in walking out of my room across a field to the toilets then to do the same again in the morning to shower! Ewwwww! Just imagine when it rains!

102 pods, 20 toilets and 12 showers. Imagine when it doesn't rain....
 
User avatar
Justin
Team TTSP
Team TTSP
Posts: 2140
Joined: April 2014
Location: TTSP Forum
Contact:

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:13 pm

It is a no from me! Bad decision for Alton. I also think that they'll struggle to cope with the guests at breakfast and in the evenings.
Image
Image
 
User avatar
Robert.W
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 1103
Joined: May 2017

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:14 pm

I take it they haven't cut the burger vans they were planning on having before..? 
Image

Image
Image
 
User avatar
Sawboss
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 571
Joined: June 2015
Location: Devon

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:46 pm

Depends on the price, if it was considerably cheaper than the hotels I'd be up for that, though I'm not sure they need more accommodation.
 
User avatar
Dan
Team TTSP
Team TTSP
Posts: 2612
Joined: June 2009
Location: Lincoln

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:44 pm

Image

As reported by TowersTimes Facebook; Staffordshire Moorlands District Council have this evening unanimously approved Alton Towers' plans for the addition of 102 accommodation pods in the area to the north of the Enchanted Village, following the deferral of a decision last month.

In addition, during the committee meeting, the name of the new accommodation area has been confirmed as 'Stargazing Pods' with the intention being that this latest accommodation offering will be the entry-level option at the Resort.
Image
 
User avatar
DerpyQuark
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 14
Joined: April 2018
Location: The Sanctuary

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Thu Jul 05, 2018 8:23 pm

But did they really need more accommodation tho?
I know it’s the budget end of the market these ‘pods’ are aimed for, but Splash Landings exists for that purpose.
What next, Donald Trump becoming president of the USA? Oh, wait..
Hello, fellow beings! I’m just a 12 year old girl who is quite into rides.
I am obsessed with the Ministry of Joy and Alton Towers in general.
 
User avatar
Robert.W
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 1103
Joined: May 2017

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:19 pm

I don't even have much left to say about this to be honest. SMDC, I think you've made an awful decision here. Your council criticised this development saying it lacked the magic that Alton Towers are known for. Merlin did absolutely nothing to try and improve that with the revised plans. They're still rubbish and lacking in magic. Makes me wonder what was the point if they were always going to be approved, no matter how bad they were. 
Image

Image
Image
 
User avatar
Dan
Team TTSP
Team TTSP
Posts: 2612
Joined: June 2009
Location: Lincoln

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:36 pm

Robert.W wrote:
I don't even have much left to say about this to be honest. SMDC, I think you've made an awful decision here. Your council criticised this development saying it lacked the magic that Alton Towers are known for. Merlin did absolutely nothing to try and improve that with the revised plans. They're still rubbish and lacking in magic. Makes me wonder what was the point if they were always going to be approved, no matter how bad they were. 


I actually watched the planning committee meeting where the Pods application was discussed, and there was nothing negative said about the revised plans, hence the unanimous decision to approve.

The chair even remarked that, with the slight tweaks to the layout and theming of the facilities block, he saw the ‘magical’ Alton Towers design work that they have seen in the past.

I can’t say I’ll ever stay in one, as I don’t like the concept and really don’t think it’s what the resort needs right now, but the revised plans are an improvement over the initial ones that were submitted. How much of an improvement though is up for debate.

EDIT 06/07/18 09:10:

The Chairman of the Planning Committee, Stephen Ellis, has commented the following on our Facebook post covering the Pods’ approval:

Stephen Ellis wrote:
As Chairman of the Planning Committee, we had concerns over the layout in the first application as well as the bland box design of the changing facility building. The new layout is more spacious with better planting and the changing building has been transformed into something more fitting with the Towers brand and design. Overnight accommodation and increased staycation is really important for the local economy. This is great news for the area and it’s always great to see and read the comments on here.
Image
 
User avatar
Swarm Chris
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 363
Joined: April 2018

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:58 pm

Do you think they'll list the queue times for the toilets and showers on the app? A maximum capacity of approximately 400 people and 12 showers, it could end up being the longest line in the park.

Maybe they'll sell fastpass...?
 
User avatar
Robert.W
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 1103
Joined: May 2017

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:48 pm

I honestly think the SMDC have got this decision very wrong here. The "improved" designs don't have that same magic that previous developments at Alton Towers had, wether the council managed to see something in them or not, they definitely don't resemble the magic of prior developments at the resort. I remember watching the construction of the Enchanted Village on TowersTimes long before I was ever a member, and thinking how amazing, how magical it looked. This development doesn't envoke that same feeling at all. It's clear to see that this is cheap and ill thought out. 

There are so many obvious problems with this new accommodation development, it's unreal!

To start with, the capacity of the shower / bathroom facility building. For just over 100 Pods (that's 400 people at full capacity), how the hell are 12 showers going to be enough when in the morning everyone will be wanting to have a shower at same time in order to get to the theme park early!? There will be colossal queues... so what if it rains? Then there is a massive queue of people outside in the rain... just so magical! The near constant use can't be very good for hygiene either... ugh, yuck!

Then there is the lack of pathways between the pods... so in the middle of the night if you need to use the bathroom, you'll end up walking through a field, literally, in order to get to the bathrooms which are not located in even a remotely convenient location for the majority of the Pods. Again, it's clear that guest experience isn't being taken into consideration.

And what exactly are they doing about F&B offerings? Have they even been generous enough not to cut the planned burger vans? Nothing speaks of quality like a cheap (likely overpriced) meal from a burger van! Ugh. And even if they have kept the burger vans, how are they going to cater for that many people!? Have they considered where people will sit and eat their meals, how is the breakfast arrangement going to work etc.? It's just not happening, it's not going to work!! 

The lack of theming and attention to detail is another major reason that this development doesn't have the magic that Alton Towers are known for. By the plans and concept art, the Pods being installed look like garden sheds. Nothing more, nothing less. Just plain old garden sheds. The fact that they have also given space for a play area that's actually not being built alongside the accommodation is just sly. I have little faith that it'll ever go ahead to be honest. The planters and telescope features and lazy, and it should be evident that there is a problem when the main theming feature is a tree they half cut down. 

Then there is the problem that becasue of how low value this accommodation is going to be, Merlin will have to price it accordingly, as low budget accommodation. But that will take away from local business such as B&Bs and small hotels who are often the go to option for Alton Towers visitors looking for a cheaper accommodation option. This will literally take away from local businesses, whilst achieving little else. I don't see any economical benefit to the local area at all.

Overall, accommodation isn't the reason people come to visit Alton Towers – the theme park is why people visit. The accommodation is literally only there to facilitate the people whom it is a necessity to stay over night. They already can't fill their current budget accommodation offerings, so why would they build more? Any logical person would say that that's just silly!

The fact that there has been so many oversights with is accommodation is just unbelievable. If anyone from the SMDC Planning Committee happens to read this, I strongly urge you to raise these issues with the rest of the committee as a matter of urgency.
Image

Image
Image
 
User avatar
DerpyQuark
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 14
Joined: April 2018
Location: The Sanctuary

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:11 pm

I think that 99% of the committee must be gardening- mad sort of people, because to them there's nothing more magical than a shed!
Hello, fellow beings! I’m just a 12 year old girl who is quite into rides.
I am obsessed with the Ministry of Joy and Alton Towers in general.
 
User avatar
hursty
Team TTSP
Team TTSP
Posts: 909
Joined: January 2010

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:31 pm

Robert.W wrote:
I honestly think the SMDC have got this decision very wrong here. The "improved" designs don't have that same magic that previous developments at Alton Towers had, wether the council managed to see something in them or not, they definitely don't resemble the magic of prior developments at the resort.

Having watched the final approval meeting, the council had previously asked them to do a bit better, which they did, but I'm not sure how much involvement the council can realistically have. They are only there to approve on certain criteria, I'm sure a lot the elements that people find concerning aren't really a local authority concern - and are much more likely to be solely a commercial decision.


Robert.W wrote:
I remember watching the construction of the Enchanted Village on TowersTimes long before I was ever a member

Image

Good times!


Robert.W wrote:
To start with, the capacity of the shower / bathroom facility building. For just over 100 Pods (that's 400 people at full capacity), how the hell are 12 showers going to be enough when in the morning everyone will be wanting to have a shower at same time in order to get to the theme park early!? There will be colossal queues... so what if it rains? Then there is a massive queue of people outside in the rain... just so magical! The near constant use can't be very good for hygiene either... ugh, yuck!


This reminds me of the Glamping at CWOA, where you have festival-style trailers with facilities in, and some cladding disguising them.

Pricing is going to be key with this, even the Thorpe Shark, which is tight on space, still provides a wet-room with each room.

What demographic do you think that this accommodation is targeting?
Image
Image
 
User avatar
Robert.W
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 1103
Joined: May 2017

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:02 pm

hursty wrote:
Robert.W wrote:
I honestly think the SMDC have got this decision very wrong here. The "improved" designs don't have that same magic that previous developments at Alton Towers had, wether the council managed to see something in them or not, they definitely don't resemble the magic of prior developments at the resort.

Having watched the final approval meeting, the council had previously asked them to do a bit better, which they did, but I'm not sure how much involvement the council can realistically have. They are only there to approve on certain criteria, I'm sure a lot the elements that people find concerning aren't really a local authority concern - and are much more likely to be solely a commercial decision.

To be fair, yes. I do agree that there is probably only so much that the council can do in terms of the arguments I've raised against the pods. But these are things that both the SMDC and Merlin brought up themselves. For example, if the council were that concerned about the quality, or the magic of these pods, then I'd have liked them to have been a bit more firm with their position, and asked Merlin to put proper effort into revising the plans instead of just accepting whatever small changes that were made.

hursty wrote:

Robert.W wrote:
To start with, the capacity of the shower / bathroom facility building. For just over 100 Pods (that's 400 people at full capacity), how the hell are 12 showers going to be enough when in the morning everyone will be wanting to have a shower at same time in order to get to the theme park early!? There will be colossal queues... so what if it rains? Then there is a massive queue of people outside in the rain... just so magical! The near constant use can't be very good for hygiene either... ugh, yuck!


This reminds me of the Glamping at CWOA, where you have festival-style trailers with facilities in, and some cladding disguising them.

Pricing is going to be key with this, even the Thorpe Shark, which is tight on space, still provides a wet-room with each room.

What demographic do you think that this accommodation is targeting?

I don't think these accommodation pods can really be compared to Chessington's Glamping because that looks like a pretty good quality experience, hence why it's called Glamping and not simply camping. The same can't be said for sleeping in a plain boring garden shed. This is just camping.

With the pricing... I think that's going to be difficult. How much can they realistically get away with charging for something so minimal and lacking in quality? This is where my concerns about Merlin's claim that the development will benefit the local community comes in. Many people look to local B&Bs and small hotels as a budget option. If these pods are marketed and priced in a way that it ends up taking away that market from these local businesses, then Merlin's claim was false.

In terms of who I think Merlin are targeting with the pods, I think older teens / younger people, possibly even school groups, those who are willing to pay less for a lesser quality experience and those who often stay off site in local accommodation rather than onsite. 
Image

Image
Image
 
User avatar
Swarm Chris
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 363
Joined: April 2018

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:10 pm

Shamelessly silly comment incoming:

Seeing as they put both trademarks in at the same time, maybe they're intending calling the Stargazing Pods toilet and shower block, the Alton Towers Dungeon? Seems like it has the necessary theming in the plans.
 
User avatar
jackf1tz
TT Member
TT Member
Posts: 233
Joined: August 2017
Location: Near Mutiny Bay

Re: ‘Stargazing Pods’ Accommodation Discussion

Thu Jul 19, 2018 12:20 am

A dungeons attraction would have higher capacity ;)
Image
Image

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 48 guests